CXFormula Customer Experience Formula

Tailoring the Perfect E-Commerce Experience | Jason Friedman

Arlen Robinson [00:02]
Welcome back to the E-Commerce Marketing Podcast, everyone. My name is Arlen and I’m your host. And today we are joined by a special guest, Jason Friedman, who is a serial entrepreneur who turned his passion for theater into a blueprint for business success. Today, he acts as the CEO of CX Formula, where Jason has revolutionized customer experience.

where he applies storytelling and psychology to help companies across industries from retail giants to financial institutions achieve explosive growth. He’s been recognized by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year and leading his company to the Inc 5000 list multiple times. Jason’s unique approach has made a significant impact beyond his professional accolades. He’s a proud dad and dog lover.

And so today you better get ready for insights on elevating e-commerce through exceptional customer experiences. Welcome to the podcast, Jason.

Jason Friedman [01:09]
Hey, Arlen, thanks for having me, man. Super excited to be with you.

Arlen Robinson [01:11]
Yeah. And thank you for joining. We really appreciate you coming on and I’m super excited to talk to you. And, you know, today, as I mentioned, we’re going to be diving into customer experience, which is very important. Um, whether you’re an e-commerce brand and you’re selling online or, you know, you have any web presence, I think the customer experiences is super important, so we’re going to dive into that. Um, but before we do, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your background and, you know, how you specifically got into what you’re doing today.

Jason Friedman [01:40]
Yeah, man, thanks for that question. My background is a little bit crazy. I started out in theater, right? So as a young kid, I called myself a theater nerd, right? I was a lighting guy, a scenery guy. I built sets, designed lights, did all that growing up. And one thing led to another, and I found myself as a rock and roll roadie. I toured with Fleetwood Mac, with Peter Gabriel, Rush. And then I went on to some more legit theater, like Broadway style, like Fiddler on the Roof,

Arlen Robinson [01:47]
Okay?

Arlen Robinson [02:00]
Okay. Wow.

Jason Friedman [02:10]
at Jesus Christ Superstar. And it was one of those kind of like out of body experiences. Like it’s Mr. Miyagi, you’re waxing on, you’re waxing off, you’re painting the fence. And all of a sudden at the end of the rainbow, you have this skills that you didn’t realize you were building over the years. And that skill was about engaging your customer.

And like you think about it, you go to a rock concert and people get there like hours early to kind of get in the mood and they’re playing the songs and they’re drinking and they’re eating food and they’re hanging out with their buddies. And then they go in and they like listen to more of the music and they just, everything that was going on in their life falls away and they are in the zone, right? And like, they can’t.

Arlen Robinson [02:46]
Yeah.

Jason Friedman [02:49]
they can’t think of anything else. They’re just so into it. And at the end, they’re roaring, they’re screaming, they’re clapping, and they go home still singing the songs and doing the things. And then the next day they tell everybody that they know about it. Like that, that I learned how to, there’s a formula for that. Like that doesn’t happen by accident. Like every time you go to a theater show or a concert or whatever, those are the kinds of experiences that you have. And so what we’ve done over the years is working with big brands.

Arlen Robinson [03:07]
Hmm?

Arlen Robinson [03:13]
Hmm?

Jason Friedman [03:17]
and the littlest brands is take this formula and let you kind of have this operating system in your business that allows you to wow your customers consistently to a point where they have such a great experience that they want to tell other people about it, that they buy more products, that they return over and over again for your subscriptions. And it’s magical, right? And so…

Arlen Robinson [03:36]
Mm.

Jason Friedman [03:39]
Yeah, that’s my jam, man. That’s what we’ve been doing for the last 30 years. I date myself, I know. And yeah, we just, we love making it better.

Arlen Robinson [03:44]
Wow.

Arlen Robinson [03:49]
Okay, that’s awesome. Good stuff. Yeah, that’s a pretty unique background that you have going from the theater to working with lighting and stage setup for some really major bands and getting into working with customers today. So yeah, I get that. I can see how doing what you did then with the theater and the setup and everything, you’re kind of, you’re crafting.

Jason Friedman [03:53]
Oh.

Jason Friedman [04:01]
Yeah.

Arlen Robinson [04:15]
you know, an environment for the customer. And it’s just on a different scale. And so when you apply that, you know, to an e-commerce business, you know, you’re really still crafting an environment. It’s just for the web. So I can imagine your experience has helped.

