Jenny Dempsey – Customer Experience Manager at NumberBarn and FruitStand LLC [Customer Experience]

Jenny is the Customer Experience Manager at Apeel and FruitStand LLC. She talks about:

· Customer Appreciation o Celebrate the Customer Connection

o How to tell the customer story

o How do measure the customer appreciation program
Nick Glimsdahl 0:02
Welcome to the Press 1 for Nick Podcast. I am Nick Glimsdahl. And my guest this week is Jenny Dempsey. Jenny is the customer experience manager at number barn and fruit stand LLC and a community organizer at cx accelerator. Jenny, welcome to the Press 1 for Nick Podcast.

Jenny Dempsey 0:20
Hey, Nick, thanks for having me on. You know, I actually wrote you a little song Is it okay, if I play it?

Nick Glimsdahl 0:26
Yeah. And absolutely, because I already I was trying to find one little nugget that everybody most people won’t know about you. But the words getting out that you do play guitar and sing. So it’s all yours.

Unknown Speaker 0:42
Well, thanks for having me on the show. Press one for Nick, to talk about customer experience, because it’s cool to care about your customers school to care

Jenny Dempsey 1:00
about your customer.

Thanks, Nick. That’s a song I wrote for your

Nick Glimsdahl 1:08
mic drop. I was actually I was playing a little air guitar while you were doing that. I was trying my best to follow along. But sometimes I felt like the chords weren’t hitting according to what you were playing. But you killed it. And was awesome.

Jenny Dempsey 1:25
Thanks. Thanks. That was fun.

Nick Glimsdahl 1:29
So I want to talk about customer appreciation. Before we get started on customer appreciation, why is it so important to appreciate your customers? Guys?

Jenny Dempsey 1:43
People like to be appreciated and recognized for being loyal to a brand. It’s kind of like what the cool kids are doing, I guess, you know, but it comes down to just being kind and recognizing these people that are staying with your company.

Nick Glimsdahl 2:01
So I think the old saying goes, you’re only cool if you have a customer spirit appreciation program.

Jenny Dempsey 2:08
Yes, yeah. That’s something like that. Yeah, treat others how you want to be treated because we like to be appreciated. And that’s cool.

Nick Glimsdahl 2:16
Do you think that um, when it comes to customers or wanting to comes to companies and kind of they bring him they bring in this customer in their organization, they onboard them, they treat them like royalty, they have the confetti going in as they go through the go through the doors, and hand them this cake because they celebrated this onboarding process. After that, do you think it’s kind of like the Easy Bake Oven process where they’re gonna just set it and forget it?

Jenny Dempsey 2:43
Oh, gosh, yeah, it’s usually all about the excitement of bringing them on, like, You nailed it. Like, there’s this big party, there’s confetti, there’s glitter, whatever it is, and then they’re your customer for years. And that never happens again. And that drop off is like it may turn into just like a quick phone call, which is always lovely, you know, to check in or something, but how can we get a little more creative in celebrating the launch activity of a customer with our brand? And kind of think outside the box of how to to celebrate it as time goes on?

Nick Glimsdahl 3:19
Yeah, and everybody already knows the stat that it’s, it’s more costly to bring on a new customer than it is to keep an old one. But I feel like people tend to forget that it. They’re like, Oh, yeah, I remember that. And then they go back to their normal business. And they’re saying, Oh, yeah, I should have probably focused on that person that just left or that customer just walked out the door. You know, it tends to be frustrating, because they don’t feel known and valued anymore, like they did in that the grand finale or the grand intro that they had at the beginning.

Jenny Dempsey 3:53
Right. Yeah. And to have kind of a plan in mind for the team of how everyone will contribute to celebrating the, you know, lifetime success of a customer throughout, you know, every single stage that they’re at with your company.

Nick Glimsdahl 4:09
Yeah. So at a high level, what in the world is a customer appreciation program.

