The Disney Way For The Digital Age
Magical customer experiences don’t happen by accident, they happen through careful planning & meticulous design. Kevin Kelly and Debbie Zmorenski have been engineering extraordinary customer experiences for over 30 years … Join us as we explore corporate culture, branding, service excellence, and much more. Through storytelling, technical curiosity and friendly conversation, “The Disney Way for the Digital Age” will be revealed! Our mission is to give our listeners real-life information that can be used to create a successful business model leading to competitive advantage and loyal customers for life. We’ll l share our combined experience in operations, leadership, and technology in a way that is relevant to all businesses.
Tuesday Aug 09, 2022
Tuesday Aug 09, 2022
SHOW NOTES: 00:30: Welcome back! Thanks for subscribing and joining us again! 00:53: A glance back at our journey together thus far! 01:36: Why is Debbie an Operations gal at heart? 04:45: Maybe operationalizing is what this is all about; as we begin to reflect 05:11: Ref: @11:49 in Ep.1 "Introducing The Disney Way for the Digital Age Podcast" 06:31: On building out of Disney's dark years 08:13: The purpose of the Purpose Statement 08:40: About creating happiness every day 09:07: Creating Customer Experience Magic (CXM) 10:30: Ref: Service standards we discussed in Ep.5 “Foundations: How a Solid Service Framework Can Shape Your Culture” 11:07: Operationalizing your culture is possible Ref: Right Fit Hire Ep.3 “Managing Chaos and Control - Right Fit Hire and Technology” 12:41: Three pillars supporting an extraordinary customer experience: Brand, Culture,Technology 13:47: Ref: Ep.4 “Demystifying Brand Identity and the Emotional Connection” 14:21: Ref: AT&T television Ads 15:14: Internal versus External customers 15:38: How does Technology fit into your company and fit alongside Brand & Culture? 17:00: Do you love chat bots? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments! 18:03: Customer service… Customer, Service! 18:55: 6 Questions to ask to evaluate your current culture 20:25: The Cycle of Growth - Structure> Growth > Chaos > Analysis 21:09: The Creative Brief [PDF featured in Ep.4 here] 22:30: What kind of brand are you, what’s your brand personality? 23:10: On the Touchpoint Mapping System featured in Ep.6 “Touchpoints: The Anatomy of Your Digital Ecosystem” 23:38: Touchpoints are everywhere, as are opportunities for them to make them work 24:46: Same in the digital world. Ref: A spherical value chain @27minutes in to Ep.6 25:39: Ref: @32:12 in Ep.9 “Faster Than Normal Zombie Loyalists with Peter Shankman” 26:24: Everything is rolling along perfectly; then it all changes! Ref: Ep.7 “Innovate, Adapt, Or Die” 27:50: A few concepts on ‘innovate, adapt, or die’ 28:44: Remember.. Adapt is different than Adopt 29:43: The best piece of advice you’ll ever get!! (this week. we think.) 30:25: Ref: Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom 30:35: And including this… 31:22: The Cliffhanger!!!….. What do YOU want from a Season Two!? Tell us in the comments or here: [email protected] and [email protected] 31:53: What we’re thinking about… 32:52: Debbie is talking about this part of our website HERE 33:48: Why did Debbie make a new pathway and leave Disney anyway?? 34:50: Thank you everyone!! 35:25: End credits Please find us on the Web at: www.disneywaydigital.com Via email: [email protected] and [email protected] And on the Socials at: Debbie: LinkedIN and @DZmorenski on Twitter and @dkzcoach on Facebook Kevin: @BigBuzzKev on Twitter INSTA & Facebook TRANSCRIPT via Descript: Intro: Magical customer experiences don't happen by accident. They happen through careful planning and meticulous design. Kevin and Debbie have been engineering, extraordinary customer experiences for over 30 years. Join us as we explore corporate culture, branding, service, excellence, and much more through storytelling, technical curiosity, and friendly conversation. The Disney way for the digital age will be revealed. [00:00:29] KK: Wow, folks, welcome to episode 10 and our season finale of season one operations recap, season one review with our dramatic cliff hanger. So Deb, do you believe this? Number 10. It feels like just last week it feels like we were saying, let's try this podcasting. I think we might have something interesting to say [00:00:52] Debbie: it. This went so fast when we talked about doing 10 episodes, weekly and so forth, it just seemed like so far away. And yet here we are. [00:01:02] KK: Here we are. And now we're embarking upon the challenge of recapping. This is a recap of season one. So we're gonna fit, uh, several hours of information into about 24. [00:01:13] Debbie: Yeah, I was gonna say, so how much time do we have for this? [00:01:17] KK: We're gonna try not to go over 30 minutes. Mm-hmm um, So interesting go, you know, I gotta admit I've gone back and listened to some of the episodes. Yes. And just see, you know, and they're interesting, but what I found interesting about the opening, you mentioned as you're introducing yourself and reviewing your career, you said I'm an operation girl at heart and I love operation. And I said, maybe I gotta ask Deb. What's behind that. [00:01:39] Debbie: That, that's a great question. And, and when you and I were talking, uh, the other day and we mentioned this and I thought I really have to think about this because it always seems so natural for me. But what I I realized was is that I love being in the thick of things right. Over the years, I had opportunities to move up. I, I had, I moved up into various upper level positions, which was great but when I was offered other opportunities to go higher, I turned it down because it felt like it removed me from the operation. And the higher you go, the more you removed from the operation, which is logical. And thank heavens, there are people to want to, to do those things. But what I like about being in the thick of things, you know, the boots on the ground as you will, is you are completely involved. So I'm not talking about micromanaging. I'm talking about being completely involved with my teams. We work together. We problem solve together. We celebrate together. And at the end of a hard day, when you know you, you did great things despite the challenges that popped up during the day, it, it's a very rewarding feeling, uh, at I've had administrative roles couple of times, and I was bored outta my mind. I just like to be in the thick of things. And for some reason that I haven't really been able to explain, um, I'm especially fond of manufacturing plant type environments and, uh, restaurants and kitchens. If I have the opportunity to go backstage into a kitchen with one of my clients, I just stand there and I get this wave of warm nostalgia, so, oh my gosh. I'm watching the hustle and the bustle and the chefs, you know, giving directions and I'm thinking, oh, wow, I missed this. [00:03:27] KK: Well, there really is nothing like it. And. People throw that phrase around, I think, but I there's really nothing like it in that you, um, any moment something new oh, could happen. I think, you know, admin sitting at your desk, you know? Yeah. Maybe a, an unexpected email could drop in your inbox, but nothing like being, as you said, boots on the ground, you know, as you, I think you said, uh, So I'm in the kitchen and, and the grill goes, you know, the, actually you had a very specific name for it, the boiler, yeah, [00:03:53] Debbie: the boiler, the Broilermaster . And we, I used to do, uh, be a, a leader at the Pinocchio Village House back in the day when all fried chicken, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, that kind of thing. and I'm telling you everything would be going great right up until noon. And if. that doggone boiler master was going to go down and did it right in the middle of lunch rush, you know, and then it was all hands on, deck, hamburgers on the trays, move everything to the grill, you know, and it, so, but at the end of all that, as stressful as it could be, you thought we went around high fiving, each other, you know, saying, yeah, we did it. It's like. [00:04:28] KK: I think I've seen that in many movies, right. The montage of the craziness and then the, you know, people leave and there's a team in the back. Yeah. You know, and then that's pretty the high fives and the, the celebrations. So yeah. Nothing like it. I agree. So we're gonna use operations as a lens to do this recap. Yeah. We, we kind of, as we're going through this with each other saying maybe operationalizing is what this is all about. Right. What, what, what is, um, you know, that love for operations? Hm, we understand this is a tight time limit. So we're gonna go lightning round. We've got about eight or nine topics. Yeah. Coincidentally eight or nine episodes. Right? How how'd that happened? Yeah. Um, and so I think in about three minutes, we might, it might hit it right on the nose. So, you know, uh, if you remember, if you've listened, um, we jumped right into dark years at Disney and, uh, Deb's experience and living through it. I heard about it and it was incredibly engaging story and, uh, amazing that we thought this, um, untouchable, pixie dust, fairy tale, castle place could never have a problem. And we jumped right into the dark years. [00:05:31] Debbie: Mm-hmm and, and one of the things that caused that as you know, was that Disney became very complacent and they had not been assessing their culture and the changes in the guest. expectations. They just kind of got to the point where they thought, eh, you know, we're Disney, people are going to come no matter what. And of course, right. They did not. And when they did, they were not happy and it made the company ripe for a takeover. And that's where we entered the dark ears. And Michael Eisner came to save the day. Right. [00:06:11] KK: Yeah. I mean, those were tough years and I think, you know, it was also, uh, there was competition. They hadn't anticipated before.\ Um, they thought they invented the business, which they kind of did, but they weren't the only ones that could do it. Like, like most businesses you could be number one and people started to emulate not only your product, but the way you do things. Cuz not always patentable mm-hmm so they had people creeping up on 'em. Um, Judson Green gives the footstep speech introduces service excellence. Right. And, um, And you lived through all that. [00:06:39] Debbie: Yes. And, uh, it was a very stressful time and ultimately, uh, an exciting time, but a very stressful time. And the, the thing that brought us out of the dark years not the thing, but the many things was operationalizing the culture and also in other words, figuring out who are we, what are we all about? Well, number one, we are about creating those magical experiences for the guests. That's what brings them back again and again and again, uh, we lost, we lost sight of that and then operationalizing, that means, well, exactly. How do we do it? Right. If we look at that element of the culture, what are the strategies, the policies, the, the procedures, the tactics that are employed to execute, delivering um, that magical experience to the guests. And that's when the service standards and the behavioral standards and the, uh, the promise to the, to the guests that was revised. All of those things were put in place on paper for the first time, because part of operationalizing that element of the culture was to be sure that every cast member that was hired understood what it meant to give magical experiences specifically within their role, whether they're sweeping the streets or running attractions or scooping ice cream cones. And so for the first time ever, it was put on paper in order to make sure that it was consistently trained and taught and operationalized. If, if you will. Right. Yep. [00:08:13] KK: Yeah. I was memorialized put on paper and, and put, put down in a way that people understood. Oh, this is why I'm here. Right? So, uh, purpose statement. Why do I show up? Nope. It's not a mission statement. Nope. It's not a vision statement. This is simply the purpose thing. What's my purpose. I'm showing up. And what. [00:08:29] Debbie: Okay. Yeah, no, the, the purpose statement was, well, originally it, it was, we create happiness by providing the finest and family entertainment as the company grew, that needed to be something different so that people realized that Disney was a place for everyone. Not just people with kids. So it was then changed to; we create happiness by providing the finest and entertainment for people of all ages everywhere. But all we asked our cast members to remember was you create happiness, just come in every day and do the things we taught you to create happiness. That's all you have to remember. Right. Um, so very, very simple, but it was a very simple way to operationalize that concept of what is the overarching goal that we are striving for every single day. Period. [00:09:17] KK: Yeah. Right. And you know, how do we help folks understand why that matters to them? Well, underneath of that, you know, what does that look like? So, as we've seen, we've been hired by folks to say, um, actually one of them said, I want my team to deliver CX magic. Right. Customer experience magic. Right. But he never told them how. Yes. So, and I get that, right. It's like go to one person, it's be friendly to one person. You know, be knowledgeable. What does it look like for your brand? So Disney said, well, actually we can get more specific. So they created the, um, service standards and [00:09:47] Debbie: well, and an example of why that's so important to be specific is when I was working with that particular company and I interviewed many, many, many, many of their employees, and I actually had, uh, one gentleman say to me, I do give excellent service. I didn't even yell at anybody today. Right. But his, in his mind, that was his perception of how you give excellent service. I didn't yell at a customer today, no matter how frustrating they were. Um, so you have to be specific about what does it mean to give exceptional service, to create happiness or, you know, create CX magic, whatever. Whatever that is that you're striving for. [00:10:29] KK: And at my first attendance to Disney Institute, finding out that you could do that, that was the thing. It was like, wow. You know, everybody thought it's just in, it's in the ping pong and the free granola bars. And it's, you know, no, you can actually operationalize that and, and be very specific. Mm-hmm so service standards and the standards of behavior service standards. Your purpose statement, standards of behavior are very specific, uh, descriptions of behaviors that support those service standards. Right? And that's something that we go very deep into, I think around episode four or five. So we invite you to listen, cuz this could be three episodes in itself. So right. You know, just this idea and I'll pass it back to Deb operations girl. This idea that operationalizing your culture is possible. [00:11:10] Debbie: It is, and it gets back to, we had talked earlier about looking at every element of your culture on a regular basis, just stepping back and doing a review, assessing how are we doing today? Are we still recruiting right fit employees. Are we hiring right fit employees? How are we onboarding right fit employees. Um, how are we training them on the job and beyond. These things are all elements of your culture, your culture, and your company actually just means how you get business done every day. Right? So there are many, many, many elements of your culture. Take a few of the big ones that have the biggest impact on the customer experience. And step back from time to time and say, Uh, how are we doing? Have changes, dictated that maybe we should change how we do this, and then how are we going to operationalize these new concepts or these new ideas? In other words, how are we going to communicate it? Um, how are we going to execute this new policy or procedure, for example, right. To make this happen in a better way. Uh, and that's what it means. It's, it's a lot of work, but it's really quite a, a simple concept, it gets to that thing of it's simple, but not easy. you know? Right. [00:12:32] KK: And that's what, uh, I think it was Johnny Ives at apple said it's taking something complex and making it simple. Mm-hmm is one of the greatest creative, uh, endeavors you can embark on. Absolutely. Well, with that, I'm gonna push this on to the three pillars, supporting an extraordinary customer experience. Culture's one of them, of course. Right. So culture is one of the three pillars, and I think we've covered that in depth brand is the second pillar, brand. Is that way that your brand, uh, whether it's represented by your logo, By a touchpoint experience that you're having, but how does it make the consumer feel? What is that emotion? I feel proud. I feel, uh, powerful. I feel love, you know, what is that experience that, uh, that, that emotion that your brand makes people, uh, feel. Uh, as they experience your brand. And you know, when you talk about branding, it's all those touch points and we'll, we'll move, move to that shortly. But, you know, you reinforce your brand and evoke those emotions and all the different touchpoints, whether it's walking into a park and, and, and, or walking into a retail establishment, which not everyone has. Uh, as part of their brand, but you know, a TV commercial, a radio commercial, a social media post, and another social media post, um, and your parking lot. And all those things will get into much more depth. But so brand and culture, as we said in the episode where we featured this, you know, we believe that brand and culture are inextricably combined. Mm-hmm , they are not, they are one in the same one supports the other. You know, the original name of the book, I think was the culture of brand. So we're very committed to that idea. Right. [00:14:01] Debbie: Right. And, you know, brand is also connects with how people feel about your company. It's no mistake that so much advertising. If you watch commercials, the commercials where you remember the product or the service that are being presented. Are emotional. Yeah. Yeah. You, you remember, uh, what was the old telephone company, commercial reach out and touch someone. And they showed these very touching communications, you know, like the, the elderly mom talking to the daughter because they're far away, it's the best commercials. The things that I remember are those that evoke some kind of emotion. Your brand should evoke some type of emotion, hopefully positive. If it isn't then you, you have work to do, but right. Someone should be able to throw out the name of your company and have people say, oh, I love doing business with them. Or that Kevin is the best. And if you ever need anything, he's right there for you. Those are the kinds of things you want people to say and that's a huge part of, of brand. And it doesn't come about unless you are properly administering the elements of your culture. [00:15:13] KK: Absolutely. And then, you know, we also introduce the idea of the internal, external, uh, customer, right? External customer we're all familiar with that's, who we're trying to get to buy our stuff or use our service, the internal customer being our team from top to bottom. So, you know, um, everything we do needs to, um, reinforce that not only for our internal, external customer, but our internal customer as well. Mm-hmm and, and the third pillar technology. Right? So the it's the bent that we're on here is this. Yes. The Disney way has been talked about before, but we're really focused on this idea of bringing technology into it, cuz it is. A fact of our life, right? This is not the same world. It was 15 years ago or even five. I remember when I had to wait several minutes to download a single song. the idea that we're doing, you know, full motion, video and audio from, you know, around the globe is pretty amazing. So how does technology fit into your company? And fit alongside a branding culture. So yeah, you know, technology certainly is a, um, there's been plenty of innovative technology in the branding world. The idea that we've, um, experienced the world through social media, through, um, searching things on Google and our favorite search engine. So that has certainly given us new opportunities to connect, um, through brand and the culture, how you operate. What was the description, Deb? Uh, it's how we do how we do business. [00:16:40] Debbie: Yeah. Culture is just, how is it that you get your business done every day? [00:16:44] KK: And if technology hasn't influenced that? No. In an exponential trajectory. [00:16:50] Debbie: Yeah. You know, it's the, the technology piece, uh, Is to me is a huge win. If it's done right. It has to align with your culture. It has to deliver on your, your promise and, and all of the things we've been talking about, we sometimes say these things and it sounds like we're always talking about that, um, customer facing person. But the fact is I love chat features. If they work properly the other day, I had to call customer service for one of my dad's credit cards. I was literally on hold for an. Oh, I mean, I just put it on speaker and was getting other other work done. If he'd had to do this, he never would have done that. He, right, right. He would not have done that. I, uh, looked for a chat feature that wasn't available. I would much rather have a chat feature where I could get online and connect with someone that way, because I get immediate answers and I'm a big fan of chatbots when they're done really well. And meaning that if, no matter what we do, they can't that chat bot isn't sophisticated enough to get me where I need to be. It's sophisticated enough to say, let me put you through to a customer service representative. Exactly. Just sitting on the phone for an hour and then I didn't get great results either. So I was quite irritated. Um, that's gosh, that's old school. That is just so that'll put a black mark on your brand quicker than anything you can do. [00:18:21] KK: Oh, yep. And I think customer service is the thing that we've seen over the years. Uh, the most evident out in the marketplace, right? Mm. Um, brands have sensational customer service and then it, then it wains or, uh, insidious decline as you mentioned earlier on. Right. Right. Um, and then they find themselves with the worst customer service reviews on the planet. Mm-hmm so, you know, you gotta constantly take a look at that. Yeah. So from here, we're going to move into the six questions to ask, to evaluate your culture, right? Mm-hmm so give you a little head start. How do I even, you know, what, how do I know where I'm at or I'm going, so, Deb, I know. Gonna have you walk folks through that one quickly? [00:18:57] Debbie: Sure. There, there are just six questions you need to ask and you should ask this on a regular basis in order to assess your culture, making sure you're keeping up with delivering on your guest needs and wants. Who are we today? What's working now. What's not working or what's missing is the third question. The fourth, what will it take to move us forward? The fifth is, do we understand our core customers, their needs and wants? And where does technology fit within our culture? Those six questions; if you can answer those questions, are going to take you, uh, giant leaps forward and staying on top of whether or not you are, you are building on your brand. Those are the six things to constantly consider. If you ask those. Once a quarter, once every six months you will be on top of it. And it's pretty quick if you keep up with it. Right. And of course, the best way to ask many of these questions is to ask that frontline, don't forget to involve your frontline employees and don't forget to involve your customers. [00:20:05] KK: Absolutely. Yeah. And I think a lot of people avoid it because they're afraid of the answers. Yes. But avoiding that, that, you know, avoiding addressing that there's a problem is not a good fix. No. Um, and there's nothing, nothing to be ashamed about is if you uncover issues mm-hmm because you could be doing the best job. Um, but still, you know, oh actually is the perfect, uh, segue into our, our cycle of growth. Mm-hmm so chaos is part of that cycle. So you could be doing everything just. But when you do that, you typically grow. And when you grow, there's a little bit of chaos, cuz well, there's more people, maybe a whole new department. So you gotta go through that analysis, which is what we're talking about. And then you add structure to address, right you know, the challenges that you've had. So, um, cycle growth. Is structure, right? So when you, even when you start a company there's structure, right? Um, hopefully there's growth. From growth you get chaos and you have to do a little analysis to figure out what kind of structure you need to put back. And it's, it's different every time, right? Maybe it's technology heavy one time you analyze, maybe it's people heavy or process heavy the next time. [00:21:07] Debbie: Absolutely. Yep. [00:21:09] KK: All right. So another tool we introduced was the creative brief. I, uh, you know, I come from creative agency, uh, interactive agency for over 20 years and I always found the creative brief, a great place to start, not just for a creative campaign for just about anything. And, you know, it's, it's pretty straightforward. There's, there's no magic there, but the idea, like most of this is that you go through the process, right? So it's the process of structuring the examination that really makes it work. So, you know, this idea of define your objective, make sure you understand who your audience is. That's one we that's overlooked very often, right? Your audience. Isn't the folks in the room, especially not C-suite who's usually sitting around talking about what we want to do next. Right? Mm-hmm your audience. Make sure you really understand who you're providing services for or, or who you're marketing your product to? Uh, what is that key insight? What is that unique selling proposition? What do we do different in a world that's becoming more and more commoditized. What are we doing different? And I use that shoe example, right? I can get the Nike ZZA anywhere right on the same site, but why do I get buy it from one site then more than the other. And, and Zappos was one of the leaders because of customer service. And then what's that promise that supports that insight, right? Uh, we have the best customer service and free returns. We promise, uh, that you'll have a no hassle return. If you get your shoes and they don't fit. Gotta give folks reasons to believe. Um, I think you should be keenly aware of a desired response. What's the conversation you want people to have after they've experienced your brand and then take a look at what your brand personality is. Are you a Jerry Seinfeld? Are you a, uh, Are you a Leonardo DiCaprio, you know, are you a DeNiro, right? Or, you know, so, uh, sometimes you can use that, that personality, uh, assimilation, celebrity, a sports person, but really in all seriousness, your personality is whether you're, um, are you you funny brand or are you a casual brand? Are you a buttoned up brand? So understand your brand personality too. And that's a quick recap of the creative brief. All right. So we talked a little bit about your audience. and I think it's important to once you understand your audience, understand all the different ways that you create touchpoints and people think of, well, my TV commercial, my social media, but I love, uh, Deb's examples that are, you know, real world [00:23:28] Debbie: mm-hmm. And those are, when you talk about touchpoint mapping, you have to think about every example of every place a customer will experience your business. And one of my favorite examples, it makes the point and it's simple ; is go to your favorite restaurant, right? And you pull into the parking lot and there's potholes in the parking lot and your, your car falls into a pothole and you wonder if you've broken axle and, um, the valet guys are too busy to help you and you're standing there waiting by the car for 20 minutes. All of those things, those are touch points. You look at the building, the neon sign is partway burned out and it spells a bad word. The parts that are lit up, right? You go in the front door and is the hostess there, is she polite, is she dressed neatly and, and professionally, does she greet you nicely takes you to your table. You're looking around is the restaurant clean? Uh, the server. Does she come up in a timely manner or, or at least tell you, gee, I'll be with you as soon as I can.? All of these are touch points. Think about how many touchpoint you experienced just in going out to eat one time! [00:24:36] KK: Well, I was gonna say I was gonna stop you because you haven't even put a piece of food in your mouth. No, no. And we've rolled out about six touch points. Yes. Right, right. And, and that's, you know, and that's, again, real world. This in the digital world, same thing, uh, go to the website. Is the website easy? Yes. Easy to use. Can I find what I need to find? If there is a chat feature? Is it live? Is it a chat bot is a chat bot dumb or smart is it useful or frustrating? Right. So all these things we think about the end so often the product and the service, which of course. Yes. You need to do that. Yeah, but that's table stakes, right? Mm-hmm you and seven other people are doing that pretty much, probably about the same. What are all these other touch points that surround it? And that's that sphere of influence that we talk about. Mm-hmm so, you know, this, the world used to be kind of in this, we use the, uh, linear value chain. Oh yeah. Which is now really, uh, a sphere of of value the way that you can jump over different pieces of that previously linear chain. So same thing goes for your touch points. It's a, it's a sphere of influence and all these things have to be, be perfect. In the words of our friend, Peter Shankman, um, be brilliant at the basics. Everything else will fall in place. Yeah. If you'll just meet expectations, meet expectations on all these touch points, you don't have to have a, a gold-plated parking lot. Right. You just need one that doesn't break your car. You don't need someone who does cartwheels when you come in the door, you need someone who makes some eye contact and seems genuinely interested in getting you a seat you like, you know, so yeah, it is not rocket science, but just be brilliant at the basics mm-hmm and in all these different touch points that create a sphere of influence there's an opportunity. So many opportunities. Each one of those is an opportunity for you to create magic. [00:26:17] Debbie: So, you know, and then with that, once you get all of this figured out, things change, right? [00:26:23] KK: right. [00:26:24] Debbie: The, I mean the business world is constantly changing. Every time you turn around, there's something new and you're constantly trying to keep up with the Jones or just keep up. Right. And so you have this sphere of influence. You've got all your touch points identified. You've got everything as roll 'em right along, and then everything changes .So this idea of adapt or die, you know, To what do I need to adapt? Do I need to adapt to everything? Probably not. Do I need this technology over here? Just because this person is using it, maybe not, but adapting and innovating should always be in the back of your mind. And that goes with analyzing your constantly your culture, how you're operationalizing that culture, is your brand still strong. What kinds of emotions do you evoke using this this fear of influence? Maybe as a, as a guide, but you have to be constantly looking at that because we live in a world of constant change. You know, [00:27:24] KK: right. That's the only thing we can count on, right. [00:27:26] Debbie: AB absolutely. And you know, that, that old saying, if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got. And I always say, not necessarily, if you always do what you've always done, you may fail. Right. You may fall behind./ What you've gotten in the past because the rest of the world is outpacing you. [00:27:44] KK: Right. Right. You're not even adapting. You're falling behind and you will die. So yeah. You know, this idea of innovate adapter die, um, mm-hmm comes with a risk. Right. And how do you manage that risk? We've got a few ways to operationalize that risk and help you understand, um, and just not fly by the seat of your pants. Yeah. But what I will say before we get into that really quickly is this idea of adapt is not, um, some people say, well, I wanna be an innovator and that is not always the way to go. Mm-hmm I will remind folks that Apple, one of the most innovative companies on the planet was a follower in the beginning, in that they did not invent the Mouse; they got that from Xerox, you know, they didn't invent windows, they got that from Microsoft. So, you know, this idea of looking at your competition, what are others doing? And adapting. That's fine. There's no embarrassment there. No, and it's, it's not only fine it's needed. Right. And only from that place of, of security and comfort, can you then truly innovate? So yeah, this idea of innovate, adapt or die is a real thing. [00:28:44] Debbie: You said something really important and it reminded me that the word adapt is different than the word adopt. Oh yeah. So if you've got competition or someone that, you know, uh, that is doing something in an such an exceptional way that is driving exceptional success, and you say, I need a piece of that pie, right? You should not look at adopting what they do, because what they're doing for their culture, for their brand, for their business may be different than yours. But you can certainly say, what is it that they're doing that's making them so successful and adapt it to your business. And. There's a real difference between those two words. [00:29:25] KK: Absolutely. And if, if you take one piece of advice from us today, that might be the one to take, um, which brings me to our final Deb, our final, greatest piece of advice you'll ever get. We think. Um, this one's gonna be a long, a little long-winded because it comes along with, you know, summing up so many, so many episodes and so many concepts, but I I'll start. And, and, um, Deb and I will kind of teamwork on this one. Mm-hmm but I, I, we think the best advice you'll ever get, we think this week is: work on the business. Look at your business, analyze it, and just allocate some time to step back from the business and answer the question, is my culture happening to me? Or is it as I designed it and as aligned with my vision, right? So I love movie quotes. Uh, this technically a TV show as Jeff Daniels said in the opening scene from newsroom, the first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. Yeah, and by the way, go back and watch that. I love that best written and acted five minutes of TV, Aaron Sorkin, and Jeff Daniels. But anyway to you, Deb ,what do you think? [00:30:35] Debbie: The, the last thing I would have to say about that, because I think it really sums it up. And we've, we've talked about all of the tangible elements of driving a successful business. I would say, have fun. Yeah, If you're not having fun in your business. You should not be in that business. When it stops being fun, sell the business or walk away from the business or, or do something else, charge another hill. But you have to, to love what you do. Not only if you work in a corporation, but running your own business. You have to love what you do. When it's not fun anymore. Stop doing it because you, yeah, you will then not do the due diligence to keep your brand strong because you don't care anymore. [00:31:18] KK: Yeah. If it's not fun, you're not doing it right. That's what I always say. [00:31:20] Debbie: Yes. [00:31:21] KK: Yeah, so, well, we promised you a cliff hanger and, uh, here we go. So we enjoyed this. We hope you enjoyed this. Um, so, will there be a season two ?That is the cliff hanger, right? Well, what we hope to do in season two, if there is an interest and that's what we're asking folks, reach out, let us know if you like this, let us know if you think we should do a season two and what Deb had mentioned, what we we maybe will do in season two is tell you how to get this stuff done. Right? We, we told you, uh, what it takes to deliver exceptional experiences. Uh, but in season two, maybe we'll tell you how to make your culture change. How do you make all this happen? What do you think, Deb? [00:32:00] Debbie: I think that's, that's perfect. We've laid the foundation and what I'd like to do in season two, if people are interested is get to the nuts and bolts the tactics and the strategies of how you actually do this, because sometimes you listen to these podcasts and you think, uh, well, geeze that's really great, but I don't have a clue on how to get started. And that used to happen to us at the Disney Institute all the time. People would say, this is so great. I haven't got a clue what to do next. Can you come to my business? You know? And then unfortunately, yeah, back in those days, the answer was always, no. We, we tell you how we do it. You gotta figure it out for yourself. So for me, it's much more rewarding to be part of helping them to figure out what are those strategies and tactics, what do they look like? So that is absolutely where I hope we get to go in season two. And if our listeners go to www.disneywaydigital.com many of the key points of these lessons, these conversations, and these, uh, informational sessions that we've been talking about are there with graphics and visuals and, and so they might help you get started. [00:33:11] KK: Absolutely. [00:33:11] Debbie: So I would encourage you to, to go to the website and take a look at all the great work Kevin's team has done to make these, uh, understandable for you. [00:33:21] KK: Yeah. Yeah. And then please, while you're there Disney way, digital.com reach out. We wanna hear! That's how that's, when we'll make a season two, if we don't hear, eh, we had fun, you know, maybe we've put some good information out in the world, but we'd like to see if folks are listening. If they're interested, there's contact information, you can contact Deb or I i, so, you know, send an email and you know what we actually answer. So let us know.. You know, if you're listening on Apple, leave us a review or wherever you're listening, let us know what you think. And I, I just wanna tie a nice bow on this. And I thought, you know, Deb, as much as you love Disney and let's tie it back to operations, what would, what in the world would ever make you leave that organization? And it was the fact that you wanted to help folks operationalize this for themselves. Cause as part of Disney, you weren't able to, say yes. And go to their businesses. Right. That was what it took to say. Yeah. I think I really want to help folks. [00:34:09] Debbie: That that was exactly what it was. Not that I had fallen out of love with the Disney organization and I still have a fond place in my heart. Uh, and you will even hear me say, we, when I'm talking about my past experience at Disney, I just can't let it go. You know? Um, yeah, but that was exactly it. I felt like with my operational experience and with what I had taught at for the Disney Institute that I could actually help people make these things happen for them. And, and I did, have, and it's been a fabulous ride and I hoped to keep doing it forever. Even if I have to go out there with my Walker [00:34:49] KK: Well, I can't think of a better way to finish up a season than talking about that. And that's pretty much how we met. So. It is. Folks, we really appreciate you listening. Let us know how you feel. Go to Disney way www.Disneywaydigital.com Deb, thank you so much. I really enjoyed this and uh, hopefully we get to do a season two! [00:35:06] Debbie: And thanks to Taran and all of the support team that you know, oh you hear our voices, but they make the magic happen. So thank you to Taran Trehan, Steven Byrom, our guest speakers, everyone that has, has been involved behind the scenes. Couldn't do it without you. So thank you. [00:35:21] KK: Hundred percent agree. Thanks everyone. Take care! [00:35:25] Outro: You've been listening to the Disney Way for the Digital age! Our producer and engineer is Steven Byrom. Show coordinator is Taranpreet Trehan. And voiceover by Cindy Clifford. Kevin and Debbie can be reached for free advice or paid consulting at [email protected] or [email protected] A new episode is released each Tuesday morning. We hope you’ll continue to listen! //
