So I’m gonna talk a little bit about and introduce Lawrence McGlown. Lawrence is the CEO of getSayDo. He’s Managing Director of the McGlown Group. As managing director, his team helps companies communicate and deliver their customer promises of unison. He founded getSayDO as the business world’s customer feedback hub. His pasts include being the VP of Marketing at Ingram Micro and has held many brand and marketing leadership roles at companies such as Humana, and Kraft Foods, ConAgra Foods & Hickory Farms.
He’ll be speaking on why organizations must execute as they promise and why the customer feedback process [inaudible] of all. After Lawrence speaks, feel free – I don’t know how you’re doing this. If you’re doing a discussion and you want feedback during your talk, that’s fine. And if you have questions bring them up. We’ll have the microphone around, and at the end I’ll announce next month’s. So I’ll give it over to Lawrence.
Lawrence McGlown: Executing As Promised (Smartups May) by Smartups on Mixcloud
Full transcript after the jump.
Thank you. Thank you. This is cool. I love to have a platform where I can talk about work because I love work. I always have. It’s just so fulfilling for me, and it’s crazy. My wife, it drives her crazy. I developed a love for work and for business back when I was I’d say probably around 18. Prior to 18, work was a stock boy experience at the local fruit market, a fry job at McDonald’s, that type of thing.
And then at 18 I got an internship with 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota, and I’m from Detroit. So I had to pack up my bags and drive to St. Paul, Minnesota, and my mom, who’s right here, was not all that comfortable with me jumping in a car and driving across the state, a 12-hour drive. But I share the experience because that internship just really, a light bulb went off. I was so, so taken with the experience.
I got exposed to people working together in all types of different functions with all different types of expertise in a very big company. I think at the time they employed over 100,000 people, and it was just fascinating for me to see how people from so many different walks of life could come together and create value for the customer and do it again and again.
And from there I went on. I had experiences in the automotive industry. I moved into packaged goods, health care, logistics, and exposure to mobility. And through all those experiences I was able to achieve success when the team that I worked with did these three words: they executed as promised across functions. When the organizations failed to really deliver what the customer expected, things broke down.
So over the past several years I’ve been able to take those experiences and package myself as an advisor to businesses, helping them achieve stronger alignment between their employees and their customers. That’s what I know how to do. All those experiences, what I took away was an ability to really get inside of an organization and look at to what degree are the employees really, really aligned with their customers, understanding their world, and committed 100 percent to working on things that are meaningful to them.
So that’s execute as promise. I want to offer a definition for more grounded context. I define execute as promise as the ability of an organization to meet or exceed customer expectations in every interaction, every single interaction. Not just the big large, this is what I bought, but all the small details that wrap around that experience. What I will tell you from all the experiences I had, both as a corporate marketer and as consultant, is most companies don’t do this. Some come close than others, but the vast majority at some point in the customer experience there’s a breakdown.
That breakdown, it affects us, but where I see it have the most effect is in the B2B world, in the world where businesses make money by performing services or delivering products to other businesses. That’s where there’s a huge breakdown in the delivery of expectations, and to just get an understanding, I want you to think about the various vendors that you work with. Think about the software service providers that you work with.
Think about the IT or the marketing firm that you work with. Think about who you work with for legal. Think about who it is that provides you janitorial services. Any and everything that it takes to run a business run, because no business is vertically integrated, I want you to think about all of those businesses and raise your hand if you agree with the statement: most of the vendors I work with consistently execute as promise.
Who in here can raise their hand? Because I can’t. There has to be one person in here who can raise their hand. We have one. That’s very, very telling. That’s very telling, and what makes it so telling is I did a little bit of research. In the U.S. alone over $1.5 trillion – I love data – over $1.5 trillion, I can’t even visualize that, is spent annually on professional services. Professional services include IT, marketing, legal, accounting, architecture, engineering, those types of businesses.
That’s a lot, a lot of scratch. A lot of dough being spent on services, and everyone in this room was reluctant to raise their hand. It’s because organizations do not execute as promised. They do at points in time but not consistently. So through my experiences I saw an opportunity – my business person right here, Michael Manross, he saw the opportunity, and we said there’s something we could do about this because the business model that we had created from a consulting advisory standpoint wasn’t scalable enough to our liking.
