Men Made For More Podcast Episode 143: Leading Your Business and Your Employees with Incredible Service with Jeff ArnoldApr 15, 2021
Starting a business is one of the most challenging endeavors many people will make. It’s one thing to succeed financially - but a totally different ball game to provide world class service to your employees and customers. Learn how Jeff Arnold has built the systems and structure needed that allows him to have the challenging conversations that helps his business and team to grow.
Reach out to Dr. Dave with thoughts on the podcast or any guests/topics you want to see more of - Text (760) 477-4361 to connect or DM on Instagram @DrDavePac
Connect with Jeff and learn more about his books and resources at his website https://jeffarnold.com/
Men Made For More Podcast Episode 143: Leading Your Business and Your Employees with Incredible Service with Jeff Arnold
[00:00:00] Dave: Hey there mighty man. I'm your host, Dr. Dave Paczkowski founder of Men Made For More coaching, our business helps husbands level up their life. Their leadership and their legacy in marriage and in business. The purpose of this podcast is to bring together like-minded men that feel destined for big things in their life to provide you the resources and community that you need to lead yourself, your family and your business.
[00:00:27] If you've ever felt overwhelmed, frustrated, lost, or alone on your journey to a better and more purposeful life, you're in the right spot. You weren't designed to be average. So it's time to quit living that way today. I'm giving you permission to unlock your true potential and step into all that you were made for.
[00:00:45]All right guys, welcome to the men made from our podcast, joined with a special guest today. Jeff Arnold, Jeff, thanks so much for coming on today.
[00:00:53] Jeff: [00:00:53] Dave. Thanks so much for having me on I'm super excited to do the show with you.
[00:00:57] Dave: [00:00:57] Yeah, I'm, uh, I'm, I'm excited for, [00:01:00] uh, for listeners to hear more about your story, what you're up to a couple of the, uh, the books you've put out and just going to be allowed to get good content coming to your com and your guys' way today. So why don't you, uh, kind of give a cliff notes version of, of your background with, with business specifically, and some of the books you've written in, in how you got to where you are today.
[00:01:18] Jeff: [00:01:18] Absolutely. Thanks for the, uh, the intro there. So, uh, uh, written three books, uh, I've been fortunate enough for two of them to be best sellers on Amazon. Is yet to be seen, but fingers crossed. Um, but it was, uh, circuitous route that led to being an author. And, uh, even in business, I, uh, um, I'll do the cliff notes.
[00:01:38] So, uh, briefly, cause I am an aged man, but, uh, w w uh, I grew up in Western Kentucky, right? So we're only really small towns with Western Kentucky. Four generations of my family were, uh, men of the cloth or preachers as you would call them. I'm the first one in five generations, not two. And they. Still don't understand why I write or get paid [00:02:00] by the written word or, uh, I'm still involved in a legal contracts of an insurance.
[00:02:04] So that's that's okay. But, uh, uh, just to summarize the end of it, uh, uh, of the equivalent version, there have been in the insurance business, really buying and selling insurance agencies and companies, and a couple of insurance companies after 31 years. Um, uh, Mate, any dreams that I've had, uh, for me and my family really come true and saw, uh, I think if you're passionate about anything, uh, you can turn anything into wonderful business and it's been wonderful for me and wonderful for my family and not trying to brag to you listeners, but just saying, you know, it's, uh, it's a it's it's provided us a very nice life.
[00:02:41] Dave: [00:02:41] Yeah. And I, I love that, uh, that you're here to speak on that too, because a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of people, either running a business already, or a lot of people, even to have feedback of the people that are. Want to start that business, they have this passion, but they don't really know how to, you know, how to maybe get started with it or, or if they can actually earn a [00:03:00] living doing what they want to do.
[00:03:00] It's a, it's a scary jump for someone to leave something secure, what, or what's seen as secure and step into that. What would you recommend to someone who's, you know, has that, has that passion to what's what's that spark that's needed to, to help them take that step, to have the confidence to do that and, uh, the resources as well.
[00:03:17] W w what advice would you give to someone like that?
[00:03:20] Jeff: [00:03:20] Yeah, well, first of all, if it was easy, everyone would do it. Right, right. It's what sets the week apart from the straw, right? It is not an easy week. It is not a week. Oh, a journey for the week, right. It really isn't because you, uh, you know, Entrepreneurial space. Every skill set you have is going to be tested.
[00:03:39] Every leadership understanding you have is going to get turned up on its head. Right? And, uh, anything that you study about it could be obsolete in a year or two, right? So, uh, that base not to be pessimistic, but if you're looking for something to challenge you every day that you wake up before your feet hit the ground, you're going to renew yourself and some skillsets.
[00:03:57] Yeah, [00:04:00] starting your own businesses is the thing to do. Um, there's a quote. I'm going to mess it up when it's a light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn. Right? I may have paraphrased it, but the moment that people see that passion and that energy into you, no matter what you're doing, they'll, they'll beat a path to your door.