Tuesday Aug 02, 2022
Tuesday Aug 02, 2022
SHOW NOTES: 00:30: Welcome back! Thanks for subscribing and joining us again! 00:46: Debbie’s Dad is using the remote senior care product and loving it 02:08: Kevin, his son and Peter did the NYC Triathlon..on the hottest day of the year! 03:42: Introducing our guest Peter Shankman! Best sellers by Peter Shankman 03:52: When Peter met Kevin in 2012 on Kevin’s first podcast The Buzz Bubble; courtesy of the very talented Cindy Clifford! 04:45: When Peter met Debbie. The Buzz Council Ep 2 – Peter Shankman, Dr. Bob Deutsch, and Deb Zmorenski on Customer Experiences 05:35: What’s been going on Peter?! 06:18: What’s a waffle you may ask? Follow @petersdogwaffle on INSTA 06:40: What do consumers expect right now? What can brands do to live up to, or exceed those expectations? 07:30: On “managing expectations” 08:37: On being consistent, consistently 09:57: A little story about Marriot’s Bon Voy Rewards program and consistency 10:46: You might be saving money, but at what cost? On Loyalty Rewards Programs. 13:56: Peter has switched to Forward for his healthcare. 15:05: Growth is always the right choice for a company- or is it?! Ref: HARO 16:13: An honest question for anyone who is contemplating growing, or selling. 16:51: If you're selling a product, or if you're in involved with a customer in any capacity… 17:06: Two stories illustrating how to, and how not to make a correction 19:23: This is the moral 19:43: Why the NYC Triathalon is “likely” never re-gaining Peter as a 16x competitor 21:22: Not to beat a dead horse, but the NYC Triathlon has some work to do.. 22:13: [editor has tried & failed to find photographic evidence of Peter’s manatee example] 23:28: What is the Neuroatypical Economy? Ref: Neurodivergent and Neuroatypical also what is ADHD/ADD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Executive Function Learn more by checking out Peter’s podcast Faster Than Normal 24:18: A few reasons why it’s important to seek and hire neuroatypical, and neurodivergent people. 25:00: Breaking the stigmas of being Neuroatyopical. There is not reason to be fearful! 25:26: A few simple ways neurodiverse people may work differently 26:16: Ref: Additude Magazine 26:57: ADHD and forms of neurodiversness are a gift, not a curse! 27:18: The world once worked 9 to 5 because that was what assembly line workers did! That is now dead. 28:12: Peter on his time at AOL versus “fully structured”, programmed days. 28:46: If you are a boss who feels that you can't trust your employees, then you have a hiring problem. 29:45: Peter’s Morton’s Steakhouse story. Ref: The Tweet in play 30:51: Constantly focusing on customer service.. 32:12: The best piece of advice you’ll ever get! (this week. we think.) 32:36: Than you Peter Shankman!! 32:45: Up next next week- our big Season Finale!! 33:21: End credits Please find us on the Web at: www.disneywaydigital.com Via email: [email protected] and [email protected] And on the Socials at: Debbie: LinkedIN and @DZmorenski on Twitter and @dkzcoach on Facebook Kevin: @BigBuzzKev on Twitter INSTA & Facebook TRANSCRIPT via Descript: Intro: Magical customer experiences don't happen by accident. They happen through careful planning and meticulous design. Kevin and Debbie have been engineering, extraordinary customer experiences for over 30 years. Join us as we explore corporate culture, branding, service, excellence, and much more through storytelling, technical curiosity, and friendly conversation. The Disney way for the digital age will be revealed. [00:00:29] KK: All right, folks, here we are episode nine. Believe it or not. We're calling this one Faster Than Normal Zombie Loyalists. And that is due to our wonderful guest, which I will introduce shortly, but, uh, Deb and I just gotta catch up. I haven't seen you in a while. I haven't seen you. Thank you for sending those videos of your Dad. Mm-hmm um, he's using the remote senior care product and he was some. He is the cutest thing. Um, he is, and the apple doesn't fall far. [00:00:58] Debbie: Thank you. He told me that any time you needed anything, he would do it for you. [00:01:05] KK: So super nice and so glad that he likes it. You know, he you're able to keep in touch with him and he likes that, uh, Alexa does a little dance for him and you can save a trip or two going over to visit your Dad. Uh, if he doesn't pick up the phone. [00:01:20] Debbie: Yeah, well, when he doesn't pick up the phone or he leaves it off the hook, I do a drop in cuz if he's in the house, I can at least get catch up to him. And I'm not in a panic all the time and say, Dad, your phone's off the hook. Last time I called the police for a wellness check he got really mad at me. Yeah. Embarrasses him, y'know, so, yeah, he calls her his best friend. [00:01:45] KK: Oh, that's so nice. [00:01:46] Debbie: I'm serious. He said, this is, is my best friend [00:01:49] KK: and its about companionship too. I do that with my Mom and it's just nice and you know, it can play anyway. Yeah. [00:01:55] Debbie: Peter's comment, you know, it's, it is not really a conversation, but he thinks of it as a conversation. He asks her questions and she answers and she says, play my music and she plays his music and you know, he asks and [00:02:08] KK: I think we're just at the beginning. There's so much more to come that, you know, be interactive and stimulating. So yeah. Yeah. What else have we been up to? So this last weekend, uh, our illustrious guest talked to me into signing up for another race, the New York city triathlon. And it was, um, hottest day of the year in New York city. So, um, my son and I, um, and we'll, we'll talk to Peter when he, when he comes on in a moment about. But so my son and I go, we, we, we find out that it is the hottest day of the year. They've shortened, uh, the, the bike in the run. So those are the you that, that don't know triathlon is a, a swim, a bike in a run. And this one is a mile swim in the Hudson river, usually with a current behind you. So. It is the, what they call not wetsuit legal. And which just means you can't wear the wetsuit, which makes you buoyant and sleek and swim better for me. So as we're walking down, I turned to my son, I said, I'm out I said, I really just wanna watch you and keep you safe. Cuz you know, he's doing this. He hasn't done a mile swim. He's he's very good with triathlon. He was in the nationals last year, but um, So I'd, I'd prefer to just stay out and, and make sure you stay safe. So he did it, he did it with outta the wetsuit and, um, it also, uh, uh, let us stay together cuz we were originally in different waves. So when he got out, we were able to do the, the bike and, and the run together. So it was kind of cool. [00:03:34] Debbie: I called the try torture event, but you know, that's all right. not my thing . [00:03:39] KK: So, um, yeah, so our, our guest today, we are so lucky to have Peter Shankman, uh, Peter and I met just over 10 years ago. When he was on my first podcast, the buzz bubble in 2012. Uh, wow. We'll post a link to that on the website and you can entertain yourself and see what we both looked like 10 years ago. Um, incidentally, he was introduced by our, the voice of our introduction, Cindy Clifford. She said you should get Peter on your show. Um, so by that time, 10 years ago, he'd already written a bestselling book and is, was on his way to having five bestselling books on Amazon today, including Zombie Loyalists steps favorite and Faster Than Normal -Turbocharge your Focus, Productivity, and Success with the Secrets of the ADHD Brain. Peter returned to the podcast a couple years later on an episode called the buzz council that featured Peter and the renowned cognitive anthropologist, Dr. Bob Deutsch at our own Debbie Z so they've been together, uh, and have met previously. So Peter and I become fast friends over the last 10 years. And Peter's pulled me into things like signing up for Ironman triathlon in Atlantic city. Um, a new year's Eve race in New York city in zero degree weather with my wife, Stacy, who will never let me forget that we did that. And then she drags me out in 30 degree weather to run and I'm like, I don't wanna, she's like you did it in zero. We're doing this. So thanks for that, Peter. He also keynotes for fortune 100 companies as well as startups and has spoken in over 25 countries and is currently the futurist in residence at Price Benowitz and Blue Shark Digital and without further ado. And that was a lot of ado welcome to the show. Peter Shankman! What's up, Peter? [00:05:27] Peter: Good to be back, man. Good to be back. How are you? [00:05:30] KK: Oh, I, we are doing great. And we're so glad to have you, what have you been up to, what's been going on, let's start with what's new in your life. [00:05:38] Peter: What's new in my life. I'm living in a flop house in battery park city. Uh, while I , while I wait for my apartment to be renovated, I had a, had a massive water issue several months ago. My floors got destroyed. Uh, so I'm, um, they're finally insurance finally kicked in. And so they're, they're, I'm having all new floors, new paint, the whole thing. And so, but it's taken forever and, um, hopefully, hopefully another week and a half, but I gotta got a decent view of the stature Liberty from where I am right now. But, uh, I miss my place [00:06:07] KK: Sounds like a decent flop house.. . Um, could be worse. Yeah. You got, you got a great apartment with a killer view and yeah. the scene how about Waffle where's Waffle this time is waffle? [00:06:16] Peter: Uh he's uh, [00:06:17] KK: oh, Waffle gets to hang. Oh, so Waffle is with you. Good. [00:06:20] Peter: Yeah. He's spending, spending a decent amount of time in doggy storage, but. Uh, I can, I can bring it out every once in a while. [00:06:25] KK: So he's Waffle is the coolest guy. So let's talk about what's going on in the world, uh, that affects consumers and service and customer experience, all those things that Deb I've been talking about this season that is so aligned with everything you do, you wanna talk a little bit about what consumers expect and you know, what can brands do to live up to, or maybe even exceed those expectations? [00:06:51] Peter: I mean, customer service has always been crap and it really went to shit after COVID, um, or during COVID because everyone had an excuse. Oh, you know, we don't know, we don't know the manpower. Oh, we, our people are out. And, and the problem with doing things like that is that they never actually come back. Right. You know, when, when, when companies manage to lower the bar, it's very, for, for whatever reason, it's very rare that they bring it back up. Um, right. We'll just, and, and a lot of that is our fault because we sort of accept it. Right. Uh, you know, back in the fifties, flying used to be glamorous. Somehow we started accepting, um, that flying sucked and now most airlines do the absolute bare minimum. I, I always talk about this when I give my speeches and you know, who had a good flight, someone raises their hand. I go, what made it good? We took off on time, land on time. Okay. That's just called a flight. That's not actually [crosstalk] and so, so when the bar. Is so unbelievable below. Um, I don't really need you to be awesome. I teach companies. I don't, I don't need them to be amazing. I need, I need you to suck slightly less yeah. Than everyone else. Um, [00:07:56] KK: yeah. What you just described is they met expectations, right? We took off and we landed. We didn't crash. [00:08:01] Peter: exactly. We didn't know. I wasn't dragged by the plane by my nose. And that's, that's really, the key is, you know, if you can do the bare minimum, uh, people tend to be very happy with that. And it's funny. It doesn't take much to do the bare minimum and it takes almost as little to do 1% better. Um, right. You know, so I don't need you to like, you know, redefine pie. I just need you to be slightly better than everyone else. And, and, and for the companies that get it, it's actually a, a brilliant time to be, uh, a company, because like I said, the bar is so low. Right, right. It's pretty easy to do all the things and win everything. Yeah. [00:08:37] KK: I mean, and if you could do it consistently, right. Be adequate consistently. Um, , that's all we're asking. Right? It's like, you know, I've, I've heard you talk and you always say, I know when I order a Diet Coke, I'm just gonna get a Coke. And I just expect that it's like, if you can consistently bring me the Diet Coke, like, uh, Deb, you're the one that turned me onto, um, Holiday Inn Express. What I love about them is they are what they are, but they're consistently the same. And I get cinnamon buns, which by the way is probably, that's probably why I book it, but you know, it's clean. It is not luxurious, but I get a place to stay and, you know, things are consistent. Um, and they meet my expectations every time. [00:09:23] Debbie: And not, and not to be confused with Holiday Inn because the Holiday Inn is not the same thing. Holiday Inn Express is that step above Holiday Inn. It's kind of a crapshoot. You never know what you're gonna get. So it, you know, it's a, it's strange because they're all part of the same brand per se. Um, interesting. [00:09:43] Peter: It's it's funny also because you have, um, You know, for something like Holiday Inn Express , where they're doing the bare minimum, getting your cinnamon bun, um, God help you. God help them the one day they don't have cinnamon buns for you. Yes. Right? Um, Marriott, I, I was, I was platinum I'm platinum for life at, at, at Starwood, which meant that I spent 10 years, 10 years spending 15 nights or more a year in a Starwood hotel, 10 years in a row. And for that, I got platinum status for life. And then Starwood was eaten by Marriot and they created something called Bonvoy. Yeah. And Bonvoy is their, is their sort of combined program? Um, problem is platinum was their highest level. They created two elements above platinum. Uh, they created titanium and lifetime titanium. So you can't create an element doesn't work like that. And so now. Um, I don't get shit for being platinum for life. Right? 10 years of loyalty, no longer matters. And so I've pretty much stopped staying with Marriot I've moved to Hilton, Hilton matched my status in like 30 seconds after I tweeted them. Um, you know, and, and even the stupid things, like when I have to stay at Marriott, I had to stay at Mariott uh, last week. Uh, cause I was speaking at a conference and they booked me. It was at that hotel and um, even the stupid things they used to do, there was no free water. There was no free bottle of water in the hotel room, but there was definitely two, $9 per bottle bottles of water in the hotel room. And it's those kind of things that, you know, You might be saving money, but at what cost, right? [00:11:25] KK: Yeah. And it's crazy, you know, they, they have so many levels. Do I even feel special anymore? It's like, you know, when you're waiting to board, [00:11:32] Peter: it's like, exactly. Well, that's the thing. The last thing, you know, it's one thing if I never had status, but I was top tier. And then for whatever reason you decided, Nope, you're not right, but we're gonna add more to, that's not cool. That's even worse than if that's even worse than if I'd never been top tier to begin with. Right? [00:11:47] KK: You don't matter. You don't matter anymore. You, you matter more than anything. Oh, wait. It's Tuesday. You don't really matter [00:11:52] Peter: And what's funny is that companies, uh, small companies still do that. Still make that, that horrible error. They go where at 9,990 Facebook followers are 10,000 follower gets a gift, which is just a classic screw. You. to the first 9,999. Right. [00:12:08] KK: Thanks for showing up late. [00:12:09] Peter: Yeah. So right. You no longer matter it's just ridiculous. [00:12:13] Debbie: Peter. I I'll tell you what happened once to me is I'd had this particular credit card for, uh, years and years and years pay it off every time I got the bill, great customer, and I'm going into a, a department store one day and they had people out front saying, uh, for new customers only you get all these free gifts. Right? Right. So I just to start trouble, I went up and said, um, well, what about me? I've I've had your credit card for 10 years. I pay it off every month. When it comes in, I use it all the time. I'm a great customer. And the, the poor young man behind the table said, well, this is only for, for new customers. I said, well, why I, what about your loyal customer? And I just went back forth and gave him a really hard time. Then I said, I just messing with you, but. They don't get it. You know, I was a little resentful. I don't get anything for being loyal. [00:13:01] Peter: No question, about it! And that's the thing is, is that, you know, I, I left my doctor recently. I've been with the doctor for like 25 years and he was fine, but his practice was acquired by Northwell health and, and all of a sudden. You're waiting 20 minutes online and 20 minutes on the phone. Um, their app never works. You know, they promised all these great things with this, with this, with this, a acquisition. And it just, it just got worse and worse, worse to the point where they, you get charged. Now, if you cancel an appointment within three days, um, of the appointment. So, so I had a cancel cause I was traveling and they said, okay, that's, we're gonna have to bill you. And I'm like okay. You know what then let me just, uh, let me just change it. Can I change this to next week? And they go, sure. No problem. I changed next week. And then I called back. I'm like, hi, I'd like to cancel my appointment for next week. Um, don't try to out stupid me cuz you'll lose. Right. But it's like, I switched over to this medical group called uh, Forward. Which you pay 199 bucks a year and the app works and you get an appointment within 24 hours and you can be seen blah, blah. Um, granted, they just got acquired by Amazon. So I have a feeling I'm kind of screwed. [00:14:08] KK: Oh, they did good for them, them for a wow 3.2 billion. So, you know, It's like, okay, well now, now Amazon, uh, uh, knows my, my blood sugar levels, but it's, um, you know, it, it, it, it begs the question of why would you lose, you know, how many, if you lost me after 25 years, 25 years with the same doctors? A lot of time. Yeah, yeah. Right. Started with this guy when I was like 25. Right. And, and so, and he was my parents doctor. Right. And so. I would've brought my daughter to him eventually, but he, he blew it. Right. And it's a shame. Nice guy. Well, yeah. And it begs the question that we, we talked about. I think they talked about this last week is growth, always the goal, right? Sometimes staying small or getting smaller, giving better service and the service you wanna give is the right move. Like everybody talks about how do I grow? How do I grow? Maybe that's not the right choice. It's not, well, I'll say it bluntly. It's not always the right choice. [00:15:05] Peter: Well, it's not, when I sold Help A Reporter Out , I had two options. I could've, uh, grown the company for 10 years. Been, you know, had to be a, a manager, had to be a CEO, done all the shit I hated and probably wouldn't have worked, um, or I could sold and let another company do it who was better at it. Right. Growth is great. If you're better. If you're good at doing it, if you're growing just for the sake, to say you're growing and you have no real plan on how to handle that. You know, you, you, you it's like all the people that got dot coms, and then I change their name to whatever their company was.com in, in like 1999. Um, for what? Right. Just so you could say you did it, right? It's like, you know, you, you gotta, if you're going. Do that, if you're gonna get acquirer, make sure you have a plan to get your shit together. [00:15:45] KK: Absolutely. And I, you know, a lot of our listeners are, are small business mid-size business and growth is a goal. And, you know, I, I, I really think you need to look at. Is this why I started this company, whether it's last year or 20, you know, in my case, you know, 25 years ago, I grew into something that honestly, I didn't, I didn't have passion for anymore. In fact, it was nice. I, I got to sell it last year and it, it actually, you know, universe all came together nicely for me and that's fine, but I begged people to like, keep looking back at like, is this. I want the company to be, and I originally set out to do and aligns with my passions or, and this is what sucks me in, or was I just up for the next challenge? And I'm like, yeah, I could do that. Or I wanna make sure I show everybody I could do that or show myself that I could do that. I mean, , I'm, I'm I'm I own a CBD company because I was up for the challenge. And then one day I look back I'm. I'm, that's not my passion. this wasn't my company. I got sucked into it. And then somebody left. So really gotta reevaluate step back and say, am I still passionate about what we stand for? [00:16:51] Peter: And that's the thing, you know, I think that, that at the end of the day, if you're selling a product or if you're in involved with a customer in any capacity, the first passion has to be towards customer experience. And if it's not, you know, if it's not. You gotta reevaluate what you're doing because I don't care how great your product is. I I, a perfect example. I, um, I bought this ridiculous scooter. You could see a little bit in the back, probably in the background of my, of my thing. And it it's, it goes 78 miles an hour. There's absolutely no reason I should. [00:17:17] KK: Oh, come on! [00:17:18] Peter: No joke. There's no reason I should ever have bought this scooter. I got it up to 48 miles an hour. And I I'm like, okay, I'm scared shitless right now. And I shit, I'm never, never gonna take it out it has dual motors and 48 miles an hour was just one motor, [00:17:29] KK: dual motors. [00:17:30] Peter: What's crazy about it. I get an email, an urgent email last week: do not charge the scooter. Um, after like apparently they had three cases of the charger, malfunctioning and lithium batteries catching on fire. Wow. And you not want, you do not want lithium batteries to catch on fire. And they say if, if you have, if you see any strange. Uh, things with scooter, whatever immediately, um, uh, take it outside, uh, put it in outside location, like, okay, I live in an apartment, I can't do that. So I'm just not gonna charge it, but then they said we are sending you, uh, two new fuses and new chargers. It's a quick 15 minute fix, but please do not charge a scooter until you get that. And they followed up after I ordered it. The thought up, they, Hey, its let you know a package on the way again, please do not charge a scooter. If you have any questions, call us 24 hours. They, they did the right thing and they did it well .On the flip side. A year and a half ago or a year? Yeah, about a year and a half ago. My. CPAP machine was recalled. Um, because apparently the, the tubing was breaking apart into little, little micro pieces of plastic and going down people's lungs and killing them. Nice. That's kinda a big deal, kinda a big deal. But, uh, you know how I found out about that? I read it in the fucking paper. [00:18:39] KK: Oh my God. [00:18:40] Peter: I wasn't my, the manufacturer didn't call me. The place I got. My sleep apnea the place i got diagnosed didn't call me. Nothing. Wow. I literally read about it in the paper and, and the. The Phillips Phillips, um, uh, the company that makes it, they have been sending me emails the past year, letting me know that, uh, they have 2 million items, 2 million units that they have to, uh, replace and. I'm in the queue. okay. This is sleep apnea. This isn't like something you can mess up! Sleep apnea. You could die. I was, I my test said that I was stopping breathing 79 times an hour. Oh my gosh. Before I got my CPAP [00:19:23] KK: An hour! [00:19:23] Peter: And I mean, the fact I'm not dead or like a gerbil or vegetable, or whatever, is a miracle. So now you're telling me that I'm waiting over a year and a half. If I didn't have the money to buy another unit out of pocket, what the hell would I do? Right. [00:19:37] KK: Right. It's it. It's the thing that helps you breathe it, night not the scooter in the corner that you could stop riding for a week. [00:19:43] Peter: And yet the scooter gave me the best possible customer experience. Right. And again, it's, you know, you were talking earlier about the triathlon. It's the same thing I have done New York city triathlon 15 years for 15 years. Wow. It was originally run by a guy named John [unintelligable] he launched it 20 something years ago. I've been doing it since like 2005 I think. And it's a wonderful race. A lot of fun. Yeah. Um, it was., was. And then it was purchased by Lifetime Fitness, Lifetime Events. And the past five years, the triathlon has either canceled or shortened every single year. Yeah. And. I emailed. So, and sure enough this year they can't, they, they turned it from a full Olympic into less than a sprint, uh, because of the heat, mind you, it wasn't, they said it's gonna be a hundred degrees. Mind you, it wasn't 100 degrees at 6:00 AM. Right. And they could have easily done it. They had delays at the start, which, which resulted in half the people, I think, including your son having to fight the current. In the water. Yeah. Um, and, [00:20:40] KK: and it was later, right? So it it's hotter it started half hour, late, [00:20:44] Peter: 45 minutes late. Cause they had, they had a maintenance issue and , I tweeted. It's like, Hey, so guys, um, since you're shortening it, it's no longer an official the length of the race that we paid for. Uh, are you gonna offer deferrals or refunds? No, you're still getting a race. So we're not offering any deferrals or refunds. I right. Did this race for 15 years in a row. I talked them up. I defended them every year. Oh, things happen. Fuck them. I'm done. I am done. I will. I. [00:21:07] KK: I mean, that's a simple math, Peter, right? It's like I bought 12 oranges. You're giving me six. Exactly. I'm not even giving some money back or tell me I can do it next year. [00:21:16] Peter: I will die on the hill that Lifetime Fitness is the absolute worst company in the world. And it is just, you know. [00:21:22] KK: Not to beat a dead horse, but it was, it was a, it was a rough time. I got my son who's is in much better shape than me, but you know, he's my son. I was worried. So we're sitting at the athlete briefing and they say, um, oh, some interesting statistics, uh, one outta six have never done this triathlon New York city. Oh. And one outta four, um, have never done any triathlon. So that's pretty cool. And by the way, if the water goes 1.1 degree over 78, we're not gonna let you use a wetsuit. Right? Wait. People are in the Hudson river, swing a mile. One mile, and you're gonna tell them that the thing that they've been practicing. Hopefully they've been practicing. Cuz there are a lot of newbies in this race. They can't the thing that keeps them buoyant. They can't use .Now, now that I was texting Peter, Peter, I was texting you. [00:22:11] Peter: Right. I'm like, oh yeah, it was ridiculous. [00:22:12] KK: Someone's gonna die today. [00:22:13] Peter: Now here's the funny thing. I actually will never wear a wetsuit no matter what the temperature, because. Um, there, there is video from me doing a half Ironman in Buffalo Springs, Texas, and there's video of me trying to get the wetsuit off, uh, after the swim . And imagine, imagine a crane dropping a Manatee onto a dirt road. um, wait, so since that day, since 2009, I've never worn a wetsuit in any race or swim, but, um, but I understand that people like them and they do help with buoyancy, but yeah, I, uh, I refuse, but it's, it's. And the interesting thing is, is that the us triathlon Association's actual rules, don't say that above this temperature, you're not allowed to wear a wetsuit. They say above this temperature, it's not wetsuit legal. Which means , you can wear a wetsuit, you just won't win in the award. And yes, I'm not gonna win an award anyway. [00:22:55] KK: And the guy at the briefing said this with pride, you could not believe the guy at the briefing said this with pride. He even said, U S T A oh, you mean the global authority for sanctioning triathlon? He said USTA they'll let you go. But. We're we play the hard line. I'm like, wait a minute. Why, why do you anyway. So this is about how not to be a brand and, and treat your customers so crazy. So let's talk about something simpler neuro atypical economy, the neuro atypical economy, Peter. Talk to us about that. [00:23:28] Peter: Neuroatypical yeah, essentially it's 15 to 20% of the, of the workforce and of customers and of employees who are gonna be neurotypical that's ADD, ADHD, autism, executive function disorder, uh, anything along those lines, anything that makes your brain a little different. So if you're looking at, and, and there's 20% of the people, 20% of the workforce are usually the most creative. Yeah. So if you're a company, you need to learn how to hire for those people, how to attract those people, how to keep those people. Yeah, no question about. [00:23:53] KK: Yeah. And I was, I was talking to Deb about this a little before the, we started recording and I said maybe cuz I travel in creative circles, but almost everyone I know says, oh yeah, I am somewhere on the spectrum. And uh, you know, I love that Peter, you embrace it. It's a superpower. I agree. It's like faster, you know, we can get more things done. I can think about five things at once and I can juggle them and not sacrifice quality. It is a superpower. [00:24:18] Debbie: You know, Kevin and I were talking about this earlier, and there's also the term neuro divergent for those people who are not, you know, neurotypical and, and businesses want to hire, as you said, those neurotypical people, but you get so much, you. Of the same thought process you get into group think. When you start branching out and hiring people who are not neurotypical, who are neuro atypical, um, these are the folks who do think differently and . Communicate differently and have different ideas from the norm. And that's where you're going to get your best ideas. Uh, and yet I think honestly, and I, and I said this to Kevin and it's just my opinion, but I think a lot of, uh, business owners, bosses, whatever you wanna call 'em are afraid of these people. What do I do with these people? Am, am I going to have to make ADA requirements? And, and what if they don't follow the rules and what, you know, um, will I lose control if I bring these people in and. So if you just keep hiring, everyone that thinks the same way, you're not going to get creative ideas. [00:25:24] Peter: And what's really interesting about what you just said. And it's really the point is that, is that there are people who are actually afraid to, um, let their boss know that they're neuro divergent and for me, that's the craziest thing in the world because I'm telling- if I, if I worked for someone, I'd be like, look, boss, I, I will get more done. I will get more. Uh, I will be more, uh, productive than any of your other employees. All I ask is that you let me do things in a way that works for me, and you're not gonna have to buy me a standing desk or all that crap. I just might, some days I might commit at 3:00 AM and work till noon mm-hmm. Because I work better quiet. I might wear my headphones, whatever the case may be. Right. The benefits far outweigh, uh, anything you might have to do. I I'm, I'm a Lamborghini. Uh, you just gotta give some road. Right? Yeah. Yeah. And once I explain that and they see it, um, there's no question about it. You know, I, I, I remember one of the, there's a magazine called Additude a DDI I two to it's the ADHD or D D and ADHD magazine. And, um, Someone wrote a, uh, an article called why you should never tell your boss, your A DD and, um, wow. Pissed me off. And so of course, I, did a deep dive into who this person, but of course she's a, she's , an ADD coach who, you know, was pitching her services and all that, but right. She sent me this scathing reply . I'm like, I'm like, I'm not, I'm not walking up to you and licking you and then telling you I have herpes. This is not that. This is an entirely different process that can benefit you. And, and you're telling someone not to own that. And you're, you're shaming them for what they have. What are we in the 1400's here? Here? Yeah, it was, it was, yeah. It's it's. I believe it's a gift. There's no question. It's a gift. It's very, very, very, very useful if you know how to use it. [00:27:03] Debbie: Yeah. [00:27:04] KK: I think the other really important thing you said there is that I need to work the way I need to work and this idea that we're still grappling with remote and you know, the world's worked Monday through Friday nine to five because that was what assembly line workers did. Exactly. We're not doing assembly line. We're not putting together cars and engines. And, you know, we're, we're building things that are made of code and dots and asterisks. You know what I mean? There's all kinds of different things that are, are, are, are jobs today that. didn't look anything like when someone decided, and let's not forget that, you know, all these things that we abide by these rules, quote, unquote, were decided by somebody, right? Mm-hmm and this particular one is about a hundred years old. Let's just throw it in the garbage and let's let you know, John show up at, at 3:00 PM work till 3:00 AM, whatever, you know. Yeah. Work at work at home. Don't chat at the water cooler, do chat at the water cooler. You know, I think you just gotta let people work the way they work and just look at the output, right? It's like, don't care if it came at 9, 9 9:07 [00:28:11] Peter: 7, no. And work. Another thing I I've talked to bosses who get that and they say, you know, I don't care. Let, let the guy work from the Boreal forest, as long as he's getting the job done. And it was funny. The only job I ever really had full time was America Online. And when I was at AOL, they let us work anyway, we wanted, and then I, I left AOL and I moved back to New York and I took a job, uh, at a. And it lasted two weeks because we had 8:00 AM meetings and then we had 9:30 AM editorial meetings. Then we had 11:00 AM check-ins and we had a half an hour for lunch and I'm like, oh my God, this is Russia. And I couldn't do it. And I quit. I quit two weeks after I started. And, uh, you know, and then I went outta my own was the best thing ever happened. So. No, it it's crazy. It's crazy. [00:28:46] Debbie: Yeah. I'm convinced that the biggest reason that companies do not let their workers remote work remotely because they don't trust them. Yeah. How do they, how do I know that they're working? And honestly, if you let folks work the way it fits their natural personalities. I believe 99% of them will get the job done. They might not work nine to five. They might not do it the way you would do it, but they're going to get the job done. They're gonna give your results. And isn't that what you're looking for, the results. [00:29:16] Peter: And I'll tell you, I'll tell you this. If you, if you are a boss who feels that you can't trust your employees, You have a hiring problem. [00:29:23] KK: Right. [00:29:23] Debbie: Yes you do. Yeah. Yes you do. [00:29:25] KK: So believe it or not, we are, we are getting towards the end here, but I do wanna fit in two more things cuz we talk about magical customer experiences here. I'm gonna, I'm sure Peter's tired of telling the story, but I'm gonna ask them to tell the Morton's story. And then Peter is gonna be the guy this week that imparts the best piece of advice ever we think. But yeah. The Morton story. [00:29:47] Peter: The Morton story is, is a fun one. So I was 11 years ago. I was heading back from a meeting. I, I had a day trip to Fort Lauderdale for a meeting with Kirstie Alley strangely enough. That's that's the part that I always forget get . It was like, that was like the cool, that was the second coolest thing I wound up doing that day. Um, and this was before she went all bat shit, MAGA crazy, but I was, uh, I was, I had a meeting with Kirsti Kirstie Alley and I I'm, I'm going back to the airport and I'm starving and I was training for some race or something so I was very careful about what I ate. I didn't want airplane food. So I jokingly sent a tweet. Hey, Morton's why don't you meet me in Newark airport when I landed three hours with the porterhouse haha. The same way you tweet. Hey winter, please stop snowing. And um, I landed three hours later and I found my driver and next to my driver was a guy with a Morton's bag, a tuxedo carrying Morton's bag and uh, brilliant. It was a steak and shrimp and um, it was ridiculous. And I went to, uh, I went home, wrote a blog post about it and like two days later Mortons was on the Today Show show, talking about their incredible, uh, you know, here's the thing. It wasn't so much PR as it was customer experience, it wasn't planned. I mean, I, I, I swear in everything I hold dear. Right? It was not planned., but what people need to understand is that Morton's focuses on customer experience all the time. Yeah. And why do I say that? Because if you, if they deliver me a steak at the airport, you see that and you go, wow. They brought Peter Shankkman a steak at the airport. I'm gonna go to Morton's that's really, really cool. Um, and you go there. And your reservation is delayed and your, your drink is cold or drink is wrong drink and the, the food isn't right. You know, you're, you are gonna be, uh, sure. They bring, Shankman a steak and take the airport and they can get my thing right I'm never coming back here. So they have to make sure that everything they do is topnotch. And again, it's not difficult. They, they ask you a simple question when you make a reservation, they go, are you, uh, Celebrating anything. Oh yeah. It's my girlfriend's birthday. Hey, what's her name? My name's Gabriella it's hey that's great we'll see you. You Gabriel, on Friday night, you show up Friday eight, you get your table and sitting next to the, uh, you know, when you sit down, they give you a paper menu on the menu. It says happy birthday, Gabriella. And you know, that little thing that costs them, nothing to do, gets them more press than anything else, because what does, who are Gabby's friends? You know, what is she gonna do now? She's gonna go to Instagram and Instagram, the crap outta that for 45 minutes. And who are her friend? You know, people just like Gabby, all of them want their boyfriends to take them to a place where they can have their name on the menu so it. It doesn't take much. Mm-hmm no [00:31:59] KK: brilliant. Yeah. And they're paying attention and yeah, that, that was just such great execution. Um, and the fact that they pay attention to all these little things always pays off. Well, I'm gonna ask you to, uh, give our folks just one piece of advice through all this. And again, you know, our, our, our small business owners and leaders and managers, you know, what, what would you tell them if you could give them one wonderful best piece of advice ever today? Peter: Be brilliant at the basics and everything else will fall into place. KK: I like that. [00:32:32] Debbie: Yeah. Wonderful. [00:32:32] KK: That's awesome. Well, Peter, thank you so much. It's so good to see you. It's so wonderful to have you on, on the show today. I thank you so much. [00:32:41] Peter: Always a pleasure, Kevin. Good to see everyone. And do it again. [00:32:43] KK: Thanks Peter. Nice to see you again. All right. Tune in next week. It's the season finale. So we are wrapping up a wonderful season, so surprised and, and delighted by what has come of this , Deb. And I were just like, Hey, let's, let's try this thing out. So yes, season finale, big cliff hanger at the end so you gotta tune in, uh, we're gonna talk a little bit about Operations. Um, Deb is the self-proclaimed, but, uh, lives up to it, uh, Operations girl, and then we're gonna cram everything; a recap of everything we talked about on season one, all that in 31 and a half minutes. So thanks everyone tune in next week and we'll talk to you soon. [00:33:20] Debbie: Bye now. [00:32:43] Outro: You've been listening to the Disney Way for the Digital age! Our producer and engineer is Steven Byrom. Show coordinator is Taranpreet Trehan. And voiceover by Cindy Clifford. Kevin and Debbie can be reached for free advice or paid consulting at [email protected] or [email protected] A new episode is released each Tuesday morning. We hope you’ll continue to listen! //