Jenny Dempsey 4:17
So I think that this can vary between different brands and what you sell. But at the end of the day, the baseline is how to creatively appreciate your customers. And I throw in the word creatively, because there’s so many things that are already existing for appreciation, you know, marketing emails, or account managers calling every you know, quarter or something like that. So there’s things in place that are very like structured, but when I add the word creatively, it just, for me, it becomes more important to celebrate individuals that are our customers as humans, and to kind of touch on those like, things that make them real humans that are, you know, paying the bills that you’re getting So I think it just Yeah, it really comes down to the personalization. And how to, I guess strategically do it creatively?

Nick Glimsdahl 5:10
Yeah. Yeah. So let’s say that somebody, one of my listeners is like, that’s great. And I can Google it. But how do I, how do I get started?

Jenny Dempsey 5:24
Right, right. So it comes down to what are you celebrating? First of all, you know, is there a way to tie it back to your company mission statement, for example? So really look into like, What are you? What are your the goals of your company? What is your mission? And how are you going to celebrate that within the customers? And then figuring out like, Who’s going to do it? Like the very basics, like, who’s actually going to be doing this? Then you kind of figure out the tangible thing, is it a postcard that’s a brand friendly postcard is hand written, and sent out in the mail to talk about like, Hey, I heard you got a new job, like, how’s it going? Like nothing about the business? Is it? You know, is there some type of video software that you get? And the team makes these funny videos and sends to customers? Or is it swag? You know, is there some type of like, things with a personalized purpose of why they’re getting it, not just to get it? And so those three stages, it’s like, how is it supporting your mission and your vision, who’s going to be doing it and then you kind of decide the what because the what kind of can be a loose structure, because if you have customer service agents on the front line, dealing with customers with a variety of issues, it’s kind of exciting to give them the choice to choose how to celebrate that customer base on exactly what happens. So a little bit of flexibility in there can also make it part of you know, what works for the company.

Nick Glimsdahl 6:51
Yeah, so who’s in charge of a customer appreciation program

Jenny Dempsey 6:57
that I believe that lives in the customer service team, but in other companies, I do know that it can fall under marketing as well. But I love having like, in my experience having the opportunity for the customer service agent who’s on the front line, you know, answering the call day in day out to have them take the extra time to celebrate a customer by not say I’m just gonna focus on the postcard thing, jot down postcard, like hey, was so great to talk with you, I loved talking about x y&z, you know, I just, you know, wanted to check in and say, Hey, you know, this was a great color, or this was a wonderful time, or whatever it is like, and to give them the power, because then it becomes them not just helping someone on the phone, it becomes I’m helping a human. And it becomes a full experience of not just getting help, but then someone gets a little something extra later on. And it’s up to the agent to decide how they built that connection with that customer.

Nick Glimsdahl 7:54
Yeah, I love that though. Because the customer service has only the ability most times to hear the customer, they don’t actually got to feel the customer touch, you know, shake their hand, thank them for giving them the opportunity to serve them. how important that is that inside customer service to be able to see an actual customer.

Jenny Dempsey 8:21
Oh, it’s huge, it’s huge, it’s suddenly becomes not about, you know, the number in the queue. And you’re just worried about making sure that you get everything done in the time that you need. But it becomes about oh yeah, there’s a human on the phone. This is someone’s Dad, this is someone’s Mom, this is someone sister, and this is something that’s going on in their life, like it becomes bigger, it tells a story about these people that you are actually taking the time to help and impact their life even if they’re super angry or super friendly. Like there’s a connection opportunity there. And I think sometimes you know, of course metrics and all of the you know, timing of a call and those are very important, but it’s still people helping people and we can really personalize it and put that kind of control in the agents hand to decide if you know they want to celebrate this human and how they’re going to do it.

Nick Glimsdahl 9:15
Yeah, yeah, I think personalization is so much it’s so key right there is giving them the ability to make that choice to do what’s right for the customer and in their own unique way. You know it in transition how do you go about telling that customer story in that personalized or unique way? And I guess how often are you doing that?