[00:04:21] Maybe not be as fast as you want it. Right. If it was that easy, everyone would do it. But if anybody that has a passion with you or I, or anyone listening, any of your listeners, um, th the world will find you and they will reward you for sure. So I would say the short version is the old Nike ad. Just do it, just do it, man.
[00:04:41] Right. Get out there and do it. So.
[00:04:43] Dave: [00:04:43] it really is. Yeah. And there's no, there's never going to be that perfect time. People, people wait for things to be just right. And that's one of the things that keeps so many people from doing it. Like you said, it's not, it's not easy. There's never going to be a comfortable time to do it, but that's the importance I think of linking up something you're [00:05:00] passionate about and something you can make money about.
[00:05:02] Money with, uh, is, is key to that of not just chasing, chasing the money cause that's gonna, it's gonna make for a difficult journey. And if you run into some of that with either yourself or friends or people you've worked with of people chasing the money, what happens when, when money becomes the focus and there's not that, that passion title on with it.
[00:05:19]Jeff: [00:05:19] Yeah. So, you know, anything is shallow is just going after things or money, uh, will get old real quick. There's never enough. Right? I think most people relate to that one house. You went to two houses, you went three, three houses. You want all of them bigger. And so if stuff. Uh, is just what you're after and putting more of that into your life, then I would just counsel you that you made need to rethink what's going on between your ears, right.
[00:05:42] Something is off, right? You're you're you're trying to fix something else. Right. So step back. So that's just my guidance as a, as an old man, we'll call it, but an experienced person, right? The one that's called me a wise, man, I might take that and show my kids this. [00:06:00] Well, you know, The thing, Dave, is we, the thing about entrepreneurs and you know, this, you have to motivate yourself to, right.
[00:06:08] If you can't motivate yourself, um, then this it's not a career for you because, uh, people. Not standing behind cheerleader. Oh, you're going to make very difficult decisions that are going to be in disagreements. And at odds with people above you, below you, beside you vendors partners mean you got to stand strong that you have to have a conviction. And so it's not an easy path again. It's and it's, uh, it, it is mostly uphill the rock, but very well worth it.
[00:06:37] Dave: [00:06:37] And it's, it's, uh, you know, for people that have been on that rollercoaster, we'll call it as a it's. It's the ultimate ultimate personal growth journey though, of if you're trying to improve your, your leadership, if you're trying to improve your, you see what you're capable of doing in this life.
[00:06:50] It's, I mean, it's one of the best ways to do it. Cause it's going to, it's going to challenge you. It's going to stretch you. It's gonna force you into. Things that you wouldn't normally do and out of your comfort zone, which is where [00:07:00] so much, so much good, good growth happens. So I love, I love how you summarize some of that in total agreement with that and for the, uh, for the people that are on that, that journey now that roller coaster and, you know, whatever people at different stages of business, I want to hear a little more about, uh, You know, your, your thoughts on, on customer experience.
[00:07:17] As, as we were talking a little before of something that's missing so much in, in so many businesses is kind of a lost art, if you will, what's, uh, you know, can you give me a, you know, a summary of, of your, your new book that you wrote specifically on this and how and why customer experiences is so important for anyone in any kind of business
[00:07:36] Jeff: [00:07:36] yeah, I think, and you don't have to go too far to see a Bismal, uh, pathetic, uh, horrible customer experiences, right? Sorry for those explanations or adjectives, what have you it's um, It's a pandemic we're independent and it's a systemic issue. Um, mostly in a lot of larger companies might not exist in small companies, too.
[00:07:59] Right. [00:08:00] Um, and, and by the way, nobody sets out to deliver a bad customer service experience because if you asked everyone. Hey, what kind of good customer service do you give? They say I deliver a great customer service experience, right? And so what we as business leaders and executives fail to do so many times is to tell them exactly what a good customer experience looks like.
[00:08:21] And I'll just, I'll go real deep down and write a whole rabbit hole if I can with you or where you'll listen for a second. And so, um, No, we have 50 to 70 people at any time in one of our call centers. And so if you asked all of them what their service experience was, it would be, Oh, it's we do negative tens to plus 10 plus 10 is the best you can get.
[00:08:41] Oh, it's all. Plus chins. They no longer get to decide what a plus Chan is. And so again, I'm going to go deep into rabbit hole, but a plus 10 experience in our business, you can retrofit it to yours. And your listeners to theirs is a no call is warm, is known as cold transferred to anywhere like, so we're in the [00:09:00] insurance space, right?
[00:09:01] You don't just transfer a call to claims that's a miserable experience, right? People want to be helped. They're at their most vulnerable that's supported. The problem is so you want to transfer to them. There are absolutely no voicemails. Uh, an insurance operation without voicemails is a fantastic insurance operation.
[00:09:16] No one can hide. Right? And so we eliminate that. We eliminate the people hiding, you, just take care of them. So one transfers. Um, um, no voicemails, right? Those are fantastic. And then just a, a simple Saudi notation that recognized as the user, right? For the number of times they've been a customer of yours or policy holder or whatever.