Tuesday Jul 26, 2022
Tuesday Jul 26, 2022
SHOW NOTES: 00:30: Welcome back! Thanks for subscribing and joining us again! 00:48: Debbie, how was your maiden voyage on Disney’s Wish? Ref: Castaway Cay 03:00: Introducing our Guest Mary Flynn. Ref: Mary’s new book Disney’s Secret Sauce 05:00: Mary Flynn shares how she was recruited by Disney 07:00: On Disney’s program called Traditions 07:55: Mary’s first day in Traditions Ref: Disney Service Standards 10:33: A note about secrets, truth, equality and values 13:23: Mary’s epiphany about the Disney way 15:16: The Disney Culture. And that’s Culture with a capital “C” 16:09: On specifying very exact values with which to lead 17:40: A note about operationalizing the Magic 19:20: Disney leaders come from the front lines. Ref: Meg Gilbert Crofton 20:27: What happened when Mary said: I’d like an increase in pay please? 21:25: A note about adding value 23:02: On knowing all that is your job. Aka: On living the gig 24:17: Data gathering is constant and on-going. Ref: Data gathering in our last episode 25:00: You can't get a cohesive organization when every single department has their own Culture. 27:00: Initial training/on-boarding, coaching and feedback 27:45: Build a culture with the capital C Ref: Mary Flynn’s book “Disney's Secret Sauce": The Little-known Factor Behind The Business World's Most Legendary Leadership” 27:58: On the importance of consistent feedback 29:30: Culture is like a crop 30:40: The best piece of advice you’ll ever get! (this week. we think.) 32:23: Than you Mary Flynn!! 32:43: End credits Please find us on the Web at: www.disneywaydigital.com Via email: [email protected] and [email protected] And on the Socials at: Debbie: LinkedIN and @DZmorenski on Twitter and @dkzcoach on Facebook Kevin: @BigBuzzKev on Twitter INSTA & Facebook TRANSCRIPT via Descript: Intro: Magical customer experiences don't happen by accident. They happen through careful planning and meticulous design. Kevin and Debbie have been engineering, extraordinary customer experiences for over 30 years. Join us as we explore corporate culture, branding, service, excellence, and much more through storytelling, technical curiosity, and friendly conversation. The Disney way for the digital age will be revealed. [00:00:29] KK: So welcome everyone to episode eight of the Disney way for the digital age today, we have our first guest I'm so excited. Um, this is gonna be called Disney's Secret Sauce, which is the name of her book. And we're gonna in, uh, invite Mary in shortly, but I just wanted to catch up with Deb because she had something fantastic happen just last week. She got to be part of a, a private cast member cruise on the Disney's Wish maiden voyage, right? [00:00:56] Debbie: Yes, indeed. And it was amazing. Um, you know, uh, one of the things that Disney does so well is make sure that they gather enough information that when they roll out, especially something new, like this new ship to the guests that it is a magical experience. And so one of the things that they do is they allow cast members and their families to come on board and we become the test subjects and we experience what the guests will experience. And at the end, of course we critique what went well, what didn't go so well, any ideas and suggestions that we have and let me. just say up front in case anyone's listening. Um, from the cruise line, I will be happy to be a test subject as many times as you need. just give me a call. Okay. Um, so it was absolutely an amazing experience and the ship is just, just gorgeous. And in fact, um, Disney cruises line was just named the best large ship ocean cruise line by Travel & Leisure readers. So that was, that was kind of a nice, uh, timely, um, little award. Yeah. So, but one of the things that Disney has is their own private island called Castaway key. And it's one of my favorite things to do. I go down to the adult beach, have a properly chilled adult beverage lay in my lounge chair, gather up the sun beams and and jump in the beautiful Caribbean. water when I get too warm,. As it turns out, I have threw my towel down on a, on a chaise lounge by this amazing woman. Uh, her name was Kelly. She is a leader for Disney vacation club and we talked, no, no joke. Between getting in and out of the water, we talked for four hours and wow. My takeaway on that was that the culture of exceptional leadership at Disney is alive and well, and, and. Honestly, it really leads to our guest and what she's going to, to talk about today. So without further ado, I'd like to give you some introductory information, um, for Mary. Yeah, she is an award-winning author, poet humorist. Um, she's a renowned international trainer business facilitator and conference speaker for the Disney Institute. And I, she says retired. I think she's retired from Disney Institute, but certainly not retired from, from life . She has more than 20 years experience in leadership, organizational professional development and career transition. Um, she's written poetry, children's book, she's written fiction novels, and she most recently won a silver medal for her celebrated Disney book. Disney's secret sauce, as you mentioned, Kevin. Yeah, the little known factor behind the business world's most legendary leadership. So. One of the important pieces in my introduction is not only has she accomplished all these things in life. Uh, she is probably one of the most creative people. I know she's a risk taker. She's constantly reinventing herself, but more importantly, she is my former colleague from the Disney Institute and I consider her to be a very good friend. So I would like to introduce to you Mary Flynn and Mary's going to give you some background on her book, but also talk about experiences that tie very nicely into what Kevin and I have been talking about and that is the, those things that drive the exceptional culture at Disney. So Mary welcome, and thank you so much for giving us some time this morning. [00:04:40] Mary: Well, thank you. I mean, this is wonderful and I loved hearing about your experience. Yeah. I can be a Guinea pig too. I'd love to be a Guinea pig. I had the pleasure of doing that one time. I mean, it was surreal. I mean, it's like one of those dreams, you know, where your, um, because there were other cast members on board, I was heading into the ladies room and the president of Walt Disney. But Meg Crofton was coming out of the ladies' room. And it was like that dream that you say was the weirdest thing. I was on a cruise ship and I'm going into the ladies' room in the president of Walt Disney World . but it was true, but it was true. Yeah. But no, um, yeah, but anyway, Debbie, thank you. And thank you, Kevin. This is wonderful. No, I, um, I, I was, uh, you know, it's funny. I was recruited by Disney and the first time that they asked me, I said, no, Um, and the reason was I, I was accustomed to having creative freedom. I was accustomed to being an individual thinker. I was accustomed to having some freedom in my role, and I thought, I can't imagine you're gonna get that at Disney. And, uh, the second time I was kind of talked into it, but I thought, well, it's sounding better. And, um, I couldn't have been, uh, I mean, more surprised at how much I enjoyed and valued my time at Disney. And I, you know, there were so many surprises because I was recruited from a professional role where I helped companies downsize and, um, So I worked with many organizations. I worked with all 20 directorates under, um, General Bridges as the, um, at NASA as Kennedy's space center. And, uh, I, I mean, Fortune . 500 companies all over the place. I'm not saying that. Believe me, I'm not saying that to pat myself on the back, I'm saying it because I couldn't have been more surprised with the Disney organization. It was so completely unlike any organization I had encountered and it started, um, the day I, the day I showed up for work, you know, uh, so here I was, I was recruited and sometimes people who are recruited tend to think they get special treatment. Oh, well, they want me, so, you know, well, that would be like, eh, you know, it's not gonna happen. Uh, I went to this program called Traditions and I think possibly many people who had ever followed Disney have heard of this. And Debbie, you taught Traditions. I know that at some point in your career, you taught Traditions. And this is, um, uh, it's not orientation, you know, usually when you show up for work on the first day, you go into orientation, which is all the, the rules about how you can get fired, basically. Do the paperwork, and then we're gonna tell you how you can get fired. And, um, so, so, and so, so it surprised me on so many levels that I went into this room. And now let me tell you this first. Um, yeah, I, I'm gonna try not to go down the rabbit hole, but. It was supposed to start. I don't know, maybe it was nine o'clock. The, the program was supposed to start. We were going to go into a room with other people. There were about 35 or 40 of us standing there waiting to go into this room at Disney University, which is behind Magic Kingdom. It's got 20 training classrooms. Anyway, we're waiting and waiting. Cuz it's supposed to start at nine waiting and waiting and we didn't go in until 10. and I thought, well, that doesn't set a very good example. This is Disney after all. Well, you know, and I know Debbie and Kevin, you talk about the Disney service standards and we, we can drill down on that right now. I realize, but you know, safety, courtesy show and efficiency. But what I learned later on about the delay was the woman who was supposed to be our facilitator uh, she was first day back from maternity leave and she showed up with a denim dress and they, they sent her home. Oh, wow. And it didn't matter. It didn't matter to them in a way. And this is gonna sound bizarre. It didn't matter to them in a way that they were keeping 35 of us waiting. They had a rule about this for show. This was the standard of show. Right. And they, so they had to get another facilitator. No, she wasn't fired or anything like that. They loved her. She was a great cast member. Sorry. No exceptions. You can't wear that jumper. It was a, it was, I saw her, it was a cute denim jumper uh, but no, they said, sorry, you know? Right. So that was like really okay. Right off the bat. And I thought, I, I know I shouldn't have taken this ju you know, but . Yeah. But then, [00:09:40] KK: but it does illustrate the conviction. Right. It illustrates the conviction they have behind the, the rules and guidelines that they set, which is impress. Yeah. [00:09:49] Mary: That's a very impressive, I mean, you take anything that Disney does and when you add conviction, you've got a power house and I noticed several things right off the bat. Uh, Kevin and Debbie, and one of them was that, uh, well, we're sitting at rounds, you know, table rounds about, I don't know, six or eight people. So there were about 35 or 40 of us in this room. And, uh, they started telling us the story of Disney, the history of Disney. And they're telling us the good, the bad and the ugly. Oh. You know, and Walt once almost had a nervous breakdown, he had to go. And, uh, and of course all of his animators were pirated away from him and this, the company almost went bust. It was almost sold off to, to I'm thinking this doesn't sound very positive right here. I don't know. You know, but it was interesting because one of the things they wanted us to know, and it's kind of like, if you ever join a family, you know, we fam one of the ways, you know, you might know that you're a member of the family, is they tell you a secret, you know, one thing we don't like is when people keep secrets from us, right. We feel like we're on the outside. Right. And when they told us they're secrets, Because I, the average person, I was the average person, the average person coming into the organization who might have been very familiar with the magic and the princesses and the castle and, and all that didn't know anything about this. And, um, I thought, holy cow and mackerel look what they're telling us, but they did it because they want us to know that you're part of our, our heritage now and what that does immediately. And it kind of moves in later on is that you feel more apart. This is their first attempt to garner commitment from a new person mm-hmm so I would say to anybody, listening to this, everyone commitment from a brand new person, take the time. Just tell them the truth about yourself, your, your history, your story, your legacy, where, how you started. And, um, and then the, uh, I was so impressed by that and the other, the next thing that I noticed as we shared around the table, Was that we were all sitting together. Right. I was sitting next to a housekeeper. I was on the other side of me was a new vice president of marketing. Wow. Uh, across the table was a food and beverage server, but a work at, at, um, At I thought all the different roles and that so impressed me more than anything that they could say, cuz they can say anything, but this impressed me because I thought, wow, they didn't say to the VP. Oh no, no, can't go in this class. You know, you're you're above that. You're you're an executive. Oh no. The executive was sitting right next to me and, and a housekeeper and a food beverage person and a program facilitator and all this kind of stuff. So little by little, I was impressed and then they got to the values. Mm. So they rattled off these values, blah, blah. Something about openness. Respect. Yeah. Mm-hmm okay. That's good. And, uh, you know, every company has values. I thought I've heard those before. and then a little bit later they mentioned the values again. And I said, okay, we kind of heard those. We, you went over those and, um, you know, then, and then, and, and then later on, and the next day we not only went over the values, but we described them, defined them and I thought, really. I mean really? And then I had an awakening and the awakening was, these are like, no kidding around values, openness, respect, courage, honesty, integrity, diversity, and balance. You're gonna live these here at, at Disney. And I thought, oh, oh, uh, oh, you know, like, oh, oh, this is, wait a minute here. This seems a little different. I have been into many lobbies of many fortune 500 companies, and I've seen that thing on the wall, right. About what they do, what they're gonna do. Right, right. Um, you know, we value this and, but what I learned here is that A. They're very clearly defined. they want everyone in the organization, vice president, right across the whole organization, uh, vice president, uh, you know, housekeepers, uh, ticket takers, so to speak at the front gate, the custodial cast member, the, the housekeeper in your room, me, everybody. They want everybody to know these, believe these live, these day in and day out. And, and I thought, oh, and they had behaviors that went with them. And, and one of the things they explained that was an eye opener was that for leaders, you know, was salaried. So I was leader with a small L I didn't run anything. They wouldn't dare trusts anything to me. and they're like to me, simulate , but leader with a small L and, oh my gosh, we were responsible. We were accountable for these. we were accountable for these. You were gonna be rated on these. This is how your performance was gonna be judged and not just me, but all, everybody in this room, everybody in this room had to live those values. [00:15:16] KK: Well, I think your initial reaction was probably typical, right? You said I've seen these hanging on the wall in the lobby. But basically how they set this up, that, you know, you understood they're serious. I mean, I don't think it was part of the show, but the fact that they sent someone home that didn't align with, uh, yeah the show shows you that. Wow. Okay. This is meaningful. Um, and, and I love that and I've seen. Only recently, I've become aware that when you do this right, you really should be able to, um, use these to review against them. And I've, I've been through so many different types of review processes, and I mostly disliked all of them and this idea of reviewing your team against your values is, is a win-win because it, it bolsters the meaning of those values. And gives you guidelines for good review, uh, [00:16:09] Debbie: Oh, yes. And I'll just jump in and say, you know, that these values they're so incredibly clear and precise, as Mary said, they actually came about on paper around the time of performance excellence, uh, because prior to that, the, the company was still fairly small and was sort of understood and interpreted that we, we behaved certain ways and did certain things as the company grew and the culture was changing. The performance excellence was, was very specifically rolled out. The values were actually then put on paper and, and built into, as, as you said, Mary traditions and to Kevin's point built into, especially for the leadership. Review process. And if there are any of these values that, that we needed to work on, then it was, it was built into our work for the year. Um, absolutely. Yeah. And exactly. And so it, it was a matter of knowing them, understanding what it meant to us as a company and to me as a leader. And then to know that I would be held accountable for these. So it, it was a process, but it has been ex incredibly successful for the company. [00:17:22] Mary: Well, and you know, it's an interesting thing. And Debbie, you and I talked together, we were on stage be before. Well, I, I counted up three quarters of a million people for me. And I imagine more for you, but many of them, [00:17:34] Debbie: no wonder I'm tired. [00:17:36] Mary: I know. And many of them were CEO, CEOs, running companies. Right. And you and I both heard this, we were in the room together when somebody out of healthcare or automotive or technology mm-hmm would say, well, you know, that works for you because you know, you've got this, these princesses and a castle but we're in the real world. And, uh, you know, the word, I think the word that stopped them all the time was magic. And we would say to them, and you know this well, don't, you know, when you're doing your magic. and that would kind of stop them. I said, well, well, well, yeah, if you wanna put it that way. Yeah, we do put it that way, but here's the trick. Here's what makes Disney Disney mm-hmm our leaders know, know how to operationalize the magic. Yeah. We know how to operationalize it. Right. And . The value defining things, holding you accountable in detail in, in your performance development plan, let's say is part of the, of the operationalizing of it. We, we stream it across the entire organization. No matter what role you're in, you are accountable. Um, and we don't wanna make that word accountable sound like a hammer over your head. Right. But part, part of the orientation, part of the traditions, which we preferred to call it, because it was so much more meaningful. Uh, it was a joyful experience as well as informative, but part of that was to help you understand we are here to support you in delivering the magic, and this is how you're gonna do it. And when you do it this way, you are going to excel and exceed, you know, Disney is one of those original companies that really brings you out of the mail room. So to speak. I mean, Meg Crofton cross and measured her earlier. She was president. She started. As a front desk hostess, I think didn't she Debbie? [00:19:31] Debbie: Yes, yes, yes she did. [00:19:33] Mary: Yes. Yeah. Our leaders, our leaders came from, from the front line, they worked in attractions. They helped people, you know, load the rides and stuff, and then they run the company. So this is where you can go. Yeah. And this is where you can go. Uh, when that happens and a funny thing along those lines, if I have a moment is when I sat down, was ready to sit down for the first time with my leader. And I was fortunate enough to have some, some, some wonderful leaders. I had gone through a three month period. Uh, this is when I joined the Disney Institute. I worked at Disney university in the beginning, and I was teaching the catalog of 19 leadership training programs to our 8,000 leaders across property. Uh, we had, uh, 20 lines of business, but then I was in recruited again by a Disney Institute leader that come over and do our programs and got over there. And that's when, when, uh, Debbie and I got to work together. But the thing of it is that, um, when I, so let's say I was doing programs for a couple months and I went to my boss when it was time to sit down with him. And I said, you know, I said, I'm I'm expecting kind of like an increase. You know what I mean? Increase. Oh, increase a in pay because I had like a 97.8%. , excellent. In all my programs, could it, in our Disney Institute programs, we were rated by our audience immediately after the program. So it's like, right. You can't, there's no escaping, you know? And so, so I gave this figure to him and he said, yeah. And I said, well, like, isn't that. You like don't I merit he said, no, we, we hired you for that. We hired you to be excellent. We didn't, we right. And I thought, well, that's interesting. Uh, that's an interesting concept. [00:21:22] KK: you fulfilled your job description. Right? Right. [00:21:25] Mary: We didn't hire you to be mediocre and then kind of work into you, we hired you to be actually. And so the deal was, if you wanna, if you wanna really show us something and earn more and so on and so. Uh, what else can you offer? And so the whole deal was how do you add value, right. And right. We don't get rewarded. And when you think about this, of course, it makes sense. You don't get rewarded for doing the job we hired you to do. You're going to get rewarded for whatever else you can do for us, for your fellow cast members for, for the guest, for the company. I mean, it was quite remarkable and I thought, wow, this is a no kidding around the organization. I wonder they are is so great. Thank you for having me you know, I mean, it was like, [00:22:16] KK: yeah, well, and I think there's a cultural norm you have to set that. And I think so often today that people just expect to get a raise. I did my job. Well, well, that's why we hired you. That's why we, we gave you a salary. We said, this is your job description. You did it. Excellent. Thank you very much. [00:22:33] Mary: Exactly. [00:22:34] Debbie: You know, Mary mentioned that we often got the comment. Well, yeah, this is great for you guys, but you have princesses and castles and Mickey Mouse and Mary, and I would often say to them, I mean, just very, um, you know, very bluntly. Do you have any doubt in your mind that Disney is one of the most successful companies on the planet, right? So, if you want to talk business success, these are the things that contribute to that incredible business success. We create magic because that's what our guests expect from us. If you create excellent widgets, because that's what your customers expect from you, there's a way internally and externally to make that happen. and that kind of brings home that these are, are pieces of the puzzle that support the big picture for Disney's success. [00:23:25] Mary: Absolutely. Right. [00:23:27] KK: And I would even argue, you know, I wrote this down as, as Mary was talking about, you know, the magic and some skepticism about other businesses believing it doesn't apply. I would argue that it's not only applicable to all businesses, but at the end of the day, I would argue it's all you have left and we talk about this customer experience. The world is becoming commoditized. I can get shoes from anybody. I can get a car that does the job from anybody, but what is that customer experience and magic is kind of that, you know, it's that X factor. It's a good way to explain. How do you create, what, what is that customer experience? Um, and I think that's kind of all we have left in business, is how do you make your customer feel right? Period. [00:24:13] Debbie: And, you know, Kevin, we talked a lot about data gathering in the last episode. Yeah. And all of these things that Mary has been sharing with us, as she said, we were evaluated right after the program. So, and then we looked at our evaluation, saw where we might not have been so great and where we could improve and so forth. And also about the message of the program, the content. That's not unusual Disney does that constantly gathering data. Yeah. You know, whether it's serving the guests, have someone walk around the park and saying, Hey, how you doing today? I'm with Walt Disney World, um, we just like to hear, got about your experience today, a couple questions or calling people or online reviews or reviewing, uh, leaders within the company, their team reviews them or Disney Institute asking for input and data about the program and the facilitators or the Disney Wish asking us what went well, what did not go well? You know, so that we can give our guests the best experience, right? This data gathering is constant and ongoing. Guests don't need to see it. They don't need to know technically, but it's constant and ongoing. They leave nothing to chance. Right. Right. [00:25:26] Mary: And you know, Debbie, what you're describing is, is actually what I wrote the book about. [00:25:32] Debbie: Yes. [00:25:32] Mary: Culture with a capital C mm-hmm because you know, you, and I know this, we would, we would have CEOs. I mean, this is a top person, man, or woman at the top of their organization, or even middle level managers, running big departments, they would say to us, you know, uh, that's fine for you. You're Disney, but we, we don't, we don't really have a culture. And we say, you're kidding. Of course you have a culture. It, it probably, from what you're saying, it probably isn't the one you designed. We have a culture. Exactly. We have a culture that is that we designed from the top and it is operationalized and everybody buys into it and is evaluated on it. And if you think you don't have a culture, let me tell you, your accounting department has a culture. Your finance department, your marketing department, they all have their own cultures based on what they feel like doing. And you can't get a cohesive organization when you have every single department with their own culture., based on maybe based on what that leader had for breakfast, who knows, you know, I mean, mm-hmm, you will have a culture, you cannot help it. It's what people come in. How they do when they come in, how they behave, what they think .And what often happens. And I'm just gonna make it a quick pass at this. When we get into training, when you train people and they're all on board and they're all happy and they're all smart at what they do, and they're all excited. And then they go back to their department. You know, I always say it's like potpourri it smells so good at first and little by little, that fragrance wears away. And you've just got a little jar full of bits of pieces. Uh, we do, we do coaching. Yeah. We do coaching and feedback because we know training isn't enough. Yeah. We know that when a person goes. Very often they're gonna pick up the aroma of the most negative person in the department. oh, see. And, and so we've gotta keep coaching and feedback feedback, which we don't have time to go into today. But I wrote this book because this is the, I I've read wonderful leadership books, big ones, 400 pages. I've read bestselling leadership books written by Disney people. They're wonderful. This is the piece they miss you know, you, you can't afford to drill down in a 90 minute program. I drill down .This book is only 128 pages, but it's kind of like the one minute manager. I had one premise of sticking with this. I don't need to talk about all of leadership. This is at the base of what we're talking about. Build a culture with the capital C everybody accountable for it. Give coaching and feedback. Listen. Right? The typical, the typical appraisal process. Is, uh, in, in, in the average company is I'm doing my job, doing my job, doing my job. Then I sit down with my boss after three months and he tells me how bad I did. Well, wait a minute. Now, let me tell you something. First of all, it's a shock. Secondly, here's the deal. If, if I'm doing something wrong, you know what, after three months I'm doing it wrong, really, really well. I'm excelling that's right. I've mastered this thing at doing it wrong. And, and so. When, when we believe in giving feedback pretty quickly, you know, instantly, right. But we also give feedback and say, wow, I really like Debbie. I love that story you just told. I love that. You know, uh, Joe, I loved the way you, you know, Kevin, when you talked to that child at the, at the, uh, uh, check in, it was beautiful. I mean, these lift the spirit of everybody and, and so right. [00:29:28] KK: Get somebody doing something well. [00:29:29] Mary: Yes. Yes. [00:29:30] KK: So that's, yeah, I think that idea. Feedback on the spot are certainly within, you know, within the day or the 24 hours of seeing something going wrong is, is truly, truly valuable. The idea of waiting till .Making a list. Right. We'll see each other next quarter and we'll tell you everything you're doing wrong. Yeah. Just not the way to do it. And your other point about culture, you know, culture's kinda like a farm, you know, you plant the seeds and, and then the plants come up. But if you don't cultivate and grow this and manage it and water it, you know, every day, all the time, you know, we, we had one company we, we worked with for about a year. We got things rolling and they said, good. We're we're good. I was like, wow, I hope so. Um, you know, we hope what everything has stuck, cuz you know, sometimes we stay on and help, help folks, um, uh, manage and curate. Yeah. Um,. Believe it or not, we are, we are really, um, at our time. [00:30:20] Debbie: No. Oh no. [00:30:22] KK: and that was really fast and really good. And we may need to get you back on the show cuz this was terrific. [00:30:28] Debbie: It was so much fun, Mary. [00:30:30] Mary: Well, I hope so. Cuz I, oh, I've just enjoyed being with you both so much. And I, and I'm really honored that you even asked me how nice of you really . [00:30:39] KK: Oh, so nice to have you. So at this part of the show, we usually like to give the greatest piece of advice you'll ever get. At least we think. But maybe, you know, I, I don't wanna put you on the spot if you don't wanna do it, I have a couple ideas, but if you'd like to impart the, the greatest piece of advice someone might ever get, what, what might that be from you Mary? [00:30:57] Mary: Well, if, well, it depends on who we're talking to. If you're talking to a leader, I love what Bob Iger said. When Bob Iger came in to replace Michael Eisner, Who did so much to build and grow this company over a 20 year period when Bob Iger came in and somebody said to him, uh, gosh, you're, this is great. Uh, how do, how do you do the leadership so well, he said, are you kidding? I, I surround myself with people who know more than I do. [00:31:25] Debbie: Yeah. Mm-hmm right. [00:31:27] Mary: And I would say if you're a leader, surround yourself with people who know more than you do. If you're part of a team, which I was with people like Debbie, Surround myself with people who know more than I do. Debbie. You're wonderful. You've been here longer than I have. Let me learn from you and, and the others on my team. So if we think in terms in the business world and, and in life in life, we surround ourselves with people who are better than we are, know more than we do. Uh, at least on some level we, we, we, we get along well, [00:31:58] KK: well, that is one of the greatest pieces of advice anyone could ever get, you know, in work and in life. [00:32:04] Debbie: Could we just bring Mary on every week to give us the greatest piece of advice we ever had? [00:32:10] Mary: In fact, that alone! [00:32:11] KK: That would be such a relief and load off my shoulders too. [00:32:14] Mary: That alone is a great piece of advice. Bring Mary on! [00:32:19] KK: There you go. Well, Mary, thanks so much, you know, I can see that you guys have, uh, such a rapport and I'm so glad we were able to get you on the show. I really appreciate your time. And, um, we'll, we'll have you back sometime, uh, next season, but for now, as always, thanks so much, everybody for showing up and listening. Hope, hope to see you here next week! [00:32:40] Debbie: Thank you. And thank you, my friend. [00:32:43] Outro: You've been listening to the Disney Way for the Digital age! Our producer and engineer is Steven Byrom. Show coordinator is Taranpreet Trehan. And voiceover by Cindy Clifford. Kevin and Debbie can be reached for free advice or paid consulting at [email protected] or [email protected] A new episode is released each Tuesday morning. We hope you’ll continue to listen! //
Tuesday Jul 19, 2022
Tuesday Jul 19, 2022
SHOW NOTES: 00:30: Welcome back! Thanks for subscribing and joining us again! 00:34: Kevin, what do you have on your head? Ref: Metaverse and Meta’s Horizon Worlds 02:09: In our first episode we talk some about the Disney dark years 02:20: What are we talking about today? 03:00: What do you need to adapt, innovate and can your business really die? 03:58: Border’s Books, Barns & Noble and the comeuppance of Amazon Ref: Nook and Kindle Fire 06:10: What was the E-reader business turning point? 07:04: What’s right for my company? On innovating, adapting and choices 08:30: Are you using all of the customer data available to you? 09:19: How long do you have to predict a potential change in your business? 09:30: What happened to CNN+ ? 11:00: Let’s talk about risk tolerance and the ability to adapt with trends 12:00: On risk versus reward and data analysis 13:40: You don’t have to be an innovator to be successful! 14:40: What business action plan is best for your brand; innovate or adapt? 16:00: How long does it take you to buy a car? On “Analysis Paralysis” 17:30: Ask these 3 questions before you launch 19:08: On decision making and going with your gut instincts 19:38: Am I still in alignment with why I started this company? 20:11: More on Paralysis through Analysis 21:48: Are you keeping up on trends and using all of the available data? Ref: The Life of Brian 22:08: Is their Science behind going with your gut? What does that even mean? 23:28: What is 1,2,3, Go! And why should I use it? #1... 24:39: #2 26:34: #3 27:17: On what it takes for an Ad Agency to “pitch”, and the risk versus potential ROI. 29:06: Kevin’s Five P’s 30:18: Debbie on Michael Eisner and coming out of the “Disney dark years” 32:13: Ref: Field of Dreams movie. 33:43: Adaptations born out of innovation. Ref: Disney hotels 34:49: Tech advice- knowing your customers, and wrap-up. Ref: heuristic learning 36:37: Wieden Kennedy’s “Fail Harder” motto 37:05: Jimmy Dugin’s famous quote from “A League of Their Own” Movie quote link is HERE 37:39: The best piece of advice you’ll ever get! (this week. we think.) 38:06: On next week’s episode we welcome our FIRST GUEST! 38:50: End credits Please find us on the Web at: www.disneywaydigital.com Via email: [email protected] and [email protected] And on the Socials at: Debbie: LinkedIN and @DZmorenski on Twitter and @dkzcoach on Facebook Kevin: @BigBuzzKev on Twitter INSTA & Facebook TRANSCRIPT via Descript: Intro: Magical customer experiences don't happen by accident. They happen through careful planning and meticulous design. Kevin and Debbie have been engineering, extraordinary customer experiences for over 30 years. Join us as we explore corporate culture, branding, service, excellence, and much more through storytelling, technical curiosity, and friendly conversation. The Disney way for the digital age will be revealed. [00:00:29] KK: Welcome. Welcome to Kevin. Welcome. Yeah. [00:00:34] Debbie: Good morning, Kevin. Hello? What Deb there? Yes. What have you got on your head? [00:00:40] KK: Oh, uh, yeah, so I finally jumped in and, and, and wanted to explore, uh, um, I got myself a pair of VR. Glasses. [00:00:48] Debbie: Oh, there you are. yeah, [00:00:50] KK: yeah, yeah. I, uh, I'm diving into this Metaverse thing, so yeah. Yeah. I found, I actually did buy a piece of real, uh, digital, real estate. I got myself a piece of, uh, New York city. Um, I think I bought a park in Tudor city that, uh, my wife had played a concert in. I thought that was kind of cool. I as it was time to jump into this full VR thing and get the headset on. And yes, I, I, I was walking around, uh, Meta's Horizon worlds. Um, it was pretty cool. Um, so why am I doing it on the podcast? You may ask? [00:01:23] Debbie: It looks a little bit like you've become obsessed. If you ask me [00:01:27] KK: A little bit . Look, so I'm exploring and feeding my head with things that inspire me to, to innovate. Good. And honestly, um, you know, also it's about trying to keep up with trends that are affecting my business and are indicators of where my business is going. If you haven't heard the word metaverse, you're sleeping under a rock. And you know, my business is about technology, leading trends, cutting edge trends. So. I just, you know, it was also somewhat self-indulgent. I wanted to try it out. [00:01:58] Debbie: well, you know that, uh, but it really is that little grand entrance of yours actually, uh, is, is a nice segue into what we're gonna talk about today. So well done. [00:02:06] KK: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if you remember our first episode, mm-hmm we taught, we jumped right into the Disney dark years and yes, even Disney can get complacent and not only lose customers, but damage their culture. So we're here to talk plainly about the fact that you need to innovate. Adapt or die. Ouch. ouch. That's right. Harsh, but it's sorely needed wake up call for everyone. So, um, you know, we, we're also gonna talk about risk tolerance and failure. You need to know a little about your appetite for both. So welcome to episode seven of the Disney Way for the Digital age podcast, Innovate, Adapt, or Die. Done done. Done. Yeah. so, so how you doing Deb? [00:02:51] Debbie: Oh, good. Yeah. Yeah. So, so we wanted to be just real about this concept of why do you need to adapt innovate? Um, can you really die as a business? Yeah, and I, I don't think anyone disputes the fact that we have seen many businesses. Die over the years because they would not adapt, couldn't adapt or wouldn't, whatever, whatever the case may be. [00:03:17] KK: And it's hard to believe that the Disney almost came to that fate [00:03:21] Debbie: Well, very close. Believe it or not. It was, it was a scary time and it is hard to believe because, and I think this is even more of a dangerous situation for very successful companies because they tend to be complacent sometimes. Yeah. Where they say, look, nobody can touch us. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And so we're just gonna kick off with an example before we get into yeah. The process of. What you need to do to be able to adapt or innovate and to do it in a smart way. And that example is, and it is an older example, but it's just so very relevant and that is the difference between say Barnes and Noble book stores and Borders, which is. No longer in business, they, they died. Right? Um, yeah, they, [00:04:08] KK: this all happened while Amazon was becoming who they are. [00:04:11] Debbie: That's right. And, and the interesting thing is, is that borders pioneered the mega bookstore phatens? I mean, they, they were the first and they pioneered it. No one, uh, did anything like borders was doing. And then they just kept doing what they were doing and not really paying attention to what was going on in, in the marketplace. Right. Barnes & Noble on the other hand had some really great success so this is the example that, that I'm going to give .When Borders announced that they were going to going to close all their stores, shutter all of their stores. They did not say we're going to keep an online presence because it apparently did not occur to the CEO. And one of the statements that he made was we've tried everything. We've thrown a lot of money at this. We've done everything to stay in business, but we just can't compete with these electronic books, these E-readers right. Right. And the fact as this had been happening for a very long time, and yeah, we [00:05:10] KK: saw this coming and you know, I mean, Amazon, Amazon came outta the gate as electronic book company right. They didn't, they were not gonna sell widgets. They were selling books. [00:05:17] Debbie: Right. Kindle fire right off the bat. That was an eReader. In the beginning. Right. And he just didn't see it coming. So unfortunately, Borders went outta business. Now Barnes & Noble took a very different position. They saw what was happening and they said, well, we are a bookstore and we could certainly compete in the e-reader marketplace and they created Nook. My first ere was a nook. Not because I had anything against Amazon in particular, but then the Amazon Fire, you could download and purchase eBooks, but only those available through Amazon. Oh, right. So they really cornered the market on that. I, I don't blame 'em that's smart business Barnes and Nobles said, and this was the selling point for me- you can download books from anywhere. Right so I thought, oh, okay. Now I have more access to more books, Amazon saw that and said, all right, we need to change our policy. And in the meantime, they innovated so that their Kindle Fire's as we all remember, pretty soon you had access to games, you had access to the internet, you had access to various apps and it became like a little mini thin computer that you could carry around with you and brilliantly. I thought Barnes and Noble took a step back and said, we are a bookstore. Electronic books is a great adaptation for us, but we are not anything other than that. And that's our core business and that's our culture. And they pulled out of. The E market because yeah, they couldn't compete with becoming a little mini they didn't want to, they, they said this is not us. Yeah. So this concept of innovator adapt to die means it's not just a matter of looking, which competition is doing. It's a matter of asking yourself, what's right for me, if I'm going to change something in my business, what is the right thing to change? [00:07:16] KK: Absolutely. [00:07:17] Debbie: Because there's risk involved, right? [00:07:19] KK: Yeah. There's, there's definitely risk. But what I like about this example so much is that it has several examples of innovation, adapting and choosing, you know, I, I think it was, uh, courageous for Barnes and Noble to say and smart to say, I know who I am, what I am, I'm going to be smaller. You know, everybody talks about growth, growth, growth, growth is the right thing for me, sometimes the right choice is shrinking is smaller. Yes. You know, it's funny friend of mine. Yeah. Uh, Alex B told me this years ago in an interview, you know, we're talking about, uh, I it actually the next, uh, guest was the, a chief growth officer and, and he said, well, what if, what if growth isn't even the right idea? What if shrinking is the right idea and Barnes and Noble was smart enough to see that'll shrink to a size that we can sustain as a retail bookstore. Mm-hmm and that's what they've done. And you know, they're still there. They're still around. What else I like is that Amazon recognized something. Barnes and Noble and the Nook was doing better. And they adapted, yes. Look, I mean, there's no excuse for not researching all of your competition, buying their products, calling their services, secret shopping, you know, there there's so much data out there that you can just get by simply going and getting it, you know, taking a test run. So, um, I thought that was a great example. And the fact that you said your dad, you know, your dad, uh, loved the fact that he could get his books for free was one of the reasons, uh, you and he both chose the Nook. So, [00:08:52] Debbie: yep. And now he, of course has, uh, a nice big Amazon Kindle fire that he, he loves. Yeah. And, uh, if for some reason it's not working, you should see the panic. [00:09:19] KK: Yeah, I know you get that call [00:09:08] Debbie: I said Dad, don't don't go into the system. Just leave it alone. That's right. That's right. Yeah. Yeah. [00:09:13] KK: And your example of Borders who just, you know, didn't see it coming. Uh, Amazon started in 1994. Borders closed their books in 2011. That was plenty of time to figure this. Right. Yeah. You know, see what's coming. What, where's my place Uhhuh, uh, or, you know, maybe I'm just gonna roll over and die. that's, that's kind of what they did. There's really no, no good excuse for that. [00:09:35] Debbie: No there, there truly isn't. I mean, if you do the due diligence and you try to adapt or innovate and it doesn't work, um, That's an example of doing the right thing and it just didn't work out. Then you have to ask yourself, what's next? Do I step back? What do I do? And you mentioned it this morning, CNN + is, uh, a great example of that. They launched their streaming service realized very quickly nobody was using it and said, yep, we're outta here. yeah. Pay attention to the data. Yeah. That no shame. That's smart business. Right? That's all there is, you know, [00:10:11] KK: So, so let's talk a little bit about that. Yeah. They took a risk, right, right. Didn't work out. They pulled the plug. So you know, this idea of, uh, innovation, adapting or dying, kind of, we've tied to this idea of no risk, moderate risk and high risk. Right. Mm-hmm . No, there's no risk with no change and yes, you'll die. Yes. So let's just be clear. That's why we're being so abrupt and using the term die. I've got a couple people say, boy, that's harsh. I'm like, well, it's harsh. I mean, look owning a business. And you know, I know there's a lot of small business owners, including myself, you know, a lot of small business listeners out there and they, it is hard every day. Yeah. So, you know, um, this, this idea that your business could die, any given month is, is a real feeling for a lot of folks. So mm-hmm, , it's not a joke and that's why we've made it as serious as it is. Your business will die if you don't at least adapt, keep up with trends. So, right. It's we kind of tie it to your risk tolerance and I think Deb's gonna go into a little bit more, but, but this simply put, you know, no risk. Yeah. You'll die. Low risk. Well, let's, let's talk about adopting, uh, watching trends. And that's, if you have a bit of a, um, higher tolerance for risk, and the means we'll talk about that too. You can't just say I have high risk tolerance and I'm going in well, have, have the ability to fail two or three times and take the, the, the financial, um, hit on the head that comes with it. [00:11:33] Debbie: Mm-hmm exactly. You know, and that kind of really brings us to, to the meat of that topic of risk is your ability to innovate in a high risk situation directly correlates to your ability to suffer failure. Right? So it's exciting maybe to take a big risk and do something really exciting, but you have to ask yourself if this risk results in a 3 million dollar loss, for example, can my company sustain a 3 million loss and keep going so the plan has to include, maybe you adapt in smaller segments and keep the risk low, um, because that correlation between risk and your ability to stay in business is absolutely huge. Now. It's true that the higher, the risk, usually the greater the reward we've heard that. Right. Right. Um, and we've also heard the saying that if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten true. right. [00:12:35] KK: Well, yeah. With one exception. I would add that there will be a diminishing return yes. On what you got. Right. That, that won't stay forever. [00:12:42] Debbie: Well, and, and that's the way I look at that saying, I don't think that's an accurate saying either. I think if you always do what you've always done, you may die. right. You know, let's, you, won't always, let's just throw that awful word out there. Um, but if you always do what you've always done, you probably won't stay in business. So there. All businesses have to consider some level of risk. And is it, uh, a low risk? I just need to adapt what I'm doing. Like Amazon Kindle fire did. They said, okay, they've got their e-reader and they're letting people order books from everywhere. So we will adapt ours and let people order from everywhere. Right? Right. Yeah. So is it a small adaptation or is it a huge innovation? And those are, those are things that you have to consider. You have to measure the data in order to figure out what is the best plan to move forward that's going to get a success and, and maybe as little damage as possible. If it doesn't. If it doesn't work out. [00:13:42] KK: Yeah. There's no shame in taking the adapt approach. Right. You don't have to be of an innovator to be successful. Right. I'll remind people that Apple was number two in a lot of things. Apple got the mouse from Xerox, Apple got their windows from, and their operating system from Bill Gates and DOS and you know, so they didn't innovate those things they did take them and then improve them. And. That's an approach that has brought tremendous success to so many. So there's no shame in being that middle ground, you know, I'm saying, oh, I'm, I'm low risk. You know, I'm not gonna get the big reward. There is, that is a fantastic approach. You know, innovation has also, you know, let's go back to that CNN plus say, you know, that's a great idea, you know? No, well, no, it wasn't. So, you know, innovation like that in established companies has taken them down. So let's say they, you know, they stuck with that and said, CNN+ plus is gonna, it's gonna succeed no matter what. And it kept dumping money in and it took down the whole Warner brand. Um, that would not be a wonderful outcome. So, yeah. Right. Adapt is a fine approach. Uh it's and it works. [00:14:44] Debbie: It's a great approach. Yes. [00:14:46] KK: How do you know which one is right for you, Deb? What do you think? Yeah, [00:14:58] Debbie: so there is a certain amount of due diligence that has to be done this idea of just saying, oh, look what everybody else is doing. Is not a good business plan. I think I expressed it earlier as keeping up with the Joneses is usually not a good business philosophy because first of all, what the Joneses are doing may not be right for you because you take it back to what we've talked about in earlier episodes. What is your brand. What is your brand image? What is your culture? So anything that you do, you have to make sure that you are still delivering on your brand, delivering on what you promise to your customers and maintaining your culture throughout. Absolutely. And the way to think about that is that anytime you are thinking about adapting or innovating, you have to remember that what you're really doing is making change. Right and change is that word that people hate. And many people fear, you know, right. Change is scary. Employees don't adjust well to change. So you've got to have the right action plan in place. Now to develop your action plan, you want to have a very specific process that will number one, get you to a plan that will make you as successful as you can be at your adaptation or your innovation, and also help you to avoid analysis paralysis. Yeah. Right. I, I have an engineer, husband. I am very familiar with analysis paralysis. This is the man that it takes him two years to buy a car. You know, because he's got to analyze every model out there and all the stats. And then by the time he gets done with the first round, everything's changed, he has to go back and he has to do it all again, I I'm serious. [00:16:40] KK: And he buys a car based on how many cup holders it has at the end of the day. [00:16:44] Debbie: I drive him nuts I go to, I go to my favorite car place and I say, I, I saw that online. Let me see it. Yeah, that's great. I'll take it. I wait two hours, they clean it and I bring it home. He says, you cannot buy a car in one day. I said, yeah, I just did it's out in the driveway. um, so see,. So maybe that is not the best way to make business decisions, but somewhere in the middle. Okay. Somewhere in the middle. And so. I'd like to just tell you that there are three questions that I think will help businesses because adapting and innovation is about making change. There are three really key questions that you have to ask. Once you've got the plan, you think pretty much formed even a draft of the plan and a process for launch, ask yourself before you launch. These three questions. How does this change affect my employees? How does this change affect our customers and how will this change affect the bottom line? Right? Because obviously you're looking at, you're gonna be putting some money out to make this change, will there be a significant enough return on investment to continue to move us forward and hopefully not damage the company? [00:17:04] KK: Right. Absolutely. So. That concept of critical decision making means to figure out those three things. If you take the time to do that, you will come up with ideas that pop up that you say, well, wow. I'm not sure that we have employees capable of using this new technology, for example, right. Which means we're gonna have, we are going to have to do some training to make sure that they can be successful. And these may not have been things that you originally thought about when you were planning your adaptation or innovation. So these three questions help you to really think about, will my employees be able to deliver successfully on the new process? Will this impact the customer? Can we minimize negative impacts to the customer because you know, when things change, sometimes customer suffers, right. And how is this going to impact the bottom line. And can we sustain a loss if it doesn't take off right away or it doesn't take off at all? Right. Absolutely. You have to figure out, you know, how will this affect your bottom line? Right? Let's talk a little bit about, uh, decision making and this idea of going with your gut and actually have a couple concepts that I wanted to introduce around that and around what you just said. So, you know, again, let's get back to, we've got a lot of founders and CEOs that are listening like myself. We got a business and you have this great idea. You have to ask yourself a few things, you know, and, and I did this too infrequently. I had a, uh, an interactive agency. We build apps and websites. We grew and we became this and then suddenly we were a full service agency. And I, I, you have to go back every once in a while and say, does this idea, this innovation or this direction, I'm going align with why I started this company and, and does it align with my passions? You know, So you're never going to be a great leader for your company, unless it does also align with your passions. Don't go chase the dollar mm-hmm . Um, it really typically won't work out. So, you know, this, this process of innovation and adapting is kind of a microcosm of the business Genesis. Um, why'd you start the business. So stop. Ask yourself that say, does that align? I love your, your, your reference to analysis paralysis. Mm-hmm um, you know what I think if you talk to entrepreneurs and business, business owners about their number one biggest challenge, they will typically say time. Oh, you started out, you said? Yeah. Uh, when we were talking before we started, uh, yesterday, you were saying I'm running on that hamster wheel. yeah. And hamster wheel got the better me and I'm just spinning around I'm the hamster that just spinning around the holding on for dear life. yeah. So, you know, time, we don't have more time. So this idea of spending too much time on analysis. Look, I, I totally agree. You've gotta do your research. You gotta check things out. Um, but you're doing that. My, I would contend that it is your business to keep up on trends every day, right? Yes. There's so much data available. So it that's something you should be doing not as a function of, I'm gonna just try this idea. I am very well aware of the status of my marketplace. What's my competition doing? Not because I decided to look into it today. It's because what I'm doing every day, right. Mm-hmm , you know, and then there's this idea of going with your gut and if you know me, I am a little impulsive. I always say if there's two hills, you know, to run up. I don't take too much time looking at the hills. I pick one and I run up and if it's not the, the right hill, I go back down and I run up the other one. um, always reminds me of that funny movie reference. Do you ever watch Monty Python? The Life of Brian. [AUDIO CLIP of Life of Brian] And they're like, this calls is for immediate discussion. Yeah. I think it's phenomenal. So . Going with your gut doesn't mean flying by the seat of your pants. I think a lot of people think that, right, right. It is scientific. There is some science around mm-hmm, what you're feeling in your gut. Um, and, and how that can, um, inform decisions. But again, there's better batters than others, right? Some batters bat, 150 , some batters bat, you know, three, 300 and more, um, I, I would also contend that idea of, of. Um, staying up to date on everything in your business on a daily basis makes those gut decisions more effective. Mm-hmm so that's my thought about, you know, impulsive decisions. Is now Deb. I think you had pointed out when we were chatting about this later. Yes. The reptilian part of the brain, uh, can be dangerous. Right. Not to say, uh, you know, it is very impulsive. It's not always based on fact it's based on want and emotion, so yeah. Yeah. Don't make all those, you know, shiny new car decisions based only on that . [00:20:00] Debbie: AB absolutely. Right. You know, one things I used to tell my daughters all the time is they were growing up and getting out on their own was, I would say, never make a business decision based on emotion. Right. And sometimes that impulsiveness is based on emotion. So that is not what we mean when we, when we say, go with your gut. What we're saying is avoid analysis paralysis by doing the due diligence first. And then once you've got the information together and it feels right, 1, 2, 3, go! you have to go. Right. Yep. Yeah. So I wanna just talk about three things that will help you with the 1, 2, 3 go. And, um, we've talked about just a little bit already, and one has studied the data. You have to figure out where you and your business stand in the marketplace. Um, again, something that Borders didn't did not do at the time. You have to look at the internal environment and the external environment and the internal environment is very specific to your company and your culture. Who are we today? How do we maintain our culture? How do we get things done today? So you really have to look at that internal environment and you have to look at the external environment. Well, what is the economy like? What's trending. What is the competition doing and understand that what's trending and, and the things that the competitors your competitors are doing are not necessarily Right Fit for you. So you, you have to sort through this concept of what's going on in the marketplace, who are you? Who are they? And what's the best thing for you to do in order to adapt innovate be successful. Um, you know, we, we talked a little bit about Barnes and Noble versus versus Amazon, um, good decisions on, on both their parts based on who they were at the time. Right, right, right. Uh, So the second point is to create a comprehensive action plan. So this, this is not going by your gut by being spontaneous and winging it. This is saying after we've analyzed the data and after we've looked at our internal environment, the external environment, we have to create some kind of an action plan. You have to do that due diligence, and that action plan will enable you to adapt or innovate on whichever one is most relevant for you .When you are creating this action plan it has been my philosophy, most of my business life and I can't say enough about it. You should be involving as many people as you can at all levels of the organization. Just as many as you can get involved. Yes. It takes time, but no one knows what's going on in the front lines better than your employees, right? No one knows what it looks like to support that frontline and faces the issues day to day, whether they're product issues, process issues, or customer issues, than your frontline managers, when executives begin to create an action plan in their ivory towers, in their, in their silos. There are big holes in that action plan most of the time, and they are not always successful. So I'm a huge advocate of when you start working through your action plan, get input from your, your employees, get input from your supervisors and managers. Get the executives together, right. If it's applicable get your customers involved, do round tables with your customers. Any way that you can put all the pieces together as accurately as possible while you're creating that action plan. And then the third step is you have to assess the risk. We've we've discussed this. So we have our action plan. We've got everyone's ideas. We think we've got a good strong action plan, but we don't wanna do one, two go. We have to do 1, 2, 3 go. And the third piece is, is assessing the risk, the potential cost of the risk in the event of failure, calculate the return on investment in the event of success. You have to look, you have to look at both sides and if the loss could be greater than you can sustain, it could put you outta business. And you you'll be a, uh, another company that we will talk about on our die list. in our next podcast, right? So [00:27:17] KK: I'll, I'll give a quick example, a simple, small example that we went through all the time as an agency and all agencies do this, um, RFP responses and pitches. So, um, there's an opportunity. Um, yes, this sounds crazy for those of you that get paid for all the work you do. Um, uh, the plumber doesn't come and, and do the work and you get to see if you like it and then, you know, decide if you're gonna pay for it. Well, in the Agency world, we do something called pitching where we show up, uh, with as many as, uh, four to sometimes 10 other Agencies. And we decide that this is a risk we wanna take. We really would like this account. We go through the pitch process, which very often very costly and actually is the development of a complete campaign. And, uh, this is before the, the, uh, the brand is spent a single dollar. So they'll get six agencies that come in and present ideas. Um, those can cost us 10, 20, 30,000 bigger agencies. I know that's is they get into the six figures, believe it or not. And they have to decide whether they want to do this, um, to get a brand. And then to your point, what's the ROI, is it worth 10 grand to get a, uh, you know, a $5,000 a month retainer client? Probably not and you know, maybe it is, you know, maybe that does those numbers work out, but you gotta figure out those numbers and decide, is this a risk we want to take and we can sustain. Yes. [00:28:34] Debbie: And I do that frequently in my business when I have been contacted to help an organization through cultural change or leadership development or whatever it is. And we start talking about project fees and costs. The, the question very quickly becomes for me as I'm working things out, how many hours will I be spending on right, the work of the work. And then what are they willing to pay for a fee? Yeah. You know, [00:29:06] KK: We had a means for evaluating the risk involved in pitching new business. We actually called it the five PS of the new business pitch process, which can be expensive. Right. Um, the five PS were passion, profit portfolio potential, and people. We will post a graphic on the DisneyWayDigital.com and you can check that out in more detail. So yeah, you should have, you know, if it's something like, like in our world pitches that you do over and over and you're making these decisions of risk, um, you should make an evaluation list like that. Yes. You just. You have the same parameters every time you're making those decisions. [00:29:38] Debbie: Yeah. I'm huge fan and I do it and you do it. So we know that that that's an important step because it works right. Yeah. Um, so, you know, when we talk about, and I'll just wrap up this piece with, you know, 1, 2, 3, go, like I said, not one, two, go. 1, 2, 3, go, once you've got this information, you've done everything you can do. So now make a decision and move. Okay. Move forward. Right. And that's the very best you can do, but track results. Is this working out the way we thought like CNN, plus it. Whoops, this is not working. We're outta here. Um, yeah, you have, you can't just roll it out and then ignore it. Say, well, that's done onto the next, you know? Um, so we're talking about examples and, and so forth and I talked about involving everyone in this process. And I, and I'll just give you a, a Disney example. After we got through the dark years, Michael Eisner came on board and, uh, you know, things were changing, not rapidly, but, but were changing. And then because the executive team in California had done a tremendous amount of work around we are going to take Disney to the next level while maintaining the culture. And so that's when the Disney decade, what we call the Disney decade came about. Where Michael Eisner announced the growth of the property hotel after hotel, after hotel was announced and they were all previewed to us, the cast members in great detail. Wow. And it was, it was, it was a double edged sword. It was exciting. But those of us cast members that had been around for a while thought, oh my gosh, these guys are crazy. [00:31:22] KK: Yeah. That's a big change. [00:31:22] Debbie: We are barely making, making it right now. The guests have dropped off our attendances weren't so great. And this guy wants to build four more, uh, hotel properties and they were talking about new theme parks. Studios and Magic Kingdom and they were talking about theme park gates. And, and we, we went around as cast members going, oh my gosh, because we weren't privy to all the work, the data work they had done so there's a lot of trust involved here and we're saying, gosh, you know, these guys are crazy. They're gonna, they're gonna put us under. We had to adapt our beliefs and our trust in the new executive team. They gave us a lot of information. So the, as we started to build the Grand Floridian, as we started to build the economy, hotels, guests were excited about it. So we adapted as saying from the movie Field of Dreams , you know, We started to walk around saying, "build it and they will come" because , as they built these hotels, guests flock to this new, exciting part of the Disney company, something they hadn't seen in a long time. Innovation had pretty much died with the Disney company and it was something Walt was known for. So it took us back to our culture. And as we are building and building and building, and yes, they were, they were coming, but there was a tremendous amount of work done by the teams. Executive teams. We were in the loop. And, and the guests did come because the innovation was back on board and it was a very exciting time, you know? [00:32:56] KK: Yeah. As, as someone who was going to the parks, I mean, I, I think from high school days, I visited Disney every other year, at least. Um, since, you know, since I've been 20 and it was exciting to see something new and get to a new, you know, which, which place are we gonna stay? It was not even about which parks are we going to, you know, it was like, where would he stay? Because every piece of the experience was now a Disney experience, right? But a lot of people were staying outside and coming, you know, and traveling to the parks. So this was a nice opportunity to give folks the, uh, ability to be immersed in Disney 24 /7 for their whole vacations. Yes. And it, I think it paid off right? [00:33:43] Debbie: It, well, it did. And I, I think a brilliant concept that they had was realizing that there were many levels of people who had different levels of, of income, desires. Not everybody wanted to go to the Grand Floridian. Not everyone could go to the Grand Floridian at the cost. So the concept of let's build a series of, um, economy hotels is what they were dubbed at first, you know, your all star, your all star sports, your all star music and so forth, opened up. A means for excited Disney fans. Yeah. Yeah. To come and stay on Disney property when, before it wasn't possible for them. When, when we had the Contemporary, the Polynesian and the, um, right. Grand Floridian. And so it opened up a whole new world of customers to be able to come and stay on property and en and enjoy staying on a Disney property. Uh, so yep. Absolutely. That's an adaptation born out of innovation. That was hugely successful, you know? [00:34:47] KK: Indeed. Absolutely. Well, we are getting close to the end here. I'm gonna give you a little bit of tech talk and we'll give you some great advice and tell you what's coming up next episode. So, um, yeah, I, I, my piece of advice from the tech side is, um, The data you can gather is so much greater than it was, uh, even 10 years ago. Right? So there you have no excuse for not being well informed. You have your website analytics and your traffic trends on your website. You can secret shop, you can, um, do competitive reviews. You can actually develop custom profiles from your email lists yourself or better yet, there are third parties that can do data overlays, and that can give you more information extracted from your email list than you ever thought you could about customer profiles that can build very detailed customer profiles with, of course not accessing anyone's personal information. So you get these personas that you can extract. So again, knowing more about who your customer is, and there's so much more available. Whereas years ago it was trade magazines, business pubs, trade shows. Dinner in drinks with colleagues, um, and all that still exists, but there's no excuse for not being well informed about your business and where it's going. [00:36:02] Debbie: So true. [00:36:03] KK: And then a term that we use in the tech world called heuristic learning this idea of learning from experience it's, it's applied very often to, um, machine learning in AI. Honestly, it's something humans have been doing for years and. You try, you fail, you learn, you try, you fail, you learn, you try you succeed. So this idea of failure is integrated with the idea of innovation, even adapting. You can adapt something that worked for someone else may not work for you recognize it's not working quickly. Um, as I've heard some say, fail fast and learn fast mm-hmm . Um, there was an agency that I love called Wieden Kennedy, and they had a motto called fail harder. They had a group of, uh, the agency, uh, team stay for, I think four days and night straight, they did a push pin thing on a wall about 10 feet tall called . And it said fail harder. And it, they did not spell the words with the push pins. They, they filled in the background and the words were spelled from the negative space. So, um, fail harder. That's cool. That was a great model from a great Agency. So, and then I will leave you with my, one of my favorite. League of Their Own Jimmy Dugin, one of the best characters ever in movies that, um, Tom Hanks portrayed as Gina Davis' character came out and said, I'm not gonna the championships. It just got too hard." Jimmy leans in and he says, "If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. It's the hard that makes it great." And I love that. What a great scene. Anyway, I think we gotta give them some advice, maybe the greatest piece of advice I'll ever get Deb. Yes. For this week. for this week, we think we think right. Exactly. So look.. Innovative, Adapt or Die. It, it, it's pretty self explanatory says a lot. Don't forget it. Maybe put it up on your wall somewhere, but you really need to understand your risk tolerance level. Your willingness and ability to handle failure. And I think armed with this, you can look forward and never look back. So. That's a wrap, um, on to next week, we have our first guest, a former colleague of Deb's from Disney Institute, right? Deb? [00:38:06] Debbie: Yes. I'm very excited. That's exciting. Yeah, she is, um, was a colleague of mine at the Disney Institute and a very good friend. Her name is Mary Flynn. She is one of the most creative people I've ever known. She has unbounding energy and absolutely amazing business acumen. So we're going to hear from her and let her tell you a little bit about her philosophy around creativity and risk taking and success and failures. So, um, I, I'm very excited to have her. Hmm. [00:38:41] KK: Yeah, it sounds great. Me too. So thanks everyone. We will see you next week on the Disney way for the digital age. Thanks so much. [00:38:49] Debbie: Thank you. [00:38:50] Outro: You've been listening to the Disney Way for the Digital age! Our producer and engineer is Steven Byrom. Show coordinator is Taranpreet Trehan. And voiceover by Cindy Clifford. Kevin and Debbie can be reached for free advice or paid consulting at [email protected] or [email protected] A new episode is released each Tuesday morning. We hope you’ll continue to listen! //
Tuesday Jul 12, 2022
Tuesday Jul 12, 2022
