4 Ways to Improve Customer Experience in the Connection Economy

An Interview with Simon T. Bailey

connection economy simon bailey

About Simon T. Bailey

Simon T. Bailey is the former sales director of the Disney Institute. He has worked with Microsoft, Chevron, Million Dollar Round Table, Subway, The Conference Board, and has impacted many people around the globe with his ideas about customer and employee engagement. He is the best-selling author of Release Your Brilliance and Shift Your Brilliance.

Simon T. Bailey has had 28 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He’s worked for four major hotel chains, at the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau for three years, and for seven years at Disney, with three of those years as Sales Director of the Disney Institute.

Since working for Disney, he has worked with 1,000 organizations and consulted with over a dozen organizations on six continents on how to implement a customer experience strategy that increases their customer satisfaction scores and ultimately impacts their bottom line.

The demand on businesses today to be better, faster, cheaper and more innovative than the next is tremendous. With the shifts in the market and the demands of a turbulent economy, organizations feel pressured to do more with less and desperate to get and retain customers. It’s easy for an organization to feel overwhelmed, exhausted and even hopeless when it comes to meeting revenue and profit goals.


Industry Trends

A study by Booz & Co. shows that customers want to do business with companies who are known for their kindness and meaningfulness. In fact, they believe that this is increasingly “human in nature.” And customers want to do business with companies that are aligned with their values of meaning and purpose.

One industry trend can be seen at Starbucks. When a customer buys the next person in line their favorite beverage – no as an act of charity – it creates a momentum in acknowledgement of commonality and humanity. The gesture is smll, but the act is endlessly inspiring. In fact, hashtag #payitforward has become a part of the culture where people can spread love.

Businesses are also branding the employee experience. When IBM celebrated their 100th anniversary, they went to the 158 countries they do business in to ask their employees why they joined IBM. Those employees not only shared their story of how they came to IBM, but also why they are passionate about IBM. IBM has now used those videos as a means to connect with their customers in a deeper and a more profound way. They launched an entire campaign called “I am an IBMer” to celebrate that 100th year anniversary.

According to research by the Gallup organization, human decision is 70% emotional and 30% rational. When customers emotionally connect with a brand, they will spend more and tell other people about it.

Industry Myths


Myth #1: Most Customers complain when they encounter a problem.

According to research from Salesforce.com, the reality is that 70%-90% of customers don’t even complain, and they are the ones you should be worried about.


Myth #2: It’s better to invest in marketing and advertising rather than customer service.

The reality is that it costs five times as much to win a new customer as it does to keep an old one. Eighty percent of future customer revenue will come from 20% of your existing customers. So, what can organizations do with their existing 20% of customers to make them feel loved and connected to the brand? Keep in mind, the brand is not the product or service you offer. The brand is an emotion, a perception, and a memory. So when planning about future customer revenue, how are the existing 20% of customers being taken cared of?


Industry Mistakes

  1. Businesses don’t invest enough time in hiring the right talent in order to create the experience they want customers to have. For example, when Disney hires individuals, they spend the first day at Disney University where they drink the Kool-Aid, sniff the pixie dust, and get a microchip in their head so they can come out singing “It’s a Small World After All.” Joking aside, Disney never sent Simon out to do a job; rather, Disney sent Simon out to create a moment. When the right people are hired, they will go beyond the job description and create great moments for customers. Invest enough upfront time for the right talent instead of a warm body.
  2. The second mistake to consider is that at Pixar, employees must dedicate up to four hours of every single week to their education. Pixar University is a vital catalyst for employees, who are encouraged to take responsibility for their own growth. For example, an accountant will sign up for an art class. But why should an accountant take an art class? Because it’s in Pixar’s ethos that they want to be more observant of everything. How much are you investing in your employees so they can create the best customer experience?
  3. The third industry mistake is that businesses do not check in with newly hired individuals within their first 30-90 days to see how they are doing, or even how that new hire would like to improve the customer experience. This is a missed opportunity. For example, The Ritz-Carlton has a checkpoint with employees every 30-60-90 days to see what they are learning and asking what they can do differently or better.