Jenny Dempsey 9:41
So I think that comes back to like let’s say the mission or the vision of the company or the support team, I can share how we do it at number barn every single month. Every single agent is able to you know nominate a customer for what we call tickled pink because our mascots a pig We focus on the connections that the agents make with the customers. Because in our mission statement, you know, we are striving to create connections with every single customer, because we believe they’re more than a phone number. So the customer service agent determines that they nominate the customer. And then right now, due to COVID, we’re sending postcards, we were sending these things called pig packages, which little fun stuffed pig and all kinds of things. But then we’re This is where the fun comes in. And this actually falls under my wheelhouse. As a customer experience manager, I go through every single nomination, and then I create an internal document that go that looks through who this person is. So I may search. It’s a nice, little creepy, but I’m like searching their business, what what are they building? What are they putting out in the world? Who is this person? When What else have they written? And how long have they been a customer? What are some fun things that they said during their email, any interesting feedback that they have, for us any kind words, any not so kind words, and I build it into a story. So each one of these nominations then becomes a story on an internal document. And it’s shared with the entire company once a month. And then each of those individual stories can then become customer case studies, because in some cases, we reach out to the customer under marketing. And then we share their story as a featured customer on our blog, for example, or on our website, we feature their business, but they’re getting a postcard in the mail. As an example, someone wrote in and they’re like, I paid $2 a month, I had an issue. And your support team helped me and we talked a little bit because it was a little bit involved. And they’re like, I got a postcard in the mail. It said, you know, congrats on your new job. And he’s like, I don’t even think anyone actually heard me say that, then so surprised. I literally paid X amount of dollars a month, and I didn’t expect to get such a personalized thing. And then that is shared with everyone from the you know, high leadership to everyone on frontline. So we all see these stories, and we can connect with them and then celebrate the connections that everyone else had. So I think it’s going to vary for every company. Maybe it’s once a month, maybe it’s once a quarter. Maybe it’s once a week, you know, it kind of depends. But for us, we’ve landed in this really comfortable rhythm of once a month. Everyone expects the tickled pink stories. Everyone loves these epic fun pictures. And it’s exciting to connect that way with our customers, but also as a team seeing how everyone else is connecting.

Nick Glimsdahl 12:29
Yeah, no, I love that tickled pink. It’s very, very creative. Um, you know, one of one of my previous podcast guests, Johnny Julius, he has an acronym that he uses, and that he tells others to use. And it’s it’s Ford. So when they’re actively listening inside customer service, or any other industry, he also owns a hair salon on the side. But it’s when somebody mentions family occupation, recreation, or dreams, those four things, they write them down. It’s not like, Hey, tell me about your recreation and your dreams on this call when they’re trying to solve a problem. But when they hear it, they write it down. And they create a little note inside of that in wherever their data is stored. So that the next time they come on, hopefully it’s the same person, depending on their relationship or the industry. But they say, hey, how was How was your trip to Europe? Or hey, I know that your son played baseball last week, How’d that go? You know, and or I knew he bought a new bat or whatever that looks like. But yeah, differentiate right there. Because it makes you feel like they appreciate you not and I had a dentist do this when I lived in Illinois and the guy would come in, obviously, everybody else would do the do the prep work. But then the dentist would come in and he was already prepped with the notes that they had from the previous time. And he would sit down with me for five minutes and say, Hey, what’s the update here? Here’s what we talked about last time recap. Here’s what we you know, what gave me the update. And then he takes that back and doesn’t go to the next customer. It goes it goes to the next client, but goes back and tells his team. Here’s what he said, write this down in the notes. And I just love that.

Jenny Dempsey 14:18
Yeah, yeah. And it I love the acronym for it too. And like hearing how the dentist did it like it didn’t probably didn’t take that much extra work. And now you have the opportunity to connect in such a unique way.

Nick Glimsdahl 14:32
It probably took it probably took 30 seconds for them to walk by and say, Hey, here’s the quick update with Nick please write that down in the notes and going to the next person. So throughout the day, maybe he’s spending, you know, 1015 minutes, but the amount of value that that brand brought to that customer or that client or whoever else is it’s priceless. Yeah. So yeah, so what are some Some ideas that, you know, you talked about surprising your clients, you know, with you mentioned a postcard, but what other things can people do for a customer appreciation program?