We can’t reach enough companies where it’s just the two of us and maybe some other contracted help helping companies execute as promised. So a couple of barriers to executing as promised. I want to get into them to get you a little more context about our motivations for creating getSayDo. The first barrier is disengaged employees. Small, medium, large, global, US-centric, over 70% of employees are disengaged.
And what that means is those employees have not taken the time to really understand who they’re working for, why, what it is that defines success for their business, for their employer. And if they haven’t done that then guess what they really haven’t done – and this is where people feel the pain – is those individuals haven’t looked within and said how do I as an individual ensure, using the skills that I have, ensure that we as an organization are successful with every customer interaction we have?
It doesn’t happen. People are disgruntled. A couple of key facts to give you context on this. When you think about employees that actually touch customers, half of them don’t know what their company stands for, and to make matters worse, they don’t know what it is that makes their business different. In every category out there their customer has choice. We have options, and in most organizations half of the people they don’t understand that special sauce, the secret sauce of what it is that they’re working on every day.
And to make matters worse, many of them don’t care. When you’re disengaged you don’t care. Aside from making sure that every other Friday there’s a deposit, you don’t care. So there’s a big challenge with being represented consistently when your customer has an experience with you. There’s a big gap. So you start to understand why organizations are unable to execute as promised. The numbers tell the story.
So the effect, the impact of this, is – I love to provide visuals. So imagine we’ve got a company of 27 employees and we have 1 customer and that customer starts his or her day doing business with this company. And at the start of the relationship they’re clear on what that company can do for them. So they’re feeling good and they decide to opt in, but the clarity established for that customer is driven by an engaged employee, someone who really, really is passionate about the company. They understand what success looks like for the company, and they understand how their skills as an individual can be leveraged to make sure that every customer experience is buttoned up.
And so you come in as a customer and you’re excited to work with this vendor, but then, unfortunately, you run into a yellow face. So the process of getting things going is a little clunky, but it’s okay. We’re just getting started, and then you move forward into the customer experience and when it comes to meeting your expectations you’re interacting with outcomes that are driven by a combination of green and red faces and maybe a yellow face or two.
So your expectations are somewhat met but not 100 percent because of the people driving the interactions that you’re having, and that customer works his or her way through that experience. When you think about all the interactions you had, “Ah, I had a problem. I need help.” Are you going to get a yellow face, a red face, or a green face, or some combination? It has a definitive effect on the quality to which your expectations are going to be met if you’re working with someone who doesn’t even care what they’re working on, let alone have a deep understanding for what success looks like and how they as an individual can ensure that that experience is enjoyable.
So the net result of this is the second barrier that exists around impeding organizations from executing as promised and that is that the vast majority, as exhibited in this room, the vast majority of business executives don’t trust businesses to the degree that they used to. They don’t trust them. So while they don’t trust them there’s an opportunity and the opportunity is to do what you said you would do the first time.
And the way you do it is through stronger alignment between the employee and customer. What are you aligning on? You’re aligning on what the customer expects to obtain, the outcome, and the understanding of how your business does it, delivers that outcome unlike any other business out there. So I like to parallel this to building and managing a brand. You say the word brand, you say the word marketing and people think communications. How are we positioned?
What’s our message? What’s our value proposition? Those things are cool to set a certain set of expectations, but if the people in finance and accounting don’t fully agree, don’t fully understand, aren’t vested in that proposition that’s created, it’s just words, and you’ve set yourself up as an organization to overpromise because when the experience happens that finance person, that accounting person, they’re not going to support the spends that are necessary to actually make that promise real.
So we have to find a way to get this number down. That’s one of our goals as an organization. We believe that that number could come down, and as that number comes down more businesses succeed. So here’s the solution. Just enable people to listen. Nothing more. Just enable employees at the various organizations around the world that we do business with every day to listen.
Edelman runs a Trust Barometer where they go out and they figure out to what degree is trust healthy or unhealthy, and they found that the number one rebuilder of trust is increasing employee’s ability to listen, and it make sense. What people are saying is the businesses we work with don’t hear me. They’re not listening.