[00:09:37] It's about five separate benchmarks that we use. But now let's just pivot for a second and go through a drive through experience. Let's just take your favorite, um, that you'd go through and it's some, it could just be a kid going through school. All they're really about is the Benjamins clocking in and clocking out and getting the dollars.
[00:09:53] Right. I'm trying to set up a call to the younger groups and Benjamin horribly wrong, but anyway, [00:10:00] um, now you compare and contrast that. Well, someone who has had a deep level of knowledge transfer happening, say at a Chick-fil-A where no one takes an order until they get this phrase, right? It's my pleasure to serve you, Dave.
[00:10:13] Right? You, I mean, you, you go through and you experience that and they go through a series of trainings, four or five of those to transform the customer experience. And so my new book is about building better businesses and it's really, you can boil it down to. Uh, get out of your office, get out of your corner office and get engaged in every section of your company that your clients are experiencing with your people, right?
[00:10:38] And there's pain points all along the way. Uh, and your people may need to change their script or they may need to change, or you may need to change your people. But that matters, right? It absolutely matters because we will tell 10 people. If we have a bad experience, uh, we'll only tell one or two, if we have a good experience, right.
[00:10:57] Uh, but we'll shut it for the rooftops. Also, if we have a great [00:11:00] experience and now a days with social media, you can really shout with the large megaphones. So, uh, I can go deeper in all those things, but there's a, there's a quick summary about how would just transform. The cultures of what's done in our business and how it's done, right.
[00:11:16] It's not done by a mission statement on the wall. It's done by the interaction with every single customer walking in your door or visiting your website.
[00:11:24] Dave: [00:11:24] and it sounds, and I, I got a lot of good points I want to want to follow up on. It sounds like, uh, one of the big mistakes for leaders would be being too far removed from that process. So maybe they have a mission statement, but how, how important is it for the leader to be in, in the day to day of, of the business to really see those things versus delegating out to customer service or to, to other employees?
[00:11:46] Jeff: [00:11:46] Yeah be involved. And I know it's tough. Look, the bigger your business gets, the more you're in the numbers and the more you're in the projections and the more you're trying to make payroll or get cars on the road or whatever, I didn't need to, the amount of activities you [00:12:00] have grows exponentially, right?
[00:12:01] The bigger you get. I get that. But I also live by, uh, another statement that says it's better for your desk to be dusty than your troops to be rusty. Right. And so, uh, make sure you're always sharpening the saw and engaging your people. Uh, I try to get out two times a month, uh, completely away from the office, not so much in pandemic and just on the front lines, listening to people and catching a couple of things, one, catching them, doing some stuff really, really good.
[00:12:28] Right. For that, that moment of arc. Great. You really got this right. And finding a teachable moment. Right. Again, it doesn't have to be where you destroy the person. Um, you just find a way where they're not doing it exactly the way you want and you correct the behavior without destroying the person by using, you know, skills that you develop along the way, but mostly tell them what they did, right?
[00:12:49] Tell them where they're wrong and where you want them to be. And that goes a long way. Every generation. Once improvement and they want to improve themselves and their skillset [00:13:00] young to old. Right? The problem is there's so few coaches willing to give that radical candor feedback, right? They want to, they want to hide behind the, either the title and just it's this way.
[00:13:10] Or they're just, don't have the skillset to give that feedback. People crave it and they absolutely do. They crave the good and the bad. They want to do the right thing. And they're not a fairy to hear the bad. You just have to deliver it correctly.
[00:13:24] Dave: [00:13:24] Would you say, you mentioned a couple of things there, you mentioned, maybe not having the skill set or hiding behind a title is, is one of those seem to, you know, in your experience seem to stand out more, is it, is it an ego thing or pride thing of like I'm, I'm above them. This, or do you see it more as just it's, it's uncomfortable to work with people and to, you know, really it takes relationships, take effort and, uh, that's with our employees, with our customers, with those things too, sometimes it's easier to acquire and then just move on.
[00:13:50] Do you see one of those being, being more of an issue than the other.
[00:13:53] Jeff: [00:13:53] I think do both relative, right? Like some people it's a personality trait. They, um, uh, they just avoid [00:14:00] confrontation or avoid the teachable moments. Right. And some people are more comfortable hiding behind a keyboard or hiding behind a phone, delivering counsel message. Um, I've been both of those people, my career.
[00:14:12] So I'm not saying that I'm above or below. It's again, it's stuff you learn along the way. And if you're one of those, that's trying to change behavior behind the keyboard. Let us challenge you here, right? Push to keep Waterside gold, try it face to face. You might sweat profusely in your heart might pound, but you'll get over it.
[00:14:29] Right. Um, and so I got some really good advice too. Um, meaning many years ago from, um, from, from someone who said, look, when you go to these difficult conversations, which you're all going to have, if it's with your spouse, if it's, uh, you know, which is the most difficult, because. Yeah, you gotta be really careful.