Jenny Dempsey 15:11
Absolutely. Well, one of the things that I also love to throw in is, look at your support teams talents, one of the things that I have done many times is make a custom song and quarter video and send it to a customer. And, you know, and what other things that maybe there’s someone who’s an artist, or someone who designs things or writes thing, you know, poems, or, you know, there could be so many creative ideas that you can utilize that on your team, which, who doesn’t love to have that somehow bridged into the day to day grind at work, you know, to like, be able to exercise those talents for a purpose. And so I think that’s kind of one way to look into it. It’s like, let’s surprise our clients with something personal from us, and we’ll share that with them. But then, of course, you know, I’m sure each company will have its own type of brand friendly thing, whether it is a, you know, like I mentioned, the swag, or maybe it is a free product, or there could be like, I’m just gonna throw a free month just because I feel like a you know, there could be so many different things that come as a surprise to your client, and also hearing what the client says maybe like, you know, you mentioned, you know, listening, had the dentist, listen, like, there could be something that you said in a previous conversation. And if that is noted on there, you know, it could show up, maybe you order them a pizza, maybe you send them some flowers, maybe it’s a something, you know, silly like that. But can you give a big impact. So I think it just comes down to really understanding the team, and the customers. And that’s going to like, help you figure out the best ways to surprise the clients when it’s coming from an authentic place.

Nick Glimsdahl 16:48
There you go. That’s, I love that. It’s, it’s the authentic Park. That’s key. I think, if you mass blast, it’s kind of like, it’s kind of like a cold email, when no idea who they are and somebody sends you like, Hey, is there they’re opening up their, virtual leather jacket saying, how many watches Do you want, you’re like, I didn’t even know who you are, let alone You know, I don’t know anything about your product. But you know, being authentic and being genuine and actually taking the time and listening. And then providing a solution is such key to that. So if anybody wants to appreciate me, please do not send me flowers, though. I would

notes right now,

yeah, I’ll give you a few ideas afterwards. But somebody else was talking about on a different episode about how their company, when they dropped the ball, they call them, like sending them what they call it, like, it was like a humble pie is what they got. But it wasn’t, I was assuming it was gonna be a pie. And in reality, it was a gift card, like Amazon or something. And I was like, man, if I was gonna start calling in and complaining about their product, just so I could start receiving pies. didn’t work out that way. But maybe next. But um, you know, so how do how do people start? They’ve already built this, they’re starting to roll it out? How do they measure it?

Jenny Dempsey 18:18
This, again, is gonna look so different for every company, I think, if you’re measuring it based on like, you know, very basic customer lifetime value, like how long has that customer stayed with you. While you may or may not know if it was because of that particular, you know, appreciation thing that you sent out, you at least can measure it based on like, here’s all the people that we sent this to, and here’s how long they’ve been with us, or you know, even financial per month and all those types of things, you can measure it via like NPS, that’s another tool, you can measure it. And honestly, I know and I’m sure there’s tons of other ways, but and I know this is gonna go against the grain here Next, so I apologize. But like if you and other things, I’m not like metrics are so important for so many things. But I also sometimes think that there are things that might not need to be measured. appreciation sometimes doesn’t have to be measured, it can be something that is just something kind to do when you have it really structured and like the purpose of like going out is like, like it’s it’s set like you know why you’re doing it. You know, there could just be something to just appreciate people and may not have to be tied to a very specific measurement, which I know for like stakeholders, that is not what they want to hear. But if you’re able to kind of like create a structure really strong and the purpose, there could be the ability to just have it be simply appreciation and that step that says a lot about a particular brand, when it’s not necessarily tied to Like, how much of the pain as per month? How long have they been our customer? Um, a number of right? I mean, we send things to customers when they leave, like if they have an interaction with us, and we have a connection with them as they are, you know, transferring their number to another provider, we’ll you know, we’ll send this to them. Because that might mean that, you know, word of mouth is powerful. They may tell someone about that. And then down the road, we get referrals. So referrals are another way to kind of measure things. And so I yeah, I just think it kind of varies based on the purpose of the program, and what you’re actually doing. But yeah, sometimes, sometimes you don’t have to measure everything.