SHOW NOTES: 00:30: Welcome back! Thanks for subscribing and joining us again! 00:55: More coffee please! 01:40: The joys of flying, and missed opportunities. Ref: CLEAR & TSA Pre 03:42: Opportunities for brands to make great decisions 03:50: What we’re talking about today! Ref: CRM = Customer Relationship Management 05:38: What is a digital touchpoint? 06:18: Touchpoints are all about every single opportunity to interact. Ref: Touchpoint Mapping System 06:31: Parking lot example #1 07:30: How about once inside the establishment or venue? 08:54: Why does IKEA make cinnamon rolls? 09:44: What time of day is popcorn the most magical? 10:25: How many of your customers' senses are you engaging? 11:05: The touchpoint mapping process 12:00: You must get out of your office and walk the lot 12:48: Are you paying attention to every single detail? 13:20: With 20k cars in the parking lot- how do you find one customer’s automobile?! 15:10: On utilizing all of your resources and planning how to make even the day’s very last experience great. 17:47: About how it’s not our fault, but it may be our responsibility. 18:33: Golf pencils are cheap, but so is a lot of modern technology. 19:22: A note on pain points and sustaining what’s working well 20:00: Touch Point System Ref: Initech T.P.S. Reports 20:17: Again, are you paying attention? 21:00: Technology, Process and People 21:32: On solving a global pain point that has changed sales. i.e The Unboxing experience 22:30: Giving the most! Help your clients plan well. Ref: The Disney Genie 24:40: Kevin’s AI design work “Eve” within the Hard Rock’s new “Reverb Hotel” line. 25:06 A little about the Reverb Hotel experience 26:17: On the tremendous importance of Social Media Ref: Disney’s Code Of Conduct 26:54: Hard Rock’s 4 rocks / mottos. Link HERE 27:47: A sphere versus a linear line. Ref: The Value Chain concept. 29:45: The greatest piece of advice you’ll ever get! 30:32: Please reach out to us with questions, for consulting and free advice both! 30:47: End credits Please find us on the Web at: www.disneywaydigital.com Via email: [email protected] and [email protected] And on the Socials at: Debbie: LinkedIN and @DZmorenski on Twitter and @dkzcoach on Facebook Kevin: @BigBuzzKev on Twitter INSTA & Facebook TRANSCRIPT via Descript: Intro: Magical customer experiences don't happen by accident. They happen through careful planning and meticulous design. Kevin and Debbie have been engineering, extraordinary customer experiences for over 30 years. Join us as we explore corporate culture, branding, service, excellence, and much more through storytelling, technical curiosity, and friendly conversation. The Disney way for the digital age will be revealed. [00:00:29]Hey everyone. Welcome back to the Disney way for the digital age. I am Kevin Kelly and my partner here is Debbie Zmorenski .Today we are talking about understanding your digital ecosystem and the touch points that support at all. Hey Deb, how you doing? [00:00:45] Debbie: I'm doing great again. [00:00:47] KK: Um, I am on my third cup of coffee and I just wanna say, I wanna share all the lovely people, the great news that you have. Yes. [00:00:55] Debbie: Yeah. So I saw this big health report and I am a big coffee drinker and it says you should have one to three cups of coffee today. It's great for you. It kills the bad cholesterol. It's good for your heart. Uh, it, it improves brain working. I, I, you know, I just, I was just waiting for them to come back around. Coffee's bad. Coffee's good. Coffee's you know, So now it's great for you. So just go for it. One to three cups a day, they said in order to gain the benefit. Wow. Yeah. [00:01:23] KK: Well, alright, so I need lots of coffee today. Cause I got in at 3:00 AM. I was flying out Orlando, traveling back home and flying on an airline. Oh wow. Heck flying on Frontier and, and it's been good experience. Everything's been fine, but I was, I got there early and I'll. I'll say it was human error. Um, Google flights seemed to show something at two o'clock and I, as I typically do, I just wanna get home early. And so I show up early and they said, Nope, that doesn't even exist. So I'm sitting at the airport, I mean six, seven hours, but that's on me. So finally it's boarding. I walk over to gate 17 where my real time, uh, boarding pass. Yeah. It's it's it's on my phone so it can be updated. Right. It says gate 17, I walk over to gate 17 and they said, oh no, that's, um, we're now boarding on gate 81. I said, well, where's the 81. They said, oh, well, that's on the other side of the airport. You need to leave security, go through security again. And I was like, you've got to be kidding. Meanwhile, it's 10 minutes to boarding SOS kind of jog out. Um, I will, I will thank clear. I love clear. I'm also TSA free. I, I need both. I come. And it is just jammed. There's gotta be hundreds of people waiting at, at, uh, security. And I got 10 minutes and , I go over to CLEAR they scan my eyes, they walk me to the front of the line. Just walk me right in is just the best and yes, Deb, you talk about like the people that glare at you, it's like. Boy, you you're such a jerk. You just walked. I'm like I paid for it. You could pay for it, you know? Yeah, exactly. Right. and then I get there and find out it's been delayed and delayed and delayed. , you know, big fail for Frontier. Just, just in that they didn't notify me. Right. I've got this wonderful computer in my pocket. And I've got your app open. I'm looking at your boarding pass and you could send me an alert of a gate change. You could send me an SMS, you could do a lot of things that would use technology to give me a better experience than they didn't. Big, missed opportunity. Right. Mm-hmm and you know, I think if I make any point about technology is really use it to solve your problems? Yeah. Gates change. That's not, I, I wasn't upset about that. I was upset that I was at the airport for six hours and didn't know until 10 minutes before boarding that the gate had changed. Mm-hmm so, and then CLEAR just was, they were total heroes yesterday getting me through this. So anyway, that's my travel story, tying it back to opportunities for brands to make great decisions. And that's what we're here to talk about today, right? Yeah. Touch points. All these opportunities that they, they have to either create a pleasant experience or not so pleasant. So today we're here to talk about your digital ecosystem and, uh, the anatomy of that its importance to your brand and your culture. Um, so simply the, the digital ecosystem contains many of the digital touchpoints that so many of us are familiar with from. Website eCommerce site, um, social media platforms that all the brands are on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, et cetera, uh, TikTok now. And you're, you're paid digital media, which many brands are investing in heavily online reputation and reviews. Don't forget about that. That's something honestly that, um, people would hire us and say, oh, we've really gotta start paying attention. And we would do some research. We said, oh my God. Yeah, you do. You've got 798 unanswered reviews and comments. So, you know, Don't forget about that stuff that's out there in the digital ecosystem that you're not paying attention to. Doesn't mean you're consumers. Uh, doesn't mean your consumers are not paying attention. They certainly are. And if you're in the hospitality, uh, vertical, they're certainly looking at reviews. Um, and then if you're really doing it right. Things like your CRM, your chat and call centers, and, and so much more of that. So these things that you can integrate, you know, that that's all the digital touch points, but boy, there's, there's a seemingly infinite amount of non-digital and these, um, overlooked touch points, like parking lot experience, right? mm-hmm yeah. A restaurant or an entertainment or any retail space. Right. So all those different ways that you touch your customer as. Go down that journey with you. [00:05:32] Debbie: So Kevin, that Frontier app that you have on your phone yes. Is a digital touchpoint. Um, yes, it did not work well to service you, but it's a digital touchpoint, uh, and that's something that they should. Be aware of. So I just wanna kind of put a bow on this concept of touchpoints in general, aside from digital touchpoints. Yeah. Um, we've kind of thrown the term out there a couple of times. And then I want to give you a process that you can use to actually assess your touchpoints and find out are they contributing to an exceptional experience or are they actually hurting you in, in your business? And. Touchpoints are all about detail. They're about every single interaction that your customer has. Every single opportunity to interact with you. That's a touchpoint and I'll give two parking lot examples. yes. So let's say you own a restaurant. And the first point of contact for a customer coming to your restaurant is the parking lot. They pull into the parking lot. Is there a valet? Are they available? Are you sitting there waiting for a valet? Uh, so you decide to self park and you pull around and there's potholes in the parking lot and your car hits a really hard divot and you feel like you've broken your axle and you're trying to find a space on your own. And there are no spaces and you know, on and on and on. Well, obviously this is a touch point. It's the first impression that a customer may have of your company, right? You get out of your car and you look at the building and the letters for the restaurant name, half of them are burned out and not only does it look bad, I've seen examples where the letters that are lit make a bad word you know, and then you go in and is that seating hostess? Is she there? Is she attentive? Is she smiling? Is she efficient? Um, that's another touchpoint. You walk through the restaurant to your table and is the carpet clean? Is there food on the carpet. You know, all of these are touching. [00:07:48] KK: Is there a smell? Is there, what is the lighting? You know, it's like all these things that people I get really, uh, upset when I see lighting, miscues, people have taken the, um, uh, the, the they've gone energy efficient, which I love. Right. Yeah. And so many of these cheap L E D lightings they're blue. It makes me feel like I'm in a high school cafeteria yes. Warmth, warmth of dim light spotlight. It, it creates that kind of intangible difference between, you know, a, an intimate, uh, feel of small restaurant or this kind of like cafeteria, you know, have a seat over there, you know, all those things, the smells, what do they smell? And, you know, the smell a, uh, carpet that's been clean too many times and smells musty, or do you, you know, smell baked cookies and, and, uh, seared steak. Yeah. Whatever that desired experience is. [00:08:37] Debbie: If you've ever been into a, a restaurant for a special anniversary and they have all this mood lighting and the server actually has to come over with a little pen, light flashlight so you can even read the menu. They might be going a little too far the other way. right. Yeah. Yeah. But so all of those things [00:08:53] KK: matter before you go on, I gotta give one more example of the, you know, cuz the, the lighting and the smell thing for me. Yeah. So you ever been to Ikea? Big warehouse. Right. Um, do you ever try their cinnamon buns? They're really good, right? Oh yeah. So they're good, but they don't have cinnamon buns cuz they wanna sell us cinnamon buns. They're like a dollar. They, they have cinnamon buns because they bake them. And when you walk in the door, it smells like someone's baking cookies. It smells like a cozy home. Mm-hmm that's, you know, there's fresh baked goods. It's part of that whole experience. And that's a touch point, right? They're not making, they don't wanna sell me at $1. Uh, They don't wanna sell me a $1 Cinnabun bun. They wanna send, sell me a $5,000 living room set. Yep. And they want me to feel good about, oh, that this seems cozy. Well, maybe it's partly because the lighting's good and I smell home home baked goods. [00:09:44] Debbie: Well, they could it's uh, when I was a popcorn vendor, that's why I could sell popcorn at eight o'clock in the morning on Main St. Right. Yeah, it smells so amazing. And here they are, and they're on Main Street USA. And part of that experience is popcorn. I'm, I've got lines at the wagon at eight in the morning for popcorn. Right. [00:10:01] KK: I mentioned that poem that my mom had framed and it was, you know, that idea of, uh, and the popcorn was the key part of that walking into the park, peering down Main Street at castle and the smell and popcorn. Yeah. Yeah. I wish I could recite the whole thing but popcorn is key . [00:10:15] Debbie: But so yeah, I mean, all of those things, the things you even may not think about to Kevin's point, you know, what does to interact with your company? What does it look like? Feel like, sound like, smell, like, you know, all of the senses come into play. If I'm hearing employees arguing in the back. Well, obviously that's not a good touchpoint experience. Right. Right, right. And it works for your website as well. You know, if I click on, uh, a link, does it take me where I need to go? Can I easily access what I'm looking for? Those are touchpoints. So not to, you know, belabor this too much more because what I've really liked to get to before Kevin talks in a little more detail about, um, the digital ecosystem is. There is a process that you can use to assess every single touchpoint. And you're going to have to dig deep to really creatively think about what's every single touchpoint and that, uh, touchpoint or that touchpoint process is called a, uh, touchpoint mapping process. And what that means is. I identify my first touchpoint. You're gonna have to sit down with your team. Don't do this solo, sit down with your team, have some frontline employees there with you and say, all right, what's the first interaction the customer has with us. Well, it's the parking lot. All right. let's think about our parking lot. Is it clean? Is it, does it have potholes or the valets well trained? You think about all of these touch points within, uh, That parking lot. Then to really know how it's working. You gotta get out of your office and walk your parking lot. What are you seeing? What are you feeling? What are you hearing? What are you smelling? Because that's what the customer's experiencing. I'm going to walk over and observe my seating hostess and see, how is she behaving? Is she interacting with the customers? Is she, she at the podium when she needs to be? Identify the things that are going well within each touchpoint and identify those things that might need some attention and then put together a, a plan for how do I improve on this touchpoint? Right. So touchpoint mapping, where you list out every touchpoint you. Think of right up to signing the check in the restaurant and walking out the door, uh, what will your customer say? Are you going to say that was a great experience and I'm, and I will definitely be back or not. [00:12:48] KK: Right? Yeah. And it sounds cliche, but truly every, uh, so, so you gotta pay attention, right? That's the one thing I'll say is all you really need to do is pay attention. Yes. You gotta pay attention to detail. Right. Right. Um, but every, every problem is an opportunity to create something good. So, um, hate to beat the parking lot into the ground. So to say, but Deb I'm gonna ask you to tell the story, the, the, the challenge of where I parked my car, what do you got? 20,000 cars in the parking lot at Disney and, you know, they ask you? Do, do you know where I parked my car? [00:13:18] Debbie: Yes, they did. And they used to do it all the time. In fact, they still do. It's the Magic Kingdom parking lot is like a 12,000 car parking lot. Um, wow. And the guests would obviously, you know, to park their car and. The point of this story is that sometimes problems with touchpoints may seem out of your control, but often are not .Right. And the way Disney solved this particular issue was they tapped into the cast members who actually did the parking every single day and asked for their help in figuring this out. So here's what happens. Uh, the guest parks in your parking lot. They're all excited. We're going to Walt Disney World. We're going to Walt Disney World. We're gonna see Mickey Mouse we're all excited. And they get on the tram and the tram driver has the little microphone and he says, Hey folks, welcome to Walt Disney World. And, uh, don't forget, you're parked in Goofy rows 11 through 15, Goofy 11 through 15. And uh, and the guests are going, oh, we're going to Disney where we're going to Disney world. and then yeah, the [00:14:21] KK: kids are jumping around. You're pulling in this room, Disney around. Yeah, I didn't hear that! [00:14:26] Debbie: That's right. The tram driver says that at least three times sometimes more and, and they recommend, um, you know, oh, you might wanna write this down now with so many people having cell phones they'll also say, uh, take a picture. There's the Goofy sign, take a picture, rows 11 to 15 and keep that for later today, you're gonna need it. So they tell 'em like five times. Guests go in. They have a wonderful time. And by the time they leave after 10 hours in, in the Magic Kingdom , in the heat and with the crying children who are exhausted, um, the last thing they wanna do is still be at Walt Disney world. So they go out and they get to the parking lot. And they can't remember where they parked their car. Cause they didn't write it down. They didn't take a picture of it because they were so excited and they would go up to the cast members. And this happened, uh, this solution was put in place many years ago and they would literally walk up to a cast member that was in a parking lot costume and say, do you know where I parked my car? And the cast member is trying to be polite, but thinking how in the world would I know where you parked car, right. And the solution really trying to deliver a magical experience for something that truly kind of wasn't our fault, right? They would call security and security would come around with the big blue van, with the red lights on it, or the blue lights, whatever they were at the time and load the family into the van and drive them up and down every row of the 12,000 car parking lot. Is this your car? Is this your car? No, no. Ours is the white rental, which the white rental thousand of the 12,000 cars for were white rentals right. So they drive 'em up and down the parking lot, trying to identify their car. And these people are exhausted and it may, it takes a long time. And of course, security has probably other things to do. Um, this might be a good time to say Disney runs on that. The thought that this may not be our fault, but it is our responsibility. Mm, right. So this happened so many times cast members kept going to manager's going we gotta do something. Guests come up to us every day. Do you know where I parked my car? And so the manager said, well, why don't you guys get together and see what you come up with? And here's what the cast members came up with. And they got a printout of a blank printout of the parking lot. You know, and all the little spaces and everything in it, and the morning people would take right on the map, what time they were parking each section of the parking lot. So 10:00 AM. We're now parking Goofy rows 11 to 15. They'd mark off those rows. if a guest came out and, and they, oh, by the way, they passed that paper on to the next shift. And then the next shift, right. If a guest came out and said, do you know where I parked my car? The cast member pulled out this piece of paper and said, what time did you come in this morning? Well, we came in about 10 o'clock. Okay. At 10 o'clock, we were parking Goofy 11 to 15. Right. And now the guests knew within four or five rows. This is where, this is where we are. And this is where we get off. Phenomenal solution. Right. Created a process, comparatively easy solution. I gave him a blank map and a golf pencil and, uh, and said, here's keep track. So this concept of it's not our fault, but it may be our responsibility or it may be our problem is I think, uh, how a lot of businesses don't necessarily think. If you got a restaurant, your signs are halfway burned out and you say, look, I've called the signed people and they can't get here for another week to 10 days. Well, what if you had regular PMs done on the signs, you know, if you had, yeah, right. Come once a month or every, see on average, the sign burns out once every two months and they said, yeah, this element's getting weak. So let's go ahead and replace it now. Right. [00:18:23] KK: So what you're saying is, yeah, process apply a [00:18:26] Debbie: process process. A preventative process if possible, a corrective process, if necessary. [00:18:33] KK: Well, the parking lot corrective process is. You know, it's simple and amazing and it creates this magical experience. So now you have an answer to this unanswerable question. Do you know where I parked my car? Actually, I do. Do you remember when you got into the yeah. You know, into the park, when, when did you show up? And I imagine the technological update for the golf pencil and, and paper map is I just put GPSs on the trams and. Yeah. There's a, a digital log of when they were where yeah, very simple. Right? Simple tra trams don't go to the places where there's already cars. They get, they go to where the people need to be moved. So right. You know, there's the technology update for that. Not difficult, honestly, not even expensive anymore, you know, there's not anymore platforms out there that can, that can do that. So mm-hmm yeah. It's an opportunity to create a magical experience. [00:19:21] Debbie: Mm-hmm so it's important to understand, not only what all of your touchpoints are, but where there may be pain points within those touch points that could be hurting your business .And also identify what is going really well at each touchpoint, so that you can make sure that you sustain that and also think of new technology or new ways to make it better. [00:19:49] KK: Yep. And all these touchpoints make up this, this sphere of influence, right? This, this, you know, uh, touchpoint map, um, or this touchpoint system, which I love the acronym TPS, cuz that's a reference back to the office and the TPS reports are due. But yeah, the TPS, the touchpoint system is made of all these things from the digital side, uh, from the physical side, right from, you know, um, all of the senses that can be applied in person as well. So it's this idea that you've got this, uh, touchpoint system, this sphere of influence and these opportunities to create magical experiences and just, you know, all you need to do is pay attention. You do have to pay quite, you know, detailed attention, but pay attention, um, do analysis and apply process. Yes. Um, I, I always say, you know, it's typically, you know, people say, oh, I need technology to solve this problem. Eh, yes you do. But typically it's three parts it's it's technology, process and people. So find the right technology. Um, you do have to apply a process to that and what is the people factor in it? You know, there's always a people factor. Even. I always say the best chat bots are the ones that have the best live human takeover. Right. So, you know, it's invariably, uh, X percent of the time, you're not the bot doesn't have the answer. Well, as you're live, pick up quick, Do they look back and read what's already been said, so what is the process that's been applied to whatever you've decided, uh, to pick as your technology solution. So mm-hmm [00:21:23] Debbie: So I think you have some good examples too, don't you, some, some clients that you've worked with, uh, that really kind of bring this home. [00:21:32] KK: Yeah. So I mean, great example of something that would frustrate me for years. So, um, Okay. I, I don't, I'm not in the entertainment business. I supply widgets right? Well, some folks supply, I I'm a very large consumer of electronic widgets, iPhones, um, things that plug in right .For years, you would get these widgets, these, these devices, these battery power devices, and they'd like, okay, you open the box now go charge. You don't want, you don't want, you would've used this thing right. Years ago. Yeah. Apple had decided that yeah, every phone's gonna come with a 70% charge, you know, that turned very negative experience to a very positive experience and they set the standard. Yes. So I think pretty much everything that comes outta the box now, um, comes outta the box with a battery. That's ready to go. So thinking about what is that unboxing experience like and thinking about, um, following through everything that you deliver to your client to the full journey, why'd they buy it? What do they wanna do with it? Did you make it easy to do that? So that's one example. Um, obviously your website is a huge example, so don't just play, pay a little attention to that pay a lot of attention to that. I will go back to Disney. Um, you know, they've got the Genie we were talking about recently, how, um, It's it's a shame that if you are not, and my family is fanatical about it. If you're not a planner, you could save up, spend a ton of money, go to Disney. And I, and I saw it when I was in Orlando. There were some folks going to the parks in the hotel and I, I saw they're like, Hey, how about we head over? You know, they didn't have a plan and I'm thinking, oh, you were, I feel so terrible. You're gonna be disappointed because you don't wing it. You know, you're gonna get on two rides, three rides. So Disney has this free program called the genie. And, and if you've taken a little bit of initiative, you can help have the genie help you plan your day. And if they use data points, they, they, they know when certain rides are lighter and the lines are, you know, shorter. So they say, okay, well you should book over there and you click on that. Not only that, and the data gets better now because I've got real time data. I've got a certain amount of people that in their schedule presently are going to be at the Ratatouille ride. So I know that. And then, so this system just gets better and better that way. Yeah. Um, I just, you know, if you show up and, and again, my, we have every well, not my wife, my daughter, they, they ran the whole show last time, which I love , but we get so much done because we're planners. So, um, and the reality is you can't depend on that. So in order to avoid that experience of, Hey, let's just go wing it, end up going on two rides. And I spent, you know, $800 for my family to walk in the park. That's a bad experience. So they'd use the website. And other means and, and, and the app, um, they have a very good app. So yeah, I highly recommend paying a lot of attention to your digital assets, especially website and apps. [00:24:30] Debbie: Kevin, do you have time? Cause I love this, this example. Do you have time to maybe quickly cover what you did with Hard Rock and Reverb? [00:24:39] KK: Yeah, that would be great. So, um, oh, thanks. We, um, we built two AI digital assistant for Reverb and it's a new hotel chain by Hard Rock um, and they had to be really cognizant of how the brand was already established. So these things needed to work in the voice and the style of Hard Rock um, Reverb was a little different. Um, it's a new brand for Hard Rock they've, as they said, flip the script. Um, they're focused on the fan as opposed to the rockstar. So, you know, you go into the room, it doesn't, doesn't give you a quote from Steven Tyler. You know, it shows you notes from fans, the, that about how much they love their concert. And it's got like clipped concert ticket stubs. So very cool. So when we went ahead and we're creating this chat, It wasn't just there to answer questions. It was there to be interesting and funny. So she has a name, her name's Eve she's. Probably about in her mid thirties, she's got, may have a couple tattoos. Um, and she is a little bit, uh, quippy sometimes give you a funny answer, a little sarcastic answer. Hmm. But that's, you know, that was a huge opportunity for them to, um, create an experience that aligned with their brand mm-hmm and then, you know, on, on the Alexa side, every room has an Alexa and there's limitations. We have to stay in some cases in, in the Amazon Alexa voice, but we do have opportunities to deliver, um, musical responses and certain things that, that are in the, the voice and tone of, uh, the hard rock brand. And that's so important. So. You know, look at all these touchpoints and do they represent your brand? Um, the other thing I'll say, you know, there's, there, there are so many too many to, to list. Um, the other one I do wanna circle back to that is often overlooked is, um, social media. Yes. There's your, your outbound social media, your deliberate social media. But do you have a code of a contact for your employees? So what if your employees are posting on social? Um, do you encourage it? Do you discourage it? Do you mention the brand? Um, and we were able to dig up current. We'll post it on the site, but I think if you put Disney code of contact, it does have Bob Chapeck on it. So it is up to date and we've gotten full code of conduct for Disney. So they, you know, they're very specific about that kind of stuff, but mm-hmm, , um, Hard Rock i, I, you know, last thing I'll say about them, I I'm huge fan almost as much as Disney too. Um, they do have their, their four mottos, which are kind of their four rocks that, that everything, um, you know, it represents the brand and that does follow through for reverb and it's, Love All, Serve All . Take time to be kind. Save the planet ,and All is one. Mm-hmm , which I, I like that last one. So, you know, very quickly you understand what you're becoming part of if you're an employee, how you should represent yourself and, you know, everything should ladder up to those, those, they call them mottos. Um, you know, but those four statements. [00:27:30] Debbie: So I, I guess, to, to pull all of this together, when we talk about touchpoints and talk about the digital ecosystem, which also encompasses touchpoints, it seems like it's very complex, but one way to think of it, I think most. Of you. Most business people are familiar with the value chain concept and that's been around for a very long time. And the old value chain concept is really quite linear and sometimes very rigid. You know this step one to step two to step three. The thing about a digital ecosystem is, is that any one piece of the chain can jump over another in order to accomplish a service goal. So when you think of digital ecosystem and you think of a sphere versus a linear line that has to be followed, it's a very flexible value chain that allows you to move back and forth within this sphere in different directions to create parts of your business, whether it's analyzing your touchpoints or putting in service framework or whatever that is to impact your customers in a positive way. And, um, gaining that competitive advantage to keep your customers for life. Absolutely. So this, the concept is so much more flexible and as all things evolve and change into something else and, uh, I still like the value chain. I think it's a valuable tool to understand, but I'm a real fan of the digital ecosystem and the concept of the sphere where things can move around and back and forth. And yeah, you're not held to that rigid line in order to accomplish a goal, you know, [00:29:17] KK: Yeah, we talk about that a lot in, in the book evolution from a linear value chain to this 3d value sphere. And it's true. Whereas, um, manufacturer distributor, retailer, consumer, you know, manufacturer, consumer, we're doing, you know, a ton of D to C where helping, um, brands figure out how to get direct to consumer while not alienating their retail channels. So mm-hmm, , you know, that's one simple example, but in the book we're going pretty, pretty deep into that whole 3d value sphere. So believe it or not, we are, we are at our time and we've gotta give these folks the greatest piece of advice they'll ever hear. [00:29:53] Debbie: Oh, yes. Yeah. Can't skip that. [00:29:55] KK: And again, you know, in summary back trying to pull out some of the best things that we think, um, you can apply. Pay attention and notice opportunities, right? So every time there's a challenge. Every time there's a complaint, you get employee, that's saying, Hey, I, people are asking me these questions. I, I can't answer, you know, they're unanswerable. So, you know, what should I do? Really take a deep look at what the solution is. And typically there's a process you can apply that process may contain technology. Maybe it doesn't right, maybe, but it is an opportunity you've created a touch point, an opportunity to speak with your consumer. Take advantage of it. Yes. So, well, that's our advice folks. Uh, I hope you enjoyed. I enjoyed listening to Debbie stories. I hope you did too. so, and likewise. Yeah. So we look forward to seeing you next week and thanks for listening. [00:30:45] Debbie: Thank you. Goodbye. [00:30:47] Outro: You've been listening to the Disney Way for the Digital age! Our producer and engineer is Steven Byrom. Show coordinator is Taranpreet Trehan. And voiceover by Cindy Clifford. Kevin and Debbie can be reached for free advice or paid consulting at [email protected] or [email protected] A new episode is released each Tuesday morning. We hope you’ll continue to listen! //
Tuesday Jul 05, 2022
Tuesday Jul 05, 2022
SHOW NOTES: 00:30: Welcome back! Thanks for subscribing and joining us again! 00:52: Ref: The Hospitality Industry Technology Conference 03:00: The Disney Service Framework: 04:33: Ref: Disney Institute Programming. “Be Our Guest” book. 05:15: Disney’s promise statement 06:15: On the development of Big Buzz’ purpose statement 07:37: All of your service framework tools may need to change over time 08:00: How Disney modified their promise statement to be more adult friendly 10:00: About service standards and standards of behavior 12:00: A story about efficiency in customer care; and not being ‘un-Disney’ 13:25: Service standards empower employees to action smart decisions 16:40: The promise statement must align with your culture 17:00: A standard of behavior, for example.. 18:39: A miracle tool for ensuring your employees know exactly what's expected of them 20:00: On the typical longevity of an employee’s career 20:08: Service standards at Kevin’s company Big Buzz 22:00: On the importance of clear direction and design 22:51: About role modeling and leadership 23:00: Mutual respect of all prevents ‘bad show’ 26:00: On how to maintain consistency of the original design Ref: Right Fit Hire 28:28: Where does technology fit into this service framework? 28:39: Ref: Chatbots and Pixiedust also @ BigBuzz 29:19: Technology can be the medium of a great service framework, but nothing is a magic wand. Please SUBSCRIBE for Episode 6! 32:00: Traditions, expectations and more on right fit hire on the next episode, along with understanding your digital ecosystem and the touch points that support it. 32:40: The greatest piece of advice you’ll ever get! 32:27: Please reach out to us with questions, for consulting and free advice too! 34:18: End credits Please find us on the Web at: www.disneywaydigital.com Via email: [email protected] and [email protected] And on the Socials at: Debbie: LinkedIN and @DZmorenski on Twitter and @dkzcoach on Facebook Kevin: @BigBuzzKev on Twitter INSTA & Facebook TRANSCRIPT via Descript: Intro: Magical customer experiences don't happen by accident. They happen through careful planning and meticulous design. Kevin and Debbie have been engineering, extraordinary customer experiences for over 30 years. Join us as we explore corporate culture, branding, service, excellence, and much more through storytelling, technical curiosity, and friendly conversation. The Disney way for the digital age will be revealed. [00:00:29] KK: Well, welcome back everyone. To episode five of the Disney way for the digital age, this is one of my favorite topics that kind of the meat and potatoes of all that we believe is the Disney way. So it's title the foundations of the Disney way and how a solid service framework can shape your culture. So how you doing Deb? [00:00:48] Debbie: Good to see you. I'm doing great as always. Nice to see you. [00:00:51] KK: It was so nice to see you in person yesterday. I, I was in Orlando for the high tech hospitality technology convention. It was in your neck of the woods and we managed to get together for a breakfast [00:01:00] Debbie: and yeah. And, and you look great in person. I'm just gonna say, you know, [00:01:05] KK: likewise, All 3D and you know, it was just really nice. So. Yeah, seriously. It was nice to sit in the same room and it was, [00:01:11] Debbie: it was face to face. Good. Yeah. [00:01:14] KK: Good stuff. The show was good. Um, you know, nothing earth shattering, honestly, some of the stuff we're doing with, uh, Alexa for hospitality and, and the Chapo work we're doing is some of the coolest stuff. There's, there's some new innovations incremental. Innovations in smart room tech, you know, some climate controls and some of the stuff in the back that nobody really sees. So there's some really cool innovations in the worlds of, uh, hotel renovation you know, a lot of time when they're building, they don't have the ability to wire everything they need. So they've got, you know, it's hard to get smart room going in a room, so there's some cool stuff going on there. Overall. It was, it was a. great show Um, it was so nice to see trade shows booming again, mm-hmm, very crowded, so just good, um, to get back into the thick of things. So anyway, big episode, we have to get to, um, what I really believe was the most impactful piece of my Disney training and something that was really transformative for my company. It's time we discuss how service excellence is structured, measured, and achieved and how the Disney way can consistently create magical customer experiences. The service excellence initiative was one of the key items that pulled Disney outta the dark years. Right, Deb. So yes, yes. We mentioned service framework in passing. So we are gonna dig deep today and that's where I'm gonna hand that off to Deb who has lived it taught it. Brought it to my company about a decade ago and just transformed a lot of businesses and honestly, a lot of lives. So take it away Deb [00:02:44] Debbie: All right. Thank you. So when we talk about the service framework, uh, this is really gets to the heart of the matter. When we talk about how do you deliver exceptional service and you do it again and again and again, uh, and we will be talking about Disney Service framework, but something I want to stress is as I preview this information to you, and I give you some examples, I want you to know that what we are discussing here works for every single business. I don't care if you're a laundry. I don't care if you work from home and build websites, you know, for, for your clients, whatever you do, you don't have to have a castle and a Mickey Mouse and, and a three o'clock parade in order to make these things work. So. Going to give you some information that I think is going to be very useful for how you build the structure that helps you deliver that exceptional service every single time over and over to your guests. And that service framework is basically comprised of three components and it begins with your promise or your purpose statement. Now I'm gonna share the Disney framework with you. And this is information that back in the day, when I was hired, no one got this information except cast members. It was very much, uh, internal information, was taught to us when we were first hired and it was something that. Helped us to understand that no matter what our role in the company, we can deliver magical experiences to our guests by following these elements of the service framework. Now, if you've been to Disney Institute programming, if you've read the book, Be Our Guest you will have heard some of these elements of the Disney service framework before, but let's begin with the very top piece. And that is the promise statement, your promise, purpose statement, some call it, but your promise to your customers has to be the first thing that you craft. And I wanna make it clear. A purpose statement is not a mission statement. Yeah. The purpose statement, very succinctly says, this is what we are promising our guests or promising our customers every single day when they step in to do business with us. And it's usually two or three sentences. So without further ado, I'll share with you Disney's current promise statement and it has been the promise statement for, um, almost all of the years I was there for over my 34 year career. It states that we create happiness by delivering the finest in entertainment for people of all ages everywhere. Simple. Yeah. And that means that when we go out there each and every cast member is expected to deliver on this promise statement every single day. Well, it's one thing to tell cast members. You have to go out and create happiness, and it's quite another to tell them what that looks like, what it sounds like, what it feels like to the guests, because. If you don't provide the details to the cast members and give them the tools that they need to be successful, everybody out there is determining what it means to create happiness. True. Right. And that's what you know, and that can be dangerous to your business bottom line, first of all. [00:06:15] KK: My goodness. Yeah. And, and a great example is one of our, you know, large electronic clients, uh, that we worked with global mm-hmm and they had this initiative. I'll I'll just blurt it out. The CX magic, right. They wanted their customers to create, um, great customer experiences never told 'em how right. So like different every way. So what I love is a purpose statement and I'll share what we came up with, uh, after the, through the process for Big Buzz but, um, I love number one, that it has a different name than mission statement. I think people have been. Um, conditioned to kind of believe that a mission statement is something that hangs up on the wall. I don't really pay a whole lot of attention to it. And this purpose statement really is my purpose. I'm showing up today. What am I doing? And I think you said, if folks can't remember the whole thing, right? They should, they have to remember we create happiness. All right. Yes. Right. You gotta remember that or you should just stay home. And, you know, I think that idea that this is my purpose when I step foot at work. Um, so Big Buzz's was we create loyal customers for life by delivering exciting and innovative marketing solutions to companies seeking competitive advantage. So what are we doing? Who are we doing it for? And how are we doing it? That's right. So it is such a powerful tool. And this idea that the rest of what Deb's gonna explain here is, is telling people how this gets done. Right? Right. Not just leaving it up to. Yep. [00:07:37] Debbie: That's the, that's the key right there is you've got to provide the support and the backup and the tools. The, the last thing I wanna say about a purpose statement is, uh, and in fact, all of your service framework tools may change over time, depending on how your business changes. So when I first started, uh, at Disney, when I was barely 17, the purpose statement was actually, we create happiness by delivering the finest in family entertainment. Mm. And it was based on the concept that Walt had started in Disneyland in 1955. And if you remember the, the entrance sign that used to say the happiest place on earth, right? So it was built from that. What happened was as, as Walt Disney World in particular, grew and grew and grew and added water parks and pleasure island for adult entertainment and amazing shopping experiences, we noticed that there were times when attendance just seemed to be slowly dropping off. Disney, doing what they usually do, getting on the phones back in those days and making many, many calls to various zip codes and talking to people all across the United States and ask. Them. Have you ever been to Walt Disney world? If they said no, they were asked why and the recurring answer was, well, we don't have kids and Disney's just for kids. So the company realized that they had not done a great job of letting guests know that. Yes, we've always been a family entertainment company, but now there is so much more. Yeah. And we wanted to attract those honeymoon couples and individual grownups who felt like I can't go to Disney without a kid, you know? Right. And, uh, and have a good time. So that's when the promise statement became what it is today. We create happiness by delivering the finest and entertainment for people of all ages everywhere. Brilliant. When you think about it, right, but the same role applied, we would tell cast members and I used to teach resort traditions classes where we previewed this information is in their orientation. And we used to tell them, we don't expect you to memorize that whole thing. If you can just remember that you create happiness every day when you get outta bed and come to work, you create happiness. You'll make magical experiences for the guests, and we're gonna show you how to do that So the support for that purpose statement are two elements, service, standards, and standards of behavior. Service standards are usually three to five words. And I have helped many companies to develop not only their promise statement, but their service standards that apply to them. Disney's are in this order, safety, courtesy show and efficiency. They are very specifically in