Inside Your Customer’s Imagination – E57 with Chip Bell – 2nd Half

Release date: 17. January 2022

Link to the first half:

Inside Your Customer's Imagination – E57 with Chip Bell – 2nd Half Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

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The CX Goalkeeper had a smart discussion with Chip Bell

Chip Bell is a World-Renowned Authority On Customer Loyalty And Service Innovation

The discussion was split in 2 episodes. This is the second one.

In this episode you will learn all about the book: Inside Your Customer’s Imagination: 5 Secrets for Creating Breakthrough Products, Services, and Solutions

(1) curiosity that uncovers insight,

(2) grounding that promotes clear focus,

(3) discovery that fosters risk-taking,

(4) trust that safeguards partnership purity, and

(5) passion that inspires energized generosity

… and much more

Link to the first half:

His book suggestion:

– Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Chip Bell’s golden nugget:

Trust the frontline! They are the ambassadors and your scouts. @ChipRBell on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

“sincere authentic curiosity is the first step in the innovation process” @ChipRBell on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

How to contact Chip:

Thank you, Chip!

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast


Gregorio Uglioni 0:01
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the CX goalkeeper podcast, your host, Gregorio Uglioni, will have small discussion with expert, thought leader, and friends on customer experience, transformation, innovation and leadership. I hope you will enjoy the next episode.

You use imagination to imagine the future of customer experience. And you wrote an outstanding book, I read the title to be sure that I read it correctly inside your customers imagination, five secrets for creating breakthrough products, services, and solutions. And I read that it’s really an outstanding book. You have five secrets in there. Which one do you like most?

Chip Bell 0:51
I think, I think my favorite, my favorite, and the most important one is curiosity. And it’s the one I open the book with.

And so I think that is the most important because I think the grounding of all that we do in customer service is, as we were talking about earlier, our knowledge of the customer, our knowledge of their not just their needs and expectations. But where the innovation comes is when we begin to look at their hopes and aspirations, when we begin to think beyond what they need now. And so we start ramming into what would you like it to be? What would you know, and I’ll give you a funny example, I was working with a large pizza delivery company that is worldwide. And we were doing focus groups with customers. And lead focused on the typical questions you’d ask about price and product and process. You know, your pizza doesn’t taste that great, it costs too much. It takes too long to get here, you know, price product process. And what we were discovering is we were bored, and the customers will tell us the same thing over and over and over. We weren’t learning anything. So we said why don’t we ask some dreamer questions, you know, like hopes and aspirations kind of question. So one of the questions we would ask is, what’s something that no pizzas do customer company delivery companies do? And that would be kind of cool. And people said, Well, what about the box? We said the box? Yeah. Because you know, you deliver the pizza box and throw the box away? Why don’t you do something with that box? And sure enough, we said like what well, you could have a map, a coloring book, puzzle, a cutout mask, you know, the all kinds of things you could do it. Sure enough, about a few years later, I’m working with a large paper manufacturer that made boxes for this pizza company. And sure enough, there was a box, just like we had talked about years later, where they had done something on the inside of the box. And they simply put a piece of plastic, wax paper between the inside lid and the pizza. So it didn’t get sold. But the point is, it all came from thinking beyond needs and expectations. But it also took a relationship with a customer so that they know you are sincerely intently interested in them. And so I tell people, when I talk to leaders who are trying to interview customers and do focus groups with Westerners, I say ask questions around things you don’t know. Because a lot of times, the questions are simply confirmation of what we already know. And so in our questions are sort of aligned around that line of thinking. So ask questions, the answers are which you don’t have any clue? You’re just you’re totally surprised by what you get back. And so I think in that that’s why I talk about it being curiosity, which is the preamble to discovery, and its insights, because it’s not deeper understanding. It’s going to be sufficient in and working with customers. It’s one of the insights, one of the AHA hours. Wow, I’ve never thought about it like that. You know, I had a good I think I use this example in the book, I had a friend of mine who ran a big hotel, and and he started interviewing the taxi drivers that frequented his property to take people after their stay back to the airport. And he did focus groups with them. And what he learned was obviously, the guest would say things in the backseat of a taxi that they wouldn’t have said to the front desk when they checked out how was your day. But what he learned was things that, like he learned that when the customer complained about the fact that they’re there, towels smelled a little scorched, like they’ve been in the dryer too long and ASCII, but what they really were concerned about was how hotel fire started in housekeeping. Or when they complained about the fact that there was a light out in the security out in the parking lot. What they really were concerned about is is my hallway safe? Or if there’s dust bowls under my bed, are there bugs in my room. And so it’s that insight that that come that Aha that comes when you go back beyond simply understanding their answers. And so that’s the curiosity that I think is is so critical today. And that’s part of the basis of how do I get inside my customers imagination. I like to think about imagination, as inside the customer and a door only open from the inside. And so how do I get that customer to open that door to give me access to their cooler that is and half baked ideas that we can use in creating breakthroughs. And they are brilliant, they are brilliant, you know, Starbucks is around the world. And people oftentimes when they think of Starbucks, assume everything in a Starbucks is created by corporate, but they didn’t, you know, cakepops were created by customers, Wiggles, stick sticks in the glass in the cup, are were invaded by customers, pumpkin, spice, latte, Wi Fi, and all this to all those things came from customers, not from corporate. And so when we tap in to that enormous resource of ideas, but again, to get that door them to open that door requires a special relationship, a partnership with them. And I think sincere, authentic curiosity is the first step in that process.