Best Practices


    1. At the Wynn/Encore in Las Vegas, they impart the power of storytelling. Line supervisors hold meetings throughout the hotel and casino before every shift, three times a day and seven days a week. These line supervisors are the core of the operation. They carry the culture of the institution, they know what’s going on in their area, and how well their people are doing. They might even have 12 or so employees that they oversee. The power of storytelling is that the supervisors are imbedding the chip of that organization’s culture. In that culture, an employee can walk up to a guest and be able to provide them with instant gratification without having to check the standard operating procedure – and to do it unsupervised. Steve Wynn believes if you have people who relate to the customer person-to-person, they will never go anywhere else. It not only benefits the customer, but it also gives the employee pride that the organization trusts him or her to make the best decision on the spot for that customer.


  1. USAA, which provides financial and insurance services to military families, was the first bank to allow service men and women to iPhone their deposits and have the balance texted to the soldiers in the field. A soldier can simply take a picture of their check through an app, send it over to their bank, and it shows up in their account. This is all because USAA believes in the military and in the customers that they serve. In fact, the USAA employees take their time answering customer calls with love and care.


3 Quick ways to close the chasm:

  1. How do you recognize what people are doing right instead of what they are doing wrong?
  2. How often do you shop your product? This can be determined by how people go about doing business with you, how the phones are answered, how the customer interaction takes place, etc.

What are the customer touch points throughout the experience from the moment they connect or engage with your brand? Among those touch points, which of those are opportunities or areas of improvement?


The Connection Blueprint

How Brands #ConnectWithLove:

  1. Be a Great First Impression: Present an alluring product or service that gets attention and makes the customer want to engage and be curious enough to get to know you better. At Disney, the trashcans are 24 paces apart on Main Street, U.S.A. Why is that important? Everyone who works there is in the trash business. Every piece of trash is picked up and discarded, because the cast members want to give a great first impression.
  2. Make Your Intentions Known: Communicate regularly and touch base with your customer in multiple ways. Always give them a chance to be heard, because you want to move from communication to connection. Communication is a transaction, but connection is a relationship. The currency of the future is relationships.
  3. Deliver Consistently: Deliver the same extraordinary product every time. Consistently go above and beyond to show customer love.


How Leaders #ConnectWithLove:

  1. Have a Vision: Know the “why” of what you’re doing and be clear about where you are leading your team.
  2. Lead/Serve by Example: Demonstrate through your actions what it takes to connect with love by starting with your acts of service and connection with your team.
  3. Build Trust: Through confident leadership, sound decision-making and consistency in exceptional delivery, you will automatically earn the trust of your team. Mental Post-it note: Trust is the emotional glue of all relationships, and it’s how we interact with each other that facilitates, builds and supports trust.


How Teams #ConnectWithLove:

  1. Be Self-Reliant: A team is made of individuals who believe that the whole is greater than the parts in order to deliver a brilliant customer experience.
  2. Understand your Customer: Work to make sure the team is always thinking about the customer’s needs and expectations. Understand who they are and what pleases them.
  3. Be Loyal: Using marriage as a metaphor, the best-matched couple will have a failed marriage if one of the pair is disloyal. Create a culture that produces loyalty among the team. Also, choose good people from the start and then treat them well.


How to Create a Customer Love Connection

  1. Commit: Consistently show your customers that they are loved and you are committed to innovation and new offerings to meet their changing needs.
  2. Get Feedback: Creating a 2-way communication as often as possible will increase the connection. Whether through social interactions, focus groups or surveys, stay on the pulse of what they are really thinking about your brand. Failure is not final. Failure is only feedback, and feedback is the breakfast of champions.
  3. Connect Through A Social Cause: Provide an avenue for customers to partner with your brand to make a difference in the world together. This connection will be unbreakable.