priority order for a very specific reason. If you consider that a Disney cast member may come in contact with a thousand guests a day, right? Every time a guest has a question, every time a guest has a problem, it's not practical and it's not magical to tell the, the guest, hang on, let me go get my manager. And we've all been in those positions where employees can't seem to answer the most basic questions on their own. They have to go get a manager and it's frustrating. Right? So safety, courtesy show and efficiency gives the cast members the guideline to say safety is number one. It trumps everything. Courtesy comes in second show the show being not just the attraction, the ride, the cleanliness of the theme park, but also how do our cast members look, how do they behave? All of those things are woven into the show. And then efficiency, you know, how efficient are we at everything that we do for our, our guests? So a cast member, for example, can be, uh, and I'll give you a quick story. Um, I had a guest at Disney Institute that they went to play in the park the night after our class, the next morning we always ask them, well, what types of experiences did you have sure. Yeah. You remember that, right, Kevin? Yeah, I do. Yeah. And we put on our thick skin and we were willing to hear if they didn't have such a magical experience and, and one woman raised her hand and she said, I saw something very UN Disney. And I said, well, what was that? She said, there was some people waiting to see the parade. The place was really packed along the curb and the parade was coming down main street. It just kind of rounded the corner by the castle. And one little girl was very excited, you know, maybe three or four, she kept running out to the street to see the floats coming, the cast member who was on parade crowd control at that place, kept taking the child back to the parents saying for her safety, it's really important that you keep her you on the curb. They don't see well out of those floats and we have to be sure she's safe. Parents did not listen. The little girl kept running up to the road about the third time, apparently the young man took her back. He was very blunt. He said, this is not an option. She has to stay on the curb. And after that, the parents said, oh, well he really means it and kept her on the curb. And the woman said that was very UN Disney. He was almost rude. And I said, well, I have to tell you that was very Disney . Yeah. Right. I said, safety is number one. If we have to sacrifice some courtesy to keep the guests safe. That's exactly what we will do within boundaries. Of course. Right? So this is how cast members use safety, courtesy show and efficiency to make great decisions about how to take care of the guests, answer the guest questions, you know, do what they need to do for the guests to have a, a magical experience. I think. The most famous story. If you've been to a Disney Institute, uh, program is the haunted mansion story. And I had the amazing opportunity to help out at the haunted mansion during, uh, a spring break season one year, they used to farm us out to help out, you know, in, in the operations areas, uh, absolutely a blast, but the story is this, and it's a very, and it's a very real story. You might go on the haunted mansion and the. It suddenly stops and you think, oh great. The ride's broken down. I'm hearing the graveyard. My little kid's screaming, his head off and the ride is broken down more than likely 90% of the time. That is a deliberate stop. And here's what happens. Because safety is number one. These cast members are loading, loading, loading. They all have what's called a theoretical hourly capacity. So many guests an hour should be loaded onto haunted mansion in order to keep the lines moving, to keep guests out of the heat off the street, as much as possible. So all attractions have a theoretical hourly capacity and the cast members know what that number is so they're trying to politely load load, load load. A gentleman comes up, who is using crutches. There's no way he is gonna negotiate that moving belt safely. Right? So that young lady or young gentleman can be as young as 17 years old, she has a little device on her belt. She can stop the belt. She doesn't have to ask permission. She doesn't have to ask anyone because this man is going to need assistance getting on the ride safely and he can't do it on the moving belt. So she stops the ride. They get the man in safely and quickly as possible into a seat and start the ride again. And she has complete authority to do that because she knows safety is number one. Right. And she sacrifices courtesy. She sacrifices the show for those guests on the attraction already in the middle of this reaction. That's right. And she sacrifices efficiency because you have to do that too many times you're not going to. Theoretical hourly capacity. Right? Right. But she, there is, there are no repercussions because she's using her service standards to make very specifically, um, good decisions for the guests. Good independent decisions, which [00:15:40] KK: good and independent decisions she's empowered. [00:15:43] Debbie: She is very empowered and you know, yourself, that's not my favorite word. I like to say enabled because when we provide the tools for our employees to do what they need to do and know that if they make a mistake or a wrong decision, coaching may be in order, but it isn't always an opportunity to reprimand or fire someone. So they feel enabled with the, with all the training that they get to make those decisions, not to say. that they never make a, a mistake. Sure. So, and then we won't go into the definitions, but each one of these, which is a common word, but it's defined for Disney for our operations. So safety has a specific definition, a attached to it for Disney courtesy does and so forth. A lot of those definitions are then built into the standards of behaviors, the actions that cast members take. Now, I just want to reiterate that service standards support the promise statement. The promise statement has to align with your culture. Right. These standards of behaviors support the service standards, which support the promise statement, which aligns with your culture. It's kinda like the, the, there was a tree that had a root and a hole and a hole, the ground, right. Kind of thing, the standard, but it really works behavior. It works. It does work. It works. So the standards of behavior, um, are related to each service standard. And now I'm giving you the, the original basics over the years, they have, uh, updated these things they've called, they've been called keys to excellence, different things, right. But the, the most basic service framework are these things that you can use in your business? So a standard of behavior, for example, if I am delivering on courtesy, what am I doing? How am I behaving? I'm not leaning on a trash can or a post. I am not talking to my fellow cast members next to me and ignoring the guest, I am making eye contact. I'm smiling, I'm greeting and welcoming every guest. Those are just some of the bullet points that represent standards of behavior when I'm delivering on courtesy. When I'm delivering on safety, there are standards of behaviors for what I, what I'm doing I am looking for things that might be an unsafe condition, such as a rain mat that is curled up on the corner at an entrance to a hotel where a guest might trip on the way in. Right. I pick up trash as part of the show. Everybody picks up trash. When Michael Eisner was CEO, I'd watch him walk down main street and pick up trash. I watched Bob Iger, pick up trash. Um, I haven't had an opportunity to watch Bob Chapek pick pick up trash yet, but someday maybe, you know, maybe, maybe not, but everybody maintains the show. So all of these standards of behavior clearly describe when I am delivering on one of our service standards, what am I doing? What are my actions? What's expected of me regarding my actions. So what are those behaviors? These three elements are called the service framework. One supports the next, supports the next and aligns with your culture, this type of a service framework while it takes time. And it's hard. But once it's in place it is probably a miracle tool for ensuring that your employees know exactly what's expected of them and they work because they're teachable, they're accountable. I could, as a leader, walk down main street and see a person leaning on a trashcan. Yeah. Doesn't matter if they're my employee or not. I should walk over and without embarrassing them, say; Are you supposed to be leaning on the trash can? If I saw someone with inappropriate grooming, which I have done, and even when I was at Disneyland in California, I would pull that cast member aside and say something about, uh, you're not really supposed to have electric, blue eyeshadow all over your eyes. Okay. Um, so. Because you can hold people accountable and you train it that you, you preview it in the traditions and orientation program. It's included in their company training. It's included in their location training, and then it is reiterated throughout their careers. [00:20:15] KK: And I think it's, it's, it's a testament to, um, the longevity of the tenure of employees. I think you told me yesterday, we were we're chatting. And you said, uh, it's about 23 years. Average, [00:20:27] Debbie: uh, yeah, the average tenure is about 23 years for Disney cast members. Yeah. [00:20:32] KK: That's just amazing. And I think, you know, people want structure, right? That's so when, when we, we did this at Big Buzz um, you know, we had some growth and we had some chaos and thankfully I had the, the feedback channels that let mm-hmm folks, let me know they're flailing about a bit and feeling uneasy and unsure about our future and what they should be doing specifically, you know, um, the idea that you show up at work on a given day, and you get told that day what you're doing is very unsettling. So. This structure for us, it made it very clear what you're doing, you know, and mm-hmm, I'll share our, you know, our service standards were, were simple. It was service, which I'll come back to why we chose that service, creativity, execution, and fun. And I think I, you know, I, I wanted to remind our team that we were in the service business. Yes, we made, um, great graphics and pictures and websites and logos and TV commercials. A lot of people do that. We were really selling service. People liked to work with us. Yes. We had innovative thinkers. Um, but people liked to work with people that they like. mm-hmm that are nice. So, you know, I wanted to remind everybody that we are in first in the service business. Um, yeah. And then embracing creativity, this idea of execution, um, the ability for us to turn things around fast, our business was very high speed and demanding very often. So, um, I wanted to, to recognize that and give people, um, some structure around that and then fun, you know, we always said have fun, make money. Let's see if we can do this every day and have a little fun while we're doing it. So, yeah. Yeah. It's really important to this. This structure helps your team to feel number one, they're on a boat that has a very specific direct. Right. Or, or a bus, as we said before. Yeah. I understand where we're going. And I understand what I'm doing today this week, next week. And I think it's so important. And that back to that example, that company that just told folks to go give good service mm-hmm it, it, it just doesn't work, you know? Somebody thinks it means being nice. Some people think, think it means doing work fast, you know? Yes. Again, you're leaving your culture up to something that happens. This is a very deliberate design of yeah. Your culture. And then, you know, Of course you've now designed the desired customer experience. Yeah. [00:22:51] Debbie: And, and I think that key that's key word is design. Nothing left to chance, design it, train it, teach it, hold people accountable for it. And most importantly, if you're in a leadership position, you have to role model it. This is not something that's just for your frontline employees and the other thing I just wanted to say, we relate this a lot to guest experience, but the fact is that this works internally as well. [00:23:22] KK: Sure. [00:23:22] Debbie: So to your point, Kevin, one of your, your, um, service standards is fun. Have, you know, have fun. Employees that are having fun at work are more likely to give great service to your customers, your external customers. Absolutely. Um, when I was customer service manager at Disney's laundry, uh, all of these things applied, we, we kept one another safe we looked out for unsafe conditions for one another. Maintenance made sure that they were thoroughly trained on lockout tagout, and the emergency stops for the machines. And, um, But courtesy to one another and respect for one another was just as important as courtesy and respect for the external guests and the show, keeping our areas clean so that, you know, I had drivers that the, one of the biggest complaints that they had was all this guy eats in the truck and then he leaves all this food in the truck and, and we have bugs and all of this, um, that's not delivering on the show for the driver that has to drive that truck next. And yeah, [00:24:27] KK: bad show as you call it. [00:24:28] Debbie: Bad show. AB absolutely it's bad show. So all of these things apply to companies that have internal service requirements as well. And I think sometimes people think, well, that's great, but we don't ever see our customers face to face. It, it doesn't matter. These, these things are important to all. Disney used to have a saying that said that kind of encompassed this concept. And they would say, we treat one another the way we treat our guests, uh, and that encompassed the service standards and behaviors and, um, let's create happiness for one another as well, you know? [00:25:04] KK: Absolutely. And I, what, what else I love about all the aspects of. Uh, I will call initiative cuz it's not a program. We'll talk about why you wanna make sure we don't call it a program. That's right. Um, is that's a win-win mm-hmm so typically anything that you do as a part of this structuring, um, is to create that better, uh, customer experience to develop a culture, but it ultimately improves the lives of your employees and your team. Yes. And, and yours manager, your, the founder, whoever the whole culture, um, really thrives. And, uh, it's a win-win, you know, a lot of people think about life and, and businesses, zero sum game, you know? Well, Uh, if they're winning, then I'm losing. It's like, well, no, no, we can, we can have our team win and, and everybody can be happy and they'll make our customers happy. And yes. Um, again, that, that is very evident in, uh, a 23 year average tenure, which is unheard of. [00:26:04] Debbie: The, you know, the, the idea is, um, you, you talk about cast members doing this and doing it consistently. And for the most part, all of them do it really, really well. And, um, it, but I also have to say, and we won't be talking a lot about this, but it really begins with right fit hiring. Right because there are people who will not do this. And if you've ever seen Disney's billboards or hear radio ads, when, when they're advertising for help, they use language that is very much linked to the culture. So I, I saw a billboard a few years ago that says, would you like to make magic and make new friends? And it showed pictures of Disney name tags with names on 'em, which is very much part of the culture. Right, right. And there'll be somebody driving along the highway going, that's the stupidest thing I ever heard. I'm not gonna make magic. I'm a plumber, right? I, I want a job at the hotel as a plumber. I'm not gonna make magic. Um, I'd beg to differ. I think plumbers could absolutely make magic. We won't get into that. Um, so this concept of recruiting for your culture and then hiring right fit and using these standards and behaviors and promise statement built into your hiring questions is in the form of active situational behavioral based questioning will tell you if that person is really gonna go out there and make magic every day for your guests. Right? So it really be, it really begins there, but once you've got the right people on board and you and I both have known companies that are hiring the right people for the company but they lose them or they don't do the job you expect because you're not giving them the tools. [00:27:52] KK: Yep. And that doesn't serve anyone well. [00:27:53] Debbie: Am a firm believer that most people want to do a good job. Right. They don't, you know, you've heard that old thing. I, they don't get up in the morning and say, I'm going to work today and do a crappy job because that's just who I am .Not many people do that. Right. Um, but if you don't give them the tools to deliver exceptional service that's exactly what's going to happen. And that's the power of this service framework. One of the things that Kevin and I have been talking about, and this is we're going to get into the next episode a bit is where does technology fit into this service framework? Right? And should it be a fourth component or does it fit into the service standards somehow or into the promise statement? I don't know, but it's an important piece. Yeah. [00:28:39] KK: And the wonderful thing is that if you, if you look us up chat bots and pixie dust, right. You can look up chat bots and pixie dust South by Southwest. Yeah. And to find that's one of the earliest things that Deb and I had done or not really, but we talked about this idea how you can take this service framework and this idea of infusing a chat bot and the conversation design that you create with this structure. And it works. Mm-hmm , you know, I'll tell people a lot of times, oh, one of the things I do is, you know, we, we do conversation design for chat bots and create customer experiences through, you know, AI and chat and voice and they said, well, that's so impersonal. And you know what. Chat bots suck. And I, and my reaction is you're not wrong. About 90% of them do suck cuz they're designed terribly. Mm. And people thought that the, uh, the solution was the technology. No, the solution is, uh, the, the technology is the, the medium, the. As with anything else, right. TV's a great medium, but what you put on it is what matters. So right. There's bad TV shows and there's good TV shows. Sure. There's a lot of bad chatbots that create terrible experiences and there's a lot of great ones. So yeah, we've employed this idea when we create, um, chatbots and voice experiences that we absolutely employ this, uh, service framework. [00:29:57] Debbie: You know, the, the last thing I'll say about the service framework and it, it aligns with designing chatbots as much as it does working with your employees and that is nothing is a magic wand, not a service framework. Now you could spend six months designing, uh, your service framework and training it to your employees. But it is likely to fail if certain things don't happen. And that is if you're not hiring right fit people. If your leaders are not role modeling every element of the service framework. And if people are not held accountable. If I'm a leader and I walk by an employee who is not delivering on the appropriate behavior. Mm. Right. And I don't do anything about it. I'm sending a clear message that none of this service framework is really important. Uh, so I, I always like to say, you know, I'm never promised that if you design your service framework, all will be golden for you. Life is going to be a piece of cake , but it has to be managed like anything else. So I, I do like to kind, I don't know if you call that a disclaimer or what you call it, but. But it, it doesn't absolve leadership of, of doing their job. You don't just put this out there and leaders go, okay, got that done now. No, I can stay in my office and do my work all day. Right. That it doesn't, it just doesn't work that way. [00:31:22] KK: Yeah. And it's such an important piece of the business and it, it. It's it's a long process, right? Yes, it is. Yeah. We can conduct, you know, we've been in and out in a week, you know, to conduct the initial interviews and create a structure, but then we typically help folks roll it out over a year, stay on sometimes, you know, for multi years as consulting to, to help make sure it sticks. Mm-hmm so, yeah, not easy, but you know, um, yeah, it was easy everybody would do it! That's right. It's the hard that makes it great. from the great line from, uh, league of their own League of Their Own [00:31:57] Debbie: yeah. Yeah. It's got too hard. It's the hard that makes it great. [00:32:00] KK: That's right. So yeah. So, uh, we are getting outta time. Um, I did wanna already mention and tease. Oh my goodness. Yeah. Goes so fast, especially with, with these topics that I love so much. Yes. Um, Traditions is something I always wanna tease, you know, that yeah. Talk about right. fit hiring. And then traditions is the, the Disney onboarding system, which is kind of between that we, we, we, um, expose you to what we're looking for very specifically. And then as you come in, this traditions program tells you what you're, what you're in store for and what we expect of you. Right. So, uh, that's something we'll talk about in the future. I think we gotta give the folks, some, some of our best advice. Oh yes. And then tell 'em what's on next week. So look simply this, you know, not gonna hard sell this, uh, there are gr a lot of great systems, right? I think, uh, the greatest piece of advice you'll ever get, we think this week, Is work, work a system, you know, we think this is a great system. Um, you know, the service framework obviously has done created magic for Disney and, and, and hundreds of thousands and millions of guests. Um, but there are other systems, you know, I've, I've worked, um, Traction and EOS. It's a wonderful structure for companies. You know, I think that you, you can't just show up every day. Um, and I'm talking to the leaders, right? You can't just show up day and say, let's see how it goes. I, I think we're gonna do- you really need to work a system if you want to grow and, uh, avoid as much of that chaos as possible. So, you know, reach out to us, we're available for free advice. Of course, we're also available for paid consulting, but yet please reach out with questions. We're happy to answer that. Yeah. Um, go to, uh, disneywaydigital.com. We're gonna post up the service framework, how to create a purpose statement, how to structure your service standards, how to structure your standards of behavior. We'll all be up on Disney way, digital.com. So next week, uh, tune in, we're gonna talk about understanding your digital ecosystem and, uh, the touch points that support it. So we're excited about that one. Um, please do tune in .Deb. Thanks so much for sharing this. I, I love listening. I can go through this over and over and over. [00:34:08] Debbie: You can ask me any time to talk about these topics. This is so much fun. [00:34:13] KK: Well, great. Thanks everyone. Thanks for listening. And we'll see you next week! [00:34:16] Debbie: Thank you. Goodbye. [00:23:07] Outro: You've been listening to the Disney Way for the Digital age! Our producer and engineer is Steven Byrom. Show coordinator is Taranpreet Trehan. And voiceover by Cindy Clifford. Kevin and Debbie can be reached for free advice or paid consulting at [email protected] or [email protected] A new episode is released each Tuesday morning. We hope you’ll continue to listen! //
Tuesday Jun 28, 2022
Tuesday Jun 28, 2022
SHOW NOTES: 00:30: Welcome back! Thanks for finding and joining us again! 00:49: What concerts & shows are you going to this summer? Tell us in the comments! 02:27: In our last episode.. 02:45: What exactly is brand identity? 04:20: On why it’s important to grow an emotional connection 06:01: If you are not aware of any emotion connection, it may instead hinder growth 07:27: On using customer experiences to develop your brand, also via tech 08:00: Every touchpoint is an opportunity to either reinforce your brand, or to have a negative experience. Ref: Concrete Company in Ep.3 @05:28 08:35: Debbie’s impactful, true story “about the small things that can matter so much”. 12:08: Staying on top of the market place & making customers for life. 12:38: The difference between loyalty and commitment. 14:30: On Zappos’s Tony Hsieh 14:50: Money is an issue if your customer does not have their expected experience 16:30: How do you create a strong brand commitment and emotional connection? 16:40: Six questions and a creative brief! Click for: DW4DA_Creative Brief.pdf 19:40: Advertising is no longer a one way street; we must be authentic and listen well. Ref: Hard Rock Reverb Hotels 20:00: At the end, what is your desired response? 22:00: The greatest piece of advice you’ll ever get! (this week) 23:07: End credits Please find us on the Web at: www.disneywaydigital.com Via email: [email protected] and [email protected] And on the Socials at: Debbie: LinkedIN and @DZmorenski on Twitter and @dkzcoach on Facebook Kevin: @BigBuzzKev on Twitter INSTA & Facebook TRANSCRIPT via Descript: Intro: Magical customer experiences don't happen by accident. They happen through careful planning and meticulous design. Kevin and Debbie have been engineering, extraordinary customer experiences for over 30 years. Join us as we explore corporate culture, branding, service, excellence, and much more through storytelling, technical curiosity, and friendly conversation. The Disney way for the digital age will be revealed. [00:00:29] KK: Hey folks, welcome back. We're so glad that you're listening. This is episode four of the Disney Way for the Digital Age. I'm Kevin Kelly and my partner in crime here Debbie Zmorenski. Hey Deb [00:00:41] Debbie: Hey, good morning. How are you? [00:00:43] KK: I'm okay. I dunno if you noticed, do you know what this shirt is I got on here? [00:00:49] Debbie: uh, well, but , I did Rage Against the Machine? KK: So people I'm gonna say this is, I think it's time. You guys are getting to know us, it’s been four episodes. So maybe, you know, that I'm a, an ex-drummer in kind of a 90’s, uh, heavy Rock guy, but Deb is a Metaler or a head banger. What would you say? You know? Debbie: Yeah, I guess I'm a, I'm a head banger. I'm I'm a heavy metal fan, deep, deep, deep inside. Believe it or not. [00:01:24] KK: So you haven't have you been back to any shows since, uh, lockdown is over? [00:01:30] Debbie: Oh, lockdown has been over and I've been so busy. Um, and they are all out again now and people coming back. Yeah. Yeah. People are coming back and I've missed some of my favorites, which is. Just been heartbreaking. My, my daughter and I are talking about Disturbed as coming back and, uh, Seether. So we're thinking we wanna at least get in a couple concerts this year. [00:01:53] KK: yeah. Summertime get some summer concerts. [00:01:54] Debbie: Yeah. It's so good to see 'em back, you know? [00:01:58] KK: Yeah. It is. Uh, what do I got coming up? Oh, I honestly, I don't, I, I gotta get to some shows. I've been going to Broadway shows lately. Now I sound like an old guy, but, [00:02:08] Debbie: No, I like to do that. I just haven't had a chance to get to New York city. [00:02:13] KK: Yeah, we got a great venue here called the Paramount here in Long Island. And uh, I think Goo Goo dolls are coming. Oh, the Black Crows are coming around, so, oh, wow. Yeah. Oh, in Jones beach theater, which is right Debbie: I haven’t seen the Black Crows in forever. KK: Oh, my God, love those guys. Yeah. Well, anyway, here we are episode four. Last episode we wrapped up our six questions to honestly assess your culture. And today we're gonna talk a little bit about demystifying brand . Um, and the idea, um, that, you know, brand is complicated. You know, you hear these stories about folks like AT&T and Pepsi spending, you know, a hundred, uh, million dollars to, you know, move the blue and red Stripe, three degrees. And, um, I had a friend that worked on the AT&T account when they worked on the, uh, what they call it, the blue ball of death, the, the globe with the, you know, and that was really all about people, you know, publicly focus on the logo. So I think that's one of the things I'll jump into first, this idea that there there's two elements, two pieces of this, the, you know, the brand identity and the brand image. People often think about branding as, oh, that's your logo and maybe your tagline. Um, uh, and that is the, the brand image piece of it, right? The, uh, the obvious part of your brand, right? The, the Nike swoosh that allegedly Phil Knight paid 50 bucks for, and that is now worth 50 billion, but it's so much more than that. Um, but those things, yeah, they're, they're integrated and the brand identity is really more about. That emotional connection that a brand can create with folks. So mm-hmm, brands like Apple, um, has a sense of belonging and somewhat a little bit of snobbery at times, right? It's like, oh, I use Apple. I don't mess with those PCs. Um, or Harley Davidson, you know, those folks have a strong sense of belonging; if I ride or Harley Davidson. Um, I would never think of buying another brand. So that's an example of brands that have they've done it. They've they've arrived. They've. That sense of belonging and a strong emotional connection, uh, with their audience. And then that's really what you're, you're looking for. [00:04:20] Debbie: Well, you know, just to tag on a little bit, Kevin, you want people to have some form of emotional connection to your company. so it isn't just about, are you recognized and known in the marketplace? How do you make your customers feel? And I always refer to Apple as a cult. yeah. You know, a little bit. And you know, and I don't mean that in a negative way. I, a lot of companies would love to be thought of as, you know, a cult with that kind of, that kind of following. Right. And then I've also heard Disney's a cult. You know, you've got what we call the Disney files out there. Yeah. Um, and that's exactly what you're looking for is people that not only recognize who you are, maybe just by looking at your logo. Um, we used to have a joke at when I worked at Disney that says you draw three circles anywhere people yell out Mickey mouse. Right. and uh, I mean, that's a beautiful thing, right? So it's not enough though, to be recognized. You have to be growing and nurturing some type of emotional connection right. To your brand because after all you're selling to people. [00:05:29] KK: Right. Not robots. Right. And there's that recognition. God bless, you know, Disney. Three circles is, is Mickey or is money was called a hidden Mickey that we mm-hmm look for all over the parks. But once there's that recognition, what do I. What do I, how do I feel? How does it make me feel, right. Does it make me feel empowered? Does it make me feel, um, technologically advanced or superior? Does it make me, you know, when I drive a BMW, does it make me feel, uh, strong or proud or, you know, so what are all those things that, those emotions and how do I nurture that sense of belonging? [00:06:01] Debbie: And the reason, um, that Disney is so successful is because of that emotional connection. And it's also about why people get so upset if they feel like Disney's let them down. If they go into the park and they don't have a magical experience for whatever reason they take it very personally. And you think, well, good grief. It's, you know, just a, a company. Yeah. But. That emotional connection can be positive, but always remember it can also be negative and you can only get away with negative connections just so many times. Right. Um, but that's why they get so upset and they send letters and, and, you know, And act like it's a, a serious personal offense. [00:06:47] KK: Mm-hmm, Disney's so fortunate in that they have so many positive touchpoints. I think so many people, um, associate Disney, um, and that emotional connection to the first time in a park. Yeah, my mom, my mom had this poem, um, about someone describing their first entrance into the park, the smell of the popcorn, the Uhhuh , you know, the vision of the castle. And it's, you know, it's usually with your family, your yeah, eight or 10, it's a formative time of your life. So that is such a, a fortunate piece for Disney to have to have a literal emotional connection about that experience. But that's what we, you know, what, what do we talk about? What do we do today? Um, more than anything, we design customer experience CX design. So if you can. Use customer experiences develop your brand. Maybe you don't have a location that people get to walk through, but these days you've got so many opportunities through technology to integrate people into your brand experiences, right. That, um, you really need to look at that and, and make that part of, um, your, your roadmap for what your brand's going to mean to, to the folks you're. Uh, you're trying to reach, you talked with about this a lot, Deb. It's like every touchpoint is an opportunity to either, um, reinforce the brand or have a negative experience. Mm-hmm right. I love the last episode of the concrete company example because so many people think that this is pixie dust stuff. This is what Disney can do. Doesn't apply to my company. Couldn't be more wrong. All these techniques that Disney uses can be applied to your company. So mm-hmm, . Maybe maybe a Disney story about how they've, um, an example of how they've made these connections. I think Deb, you've got something that really touched your heart. Yes. We, you know, Disney gets thousands of unsolicited communications every year, uh, emails and old fashioned letters. And we used to share these things often and we shared the, those that were not so positive as well as those that were positive. But I can tell you that for the positive letters and information that Disney received. Like I said, unsolicited, there was always deep emotion involved. And for the negative one, same thing, deep emotions, you know, how could you let us down like this? We saved and saved and we came and then this happened. But the, the example that I wanted to share was it had us all in tears, in our meeting when we're reading this letter. But apparently the story is, and we. We got this letter from these two sisters or from a sister. And there were two sisters who had been estranged for many years. And then one of the sisters was diagnosed with cancer and they wanted to get back together and they decided to do this at Disney. And they came to Walt Disney world and apparently had an amazing time and cast members doing just what they do offering to take their pictures so they could their pictures together in front of the castle and at various places in the park. And they completely reconciled and realized that they loved each other and all of this was in the letter. And then the sister said, I just wanted you to know that... Disney brought us back together and made us realize that we loved each other. My sister passed three months ago and the picture that one of the cast members took for us in front of the castle is the last picture I have of the two of us together. [00:10:20] Debbie: I mean, there is not a dry eye in the place. Oh. So now we're thinking something as simple as a cast member, seeing a person taking a picture and saying. Let me take that for you two, get in the picture together. So it's often the small things you do that represent your brand growth and how people feel about you. It's often not the big, huge things. It's the small things. And that was just one example. And. I know that whether you're a theme park or a concrete company or whatever, that these stories are out there, you can make your own brand stories just by the way you speak to people on the phone, your employees go the way to help them. Are they empathetic when there's a problem, you don't have to be a Disney to do these things. Uh, so all of those things build on your brand. [00:11:14] KK: Absolutely. And it is that, uh, that idea that it's, it's a million little things, right? Mm-hmm , I think Walt said it was a infinite attention to detail, attention to detail that was, you know, how they, you know, created the success that they had. Um, and it is everything. And it's saying all the little things, um, that's such a great story. I think, you know, I love to integrate my, you know, business learnings with life learnings and I. Very often with the family. I got my arm out stressed. I'm trying to take a selfie. It's just not working out. Somebody recognizes that and says, Hey, would you like to take that picture? I'll take that picture for you. That is so nice. And it's just something that now I've tried to do. And now wow. With that story. I, um, you never know what a little thing that you do. Yeah. Uh, how it. Positively affect somebody's life. That's incredible. [00:12:07] Debbie: And we talk about these small things, driving customer loyalty, right? One of the things that we are always talking to our customers about is if you wanna stay on top of the marketplace, you want customers for life. You want to figure out how to get those customers for life. Not only do they forgive you more often when you make mistakes, but. You can charge a little more and they don't care because they know they're going to have that exceptional experience and get their needs and wants taken care of. Right. I also like to remind people that there's a difference between loyalty and commitment. We always use the word loyalty because that's what our clients and what people relate to, but there really is a difference. And I always give this example. I am loyal to Delta Airlines and the reason that I am is because I have hundreds of thousands of airline points, and I'm constantly wanting to build on that because someday, uh, the husband and I are gonna take the whole family to Hawaii, you know, so we're gonna fly for free. I am. I'm loyal for that, for that perk in particular, I'm not necessarily committed. And the difference is I will defect for a better deal. Mm. So if American Airlines says, Hey, we'll give you a free flight. For whatever reason, well, my next flight's gonna be with American Airlines so you not only want to build the, that loyalty, you want customers for life, but you wanna be sure that you have cemented their commitment in place, right? Not just loyalty. How do you not only create the loyalty and giveaways and so forth are one way to get it there, but then you have to keep them. And that's what commitment is about and you have to keep them no matter what, and that's what commitment is. [00:13:54] KK: Yeah. We always talk about loyal customers for life and your example of, um, you know, you can raise your prices and people will overlook that. Right. So, so much of. What brands offer and what people buy is becoming more and more commoditized. I got choices. And honestly, yours, yours isn't that much different than theirs. Yes. But, um, you know, I think it was Tony Hsieh, God rest his soul, when he, when he started Zappos, he says, honestly, I didn't really think about what was gonna be in the boxes. I thought about creating a great customer service experience. Mm-hmm . And that's what made Zappos, the shoe juggernaut that it was mm-hmm um, I would just go there. I wouldn't price shop. I knew what I was gonna, I was gonna get a pair of shoes. If it didn't fit, I'd send 'em back and you know, no questions to ask. So if you can create that kind of commitment where I don't start price shopping. Then that is truly commitment, right? Yeah. That is, that is different. And at a higher level than, than loyalty. [00:14:50] Debbie: I always, I always tell people it's not inexpensive to go to Disney as we know, but people do. The only time that money ever becomes an issue is if they don't feel like they had a magical experience. Right. If they have a magical experience, if Disney lives up to their even unspoken promise, money's not the issue. Yeah. They save for it, they know it's going to be costly and they come. The only time money is an