Applying the Rockstar Mentality to CX

We recently spent some time with CX expert, James Dodkins, to discuss how he utilizes his rockstar past to energize, empower, and inspire his clients and their teams to be 'Customer Experience Rockstars.' James shared his unique perspectives on turning customers into super fans and how that impacts the growth and success of an organization:

Q. We are so excited to have you back to Vegas this year, James! Your rockstar delivery on the main stage is unlike anything the traditional events world is accustomed to. What inspired you to create the world’s first musical keynote address?

A. Before I was doing the whole customer experience rockstar thing, I was just a normal corporate dude with a suit and tie going to normal corporate events and I was hiding my rockstar past…. But it got to the point where I was getting so bored at these event that I decided it was about time somebody thought about the experience of the people that they're talking to about customer experience. That’s kind of where the genesis of this came from.

Q. It’s so true, conferences can get boring. So, you have to make them fun! So you obviously shared an abbreviated version of your rules for CX rockstars on the main stage in Vegas last year. Give us a sneak preview of what we're looking forward to seeing in Vegas this year.

A. Rule number one is about finding inspiration, about looking outside of your industry to understand, what other people do to deliver the same outcomes that we do and what we learn from them. It's not about copying what they do, it's about copying how they think, their principles, their mindset. The best companies in the world didn't become the best companies in the world by doing the same things as everybody else, but better. They became the best companies in the world by doing things differently. And the first step to doing customer experience differently is thinking about customer experience differently.

Number two has to do with super fans. Rockstar companies don't have customers, they have fans, and a select few have super fans. The point of this is when you create super fans, you're going to create an army of people that will market, advocate, defend and promote your company for free.

Number three is around making things right. What I talk about is proactive experience recovery, which is like a four step framework: identify, monitor, communicate, compensate. Identify the things in your experience that caused dissatisfaction. Monitor the experiences to understand when they happen. When you've noticed one of those things happening, communicate to customers that you know something has gone wrong, and then compensate. It doesn't have to be monetary compensation, but some sort of gesture goes a long way towards changing how a customer feels about a particular situation.

Q. You mention that you were a real rockstar before bringing the rock concert feel to the main stage of conferences around the world. Tell us a little more about your history as a rockstar.

A. I played guitar in a heavy metal band. We toured the world, we released albums, I was in magazines, had a video on TV, did all that fun stuff. What I didn't realize when I went into the corporate world is that there are so many parallels between delivering an amazing stage show to your fans and delivering an amazing customer experience to your customers. There were lots of different things that sort of came together that made me rebrand myself and reinvent myself as the Customer Experience Rockstar. One of the key things was a quote from a guy named Jerry Garcia from Grateful Dead. The quote is: “Don't try and be the best in the world at what you do. Try and be the only person in the world that does what you do.”

Q. You've spoken at a number of different Customer Contact Week events and other events produced by the Customer Management Practice. What would you say is your favorite thing about the CCW community and the CCW experience?

A. I like a number of things about the CCW events. First is attention to detail… From a speaker's point of view, you guys cover every avenue of the experience which is wicked. Of course what I try and do as well is try and learn as much as the attendees. CCW has a brilliant mix of entertainment and information. There's always really interesting activities around the event itself, whether it be site tours, networking events, parties… there's always something different happening. I think you guys have got that balance spot on. There's big events, there's smaller events, there's something for everybody at the CCW events. Out of all of the events I've spoken at all over the world, I always get excited when I get invited to a CCW event.

Read the rest of the Q&A here.

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