Gregorio Uglioni 6:17
And it makes total sense, I cannot comment on that, because I fully agree with you here, you need to be to have an genuine interest in what customers are saying and and in the question that you are asking to them in order to create experiences that are valuable for them. Because at the end, if they helps creating then like it makes total sense. And I think in your second secret, it’s about grounding, that promote clear focus. And there I have a bit more specific question. Okay, how can you listen with your whole body? Because you’re saying not listening only with us, but completely listening?

Chip Bell 7:01
I think it is, it takes great practice. And if you think the eye when I was taking counseling courses, psychology courses in graduate school, one of the questions one of the exercises that when a part of that is, is interview yourself with a with a video. And so sit in front of a video and pretend you’re interviewing someone and look at the video and look at what you say. I think that’s that’s a critical thing, because you see some things about your own behavior, and the signals you send by your nonverbals, and your body language that you might might not ever have seen until it’s sort of like looking in the mirror. But obviously, you want to create it as a video, not just looking in the mirror. I think that’s one I think, too. There are a lot of great books out there on body language on the silent language of. So I think it’s it’s all about studying how we do that. But it also to me, the most important thing is to find a good friend or a spouse or partner or someone who can give you candid feedback about what they feel when you’re interacting with them. You know, and so that way, you began to learn to monitor manage your own behavior, because you didn’t realize it was creating that impact. You know, it’s, you know, probably the most important part of it is eye contact. How do we look at the, you know, their windows to the soul? They say, how do you how do you domain, I call it eye hugs. I use that term in the book, I hugs and what is a hug, a hug means I’m looking at somebody with a, in a way that the feeling of compassion comes through clearly that I care that I really am sincerely interested. You know, I opened open that section of curiosity with a my conversation with Carl Rogers. He was a great soccer psychotherapist years ago. And I was in La Jolla and I had a chance to have breakfast with him and interview him and, and you know, I called it eccentric listening. It was listening like I’ve never had before, like 10 minutes into it. I feel like I’ve known him forever, and I chatty me whatever he wanted to do. Well, I’ve reflected a lot about that conversation and think about what did he do? And part of it was his incredible ability to be totally open and totally authentic, in my presence, to be totally non judgement that Don judgmental. Again, it was like asking questions he really didn’t know the answer to. So he’d be surprised by the answer. Those kinds of things, I think are part of how we ground ourselves in a way that results in a more purposeful relationship.

Gregorio Uglioni 9:52
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this masterclass because Chip Bell is really creating a great atmosphere and this explains In a extraordinary way, this the secrets and therefore I allow myself to go to the third one. It’s about discovery and risk taking. And there you are speaking about imagination Chi, I think I pronounced that in the proper way. It’s, it’s the Asian Asian word for energy. Perhaps. Could you elaborate on that?