[00:14:50] You don't want to win at all costs.
[00:14:52] Dave: [00:14:52] Well, I work, I work with my spouse, so we, uh, that's a, that's a double-edged sword sometimes got to tread lightly.
[00:14:59] Jeff: [00:14:59] Let's turn the pages. [00:15:00] Not even have this comes, you know, so the advice said, um, well you probably heard him. If you haven't bought his book, I highly recommend Michael Gerber's the email. Why most businesses don't work, what to do about it. I had the good fortune to set up Michael Gerber's sheet, uh, for three years that we Thursday him and his, uh, his group of mentors to me in my late twenties, early thirties at any rate, the council I got that I keep with me this day is when you go into those difficult conversations, Sometimes you just need your, see yourself slipped into a Batman suit, a Superman suit, a special forces warrior suit.
[00:15:37] And that's how you get the courage to go into those. Cause for everyone it's not easy, right? There are only, there are very few people who are born and just really, just want to be so combative. Most of us, we just want to work it out when some people need to envision. So I just challenge you again, your, your listeners.
[00:15:54] You may have to see yourself slip into a different suit. To go through that and come back out of it. [00:16:00] And the more you do it, the easier again, it's like anything. Right. So,
[00:16:03] Dave: [00:16:03] Hmm. Yeah. That's, that's a good point. Good point. Good. Uh, reminder for, for myself as well. Cause it's a, you know, there's, there's a lot of, uh, I don't like confrontation. I don't think a lot of us do. Like you said that there's some people that do, but it's, we don't want to hurt feelings. We don't want to say something that.
[00:16:20] What if we push them away? What if we do this? But by not saying those things, but not having those conversations, they, uh, employees, friends, spouses can get the interpretation that you're not interested or not invested or not doing those things too. So the thing we want to avoid of pushing people away can actually be amplified because, because of the lack of one-on-one attention or feedback or those things that people are, are so much craving.
[00:16:46] Jeff: [00:16:46] Yep. Yeah. There's a very valid point. And folks, sometimes as I have in my career, you got the, uh, you received a label of just being weak-kneed or spine this because you just, Hey, you're busy. You want to move on. Right. And then, so [00:17:00] that there are many times where you, you have to, and I have to say it several times a year.
[00:17:04] Do not mistake my kindness. Right for weakness, right? Because I will slip into that suit and we will correct this the hard way. Um, I'm being kind to allow you to come into this space. And every once in awhile you have to do that. It's not a game, right. But every once in a while, you have to remind them, uh, Mike Clayton, this is not a weakness.
[00:17:22] My kindness is for you to get on this journey with me and us to go, but I will slip into the suit. Right. And we can play hard ball because that's what happens when we, we, we try to be nice, but we enjoy, uh, avoid conflict at all costs. Right. And by the way, for young managers, um, there's two types of management styles.
[00:17:43] One is conflict and one is tension, right? Tension is very, very valuable. Conflict just destroys cultures. Right? So ratcheting up the tension a little bit and challenging your, your staff or your people, or even your children, right. To, we get to take out [00:18:00] the garbage water. That tension is okay. Conflict is demoralizing.
[00:18:04] Right. And so, uh, just to know that there's ladders, there's two that it's, it's kind of important. I want to change their day, but I I'm passionate about this
[00:18:13] Dave: [00:18:13] good. No good tangent. And speaking of, uh, you know, along that same tangent, speaking of, uh, you know, culture and having that environment where we're feedback is welcome and where. Uh, you know, a healthy way to, to challenge each other, both John Deere employees. But if you're a boss, like be able to welcome challenging as well, where there's some people that might like to give feedback, but don't receive feedback so well.
[00:18:34] And what advice would you have for creating a culture that kind of welcomes in that, that vulnerability, that ability to have people speak up ability for people to, to fail and not feel like they're gonna like, like their job's on the line every time they slip up and what they say or what they do.
[00:18:49] Jeff: [00:18:49] Yeah. So as a, as a leader, you, you have, uh, a couple of different hats you need to wear here. Right? So one is. Um, not everyone's comfortable doing that. No matter
[00:18:58] Thanks for listening [00:19:00] today, guys, unbelieving that even if you apply one thing from today's show, you're taking one step closer to living as the man you were made to be meaningful change doesn't happen overnight. So keep showing up and keep consistent every single day until good things start to happen.
[00:19:15] If you haven't already taken 60 seconds to write a review on whatever platform you're listening on, goes a long way in growing this podcast and reaching other men, just like you, that are hungry for more in their life. Do you have any questions on today's show feedback or content you want to see more of shoot me a text.
[00:19:32] Yeah, text me (760) 477-4361 at (760) 477-4361. Let me know that you're listening to it. And so I can personally thank you for your support of myself and the show. That's it for today, guys, it's time to raise your standard for yourself. Stop settling for just getting by, go all in on your passions in the Lightroom made for a lot of you guys and talk to you soon.
