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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

277.The Human Experience with John Sills

In today’s conversation, I am joined by John Sills. John is Managing Partner at the customer-led growth company, The Foundation. He’s been in front-line teams delivering the experience, innovation teams designing the propositions, and global HQ teams creating the strategy. He’s been a bank manager during the financial crisis (which he says was not fun), launched a mobile app to millions of people (very fun), and regularly visits strangers’ houses to ask very personal questions (incredible fun).

He now works with companies across industries and around the world, and before joining The Foundation spent twelve years at HSBC, latterly as Head of Customer Innovation. He regularly writes on Customer Experience and Innovation, and his first book, The Human Experience, just came out and is what we are discussing today.

This was a really fun book, and it is chock-full of real life experiences from businesses (both good and bad) that you can learn from. John keeps it light, even when teaching some really important stuff, and helps us to see how we can all benefit from remembering that we are, at the end of the day, humans (and so are our employees and customers). So let’s just bring a bit more human-ness back into our companies!

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IN A RUSH?

HERE'S A 2 MINUTE TIP.

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SHOW NOTES:

  • [00:43] In today’s conversation, I am joined by John Sills. John is the managing partner at the customer lead growth company, The Foundation. 
  • [03:24] John shares himself and his background.
  • [05:56] You really need to want to make things better for customers. 
  • [08:41] You are closer to your colleagues, business, products, and services, but your customers are really important. We often write things that make sense to us but not to our customers. 
  • [11:22] Factfulness is all about helping us challenge our perspectives of the world. It is easy for us to think we are the center of the world. 
  • [14:01] Nearly all of the research we have is very inside out. It is all about the company and almost none of it is about the customer and how we can be useful to them. 
  • [16:10] Companies should stay close to what matters most to their customers and their lives and then work out how to be useful to them. 
  • [19:42] As a CEO if you don’t go and experience the other jobs in your company yourself then you never get the visceral connection to what is really mattering for your customers. 
  • [23:07] A real sense of responsibility and ownership for the customer is missing in many organizations. 
  • [24:09] John shares a wonderful customer experience he had with Swiss Rails. 
  • [27:27] Bad customer experiences are really expensive to provide. 
  • [29:35] If you give a good experience in the first place your customers will contact you less and everything will be more efficient. 
  • [30:23] Failure demand is the demand that is put on your service or organization as a result of failures you made elsewhere in your customer experience or service. 
  • [32:50] As humans we are truly loyal to very few things. Very rarely are we truly loyal to companies. 
  • [34:02] If you as an organization stay more useful than your competitors then people will stay with you. 
  • [35:09] Organizations spend very little time keeping the experience great and essentially ignore endings or make it difficult for customers to leave. 
  • [37:35] If as the leaders in an organization, you really understand what matters to people in their lives then your singular job is to understand how you can be most useful to them in their life. 
  • [38:30] What is at the heart of great organizations is really understanding their customers and really staying useful to them. 
  • [39:55] If you can retain that humanness in your organization and let your people be human then they will understand customers and create things that are useful. 
  • [41:43] No one has time to stop and think and it is really dangerous. It feels like it is really important to check things off a to-do list instead of really getting things done well.  
  • [43:18] When you don’t have the time to step back, bad customer experience abounds. 
  • [44:05] When you try to make it look like you know the person you are talking to and then you miss it feels a lot more painful and annoying than if you didn’t ask enough.
  • [46:43] Over the last 20 years organizations have done a great job at trying to perfect the functional customer experience, but they have done that at the expense of the emotional and human experience.
  • [48:27] Just be the human you have spent all your life training to be. Speak in a human way, think about what it is like to be on the other end, and take time to understand other people. 
  • [50:00] Treat people the way you want your gran to be treated and make your mum proud of the decisions you make. 
  • [51:30] Melina’s closing thoughts
  • [52:28] If you consider the extreme costs when you have to fix things it is often more cost effective to do it right and more human the first time.

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