Amazing Business Radio: John Brandt


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customer relationships

The Trap of “Nincompoopery” in Business and CX

Forging Real Relationships with Your Customers to Deliver Excellent Customer Service

Shep Hyken interviews John R. Brandt. They discuss his new book, Nincompoopery: Why Your Customers Hate You—and How to Fix It, and how to go from being a “nincompoop” to creating an exceptional customer experience.

The Interview with John Brandt:
  • There’s often a disconnect between organization leaders and customers. Leaders live in a “customer-free zone” where they don’t interact with customers on a daily basis and therefore don’t know what customers most desire. The most important factor to customers is that they feel heard and cared about by the company and its representatives.
  • Get to know your customers. See your organization through their eyes, and take time to shop, work, and even live alongside them. Learn about their struggles and discover their biggest pain points. Then, devise a solution that eliminates multiple headaches for the customer at once. Make their lives more convenient. Sales follow convenience.
  • Nincompoopery is not usually the fault of any individual; its roots often lie with the company or organization. Friction needs to be eliminated at the source and on a larger scale. This starts with training, defining values, and building culture on the inside, which creates a consistent experience for the customer on the outside.
  • Build real, human connections with your customers. Relationships should go deeper than the transactional. This is where AI falls short. Customers still crave that person-to-person interaction.
  • Another definition of a Moment of Truth is “when something happens that can dramatically change the arc of the relationship between you and the customer.” Relationships are formed in these moments, in moments of crisis—both in business and in life. These moments are when you learn who you can trust and who you cannot. Prove to your customers that they can trust you.
  • One of the biggest gifts you can receive is a customer complaint. This is direct feedback from the customer about something that isn’t working in your organization. Use that feedback and do something with it. Make changes and improve.
  • Everyone falls victim to nincompoopery, but you’re only truly a nincompoop if you make no effort to grow. Consistently analyze your own performance by looking through your customer’s eyes—always look for ways to improve. Otherwise, you’ll stay stuck in nincompoopery, and there’s no future for anyone there.

“Some people say the secret of life is low expectations. But I don’t think we should do that to our customers.”– John Brandt

“In business, as in our personal lives, a relationship is fundamentally forged in a moment of crisis. In a moment of crisis, you find out who you can trust and who you can’t.”– John Brandt

“You can’t improve customer experience and value unless you go live with your customers. Go be a customer with your customers.”– John Brandt


John R. Brandt is the author of Nincompoopery: Why Your Customers Hate You—and How to Fix It. He is also the CEO and founder of The MPI Group.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. What is “nincompoopery”?
  2. Why do my customers hate me?
  3. How can I form more meaningful customer relationships?
  4. What do customers want?
  5. What should I do with customer complaints?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.


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