Thinking Like a Marketer: How to Improve Customer Experience
If you’ve ever wondered how to get more customers or retain the ones you already have, you want to talk to Jay Baer. This New York Times bestselling author has written six books on customer experience and currently serves as president of Convince & Convert, a social media strategy and content marketing company.
Agencies strive for great citizen experiences, and Baer has a citizen experience excellence framework that he wants to share with government employees. He will be the morning emcee and closing keynote speaker at the 12th annual Granicus National Summit in Washington D.C. on May 15th.
Granicus asked Baer about his experiences, topics of interest, and more in a Q&A.
What past professional experiences have proven critical to where you find yourself today?
BAER: I’ve been involved in digital marketing since 1993, when domain names were still FREE. So, I’ve seen the entire history of the web, email, search, social, and more. Plus, I’ve also been a professional in “traditional” marketing, politics, TV, radio, journalism and a bunch of other, related stuff. I’ve seen a lot, which allows me to connect dots for people, onstage and offstage. I’m not a futurist, I’m a realist. I recognize patterns and explain what they mean and how to benefit from them. I do that in books, as a speaker, and as a consultant.
Which topics do you plan to cover in your keynote? How do they relate to the government workforce?
BAER: I am SO EXCITED about this! Instead of one of my “regular” keynotes about the power of word of mouth, or usefulness, or customer service, I’m going to participate and listen in to the entire conference, and then summarize (in real time) the key points that attendees MUST TAKE BACK to their organizations. I’m going to be like a conference summary and notebook, but a human being, in a suit, on stage. I can’t wait!
The theme of this year’s event is “seamless government.” What does that mean to you as a member of the public?
BAER: I used to work in government, as well. I was a Public Information Officer for a state agency. We were not….seamless. Full of seams, actually.
Here’s the deal: citizens and consumers expect more than ever. They want everything personalized, accurate, easy, and fast. They expect the same things from government that they get from Netflix, Amazon, Uber, and the rest. They want to live a frictionless life, and they want to interface with their government(s) hassle-free. That’s what seamless means. It’s a tall order, but a very fair expectation among the populace.
Describe the critical tools that you think government leaders and workers should be equipped with to tackle the challenges of the future.
- Believing that there aren’t separate rules for government. You simply cannot say (or believe) “that’s a satisfactory customer experience….for a government agency” It’s either good or its not, period.
- Embracing that customer experience is inexorably linked with satisfaction. Government has historically been about outcomes, but today the process the citizen has to go through is often as important as the outcome.
- Understanding that customer experience (good and bad) creates word of mouth, and word of mouth is still the most powerful driver of behavior among all people, and for all decisions.