Doing CX Right Podcast Transcript Episode 117

Are you asking the right questions to increase customer satisfaction and staff, too?

Check out Stacy Sherman and Marty Grunder on Doing CX Right Podcast Episode 117.

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Episode Transcript:

Stacy Sherman [00:00:01]:
Hello, Marty. Welcome to the Doing CX Right show.

Marty Grunder [00:00:05]:
Thank you, Stacey.

Marty Grunder [00:00:06]:
Excited to be with you today. Thanks for having me on.

Stacy Sherman [00:00:09]:
I am so happy to be here with you. And I am still getting to know you more as my audience will be. So share a little bit about who are you? What do you do professionally?

Marty Grunder [00:00:23]:
Okay, well, thanks. So I do a couple of things. I started grunder landscaping company.

Marty Grunder [00:00:29]:
It’ll be 40 years this year, 40.

Marty Grunder [00:00:32]:
Years ago, as a way to make money for college. I’m a graduate of the University of Dayton, which is southwest Ohio. I started another company which today is.

Marty Grunder [00:00:41]:
Known as the Grow Group.

Marty Grunder [00:00:42]:
The landscaping company does exactly what you might think we do, residential and commercial design, build and maintenance.

Marty Grunder [00:00:49]:
And the grow group works with the.

Marty Grunder [00:00:51]:
Owners and leaders of landscaping companies all across the United States and Canada, using what we’ve learned in our 40 years of successfully running a landscaping company to help thousands of landscape contractors do the same thing.

Stacy Sherman [00:01:07]:
What is a fun fact people listening might not know about you.

Marty Grunder [00:01:12]:
Well, I kind of already maybe alluded to it, but I started a business that was, by the time I was a senior at the University of Dayton in 1990, was doing half a million dollars a year in business, which my son asked me about that. He’s 23. A couple of years ago, he said.

Marty Grunder [00:01:28]:
Did you really have a business doing.

Marty Grunder [00:01:30]:
Half a million dollars a year when you were a senior in college, 22 years old? I said, yes, I did. He said, how did you do that? I said, I don’t really know. Now, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal at the time, because, Stacy, I didn’t have any money. My family didn’t have any money. So that was the way that I lived and that was the way I paid for school.

Stacy Sherman [00:01:51]:
I’m going to pause at 153. Just to inform that you are not looking at the camera or are you looking at the screen? Yeah, it makes a difference how you appear. So I just want to make sure you got it all right. Continuing at 210. So you talked a little bit about the past, then. My question for you is, based on what you know now that you didn’t know at 20, what would you tell the younger you at this point?

Marty Grunder [00:02:31]:
Man, we could probably take 20 hours on that. I often tell people as a professional speaker as well. I often get asked to go into audiences and talk about my successes, and I say, that’s why they only gave me 45 minutes. If I were to talk about my failures, we’d be talking for months.

Marty Grunder [00:02:51]:
So there’s a ton of things.

Marty Grunder [00:02:53]:
But I think maybe the biggest thing, Stacey, would be just the simple concept.

Marty Grunder [00:02:58]:
Of asking for help.

Marty Grunder [00:03:02]:
I was like a lot of young people, lacked confidence, was afraid to ask questions, was intimidated, and just didn’t ask questions.

Marty Grunder [00:03:12]:
And quite frankly, I should have.

Marty Grunder [00:03:14]:
Because once I realized the power of asking questions and seeking out other people.

Marty Grunder [00:03:19]:
That had done what you’re trying to.

Marty Grunder [00:03:21]:
Do, it sure as heck made success.

Stacy Sherman [00:03:23]:
A lot easier to find the power of asking questions. That is gold. We’re going to go on that for a few minutes. Before we do, let’s talk about customer experience. What does doing cx right mean to you, and does it have anything to do with asking the right questions?

Marty Grunder [00:03:47]:
Oh, for sure.

Marty Grunder [00:03:48]:
It know, I think when you’re selling.

Marty Grunder [00:03:51]:
A service, be it landscaping, home remodeling.

Marty Grunder [00:03:56]:
Teeth whitening, an ice cream store, whatever it is, it’s all about meeting what that customer wants.

Marty Grunder [00:04:03]:
And we often, I think in business.

Marty Grunder [00:04:06]:
Think we know what the customer wants.