Chip Bell 10:24
Sure, I think, if you will, you know, one of the most popular movements that we’ve seen as Touchy, touchy. Touchy is, is essentially how I move in a way to get the energy in my body to move in a certain direction. I took tachy, my wife and I took patchy lessons and you can move in such a way that you ended up stopping in your hand would be pulsating and bright red, because you just directed all the energy there. And so it’s learning to say, how do I direct the imaginative imagination energy toward a problem. And so part of what I did a lot in the book is trying to provide exercises like Totti, if you would, movement exercises, mental exercises that are filled with a book designed to bring out that imagination directed a particular issue. And part of it lies in how you how you think through the lens of the customer, in terms of approaching a problem and how you do that. There’s lots and lots of techniques. One of the great books called plot imagination, one of my favorites years and years ago, Alex Osbourne wrote, in which he took any situation you had any problem you had, and generated a long list of attributes, and then tried to force apply them to that particular problem. How can I make it bigger, smaller, tidier, grander, made by myself, but made with a manual done alone? You know, healthier, patriotic, you know, you can just go for ever with attributes. And then you start applying those to that particular problem. And you go, I never thought about it like that. But what if we did this. And so it’s all about sort of deliberate using deliberate techniques aimed at bringing that imagination energy to a particular problem. So that was imagination, Qi, essentially, the energy of imagination directed imagination. So it was a it was a fun area, too. But it’s all part of, it’s all part of fostering the fun side. You know, I, the there’s a whole section called discovery. And discovery is really about risk taking, but risk taking is scary. You know, a, my analogy is sort of a clown on a high rope. You know, how are, you know, there’s the combined, you know, there’s the fun of the clown, but motohio are, you know, so that there’s a risk taking aspect to any kind of imaginative act activity. But how do I approach it in a way that takes the scariness out of it by introducing a sense of the clown the fund? Boy, wouldn’t it be fun? What if we did it like this, it’d be fun. And so that’s designed to create that kind of insight that discovery is the way in which we can incubate ideas. I used a few remember example, in the opening part of that section about my grandmother, raising chickens, and she raised a little baby chickens. And I, you know, I was, as a kid go out and collect the eggs. But when she were they were not collecting eggs, they were making chickens, baby chickens sitting over the eggs long enough for them to hatch. I know she had a garden right beside it. And she would sing all the time she was in the garden, and I used as a child, think about, I wonder how much her singing had an impact on their productivity, their incubation of baby chicken. That was a metaphor. But nevertheless, it’s designed to say, mean, we bring that sense of joy and excitement, enthusiasm, even if there’s an element of risk, which revealing myself is risky. taking a chance on a halfback that is risky, particularly if I’m a customer and you’re the company. I need to find methods by which I introduce the fun side, the more adventurous side, you know, look what we’re going to learn from this in this exciting to that whole risk taking side. So that was a that was, again, part of that whole imagination, ci how we incubate ideas in an effort to create discovering new new ideas, despite the risk taking.

Gregorio Uglioni 14:39
And I think it’s really interesting to see where you’re going from risk taking to the next element. It’s about trust. Perhaps two words about that. And I have full respect of your time, you can say “I need to go to the next meeting”. Don’t worry at all.

Chip Bell 14:56
No, no, no. Passion is my favorite one. The passion is You’re asking about passion, the last one, passion?

Gregorio Uglioni 15:04
trust first.