Nick Glimsdahl 20:39
actually liked that answer. It was it was a trick question. So well, you know, there, there doesn’t need to be like you said, you know, when it comes to stakeholders, there doesn’t have to be an ROI and everything. Yes. This should be one of them, like, enjoy, give back to the people that have invested and believe in you.

Jenny Dempsey 21:02

Nick Glimsdahl 21:04
Yes. Oh, I think that’s great. So what’s the risk of not having a customer appreciation, appreciation program that just sticking with status quo and saying, Ah, you know, I don’t need to do this. It sounds like too much work. I’m good.

Jenny Dempsey 21:21
Right? You know, I don’t think there’s really any risk, I don’t think it’s going to damage your brand if you’re not appreciating your customers. But I think if you have one, it sets you apart from your competition. And it makes you It makes you difference because you appreciate people, your customers as humans so and that word gets out fast. That is how that’s how sometimes brands grow simply by like how the customers are treated. Of course, like we hear that all the time. But something extra like this, like, that’s what gets shared on social media. And sometimes it goes viral, and you know, like, so again, no risk, really. But if you want to set your brand apart, then this could be a good option.

Nick Glimsdahl 22:05
Yeah, I would argue that it, it is a differentiator, it is potentially a risk of when you do nothing. And somebody like their competition is doing an appreciation program. And they’re friends of friends who work for that work with that competition. And they’re saying, Oh, well, you don’t receive this every quarter, or they don’t call you, you know, singing a personalized song. And your customer saying like, what, like, What do you mean, these people do that too. And they don’t, they don’t sing a really cool song about press one for NEC like. So I would argue that there is a risk of just sticking with status quo, because customers expectations in all of customer experience are changing all the time.

Jenny Dempsey 22:59

Nick Glimsdahl 23:00
So being finding a way to differentiate, but if you’re looking across the, across the aisle, and you see your competition is doing something, don’t just do it, because they do it do what’s right for the customer. Right. But also step your game up.

Jenny Dempsey 23:16

you definitely bring up a good point, customer expectations are definitely changing. And I feel like with COVID, it has changed significantly and a lot of the more personal touches that people are away from from others. And so, you know, a lot of the times they’re calling customer support, and that might be the only, you know, connection they’ve had that particular day because they are not able to see anyone else or talk to anyone else. And so I feel like these this opportunity here with the appreciation could really, really put an impact on a company now.

Nick Glimsdahl 23:50
Yeah, so who who in that, you know, have is doing this really well? Who has just this Rockstar customer appreciation program? Well,

Jenny Dempsey 23:59
I mean, chewy is the one we hear about all the time. I am a chewy customer and I love it when I get a personalized card just randomly. I don’t even know how they do it. Honestly, I haven’t really researched it I oh and my cat has something to say about that.

You just say cheese.

I know he’s really wow, he’s so good.

And advocate.

Nick Glimsdahl 24:25
Yeah, it should be a commercial right there. We’re just taking a little snippet in pull it out for cheese.

Jenny Dempsey 24:30
I love it. Yes, please do. Um, but yeah, they do a great job of kind of the surprise cards and there’s like drawings on them like it’s real cute. And like birthday cards for your pet. You know, funny little things. I also think there’s a smaller company out there that I’m a huge fan of they’re called eating evolved and it’s like this very like high end chocolate I really love. I love dark chocolate. So this is kind of like my jam but it’s like super healthy, super clean all this type of chocolate and their customers. Their service and their experience is exceptional them send customers just out of the blue, a box of chocolate and a card that says, Oh, it’s so good. There’s a Facebook group and so like you can tell people are going to the Facebook group Oh, I saw your post. I know it’s wonderful like, Oh, good luck with this and that or they follow me on social media and then you know, send you a package of like stuff and comments on Oh, that picture of you know, your dog was great, or, you know, random things. Let’s that’s really just a summary. But like, they do a great job at paying attention to their customers as humans, and sending out some really delicious things. Those are the top two that come to mind. Of course, you know, I’m biased because number barn I think we do a great job with tickled pink. And it’s really exciting to hear from customers when they’re like, Whoa, I did not expect this. This was this was really exciting. And I’m keeping this postcard and hanging on my fridge and you know, little things like that, like we make a fridge. That’s exceptional. So