Jason Friedman [04:20]
Totally.

Jason Friedman [04:28]
Yeah. Well, and, and you know, like whatever your, your e-commerce product is, right? If it’s digital or it’s physical, it doesn’t really matter what the product is, right? What happens is like, there’s, there’s the, there’s a sales process, there’s the receiving it process, and then there’s the using it process. And when you really think through who those customers are, what they really need and what they really want.

Arlen Robinson [04:46]
Yeah.

Jason Friedman [04:52]
and you start to craft the journey. Like think about Apple, right? Like you get that iPhone box in the mail and you’re like, wow, like the box, the packaging, the unboxing, isn’t an experience in and of itself, separate from using the device. So like we try and help brands, businesses, entrepreneurs, e-commerce experts. How do you figure out, how do you really like get to that journey that’s gonna create those moments that people are like so.

Arlen Robinson [04:54]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [04:58]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [05:03]
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yep.

Jason Friedman [05:19]
excited, so happy, so fulfilled from that, that they can’t help but to tell other people about.

Arlen Robinson [05:24]
Yeah, for sure, for sure. And I’m glad you mentioned that because that’s kind of where I want to start with this whole customer experience. You mentioned customer journey and you know, in your field and, and marketing circles, the term is, you know, journey mapping, you know, mapping every single experience that the end customer has with your brand from

Jason Friedman [05:38]
Yep.

Arlen Robinson [05:45]
the second they come to your website to, like you said, in the case of Apple, if you were to purchase an Apple product to the, you know, to the minute that they receive the package and they start opening it, that whole journey needs to kind of be mapped out in a way, um, you know, so that you can get things correct. And so for an e-commerce brand, you know, how, how important is that? And what are some things that a brand can do?

to enhance that whole experience through that journey.

Jason Friedman [06:17]
Yeah, thank you. I mean, it’s a great question. I wanna just back up for one second just so that we’re all on the same page. So one of the things that you’ll learn in journeys and customer experiences, expectations are everything, right? And so I wanna set an expectation of what does experience even mean, right? And so we talk about it, it’s a big word, right? Experience is not actually something you do. Experience is something that your customer has.

It’s not the cause, it’s the effect. And the cause is all the things that you do along their experience with you. That’s what has them feel a certain way. So experience is how people feel about their interactions with your brand.

Arlen Robinson [06:46]
Right.

Arlen Robinson [06:57]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [06:57]
Okay, with your products, with your service, with your team, with your customer support, with your website, everything. Okay? And so as you start to think about this journey, you’re right, we need to map it. And so what does that mean? It means literally going through every touch point, every moment that you have and documenting it, drawing a picture, putting post-its on the wall, right? We have a process that we use doing it that way.

Arlen Robinson [07:20]
Mm.

Jason Friedman [07:21]
And I love what you said, like you got to start like before they meet you, right? I get that website, but I even want you to go back a little further, right? I want you to go back when the customer identifies that they have a problem or that something that they, they want something that you might have. Cause cause that whole process of them researching and trying to find you.

Arlen Robinson [07:28]
OK.

Arlen Robinson [07:33]
Hmm.

Jason Friedman [07:41]
That’s an area where you can have conflict even before they get to your website. So for all of you listening, I want you to go back a little further. Figure out who that customer, who that avatar, who that persona is, and then I want you to go further back in their journey. What was the trigger that got them to need your product, your service, your e-commerce, whatever it is? What is that? Okay? And then I want you to go beyond the using it, beyond buying it, beyond using it. I want you to go to that part where they’re actually talking about it.

Arlen Robinson [07:44]
Sure.

Jason Friedman [08:09]
when they’re leaving the review. And I want you to think through that whole thing and do they have another problem that surfaces where you now might have an opportunity to give them another sale, right? There’s another product or service or thing that you might have. So when you map this out, you’re gonna go from moment by moment. Now, here’s where everybody gets it wrong. They do it from the viewpoint, the vantage point of…

Arlen Robinson [08:10]
Hmm.

Jason Friedman [08:30]
the company, the manufacturer, the e-commerce, you know, the guy that has the product, right? I want you to do it opposite. I want you to do it from the glasses, looking through the glasses of your customer. So if you were to do that, how do you do that? So we teach a theater trick, right? So my theater geekness, right? So what I want you to do is I want you to pretend you’re like Matthew McConaughey, and you’re gonna actually get into character. You’re gonna play your customer in this feature film, and you have to know everything about this person.