Chip Bell 15:05
Oh, trust trust, trust, trust. Absolutely. And that’s a core part of that risk taking is how do I create. And part of what I talk about is not in trust is vulnerability, what, what keeps us from being completely vulnerable. But the other side to it that I like to talk about is the truth. Truth is the part of the foundation of trust. Do you are you totally honest with me? And, and I use some examples that kind of cause people to go, Oh, I’ve had people give me feedback that I never thought about it that way. And that is, do we tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? You know, I use that in our country, when we hold up a trial and hold up our hand and put our hand on the Bible, when you’re going to be a witness on a trial. You don’t say I promise to tell the truth. You say I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? So help me God. That’s the that’s the land, eh? Well, I’ve often wondered, why do you have to say three times what what’s that all about? Wouldn’t be a promise, the whole truth be enough. But what I learned in research and where that all came from, is, there’s a real temptation for sort of white lies, the I’m not gonna tell all that I know, I’m not gonna tell the whole story here. And that, that’s designed to say, we need the whole truth here. We need everything, don’t hold back anything. And so when we do that, with customers, they that’s the basis for their trusting us back, and being willing to open their door to their cool ideas and imagination. But you know, when you we look at our world, sometimes we tend to not tell all the truth. And one of my favorite examples is on an airline. I was landing and the pilot came on the intercom and said, ladies and gentleman, another own time, arrival with Mayday airline, or whatever it was, I don’t even remember. And, and when I left, when I got on, I looked at my clock, I’ve got an iPhone, and it’s pretty accurate. And I go when I was meeting, a client, and so on time, it own time to me. And I realized what No, we were laying in 15 minutes late. And I when I got off, I asked the pilot, I said, you said we were on time, we’re actually 15 minutes late. And he said, well, the FAA gives us a fudge factor. So because we have no control over what happens coming in, at the tarmac, or the availability of a gate or any of those things, so they give us a little fudge factor there. And I go, Well, can you imagine, say, give me that, that great line, that great song from My Fair Lady, get me to the church, within 15 minutes of the wind? I don’t think so. I don’t think so. So why not tell the customer, why not be totally transparent and say, Well, according to the clock, we’re 15 minutes late. But the FAA says we’re on time according to their definition. But we tend to create these kind of not quite the whole truth. And that creates an element of mistrust. In a relationship with the customer. So part of that whole effort is, be honest, totally honest with your customer, even if it means uncomfortable vulnerability. And so that’s, that is the that’s the message there in all of that.

Gregorio Uglioni 18:27
Thank you. And you already mentioned the last secret, it’s about passion. And the one that I love most, because I am extremely passionate, I told them. I really enjoy having this discussion. Final Thoughts on passion?

Chip Bell 18:44
Well, my thought thoughts are is that we, we tend to hold back, particularly in a corporate world, and part of the thing that’s about passion, it’s like pass our own. It’s three words, really, it’s bringing the best of who I am to people, I’m around bandpass, I own three words. And what I like to talk about is, when you’re in a relationship with a customer, and your goal is is imagination, pull out all the stops, go for everything. And my favorite example, my good friend, Seth Godin is a great router. I’ve have many of his books, and highly recommend his books. But he did. He did a TED talk one time in which he asked the audience, hold up your hand, your hand, as high as you can go. And then everybody else does. And then he says, Now hold it up a little higher. And everybody raise it a little higher. And he goes, What’s with this? What’s with this? Why did you hold back? Why did you not the very first thing hold up as high as you could? So you didn’t have any room to go anyhow. His whole message was that we tend to be cautious and vulnerable and we tend to hold back, but we need to create a more relationship in which we pull out all the stops. And that’s to me most important. And this whole creative world is let’s go for broke. Let’s go for let’s see what we can do with this. Let’s take it to the max. You know, and if you think about great entrepreneurs, you know, one of my favorite examples is Elon Musk, who launches a roadster in space, with an astronaut driving it up there and space in the play in life on Mars, David buoys, popular song. And I thought when he launched that, why didn’t you do that? Well, it was fun. It you know, it was interesting. But as it turned out, it turned out to be kind of a prelude of coming attractions. If we can do that, we can launch people, we can launch civilians. And so SpaceX just recently had a whole team of civilians, launch it in space, and it’s gonna usher in, you know, private companies putting people in space. Right now it’s pricey, pricey, pricey, but we know this is this is sort of Wright Brothers beginning this is, you know, Henry Ford, beginning this is whatever. But that whole concept of why not launch a roadster, a red low roadster in space? Wouldn’t that be interesting. And I think it’s that kind of thinking, that causes that customer to say, this is a party I got to be invited, I got to be a part of. And so that’s the whole message behind that.