issue is if they don't feel like they have that magical experience. And that is a trait that follows all businesses. I'll pay a little bit more for exceptional service. If I don't get exceptional service, now I'm upset that you charge me so much. [00:15:32] KK: right. You know, right. And I, and, and very often I talk to folks that have high level, uh, customer experiences that they're delivering. And we talk about, you know, do we raise our prices at least to cost of living and, you know, the companies I'm on a, a forum of a bunch of digital agencies and we talk about things and, you know, They say things like, oh, I raised my prices, uh, 8% this year and nobody even flinched nobody, nobody asked me, I had maybe one phone call out of, you know, 40 clients um, I think you told a story once that Disney was in a bit of a, you know, pickle about, you know, budgets and things and they raised prices and you know, much to their surprise sales went up. There was, there was no decrease. There were no questions about it, right. So the value of that kind of commitment to your brand is, uh, can't be underestimated [00:16:22] Debbie: and not at all .It's the, do I feel like I'm getting the value for the money that I'm spending and what you have to understand is what is it that they value? [00:16:32] KK: Yeah, exactly. So how do we create that kind of brand commitment, that kind of emotional connection. So we've got kind of that six questions that we did to when assessing your culture, but, um, the creative brief is where we always start. I I've always loved the creative brief. I think it is one of the most powerful problem solving, um, documents. And, and exercises you can go through, typically you go through that with, with a professional. Um, but I, I often send it in advance and I ask, uh, folks at the company to fill it out with what they think. And then we go and we develop together. Mm-hmm . We will post this up on the website, disneywaydigital.com um, so you can get a copy and download and go through the exercise. Quickly to go through this. Um, it is about 10 questions and we walk brands through this. So you start with your objective, right? What are we trying to achieve? And you know, maybe it is that, uh, lifelong connection or maybe it is we're going through a rebrand. And we were a product focused, you know, now we want to be people focused and, um, we wanna create that attachment. So let's be clear about your objective, what your, what you want your brand to represent. Then next, we talked a little bit about this in our last exercise, but you need to know your audience. Who are we trying to reach? You know, don't ever mistake the folks in the room for your audience, right? Cause everyone in the room has an opinion they may need. They may look nothing like your audience. So understand your audience to find who you're trying to reach, and that will play into all how all these pieces fit together. Um, what's the key insight? Right. So what is that key insight or truth about your brand that will drive the campaign that will come out of this? Right? So we're gonna develop this and then you have to go to market with it. So what is that key insight? What is, um, the USP, right? What makes you unique? And again, you know, I think Tony Hsieh that example. I can get shoes anywhere. He was selling Nikes. He was selling, you know, shoes that you could get anywhere else, but it was the experience that he created, um, not only on the website, but if you invariably, you had challenges and needed to contact customer support, either through chat or phone. I remember he had a directive that the customer service representative can never end the call. And I think they had a record that someone was on like four hours. Somebody just wanted to keep chatting. So , um, they were about delivering extraordinary service. Um, and that was their USP. Right. Again, I can get that same pair of shoes up the street at my shoe store or at another dot com but Zappos built their success on service. What's your promise. What's your brand promise. What's the single minded promise or idea that they need to communicate about in the brand. Um, what is your reason to believe? Right. So that's really important. Why should your audience believe it? So many people create a brief and an objective and, and, and thing that is something that's so aspirational and so focused on sometimes fixing their problems that it's not authentic. And that's a word we use really often. Um, it needs all this needs to be authentic or else. Um, maybe, you know, 20 years ago when, when advertising was a one way street, you know, and we were just putting out messaging, but consumers have a voice now, very loud voice on social media. So if you're inauthentic any piece of this process, it'll shine through and it'll damage your brand. Well, once we've gone through all these, what is your desired response? Let's let's, you know, what do you want that conversation to be? Um, wow. I, I, I went to the Harley Davidson store and they were fantastic. And when I get on that bike, it did not disappoint. You know, what do you want that conversation to be? What do you want people to say to their friends? What do you want them to think? What do you want them to feel and what do you want them to do? And then go through a little exercise about the brand's personality, you know, is your brand more of a Jerry Seinfeld or Robert de Niro? We go through this exercise often with clients, um, you know, Figure out what that personality is and, and less personified and more, you know, simply using, uh, descriptive words. Um, you know, is it friendly? Is it serious? Is it buttoned up? You know, is it casual? Is it scientific? Is it about innovation and tech forward, we work with our new Hard Rock brand called Reverb hotels. They're all about music. Although they flipped the script a little from the core Hard Rock brand, they're, they're focused on the fan, not the rock stars. Um, and they are tech forward. They know very much who they are, you know, that we're using technology. Your experience at the hotel will be very frictionless and tech driven. So that's an example of somebody really knows their personality and who they are . Um, and then we talk a little bit about what's the creative output. Once we've got all this defined, are we creating a TV commercial, a radio spot, uh, social media content, and where will these communications run? So those are a little less about the brand, a little more about the campaign that will come out of it. And then of course we have down the bottom here, deadlines and budget, but, uh, we don't need to talk about that right now in this context. But as I said, we will post this up on, on the website, uh, Disney way digital, but this is a fantastic exercise that you can start by yourself, but I encourage you to, to go through this with a professional and with that, Deb, I think we're pretty much out of time for this episode. So hopefully we've demystified brand a bit. There's much, much, much more to come on this topic. Yeah. But this is kind of our first entry into demystifying brand. Well, I think that brings us to the end. So wait, we always have to give the greatest piece of advice you'll ever get this week which this week, right. Which is, you know, we believe you really should hire a professional to examine your brand and your culture. Right. Those two things should be integrated. Um, so this idea of, of, let's say you do go, you take a look at the, the creative brief, and it seems like it's some something you'd like to go through and, um, rethink your brand, your brand position in the market. And, uh, how you'd like to develop the, the emotional connection with your consumer, um, hire a professional. You don't have to spend a gazillion dollars. It could be a one person shop who's just a facilitator and can stand that. Or it could be an agency that you know, is going to develop the brand, develop the campaign and, you know, buy your media and, you know, do the whole, uh, soup to nuts. So, uh, one or another, you should really hire professional to examine your brand and your culture. All right, folks. Thanks so much for listening and we'll see you next week. [00:23:02] Debbie: Thank you. [00:23:07] Outro: You've been listening to the Disney Way for the Digital age! Our producer and engineer is Steven Byrom. Show coordinator is Taranpreet Trehan. And voiceover by Cindy Clifford. Kevin and Debbie can be reached for free advice or paid consulting at [email protected] or [email protected] A new episode is released each Tuesday morning. We hope you’ll continue to listen! //
Tuesday Jun 21, 2022
Tuesday Jun 21, 2022
SHOW NOTES: 00:30: Welcome back! Thanks for finding and joining us again! 01:30: Did you know we do technology installations and design for hospitality brands? 02:40: The joy of using Alexa and various other robots 03:31: Short recap of episode 2. We’ll cover the remaining questions today! 04:30: Number four… 05:28: About the concrete company for which Debbie is currently consulting 07:00: On how new tech does not always employ microchips and wires 07:50: On finding the technology that is a good fit for you and your customers 08:38: On solving labor shortages, recruitment, hiring and training 10:30: It’s about the people and the culture! 11:16: About “right fit hire” and asking the correct questions, pre and post hire 13:13: Do you really understand your core customers? 15:15: Ref: Survey Monkey and tips to craft a successful survey campaign 16:50: Do you only get once to make a first impression; does that also apply to tech? 19:00: Would you like fries with that? 20:00: Why brand development stems from listening to your core customer. 21:00: On Debbie’s example of the concrete company. Typically growth begats chaos 22:51: On strategic planning for company growth 23:50: On your customer experiences. Also, have you ever waited tables? Tell us in the comments! 25:00: If you don't first have a clear vision and plan, it's probably going to be impossible to move forward. Ref: Disney Institute 26:48: The greatest piece of advice you’ll ever get! (to date) 27:00: Recap and advice 28:45: A parting thought and what’s coming up on our next episode! 29:07: End credits Please find us on the Web at: www.disneywaydigital.com Via email: [email protected] and [email protected] And on the Socials at: Debbie: LinkedIN and @DZmorenski on Twitter and @dkzcoach on Facebook Kevin: @BigBuzzKev on Twitter INSTA & Facebook TRANSCRIPT via Descript: Intro: Magical customer experiences don't happen by accident. They happen through careful planning and meticulous design. Kevin and Debbie have been engineering, extraordinary customer experiences for over 30 years. Join us as we explore corporate culture, branding, service, excellence, and much more through storytelling, technical curiosity, and friendly conversation. The Disney way for the digital age will be revealed. [00:00:29] KK: Well, welcome back to episode three of the Disney way for the digital age. I'm Kevin Kelly and my partner in crime here. Debbie. Zmorenski How you doing Deb? [00:00:40] Debbie: I'm doing great. Welcome everybody. [00:00:42] KK: It’s nice to be back, uh, doing a little weekend recording for a change, right? Uh . Yes. Well, I got out this morning, got out on the bike. I am sorely out of shape, got out on the bike and did a little run. I have a race next month that I am not prepared for, but I, so I'm gonna. I’m a little bit tired. [00:01:00] Debbie: I admire that, you know, I, I admire that. I, I get my most steps when I, uh, go to my dad's and run all around for him. But other than that, , [00:01:11] KK: and next week I'm gonna head over. I'm gonna be in your neck of the woods, so we're gonna have to get together. I'm gonna be in Orlando for the that's right. Uh, the high tech. Uh, expo that's the hospitality technology. Yeah. Uh, expo. I'm excited to, you know, walk through the expo and, and see some of the folks I know. And I don't know if folks know that, um, we do, uh, technology installations and design for, uh, for hospitality brands. So work for, um, hard rock hotel, build their chat bot and their voice experience. And mm-hmm Alexa in the room and what she can do and say, and help and fix. Fix your toilet, or at least tell someone you need to fix your toilet or tell you where the best burger is and fun stuff like [00:01:50] Debbie: that. So, um, well, and, but you have to be careful. I, I have a, a psychic friend of mine who says that Alexa's are portals and can let bad things in. So I, you know, I just, I thought we should. All of the possibilities of what Alexa can do for you or to you . Yeah, I guess [00:02:07] KK: she doesn't have Amazon stock. Geez. [00:02:09] Debbie: I, I don't know more, probably not more and more often I find my Alexa butting in. We haven't even said her wake up name and she'll just butt into the conversation. And I she's kinda like cliff Clavin on cheers. It's a little creepy. I, I just told her mind her own business and she'll know when we're talking to her. [00:02:28] KK: well, she's kinda like Cliff Clavin on cheers. She tells you random fact, you know, she little known fact that the ancient Inca's is using flowers to build their huts and these, [00:02:37] Debbie: and this is where, you know, uh, uh, technology gets a bit like the Terminator, you know, gets a little scary, they're taken over, [00:02:45] KK: but I tell my kids that I. Be nice to Alexa, you know? So say thank you, cuz she may be your master someday, someday. Yeah. Yeah. [00:02:52] Debbie: Yep. So, uh, as you know, my dad has the, uh, remote senior care. Yeah. He had his echo show and oh my gosh. He said it's like his best friend at home and he'll he'll thank her for something. And she does the, she does a little dance, like the screen dances back and forth. He goes around, thanking her just to watch her do the little dance. [00:03:15] KK: it's so nice. Yeah. [00:03:16] Debbie: Yeah. It's kinda like Raj on big bang, you know, wanting to date Siri. So yeah. All gone little nuts. [00:03:25] KK: yeah. So I think we have some of that in our, in our, um, topics today, but, um, to recap where we left off and jump in. So we were talking about, we did talk about three pillars. Support and extraordinary, uh, customer experience, brand culture and technology. And then we got into, but didn't finish, uh, the six questions you need to, to ask, to assess your culture and design a plan for success. So we did get through the first three and I'll run down them and then turn it over to you, Deb. But so we did get through on episode two, if we didn't. You didn't see, uh, listen to that one. You can jump back and, and hear, uh, we covered looking at who we are today. Taking a careful look at that and being honest with yourself and defining what's working now. So taking a good look at what's working and then looking at what not, again, an honest assessment at what's not working and, and, or what's missing. So, and then I'm turn it over to you. Deb for number 4. [00:04:18] Debbie: And the, the first three questions to ask yourself about your company, your culture are very specifically to get the information that you need to make B good decisions about what will it take to move you forward, right? So you don't waste money and time on fixing things that don't need to be fixed. And laser. Focusing on those things that need your real attention and resources. So the fourth question to ask yourself, when you are assessing your culture is what will it take to, to move us forward? Uh, and, and in general, you want to understand. What you look like today, as we said a moment ago, but also what will we look like tomorrow? If we're successful, if we're delivering exceptional service, if the business is growing, um, if you know, we're improving our bottom line, improving our market, share what will we look like tomorrow? And what's it going to take to get us there? And, um, so. I'll just give you a quick example. I'm working with a client right now, a concrete company. Um, actually, and this company did a great job of answering those first three questions. They are in a kind of a unique position for today and they are growing by leaps and bounds and they're getting ready to build two new plants. Wow. But they were also struggling with giving exceptional service today, much of that because of what everyone else is facing labor shortages. Um, Supply chain shortages. And so they did a great job of asking those three questions, you know, and, and who are we? Where do we wanna be? And what's working and what's not working. And what they were able to focus on is that actually their. Customer service rankings. They're probably in the 90 percentile most of the time. Wow. Their customers are very loyal. They do a fantastic job. They're a family owned company and they have a great reputation, but they felt like they were losing control. Hmm. They didn't have enough help. They've been very, very busy, you know, with all of the, the issues that we just, we just discussed. What they were able to identify is what it was going to take to move them forward is certainly some new technology. Uh, I know a little bit about concrete business now, probably more than I ever expected to know. Yeah. Um, but their chemist is working on new technology to create more customized mixes and to be able to deliver those quicker and more efficiently. One example is something as simple as buying a front porch truck to replace the back poor trucks. And I, you know, I know you all are in the concrete business more than likely, but the difference is with a back pour truck, you've probably seen them out and about in your towns or cities. Yeah. Uh, they unload, they unfold this big shoot and. Pour the concrete out the shoot has to be manhandled. It has to be held steady and, and so forth. A front pour truck is a, uh, more or less a stationary shoot and the concrete comes out and it takes one less person to actually do the job. Wow. Which is actually a benefit to the customer because customers, the one that has to hold the shoot pour the, pour, the concrete, those guys that are finishers, that do that amazing job of bending over all day long with a two by four and scraping the concrete it out. Yeah. So this allows the customer to use one less person on the job and they can reallocate their resources someplace else. So it's not technology like we normally think. Right, right. But it's a great example, but it is new technology. It's not screens and circuit boards it's, you know, but it is certainly technology that, you know, that new. Innovation that has, has reduced your human resource needs it. Absolutely right. So the, the idea of technology, you know, earlier in, in episode two, we said, the question is, do you need technology? And if you decide that you do, how much do you need, and then exactly what. Is that right? Focus on the technology. That's going to be the most beneficial for you as this concrete company did and get the most bang for their buck. The other thing that they identified, um, that involves some new technology as well, is that with the labor shortages, they have to be sure that they get the right people on the job first time. Right. They really cannot afford. This revolving door of labor. So they identified that as they've grown so rapidly, they did not have a good process in place for right fit, recruiting, interviewing, and hiring a right fit folks. They also promote their folks from within almost 100%. And. They've had to figure out a way to identify just because a person is a great operations manager. Does that mean that they'd be a great leader? Right? And if they're promoting these folks into these positions or even hiring from the outside, they had to identify. What training do they need? Do they, do they need additional operational training? Do they need people skills training? Do they need right fit, hiring training? Uh, so they have really focused on bringing training and orientation to the forefront, not only for their frontline, but they're hiring, making sure that they understand the new service framework and how to deliver exceptional service. but also making sure their leaders understand how to be great leaders and lead people, which of course improves retention. Right? So by doing those three steps, so, uh, thoroughly and diligently, they have been able to really identify those things that are going to give them the best bang for their buck. And it has been for the most part focused on the people part of their business. [00:10:09] KK: Yeah, that's so important. And very often, um, I don't wanna say overlooked, but not the right amount attention. Um, and, and planning is typically put forth. Right? Um, [00:10:20] Debbie: honestly, I think I would say that the people, part of the business is often one of the most [00:10:24] KK: overlooked. Yeah. Yeah. I'm sure they're working on their product. Right. They've worked on new trucks and [00:10:29] Debbie: technology and new products, people, products compete, and innovative products to compete and, uh, Growth and the bottom line, but they often skip one of the most important parts and that is the people side of the business. Right. And [00:10:41] KK: most of our businesses, they're, you're not the only one there's somebody else. And I realize that in the agency world, boy, there's a ton of great agencies out there. Mm-hmm and, um, typically what we've found that people. People stay for the people. Yeah. Or we, we had that large electronics company, they had a, uh, uh, they, they were distributors. So their competition was distributing the exact same products. Mm-hmm but they, they liked bill. Right. And that's what we found. It's like, well, bill knows my business. Bill knows what I need. I might go in for, you know, this kind of wire and these speakers and, uh, controller and bill bill says, well, if you tried this one, cuz I, I know what you're trying to get done. So it's the people and, and how knowledgeable and how well they're trained. Yes to fit the culture. Right. I agree. Yeah, absolutely. And it's so often overlooked. And so an extension that right fit hire, uh, I just want to expound on that is that, um, the, to continue that process, once you've hired someone and to have a review process that's aligned with that, uh, culture. So you've, you've right fit hired for the culture. Are, are you reviewing for the culture? And that means. What are you reviewing against? And I actually, I would dread review times. I, I just don't. Cause I think we didn't have good process. Once I realized that what we're really doing is reviewing people against the purpose statement or what you folks probably more, we'll talk about purpose statement, standards, service, standard behavior in the future episode, um, as a real foundational elements, but you more familiar with a mission statement, vision statement, are you reviewing against these established standards for your company? Um, and right. We ask that question and folks very often answer, well, we don't have a mission statements. Mary put one up on the wall that she liked about two years ago. And people look at it occasionally [00:12:27] Debbie: and it, and it no longer has anything to do with our business. exactly. [00:12:31] KK: So that's something we gotta write down and make sure we get to sooner than later, but, you know, yeah. Once you hire these folks, you need to review them and then you need to understand how they feel about your business. Right. You know, they, typically don't leave for money. They leave for a lack of understanding of where your company's going. Uh, they may not like their direct report. So mm-hmm, , you know, getting these folks and keeping these folks. And it's also such a big hit to the bottom line. When you turn people over, it is costly in so many different ways. So. I, I can't stress enough, the right fit, hire, and, and the idea of, of real strategic, uh, review process. [00:13:07] Debbie: Yep, absolutely. And then, you know, that the, along with that, and because we honestly believe so many companies overlook the people side of the business and what's needed there. Always, we seem to look at the customers. The question is, and this comes with question five. Do we really understand who our core customers are and what their real needs are? Many companies make policies and procedures around what will help them to run the business efficiently, but don't always think about what the impact will be on the employees and on the, the core customer. And. With many companies that I've worked with, I will ask them about the core customer, what are their needs and their, and their wants. Then I will go out and ask the customers what their needs and wants are. I think you mentioned this in one of the first episodes is doing round tables or, or, you know, surveys or interviews with customers. So first I asked the client, what do you believe or the core customer's needs and wants, they give me a list of things. And then I talk to the customers and, and I can honestly tell you, uh, they missed the mark quite often. Yeah. And they will say, well, our customers want this. And when the customer, I talk to them, they often say, well, we don't care about that. This is what we care about. And it's not that they are terrible businesses. It's that we get preconceived ideas about. What our customers want, unless we ask the customer specifically, we don't really know more, more than likely. So understanding your core customers is critically important. And then we've just sort of already touched on this. Where does technology fit within our culture, if at all, and. What type of technology and how much and how, how are we gonna make it work, [00:14:59] KK: right. Yeah. I just wanna jump back to que, um, question five real quick, because do we, do we understand our core customers? Right. So I think we've all heard the term voice of the customer. Um, You know, it's really easy to get the voice of your customer. If you ask them right surveys, I don't wanna over oversimplify it, surveying your customers can be, can be scary and time consuming. But I think most folks don't do it out of fear of finding out something that they don't want to hear. Um, and I'll say this, as I say, with a lot of things, it is better to know than not to know always. always, always, always. So, um, Do a, you know, create a survey, go to survey monkey, you know, spend, uh, hundred bucks. If it's even that, you know, and, and send, email it out to your customer base, ask some questions. Um, you can get a professional to help you with it. And very often you can spend an hour with your, your executive team and come up with five, you know, questions. I, I wouldn't, wouldn't ask less than five. Wouldn't ask more than 10, uh, make it easy. And. You know, give them something you got, you do have to incent people to give you information. So whether it's everybody gets a $20 or $10 Starbucks card, or, you know, you're in a drawing for a $500 Amazon card to find out what your customers are thinking, or if you're in the kind of business where you speak to your customers. You know, the next phone call ask, how are we doing? You know, what, what, what could we be doing better? So, um, [00:16:24] Debbie: simple. I say, keep it simple. Uh, you know, honestly, just like what you said, Kevin, you're on the phone with a customer. Maybe you're fixing a problem. Or maybe just gathering information, but just simply throwing out there, how are we doing? Be honest, what would you like for us to do differently? Um, so it, that that's important. And you know, I always tell you this example, and then you sent me some new information today. So this little story lends itself to how once the customer gets a preconceived notion, you may not sway them. And when McDonald's first rolled out their self-service kiosks, I felt like they were the most difficult things on the planet to use. You couldn't substitute items. If I was going to order something exactly as it was on the menu, it was a piece of cake. If I wanted to substitute an iced tea for a soda or say, I don't want pickles on my cheeseburger um, it, there was just no way to do it. And. At first, they put people out there to help you, and then they stopped doing that. Yeah. And every time I went in, I just glared at that machine and went and got in line . Yeah. Right. Because I just did not like using it. And to this day I have a very negative opinion of that. So maybe when they first rolled it out, they rolled it out quickly and didn't make it as user friendly or yeah. Think about accommodating all of the customer's needs. And obviously according to the data, I think that data showed these types of self-service kiosks have resulted in a 30% increase in sales. And which is amazing. So, you know, when I, I, I go in, I won't use it because I had such a frustrating experience in the beginning. And so I just ignore it and I go, and I, I get in line, but obviously they've done some due diligence around, what is the frustration with customers? Why aren't they using this? Well, I [00:18:25] KK: think we they're, depending on a little self selection. Right? You tried it. Yes. Not your thing. I got, you know, there's, there's now three. Uh, three folks up front that you can order directly with the people. Right. So, right. Um, maybe there was six before the kiosk, so, you know, that's the other thing. Um, these jobs are getting harder, harder, and harder to fill. And honestly, you know, um, when you talk about spending more through the kiosk, um, remember, uh, Would you like fries with that is the butt of a joke, you know, for most people that want a low level job, you know, up sell. Yeah, exactly. You know, what does the drummer, what does the drummer say when you see him at work? He says, would you like fries with that? So one of my many drummers jokes, but anyway, being a drummer, I've heard 'em all. Um, but yeah, I mean, it. It's kind of a fact. And I remember, um, one of our favorite people, Clara DeSoto, who's now over at Google Deb when we were at SXSW she said, right. Uh, and here's Alex, a millennial who reminisces that his parents at 27 were married with kids, but Alex lives in Mom's basement and prefers to order pizza online. So I don't have to ever interact with a human so, but funny as it may be, it's a real persona. So if that is X, percent of your customers well then give them technology. If your cus, if you figure 90% of your customers are just, they just don't want to deal with it. Um, then you make, then you make a different choice. So mm-hmm, yeah. Understanding your core customers and adjusting your business to them. Um, The last thing I'll say on that topic as a, as a guy was branding and, and, and, uh, brand development for 25 years, I heard so many times the either CEO or president say, I think this should be our tagline. And I, you know, our customer is this. And I, I think the campaign should be this. I said, that's great, but you're not the customer. Right. So, you know, the fact that you think that I. I want you to have a voice, obviously it's your business and you have a vision, but let's understand the customer and understand what they want. And then we'll build a campaign that resonates with them. Mm-hmm right. So important to understand your core customer and then yeah. You know, this idea of where, where does technology fit in? Is that last question? Um, and as, um, so aply tied in to the people. In your example, right? So technology fits in not to replace all your human folks, taking orders, but to augment and maybe also solve your, your people problem. So mm-hmm, absolutely also very integrated. Yes, indeed. Okay. So before we wrap up, there's a couple things I wanna comment on about your example, the, the concrete company, you know, it was great to see that example with a company that has. Rapid growth. Right? Mm-hmm but you said there's a little, little bit of chaos. It sounds like. So somebody had told me there's this cycle of growth and chaos comes right after growth. Maybe we could put the, the graphic up on the website, but this idea of you have this rapid growth and you don't have time to put structure in place as you you're just dealing with the growth, right? Yes. And from that comes chaos. So that's in this cycle, you go from growth to chaos and then you recognize that you're in a bit of a chaos mode. Now you've gotta do some analysis and examination of what's going on. And then you add some additional structure, whether that's in the form of policies and procedures of people technology, right. And then believe it or not after that, well then what comes next? More growth. So you have to recognize that, yeah, this is gonna be a cycle, right. We don't just grow. And then everything's great. Typically growth begats chaos. so that's something that I. Does sometimes scares people and I just wanted to reassure them. That's kind of normal. So that's kind of, you know, this chaos is, is somewhat normal. [00:22:11] Debbie: It is very normal. And the, the idea that growth, especially rapid growth creates chaos is absolutely true. The question is, can you keep control of the chaos, right? Because companies that grow so rapidly that they lose complete control, uh, that can be a death sentence. Yep. And one day they're on top of the world and all new new customers are coming in, but they can't service them and they haven't figured out how to get control of that. And then next, next thing, you know, customers are defecting saying, well, they used to be great and now they're not so great anymore. [00:22:51] KK: And I think we've seen it. I think we talked about this offline, um, once the, the, the Verizons of the world or my, you know, up here in the Northeast Cablevisions of the world where they, their service was horrible. And then they recognized it and they got, got better. And then they got more people signing up mm-hmm um, and then it was garbage again, you know, and this idea you really need to, to monitor it as it happens. [00:23:13] Debbie: Well, that means that when you're planning for growth, you have to plan for potential chaos, try to identify whatever chaos might come along. In other words, where are our sticking points? If we continue to grow like this, we're gonna have to hire more people. People are not readily available. How are we going to address that? So you've also got to be able to. pre-plan for the future, right? So that you can mitigate the chaos and continue to grow and give exceptional service Customers don't care you're having a tough time. they don't, you know, if you've ever been into a restaurant and it takes forever to get you seated. And then the, the waitress finally comes up after making you sit for 20 minutes and says, oh, I'm really sorry. we're really shorthanded today. And we had four call ins. I don't care. I want I want to order my food. I want my food. I wanted to get home before 9:00 PM. Okay. Right, right. So companies can't tell customers, oh, gee, it's really tough now, you know, they don't care. They want what they want when they want it. So [00:24:17] KK: that is true. Although I am a little more tolerant. I'm a little more tolerant because I've felt.. lately well. I think [00:24:23] Debbie: those list, the work in this business are because right, we work with people who are going through this and we help them get through it. So people like us are, and I'm more tolerant in a restaurant because they used to be a server! That's right. You know, so I, you know, back in the day, long time ago, galaxy far, far away, I used to be a server and I understand what it's like to do that job. A lot of people don't and a lot of people don't care. Right. [00:24:50] KK: Probably why you were so successful in food services at Disney. I know you spent the time a little time there [00:24:54] Debbie: too. Yeah, I did. Yeah, I did. [00:24:56] KK: So last thing I wanna say, and then we get a sign off, um, uh, for this episode is you mentioned something about question four. What will it take us to move forward? And you mentioned this idea of, um, recognizing what you wanna be, what you wanna look like down the road. And I think it's really important to, to go through that exercise. A lot of people think that's, oh, that's, you know, hippie dippy stuff with the vision boards. And, but if you don't know, mm-hmm, who you wanna be, what that end game looks like. Mm-hmm , I don't know how you're ever gonna get there. Right. You get in the car, you don't know where you're going and what, you know, I'm I'm yeah. I'm driving to the restaurant and I can't wait to eat, you know, it really does help that vision to come true. If it's written down and doesn't need to be up on a wall, maybe it's, that's your thing too. That's fine. Mm-hmm but you've gotta have a clear vision of right where you wanna arrive and what that's [00:25:49] Debbie: gonna look like and that vision, you, you, if you remember at Disney Institute, we talked a lot about vision, right? Yeah. And that vision has to be very precise and full of details. When I ask a client, where do you wanna be in the future? And they will tell me I wanna open four more stores. Okay. That's great but what does that look like? And we ask people when you are envisioning who you are in the future, what is it that will drive that pie in the sky success? So if you can envision your ultimate success, what will it look like and what will it take to. Get you there, right. It's more specific than we wanna open four more stores. Right, right, right. Um, so that vision is incredibly important. And just, as you said, Kevin, if you don't have a clear vision, it's probably going to be impossible to move forward. [00:26:44] KK: Yep. Absolutely. So that brings us to our greatest piece of advice you'll ever get always just slightly better than the last episode, because I guess that's how it would have to be, to be the greatest piece, but it's really a summary of, of, of what we've gone through today. And I think, um, we could sum it up today and, and, and saying that we really encourage you to look at technology as an integrated and primary piece of the solutions. For your business challenges and, and a big part of your way forward. So, um, you're not going to only examine technology, but surely included in all of your. business challenges, you know, does technology play a part in solving this problem? [00:27:25] Debbie: And, and that's the key question. And as you are assessing your, your organization to move forward, you should be asking yourself, you know, what do we wanna look like in the future? Certainly. And at every sticking point, once you've done a good job of assessing, you will know where your sticking points are, whether they are with the employees or with your processes, your policies, your procedures, or your customers. If at those sticking points, you identify every touchpoint. Nice. So in other words, if, if my sticking point is I don't have the right people on the job, then they are touch points with my customers. And how might that damage us? So ask yourself at every touchpoint, what are, what are my pain points? What are, what are our sticking points? And then that will be followed up with the question, how do we solve this? And where does technology fit in if at all? And if you ask that for every single sticking point, You will figure out where technology fits, what to invest your money in and where you just need some good old fashion, cultural redesign, you know, that's right. Policies, procedure changes, or whatever. [00:28:41] KK: Exactly. Well, that's great. That's the wrap tune in. Next week when we talk about demystifying brand and, um, we are excited to talk to you about that. Um, we've somewhat demystified culture and we're gonna move on to brand and how these two things work together. So we look forward to seeing you on the next episode next week. Thanks everyone! [00:29:03] Debbie: Thank you! [00:29:07] Outro: You've been listening to the Disney Way for the Digital age! Our producer and engineer is Steven Byrom. Show coordinator is Taranpreet Trehan. And voiceover by Cindy Clifford. Kevin and Debbie can be reached for free advice or paid consulting at [email protected] or [email protected] A new episode is released each Tuesday morning. We hope you’ll continue to listen!