Marty Grunder [00:04:08]:
But we probably don’t.

Marty Grunder [00:04:10]:
And you have to ask. It’s not really a good idea in business to guess.

Marty Grunder [00:04:15]:
You can anticipate, you can do some.

Marty Grunder [00:04:18]:
Things in the realm of customer service to try to guess.

Marty Grunder [00:04:21]:
But at the end of the day.

Marty Grunder [00:04:23]:
Like a basic question, like our team would ask clients, what color flowers do you like? What day of the week would you.

Marty Grunder [00:04:31]:
Like for us to mow your lawn?

Marty Grunder [00:04:33]:
Doesn’t mean that we can do it on that day, but it is nice to interview and find out what you want. How would you like your steak done? What level would you like your car clean? I mean, we could go on for days about the power of asking questions as it relates to the power of a positive customer experience.

Marty Grunder [00:04:54]:
So certainly asking questions goes a long, long way there.

Stacy Sherman [00:04:59]:
Absolutely. Now, your landscaping company won a lot of awards, and you’ve been recognized as an entrepreneur of the year. So clearly you are asking the right questions and customers are appreciating that. What have you done to actually deliver on the customer expectations to be recognized?

Marty Grunder [00:05:24]:
Well, you know, the thing is, I think, first of all, I’ll give a little editorial comment. I think a lot of business owners make client satisfaction out way too hard. You had one of my great friends and mentors on your wonderful program a few weeks ago, Joe Calloway. And Joe Calloway and I get along well, probably because we have a lot of same philosophies. We both think that a lot of businesses make customer satisfaction too difficult.

Marty Grunder [00:05:47]:
The customer calls, you call them back.

Marty Grunder [00:05:49]:
If they have a dead plant in their yard, replace it. I mean, we can go all the conferences in the world that we want. Look for a magical silver bullet.

Marty Grunder [00:05:57]:
The great new software piece, the brand.

Marty Grunder [00:06:00]:
New truck, the brand new piece of.

Marty Grunder [00:06:01]:
Equipment, even the new employee.

Marty Grunder [00:06:04]:
All those things can help you do a better job. But at the end of the day, if you’re not listening to the customer, and if you’re not addressing issues, if you’re not asking if everything’s okay, if.

Marty Grunder [00:06:14]:
You’Re not following up, if you’re not.

Marty Grunder [00:06:17]:
Always have in the back of your.

Marty Grunder [00:06:19]:
Mind that that client may not be happy.

Marty Grunder [00:06:22]:
A lot of the landscaping companies that we work with, stacy here in the.

Marty Grunder [00:06:25]:
Grow group, they’ll have a receivable problem.

Marty Grunder [00:06:27]:
Where they’ll have amounts past due out 30 days, 60 days, 90 days.

Marty Grunder [00:06:32]:
And when I go and I look.

Marty Grunder [00:06:33]:
At their receivables, the first question I.

Marty Grunder [00:06:35]:
Always ask is, do we have a.

Marty Grunder [00:06:38]:
Receivable problem here, or do we have.

Marty Grunder [00:06:40]:
A client satisfaction problem?

Marty Grunder [00:06:42]:
Like me, I pay my bills. The only reason I don’t pay a.

Marty Grunder [00:06:45]:
Bill is if I’m not happy. And I’ve had numerous experiences just in.

Marty Grunder [00:06:50]:
The last year where I wasn’t happy. And most of them have to do.

Marty Grunder [00:06:54]:
With silly little things.

Marty Grunder [00:06:58]:
I subscribe to your newsletter. You keep sending me surveys, asking me if I’m happy.

Marty Grunder [00:07:02]:
I never got the newsletter.

Marty Grunder [00:07:04]:
You never mailed it to me. And I’ve told your customer service rep repeatedly, and I get automated responses saying that we haven’t heard from you, so we’re going to close out the complaint.

Marty Grunder [00:07:15]:
So I just think that if we.

Marty Grunder [00:07:17]:
Reduce it much to what Joe Calloway.

Marty Grunder [00:07:19]:
Was speaking to you about, the basic.

Marty Grunder [00:07:21]:
Blocking and tackling, that somebody’s happy. Just don’t overcomplicate it. Make sure you’re doing the little things right first.

