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Hello from Cleveland! 👋

I attended Content Marketing World this week and am on the way home.

Amazing event as always.

Welcome new subscribers from my Content Marketing World session with Ashley Guttuso on "Counterintuitive Email Strategies That Work."


Small things matter in customer experience.

The brief interactions and micro-moments between customers and your brand add up to form the overall experience.

Compromise on a single micro-moment and customer experience can be compromised.

In some settings, failing someone in a micro-moment can result in a lost customer.

Interactive voice response (IVR) is a fancy term for the automated systems used on customer service calls.

I called an airline today to sort out a flight issue.

Their IVR system was configured to minimize the chance that you’d speak to a customer service rep.

Here’s the flow (paraphrased):

Me: “Agent.”

Airline: “I see that you want to speak to an agent. Before I connect you, [insert one full minute of possible solutions to my problem]. Would you still like to speak to an agent?”

Me: “Yes.”

Airline: “Before I connect you, can you describe what you need assistance with.”

Me: “Issue with check-in.”

Airline: “Got it. Check-in issue. Connecting you now.”

I’m already feeling frustrated because I feel like the system is running interference on me 😠

The process of handing me to a customer service rep is a micro-moment and they failed that one.

What’s going on here?

Let’s say the average cost of a customer service rep’s phone call is $10. They’re trying to save as many $10 bills as they can.

They know that the average lifetime customer value (LCV) of passengers is low.

Thus, they think of passenger interactions as a transaction – something they must provide, but something they’d prefer to automate and cost-optimize.

(I don’t know – a million-mile rewards flyer has a high LCV. Do they get a special phone number they can dial to get a human on the line right away?)

What if airlines flipped the model?

Optimize for passenger happiness.

Track the cost of providing customer service, but don’t optimize it to be as low as possible.

Put your friendly service reps on the phone with passengers immediately.

Optimize to get the interaction.

The result might be an increased LCV 📈

It might go higher and higher, which makes concerns over customer service costs lower and lower.

This is the model Zappos employed and it seemed to work well for them.

Press “*” if you agree and “#” if you don’t.

Infrequently flying,

Around the Corner
Group Photo

Members of the Bay Area Content Marketing Meetup gathered at Content Marketing World this week for a group photo at the opening party. The party took place at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Thanks to meetup co-organizer Rich Schwerin for the idea.

Here's a tweet with the same photo.
Next Meetup
Using Psychology in Your Content Marketing Strategy

Presenter: Andi Robinson, Marketing Consultant at Hijinx Marketing.

There are many moving pieces that marketers need to think about when creating their content marketing strategies.

From competitor research to audience segmentation and distribution channels, putting it all together can be daunting.

Come learn why marketers should include one more piece - audience psychology - in their puzzle.

Andi Robinson will join us to talk about her new book, "The Content Puzzle...and the Missing Piece."

Note: We'll give out (5) free copies of Andi's book to those who attend the live session.

September 22, 2022, 12 to 1pm PT

RSVP: - join the 30+ marketers who already RSVP'd!

Note: Thanks to our sponsors, Hushly, TalendToTheWeb and Treasure Data.
Twitter Corner
In each newsletter, I recommend a Twitter user to follow.
This week, I recommend Jeremy Bednarski (@JeremyBednarski).

Jeremy is a Content Strategist for Salesforce and manages a personal website called Rockified Marketing

He tweets about marketing, music and other fun stuff.

At Content Marketing World, Jeremy was named the 2022 Community Champion. Congrats, Jeremy! 👏🏆
Corner Delight
At the conference this week, a worker scanned attendees’ badges before they entered a session.

All of the badge scanners were courteous and friendly.

One badge scanner called me by name:

“Thank you, Dennis.”

An easy thing to do, since they’re already focusing their scanner directly at your badge.

This micro-moment created delight.

Brands can also delight customers during micro-moments like this.
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