Case study

Health Central Hospital implemented the #ConnectwithLove Brilliant Customer Experience methodology and realized a positive improvement in their patient satisfaction scores. As a result, they were acquired by a larger healthcare system.

Future outlook

If companies got started with everything they learned today, in 30 days they would see a change in the behaviors and habits of their staff that are closest to the customers, because they would be modeling the desired behavior. In 90 days, they should be able to see an improvement in customer satisfaction scores, and in one year they should be able to realize a bottom-line impact.


  1. Change
  2. Sustainability
  3. Measurement
  4. Recognition


  1. Communicate early and often with what is working and what is not working. Put in place the specific things that need to be improved to fix it and hold people accountable. People don’t like change, but change is a perfect opportunity to grow. Change is a friend – not a foe.
  2. Chasing consistency is the key to sustaining, and #connectwithlove is an easy and simple way to drive service.
  3. Measure what really matters.
  4. What gets recognized gets repeated.


Physical Action Step

Examine your existing customer service standards, procedures, mission and vision. Find out what is working right and what is not working and improve on that.

Last Word

Connection. Connection is the foundation for customer love, and when an organization possesses that connection and their customers feel loved, they will tell everyone about it.


Click Here to Get Interview Notes

Communicating With Impact: An Interview with Patricia Fripp | Communication

“In your career, don’t concentrate on making a lot of money. Instead, concentrate on becoming the type of person that people want to do business with, and you most likely will make a lot of money.”
-Arthur Henry Fripp

About Patricia Fripp

Patricia Fripp built a service business on the philosophy of it is more than a haircut at Miss Fripp’s. Before becoming a full-time professional speaker and executive speech coach, Patricia enjoyed a successful career in the hairstyling industry. Through her work and experience in that industry, she was able to meet really great bosses and interact with business professionals. As she started traveling nationwide helping other hairstylists, her executive clients started inviting her to speak at staff meetings and club meetings. These talks started to evolve her career into the award-winning keynote speaker, author, sales presentation skills trainer, and in-demand speech coach she is today.


Communication with Impact

Communicating with Impact is all about how to use your persuasive and good communication skills in any situation – including getting new clients. When your products or services are similar or equally as great as your competitors’, the presentation and the way you connect to your prospects and clients gives you an edge. The ability to communicate using specific language and to be articulate in what you say about your company and your solutions can sometimes make all the difference in the world.


Industry Trends

“As a general rule, we need to communicate with our clients the way they want to be communicated with.”

interactionPersonal Interaction is getting tougher for us.

These days, your communication skills are not as good as they used to be, because so much is done with texting and email. According to Stanford Research, 25 years ago, 80% of people were situationally shy. Now the latest research shows that the figure has grown up to 92%. You are getting more shy because you are not used to talking to people.

image3The language is sloppier and hurts the speaker’s credibility.

There are instances where some speakers purposely use sloppier language, because that is how their clients speak. However, there are better ways to emotionally connect with your clients than to model their bad behavior and sloppy language. All companies, even if they are the underdog in their space, say that they are the best. They have strong competition, but they are the best. The idea is to not be exactly the same as your customers. Instead, model to your customers why you are the best and how you communicate is a simple, very obvious way.

Everyone is very busy.

If you want to put a focus on Customer Engagement, or on being a better communicator, or whatever it is that is important to you, you need to go deeper and more specific and ask yourself, “What is the focus of my focus?” Everyone gets busy, but if you know what you need to concentrate on, then you know where to focus your attention.

image4Virtual Communications.

There is a trend for virtual communication, because everyone is all over the place and they’re all busy. There is still nothing like getting together physically; however, you can use technology to build your relationships. Technology does not run an enterprise; relationships do. However, you can find ways to use technology to help reinforce those relationships.

