“Too often today we over-survey our customers.” As Amazon’s first Worldwide VP of Customer Service, Bill Price is a legend in the field of customer service. As an author and advisor, he continues to drive home the fact that service is one of the most critical brand touchpoints. We discussed all of this and more on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.
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About Bill Price
Bill Price is a Partner with Big Data player Antuit leading its global customer experience and customer service advanced analytics program and is President of Driva Solutions that has worked with over 150 clients to forge the balance between cost controls and greater customer loyalty.
Bill co-founded the 9-country LimeBridge Global Alliance; chairs the 41-company Global Operations Council; has taught at the University of Washington and Stanford MBA programs; and is the lead author of The Best Service is No Service: Liberating Your Customers From Customer Service, Keep Them Happy, and Control Costs (Wiley 2008) and Your Customer Rules! Delivering the Me2B Experiences That Today’s Customers Demand (Wiley 2015).
Bill served as Amazon.com’s first Worldwide VP of Customer Service and before that held senior positions at MCI, ACP, and McKinsey. He was named “Call Center Pioneer” in 1997 in its inaugural year. Bill graduated from Dartmouth (BA) and Stanford (MBA), and lives in Bellevue, WA.
What’s this Amazon alum been up to recently? “Lately I’ve been focusing on the fact that we over-survey customers today. We keep sending out surveys and yet the survey response rate is declining. A lot of companies just fill in the blanks.”
“Connecting the dots makes me excited about big data.” We need to supplement the survey with other actions along the customer journey. “We can have a data feed that starts to calculate a score as you’re going.” From there you can test out coupons and other incentives.
Qualitative vs. quantitative insights. In writing Your Customer Rules!, Bill interviewed several service leaders like Nordstrom. “We learned that they valued statements like ‘You make it easy for me’ and ‘You recognize me.’ They don’t always know what they mean but they know they like them. They also know to look out for ‘failure statements.'” These are the opposites — ‘you don’t make it easy for me’ and ‘you don’t recognize me.’
All companies are full of stories. While external-focused marketing stories can help communicate who you are, Bill noted that internal stories represent “tribal knowledge. Good brands collect stories. They don’t curate — they even share bad stories.” Stories help communicate what you value and what you want to avoid as a brand.
What brand has made Bill smile recently? “I like to smile but don’t always get to do it!” One recent smile-worthy experience came during Bill’s most recent visit to his Tesla service center. A rep stepped forward and remembered him by name. “She remembered me — that’s one of the the three drivers in my book.” More importantly, she remembered that Bill liked to run. Little things can make a big difference.
To learn more about Bill, connect with him on LinkedIn.
As We Wrap …
Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
Recently Darren DeMatas gave us a shout on Twitter for our episode on influencer marketing featuring Lee Odden. Thanks for listening, Darren!
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