They’re just doing what they believe is necessary to make a buck, but they’re not listening to me. So that’s the opportunity to help organizations listen, and so the question begs itself, how? So what we did is we looked at our process of what we typically do and we felt like there were some gaps that could be just made a lot more efficient and a lot more enjoyable. What typically happens in business is at some point you want to understand your customer, at some point, dig that.
So you commission research and some companies spend more money on research than others, but, depending on the organization that you work in, you could be dependent on a one-time a year pulse of how customers feel about the work that you’re doing every day. And the expectation is that you take that once a year read and you use it to go out there and deliver and meet your customers’ expectation every day assuming that that read in June is still valid in November.
We say no it’s not. Things change. Experiences change. Why? Because customers have interactions. So I could have an interaction with a business in January but by the time I get to June I’ve had two more. The first one was great, but the second and third I ran into more yellow and red faces and so the experience wasn’t as great anymore.
Employees across function need visibility to those variations in customer experiences. They need to understand that the interaction is not guaranteed to be enjoyable and they need visibility into when and how that happens. That’s what we want to do with getSayDo. We want to create a customer feedback hub that is real time. That is easy. That’s simple. That allows employees, regardless of what business they work in, to always be informed.
So a couple of things for context on exactly what getSayDo is and how we believe it’s going to solve some of these issues. The first thing is we want people to focus on feelings, how the customer feels. Feelings drive decisions. We feel good and we’re more encouraged to do it again. We feel bad and we’re probably encouraged to look elsewhere.
So one of the thoughts we had was let’s express customer feelings using faces. Simple faces with a little color. So instead of taking data and making data intimidating for those outside of the insights function or those who don’t spend all their days and hours looking at market research, for the people who work in functions where they don’t spend all of that time let’s make it easy for them to understand do our customers like us or not so much?
So that’s our first piece. The second piece is that we want to keep the process simple. When you talk to people in the workplace most people will tell you that I don’t have enough time to get everything done that’s on my plate. So when it comes to data, and there’s a fascination with big data, but it doesn’t mean that you dump data. It just means that there’s a lot of data that you need to work through to look for insight.
What we believe is that people will appreciate simplicity. They will appreciate being able to provide feedback in an easy fashion where they don’t have to think about whether or not their sentiment for a company is a seven or a six. They can use colors. So we’ve created a color-coded dial and you just slide the color from red to green. If you dig the interaction put a little green in there. If you dig it a lot make it dark green. Not so much, you probably want to add a little yellow, maybe a little red if it was really a bad interaction.
And we ask the customer six questions, five about the customer experience and one about their likelihood to tell others, “Hey, this is how you should get it done.” That’s it. You answer those six questions, sliding the dial, and you’re in and you’re out. Done. You provided feedback, and you can update that feedback as often as you want. As a requester you can request feedback from your customers as often as you want.
Another thing we thought about was back to my experience with 3M and all the other companies is no one person is doing everything. This is a team job, but right now in many cases feedback from customers is hidden in most companies. It’s isolated to a department or an individual, and then sometimes that individual gets a group of people together like this in a conference room and says, “Check it out. Here’s how our customers feel about this.”
What we want to do is have employees be able to just, if they have access to an Internet they have access to customer feedback. So anytime they want to see what’s going on with the relationships that we have with our customers they go to getSayDo, they pull up their company. Bam and they see the results coming in. It’s about the trend.
Because it’s real time we’re looking at the trend over time. We don’t show individual feedback. We show feedback in aggregated form. So we’re allowing people to just get in there, get a quick view of hey, our business is trending in a healthy manner. We should stay the course with what we’re doing or maybe it’s just the opposite. But the way we designed is we just used a simple search bar, behavior that’s existed for years.
You just type in the name of the company you want to see and you either look at or provide feedback on the company. Plain and simple. Now the interesting thing with this is, like anything, we’re trying to change behaviors. The behavior to provide feedback and to look at feedback on say a restaurant or a plumber is, it’s well established and people are conditioned to do that, but the behavior to provide feedback for a CRM system that you’re using or to provide feedback for a marketing firm that you work with, that behavior doesn’t exist.