Audience Advocate.

image5Look at your communications from the listener’s point of view. Work from the principle: “Nobody gives a damn about me.” Everybody is more concerned about themselves, their problems, their challenges, their opportunities, than they are about you. So in a business relationship, put your communications under a magnifying glass and look at how you can make the language more “you” focused. Know what the audience wants, so you can take your communications and presentations and build that around their challenges, opportunities, and goals.

“If they’re saying yes, does it matter if they don’t know how long you’ve been in business?”


Industry Myths & Mistakes


People who know what they are selling and are experienced in an industry are not automatically good presenters. At Sales 2.0 in Las Vegas, a statistic showed that 70% of executives are not confident that their sales professionals can effectively deliver the company message well.

People who are smart or intelligent are not automatically good speakers. Knowing a subject and being smart is very different from being able to communicate that subject in a way that inspires action and commitment.


Many people don’t start early enough. People are unrealistic about how long it takes to develop a good presentation. They don’t start early enough to go through the creative process and the structuring to make sure that what they are presenting is going to be of value to their audience.

They believe that the presentation is PowerPoint. PowerPoint is a visual aid, not a scripting aid. It can be used very creatively; however, the creative process is messy. Here are the steps in creating a presentation:

  1. Creative Process: Brainstorm what is going to be in your presentation. This is often easier to do with your team or somebody else. Think about what is going to be in your presentation. Put all of that in a yellow pad or flip chart, then distill that down to the Central Theme, the Premise, or the Big Idea. You can get to this by asking, “If you had one sentence rather than 45 minutes, what would you say?”
  2. Structure: Organize a simple structure. Outline what is going in your presentation.
  3. Visuals: Identify points where visual aids are needed. Ask yourself, “Where do I need a graph or a visual or bullet talking points to help clarify my message?”

They believe that once they have the PowerPoint, they are done. In reality, they’re still halfway done. You have to get it in your body. You need to know it so well that you can’t forget it. The purpose of a presentation is to connect to the audience. The audience is more important, and if you’re thinking about what comes next or what is in the next slide, then you can’t focus on them.

“Rehearsal is the work; performance is the relaxation.” – Michael Caine


Industry Best Practices & General Approach to Improvement


Emotional Connection.

The Audience Advocate. Use “you” focused language.


Eye contact. In the boardroom, you want “piece of the pie” eye contact as you look around the table. Remember that even though there may be only one decision maker, everybody else would not be in the room if they were not influencers. As a rule, look at an individual for a thought, an idea, or a phrase.

image7Stories. If you want to inspire, train or lead, you need to tell good stories.

When training people, use stories to give an example of “somebody just like them” who does the job well.

In the sales situation, it’s good to take your satisfied clients with you: Tell a good case history story about a satisfied client who has the exact same problem as the person you’re talking to.

When you’re a leader and want to inspire action and commitment, you must use stories to paint a picture of what your company was like in the past, what your company is like now, and then transport your audience to what your company will be like five years from now.

A very simple conversational structure. 

Think of it this way: The skeleton under the flesh of your words is your simple outline.

Start well and then close on a high. 

Your structure should start off well to attract their attention and then close on a high. The first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds are very important and need to be memorable and tight.

Razor-sharp specificity. 

Use razor-sharp specificity not only with the quality of the language, but also with specific information. Avoid vague terms like “tons” or “lots” and be specific with data.


Understand your strengths. 

Always start with your strengths. You could be a good speaker if you do a little work to improve yourself and do that work consistently.

Identify what is getting in your way of you becoming as impactful as you can be. 

Sometimes it takes somebody else to help point out those things you need to improve on. Record yourself to see your performance. You will not improve what you are not aware of.

Learn from somebody who knows more about speaking than you do.

Many people are smart and experts in their field. They just don’t know how to put the information into a simple, logical structure and how to communicate it. There is so much help available. Never think it’s too late.