Gregorio Uglioni 21:29
Thank you very much. And basically additionally to suggesting to all the listeners and to the audience to read your book, because it’s full of insight and it’s extremely interesting. Is there an order book that you would suggest to the to the audience that something a book that you are saying, this is really a book that I like, or I enjoyed extremely?

Chip Bell 21:50
I think that’s a great question at, I just mentioned, Seth Godin. And so I’m gonna follow up my favorite book, particularly around this topic. My favorite book is a Seth Godin is Purple Cow. And it’s a great, great book about being different and being unique and being distinctive, and not being boring. I think that is, to me has a strong message. And every time I hear, think about Purple Cow, white shows that it comes from the work of Adam Smith, not the economist, the author who wrote powers of man. And he’s trying to talk about how the brain is a reducing valve. And we tend to learn to see things in a certain way. And we were sort of trained, and his metaphor is a little boy that says, Oh, Mommy, look at the Purple Cow. And she goes, No, there’s no such thing as Purple Cow. And then later on, he said, There there’s another Purple Cow. And she goes, No, no, no, there’s none of that. Nothing. There’s no such thing as Purple Cow. And pretty soon, the little boy quits, reporting seeing Purple Cows and then ultimately quits seeing Purple Cows. And it’s all example of how we have a paradigm we learned is the way it is. And so when we learn to break those paradigms, that’s when we open up doors to being remarkable, as he says, How do we create an experience so powerful people can’t wait to remark about it. And so that would be my one, I would definitely recommend.

Gregorio Uglioni 23:21
Thank you very much. And if somebody from the audience would like to contact you, what’s the best way?

Chip Bell 23:27
Well, my website, is probably the easiest way. And at the end of my website, contact this everywhere you need to know to reach me, I don’t one of these people who says, in order for me to communicate, you got to fill out a form. I don’t buy that. But so my phone number, my email address and my mailing address are all on that last page. So I welcome feedback.

Gregorio Uglioni 23:49
That’s the one also I used, because I tried first to contact you through LinkedIn. And then I said, Okay, I will write him an email, and it worked pretty well.

Chip Bell 23:59
That’s great and fast.

Gregorio Uglioni 24:02
Great, thank you very much. The last question is this question that I always ask is, Chief Bell, golden nugget, it’s something that we discussed or something new, that you would like to leave to the audience?

Chip Bell 24:15
Yes, I would. Thank you for asking that. I think my message is to trust the frontline. We’ve got brilliant people today on the frontline, who know a lot about the customer. They are not only are they our ambassadors. They are the people on the frontline, but they are also our scouts, our most important scout and they hear things they see things they have thoughts about what customers need or won’t expect, and we need to continually find ways to tap that in real time. And that means leaders, spending time with the frontline to learn more about what what the customer intelligence information So my analogy is if you were a captain of a fort in the Oh, wild, wild west, you know, and you send out a scout and they’re going for three days, and they come back all wide eyed, you’re probably not gonna say I can eat talk to you now I got to go to a meeting, you’d probably want to hear what they learned. And my point is your frontlines coming back wiped out every day, and find out what’s meant, what matters through their eyes, and what they know about the customer.

Gregorio Uglioni 25:28
Thank you very much. It was really a big pleasure to have you on this discussion on my show. It was really a great achievement for me. Thank you very much.

Chip Bell 25:36
It was my pleasure, I enjoy being with you. Thank you so much.

Gregorio Uglioni 25:40
And also to the audience. I hope that you enjoyed this discussion as much as much as I did, because it was really outstanding. It was a lot of fun to learn from the best in our industry in our environment. Thank you very much Chip! Grazie mille, arrivederci.

Chip Bell 25:57
Thank you so much.

Gregorio Uglioni 26:00
If you enjoyed this episode, please share the word of mouth. Subscribe it, share it. Until the next episode. Please don’t forget, we are not in a b2b or b2c business. You are in a human to human environment. Thank you

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