What happens if we have a poor experience and we no longer want to work with that vendor we just kind of slowly cut them off. It’s the passive aggressive approach of, “Oh, I’m sorry. I haven’t been able to keep up with my emails,” or, “Let’s talk about this,” and pretty soon you look up and that business has moved to another provider hoping that that customer experience and the interactions are better, are more consistent.
So the behavior we have to instill within people is to provide the feedback but even more so to get businesses to actually listen, to just listen and then act and respond through actions, not words. So interestingly we launched two weeks ago and a lot of the people who want to request feedback are asking us, “How do I respond? Where in your system am I allowed to type a response when I get unfavorable feedback?”
And our response is, “That’s not what this platform is designed for. It’s designed for you to listen.” And they said, “Well, you’re leaving me gap. I need to respond when I have unfavorable feedback.” And I’m trying to find a constructive way to help them understand what we’re trying to do, but I’m always thinking about the approach that I take to managing brands and that is if we want people to believe that we’re going to get better then it’s through actions that we change it.
So if someone has a poor experience with us the objective is to listen to it and say what can we do as a team to make sure that the next customer doesn’t have an interaction that’s poor like that? And in time, if you’re able to address poor feedback, you should see the experiences and how people talk about those situations improve and you’ve responded. I think about sites like TripAdvisor where you go in there and you look at reviews about a hotel and you see someone who has had a bad experience. Right after that you’ll see the hotel manager jump on there and start typing a lot of excuses.
“Sorry this happened, but blah blah blah blah.” It doesn’t change the fact that the customer had a poor interaction. If anything, it probably incenses that individual that your choice to respond is to tell me your excuses as to why I had the experience I had as opposed to coming back and saying, “Look at how our other customers are feeling. We listened, and we’ve adjusted, and we’ve evolved our approach.”
So there’s a huge opportunity, but there are hurdles to get people to understand and embrace that opportunity. So that’s one of our hurdles that we have to work over, but the bigger hurdle is fear. So all feedback on getSayDo is available for any and every one to view. It’s all transparent. It’s an open platform. There is no this is ExactTarget’s data. This is Salesforce.com’s data. It’s all out there.
You just type in a name and if someone has provided feedback it’s visible to everyone, and then the way the payment model works is if you want to see more detail on the drivers of that resulting overall health score number then you can pay for that expanded view. So two targets: people who provide feedback and people who request feedback and they both can view it.
The people who provide feedback, their number one angst is will they know it’s me. And when we first started to get the questions Michael and I were kind of scratching our heads like who is they? And then as we got more feedback we started to understand who they is. On the requester side it was why does my information have to be out there open in the public? And we actually had some people who were interested and they kept asking, “Can you just put a curtain up for our data?
I think this is really cool what you’re doing, but for our data let’s work something out where we can put a curtain up.” It’s like, “Okay. Thanks for feedback. No, we can’t do that.” But on both sides, when you think about it, at the root of fear anytime it’s about the sharing of information that you don’t want to share the root of fear are politics. The business world is just way too bureaucratic. It’s so political. No one shoots straight.
Everyone is always posturing and positioning as opposed to saying how they really feel. If that wasn’t the case then the people who could provide feedback would not hit us up and say, “Will they know it’s me?” That infers that you’re going to say something different than what you normally would say which says that there’s a huge need for a platform that allows people to feel confident that they can shoot straight without any type of ramification like, “Oh, my gosh. I just put it out there and they know it’s me. Our relationship is damaged.”
On the requesters side there would be no hesitation to their reputation being out there. It would be, “Oh, great. Thanks for giving me a way to put a representative view of who we are.” Because right now what happens is we reach out to someone we know. “Hey, have you worked for this company?” “Yeah.” “What’d you think?” “Oh, yeah.” “Okay, thanks. I need to keep looking.”
What if that person had interacted with maybe a few yellow faces but the organization really has a lot of green faces. I just moved on and I didn’t work with that organization because I got feedback from one individual. Maybe this company has 400 customers and I’m operating off of one person’s feedback. There’s the glass half empty and then there’s the glass half full approach.