Stacy Sherman [00:07:31]:
Yes. Do the little things. Get the basics right.

Marty Grunder [00:07:36]:

Stacy Sherman [00:07:38]:
These are no brainers. And yet they’re not. That they’re not. Let me change that. I hear a very weird sound in the back.

Marty Grunder [00:07:53]:
Hang on a second. Yes, I will.

Marty Grunder [00:08:15]:

Marty Grunder [00:08:16]:
My studio is above my shop, and they were backing a piece of equipment.

Marty Grunder [00:08:20]:
Out, so they’re shutting it off.

Stacy Sherman [00:08:22]:
Oh, okay. I got to love timing. All right, so we’ll continue. You talk about core values and relatability, that your team has real world experience running a landscaping company, and the importance of being relatable to clients and to prospects and to everyone you work with. Talk about some of those core values and what is important for listeners where they work. How does that impact the ability to be known and loved as a brand?

Marty Grunder [00:09:04]:

Marty Grunder [00:09:04]:
So we have two separate companies that I talked to you about relatability is.

Marty Grunder [00:09:08]:
Actually a core value for the consultancy, the grow group.

Marty Grunder [00:09:12]:
And the reason that that’s a core value over there is consultants are teachers. And if you, as a teacher, cannot.

Marty Grunder [00:09:20]:
Put yourself in your client’s shoes, in your student’s shoes, I don’t see how.

Marty Grunder [00:09:26]:
You’Re going to ever be able to educate them. So us as teachers here in the grow group, and there’s five people that work at the grow group, and then we have about six subcontractors that help teach our curriculum. We have to be able to understand.

Marty Grunder [00:09:39]:
What they’re up against.

Marty Grunder [00:09:41]:
It’s the same thing in business at the landscaping company. That’s not a core value at the landscaping company. That would fall under our quality area. Of the four core values we have at the landscaping company, which are quality leadership, teamwork, and profitability. But relatability in that is important, just.

Marty Grunder [00:09:58]:
In that owners and leaders of any kind of organization, they get ahead by.

Marty Grunder [00:10:05]:
Their ability to put themselves in their client’s shoes, to put themselves in their coworkers shoes, the amount of emotional intelligence.

Marty Grunder [00:10:13]:
They have that they realize it’s not about them.

Marty Grunder [00:10:16]:
And I think that’s the biggest thing about customer service. What I want as the owner in.

Marty Grunder [00:10:22]:
My yard that would make me happy.

Marty Grunder [00:10:24]:
May very well be dramatically different than.

Marty Grunder [00:10:26]:
What one of our clients want.

Marty Grunder [00:10:29]:
And like you mentioned about asking questions.

Marty Grunder [00:10:31]:
The power of that, but being relatable.

Marty Grunder [00:10:34]:
I think, is a trait that good leaders have.

Marty Grunder [00:10:36]:

Marty Grunder [00:10:39]:
If I have to go down to the basics with a new hire.

Marty Grunder [00:10:43]:
I can do that.

Marty Grunder [00:10:44]:
If I’ve got somebody that has a degree in horticulture, well, we can probably talk about something different. It’s being able to assess the situation.

Marty Grunder [00:10:53]:
And provide good help by being relatable.

Marty Grunder [00:10:56]:
By being aware, by seeing it from someone else’s perspective.

Stacy Sherman [00:11:01]:
Great point. And that’s where, again, the power of the questions come in. Because you don’t know how to be relatable to the people that interact with your brand or work for your brand unless you get to know them. And there’s an art to asking the questions.

Marty Grunder [00:11:17]:
There is.

Marty Grunder [00:11:18]:
I mean, now that you say that.

Marty Grunder [00:11:19]:
Absolutely, I can’t argue with that.

Stacy Sherman [00:11:22]:
Well, also think about when people do surveys, and that’s all questions for customers and sometimes employees, too, how important it is that you ask the right questions in the feedback you’re looking for, because then you won’t get the answers to drive the strategies. So can’t say this enough where the questions and then being relatable and getting the information to serve better, it just all connects.

Marty Grunder [00:11:56]:

Marty Grunder [00:11:57]:
And along the lines of questions, I.

Marty Grunder [00:11:59]:
Think most times the simple ones work.

Marty Grunder [00:12:03]:
Here’s a great question, and if you’re familiar with the net promoter score, which.

Marty Grunder [00:12:06]:
I’m sure you are, would you refer us to a family or friend? I mean, for many companies that we.

Marty Grunder [00:12:13]:
Work with in the grow group, that’s the one question survey that they send their customers. Would you refer us to a family or friend?

Marty Grunder [00:12:18]:
If the answer is yes, I’m not.

Marty Grunder [00:12:21]:
Saying you shouldn’t follow up or assume that everything’s great, but if the answer is no, you got to get to work to find out why. And you got to figure out why. Because if someone’s not going to refer your company to a family or friend, that does not bode well for your long term future. Because I don’t care what business you’re in.

Marty Grunder [00:12:39]:
It doesn’t matter to me.

Marty Grunder [00:12:41]:
If you’re not getting referrals or if you’re not getting positive cascading conversations about your company to others, it’s going to.

Marty Grunder [00:12:49]:
Be very difficult to grow it.

Stacy Sherman [00:12:52]:
Yes. So I had the founders and the inventors of the NPS score on my show from Bain. And what’s also important to this topic is that a lot of times if you just focus on the net promoter system, and most people do know what that is in terms of the promoters, and you talk about the detractors, the ones that would not recommend you, and absolutely, you need to know why there is that middle. Those passives who have not chosen yet a side, they’re not promoters, they’re not detractors. And too often people don’t ask them the questions. They don’t look for ways to be relatable and connect. They just kind of skip over those and you cannot do that.

Marty Grunder [00:13:44]:

Marty Grunder [00:13:45]:
I would agree with that.

Stacy Sherman [00:13:47]:
Besides net promoter score, which is a question, what are other questions that you like to ask to get a pulse of how your customers think and feel about you?

Marty Grunder [00:14:00]:
The big one that we like to ask, and I’m proud to tell you, Stacey, I can’t remember the last time.

Marty Grunder [00:14:06]:
That we got a negative response in.

Marty Grunder [00:14:09]:
This area, is a question to the customer around the attitude of the people.

Marty Grunder [00:14:12]:
That they worked with.

Marty Grunder [00:14:14]:
How was your interaction with the know, I talk to my team all the time here at grunder landscaping, and I stress it when I teach workshops or I’m into work one on one with the owner and leaders of landscaping companies.

Marty Grunder [00:14:27]:
Ownership is not going to spend that much time with the client.

Marty Grunder [00:14:31]:
They may spend an hour, 2 hours.

Marty Grunder [00:14:34]:
If it’s a really large job, and.

Marty Grunder [00:14:36]:
There’S a bunch of revisions back and forth. There may be five, eight, maybe 10 hours, but there’s going to be hundreds of hours in most cases that your.

Marty Grunder [00:14:47]:
Team, the frontline people, the person taking.

Marty Grunder [00:14:50]:
The order at the counter, the guy.

Marty Grunder [00:14:52]:
Planting the tree, the repairman working on.

Marty Grunder [00:14:56]:
Your car, they’re the ones that ultimately the next sale is going to be.

Marty Grunder [00:15:01]:
Made or lost by their conduct. And when I was thinking about probably.

Marty Grunder [00:15:06]:
The most impactful thing I have to share with you today on your wonderful show, it’s this concept around that your external customer service will never, ever exceed your internal customer service. And oftentimes when I receive poor treatment on an airplane or in an airport, or at a restaurant, or where I get my car worked on, or the.

Marty Grunder [00:15:25]:
Doctor’S office or the department store, wherever, I often say some manager hasn’t treated.

Marty Grunder [00:15:33]:
That person right, or there’s something going on there that that’s indicative of how they’re treated. And the question that we ask around, attitude that we get positive responses. I know that what we’re doing there works.

Marty Grunder [00:15:46]:
We treat our people with dignity and respect.

Marty Grunder [00:15:50]:
If they have a question for us, we get back to them as fast as we can.

Marty Grunder [00:15:54]:
And managers are trained that way, because if you’re not performing in a way that’s great to your team, you’re giving.

Marty Grunder [00:16:04]:
Them license to give substandard work to your customers. And so we stress the concept of external customer service never exceeding your internal customer service.

Marty Grunder [00:16:14]:
And the complementary concept of leaders have.

Marty Grunder [00:16:18]:
To be great at what they want.

