Podcast – CX Champions | Season 4 – Episode 7

Mastering CX: Shep Hyken’s Guide to Exceptional Customer Interactions


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Episode summary

This episode features an interview with Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations, LLC. Shep is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession. He has helped companies like American Airlines, AT&T, and American Express build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. And in this episode, Shep shares insights on creating memorable customer experiences in a digital-first world. He discusses the importance of prompt, personal, and positive customer interactions, leveraging AI to enhance the customer experience, and the significance of both digital and human elements in customer service. Shep also explains his five-step process for handling customer issues—acknowledge, apologize, resolve, own, and act with urgency. He highlights the changing dynamics of customer loyalty programs, the impact of business decisions on customer loyalty, and the importance of employee experience in delivering exceptional customer service. The conversation delves into various aspects of CX, including self-service options, the dangers of commoditization, and the future trends in customer experience.

About the guest

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession. Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of “Amaze Every Customer Every Time,” “Moments of Magic ,” “The Loyal Customer,” “The Cult of the Customer” and “The Amazement Revolution.” He is also the creator of The Customer Focus program, which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset.

In 1983 Shep Hyken founded Shepard Presentations and since then has worked with hundreds of clients ranging from Fortune 100 size organizations to companies with less than 50 employees. Some of his clients include American Airlines, AAA Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, AETNA, Abbot Laboratories, American Express – and that’s just a few of the A’s!

Shep Hyken’s most requested programs focus on customer service, customer loyalty, internal service, customer relations and a motivational program titled “You Are The Magic!” He is known for his high energy and entertaining content-rich presentations.

Key quotes

*”I call it the customer hierarchy of needs. This is what companies want customers to experience. At the base of that pyramid, just like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you have products that do what they’re supposed to do. But as you move up to the tip of the pyramid, you eventually get to fulfillment and emotional connection. And when you are emotionally connected to the brand, then you feel like, ‘Why would I want to go anywhere else? Why would I take a chance on anywhere else? I love the way this brand makes me feel.’ That’s emotion.”

*”For AI to be effective, the customer has to enjoy the experience. In order to get the customer to enjoy the experience, sometimes you have to tell the customer that the experience is even there to begin with.”

*”The Ikea effect, which has been around, is basically that somebody that puts together their own furniture feels more pride in it. So when a customer resolves their own issue, thanks to AI, They feel really good when an agent is able to use this type of technology to create a better experience for the customer. They feel great as well.”

*”A part of customer experience is also being able to do damage and risk control. Number one, we must acknowledge the problem. Number two, we must apologize. And by the way, you can apologize first and acknowledge second. I don’t care. As long as those two things start the conversation. Number three, understand what the problem is. You may have to ask questions, but you get to a point where you discuss the resolution. Either you’re fixing it on the spot or you’re discussing what’s going to happen. Number four, the attitude that you must show that customer is one of you owning the situation, even if you’re not in it. If you’re not even the person that might take care of it, at least at that moment, you’ve got to make this customer feel like you’re in control. And then finally, you act with urgency. Speed is really important. You need to get to the resolution as quickly as possible,”

*”It’s a byproduct of what happens when you start to go into a company and try to create a better product: Customer experience. You have to focus on your employee experience at the same time. And oftentimes a byproduct of working on an overall customer experience is employees become more fulfilled and you’ll see turnover drop as a result. That’s a very powerful thing because number one, you don’t have to hire new people. And the cost of hiring and training is so high sometimes that it really makes financial sense to even try to barely impact the experience because the benefit to the internal experience is so strong.”

Time stamps

[0:44] Spotlight on Shep Hyken: CX Visionary

[1:43] Diving Into Shep’s Book: I’ll Be Back

[3:33] The Power of Customer Loyalty and Experience

[6:45] Shep Hyken’s Journey into Customer Experience

[8:09] Exploring the Evolution of Customer Experience

[11:13] The Impact of AI on Customer Experience

[13:14] Navigating Customer Experience in the Digital Age

[22:03] Shep’s Five Steps for Handling Customer Issues

[24:59] Mastering Customer Service: A Real-Life Example

[32:48] The Power of Customer Loyalty Programs and the Impact of Changes

[36:39] Shep Hyken’s Influence and Insights on Customer Experience

[41:34] Predicting the Future of Customer Experience

[44:15] Magic in Customer Experience

[46:33] Shep Hyken’s Impact on CX

Thanks to our friends

This podcast is brought to you by HGS. HGS is a digital customer experience leader dedicated to delivering winning customer interactions at scale that are prompt, personal, and positive. We continuously transform, optimize, and grow enterprises to exceed ever-rising customer expectations. HGS provides our clients with the right talent and technologies needed to champion every moment. Learn more at hgs.cx