The glass half full says I want a representative sample of my company’s reputation out there so that people can make informed decisions, but politics are making people fearful of the transparency and the openness that we’re trying to create. So to the politics, we say puck him. That’s our approach. That’s our motivation. It’s can we create a way for more people to feel comfortable just saying how they feel? Yes?
Tell me more. I want to make sure I understand your question. How long does it take for –
So you do. I’m going to put my wife on the spot here. She’s looking at me bug eyes like what are you doing? So my wife works with a lot of vendors, and I said, “Babe, when we launch let’s put a list together of all the companies you can go out there and [inaudible], all the companies that you can provide feedback on.” She’s like, “All right, all right.” So she went through and she started providing her feedback.
And it was an interesting story. There were several companies and most of them their scores – the scale is from 1 to 100 – most of the scores for the companies she provided feedback on varied between 52 on the low end and 64 on the high end, but then there was this one company that had a 91. Bam. Whoa. “Babe, what was that all about?” To which she said, “It is what it is. The rest are just somewhat okay, but this one vendor, they’re a rock star.”
So for everyone else that sees that rock star’s feedback and actually agrees, their willingness to allow their voices to be heard helps that business grow because now that business has a platform where more people could see. If I’m looking for a player in that vendor’s space, here’s one. I didn’t even know. So, yeah. There is that need for us to be bold, to be brave, to step out and say, “You guys are 50s to 60s, but you rock.”
Imagine if that vendor that she gave a 91 gets more business because of this. Now they have more resources to provide probably 95, 96 level services as opposed to 91 because they were given that opportunity. So there are some risks there in terms of exposure, but I say the reward far outweighs it. I respectfully disagree. So let’s take the lowest of that group, the business that got the 52.
Maybe they need a wakeup call. Maybe the hatchet is coming in seven months and they have no idea because the discussion when we see them in person is, “Hey. How’s it going? Yeah, come on in. We’re in this conference room right here.” “That’s good. I love the work.” “Cool. I got it done. Thanks. We’ll walk you out.” “How are we doing on finding a replacement for these guys?” They have no idea, but if I have visibility that there could be some issues, the numbers could be lower than I thought they were, it may be the motivation that sparks discussion, debate, and action around thinking and behaving differently on how we manage our businesses.
I had it for our consulting business. We got a score and it was a good score, but it wasn’t to my liking. I want 100. It wasn’t 100 and it made me hungry like I’ve got to dig in and figure out how to get that bad boy up. We’ve got to provide better service as management consultants because we don’t have 100s across the board. So it’s a win-win for me.
This is like a – I always talk about it as this is a rising tide, and the transparency within this tide is going to lift all deserving boats, and for those that aren’t deserving, some of them are actually going to listen and earn the right to deserve to be lifted with the rest of the boats. That’s going to be pretty cool. That’s great for business. That’s great for the economy. That’s a stimulus.
When people are rocking, rolling, they’re hiring. When they’re hiring they’re spending, and when they’re spending, guess what? More people have money in their pockets to go out and spend. We’re slower because of politics. I firmly believe that. I firmly believe that. I had one person tell me, “Lawrence, I don’t have an issue of feedback. I have an issue of politics. I have a political issue.”
And I’m like, “Wow.” He’s like, “If I get this done, if I start getting this feedback, I can knock down all types of barriers.” That’s awesome. So, yes, there is fear, but I think we should step out and overcome it. Any other thoughts? Any other questions?
Question: [Inaudible] client challenge within your particular application where incentivizing everybody to give feedback because I believe that people are more likely to provide feedback when they’ve had a negative feedback, or they’re frustrated, or upset, or angry rather than when things are going great.
I agree the way feedback currently works. On our platform our member firms can actually request feedback from their customer base. So right now – let me step back a minute and think about my past experiences. When you work inside of a business and you want to get feedback you get your customer list together, if you have one, that has some integrity and you hand it over to a market research firm and then they reach out.
And the response rate can vary somewhere between two to five percent and it’s coming from that third party. My hypothesis, and we’ll see if this is right, but my hypothesis is when a company reaches out to you, the customer, and says, “We are using this third party to enable you to provide us feedback that we can see but we don’t know that your name is attached to it,” I think there’s a liberating aspect to it that will encourage more people.