Marty Grunder [00:16:19]:
Their followers to be good at. I have to be the absolute gold.

Marty Grunder [00:16:24]:
Standard at customer service. Here at Grunder Landscaping company, our slogan.

Marty Grunder [00:16:27]:
Is where service is always in season.

Marty Grunder [00:16:30]:
So if I don’t deliver a great service, I’ve just given everyone license to do the same.

Marty Grunder [00:16:36]:
And I just don’t think sometimes as leaders, we realize that what we’re doing.

Marty Grunder [00:16:43]:
Speaks so loudly, no one can hear what we’re saying.

Stacy Sherman [00:16:48]:
So you talked about revisions before, and that’s common in any business. There’s always editing, revising, tweaking, optimizing to get it right. And hopefully you get it right the first time with a customer. And it makes me think about how you said of asking the right questions. Because again, if you don’t ask the right questions and get their feedback and what’s in their brain, then you are going to be in a cycle of revisions nonstop. And at the end of the day, it might be the customer’s fault, but they’re not going to look at it that way.

Marty Grunder [00:17:26]:
No, you.

Marty Grunder [00:17:26]:
Bingo. I couldn’t say it any better. You’re absolutely right. It’s a great analogy. That’s exactly part of the thing that we talk about here, that it’s important to listen to the customer and not have them go through a bunch of rigmarole because you didn’t listen.

Marty Grunder [00:17:38]:
Well, a funny little side note.

Marty Grunder [00:17:41]:
I always say when I’m speaking to.

Marty Grunder [00:17:42]:
A group, and this is just me.

Marty Grunder [00:17:44]:
Personally, I’m never impressed by the server or the waiter or the waitress, whatever you want to call them at a.

Marty Grunder [00:17:49]:
Restaurant that doesn’t write down your order, because, okay, you did a little bit.

Marty Grunder [00:17:54]:
Of showmanship there, and you had a little bit of theatrical performance that you remembered eight people at a table, what they wanted. But when you’re doing that to me, I’m thinking, you know what? You’re going to bring my steak back rare. I don’t like it rare. I like it medium well. You’re not going to get me Brussels sprouts. You’re going to get me green beans. And I don’t like green beans. And you’re going to get my drink order wrong.

Marty Grunder [00:18:14]:
I would rather get the order right than see this theatrical performance that you’re trying to show off.

Marty Grunder [00:18:21]:
I think.

Marty Grunder [00:18:24]:
Know there’s so many basic building blocks in a good customer service.

Marty Grunder [00:18:29]:
Experience, it ought to be like they.

Marty Grunder [00:18:32]:
Don’T even realize it until they go someplace else.

Marty Grunder [00:18:34]:
And they’re like, this place is terrible compared to Joe’s diner.

Marty Grunder [00:18:40]:
I mean, they got my meal. It’s. Yeah, it’s brand new and everything, but the service is terrible. It’s the experience. It’s what bonds someone to a business. I really, truly believe it’s where the relationship is rooted, is how they’re treated.

Marty Grunder [00:18:52]:
And how they’re made to feel.

Stacy Sherman [00:18:55]:
Yes. Now, going back to the restaurant, I mean, it’s obvious that mistakes happen. We’re human. And I know that you believe in progress is more important than perfection.

Marty Grunder [00:19:08]:
Yes, ma’am.

Stacy Sherman [00:19:10]:
So how do you balance both?

Marty Grunder [00:19:15]:
Well, we role play a lot with that, because getting everybody uptight here to.

Marty Grunder [00:19:20]:
Think that we’re perfectionists and we can’t.

Marty Grunder [00:19:23]:
Ever make a mistake, that’s a bad place to be. And, in fact, I can tell you that that inhibited our growth, because I am a perfectionist, and I’ve had to learn how to deal with that accordingly.

Marty Grunder [00:19:34]:
Because I think, in my experience, almost.

Marty Grunder [00:19:38]:
40 years around the business, I don’t think the normal consumer thinks that you’re.

Marty Grunder [00:19:43]:
Going to do everything perfectly.

Marty Grunder [00:19:44]:
But I think what they think and what they expect. And what is fair is for you.

Marty Grunder [00:19:48]:
To communicate, to not make excuses, to.

Marty Grunder [00:19:51]:
Not throw your team under the bus, to talk about solutions. So we actually role play a lot.

Marty Grunder [00:19:57]:
With all of our people about that, and we let them know that, look.

Marty Grunder [00:20:02]:
Mistakes are going to happen. And most rational customers, as long as you own the mistake and start talking about solutions, you’re okay. Focus on the what, not the who. Get them happy as fast as you.

Marty Grunder [00:20:14]:
Can, own it and move on.

Marty Grunder [00:20:17]:
And we find that customers understand that and appreciate that.

Marty Grunder [00:20:23]:
Now, if every time they do business.

Marty Grunder [00:20:25]:
With you, a mistake has been made.

Marty Grunder [00:20:27]:
At a certain point you’re not going.

Marty Grunder [00:20:28]:
To have their business because it doesn’t matter how nice you are, how fast you respond. Like we talked about when we opened up, you’re not blocking and tackling.

Marty Grunder [00:20:36]:

Marty Grunder [00:20:36]:
And I just don’t have time for this anymore.

Marty Grunder [00:20:38]:
I’m going to try someone else. But mistakes are going to happen. I mean, we know that, and I think rational people know that.

Stacy Sherman [00:20:46]:
Yes. Going back to asking the right questions again, how do you get your staff to feel comfortable, to ask questions, to have a speak up culture?

Marty Grunder [00:21:02]:
The biggest thing, Stacey, that we found is role playing. And roleplaying is difficult. It sounds trite and juvenile. When we first started implementing roleplaying with some of know, there was people laughing and they were goofing off. And I originally thought, this isn’t right, this shouldn’t be this funny. We’re goofing off now. We’re not taking it serious. But what I found was that the role playing, it did prepare them and.

Marty Grunder [00:21:30]:
The laughter was, know, when we look at the Navy Seals or we look.

Marty Grunder [00:21:38]:
At a tight end in the NFL running a route and catching a touchdown pass, or we look at Captain Sully that landed the plane in the Hudson river many years ago and saved 100 plus lives, they were in those positions.

Marty Grunder [00:21:53]:
In a role play. They practiced it.

Marty Grunder [00:21:56]:
It wasn’t real time, but it was.

Marty Grunder [00:21:58]:
The situation to where when the situation presented itself, they could perform accordingly.

Marty Grunder [00:22:05]:
So I don’t think there’s any better.

Marty Grunder [00:22:07]:
Way than to, first of all, first.

Marty Grunder [00:22:09]:
And foremost, make sure your team knows.

Marty Grunder [00:22:11]:
You believe in them and you trust them.

Marty Grunder [00:22:13]:
When you see them doing what you want them to do, call them out in front of everybody about it, recognize.

Marty Grunder [00:22:18]:
The good performance, and then put them.

Marty Grunder [00:22:21]:
In roleplay situations so that they get more comfortable, that like a Navy SeaL, when the skill is needed upon, they can call on it and it just happens naturally.

Stacy Sherman [00:22:33]:
Yes. Now, speaking of roleplay, I’m seeing a lot of technology come out where there’s AI simulation, particularly in a contact center where a customer service agent is going to be able to role play with a simulation before they get on a first call with a customer. There’s a lot of use cases with role play practice, building confidence. What about in your business? And constant innovation? What does that mean for you?

Marty Grunder [00:23:06]:
Innovation is just. I think part of it is this drive and desire to get better every single day.

Marty Grunder [00:23:12]:
To not think that you’re perfect, to.

Marty Grunder [00:23:14]:
Not think that you have it all figured out. I think having a culture in your company or your department where you think you have it all figured out, that’s very dangerous. Stacey, I’m not a kid anymore.

Marty Grunder [00:23:26]:
I’m 55 years old, and I remember.

Marty Grunder [00:23:29]:
Being 35, thinking, like, I should know this stuff by now. Why don’t I know this? And now I know at 55, like, there’s no universal owner’s manual that we can open up and tell us how to do everything. There are new experiences all the time. I mean, there are some incredible lessons I’ve learned in the last five years.

Marty Grunder [00:23:46]:
That, yeah, it would have been nice.

Marty Grunder [00:23:48]:
Had I known them when I was 35, but guess what?

Marty Grunder [00:23:51]:
I didn’t.

Marty Grunder [00:23:52]:
So innovation is a mindset.

Marty Grunder [00:23:54]:
It’s about wanting to get better, and.

Marty Grunder [00:23:57]:
It’S about not worrying about taking the credit for the successes. I think leaders should take the credit for the failure. I think you eat your failures and you celebrate the successes with the team. That’s just my perspective on leadership.

Marty Grunder [00:24:11]:
So innovation can mean a lot of.

Marty Grunder [00:24:13]:
Things, but it’s rooted in this desire.

Marty Grunder [00:24:15]:
That I want to get better.

Stacy Sherman [00:24:20]:
Innovation is a mindset. Write that down, everybody. That is really good. Nobody talks about it from that perspective. Well, we’re coming to the end. I told you it goes fast. So if I had a ton of ceos and entrepreneurs and leaders in my room right now, what is that one takeaway for anybody listening that you want them to remember?

Marty Grunder [00:24:48]:
I think it’s what we talked about, that your external customer service will never exceed your internal customer service, and that we as leaders were always being watched. I remember when my son was three years old and he said something not so nice, and he basically repeated what I had said.

Marty Grunder [00:25:09]:
It was obvious he got it from me.

Marty Grunder [00:25:11]:
And I don’t know that that ever stops in life. Like, if we want our team to be good at something, we’ve got to.

Marty Grunder [00:25:19]:
Be great at it.

Marty Grunder [00:25:20]:
And there’s just so much of this.

Marty Grunder [00:25:24]:
We show what’s important to us by how we act.

Marty Grunder [00:25:28]:
You say customer service is important, but you don’t do the software upgrade to make it easier to document notes and follow up because it’s another $500 a month and you’re counting pennies and you.

Marty Grunder [00:25:40]:
Don’T think you can afford it.

Marty Grunder [00:25:42]:
I could go on and on with the reasons.

Marty Grunder [00:25:45]:
We’ve got to be able to see.

Marty Grunder [00:25:47]:
What’S important to you as the business owner or department head, whatever it is, by what you’re doing and what you’re spending your resources on your time.

Marty Grunder [00:25:58]:
One last comment I will make.

Marty Grunder [00:26:01]:
We often, as owners and leaders, see seminars or webinars, and we tell our team to go to the seminar or get on the webinar, delegating the training to someone else. And I sell webinars. I sell seminars.

Marty Grunder [00:26:15]:
I get it.

Marty Grunder [00:26:16]:
The leaders that I have the most respect for, Stacey, are the ones that.

Marty Grunder [00:26:20]:
Go through the webinar with their team.

Marty Grunder [00:26:22]:
They’re the ones that go to the seminar even though they may have been.

Marty Grunder [00:26:25]:
To it before, and they’re right there with their know.

Marty Grunder [00:26:29]:
I heard Dr. John Maxwell many years ago say that there were two kinds of leaders. There’s a travel agent leader that tells you about all the great things you.

Marty Grunder [00:26:38]:
Should do but has never done them. And then there’s the travel guide leader.

Marty Grunder [00:26:42]:
Which is the one that’s right in the middle of that with you leading.

Marty Grunder [00:26:45]:
The way, saying, I’m here, walk with me.

Marty Grunder [00:26:48]:
I think that’s the best piece of.

Marty Grunder [00:26:50]:
Advice I have to give.

Stacy Sherman [00:26:52]:
Wonderful leadership advice, wonderful tips for people listening, whether they’re in the landscaping business or any industry. These tactics are very applicable. So thank you for sharing them. Congratulations on your successes, and I look forward to sharing more of you, all that you’ve done in the show notes. And thank you for being here with us today.

Marty Grunder [00:27:17]:
Well, you’re very kind. And congratulations on your success, too.

Marty Grunder [00:27:21]:
Thanks for having me on.

Stacy Sherman [00:27:22]:
Thank you. Bye.

View The Entire Doing Customer Experience Podcast Episode 117

How To Increase Customer Satisfaction By Asking the Right Questions

How To Increase Customer Satisfaction By Asking the Right Questions

Doing CX Right podcast show on Spotify with host Stacy Sherman
Doing Customer Experience (CX) Right Podcast - Hosted by Stacy Sherman
Doing CX Right podcast show on iHeart Radio with host Stacy Sherman

Are you asking the right questions to increase customer satisfaction and staff, too?