[00:19:59] because [00:20:00] no, one's born with all these skillsets, man. I mean, everyone can point to Steve jobs and one of the greatest things he says, if you want to make everyone happy, don't be a leader.
[00:20:09] So ice cream, right. Cause I can sell people, make everyone happy in leadership. You're going to offend some people, but you also get really good at trying to, or realizing who doesn't agree with you. You don't have to destroy that person. You can just say, Dave, we're going down this path. It seems like you don't want to go down.
[00:20:26] It that's fine. We wish you the best of luck, but this boat is leaving and I'm taking these people down here. Hopefully we'll see you on another shore, right. Or something. And it doesn't have to be that difficult if you guys can't align or agree.
[00:20:40] Dave: [00:20:40] And how is there any, is there any strategies you have for identifying, you know, the, and I guess, I don't know if I want to call them red flags, caution, flags, anything. When we talk like hiring process for people who are looking to bring on people, or are there things that people need to be aware of for, uh, for, um, you know, th [00:21:00] the people that, you know, might be more combative might be more challenging in a, in a negative way.
[00:21:06] Jeff: [00:21:06] Yeah, I'd say, um, we test a lot. We test for personalities. Uh, we test for skill sets. And so typically we'll test, you know, three different tests before someone even comes to the door. Um, it's not the most HR friendly way to do it. Right. Uh, I, I would submit this to you. One bad hire can destroy your entire culture.
[00:21:29] Right. One bad hire can set you back a decade. Absolutely. Right. Um, and so in addition to testing, um, it's also. Those that are going to be working with that person, give them the power to interview. Right? We have not to everyone's happiness, but we have three to five hour interview sessions. Right. And so someone comes in and it was like, okay, this is a half a day commitment to you to see if there's a fit.
[00:21:56] You're going to be interviewed by eight or 10 people. You're probably going to be asked the same [00:22:00] question 10 times. Just be aware of that. Right. Uh, that being said, we rarely lose people, right? So our employee retention is in the low nineties, 92, 93, and I'm talking over 25 year span and that's fantastic.
[00:22:13] Right. So, uh, hiring is, um, the recruiting process is equally as important as the re recruiting process of keeping your current employees happy. So, yeah.
[00:22:25] Dave: [00:22:25] And in terms of retention strategies, and I don't know the numbers on it, but I know, and I believe one of the highest, uh, you know, the feedbacks of, of what people are looking for as employees is one-on-one direct, you know, direct mentoring, direct supervision are, what, what kind of retention strategies do you guys, you guys use to keep employees happy to keep them making, making them feel like they're making a difference, but also growing the way that you've talked about earlier that people so desperately want to continue to grow.
[00:22:52] Jeff: [00:22:52] Yes. So you're thinking in terms of two things here. So, uh, one, you might not want to re-recruit everyone, right? Maybe you, you know, maybe a [00:23:00] bad Apple got through and it's best just to part ways. And there are many companies. I have several friends that run very large companies whose sole focus is to get rid of the bottom 10% of their.
[00:23:09] Uh, every year, just because they're not committed or engaged. Um, but w we look at it or I look at it differently as re recruiting our keepers, and we really recruit the people we want to keep every single year. Right. And you hit the nail on the head it's one-on-one right. Um, in making sure their hurts they'll listen to everyone's after more income.
[00:23:29] I mean, that's a driver. That's why we do what we do. Right. Well, Those that are passionate about entrepreneurship would do it for free. That's why people flagged to us. Right. But money does, you know, liquefy and loop everything together around. Right. Um, and so that's important, but people typically don't just leave from money.
[00:23:48] People leave companies because of bad bosses or not feeling like they're valued. Those are the two big reasons. I'm not, if it's a giant incoming pay here, they're going to leave. But the majority of people leave, they don't feel [00:24:00] valued. And they leave bad bosses and bad management. And so when someone leaves you can't re recruit your keepers, if you don't do an exit interview and I'll just excuse my friends, I'll just say, what do we suck at?
[00:24:12] I just tell me what we suck at. Since you leaving your knowing your love to give me a big punch to the gut. I want this punch to the gut. Give it to me, please. Freely. I love it's invaluable. The feedback you would get, right. Um, when you lose two or three, really to the same person's management style, or if it's your own time for deep reflection.
[00:24:32] Um, but it lets you tweak that person's skill sets. You need to go get messaging, uh, training, right. Uh, or, uh, you need to manage on the other side of the keyboard and face-to-face right, because it comes across as aggressive the otherwise. So, um, the, the short answer is really recruit your keepers and maybe not everyone's worth keeping.
[00:24:53] Dave: [00:24:53] Hmm, that's really good, Jeff. And that the recurring theme with that too, is having those tough conversations, even on the way out. I'm sure it's [00:25:00] easier for people. The temptation is there to just say, well, they're gone. Like let's, let's cut ties. Like just move on to the next one. And we'll, we'll get it better next time, but putting yourself out there and.