Find a positive and safe venue to practice and build your skills. Then take a specific presentation or important conversation you’re going to have and go through the process. Simply outline and structure what you’re going to say. Do script the first three lines and the last three lines.


The Communication Blueprint: The Fripp Method (Part 1)

Starting a talk with impact. The challenge is to make your presentations, meetings and conversations so much fun that people look forward to them. Make them different and involve your audience, and leave them feeling better than before you started talking to them.

Structure. The premise formula is:

Every (audience) + can (subject of your talk) + How? 1234.

Every (audience): Many speakers have a core message; but even when you present the same general message to different audiences, you need to focus on what is different about this audience from the one yesterday. Fill-in-the-blank helps you identify who is the audience (e.g., every Cisco executive, every Microsoft associate).

Can (subject of your talk): Identify the subject of your talk or the outcome (e.g., can double your sales with the same database).

How? 1234: These are your talking points, or your points of wisdom. In your speech structure: 1) Give a talking point, 2) give an explanation, 3) give an example, 4) tell them how it applies in their business.

Closing: Before your closing remarks do a review, and if it is appropriate, you can ask for questions. Do these before you give your closing, because you always want your last words to linger. Then give an impactful close. You may want to look at how you opened your presentation and do a circular close.


The Communication Blueprint: The Fripp Method (Part 2)

Stories. The Triple-S model is: Situation, Solution, Success.

SituationThe situation needs to be in the words of your happy, satisfied client. Usually, it would take quite a while for a client to express their situation to you, and they wouldn’t express it in one sentence. However, if they did express their situation in a single sentence, consider how they might articulate it.

Give your character client a backstory. This might be the title or position that person holds in his or her company and a little bit about them. Populate your story with flesh-and-blood characters that the audience can relate to.

SolutionNarrate the solution. Tell them how you solved the problem.

Success: The success part of the story should also be in the words of the satisfied client.

Emotional Connection. Use words that are specific and use language that paints a picture. Put pauses and vary the dynamics to make it more engaging.


In his book, The Brilliance Breakthrough, Dr. Schwartz says to forget nouns, adjectives, pronouns, verbs. There are only two types of words: Picture words and Connecting words.

For picture words to be effective in helping your audience see what they are hearing, you need to present information following this formula – When, Where, Who, What Happened – and deliver them the way they sound; which means you need to pause within your sentence, or you can’t change the pitch or tone or energy of the word.



A strategy to overcome roadblocks is to really invest time, money and energy to be a better communicator and learn from others who can make the path easier. Everyone has an interest in being a better communicator; however, not everyone has the commitment. That’s the difference. The keyword here is “discipline.”

“All learning needs reputation and reinforcement.”

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Do You Have Supreme Self-Confidence?

This article was originally published on October 27 2008 by The Napoleon Hill Foundation in their newsletter called: Napoleon Hill Yesterday and Today Issue 92 by: Ray Stendall

I am adding this article to this blog in case you missed it.

Ray Stendall


Have you ever noticed that all great men and women who have done, or are in the process of doing, important work have the attribute of “Supreme Self-Confidence”?

Before we go any further, let’s define the term: Supreme Self-Confidence is the outward expression of an emotion that communicates to others that the individual in question:

a) Has a firm grasp of reality and the work that needs to be done,
b) Has a major purpose they are diligently working towards,
c) Believes to their core that they can provide a World Class solution,
d) Moves calmly in the direction of their vision undeterred by all circumstances and naysayers.

Is it any doubt why these people tend to be successful? How do you feel when you come across someone you respect who appears to have a plan and communicates through their body language that they confidently have the ability to execute? Most of us feel very good, because deep down this is an attribute we all strive for. These individuals are seen as “islands of paradise” in an ocean of worry, doubt, fear and anxiety perpetrated by the media and individuals with a negative mental attitude.

Now that we have a working definition of “Supreme Self-Confidence” how do we cultivate it in our lives?