Arlen Robinson [08:41]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [09:00]
Like what stresses them out? What are they feeling right now? What are they thinking? What have they tried before that didn’t work that gets them to have some reservations or some concern about your product? Like I want you to really get inside their head so that if you had to be Matthew and get on stage and have millions of people watching you, believing that you’re actually that person, what are those things, right? And so when you start to get into the mind of the customer that way, you start to see things very different.

Arlen Robinson [09:28]
Yeah.

Jason Friedman [09:28]
And so as you’re mapping that journey, you’re doing it from that perspective. So for example, it’s I’m receiving an email, not I’m sending an email. The company would be sending, the customer would be receiving. And so what I recommend you do is you go through literally every step on the journey and list out everything they do. Just start there, get it all down. And then from there, we expand it. I want you to take each of the steps. I want you to ask, okay, so they’re doing this.

Arlen Robinson [09:33]
Right.

Arlen Robinson [09:42]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [09:56]
But what were they thinking and expecting in that moment? And then I want you to think, what are they using in that moment? Like are they using a website or a phone or a computer or a, like whatever, what are they using? Who, if anyone, are they interacting with? And the who could be a chat bot, right? That’s a who these days, right? So whatever that is, could be AI, could be, you know, whatever, I’m sure we’ll talk more about that. And then ultimately, how are they feeling at each of these steps? And what you’re going to notice.

Arlen Robinson [10:08]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [10:22]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [10:26]
this is textbook, this happens all the time, is it’s a roller coaster ride of emotions. It’s a roller coaster ride of expectations. And when we aren’t proactively setting and managing those expectations, we’re letting them down, or they are being let down over and over again. Because here’s the thing, people have an expectation whether or not you set one. Right? And so it’s incumbent upon us, if we want them to have a positive experience, that we’re setting and managing it so at the minimum, they’re getting what…

Arlen Robinson [10:29]
Right.

Arlen Robinson [10:40]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [10:45]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [10:55]
we say and it’s they’re like oh yeah you said this you did this awesome trust is being built i trust you i trust you i trust you and the more you do that then you have opportunities where you can pick certain key moments to give them a little more you can do a little over delivery right and so there’s a whole opportunity there now the problem is we as businesses as inventors as product developers as manufacturers we generally speaking make it hard to do business with us

Arlen Robinson [10:56]
Right., Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [11:10]
Mm. Yeah.

Jason Friedman [11:25]
we add all sorts of friction into the process that we didn’t notice was there. We actually think most times that we’re doing things to be helpful and yet it’s because it’s easier for us or it makes sense to us. But when we shift the script and we look at it like through the eyes of the customer, we’re like, oh my God, it is hard to be my customer. It’s really hard. And so doing this kind of a process allows you to really simplify it and make it more fluid.

Arlen Robinson [11:38]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [11:46]
Right, right.

Arlen Robinson [11:53]
Right. Yeah, that makes sense. Now you had mentioned, of course, when you’re doing this, you’re going through this process. First off, you’re figuring out your customer avatar, the ideal customer, who is it that you’re trying to track? You know, I know in many cases, depending on the business, that avatar, there could be different forms of that avatar may not just be one specific avatar. So you know, in marketing, you know, when you’re coming up with messaging, the whole push

Jason Friedman [12:04]
Yep.

Jason Friedman [12:13]
For sure. Right.

Arlen Robinson [12:23]
I’ve had other people on where we’re talking about email marketing, it’s always about personalization. Personalizing your marketing messages for that specific avatar. Now, especially if you’ve got multiple avatars, how really important is that personalization? Do you really need to be that narrow in…

Jason Friedman [12:33]
Yeah.

Arlen Robinson [12:44]
you know, personalizing for each of those advertisers, or can you be a little bit broad and still effectively get people within your funnel?

Jason Friedman [12:53]
Yeah, so the answer is yes, both, right? So everything you said I 100% agree with, right? We call this process mass customization, right? How do we personalize things at scale, right? Because that’s what we have to do. And so what we do is we find the moments that matter the most, that touch the avatar the most, and those are the moments that we have that are, I’ll call it, tailored to…

Arlen Robinson [12:56]
Okay.

Arlen Robinson [13:03]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [13:20]
Avatar A versus B versus C. And so once you map the journey, you do it by avatar. So what I would recommend you do is, once you figure out who all your avatars are, let’s say you have five different avatars, Avatar A, B, C, D, and E. And Avatar A is the most common, like 60% of your audience is Avatar A. Start there, map the journey for Avatar A. Now.

Arlen Robinson [13:27]
Okay.

Arlen Robinson [13:39]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [13:44]
After you’ve done that, now go back and say, okay, now I’m gonna put on Avatar B glasses. What’s different? Right, and then you’ll find like there’s, not everything’s different. Some things are different.

Arlen Robinson [13:49]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [13:56]
and then you do the same thing for CDE. So you’ll end up having this journey that has a couple, it’s like a highway that you have an off-ramp, you go on this road for a little while and then you get back on the main highway, right? So that’s kinda how it works. So you think of it like, we think of it like lanes on a highway, right? So you have the expressway that might be, you know, Avatar A, and then you have like an off-ramp that takes you on a slightly different road for Avatar B, CDE, and that is allowing them to have the experience that they need to get the results.

Arlen Robinson [13:56]
Right.

Arlen Robinson [14:04]
Right. Gotcha.

Arlen Robinson [14:11]
Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [14:25]
that they really wanted.

Arlen Robinson [14:25]
Yeah, yeah, I get that. So it’s not just a one lane highway. You’ve gotta have different offshoots in order to meet the needs of your various customers. I get that.

Jason Friedman [14:35]
Absolutely, right? Because see, where I also see people getting stuck is on this idea of success, right? So like, someone buying your product is not the end result. I know it seems like that, and a lot of people say, yeah, like that’s the win, I got the product sold. When someone buys your product, that is an intention. That is not a commitment.

Arlen Robinson [14:49]
Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [14:55]
So they want it, they’re like, okay, I’m gonna try this. What they’re looking at is, what’s the return policy? When can I get my refund? How does that work? So they’re not 100% and they have a back door, they have a way out, and they’re not 100% sure they’re gonna use it. So when I talk to people, it’s like, I want you to really get clear on what that result is. We define the result, we call it the R4. We want customers who rave about the product and the experience they had with using it.

Arlen Robinson [15:00]
Thanks for watching!

Arlen Robinson [15:08]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [15:20]
who returned to buy more products and services, who renew their memberships and their subscriptions, and who recruit other people. Not refer, recruit. They actively, like, you know, affiliates, right? They go out there and they sell it because they believe in it. And the ones that have better results are the ones that have actually probably used the product and really get behind it because it helped them. There was a transformation. It did something positive in their life. And when they share their journey,

Arlen Robinson [15:28]
Right.

Arlen Robinson [15:35]
Mm.

Jason Friedman [15:47]
They share like maybe that they were worried in the beginning, this is the problem I have and I wasn’t sure, I’ve tried other things but when I finally met Arlen, I learned, wow, like he has a different approach. So I took a leap of faith and every step along the way, he was just like showing me that they got my back. Like it’s helping me, it’s, you know, whatever. When you share those stories, when that is the result, not just buying the product, all of a sudden magical things start happening. You can reverse engineer what the journey needs to look like.

in order for them to authentically and confidently share that success story. And that’s what it’s all about. So we, this whole journey mapping, we map it so we can see where you are, right? But then when we actually, we transform it into what we call a kinetic pathway. So customer journey to us is the past. A kinetic pathway is the future. That’s the water slide. So you’re on a water slide and there’s plenty of water and you’re going and even if you have to go up over a hill, there’s enough momentum to keep you going. That’s what your journey needs to look.

Arlen Robinson [16:21]
Mm-hmm. Yep.

Arlen Robinson [16:32]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [16:44]
Gotcha. Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Jason Friedman [16:46]
But we’ve all been on that water slide where there’s not quite enough water and you’re like, ah, that hurt. It didn’t feel good and you get stuck, right? And so that’s what we wanna avoid. We wanna avoid the water slide without enough water, which is what most journeys are. So that’s how it works.

Arlen Robinson [16:58]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [17:03]
Gotcha, gotcha. Now, let’s say a brand has gone through the process of crafting this customer journey, coming up with what they feel is, you know, a fairly ideal customer experience. They’re not getting too much friction, they’re getting sales, you know, everything seems to be going smoothly. But then, of course, obviously, especially these days, feedback comes into play. Whether you’re getting reviews from customers or, you know, you’re just getting feedback.

How much weight does a brand need to put on this customer feedback when they’re looking to evolve and change their whole customer experience? And if there is a fair amount of weight, what are some kind of best practices as far as getting the right feedback and collecting it?

Jason Friedman [17:53]
Yeah, man, that’s a great question. So I think there’s a lot of importance on feedback. I think it really does matter quite a bit. And so there’s a great statistic out there. It’s a scary statistic. It says that for every one customer who bothers to complain, 26 others remain silent. So think about that. You know, we have like a squeaky wheel client, they’re complaining about something. You’re like, this guy’s a pain in the neck, right? I’m just gonna kind of like brush that under the rug. Well, they’re.

Arlen Robinson [17:59]
Okay.

Jason Friedman [18:20]
could and likely are a lot of other people that have just not cared enough to share that feedback with you. So you could have a pretty big problem systematically within your business, right? Like, so here’s the thing about theater, right? The reason that I love theater for this is whenever like we script the show and when we script the show, then we bring it to life and we rehearse all the things. It is a system that has been rehearsed and practiced. And with that system,

Arlen Robinson [18:26]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [18:49]
we get the same laugh in the same spot every night. And the audience, even though it’s a different audience, same people doing the show, they laugh. Why is that? Because we refine the system. So in your business, like if we’re having people get stuck and have a complaint or have a friction point that’s so much that they wanted to say something, you gotta look at it, you can’t ignore it. Now that doesn’t mean you change your whole experience.

Arlen Robinson [18:57]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [19:10]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [19:12]
But it does mean that you have to shine the light, get the magnifying glass out and say, look, is that really an issue? And why did that person have that issue? And so I would encourage an investigation, so to speak, when that happens, talk to the customer, find out what happened, understand a little more. It might be the simplest things. It’s not always like a…

Arlen Robinson [19:21]
Right.

Jason Friedman [19:34]
When we talk about fixing a journey or cleaning up a customer journey, it doesn’t necessarily mean an overhaul. Sometimes there’s just like, there’s a little, if I’m here and I think this should have happened, so I’m gonna complain because it didn’t. But maybe it’s not supposed to happen for three more steps. So that just might mean that I have to give some better direction a little earlier on. It doesn’t cost me anything to give a little better direction, right? Or.

Arlen Robinson [19:40]
Yeah.

Arlen Robinson [19:50]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [19:54]
Yeah. Mm.

Jason Friedman [19:57]
It might mean that I’ve left my customers alone and they don’t know what’s going on and they’re getting antsy. So maybe I gotta add a step in the journey that’s a communication step, right?

Maybe I gave them too much information and I overwhelmed them and I created anxiety. I might have to reduce the amount of information I give in each amount in the dose. There might be too much of a dose of information. I may have to like, you know, bite size chunk it out, right? So like talking to them and understanding where people get stuck, it’s a gold mine. It’s a gold mine of opportunity for your business. So I think it’s really important to do that and do it through their eyes. Get rid of the defensiveness.

Arlen Robinson [20:20]
Yeah. Right.

Arlen Robinson [20:27]
Mm.

Okay.

Jason Friedman [20:37]
Like, because it’s hard, right? Like it’s your baby for a lot of us, right? It’s our business, we care. And when someone’s like, it’s not good, it hurts sometimes, right? You take it personally. And so I think the best advice I’ve ever received on this is like, confront the brutal facts. Be open and listen with an open heart, open mind, and just hear and sit with it, and then ask, like, is there some truth in this? And if there is,

Arlen Robinson [20:37]
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Arlen Robinson [20:46]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [20:55]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [21:03]
Yeah.

Jason Friedman [21:04]
Like thank them for sharing it. Like it’s gonna make you better. It’s gonna make them better. They’re gonna get better results. So I would lean into it.

Arlen Robinson [21:09]
Yeah, yeah, that’s that. That’s the bottom line. And a lot of brands, I think, pull away and shy away from it, because, like you said, they a lot of times they may be scared of having to do a whole overhaul. You know, they’ve come up with they feel with what they feel is a solid customer experience, solid product. And, you know, spent a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of resources on it. And so a lot of times it’s like, OK, you know, we’re not changing anything. You know, this is it. This is it. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that. Just some small tweaks may be.

Jason Friedman [21:34]
Yep.

Arlen Robinson [21:39]
what you need and you have to be open to being able to do that.

Jason Friedman [21:43]
Okay.

Of course, of course. And, you know, like the other thing that you have to keep in mind is like the world’s changing, right? Like, you know, if you’re static, you’re like, look, I did this, I made it, it was perfect. A year from now, it may not be perfect anymore. Needs change. Customers evolve. The world evolves, right? And so I think customer experience, again, your journey, especially, it is not like, you know, we joke, like it’s not a set it and forget it thing, right? The old commercial with the guy, you know, the Ronco food dehydrator thing. It’s like, it’s not that.

and evolution. And so we’re always engaging with our customers, we’re paying attention. And what I want people to do, like hopefully what you’ll think about is, I want you to become obsessed with customers results. And that result is that they’ve actually used your product and got the outcome that they wanted, not just that they bought the product. I want them to get the outcome, right? And so start to think like…

Arlen Robinson [22:14]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [22:34]
Right.

Jason Friedman [22:38]
We put all of our money, most businesses, on the customer acquisition side. We spend all of our money on strangers trying to turn them into customers. And the ones who said yes, we just hope that the experience is good. We don’t obsess and put budget, time, energy, resource, focus on getting them to that holy land, right? To getting them to that outcome that they really wanted. And so I really want people to shift a little bit of their focus on that. Because when you do…

Arlen Robinson [23:02]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [23:08]
When you shift your focus, that’s what we help brands do, small businesses all day long, what ends up happening is you get a much higher percentage rate of success and those people want to tell other people. And so what you’ve done is you have this operating system then that allows you to repeatedly, consistently deliver results. That means your ad spend, your cost goes down to get bigger results. Things start to compound.

Arlen Robinson [23:31]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [23:33]
And so when you do that, that’s amazing. And if you have an affiliate army, and those affiliates are sending traffic to somebody to bring people in, and those people are loving it, they’re gonna wanna promote more for you next time, because they make more money. The whole ecosystem is improved because you focus your energy where it really needs to be focused.

Arlen Robinson [23:53]
Yeah, yeah, true, true. I definitely totally agree. Now, Jason, you’ve of course been at this for a long time. You’ve dealt with a lot of businesses. I’m sure you’ve kind of seen it all. And I’m sure you’ve seen, had some challenging experiences when it’s come to customer experience. And I’m sure there’s been some issues. If you can think of maybe one issue, don’t have to necessarily give information about the client, but there’s any specific issue that comes to mind and that you encountered within the,

in the e-commerce world. What exactly did you do? How did you address it?

Jason Friedman [24:28]
Yeah, I mean, we had this with one of our brands that we work with. They are a, I’ll leave the brand name off, right? But, and they did everything right, so there’s no reason really to accept I didn’t get their permission. But they sell a product for dogs, okay? It’s a…

It’s a paw balm, okay, paw wax. And the idea is to use it when your paws are cracked in the snow and the wet and in the summer when it’s too hot and protect your paws, right? And so they…

Arlen Robinson [24:50]
OK.

Jason Friedman [25:00]
When I say these people love their customers that is an understatement. They Adore their customers. They love dogs. They love pet parents They want to make their lives better and their whole reason for doing this is because they wanted to have them be able to live Life with their pets safely So if you want to go out in the snow and in the weather your pets can go with you and it’s safe You want to go to the beach? It’s safe Like it’s all about building the relationship between the pet parent and the pet like so when you get to know them You’re like oh my god

These people are the best humans I’ve ever met in my life. So that’s just who they are as people. And I think their marketing and their branding and their sales, they’re category killer. It all shows it. Yet, stuff still goes wrong. So one of their partners, they got some containers that the product is in, and they were shipped out. And in some of the cases, the lids came off.

Arlen Robinson [25:35]
Right.

Arlen Robinson [25:44]
Amen.

Arlen Robinson [25:52]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [25:59]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [26:00]
right? And they were, it was a mess, right? Because the bombs everywhere and you know, it happened in warm places where it would melt and get gooey and nasty and helping the cold places where it wasn’t as messy, but it was just annoying, right? And this happened and it was somewhat of a big deal. It wasn’t thousands of customers, but it was dozens of customers. And like,

Arlen Robinson [26:03]
Yeah, I can imagine. Right.

Arlen Robinson [26:11]
Mm-hmm.

Right, right.

Arlen Robinson [26:22]
Right.

Jason Friedman [26:25]
How do you handle that, right? It really, they weren’t shipping it out. They had a third party that was doing the fulfillment of it and it was a big mess. And they chose to just handle it and fix it for everybody on their dime, right? And so like…

Arlen Robinson [26:38]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [26:41]
What they wanted people to know is like, look, we’re here for you. Like something happened. It was beyond our control and beyond yours, but we want you to have a great experience with your pet. So this is on us because our commitment to you and you having that experience is the most important thing. And as a result of that, they built deeper. That problem caused more depth of relationship to be formed. These people that were taken care of the right way.

Arlen Robinson [26:57]
Hmm.

Jason Friedman [27:07]
they love them even more now. Like it’s like you couldn’t have paid for better marketing to come out of a bad situation than it happened with them, right? And so like Murphy’s law happens, right? Stuff’s gonna go wrong. It’s how you show up and handle it that really matters more, you know? And then they went back and they’ve solved the problem, right? They got back to the root cause and they… But in those moments, it’s like…

Arlen Robinson [27:15]
I see.

Arlen Robinson [27:24]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [27:32]
Yes, we have to solve the bigger problem why it’s happening, but we have to handle these people. They’re upset right now. And they did both quickly, swiftly, like with grace, with love, with care, compassion. And I just, I love how they showed up. And I’m telling you.

Arlen Robinson [27:37]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [27:48]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [27:50]
just the amount of like, you know, it’s like you go out and you want like consumer generated content, right? Like you want user generated content of your brand of people loving your product. These people all showed up saying thank you for the way you handled this. Like that, you know, like they’ll never go anywhere else. Like we love you. Like you couldn’t have bought that and had such an authentic set of media content that came out of it. And that’s not why they did it. It was just a happy accident byproduct of how they showed up. So

Arlen Robinson [27:55]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [28:12]
Yeah, exactly. Right.

Arlen Robinson [28:17]
Yeah, I get that. That’s a great example. It’s making what appeared to be, could have been a bad situation and a lot of disgruntled customers, but kind of turning it around. And it’s just about handling that and being quick in handling it. I think that’s the main thing.

Jason Friedman [28:29]
Yeah. And understanding, and really understanding, like looking at it through what that person was experiencing, right? Because I’ve seen other companies where it’s like, look, you gotta go to the third party, like we had nothing to do with that. They have insurance, that’s their problem, right? And that wasn’t the case, so, yeah.

Arlen Robinson [28:36]
Yep, right.

Arlen Robinson [28:44]
Yeah, exactly. Well, yeah, thanks for sharing that. Well, as we get ready to wrap things up, everybody knows our whole technology landscape is changing so much with the emergence of AI, all of these different technologies that are coming up. What would you say are the biggest trends or changes in e-commerce experience, in e-commerce customer experience that you feel are gonna be occurring within the next decade or so?

Jason Friedman [28:57]
Yep.

Jason Friedman [29:11]
Yeah, I mean, I think we’re going to see more and more personalization, right? We started talking about that earlier, but technology, AI, like it gives us even like virtual reality, things like that. It gives us a bigger way to personalize the experience that we have. Right? Like you can, you can go on Amazon and you can like with your camera, you can see what a product would look like in your room with augmented reality, you know? And, and it’s, it’s kind of neat. So it allows customers to have more of what you would have like in an in store kind of experience in some ways.

Arlen Robinson [29:15]
Okay.

Arlen Robinson [29:39]
Mm hmm. Yeah.

Jason Friedman [29:41]
without having to go in store. So I think that’s a big deal because that means, especially if you have a mom and pop store or something like that, you have to be thinking, how am I competing with these other people? And I believe the answer to that, I know the answer to that is, through the experiences that are created in working with you. So as we start to see more and more technology, more and more of these tools show up, I think…

Arlen Robinson [29:51]
Yeah.

Arlen Robinson [29:58]
Mm-hmm.

Jason Friedman [30:08]
we have to remember that human interaction is an important piece of this relationship. And so while I love AI as tools, we use it extensively in our businesses and we teach it to our customers as tools, I don’t think it’s a replacement for humans in every case. And so what I like to see as we all kind of look at our businesses, how can we use AI to allow us to have more time to interact with our customers?

Arlen Robinson [30:12]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [30:23]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [30:33]
Yeah.

Jason Friedman [30:34]
How can we use these tools to help us have them feel better and get better results from our products, right? I think that’s, as we go down in the future, the brands, the companies, the inventors, the products that really understand how to make customers feel great and have that experience and get success, have success with the product or the service, those are gonna be the ones that win. And all the tech, all the tools out there.

