In this week’s Daily Dose video, I share an excerpt from a keynote I presented recently that focuses on the lessons of my most recent book, Would You Do That To Your Mother.
The following is a lightly edited transcript of the video below.
The beloved companies grow by proving with their actions that they have their customers’ best interest in mind. Now, companies only achieve this when their leaders and organization realize the paradoxical reality that: to achieve your goal, you need to first enable your customers to achieve their own.
Imagine Your Customers Lives in Detail
Cole Haan, for example, the global shoe manufacturer, has a whole laboratory about imagining each of your lives in shoes. They think of you doing every kind of thing in every shoe. For example, they know women who wear crazy shoes like mine, for example, start to get a little pain in the back of our leg after a certain amount of time, which is why that shoe you see there actually has gym shoe or sneaker technology in it. And yes, they make the men wear the pumps, as well. I kind of love that.
Empower Proactive Grace
Would you tell your mom that you would turn down her warranty within three days of it expiring? You wouldn’t. But this is something that I call “proactive grace.”
We need to know those moments in our customers’ lives where they’re vulnerable to give our people the ability to extend grace, so they don’t have to touch the desk five times or ask permission, so that companies being proactive give the front line the ability to choose and to be trusted.
This is what happens at Alaska Airlines, where they have build what they call a “we trust you” toolkit. It’s about every single person in the airline—the baggage handlers, the front desk people, the service people, the pilots, the flight attendants—every single one of them is encouraged by their CEO to first engage on a human level and then act. And then to enable that, they have a mobile app with options for almost every kind of vulnerable moment and they get to choose their course of action.
By starting with a life, bringing employees together to identify those vulnerable moments, and then giving them the opportunity to act, employees are connected with the life. And they go the extra mile because it’s part of who they are. It defines the company. So do you know—and then build in that proactive grace for—your customer vulnerability moments?
Drive Innovation Through Understanding
When we really do start with the life, and it can also and will drive innovative moments. For example, Careem, the Uber of the Middle East, noticed that a certain portion of the riding community was starting to decline. Now, they wondered what was happening. And this isn’t something that you just ask for a survey on. So they actually followed customers home, not in a creepy way, to find out about their life.
And what they found out was they were having children. Now what happens in a ride sharing app if you have children? What do you need? A car seat. Do normal ride sharing app companies have an option for car seats?
By starting with the life, there is now an app option called Careem Kids. This has grown about 300% since they started it. So ask yourself: do customer’s lives inspire experience?