And I think there is a balance. I think there are people who want to give those companies a praise but they don’t have the means to do it, and then I think there are those who want to poo poo, which is okay, because it’s transparent and it’s aggregated. So unlike sites where you’ve got the poo poo guys, your stuff gets weeded, meshed in there with all the good stuff and it all balances out. That’s my hope. We’ll find out if there’s validity to that and if it actually plans out that way.
Thus far, if you look on the site at those organizations that have received feedback, there’s a lot more positive feedback than there is negative, and I’m just judging that on there’s a lot more green being shared than there is red. There’s some red, and some orange, and some yellow, but there’s a lot more green which is cool.
Question: So thinking about your software, so you talk about being able to change and that’s important because that’s what you’re actually in the end trying to do. So do people’s overall scores change? Is this like a moving scale then to solve that problem so that people can improve?
That’s a great question and it was tough to actually deliver on this feature. We maintain a lifetime trend for every company that receives feedback, and as a paying member you can see your lifetime trend across all six dimensions, your total SayDo score, and then you also can compare and contrast that lifetime trend to your most recent quarter of feedback. So your quarterly feedbacks, typical Q1, 2, 3, 4 is there for you to visit, to see. Your lifetime trend is there as well, and then you can see a comparison of your score to the industry in which people say I would place you in this industry that you compete in.
So you’re able to look at let’s say one of the dimensions is deliver my expectations. You’re able to see, if you’re placed in the technology industry, to what degree is your feedback around delivering expectations. How does that compare to all technology companies? So there are just – what we’re trying to do is provide that quick dashboard that allows people to just say how are we doing, and within that where do strengths and opportunities exist that we can leverage, and where do risks exist where we probably need to rally around and maybe do a deeper dive?
And that’s when real research kicks in. That could be qualitative. That could be quantitative, but instead of spending your research dollars trying to figure out where issues may exist or trying to figure out what it is that makes you magical to the marketplace, you can leverage getSayDo to bam, figure it out right away and listen to the customer’s voice and see if that stays the same over time. I think it’s pretty cool.
Question: I think it’s pretty cool, too. So congratulations to you and Michael, but one of the things that you mentioned in your last answer that is true for this business and also we saw it in the business we previously discussed is the real-time piece, and I think that’s a big part of the value prop for both organizations, the fact that you don’t have to wait to get information from people. If you’re in the middle of working on something and you want to know, hey, what are our numbers looking like for x, y, and z you wouldn’t have to email someone and wait for them to provide you with that information. You also wouldn’t have to wonder if they cooked the numbers, if you will. And then another piece, and I probably have this perspective because I definitely consider myself among the righteous but not self-righteous, but I think that this could be a wonderful tool for increasing supplier diversity at organizations. I work in the corporate responsibility realm and that’s a big area of focus for us. So I think that this could be a really good driver for driving new business and for diverse suppliers such as many of you in the room.
I married up.
Question: How are you doing? I think it’s cool, too. You kind of talked about the trending on the company side. What about the trending for the person looking at the data? How do they know that the market they’re at is trending up or down?
I’m going to play this back and make sure I’m hearing you right. So as an individual providing feedback what’s my trend for the various companies that I’m providing feedback on? That’s pretty sweet. Not a feature at launch, but definitely one of those that we probably want to keep in mind. It is cool because there are so many possibilities if you ask the right questions, and I believe we are asking the right short set of questions and there are so many possibilities with them.
The big opportunity is for us to roll out those features, those benefits that the active users really embrace. So I listen to that and I hear that may be a way to drive ongoing engagement on the feedback provider side is by providing people with the ability to have visibility to how they feel about the businesses that they work with and have that snapshot view over time. I think that’s awesome. I didn’t think about that. I don’t know about you, Michael. We’ll put it in there with the other 167 next-gen features that we have a running list on.
Question: So how that kind of coexist with your [inaudible] that feedback givers will remain anonymous? See, if they remain anonymous you don’t know who they are. So how do you keep track of them?