[00:25:10] Opening up that door for, for that feedback. And for that, that, what do we, what do we suck at? Where can we improve is probably a uncomfortable thing, but a necessary thing as well.
[00:25:20] Jeff: [00:25:20] Yeah, you both want a party. If you'd get, if you've left somewhere or someone leaves your employer that you're super happy with. You both want a party. Let's be honest. Can't wait to close the door. Give me your badge. He's a go, but, but you miss a good feedback. Peace. Right. And if you're not open for continuous loop feedback, then you really don't know what's the pulse of your company, right?
[00:25:41] It's, it's, it's a false sense of understanding that you have. And if you're gonna really want to be a good company, he doesn't have to be the biggest. If you want to be the best sheet and understand the culture
[00:25:52] Dave: [00:25:52] Yeah, that's really good.
[00:25:54] Jeff: [00:25:54] culture, the way that I, uh, is is what happens when you're not in the business or in the room.
[00:25:59] That's the [00:26:00] culture of your property, right? When you are there. And the things that are done, we aren't there. That's your true culture, right? So just for what it's worth.
[00:26:09] Dave: [00:26:09] Yeah, it's a good reminder for people. And, uh, you know, that, that applies to the, uh, you know, from the. Like productivity, what kind of work are you putting out to? If you have to be there for, for the needle to get pushed forward, if you have to be there for results to happen, that's, that's a problem, but if you're not there and conversations, the tone changes and the field changes and everything too.
[00:26:30] That's a, I love that because that's a good, uh, a good, easy gauge of how your, how your company's culture is. Yeah. Yeah, it was good. And that I love, uh, you know, I love talking on the, the employee side of things. Cause you know, that's, that's, everyone's, everyone's goal is to, if they're not already at that point to, to get to that point where they can bring on some of those and step into more that leadership role.
[00:26:50] But I want to circle back something you said earlier too, about just when we talk customer service in general of a. Having a, it sounds like you were saying having a system in place where a lot of people would say, [00:27:00] Oh, my customer services is good or we invest a lot of time into it, but it sounds like I'm guessing a lot of people don't really have that clearly defined is that, can you speak a little more on that problem of, uh, having a, having a system in place, having a clearly defined process to know how you're, how you're actually doing in that area versus just, Oh, we're doing, we're doing good.
[00:27:20] Jeff: [00:27:20] Yeah. So there's a, I'll give you another Quip and another saying, because it's the books behind me attest to, I read a lot. Um, but so consensus odds are often, I mean, consensus decisions are often at odds with intelligence, right? So group think. Is often horrible, right? Consensus decisions are at odds with smart ones.
[00:27:40] They're intelligent ones. And so, again, in that group thing, like you're talking about, do you get good customer service? Oh, we get fantastic customer service. By whose definition was there an intelligent design of the customer service experience? No, but it's my consensus. Well, that's at odds with the smart consensus, right?
[00:27:57] Because every McDonald's right through employee says [00:28:00] they give great customer service. Anybody, raising your hand, listening to saying you've got great customer service at McDonald's right. One where diamond and I'm not knocking them. Right. They just haven't been given the skillset. Um, but when you have an unintelligent design and a belief that this is how we'll get a delivery, right.
[00:28:21] No one will get through our drive through that's a dirty screen or a broken letter or broken siding, and there's not going to be cups and trash and, or drive through, or even in your, you know, a physical therapy business. There will be no sweaty dirty of a equipment. And when you walk in, you're going to smell orange, something fresh.
[00:28:40] It doesn't smell like sweat, right? I mean, these are things that. Um, you know, always have radar going off when you, whether you know it or not, any business you walk on, you're judging it. It smells one of the first things. That's why you want to find out what your smell is and imbue that into your process.
[00:28:57] Find out what your vibe is and make sure that's the first thing you [00:29:00] see. If you've got somebody that's got an ugly scowl on their face, just by birth by design, there might be friendly, but that's the first thing you see. They're not the first person to see. Right. It's just, you got to move them. That might be the job they were hired for, but, you know, look up.
[00:29:14] I'm not attractive, but I don't want to be the first thing that people see when they walk in. Right. I mean, I can make up for it in joviality and confidence, but I'm not the first day she want to see in a business. It would be out of business. All these things matter. Right. Is all I'm saying. And so if you don't intelligently design, This experience that you want as a business owner, then it's going to be left to what they think is good customer service.
[00:29:38] And that's going to be at odds with what real customer services. Right? So this next statement is absolutely true. People are driven to distraction, right? So few people are focused on engaging and bettering themselves and whatever they're judging, driven to the next website. The next scrawl, the next social media [00:30:00] app, the next post, the next week, whatever it is, we are all driven to distraction.
[00:30:06] And so their distraction means that they're giving your customers the best experience that they don't have. Right. You have to redirect them and saying, this is the only customer service experience we're trying to deliver. And so this stuff's easy to go to sleep alone, but, uh, for those businesses that take it to heart.
[00:30:24] I mean, it's, it's the wow factor, right? Um, uh, we, and I'm not trying to push our business, but we have, you know, tens of thousands of customers, policy holders, and we do very little advertising. So people will say, well, how do you do that? And we use just a four letter thing. It's called P w O M. And it's positive word of mouth.
[00:30:45] That's how people find out about us. And you think, Oh, what a, what a silly, uh, uh, marketing message. No, because if you get everything right, they can't wait to hang up the phone or leave your website and tell other people about you. And so that's what business owners have to think about. [00:31:00] That's my message for them.
[00:31:02] Dave: [00:31:02] Well, so many people. Yeah. If you ask the majority of business owners out there, where do you get referrals from? I'm sure a large percentage would say, Oh, well, word of mouth. And people do this. Like people, you know, people referring other people, friends, family, word of mouth is, is, you know, a popular response.
[00:31:17] But how many people do you see actually like having a process or having something to, you know, to make sure that they're getting more of that. Because if you're just letting word of mouth happen, like if, if you do good work, You would hope that that people are going to, you know, occasionally send people, but how do you accelerate that?
[00:31:32] How do you actually form a strategy around that too? Like, it sounds like you've done of, of actually, you know, building that versus just kind of passively, hoping people are sent your way.
[00:31:43] Jeff: [00:31:43] yeah. Uh, like anything in business, what gets measured gets done. Right. If you're not measuring it, you're people aren't focused on it because. They're dribbled to distraction, right? What gets measured gets done. And so at the beginning or the citation end of every phone call, [00:32:00] how did you find out about us?
[00:32:01] Specifically, because I want to reward that person. We want to send them a Starbucks gift card. You want us to say thank you. And so when you start measuring that, it starts getting trapped and it starts getting done. Um, now you have to commit financial resources to it, but if you're going to commit financial resources to marketing anyway, And this, you know, for sure, because a referral is a lay down or lay up and basketball, it's a done deal generally.
[00:32:25] Right? I mean, you don't have to really do something egregious if their best friend referred them to you and they don't become a client. Right. Then the problem is you not them. Right. And so, uh, yeah, what gets measured gets done and you just have to work your processes around measuring it all.
[00:32:42] Dave: [00:32:42] That's really good. And, uh, the other question I had along with customer service, when you, when you talk about, you know, sights and smells and the first person they see and all these things, how, how has, uh, you know, a business owner, a manager, someone in this situation, how do you, how do you look at your business with, with fresh eyes, with a [00:33:00] fresh perspective?
[00:33:00] Cause I think we, you know, at least in our business, we can assume. We assume certain things because we see it as, as we know it to be, but that's not necessarily what our, what our customers are seeing. That's not necessarily what our new clients are seeing. What are some, some ways that you can get a, you know, a fresh look to really get an unbiased view of, of what your customer experiences or your, your client journey.
[00:33:21] Jeff: [00:33:21] Yeah, I love it. This question. Um, because like, so what answers so quick, right. But, um, there's two ways to do it. There's others, but there's two that we use is, um, When you're most of the times when you exit your car and you're walking into your business pre pandemic, right? Um, um, your mind is consumed with your to-do list or avoiding something or getting something done.
[00:33:44] You put the key card up, or you turn the lock, and you're not even thinking about what you walked into cross that threshold. And, uh, our counsel guidance would be just suspend everything for a moment, act like your customer. And the minute that door opens, what do you [00:34:00] see? Is it dust on the floor? Is it, you know, is it a dirty place, right.
[00:34:05] If there's a screen between you and the customers, isn't dirty and spit failed. Right. You know what I mean? It's just full of all kinds of stuff. Um, what's the smell like? Right. Cause that's the sensory thing. The eyes is just one part of it. You're feeling smelling, hearing what's going on. What is that like?
[00:34:23] Well, if you're so engaged in your to-do list and thinking you're missing that. And then, so the best thing is just suspend everything going on in your mind, walk in like a customer. Um, and, and, and then another one is I want to get to this back under the point. Sorry, Dave. But the other thing we try to do all the time or do all the time is I will call our call centers and see how long I'm on hold.
[00:34:44] Right from blocked numbers. Cause I don't want them changing the behavior just because it's Jeff Arnold on the phone. Right. So call from a block number of like, all right, we hit all five benchmarks on the greeting. Great. Thank you. Have a nice day. Go to the next call. Right? So does the same, right? [00:35:00] Be come a customer at your business if you can.
[00:35:02] Uh, I often will buy stuff from us, um, uh, anonymously too, just to see how the fulfillment went. And then the other piece is go to your competitors, right? Somebody somewhere. Has more time is younger or smarter and is beating you, but your own game, right? Just like some kids somewhere is tinkering with the idea in his computer, in his room, and he's going to disrupt the Bitcoin industry or the insurance or the banking.
[00:35:32] He's getting everything right. And so. Go into your competitors. Who cares if they know it's you spend money. Right. I would just go in to see, um, and have dialogue with them, but see how others are doing it. Um, because you could've gotten sloppy, right. Or not thought of it in that way, but also suspend everything you going on your mind and walk into your door as a customer.