Arlen Robinson [30:40]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [30:52]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [30:58]
Yeah.

Jason Friedman [31:01]
are a way to help do that bigger, better, faster, and more effective.

Arlen Robinson [31:04]
Yeah, very well said, Jason. I totally agree. I think there’s nothing that’s gonna replace that direct interaction that you’re having with the customer, understanding them, providing them service, no matter how much this AI advances, yeah, you can’t replace that. And so, yeah, I think we just have to remember that. You know, even…

Jason Friedman [31:26]
And I think one other thing I’ll say is like, just because technology exists in a certain area, it doesn’t mean you have to use all of it, right? And so, I can’t stand when I get stuck on a call, like a customer support phone line, and I’m press seven, okay, now press four, now press 32, now wait, now do this. And it’s like, gosh, like.

Arlen Robinson [31:33]
Yeah, true.

Arlen Robinson [31:42]
You’re right. Yep.

Jason Friedman [31:48]
show up for me. I invested in your product, like be there for me somehow. I get that there’s a long line, there might be other people, but make it easier for me to want to do business with you. That’s all I want, you know? So just be careful about all these tools. Make sure that you’re using them for good, not evil, you know? And it’s helping you get the customer the results they most want.

Arlen Robinson [31:49]
Mm-hmm.

Arlen Robinson [31:58]
Yeah.

Arlen Robinson [32:04]
Yeah.

Arlen Robinson [32:07]
For sure, for sure. Yeah, thank you. Well, I think we’ll end on that. And I think we’ve all been there in those cues and you’re hitting three and five, you’re hitting eight. And it’s annoying and frustrating, but yeah, I think brands will eventually get the picture because these days there’s so many ways for customers to provide feedback and let them know what’s not working. So hopefully they change things. Well, Jason, this has been an awesome conversation. I love talking to you about this customer experience and it’s very important,

Jason Friedman [32:30]
Amen.

Arlen Robinson [32:37]
e-commerce businesses, but as you said at the beginning, any business, even when you were working in the big theater venues, that experience, it’s throughout, so it’s very important no matter what you’re doing. But lastly, as we get ready to close things out, I like to always shift gears just so our audience can get to know you a little bit better. If you don’t mind sharing one closing fun fact about yourself that you think we’d be interested to know.

Jason Friedman [33:01]
I mean, I told you about my rock and roll days. Most people think that’s a little crazy, but for me, I think the thing that’s most exciting for me now, I’m in a stage of my life where I think of retirement as the ability to choose what you do every day with your life. And so I’ve had the good fortune of exiting a bunch of companies I’ve, quote, retired, and now I’m doing what I love doing. So it’s like working with entrepreneurs. And I believe that all of us that are out there

that are entrepreneurs, that are building our businesses, building our products and our services. I think that we together, when we do what we do, we do it great and we support one another, we will be the ones that change the world and make the world a better place. So that’s why I do what I do, that’s why I get up every day and help everybody. And just glad to be here sharing a little bit of stuff. I hope some knowledge in here that helps some people. And if there’s anything we can do, just reach out. We’d love to be of service.

Arlen Robinson [34:00]
Right, that’s awesome. Great, thank you for sharing that, Jaysh, I appreciate that. And of course, if anybody does wanna reach out to you and pick your brain anymore and see how they, you can help their business, what’s the best way for them to reach you?

Jason Friedman [34:03]
Got it.

Jason Friedman [34:11]
Yeah, two quick ways. So one, just hit me up at cxformula.com. There’s all sorts of information there. You can reach out and I have a quick gift for your audience, Arlen, that they won’t find this on my website. If you go to gift, g-i- slash e-com, E-C-O-M-M, I’ve got a really awesome PDF. Take you less than 10 minutes to go through it and it’s gonna give you a strategy, a question that is going to fundamentally shift the way you think about your business and your customers.

So I want you to go download that, check it out. My email will be there for you. Just, if you use it, let me know what you thought. Let me know if it helps you at all. And yeah, go get them.

Arlen Robinson [34:39]
Okay.

Arlen Robinson [34:48]
All right, that’s awesome. Well, thank you for sharing that gift. We’ll definitely have the link for that in the show notes as well as in our YouTube description. So it’s been awesome talking to you, Jason. Thank you for joining us on the e-commerce marketing podcast.

Jason Friedman [34:57]
Like Vizbram.

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