So where I was going was thinking that there’s a login feature. So you log in and with your logged in view there’s a dashboard. So the only way that you’re gonna, that the dashboard is gonna come up is if it’s tied to your user login. For themselves, though. So you provide feedback, right? You’re a registered user and then you log in.
And so right now you can click on – your homepage says, “Do you want to provide? Do you want to request, or do you want to view?” In that view feature what I’m thinking about is are you thinking to view feedback on other organizations or are you looking to view your activity, your feedback activity and then you’re taken to that view around, what’s your name, around what Ed said which that would be pretty cool.
Now we started to create. We’re maintaining the aggregation and the anonymity, but we’re creating visibility on both ends. That would be pretty sweet.
It works like that, yeah. You’ll have the link. So you can up –
Maybe someone else will come out with a competing product that will do that, and we’ll love it. That’s a great PR battle to go and leverage.
Question: I was just wondering as far as the feedback that you get, the six things, is it anything to do with the individual that’s actually providing service to the connection to the [inaudible]?
So a couple of things. We went with the thought of that standardization brings value. So the six questions are fixed. They do not change. Some people may not like that. You’re not our target. The people who provide the feedback, we ask them to create profiles and within that profile we’re asking what industry do you work in? I work in health care. What function do you work in? I work in marketing.
At what level within the organization are you? I am a front line leader. In what state are you located? I’m located in Kentucky. That information is shared publicly tied to all feedback provided. Your name, the company you work at, and your e-mail, not shared. The only person who’s going to see that is you and if you forget your login you have to request a new one to login and you can update that.
So if you move around, your roles change, you can go in and update your profile, and then that data, in combination with answers to those six questions, allows for a lot of cross tabs that the actual user themselves can [inaudible].
Question: But nothing about the individual that they’re interacting with within the company? So the green faces and the red faces and the orange face.
At this stage it’s about total company. So I like to use, we work with Taft. So Taft is one of the law firms here for those who may not know. Right now we’re collecting feedback for Taft, the law firm. In time we want to create the ability for you to either provide feedback for Taft as well as for Taft NNA as well as for Taft, you just go through all the different practice areas and you start to have a pretty tight picture of within the total company and at the specific practice level.
But, no, we’re not going to go to attorney Jane Doe. That’s not the challenge right now. There is a challenge there that my wife and I have talked about without giving the card away. If we’re able to achieve success on this then there’s a huge opportunity for us to leverage some of the IP for individual working relationships on down the line.
Question: To rate each email. That would be awesome.
Question: So I love what you’re doing and I think the feedback thing is so, so important. With today and the world of online reviews and that sort of thing that I think have become less credible over time, is there anything that you’re worried about for the long-term credibility or people misusing this tool by sending it out to all the friends and family saying, “Give me a high score.”
So another great question and one that it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out. We have strong opinions and perspectives about what we believe will work. Our corporate experience tells us that integrity of data will be very important. So we made the decision to say we’re only going to allow you to provide feedback if you provide your work email address. So if try and enter a Google email, or a Yahoo, or a Hotmail it’s going to say, “Hey, hold up there. We need your work email. This email address is not accepted.”
And our thinking is not too many businesses out there are offering their employees seven different email handles where they could use those to game systems like ours. But you can create 50 Gmail emails if you want and use that to game the system. So that’s our attempt at start to maintain integrity of data. The other thing is with that request feature enabling companies to upload their customer contact list that further drives the integrity.
So we’ll need to see how it plays out, and in the world of startups you listen to your customers and you adjust. I’m going to be hard pressed to make a change on that right now just because I don’t want to have that system. While Yelp is cool, that aspect of who is this voice, it becomes kind of dicey, particularly when we’re talking business here. This is a business context. That’s our focus. We want to make sure that people feel good about the results that are coming in.
Question: I’m going to take a second. So taking a step back and looking at [inaudible], the B2B world hasn’t had to put up with this kind of feedback, if that makes sense, because you’ve had Yelp and you’ve had all these other online review systems for consumer goods for a long time. So they’ve had to develop systems on how to reply, and how to respond, and how do all these things. So I think that’s part of the pushback you might be getting is because businesses are like, “We’ve never had to deal with that before. So with that, is one of the next steps is it going to be teaching these companies now, “Okay, now that you’ve got a score, what do I do?”