Tuesday Jun 14, 2022
Tuesday Jun 14, 2022
SHOW NOTES: 0:35: Hey, thanks for coming back! 1:48: The three pillars that support great customer experience, once your culture's in place. On Brand. 2:53: Debbie on corporate Culture; what makes your corporate culture? 4:50: Consolidation, it’s even making news. 5:40: On returning to the office.. are we doing that? How, why, and to what end? 8:00: Culture can really take a dive if you’re not paying attention. 8:50: About the successful merging of cultures 10:27: Do we need a design plan? Cultural engineering 11:02: The third pillar is Technology 12:12: On the customer experience via tech 12:53: Different types of tech integration 13:30: Defining how much technology is really needed? 14:00: Is technology helping to grow your brand or is it eroding it? 15:09: Six questions to honestly assess your culture Ref: www.disneywaydigital.com 15:50: Number one… 18:55: How does tech fit into delivering an exceptional experience to your customer? 19:48: The internal versus the external customer’s needs 21:21: On how Disney applied tech internally, a few years back 23:40: It comes down to access 24:34: A parting thought and what’s up on our next episode! 25:57: End credits Please find us on the Web at: www.disneywaydigital.com Via email: [email protected] and [email protected] And on the Socials at: Debbie: LinkedIN and @DZmorenski on Twitter and @dkzcoach on Facebook Kevin: @BigBuzzKev on Twitter INSTA & Facebook TRANSCRIPT via Descript: Intro: Magical customer experiences don't happen by accident. They happen through careful planning and meticulous design. Kevin and Debbie have been engineering, extraordinary customer experiences for over 30 years. Join us as we explore corporate culture, branding, service, excellence, and much more through storytelling, technical curiosity, and friendly conversation. The Disney way for the digital age will be revealed. [00:00:25] KK: Yeah. We have a theme song. Isn't that great!? Amazing. So, awesome. Good to see you again. Thanks for coming back. And hopefully our listeners they've come back, but I'm so glad you came back! That’s not guaranteed. Right? [00:00:44] Debbie: Well, you know what I used to say when I’d release the guests for lunch and they'd come back after lunch. I'd say thank you for coming back from lunch. You always know how things are going. If no one comes back from lunch that's right. Especially delivering programs where they could sneak off to a theme park, right? [00:01:01] KK: Oh that's right. Well, I remember having a breakfast and I said, associate that friend here that I still work with in long island. We had breakfast, a breakfast in animal kingdom. Yeah, one morning of Disney Institute and I can't remember. And Harambae, I think it was really cool. And if you are lucky, we came back. Cause I was definitely wanting to just hop on the train and go. stay in the park [00:01:30] KK: Exactly. But I went back because the curriculum was so engaging, but welcome back. Um, so nice to, to, to be doing this with you again. So we promise folks that we would start to get into some nuts and bolts about how to honestly assess their culture. Um, we look at it. We've, we've Deb had talked about the, um, the three pillars that support great customer experience that, you know, you deliver once your culture's in place. So those three elements are brand culture and technology, and I'm kind of the, the brand guy in this, this group, um, you know, um, brand is the way that. A name of a company and the service from the company and a logo of the company makes people feel right. That's that's brand, right. It stays with you. It's called brand like a brand. You put on a cow. It's like, because that sticks with you. If you've done it. Right, right. You, it sticks with you. So what, and, and, and we've. We were always surprised that so many folks hadn't really talked about this more, but our belief is that culture and brand are inextricably combined. You, they just one supports the other. So, you know, and that that's really the crux of our book. Our book formerly was called the culture of brand, I think way, way back. Yeah. That's brand. And I'm going to turn it over to Deb to talk about the second pillar of culture. Okay. [00:02:52] Debbie: So we talked a lot. We just kind of popped in with that word culture. And it's surprising to me how often I work with even large companies. And when I'm speaking with executives, I will ask them to describe their corporate culture to me. And they don't really have a clear idea of what. The phrase means, but it's not as complex as it sounds. It, you know, the simplest definition of culture is all of the elements that simply describe or drive how you get business done in your organization. So the things, just some examples of the things that make up a culture are. How do you promote people into leadership? How do you choose leaders? How do you hire leaders? Um, how do you train them? How do they treat your employees? And what do you accept about how they treat your employees? Are they respectful and considerate or is it the, my way or the highway? Oh attitude. It is about the employees themselves. How do you recruit and hire right fit? How do you train them, give them what they need so that they can deliver an exceptional experience. It's about your description of the customer experience and how you're going to make that happen. It's about how you decide what your policies and procedures are within the organization. Right? That's all. If you have them. Exactly. I mean, it's all part of, of your culture. And there are many, many more examples and every company of course is a little different, but that is the simple definition of culture. So, I mean, Kevin has a great example that is actually been recently in the news and this. Very specifically relate to culture. So, um, Kevin, I'm going to tell that story because it's a great example. [00:04:48] KK: Well, you know, there's so much consolidation going on in the world, especially in media and technology. So, you know, very recently I'm discovering Warner got together and somehow, and discovery is the, the, um, the, the leading entity in that. Interesting. And I won't share the, the creative, uh, ways that folks have expressed their opinion about that. But there's some great articles if you'd like to read on read about it, but, um, yeah, a huge company there's companies both in their own right. Gigantic companies, but Warner kind of back, we asked for one reason or another and said, you know, the Disney leadership or the discovery leadership's going to take over. And I have the, uh, the, the insight of having a daughter that works over there and, uh, It's been a challenge, right? So, um, uh, yes, these things are challenging. I've been through one or two myself, and I've actually advised other companies on how to make these work. But if you don't pay attention to culture and make decisions on what the right culture for the future of your company is, as you're going through this, you will have issues. So hot topic for everybody returned to office, right. Will I ever return off as do I want to return to office? No, by the way, Um, I want to see people, I want to see, I want to get together with purpose, but I don't need to commute, you know, 10 times a week is which what I used to get, I say, hop on the train from long island and get into Manhattan and, uh, love Manhattan, but I don't miss that commute. So they decided, um, um, my daughter had been with, uh, with Warner, uh, for a long time and, uh, pardon me, but as Debbie said, We're not going to sugarcoat anything, you know? So, um, we're going to tell you, like, it is at least as we see it. Um, yeah. So, you know, Warner, or as many big companies have been, they've been kicking that can down the road. Well, when you coming back, oh, just keep doing what you're doing. And we'll talk about it in four months, you know, two years later, that's still kind of the status quo, but honestly, no, one's come up with no, one's come up with the perfect answer. So. Discovery, uh, you know, the merger happens. Discovery gets a town hall. It gets on everybody on a town hall and says we're returning to work June 1st, come on back to the office three days as week. And then the awkward pause and people are like, uh, is there a plan? Like I had a desk there two years ago and honestly, I'm not even in that department. I'm not even sure if I'm on that floor in my new department. Right. Um, I've got kids. And for me to get childcare, I need to pay for five days childcare. Right. And what about you? No money doing this three. How am I going to offset the, you offer childcare? again, long pause. No, no plan. Um, there's going to be layoffs. Okay. Are you, you know, so. I'm going to move in the city and take on a, you know, probably 24, $26,000 a year lease. Right. I am I going to do that? And you're gonna lay me off in two weeks, or is this your, your method? I honestly think that it was their method of vetting, uh, folks, you know? Alright, well, whoever's not up for it they can leave. And I, my first reaction was; you're using a single parameter to define who you want in your company, meaning I'll work onsite or I won't, that's just insane. And there was that to me, there's no planning, right? No grand planning, but anyway, um, and long story short how does this tie back to culture that is just going to destroy the culture. So I know the folks that, and at Warner and, um, And I should say, I know some employees over at Warner and they're just scared to death that their culture is just going to crash and burn because it doesn't seem to be a plan. The plan does not seem to be a people focused. Right come back because it's June 1st because we've got office space and I want you here. Terrible reason. Right? Look, it's hard. It's not, there's no easy answer. I don't say there's a right way or wrong way. I think it's innovation happens when people are together, for sure. You know, accidental innovation, especially, which is some of the best kind of innovation. So that's my kind of topical story about, um, how, if you don't watch culture, it just happens. It can really take a dive without you really realizing it's happening. [00:08:59] Debbie: And you know, in that kind of, uh, edict is in my mind. I, if I see it. A clear representation of the culture. So there's two cultures now that have come together, and this is one of the toughest things to do. And I've helped organizations to do this too, who have taken on another company, absorbed another company, merged with another company and then to take two cultures and make them one. But the message that they're sending very clearly to the employees is we have a culture now of. Um, That does not. Or we have a culture now that does not engage our employees, that executives are making decisions. They're not thinking things through, they're not considering the impact to the employee and may or may not care. So that represents a certain kind of culture, not necessarily a good culture, but it's still a culture. I mean, culture comes in many different disguises and some are good and some are not good. And, um, so it very dramatically represents a culture of that organization. So it may not be very positive and, and they'll lose, potentially lose good people over it [00:10:22] KK: . Oh, there, the prediction is they'll lose 20% to 25%. And I think that's, and the sad thing is they're not going to lose folks that didn't like the company, you know? Oh no. That never happened. My daughter loves working with, she loves the company, loves the work. She loves the people, but if she's forced to leave, it'll be because she doesn't want to commute and she doesn't want. You know, $2,000 a month for at lease. So, you know, that that's just a great example of lack of planning. Everything should be designed. Everything in your business should have a design plan. You know, people think of design. I love that word. Um, you know, we, we call ourselves cultural engineers sometimes because, you know, engineers design things, right? So we help people design what the optimal culture is. To deliver on a brand experience to retain people and to gain and retain customers. So I want to come back cause I want to get to technology or a third pillar, but I'm going to come back to you. You talked a little bit about, um, uh, asking the employees what they think, which is something that didn't go on for a lot of years, but there's a couple of great stories. You still, you told that the Institute, but anyway, third pillar is technology, right? So. It is not new, but it seems new to many companies. I just talked to somebody that said, they're working at a. This guy just got a job at a company and they have everything on paper. And I think you've seen these at, at maybe contractors and doctor's offices with those masses and masses of colored tab folders. You're not serving anybody well by overlooking technology, right? It's like, you know, let's use the doctor example. You could, you know, if, if your information's online, like the greatest experience I had recently is when I worked, I went to the doctor that was in a consolidated group that shared records. I didn't have to like, oh, did you have an x-ray? And can you ask him that? No, it's right in the Portal! So this idea that technology can enhance your brand, save you tons of money and deliver a much more rewarding experience for your team. Right? Who wants to go sorting through papers when they could kick control F find what they need and move on with doing something more substantive. Right. So, um, the Disney example I gave is, you know, well, you used to have somebody standing on Main Street with a map and they would go, you know, oh, uh, and the showtimes. And that was printed in the morning. And if something changed, they was still printed the way it was printed. Right. So somebody comes up and says, you know what time is the, the, you know, or my favorite? “What time is the three o'clock parade?” Um, but anyway, you can't, you can't say, Hey, stupid, it's three, o'clock you say, oh, you know, you show up about 2:30 to get a spot. And if you sit in front of the, the barbershop, they have the air conditioning blasting and get a nice cold blast of air. That's a good answer. I’ve digressed. The person could be standing on main street with an iPad and they can say, you know what, there's, there's a, there was a reservation system now and it's, uh, I can get you a spot right here and I'm going to book you right now. And, um, they're probably running about 15 minutes late, but if you show up and you're booked. Right. So the idea of using technology to enhance your guest experience, your customer experience is not something new, but it is something that is still sorely overlooked. And there's so many creative ways, uh, you know, take it to the nth degree. Uh, like we do with the brands, like Hard Rock and, you know, we've got a, uh, personified chatbot that is you know, personified as a 30 year old tattooed girl who knows the best place to get a burger and the password for the speakeasy down the street. So, you know, there's so much creativity that you can do when it comes to the new technology when running your business. [00:14:03] Debbie: And if I could just jump in and say, there's so much technology, and I think I barely touched on it the first Ep. I think it's very, very important as part of your brand identity with your, your guests is to understand how much technology you really need. Uh, and Disney's gone way out on the technology piece. Is it good? Is it not good? Is it too difficult? Uh, you know, I don't know. I think the, the answer remains to be seen. Does it exclude some groups of people or not? I, you know, it's, it's, uh, I, I think it's a question to be answered after a little more time. Um, but, but that's an important piece because things that make customers unhappy erodes your brand. So if technology makes them happy, oh my gosh, this is great. It's so much quicker and easier now to do this with you, people, it will enhance your bread. Oh my gosh, you've made this so much more difficult. I can't get into do anything with you people will that erode your brand. So I think so there's a lot of really fine lines to consider here. [00:15:14] KK: And you mentioned, uh, you know, this is for another episode, but the idea that, you know, we both kind of feel that Disney's in danger of becoming an elite brand, right. We're not for, and I think you've definitely said it better, maybe that I can't remember, but Walt said, you know, I want this, I want this to be for everybody. I want everybody to enter. That is certainly not the experience. So, you know, that's something we'll certainly talk about down the road. Right. So you gotta monitor tour audience, always having acute awareness of who your audience is. Um, you know, what emotions you want them to experience and how to, you know, figure out how to make them happy and loyal customers for life. So, but back to turning inward and 6 questions to honestly assess your culture, right? So now we're getting into some meat, meat, and potatoes, and we're going to put this, uh, you know, anything you hear like this is going to be up on our website, um, www.disneywaydigital.com. So, um, go ahead Deb, take it away. [00:16:08] Debbie: So we want to get to give you some start giving you some structure. And this is there's really quite a lot to this. I'll try to give a couple of quick examples, but there are six basic questions. You know, if you remember correctly, when we finished up with the first episode, we said, the very best companies assess their culture regularly. Well, how do you do that? Not everybody understands. You know, how, how in the world do I assess my culture? Were there six key questions that you can ask yourselves.. better yet.. do it with a group of people. I am a big fan of asking certain questions with some employees in the room. Some, some supervisors in the room, some managers, executives in the room so that you get the true scope of, of the answers for these questions. So the first one, the first one is who are we today? You know who our core customers, how do we deliver? Uh, if you're Disney, you would say, how do we deliver on the magic today? How do we hire leaders? How do we hold them accountable? I mean, all those. Who are we today really pick apart how it is that you do business and ask yourself um You know, how do we do this? But after you've identified who you are and what those elements of your culture look like, you have to ask yourself, what's working right now? And the second question is what's not working or what are we missing? So if you clearly outline; well, who are we today? You list as many cultural elements as you can think of, uh, is our hiring process working? Is there a vetting process working? Is there a training process working? If not, you put it over to the side under ‘not working’. And you can create a plan on how to, how to address that. Um, what will it take to move us forward? So once you figure out what's working and what's not working, are there new elements you need to put in place? Are there things you need to stop doing? And, and how do you get those answers. Do you ask employees? Do you ask your managers and your supervisors? So what will it take to move you forward? You might even ask your customers. You might do round tables with customers. Hey, is there anything we're doing is frustrating the daylights out of you or might make you leave. Right? I have done that all day. I've done that where I've done work with companies where I have. Um, held round tables or interview sessions with their customers and said, is there anything that's got you on the brink of leaving the effective from this company? If you don't ask the tough questions, you don't get the right answers. Absolutely! Right. Do we understand our core customers, the demographics, their physical, and their emotional needs? This kinda ties back to what Kevin and I were just talking about. Um, has Disney put themselves in a position with all of this technology and requiring reservations that I, and it's, it's not an easy process to plow through…have they put themselves in a position where only certain people can make this work for them and, and make it work? Um, and they've always been very good about this. So I have no doubt they'll do it eventually, is asked the customers um, is it working? Is it not working and identify who today are our core customers so that you can be sure you've got the processes in place to take care of them. And where does technology fit with your culture? And this kind of, we said this a couple of times, how much technology, what kind of technology, if you're a small company and I I've worked with a lot of small companies. Chatbots a really great chat bot might be all you need for right now where customer can for simple questions can get the answers quickly and move on, but it gives them the option to talk to a live person if they need to. That might be all the, all that they need. It might be an enhanced website. So what. Where does technology fit in with your culture? How does it fit into your culture? How does it fit into delivering an exceptional experience to your customer? So you really have to identify what that level of technology, uh, looks like. [00:20:37] KK: Yeah. Yeah. I'm going to jump in and let's, let's introduce the idea of internal/external customer. Cause you said delivering exceptional experience to your customer. Now often talk about the concept of internal customer and external customer. Obviously our external customers are the customers we typically think about right. And that's easy, but the idea of this internal customer is the different stakeholders within your company, right? Your employees, your managers, your executives, um, and you know, an example. So I came from the agency world and I was recently at an agency conference and, uh, Technology can be tough. So I had heard two or three stories about, um, tech technology migration for their, uh, agency management systems. So disruptive, so difficult, but, and, and, and that's something you have to take into consideration for your internal customers. It's going to be frustrating as hell for your, for your employees. And for you managers and in this case, you're your accounting department because this new system integrates timecards and accounting and. But you've, if you've carefully thought this through on the other side of this, um, which hopefully is, you know, a couple of months at most, sometimes you see this rollout in six months, um, everything you're delivering a much better experience for your internal customers. Everyone internally, um, can work more efficiently, uh, much more optimized and thus now you're, you have an opportunity to deliver a better experience for your external customers. So just wanted to throw that in there, and that concept will come up more than once for sure. [00:22:18] Debbie: I think that is, that's a great concept and I could give a real quick example many years ago Disney was was actually putting some technology in place to assist the cast members with getting internal information that they needed. So for example, if they needed to know how many vacation hours do I have for the rest of the year, do I have left for the rest of the year? I want to plan to bring my family into the park. Are there any blackout dates? You know, I want to make those plans. They would go to the personnel office in their area and stand in line and that person would pull out paper copies and say okay. Here's how many vacation hours you have left. So Disney put technology in place that the Disney, they cast member portals, if you will. And. Surprisingly, the company was very surprised by this. After speaking to many, many cast members and putting it out on surveys, they discovered that a lot of cast members- now you're talking back in those days, there was probably 55,000 plus it's closer to 70 plus now, um, they. A lot of the cast members did not have computers at home, or if they had computers, they couldn't afford internet service so they didn't have internet or didn't understand internet. Uh, so what they did was in, in backstage areas, in every single area in the, in the tunnels, and the backstage areas of all the hotels, backstage areas about theme parks, they put kiosks up where a cast member could go there and in complete privacy with their own portal ID sign in and could look up all the information that they needed quickly and easily. And those at home with computers and internet service of course could do it at their leisure at home. And the cast members loved it because they were, they when you're on lunch and you're standing in line at personnel office trying to get information, you may not get time to eat before you have to go back. Right. So it was a great example of how they use technology in all the right ways, but have to discover what was going to work best for the cast members as well. [00:24:36] KK: Well, that's a great example. If we circle back to how you started about Disney, uh, integrating technology today and access, right? So you have to consider access. Is this something your audience has access to at that time, the internal customer you're saying not everybody. So they came up with a solution, right? They, they recognize the problem and they said let's come up with a solution. And that's, that's one of our favorite things. Right. Great challenges. Come on. Tell us, give us a problem, we’ll figure it out! Honestly, that is one of the things that still gets me out of bed every day is helping, helping businesses answer those big questions, which is sometimes, you know, uh, little challenges that can have big consequences so. And here we are, again. So quickly at the end of our second episode. So much more to talk about. Um, and you know, like I said, you can go to, uh, www.disneywaydigital.com. We'll post these questions and we'll eventually start getting some, uh, some, some worksheets and things that you could do on your own. But, um, the last thing I'll leave you with is, You know, the funniest thing that happens. And I think it happens almost every time. So. First part of our process is we'll go in with the executive team and talk about these questions yet. Who are, who are we today? Right. You know. Around the table, invariably, you've got like five or six different answers. We're a sales organization. Now we're product development. We're about delivering a great customer experience, you know, there. So our first things usually getting leadership aligned. [00:26:11] Debbie: Absolutely! Not only getting leadership aligned, but getting them on board with the concept of the possibility that they may have to make some change. Especially executive leadership. You know, if it doesn't happen then it’s not going to happen. You know what I mean? “We’ve always done it that way. Yes. Yeah. [00:26:28] Debbie: I'm too busy. I haven't got time for this. Uh, we've never had to do it this way before. Uh, you know, we've heard it all. [00:26:35] KK: Well more on that next episode. We hope you all tune in. Deb I hope you show up. I'm probably going to show up so well, thanks everyone. We will see you next time. And like we said, you can get all our information. You can reach out. We'd love to hear from you. So go to www.disneywaydigital.com and we look forward to hearing from you. See you next time. [00:26:57] Debbie: Thank you! [00:26:59] Outro: You've been listening to the Disney Way for the Digital age! Our producer and engineer is Steven Byrom. Show coordinator is Taranpreet Trehan. And voiceover by Cindy Clifford. Kevin and Debbie can be reached for free advice or paid consulting at [email protected] or [email protected] A new episode is released each Tuesday morning. We hope you continue to listen!
Monday Jun 06, 2022
Monday Jun 06, 2022
SHOW NOTES: 1:00: Debbie Zmorenski and Kevin Kelly’s background and introductions 2:50: A bit more about Debbie’s background w/ Disney Ref: The Disney Institute 5:12: A bit more about Kevin’s background 9:00: An overview of the types of topics we’ll be discussing as we progress! 11:05: About some of the stories and history we’re going to share! 11:39: “The Dark Years”. All companies stumble, Disney was no exception 12:03: How do you recover from a stumble and “Insidious decline” 14:08: Ref: Book “Storming the Magic Kingdom” 16:38: Michael Eisner speech clip. Ref: Michael Eisner and Frank Well’s FULL introduction speech: HERE 17:15: The impact on Debbie of his speech at that juncture 17:30: The Disney Decade. 18:30: Footsteps speech/getting on the bus [no longer in print] 18:50: On the big cultural and structural change 21:00: One of many streaming/content games now in town 22:05: A bit more on Judson C. Green’s “Get On The Bus”/Service Excellence Framework here and how the new culture boarding process transpired 25:18: The Greatest Advice You’ll Ever Get (We think!) 25:50: “You should pay careful attention to your culture; because culture happens by accident, or by design. We hope to help you curate and create that culture by design”. Successful companies regularly step back and say: Where are we today? What's working? What's not working? They examine all the elements of their culture and ask what they need to do, to move forward. 22:33: What’s happening on our next episode?! Please find us on the Web at: www.disneywaydigital.com And on the Social at: Debbie: [email protected] also LinkedIN and @DZmorenski on Twitter and @dkzcoach on Facebook Kevin: [email protected] and @BigBuzzKev on Twitter INSTA & Facebook 27:20: The End TRANSCRIPT: Intro: Magical customer experiences don't happen by accident. They happen through careful planning and meticulous design. Kevin and Debbie have been engineering, extraordinary customer experiences for over 30 years. Join us as we explore corporate culture, branding, service, excellence, and much more through storytelling, technical curiosity, and friendly conversation. The Disney way for the digital age will be revealed. [00:00:30] KK: Hey, Debbie. It is so great to finally be doing this, uh, boy, you and I have been working together and, and talking for almost two decades. I think we figured out I was going to go try and find my old Disney Institute book and see when that, when that first meeting was. Gosh, we've been working together forever it seems! [00:00:48] Debbie: this, this is going to be a lot of fun to put our ideas together, to share ideas with, with others and make an impact. We hope on other businesses out there. So I'm looking forward to. [00:01:01] KK: Yeah, likewise, uh, to give folks some background. Um, Debbie and I have worked together. I, I met Deb, uh, at the Disney Institute about two decades ago. We're figuring that out. And, um, we [00:01:13] Debbie: started with, I hate to tell you, but I think it was longer than that, but that's okay. We'll go with, let's [00:01:19] KK: go two decades. Geez. Um, yeah. And you know, kinda changed my life and my perspective of how to run my business and return. And, uh, you know, had, had to create a friendship and relationship with Deb. And, and we had started working together, build a program for brands and, and, and, um, even agencies for reselling to brands that we would help structure a culture and integrate it with, um, brands and how their brand comes to life through service and a lot of other ways. So, um, that's something we've been doing. It's, it's, it's been exciting work, so I don't know what five, six years ago. Let's write a book. [00:02:02] Debbie: What great idea. Right? [00:02:06] KK: So, uh, the Disney winning for the digital age. Yes, it is a book and a podcast. Um, we're doing well with the book, but, you know, w we we're, we're, we're finishing up and they always say that, what is it that 80, 80% is easy. That last 20% is 80% of the work. And that's kind of where we are with. And we started talking on these book meetings and we said, I think folks might find this interesting. So that's kind of how this came about, right? [00:02:32] Debbie: Yeah, [00:02:32] KK: absolutely. So maybe, uh, maybe you tell folks a little about, um, yourself and how you started and, and what you've been doing for the past. A little while I won't get specific because you've already pushed us back into fourscore and [00:02:50] Debbie: 40 years ago. Right. So, um, yeah, I did start my career with this Disney Institute, uh, that my unintentional career, I will say because I was like 16. A couple months away from being 17. When I started with Disney, when they opened this new world here in Orlando, Florida. So I'm an opening team cast member and had really no intentions of staying as often happens with, with great companies 34 years later. I th you know, there I was, and I'd actually 30, after 34 years reached a crossroads in my career trying to decide what do I want to do next? I had spent 25 years in leadership positions and operations positions. Um, so most of my career and most of my experience is operations. I am an operations girl. Ben. I, I love it. I love everything about it. And to lead operations at Disney was, uh, not only a wonderful learning experience, but it was a great happiness. The last six years of my 34, I spent at Disney Institute sharing. The success stories and the processes that may did Disney successful. And that is where I met Kevin. He was the, the guy sitting in the front row raising his hand. Oh, oh, oh. And they'd stay after class. Not because he was bad, but because he had a ton of questions and that's how we got to know each other. And it was just one of those things that felt like we had always been friends. So it's not. And then in 2005, uh, As I was at that crossroads, I decided that I'd really like to try my hand at starting my own business and expanding on what I had learned and grown up with at the Disney company. And so I left and started a, actually a training business with a partner that has evolved several times over the years, but I'm networking as a sole proprietor, specifically helping organizations. With cultural change, um, process improvement, gaining those, those customers for life. And that's what my key focus is now. And I've been very, very fortunate to have been successful and that's really wonderful people and worked for some really great companies. [00:05:12] KK: And then, and that is quite a run and, um, it's kind of exemplary. Have we got together? Right. So you were consulting with your partner. I called you up as many folks exiting their, their training at Disney Institute would say, wow, this is fantastic. I'm going to go back to my business and I'm going to have no idea how to implement this. Can you come out and help? And that time was no right. They didn't know. So you said, now let me, let me help these folks. And then let me try this independent. So, you know, and then, you know, we've done that as well. So, um, a little about me, uh, Kevin Kelly. Yeah. What is so, um, so yeah, late eighties, early Niagara, you know, got out of Berkeley college of music. I was a recording engineer and a drummer and a couple of touring rock bands. You've never heard. And was lucky enough to do some work with some great folks. Like I got to work with Madonna and Phil Collins and some other great people, but then, um, and, and, and that was wonderful. But then the internet came along and I tell these folks, these millennials and some of the younger folks, like, so when the internet was invented, I started my company because it was like, wow, what is this show? I was always a technology guy and creative in the music side, and I saw the internet come about. And I'm like, This is definitely technology and like the creative palette for, you know, being able to build a website and build web apps and all this stuff was just wide open. Got me so excited. So I started a company called big buzz, uh, in the mid nineties, sold it last year and, uh, have a few companies. You know, I'm, I'm realizing that if it doesn't have some sort of connection of creativity, culture, and technology, I'm not so interested. So, you know, my, my passions lie at the intersection of technology and creativity and certainly is, is, um, you know, service, culture design is something that lives in that space. So. Yeah. So, so, and then about us, we've worked with, uh, all kinds of companies, fortune 500 companies helping them, um, as we call it, you know, engineer creatively engineered, there, there. As we'll talk about later, right? Culture exists. Whether you just let it happen or you design it and, you know, we hope we're going to help you figure out how to, how to do the ladder and design it. And that's a big part of our focus, right? From, from your brand essence to the people that live [00:07:35] Debbie: it. Yeah. And that's why Kevin and I are such a good team. I am the. Big per picture operational person. He's the technical person. And I have, I am not a technical person. Let's just put it that way. So when we get to the technical piece, I go, Kevin, your turn, we need help with this. [00:07:56] KK: Yeah, we are union yang like that. It works really well. Absolutely. [00:08:01] Debbie: It works, [00:08:02] KK: but I think we've rubbed off on each other. So. [00:08:06] Debbie: Yeah. [00:08:07] KK: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So, um, yeah, this first episode is going to be probably a little different than the rest, you know, we'll, um, digging right into particular issues, but the format is going to be, you know, introduction. Hey, how you doing? Um, we're always going to focus on, you know, um, service culture. Uh, analysis and design, um, superior customer service systems, how to you identify them, create them and, and help them thrive in your organization. And then on the tech side, you know, I'm, I'm very excited and passionate about AI and, uh, CX design, customer experience design. How do you use this technology like chatbots and voice and web apps and, you know, the device that everyone holds in their hand there's. You know, we've got this thing that's in everybody's hand, how do we use it to, to help, um, reach our customers and help them engage with us? So, Yeah. [00:09:00] Debbie: And, and I would just, I would just like to say, you know, as we talk about, um, we'll say things like.. and you'll understand these a little bit later. We'll say things like service framework and understanding your culture, how to deliver exceptional service for your service framework. But the piece that has been missing until recently in is necessary is a technology piece. The question is how much technology do you need? You know, is it, is it huge or is it certain things like that, a chat bot that to help you with customer service? Um, so those things become important, not just putting technology into place for the sake of putting technology into place, but it certainly is a plus plus to. Yeah, the service experience, it can drive you to greater Heights when you're delivering that service, um, to, to your customers. So we hope that in future episodes, they help you to understand how to analyze that assess your current culture. And, and build in the technology that's necessary, um, that is relevant to the rest of your service framework. In order to give you, give your customers that, that great experience, we will always be candid and honest and upfront with you. When we give you examples, tell you stories. Yeah, we'll be professional, but we won't necessarily sugar coat, some of the tough subjects. And, and we, we honestly believe that's the way to give you the best information. [00:10:34] KK: Without question. Yeah. And, and there's so many opportunities, um, from the service standards and the things like you mentioned some terms that we may not get to defining, certainly in the first episode. So as we go through this, um, there's a whole system that some of it's obviously, you know, Deb's got years with Disney way and, and how they've done things, but they've, she's also worked with other large companies and I have myself, so we're gonna, um, um, Pull from all of that and share that with you. So the other thing we're going to do it, I think it's my favorite part is we're going to share stories about our lives and mostly that's going to be from Deb. She has, I think she underestimates how many great stories she has of her years at Disney and funny, you know, um, one of the things. So I, I remember that first night, it was my first time I went to Disney Institute twice. My first time was, um, Tracked. And we started with an evening and, um, Deb comes in and she goes right into a little history and then she, she matches this thing. My eyes went wide open called the dark years. And I said, what do you mean? What's she talking about dark years? Isn't Disney, just wonderful. And pixie dust. Everything's always been great, you know? Well, you know, that was a real eye-opener right. It's like, like many businesses. They grew, they, they felt competition and they had a need for change. And, uh, maybe, maybe go into a little of that and, and where you were and how that, how you felt because you lived it. I just heard the story, [00:12:02] Debbie: you know, starting in 71, it, everything was. And actually still all throughout my career, I considered a, just a magical experience, but all companies stumble and fall to their knees. And the question is, how do you recover? Right? Yeah. And some don't, I mean, we can think of dozens of companies that just never were able to recover and what happened was, and when you think about it, it's a phrase that we used to use a Disney is to call the insidious decline where the company is. Having troubles, Lou for Disney, it was losing those, those guests, attendance numbers getting more and more negative comments from our Disney files, our local biz or our loyal Disney folks. And. And yet the prevailing thought was we invented the theme park business. No one can compete with us. And basically we don't have any competition. Um, so everything, you know, everything will be fine. And then universal starts to move in and SeaWorld. And of course we become, uh, uh, booming attractions metropolis here in central Florida, and suddenly Disney found themselves in a really difficult position. And when you think about insidious decline, it goes all the way back to, um, Walt died before the park opened, you know, and it opened in 71. Walter died in 66, his brother Roy made the dream come true. And then three months after the dedication, Roy Disney. Passed away. And the company was left to, um, Ron Miller, super nice guy, married to Disney starter. Um, very, very nice guy, but, but actually it was way in over his head and running a company of this magnitude and their prevailing thought of. We have no competition was, was really almost their undoing. The dark years themselves began with the end. A lot of, you know, this story and it's, it's also, um, printed a book called “Storming The Magic Kingdom”, which is a very accurate, candid, honest rendition of this period. Um, but a corporate Raider came in and he was trying to. The Disney company and literally was within hours of acquiring the Disney company. And his plan was to sell the hotels to hotel chains, um, just, you know, either get rid of the same parks or, um, move them on to other companies. And. I had, at that time invested 12 years of my career in this amazing company. And at this point was thinking I'm going to stay forever. And I thought, oh my gosh, you know, I've invested 12 years of my life in this company and now it's going to cease to be right. And so we cast members called it the dark. Park attendance, as you can walk down main street. And it was like a ghost town that isn't scary and guests were telling us, you know, the magical experience is not so magical anymore. Your cast members, aren't all nice. Um, everything's starting to look a little worn and, uh, and this was around, um, oh gosh, I guess this started 80. Yeah, 84 or 88. Something like something like that around it. And, uh, and, and it was a really tough time and I really thought, okay, this is it. And then the, um, bass brothers came in as the white Knights to save the company. They bought the majority of the stock to keep this guy from taking over the company and they had certain conditions. The board met those conditions. And one of those conditions was, is that we want to bring in Michael Eisner. Um, To run the company as the new CEO. So I, you know, I always say this whenever you think of Michael iceberg and he did get up at like centric towards the end. Uh, he and Frank Wells came in together and flat out say this company, and I can remember standing in front of the castle and he came to do his personal introduction. And I remember him saying, oh, You know, for all of my life, I've wanted to be part of the Disney company. He said, and I am not intending to destroy this company or dismantle this company. Uh, he says, I am intending to build on all the wonderful things that Walt has put in place, but also to try new things, to, to get out and, and look at new technology and look at new ways of, of doing business. And that's my commitment. 16:40: Michael Eisner speech clip. Link to entire speech: HERE 17:08: I’ll never forget standing there in that crowd of cast members. And I was a manager at the time and thinking, oh my gosh, we're going to be okay. You know? Uh, and, and he literally did. That's when we entered what we call the Disney decade, we built hotels after hotels, the parks were cleaned up. We went back to right-fit hiring of the cast members and. Uh, went back to delivering a magical experience again, and we had decades of phenomenal success based on the things that Michael Eisner and Frank Wells put in place. And we continue to build on that today. [00:17:58] KK: I mean, that, that is truly amazing. And so many folks don't know that that even happened. Right. They don't know that they've always been wonderful. Never, you know, it was never a threat. Um, what you had shown us that night was a speech by Justin Green who had, uh, I think he was heading up, uh, parks at the time. Yeah. He [00:18:16] Debbie: was the chairman of parks and resorts and. The video that I showed everyone was called performance excellence, right? [00:18:25] KK: Because the footsteps speech, maybe the footsteps [00:18:28] Debbie: speech is what we used to call it because one of the things he says and he's opening dialogue is, you know, people are, because what it involved was complete cultural change. Um, Soup-to-nuts cultural change, stepping back and looking at it. Every element of the district culture, from how leaders behave, how leaders were promoted, how we hired employees, how we trained employees, how we met desks or exceeded guests expectations. I mean, every element of the culture was, um, dissected and looked. To the answer degree. And there were many, many big changes that had to happen to move us forward. And he was put in charge of that by Michael Eisner. And the video was called footsteps. We called it footsteps. It was the performance excellence video. And what it meant was, uh, he was sending a message to all the leaders that there is going to be big, big change. And we had to get on board with that change. He, he called it getting on the bus, which was a whole fun, uh, introduction, but, um, We were all given coaches and mentors and given a chance to change our ways. If we weren't listening to the cast members, if we weren't, um, being respectful to our cast murders or we weren't listening to the guests, the old days of managing the way manufacturing companies manage, look, I'm the boss. You just get up and do what you're told. Yeah. He made it clear. Those days are gone and that is not going to fly in this company any longer. So we were all given. Uh, chance to change our ways, if you will. And, and I, I was one of those that needed some help doing that because I was raised in the environment of, okay, I'm finally the manager, he just get out there and do what you're told. Right. And so we had big changes to make, and that was all part of the performance excellence initiative. But. It was big cultural change. Oh yeah. [00:20:19] KK: I mean that, for me, it underscores the entire structure of how to build the culture, how to arrive at higher. How did you put all those pieces together? Because as we've seen with the companies we work with, like, um, culture happens, right. If it's not the sound and for those 13, 15 years that you were there, I don't think you had structured. It was, you know, be nice smile, you know, it was, you know, and, and make their day. Right. But that wasn't a structure that was repeatable, um, training. Right. So from that came so many, um, uh, that structure that still to this day, as part of that Disney magic is created. Um, you know, you talk about that insidious decline. I just want to jump and, and come back to this for sure. But you know, you think about. Folks that aren't looking out for competition. Now just recently, Netflix took a huge dive in the stocks in the, in the market because they're not the only streaming game in town, not by a long shot. Right. They invented it. They, you know, they figured. They have concrete, audible content. They're spending multi billions each year on content, but so's Disney, sows, you know, shows HBO and Warner and all these folks. So exactly the only game in town, they want to have 15 now, you know, so I feel like for such an innovative company, they, they weren't looking far enough ahead or looking over there. Which is something you really got to do both though. Right? Right. Keep your, keep your eyes ahead. But you better take a look behind you too, because there's somebody always natur heels. And at that time, the footsteps that they heard was really universal, I think was coming in the mid eighties and maybe a quick, and we might have to wrap this first episode, but a quick story about the act, maybe I'll I'll I'll tell what I remember. You tell me how accurate it may be, but you tell the story about Justin's part of the speech with. The bus get on the bus for this bus is leaving, right. And we're going in this direction and it's going to be great for everyone, but you need to figure out where you are on this bus, this, you know, do you block on this bus? And you said there was an employee exercise where you had to draw yourself on the bus, certain in relation to the bus. And he had some interesting output sometimes. Yeah. [00:22:36] Debbie: Yeah, we, we had, uh, we did, we had to draw where we thought we were on the bus for, in relationship to the bus. And it was, it turned out to be a funny exercise because there were people who drew themselves driving the bus. Hey, I got it. Right. And there were pictures. People drew of them being dragged by the bus. There were people running behind the bus yelling, wait for me. Um, Others clean tightly to the top of the bus. It was run [00:23:08] KK: over by [00:23:09] Debbie: still being run over by the bus. So it was really quite an interesting activity. And I will tell you that there w we were given high, I've got to say two to three years with mentors and coaches and training, and to change how we behave as leaders and those that didn't. Either left on their own because they were unhappy or were asked to leave. And we lost about 17% of our leadership workforce after all of this rolled out for all the right reasons. And it was hard and it was terrible. And those of us that were left there weren't enough of us. And we were, um, pulling double duty. But when those leaders were replaced, either through promotions or bringing folks in. The right fit for this moot culture was brought into place and the rest is kind of history. Yeah. Yeah. [00:24:04] KK: We've seen that in what we do. Yeah. We, we do, you know, we take this and we apply it to companies that we work with and, you know, uh, as we go through exercises and, you know, walk through vision and where do you fit on the bus? This is where we're going. Make no mistake. We've met with, uh, executive leadership and there's a vision. And, you know, and as we train that, we say, Johnny might not be on board. You might have to do, hopefully we can train him in, but if he's not fully bought in, maybe he'll slip some self select out, but. Everyone would be served better if he wasn't on the bus, unless he turns the corner. So that 17% is probably not, probably not an uncommon number. Right. We've seen that, you know, in organizations that 30 and then organizations of, you know, the 4,500, you know, we've worked with both and seeing the same kind of outcomes, but in the end, Vetting happens. It's better for everyone. [00:25:01] Debbie: Oh, absolutely. And sometimes we see it more than 17%. It's um, it just depends. Executive leadership has to buy in or is the whole initiative’s a lame duck. [00:25:15] KK: Well, I can't believe we're at about 25 minutes, so we're going to have to do a yeah. So we were going to try and end up every week and we've got lots more to talk about. So please tune in for our, to our, to our next episode. We'll continue this conversation probably pretty much from where we left off, but we have a little segment at the end. We, we we'd like to share with you called the greatest advice you'll ever get. We think maybe, I don't know, it's the greatest advice you'll ever get. We think so, you know, and, and today, and, and, you know, I want to hear your take on it to death, but it's the idea that you should pay careful attention to your culture because culture, it happens by accident, or it happens by design and we hope to help you curate and create that culture by design. [00:26:03] Debbie: And the only thing I can add to that is that without a doubt, then it's proven over and over again, the most successful companies regularly, step back and say, where are we today? What's working. What's not working. They examine all the elements of their culture and what do we need to do to move forward and companies that don't do that. The, um, the client next up on them. And sometimes it's too late to pick yourself up off your knee. [00:26:32] KK: Yep. So high agree. Couldn't agree with that more so on our next episode, we're going to continue this conversation. Uh, we're going to talk a little bit about how to honestly assess your culture. Maybe a break that down into six questions you can ask and we'll also get into more of the technology side of things. So, you know, delivering an extraordinary customer service experience through things like chat bots, voice experience. I've had the opportunity to work with a hard rock in a hotel launch. And before. Um, delivered some great, uh, guest experiences through, through voice. So things like that and much more we'll be coming up on our next episode. So I hope you all can tune in. Thanks so much for listening. Thank you.
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Kevin Kelly and Debbie Zmorenski have been teaming up to help companies to identify growth areas through process optimization, cultural engineering and customer service culture design.
Please reach out to Kevin & Deb for some free advice, fun chatter or to find out more about how you can work with them to create an extraordinary culture and grow a brand with loyal customers for life.
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