[00:35:55] So my answers are getting longer, Dave. Sorry.
[00:35:58] Dave: [00:35:58] Nah, I love it. Jeff has [00:36:00] been so good too. I love the, uh, you know, talking, you know, talking things on employees and hiring and training and the systems and the, the customer experience and, uh, uh, Marty soaking up a lot and taking some notes down. So, uh, love your, love, your knowledge on that. And as we start to wrap up here, one, you know, a little more of a personal question, especially for, you know, listeners, we try and be as, as real as we can here of, of someone like yourself, who's seen so much business success.
[00:36:25] Uh, and we talk about the, uh, you know, the onset of this, this episode of, of entrepreneurship is a challenging journey and it can be hard. And sometimes though it's easy to look from the outside and see someone who's experienced business success and experienced these things. And, uh, you know, it's the, the unfortunate myths out there with social media, with all these things is that it's, it's come easy and that it's been without challenges and it's, uh, been the smooth journey.
[00:36:48] But if you don't, if you don't mind being, you know, open about, uh, What's what's been a major challenge either recently or something earlier on that can, uh, you know, maybe encourage listeners that you've run into from, from a business side of things, from a personal side [00:37:00] of things, some insight you can give, give listeners for the, uh, the journey that might look smooth, but we, we all, we know that it's, it's not really the case.
[00:37:08] Jeff: [00:37:08] Yeah. So I have failed way more times than I've succeeded. Right. And being curled up in a ball. Um, Manny made times crying at 30 and 40 years old going to do lower D you know what I mean? And so, uh, uh, and not to plug my book, my first book, we are the insurance deal. I talk about how after I sold my company to the bank, uh, I.
[00:37:28] My identity was gone. Right. I run the companies along the idea that he's gone, and then I ended up running a large, um, several divisions for them. And. It went bankrupt, literally mid 2007 in the crash. You think that would be enough, but I'm not making these numbers up. I turned around and got sued for $1 billion.
[00:37:49] Right? You can't make this up. Um, if you ever want to know what, uh, uh, a dark lonely place, the world can be, get sued for a billion dollars and wondering what's gonna happen to your four [00:38:00] kids and your wife and your house. Anyway, it's, it's all consuming for two years. And so, um, But talk a lot about it in the yard and then she didn't steal, but that was a very tough one to get over.
[00:38:10] Right. And then, um, later, um, there was, uh, I think a lot of men can identify with this. I'm not trying to be sexist, but, uh, I grew up, I think we said at the beginning in Kentucky, so it didn't have a real formal, uh, college education or is a junior college kind of education. And so when I'm working in, um, you know, some large companies with five, six, 7,000 employees, I'm working alongside.
[00:38:35] Ivy league degree, guys, I'm working alongside, you know, just top of the class kind of people. Um, and you can second guess everything that, you know, uh, but it turns out we're hitting a lot more home runs than they are, but when you're in there, there's this. There's a real time where you second guess everything.
[00:38:54] And so if you can't be your biggest cheerleader, who's going to be right. So you've got to find, you're [00:39:00] going to dig deep into that belly and, uh, um, and motivate yourself because I can tell you this, you will know failure and you will know sail. You're more than you want to know it, but you have to keep on keeping on, um, cause that's what differentiates the winners from losers, right?
[00:39:16] Fall down seven, get up eight.
[00:39:18] Dave: [00:39:18] yeah, fall down 7,000 get up. That's probably, that's probably a more accurate number, but now I appreciate you sharing that. Jeff that's. That's great. I've uh, I've loved our talk. Where can, uh, where can people find you reach out to you, reach out to your business, your books, uh, where, where, uh, where can people get in contact with you?
[00:39:37] Jeff: [00:39:37] easiest. One's my personal website. Uh, Jeff arnold.com and it's J E F F a R N O L d.com. And, uh, I, you know, I post articles there once. A quarter. And then two of my books up there now, one will be up there later, but happy to engage with any of your listeners. I have truly enjoyed this.
[00:39:55] Dave: [00:39:55] yes, thanks so much, Jeff. And I know that know the listeners will get a lot out of it, especially those and, and not [00:40:00] just, uh, you know, we, I know we talk a lot on, on business day, but these things can all be applied to our personal lives as well. And I think that's, uh, you know, important, important. Point at, and Dan is, I know not everyone being in, being in business for themselves necessarily, but these are principles that asking for feedback and being able to have that open environment is going to be good.
[00:40:18] And your family with your children with, with spouse, with significant others. So thanks so much for sharing all that, Jeff, and, uh, really appreciate our time here today.
[00:40:25] Jeff: [00:40:25] Same. Thank you.
[00:40:27]Dave: [00:40:27] Thanks for listening today, guys, unbelieving that even if you apply one thing from today's show, you're taking one step closer to living as the man you were made to be meaningful change doesn't happen overnight. So keep showing up and keep consistent every single day until good things start to happen.
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