So thank you. I love that tee up. Our consulting practice that existed long before getSayDo is designed to advise and direct organizations on how to navigate these waters. So in time we will have the ability to build out an advisory practice. Think of the J. D. Powers model. That’s how it works. They get that high level view and then they utilize their insight from an advisory standpoint in years of practice and understanding the data to advise organizations on how to improve their overall reputation within the spaces that they monitor and that sort of thing.
That model has existed for quite some time, and we believe that there’s definitely an opportunity, but our first priority is on proving out this concept, proving out that people want to be heard, and that people want to listen, and that in time will create a powerful foundation for us to do a lot of great things including advisory and counsel and what to do about it.
Question: I think it’s pretty cool, too. One thing that I think you didn’t touch on that just having used the platform that I really have found useful is the idea that it is only six questions. So I have provided some ratings when it went and launched, being married to Michael, and I did it not just because life was going to go easier at home if I did. But also I actually, the same similar day right after launch, I got an email from one of my vendors asking me to do a survey.
And I clicked on the link and it was 12 questions long. It was two pages, and it was a 1 through 5 scale, and I was like I’m not reading this and just deleted this. Whereas this one was easier. I saw all six questions right away. I knew I was going to be done, and I was going to be in and out. So that was something that I think is a highlight.
It is. I would appreciate if everyone checked it out. In the spirit of transparency, the mobile experience leaves something to be desired. The tablet experience is pretty sweet, and the laptop desktop experience, that’s where the real experience is enjoyable. In time, we subscribe to the notion that what we’re going to do tomorrow is going to be way better than what we did yesterday. So all experiences across all platforms will improve, but the life of a bootstrap startup you have to make some sacrifices.
Question: [Inaudible] related to the feature of the system, for a startup and the name or the website is pretty important, kind of your domain names, and I maybe just for lack of English skills, I don’t know. When I look at the URL I don’t know what it does. GetSayDo, so as just a regular user or regular customer I don’t really know what it means. But on the other hand, theirs, YourKidsDay is some word you know is related to child care. So can you explain why you choose this name and what’s the [inaudible]?
So the name is how do I get those companies to actually do what they say they can? Back to execute as promised. Not everyone does it, but some execute as promised better than others. The design of the site, again, making some strong perspectives and biases. When you arrive at the website it’s just a search bar and the caption provide and view feedback on businesses you’ve worked with and there’s a search bar. And while we’re not providing a bunch of look how great this could be for you, we are getting right to the point of what it is you can do.
This isn’t about us and what we’ve built. This is about people who want to be heard. So let’s get them right to them. Right now we take for granted when we go to Google and just type in what we are looking for in a search bar, we take that behavior for granted. When they first started everyone attacked them and told them they’re crazy for not providing all of garble on the site that Netscape was doing. Where are they now?
There are other – Twitter. When you look at Twitter everybody said that they were crazy for the character limitation and the short messaging. Who wants to do that? And their IPO was crazy. I’m not trying to put us on the stage with them because we’re just getting started and they’re rock stars in my eyes, but I do believe that sometimes if you have conviction and belief that there’s a certain way of behaving that will delight people and make life for them better. For us it’s about an enjoyable work life.
We think that lesson is more and that in time, while it may seem new and different right now, downstream people will appreciate the simplicity and it will be – one of the first words that rolls out people’s mouths following the word getSayDo: simplicity, easy, right now. That’s what we’re going for. So we’ll see, again, how it works out.
I appreciate all of the questions. It’s been really awesome. I’m gonna hang around and I’d love to chat it up.sd So I’m here, and if you guys want to chop it up with me and kick the tires, let’s do it and thank you, again, for giving me the opportunity to share ability my passion. A couple of take [inaudible] over there just in terms of quick reference and there’s a Word document. It’s a one-pager.
One of the specific things you do to execute as promised, all those step one, two, threes. I didn’t want to do that today. I wanted you guys to actually understand our vision and our thinking and then the quick reference guide is over there. Y’all can read it. So thanks a lot. [Applause]