Are you applying relatability and emotional intelligence to lead by example and turn customer service from satisfactory to exceptional?

This podcast episode with customer experience and service expert Stacy Sherman and featured guest Marty Grunder, CEO and “Entrepreneur Of The Year,” provide solutions to these important topics so that you can increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. You’ll hear:

  • Why asking the right questions is essential in grasping customer desires and improving relations with your team.
  • How to leverage the Net Promoter Score to tap into true customer sentiments and why passive feedback should never be ignored.
  • The pivotal role internal customer service plays in setting the stage for exceptional external customer interactions.
  • Effective strategies for fostering a culture of accountability and solution-focused mindsets within your team.
  • The art of roleplaying in preparing staff to excel in customer interactions draws parallels from high-pressure training methods used by elite forces and sports teams.
  • Anecdotes from Marty’s journey of growing a successful landscaping business during his college years, the understated power of simply returning calls promptly, and the continuous pursuit of progress over perfection.

Whether you’re a leader, entrepreneur, or customer service professional, this podcast episode will help you establish and grow a brand that resonates with customers and stands out in a crowded marketplace!


Customer Experience (CX) and Service Topics & Time Stamps: 

[00:01] Introduction and Welcoming Marty Grunder
[00:23] Marty’s Professional Background
[01:07] Fun Fact about Marty’s Business Success
[02:31] Advice to Younger Self: The Power of Asking Questions
[03:47] Customer Experience and the Importance of Asking the Right Questions
[05:24] Delivering on Customer Expectations and Simplifying Satisfaction
[06:04] The Significance of Listening to the Customer in Landscaping
[07:21] Basic Customer Service and Core Values
[09:04] The Importance of Relatability and Emotional Intelligence
[14:00] Key Questions to Gauge Customer Satisfaction
[16:14] Internal Customer Service Setting the Standard for External Customer Service
[18:55] The Concept of Progress Over Perfection
[21:02] Encouraging a Speak Up Culture and Comfort with Roleplaying
[23:06] Innovation as a Mindset and Continuous Improvement
[24:48] Final Takeaway: Reflecting the Importance of Internal Customer Service

Want to read this episode transcript, click >here 

Press Play  To WATCH On Youtube

About Marty Grunder ~ Putting Customer Satisfaction At The Forefront Every Day

Marty Grunder is the founder and CEO of The Grow Group and of Grunder Landscaping Co., one of the most successful landscaping companies in the Midwest.

An unusual combination of full-time landscape professional and leading green-industry coach, Marty is uniquely positioned to deliver real-world, real-time guidance to Grow Group clients. His landscaping company has earned more than 50 local and national design awards and is a two-time winner of the Better Business Bureau’s Eclipse Integrity Award. Marty has himself been named entrepreneur of the year by both Ernst & Young and the US Small Business Administration and a Leader in Diversity by the Dayton Business Journal. The author of The 9 Super Simple Steps to Entrepreneurial Success, he has coached tens of hundreds of landscaping professionals and companies across the US and Canada and delivered more than 550 talks, motivating audiences of all sizes and shapes—from a small gathering of 20 to a stadium of 9,000—to achieve success. He is a columnist for Landscape Management and is a member of the boards of Park National Bank of Southwest Ohio and Wright State University. A graduate of the University of Dayton School of Business, Marty is based in Dayton, Ohio.

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About Stacy Sherman: Founder of Doing CX Right®‬

Customer experience and marketing global keynote speaker, LinkedIn Learning instructor, author, advisor, and host of the award-winning DoingCXRight podcast. Known for her Heart & Science™ framework that helps you gain profitable clients and brand loyalty–fueled by an empowered workforce. Stacy’s been walking the talk for 25 years as a strategist and practitioner at companies of all sizes and industries, i.e., Liveops, Verizon, Schindler Elevator Corp, Wilton Brands, and AT&T. She’s also a board advisor at multiple universities, featured in Forbes and other top-rated publications.

Her Why: To cultivate loyal relationships and meaningful experiences that enrich people’s lives. Contact Stacy about DOING Customer Experience (CX) and Service Right. Continue reading bio >here.

Keyword themes: DoingCXRight podcast business customer service contact center marketing Customer satisfaction Customer loyalty