Nick Glimsdahl 25:57
yeah, I think I think your cat already voted that chewy is was the best though.

Jenny Dempsey 26:03
Such funny timing? Yes.

Nick Glimsdahl 26:04
That was perfect timing. You land landed it? Well, but um, I wrap up every podcast with two questions. So the first question is, is what book or person has influenced you the most in the past year? And then the second question is, if you can leave a note to all the customer service, or customer experience professionals, what would it say?

Jenny Dempsey 26:26

first question for the influence, I’m going to go and actually switch it up. Because it’s not just one person or one book, it’s actually a whole community, customer, you know, six accelerator is online community. And honestly, that community has influenced me so much in the past year, whether it’s connected with people one on one, you know, different threads that we talked through, if I just have a question in my head that I’ve been, like, rumbling over, and I cannot figure it out, I posted in there and get the help. And it just influenced and influences me and motivates me to keep going even when things get super tough in this industry. And then if I could leave a note,

Nick Glimsdahl 27:05
it was just to keep thinking, because, um, one thing that and I’m a huge, I believe that there’s a ton of value in six accelerator. Also, if you want to join the Slack channel for cx accelerator, I don’t know there’s only there’s there’s only 1900 people that belong to this Slack channel going on 1900. So anybody in customer service, customer experience, feel free to reach out to Jenny or myself. And you can go to a cx And, and then or we can send you a link that brings you right to the Slack channel. So I love it. And you know, everybody should get involved in there.

Jenny Dempsey 27:54
I agree. It is super awesome to connect personally and professionally.

Nick Glimsdahl 27:58
There you go. And then next question.

Jenny Dempsey 28:02
All right,

if I could leave a note to all customer service or experienced professionals, it would say in order to take the best care of others, we must first take the best care of ourselves. Hmm.

Nick Glimsdahl 28:16
Great advice. That is a nice, you might drop it at the beginning and then you just might drop. Where people say that the only the cool kids say that. But you can connect with Jenny on LinkedIn. So Jenny, Dempsey, j, e and n y and Dempsey is de m p SEY. And she’s also on Twitter, Jenny, Sue Dempsey, any other way that people want to get ahold of you? If they want to hear another sweet jingle or what’s the any other channel that they want to get ahold of you on?

Jenny Dempsey 28:59
absolutely I would love to connect with you. You can also visit me online at Jenny not too much on the site, but it is a great way to connect. So I hope to see you there.

Nick Glimsdahl 29:11
Thank you so much, Jenny. It’s thanks for the personalized song and looking forward to connecting and cx accelerator.

Jenny Dempsey 29:20
Absolutely. Thank you so much. Yeah.


The Press 1 For Nick podcast is both educational and engaging, and each episode offers listeners a dynamic blend of insightful stories, best practices, and invaluable lessons.

Nick’s guests – each with a unique wealth of knowledge – include leaders from a variety of backgrounds and industries. Some of his guests include:

  • Customer service & customer experience leaders
  • A hostage negotiator
  • Award-winning authors
  • Home Depot’s Senior Director of Customer Care
  • Former VP of Disney’s Magic Kingdom
  • Lyft’s Head of Partner and Customer Engagement
  • Deputy Chief Veteran Experience Officer from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

On every episode Nick asks his guest two questions:

  1. What book or person has influenced you the most in the past year?
  2. If you could leave a note to all the Customer Service and CX professionals, what would it say?

You can find all the podcast guests’ answers under their episodes below.

If all you want is the guests’ book recommendations, you can go here.

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