1) The first step is understanding exactly who you are in terms of:

a)Your values, beliefs and philosophy of life
b)Your perceived strengths and weaknesses in the major aspects of your life such as your health, relationships, business, career, and overall personality traits etc.

2) The second step is to clearly understand what you want. Most of us set goals based on what we think we can do, or what we know we can do, and not what we really want. We need to have a clear purpose that can be emotionalized to serve as our foundation for building Supreme Self-Confidence.

3) The third step is to realize that thoughts are things and they need to observed and respected. Based on addressing the first two steps our thoughts need to be written down. The process helps to clarify your thinking to ensure you develop a laser like focus that is necessary to achieve your goals. After your write down your thoughts, you need to answer the very important question “Why do I want it?” Do not settle for all the common answers – you must find an answer that you can really become emotional about.

4) The fourth step is to condition your mind. Supreme Self-Confidence comes from conditioning your mind on an ongoing basis. You can do this through the process of auto suggestion which is how we volitionally impact our subconscious mind. As you become emotional, your subconscious mind listens and then controls everything you attract into your life in terms of people and resources. This process is critical and always comes before any sustainable action. You need to clearly see yourself being successful at the task at hand down to the very last detail. As you see this happening in your mind over and over again, you will build a white hot burning desire that will begin to radiate from you with everyone you meet.

5) The fifth step is a heightened sense of awareness. Supreme Self-Confidence requires awareness for how you come across to others. You must become hyperaware of how you dress, how you move, how you greet people, your posture when you sit and when you stand, and the tone and fluctuation of your voice. In short every perceivable attribute that can be observed visually along with your body language that is observed at a subconscious level must be considered. A professional is at their best at all times – always remember this. The above should not be misunderstood to be someone else – just be the highest and best version of yourself.

6) The six and final step is to take action. Taking action shows to your subconscious mind that you are serious and not a wishful thinker. As you take action, the conscious and subconscious mind work together to build momentum in the direction of your definite purpose. Taking action helps you develop a healthy obsession for what you want.

As you think about these six basic steps, I want you to make a commitment to objectively examine yourself in relation to the above every 3 months and make course corrections. This process ensures that you are internally aligned – when this happens you will express this quiet Supreme Self-Confidence to everyone you meet. This self-confidence will in turn draw the people and resources you need to fulfill your vision. As you fulfill your vision, you will use this positive experience to give yourself even more momentum for the next vision you conceptualize and move forward on. This my friends is the secret to how the “Greats” exhibit Supreme Self-Confidence.

Ray Stendall is a MindSet Management expert in Silicon Valley CA. He speaks regularly to audiences about how they can significantly enhance their results my becoming aware of their MindSet and level of consciousness so they can elevate it to be in harmony with what they want.

Customer Engagement Magazine Is Live!

Customer Engagement Magazine Is Live!

Welcome everyone, I am very happy to announce Customer Engagement Magazine is now live in the Apps Store. This issue is packed full with incredible content (105 Pages) you have to see.

Don Green – CEO of the Napoleon Hill Foundation shares his thoughts on how Napoleon Hill’s Success Principles can be applied to the world of business

Phil Taylor – Founder Of Goal Achievers Radio shares his insight on how the 7 step goal setting methodology can be used to increase sales.

This Blog Post has just two videos that are contained inside the magazine. The interview with Don Green was so good, I did not want you to miss it just because you do not have an iPad.

This interview is 1 hour long and filled with wonderful information that can really help you. Take a look at these two videos and then I invite you to try out Customer Engagement Magazine on your iPad with a free trial. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. Check it out here

Also please comment (using Facebook if You Can) on this blog post if you got value out of it ….and when you try the magazine please rate it. It helps us provide this content for you! Okay here are the two videos…

Issue 1: Welcome Video From Ray Stendall

Issue 1: Interview With Mr. Don Green


Don Green – CEO of The Napoleon Hill Foundation

Podcast Can be found here: