Creating Superfans Podcast Episode 207: Jay Baer

Creating Superfans Podcast Episode 207: How Speed Creates A Competitive Advantage in Customer Experience with guest Jay Baer

In honor of Customer Experience Day (10/3), I’m thrilled to be joined by my good friend, and fellow CX expert, Jay Baer. Jay is a Hall of Fame speaker, New York Times best-selling author of 7 business books, founder of 5 multi-million dollar companies,  and a trusted business growth advisor to 40 of the FORTUNE 500 brands.

In today’s episode, Jay and I chat about his new book, “The Time to Win,” and why speed and responsiveness are crucial for succeeding in today’s experience economy. Jay explains why EVERY business needs a ‘fast pass,’ how to close the uncertainty gap with your customers, and the complex correlation between speed and trust.

listen to the Episode

show notes

4:30 – Jay talks about his love for Tequila and how he has become a Tequila influencer on Instagram
6:05 – The intentional design of Jay’s new book, “The Time to Win”
8:51– When you lose out on speed, it’s often invisible
9:52 – Why customers perceive responsiveness as a sign of respect
10:55 – How businesses end up ruining their profit margins when they’re too slow
12:54 – How speed contributes to the emotional connection your customers have with your brand
16:07 – Jay explains the Goldilocks Zone of speed
17:25 – Why being too fast can decay trust
21:35 – Why every business should offer a ‘fast pass’ option
25:54 – Expectations about time are more important than speed itself
28:04 – Jay shares his experience of ordering leather sneakers online and how the company exceeded his expectations
30:16 – The big mistake a sofa company made that completely eroded Jay’s trust
35:13 – Do NOT overpromise on speed
36:07 – Brittany shares her experience at BNA airport and the problem with inaccurate signage
39:02 – A brand that Jay is a superfan of


Brittany Hodak [00:00:03]:

Hello, and welcome to the Creating Super Fans podcast where you learn how to turn your customers and employees into superfans. I’m your host, Brittany Hodak, and I’m a speaker, author, and entrepreneur obsessed with all things customer experience. Here’s the thing. We’re living in an experienced economy right now, and regardless of the size or age of your company or even the products or services you’re selling, one thing’s for sure. If your customers aren’t telling their friends about you, you’re in trouble. If you wanna create super fans, being great is no longer good enough. You’ve got to be super. This is the show that teaches you how.

Brittany Hodak [00:00:48]:

My guest today is Jay Baer. He’s a 7th generation entrepreneur, the New York Times best selling author of 6 books, and the founder of 5 multimillion dollar businesses. He’s a business growth and customer experience expert and researcher and is advised more than 700 companies, including 40 of the Fortune 500 brands. Not to brag, But he’s also an inductee into the professional speaking hall of fame and has twice been named a global guru in marketing and customer experience. He’s also the 2nd most popular tequila influencer in the world and one of my very favorite people. Today, we’re talking about his brand new mini book, The Time to Win and What You Need to Know TO Win Customer Experience in the world today. This is a fun episode that’s gonna cover a lot, so buckle up. We’ll get started right after a word from today’s sponsor.

Brittany Hodak [00:01:46]:

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Brittany Hodak [00:02:45]:

Jay, thank you so much for coming on the

Jay Baer [00:02:48]:

show. So great to be here. It is always a joy to spend time with you. You’re always so happy, and that makes me

Brittany Hodak [00:02:55]:

Well, thank you, my friend. How can I not be happy when I get to hang out with the legend that is Jay Baer? You have so much Going on, you’ve got your entrepreneurship business, you’re a brilliant speaker and author, and now you’re a tequila influencer? What is that? Where did that come from and where do you find the

Jay Baer [00:03:16]:

time? Well, I, I found the time when I sold my, my, strategy firm a couple years ago. I used to record a podcast every week and I did for 10 years called The Social Pros Podcast. And as you know, podcasts do have some time associated with creating them. And so when I stopped running the show, the show still exists. I’m just not on the microphone. I thought, oh, well, I should take the time that I used to spend on the podcast and I could Use that time to maybe, just maybe, educate people about some of what I have learned about tequila over the 25 years or so that I’ve been a tequila fan and Suddenly learning more about tequila and going to Mexico and all that kind of thing. And I’m like, well, let’s just try that. And at the same time, I thought, you know, I’ve made content in a lot of formats.

Jay Baer [00:03:58]:

I’ve written books and LinkedIn and YouTube and etcetera, etcetera, podcasts, obviously. But I’ve never really done any short form content. Right? I’ve never really done, like, oh, can you communicate this in a minute? So I’m like, let’s try Instagram and TikTok because I didn’t know much about those and I did. And so now I have, 5 videos a week about tequila on Instagram and TikTok and And here we are, and I have way, way too much tequila in my house. The UPS guy is like, bro, knock it off.

Brittany Hodak [00:04:27]:

So you live in Indiana. Are there laws that you run into with, like, shipping in tequila from out of state and other places, or can you pretty much do whatever you want in

Jay Baer [00:04:36]:

terms of your situation? Question. You know, because spirits is such a hard business. Every state’s licensing is essentially like a separate country. So to be in 50 states is like working with 50 countries. Indiana is fortunately not one of the states that has particularly arduous laws. So, I can get most things shipped here. But because Indiana is not what you would consider to be a huge tequila consumption state, too far from the border and and whatever, Most of the tequilas that I would want to purchase, I do get online through e commerce because there’s just not a lot of great brands Distributed in Indiana, but it’s not a regulatory issue. It’s just, tequila’s not that big in Indiana yet.

Brittany Hodak [00:05:22]:

Well, just wait. I’m sure I’m sure

Jay Baer [00:05:23]:

you’re gonna be I mean, I’m doing my part for

Brittany Hodak [00:05:27]:

sure. Well, I would love to talk about, for the entire time, but there’s something equally as interesting and perhaps even more beneficial for the listeners, and that is your brand new book It’s out called the time to win. Now one of the things that I love about this book, I’ve I’ve read, I think, every book you’ve ever written. Maybe maybe 1 or 2 of the earlier ones I I I haven’t I haven’t gotten, but but, I mean, you’re a brilliant author. And what I love about this book, is that you said, I’m writing a book about why speed is important, and I’m gonna make it quick to read. Very, very, very on theme.

Jay Baer [00:06:05]:

It is. It you can read this whole book in an hour, less than an hour. It’s like 50 pages. The hard copy is very small. You can fit it in your shirt pocket. And that was also intentional. Portable books. I’m like, interesting.

Jay Baer [00:06:17]:

So, yeah, I just look, I’ve written 6 full length business books before and I sat down to write this one. I was like, I can’t do it. I can’t do it, man. Like I can’t make you spend 6 hours reading a book about speed. It just doesn’t make any sense. So, like, I gotta follow my own advice here. If I’m gonna say That the thesis of the book is that time is more important than ever. The thesis of the book is that speed is as important as price.

Jay Baer [00:06:42]:

I’ve gotta actually follow that that council and make a book that people can, consume very quickly, and so I have. And so far, Britney, people really dig it. They’re like, yeah. I mean, look, most business books don’t get read. I’m mature enough to admit that. Yours, they read because your book is incredible. But most business books, people just skim. Them’s the facts.

Jay Baer [00:07:06]:

So I thought, well, look. The fact is most people just skim it. So I’m just gonna take all that out and make it short enough that you have to read it, and there you

Brittany Hodak [00:07:13]:

go. Well, thank you for the very kind words about creating Super

Jay Baer [00:07:17]:

Fans. I so good.

Brittany Hodak [00:07:18]:

When I put when when I put that book together, and it took me a long time to write the book, I also wanted to be very intentional. So I thought if I’m writing a book about customer experience, the experience of reading it has to feel different. That’s why there are colors. That’s why there are so many funny jokes and musical references and things like that. And You you did a much better job of articulating that that concept of of, making the book a proof point of the concept that you’re talking about with the time to win. And, it’s an absolutely brilliant book. I recommend it to to anyone. The truth is if you are running a business and you do not have an hour to learn how to make more money.

Brittany Hodak [00:07:53]:

Your business is

Jay Baer [00:07:55]:

doomed. You probably shouldn’t be running a business. Yeah.

Brittany Hodak [00:07:57]:

Yes. Yeah. Ex exactly. If you don’t have an hour to read this book, you should not be running your business. One of the things that you talk about toward the beginning of the book is, I think, one of the, most enlightening for people. And that is this idea that when you lose on time, when you lose on responsiveness, It’s invisible. I forget the words exactly you use in the book, but, you you may think that you’re losing on price, and you may drop your price. So you’re almost losing twice or or or more if it’s compounded because you think, oh, I didn’t get that.

Brittany Hodak [00:08:31]:

Maybe someone else under cut me, and you drop your price when in reality, it could have been responsiveness. And you just don’t know because those customers who don’t hire you, 99.9% of the time aren’t coming back and telling you why they didn’t hire you, especially if it’s because you aren’t the fastest. So I’d love for you to talk a little bit about this principle of why it’s so, so important across the

Jay Baer [00:08:51]:

board. It’s, it’s tricky. There’s no, there’s no spreadsheet that you can conjure, that says lost because we were too slow. It just doesn’t exist. Right? And so The the example I sometimes use, in presentations now is I got my house painted. 1st painter called me back in 4 hours. It’s like I can’t paint your house today, obviously. I I can’t even give you an estimate today, Jay, obviously.

Jay Baer [00:09:16]:

But based on your voice mail, here’s kinda sorta what I think it would cost and here’s kinda sorta when I think I can paint it. Cool. 2nd painter, called me in 2 days. 3rd painter called me in 11 days, at which point the house had already been painted. So didn’t get the business. I hired the first one even though they were the most expensive, and that’s not uncommon because 50%, five 0%, of customers will hire whomever contacts them first regardless of price. Half. Why?

Brittany Hodak [00:09:49]:

Half, which is a crazy statistic.

Jay Baer [00:09:52]:

So here’s an idea. Just be first. Why is this the case? Well, it’s because we live in an era now where we interpret speed as caring And we interpret responsiveness as respect. So if somebody is responsive, we’re like, well, they’re they Care about me and my time and my well-being. This is going to be a good business relationship. But painter 2 and painter 3, whom I did not hire, Just as you said, Britney, they think they lost on price. The natural reaction is we always think it’s price. It’s almost never price.

Jay Baer [00:10:27]:

I’ve been doing this for 30 years. It’s almost never price. We tell ourselves it’s price because that’s The easiest story for us to absorb

Brittany Hodak [00:10:36]:

ourselves. Well, and

Jay Baer [00:10:37]:

if you don’t wanna

Brittany Hodak [00:10:38]:

feel better because they’re making it go with price. It’s not me.

Jay Baer [00:10:41]:

Of course. Yeah. They’re dumb. They’re just willing to do it for less. They’re crazy. As opposed to the actual truth, which is they run a better business. They have a operation scheme that allows them to be faster. We don’t want to tell ourselves that story.

Jay Baer [00:10:55]:

So you drop your price, still don’t get hired. Drop your price again, still don’t get hired. It’s only on the 4th competitive bid situation where you’ve given away all of your profit, then you get hired. Because for me and for you, Britney, for Everybody tuning in, we all have a tipping point. We all have this point where we’re like, man, it took this painter 11 days to even respond to my initial inquiry. But they are So much less expensive than the alternatives who called me back right away. I just gotta roll the dice. I am probably going to regret this.

Jay Baer [00:11:36]:

This is most likely going to be an uncomfortable, unsmooth business relationship. But, I mean, come on. Yeah. They’re giving it they’re giving it away.

Brittany Hodak [00:11:47]:

Right? Yeah.

Jay Baer [00:11:48]:

Exactly. Everybody’s got that point. But if that’s the point when you get hired, You don’t have any margin left in your business. And as you started off saying, the insidious part, the scary part, the dangerous part for businesses is you never see it coming. There’s no reports. There’s no spreadsheet. There’s no evidence. There’s no data.

Jay Baer [00:12:08]:

You just corkscrew yourself into the ground Because you’re giving away margin, but you never get any faster.

Brittany Hodak [00:12:15]:

And because it takes until you get to that 4th attempt to where you win the business, You might say to yourself, oh, I’ve gotta sell house painting for this price. Mhmm. And now you’ve cut yourself into the ground not just for that one job, but Perhaps for many, many

Jay Baer [00:12:29]:

jobs moving

Brittany Hodak [00:12:30]:

forward. And we know I mean, you and I know because we we study this. We talk about this all the time, but I think the most recent number I’ve seen from PricewaterhouseCoopers, study is that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for the exact same product or service if they know they’re going to have a great experience. And that great experience begins with that responsiveness that you talked about because we equate that responsiveness to respect.

Jay Baer [00:12:54]:

Yeah. And it’s, and it’s very emotional. Like one of the things that I talk about some in the book, but even more so in the research report that powers the book is the actual sort of feelings that customers have and emotions when businesses are either Faster or slower than they expect and anticipate. Right? And and they are words like respect and caring and loyalty and love. Right? It’s it’s deep, emotionally resonant feelings that either come or go based on whether or not you are faster or slower than that particular customer thinks you should

Brittany Hodak [00:13:31]:

be. Alright. Well, Jade, why does it take an hour for me to read the book? You just Told me that if you’re fast, you’re gonna win. So the answer must be be as fast as possible at all cost all the time. Right?

Jay Baer [00:13:44]:

It’s generally true that you should probably be faster than you are today in most cases. Okay. Because customers, and we demonstrate this in the research, customers have elevated speed and responsiveness on their list of priorities. It is at the top or very near the top of things that we care about as customers.

Brittany Hodak [00:14:09]:

Well and I think that’s gonna continue to compound because I think about I don’t know about you, Jay, but, like, when I was a kid, One of my favorite things to do was call time and temperature on the

Jay Baer [00:14:23]:

telephone, which

Brittany Hodak [00:14:23]:

was like a local bank, and it would tell you The time and the temperature. And I was fascinated, and I would do that several times a day. Now when my kids wanna know the time or the temperature or literally anything else, They just wonder the question aloud to the air around them. Yes. The air answers them back. Absolutely. Made them much more expected.

Jay Baer [00:14:44]:

Yeah. They just have a different a different that’s exactly right. It’s just a different expectation around what fast means. You know what, what satisfactory responsiveness means. I also feel like based on your anecdote that it is Possible that you should have been a meteorologist. I just wanna throw that out there for the

Brittany Hodak [00:15:05]:

show, to consider. I’ll I’ll I’ll take it into consideration for possible Well, career changes. Although up first is going to be astronaut, I had the insane privilege of going to a SpaceX NASA launched recently and decided that I’ve been doing the wrong thing with my life all these years. So I wouldn’t put it pass

Jay Baer [00:15:27]:

put it pass Because you are a dynamic force, but I feel like you’re getting a late start on the astronaut career. But, you know, who knows? Who knows? Yeah.

Brittany Hodak [00:15:35]:

We’ll say it’s maybe space tourist is a is a more reasonable expertise

Jay Baer [00:15:39]:

thing than the market. That’s it. Let’s do it. Let’s do it.

Brittany Hodak [00:15:41]:

Science knowledge.

Jay Baer [00:15:43]:

So you probably should be faster than you are because customers

Brittany Hodak [00:15:45]:

care about you. Are, and you probably should be faster than many of your competitors.

Jay Baer [00:15:49]:


Brittany Hodak [00:15:50]:

And yet, in the book, you talk about something called the Goldilocks zone. And I want you to elaborate on that because, you have proven through through research. And I think many of us know intuitively that fastest is not always best. So let’s talk about that and why that nuance is so important to understand stand for every single person

Jay Baer [00:16:07]:

listening. Yeah. So you should probably faster than you are, but you can be too fast. Right? Speed at all costs has a cost. My advice is not to just be as fast as you humanly possible or organizationally possible at all times. Because When you are too fast, it actually decays trust. So for example, Many folks out there are familiar with chatbots. Right? Maybe you even run a chatbot for your own website or your business, whatever.

Jay Baer [00:16:36]:

Well, Drift is a company that powers many of the chatbots in the world. Their chatbot has an intentional fake Three second delay because it’s all AI powered. Right? So you’re putting in your question about, hey, you know, what size pants do you offer or whatever. The second you hit submit, bam. It can conjure the answer literally in the blink of an eye. It’s an AI tool. Right? It already has the answer while you’re typing the question. There is no practical delay.

Jay Baer [00:17:08]:

But when that happens, when they do it that way, customers are like, I don’t know, man. That was pretty fast. That feels like a robot. I don’t really trust that information. I don’t want no robot answering my pants question. To And we’re thinking

Brittany Hodak [00:17:23]:

in exactly that accent, so thank you for nailing up.

Jay Baer [00:17:25]:

I’m here to help. So what they do is they put in the faux ellipsis, to sort of make you think that some Person, omniscient bean is actually pondering the answer before spitting it back at you. And when that happens, people are like, Well, it must be true. They actually thought about it. You can see the dot mokin’ moving, so, obviously, they really, you know, considered the answer. The the difference in customer attitudes is unbelievable because when you are too fast, it decays trust. So what you want is what I call in the book the right now. The right now is the perfect amount of elapsed time in every customer scenario.

Jay Baer [00:18:12]:

It’s not too fast because they don’t trust it. And it’s certainly not too slow because you’re disrespecting them. So you want this Goldilocks zone, which is just right now. The hard part, Britney, is that the right now is very different for every business. Yeah. Yeah. You don’t have to If I’m gonna have a house

Brittany Hodak [00:18:32]:

build 71 song called Right Now, and then at the end, it says, You’re right now in 13 seconds. Exactly. That would be a cool if you could make it

Jay Baer [00:18:40]:

do that. I would love to do that. But the right now, if you’re building a house, is different than if you’re heating up a hot pocket. Right? It’s just not the same. Right? So, there are ways to figure it out for your business, what you what your right now is and should be, and you should absolutely work on that, and the book can show you how to do that. But that’s one of the key pieces to using speed and responsiveness as a distinct competitive advantage, which is, by the way, Why the book is called The Time to Win. Because customers have already elevated speed on their list of priorities. Most businesses have not.

Jay Baer [00:19:16]:

Some businesses will, and those businesses will gain more customers and keep more customers, and they will meaningfully Outperform their competition until their competition catches up in the area of speed. So everybody tuning in, you have a chance, You have an opportunity. You literally have a golden opportunity to build your business By making speed and responsiveness more important inside your organization. But you gotta do it now because in 3 years, Britney, this will be the Stupidest podcast episode ever. Why? Because everybody will have already done this. This is not going to be optional, guys. This is going to be required. Your customers will absolutely force you to do this

Brittany Hodak [00:20:04]:

eventually. If it’s me,

Jay Baer [00:20:06]:

do it now.

Brittany Hodak [00:20:07]:

Yeah. I was gonna say, like, if you start now, you have a 3 year advantage forever. So you won’t be struggling 3 years from now saying, Oh, what are these chatbots about? Or how can I start to put some of this AI stuff in place? You have to start now if you wanna continue to be competitive because there are, you know, exponential differences that will play out over the next couple of

Jay Baer [00:20:30]:

decades. 2 thirds of customers Say that speed is as important as price. 2 thirds. Knowing that, shouldn’t you Elevate speed on the list of priorities in your organization? I think you

Brittany Hodak [00:20:42]:

should. I think you should. And, you know, you talk about that right now, and you offer a really fantastic framework that is 6 steps, I believe. One of the ones that I love that resonated with me because this is something that I always opt for when possible is that you should offer a

Jay Baer [00:20:56]:

fast pass.

Brittany Hodak [00:20:56]:

So even if you can’t make everything faster for all of your customers, you owe it to your customers and you owe it to your bottom line to offer an opportunity for people to pay more for the privilege of skipping the line. And your research found that 1 in 4 customers are willing to pay up to 50% more to just not wait. And you gave a fantastic example in the book, about being in Las Vegas and what that meant to the bottom line of a casino hotel. I would love for you to share that example and talk more about this FastPass idea and why it’s so critical, not just for customer experience, but also for profit margin that’s just sitting there for the

Jay Baer [00:21:35]:

taking. You nailed it. I mean, one of the things that I like best about this principle is it may have some costs associated with The premise of getting faster. So if you’re if you’re a painter and you’re typically the 2 or 11 day response person, And now Jay and Britney are saying that I need to respond the same day. Well, I might need to hire somebody or change some processes or get some technology to allow me to do that. Well, where’s that money gonna come from? Here’s where it comes from: is in the Fastpass. So we have Fastpasses around us increasingly. TSA Pre is a Fastpass.

Jay Baer [00:22:08]:

You pay more, you wait less. Clear is a better version of a Fastpass. Pay even more, wait even less, etcetera. Disney has one now. I think it’s called Genie Plus now, I I think what they call it.

Brittany Hodak [00:22:18]:

It is. Where you Every every every amusement park, every game park has 1. Yes.

Jay Baer [00:22:21]:

Yeah. We you pay more, and you go to the front of the line. Right? Whatever. But that can happen in your business too. And I don’t care if you’re a dog walker, a chiropractor, you own a preschool, you own an Arby’s, You’re a b to b software manufacturer. It does not matter. You can and should offer a fast pass. You just say It costs this much more to be next in line.

Jay Baer [00:22:45]:

Right? Instead of pulling the number in the deli and it says 62, your number says 1 And you can charge a bunch of money. So at in Vegas, I was there, at Caesars and they said, oh, Mr. Baer, it’s 2:30. Welcome. As you remember, check-in time is 4. So you can come back at 4 And we’ll give you your keys or see what we can do about that. Meanwhile, go in the casino and lose as much money as you’d like. Or Another option, if you give us $30 right now, in addition to what you’re already paying for the room, we’ll give you keys.

Jay Baer [00:23:25]:

Would you like to do that? And I knew I would lose more than $30 in 90 minutes for sure. So I was like, yeah, this is a no brainer. So they sold me the keys, And I get into the room, and Caesars is a consulting client of mine in the past, so I know some people there, and we kind of did some back of napkin calculations. It’s still in pilot, for them. $1,800,000 this year, pure profit is the projection just for selling keys they already had.

Brittany Hodak [00:23:53]:

That’s incredible.

Jay Baer [00:23:55]:

Why would you not do this now? I want to give you a tip that’s not in the book. I had somebody when I was doing a program about this say, well, Jay, what how do we handle it? Because somebody was already going to be next up And now you’re gonna bump them down. Right? So you’ve gotta you’ve gotta take somebody who was gonna be 1st and now they’re 2nd, and how do you message that, and what if they get mad, da da da da. I said, well, they might not even know, but if they do and it’s a problem, here’s what you do. You charge 20% more, Fastpass, to move somebody to top of the line. Then you go to the person who was first, now they’re 2nd. Be like, hey. Terribly sorry something came up.

Jay Baer [00:24:32]:

Gonna be 3 days longer than we told you, but we have found a way to give you a 5% discount. FastPass person’s psyched. 5% discount person is psyched. You keep 15% off the top. Tada. This now pays for your entire initiative around speed and responsiveness.

Brittany Hodak [00:24:52]:

I believe that is what they call a win win win.

Jay Baer [00:24:55]:

Indeed. Which happens pretty rarely.

Brittany Hodak [00:24:58]:

Well, I love that idea. I think it’s something everybody should think about. What what does the fast pass in your business look like? How can you work this into not just what you’re doing, but what but what everyone on your team is doing. There is 1 more, thing that I wanna talk about when we’re talking about the rot right now Just because I I love the way that you articulated this. You talked about the uncertainty gaps that exist, especially around what expectations are when when they’re unmet. And something that I wrote down that I just loved the way that you said this, uncertainty elongates our perception of elapsed time. Uncertainty elongates our perception of elapsed time, and every single person who has ever called into a help center, every single person who has ever been waiting at a restaurant for a table without knowing how long it’s going to take has felt and experienced this. I would love for you to talk a little bit about it and why it is so important for businesses to get out ahead of this.

Jay Baer [00:25:54]:

I think the what I call the uncertainty gap, which is the difference between what you know about your business And what the customers know is, is maybe more important than actual speed itself because there really are 2 parallel trends here. 1, we care about time more than ever, Which is why the time to win is upon us. But we also tolerate an information vacuum less than ever. We are in a world now where most queries can be answered without a lot of of effort. Right? You said we’ve got, you know, digital devices and virtual assistants and you can just ask the question and someone will you know, a voice will appear and tell you the answer. So when we find ourselves in situations where we can’t know the information, it creates a lot of anxiety. And one thing I’ve learned in my long career is that anxiety Keeps people’s money in their pants. You want to remove anxiety.

Jay Baer [00:26:50]:

You want to remove anxiety from your customers wherever possible.

Brittany Hodak [00:26:54]:

So that they will remove the money from their pants.

Jay Baer [00:26:56]:

Yeah. And a lot of times what that means is you just have to over communicate or what feels like to you over communicating, but to them feels like a perfect amount of, of communicating. Because you know, when you call into, let’s say an airline, which I know you do a lot, Airlines will tell you we expect to answer your call in approximately x number of minutes. They do that because they’re trying to close the uncertainty gap. You’re still waiting, but there’s been a lot of customer psychology studies that prove this principle, that if you wait for 10 minutes versus if they tell you it’s gonna be 10 minutes and then it’s 10 minutes. The person who knew how long it was going to take, their view of that experience is manifestly better than the person who did not have a cue or a clue. They were just, like, staring into an abyss of unknowing. So the more that you can actually give your customers little cues along the way, the better they’ll be.

Jay Baer [00:28:02]:

Can I tell you a quick story about this?

Brittany Hodak [00:28:03]:

I would

Jay Baer [00:28:04]:

love to. This is this happened since the book was written. I bought some leather sneakers online, But as sometimes happens for me, I was drinking tequila while I was online shopping.

Brittany Hodak [00:28:18]:

What? You were you’re tequila shopping?

Jay Baer [00:28:21]:

To self prod. I was. I really was. And because of that, I’m not embarrassed to admit it, I discovered immediately after purchasing these shoes that they were bespoke, and it was going to take 7 weeks to make these shoes. I was expecting them when I bought them that they would come Monday. No. It’s 7 Mondays from now. So I was a little sheepish about that and I thought about canceling.

Jay Baer [00:28:44]:

But then I kind of said, well, I don’t really need these Monday and Let’s just see what happens because they’re making them in, I don’t know, Uruguay or something. I don’t remember. Somewhere in South America. So now I’m expecting to have this, like, tremendous Anxiety, uncertainty gap, 7 weeks. I’ll probably forget that I ordered them. I just like, this is gonna be bad.

Brittany Hodak [00:29:02]:

You’re gonna be out of town when they arrive.

Jay Baer [00:29:04]:

Oh, all of it.

Brittany Hodak [00:29:05]:

For a week.

Jay Baer [00:29:06]:

Out. And also, and also why does it take 7 weeks? Like what I, you know, like it was just the whole thing. And I was like, Oh man, this is, I messed this up. Well, Brittany, you’re gonna love this story. 7 Wednesdays in a row. Every single Wednesday, I got a personal email Or what felt like a personal email from Matt, who was my guy at the shoe place. And he would say, Jay, here’s what we’re doing this week. We’re putting on the last of your shoe.

Jay Baer [00:29:34]:

And let me introduce you to Claudia. She’s our artisan in Uruguay who does this part of the process. Picture of Claudia Holding shoes, probably not my shoe, but looked like it might have been, every single week, a shoe production update. I was completely informed as to the process, made the 7 weeks go by like a documentary film. It was unbelievable, and I’ve already bought more shoes from them.

Brittany Hodak [00:29:59]:

In every single time you wear or look at that pair of shoes, you are thinking about that entire 7 week journey and how wonderful it was.

Jay Baer [00:30:06]:


Brittany Hodak [00:30:07]:

Absolutely very different as as anybody who reads the book, and you should, will know from the experience you had when you ordered a couch that you were not expecting to be bespoke.

Jay Baer [00:30:16]:

Well, that is truly an example of uncertainty gap gone awry. So during the pandemic, I bought a sofa online, Not because of the pandemic, but everybody did a lot of, you know, home stuff during those days. And it was one of those places where you can pick out the Fabric and the color and the shape and the whole, you know, it was a lot of customization. So they said on the website It was gonna be, I think it was 8 weeks, they said. I’m like, well, that’s a long time. It’s 2 months, but you know, they got to make a couch and send it here. So, yeah. Okay.

Jay Baer [00:30:46]:

Whatever. On week 15, nothing. I hadn’t heard anything. Like, not a peep.

Brittany Hodak [00:30:52]:

No Wednesday email updates. No

Jay Baer [00:30:54]:

Not not an email update ever. Like, I got a confirmation email instantly, credit card charged, and that was it. Ghosted. So I started Trying to reach out at, like, week 12. I’m like, okay, these guys are a month late now. Couldn’t get a callback, couldn’t get a return chat, couldn’t get an email. So I’m seriously, Britney, thinking, like, okay. I’m just gonna have to cancel this credit card Yeah.

Jay Baer [00:31:18]:

Because I there’s no I mean

Brittany Hodak [00:31:19]:

But at this

Jay Baer [00:31:20]:

point, you’re calling me

Brittany Hodak [00:31:21]:

to dispute Dispute it with the credit card company because I can’t even cancel my order with this company because they took my money and all went to Paraguay to make shoes.

Jay Baer [00:31:29]:

It’s one thing to be late. It’s another thing to be wholly unresponsive. Right? I was like, okay. Sketchy. Then eventually, after even more trying, week 15, I got a hold of Genevieve, or I think was her name. Oh, Mr. Bear. Yeah.

Jay Baer [00:31:46]:

Yeah. It’s taking, like, at least 4 months to to make sofas now. Okay. Well, then Why does it still say 8 weeks on the website? Uncertainty gap. They knew it was gonna be 4 months. I thought 8 weeks because that was I was told. Huge uncertainty gap. Oh, it’s been like that for like a year and a half.

Jay Baer [00:32:08]:

To which I said, why is it still 8 weeks on the website? And she said ready for this? We don’t want people to stop placing orders.

Brittany Hodak [00:32:21]:

It is a slippery slope from uncertainty gap to straight up

Jay Baer [00:32:25]:

fraud. Yeah. Right? And I was like, okay. I know what you’re saying, but I don’t think this is a great business practice because, like, you know and it eventually so far, eventually, came and I actually really like it. It’s fine. It it all worked out.

Brittany Hodak [00:32:38]:

Probably never order another one, and

Jay Baer [00:32:40]:

they can’t

Brittany Hodak [00:32:41]:

complain to dissuade anyone who says, say I love your couch. Where Or you get it. You’ll say, let me tell you why you should never get it from the place I got it.

Jay Baer [00:32:48]:

And I tell the story of monarch sofas on stages all around the world to make sure that they realize this is a mistake. And look, I just want to point out I’m a 7th generation entrepreneur. My family has been self employed since 1850. And in fact, for much of that time, we were in the furniture business. Legit. So I understand Very specifically, the desire, the circumstance, the scenario by which you fib to your customers a little bit about the delivery date of the furniture. Like, I get it. And that’s been going on for literally over a century Because small and medium sized business owners do not want to get into a bunch of conflict in advance.

Jay Baer [00:33:34]:

Right? They’re like, alright. We do wanna get the order because we need the money. And, yeah, we told them 2 weeks. We know it’s gonna be 3, but we’ll fight about it afterwards.

Brittany Hodak [00:33:44]:

Well, and, you know what probably a lot of small and medium sized business owners also are very optimistic by nature.

Jay Baer [00:33:51]:

Maybe we can do it. Everything into the right This one could go perfectly.

Brittany Hodak [00:33:55]:

Been late on those tacks every delivery I’ve ever ordered, but maybe he’ll be early on this next

Jay Baer [00:34:00]:

one. I think it’s into account This is the one. Yep. And so what we found in the research is that quite literally people care about time more than they used to. They just do. As a result, if you’re going to fib to your customers about any element of the customer experience, I’m not dumb enough to tell you that you never should or that’s ridiculous because that’s a little bit unrealistic. But the one thing That you should not fib about anymore is speed because people care about time more than ever. And that difference between you told me it was 8 weeks and now it’s gonna be 16 weeks puts people like me and all of you on supernova tilt mode.

Jay Baer [00:34:47]:

Right? And you’re like, I’m gonna burn that place to the ground. Where’s my sofa? Right? Like Yeah. It it creates a lot of anxiety and angst, which Then starts to turn into hostility. Right?

Brittany Hodak [00:34:58]:

So if you wanna see what your customers find, it’s hostile on social networks. Like, right now, like, Like, you’ve got several weeks of somebody, whoever Jay is, like, I am gonna annihilate this company on Twitter. I’m gonna annihilate this company on TikTok.

Jay Baer [00:35:13]:

Look. Here’s the deal. You learn this in the 1st day in business. Like, before lunch on the 1st day, you are taught you are trained by whomever trained you, you should always under promise and Over deliver. Over deliver. But yet, when it comes to speed and responsiveness, we Oftentimes convince ourselves that the opposite is the best course of action. And if you learned nothing from our conversation, do not overpromise on speed.

Brittany Hodak [00:35:49]:

Well, one of the we’re we’re gonna wrap the conversation up, But one of the things that you talk about in the book is going back and doing an audit because you said it’s all if that information on the website was so wrong, how much else is wrong? Yeah. This one clearly was deception, but I think sometimes people just forget, the the old

Jay Baer [00:36:07]:

information. Of course.

Brittany Hodak [00:36:07]:

I went I went on a little bit of a rant on LinkedIn yesterday, because as I was flying out of BNA on Wednesday, I was in an elevator in the parking garage, and I was with a couple. And the woman said, oh, no. Is there a federal mask mandate again? And the husband said, oh, I think that’s just an old sign. And I counted between that elevator and getting to the terminal 4 different signs, all about, like, 16 by 20 inches saying there is a federal mask mandate, you must wear your mask under potential penalty of federal law. Jay, do you wanna ballpark guess how many days it has been since the federal mask mandate at airports in the United States was lifted?

Jay Baer [00:36:55]:

I’m really bad at backwards looking time estimates. I’m gonna say 300 days.

Brittany Hodak [00:37:03]:

Well, you underbid, sir. As of today, it has been exactly on the day we’re recording this interview, 503 days. 503 days at the Nashville International Airport, employees and leadership executives have walked by no fewer than 4 that I found without looking signs conveying not only completely incorrect information, but also a threat of punitive action.

Jay Baer [00:37:30]:

Into the future. What’s amazing about that is someday, hopefully not for pandemic reasons, but for some for some reason, There’s going to need to be a sign about something that they really, really do want you to pay attention to, and no one’s gonna pay attention to it Because all the signs they’ve been trained that the signs don’t actually mean anything. Right? So Exactly.

Brittany Hodak [00:37:49]:

So now customers ignore ads because we train them to by giving them nonsense old

Jay Baer [00:37:54]:

information. You you’ve heard about the, the boy who cried wolf. This is like the boy who cried sign. And this is not this is not a good approach. The other thing that I love on a on a related note, you’ll appreciate this as much as you travel, The litany, and I mean, like, hundreds of times when I come upon a hand sanitizer dispenser. Airport, hotel, restaurant, none of them have even a gram of hand sanitizer in them anymore. They’re just empty husks. They’re like totems of a previous era.

Brittany Hodak [00:38:30]:

I was gonna say relics from a bygone

Jay Baer [00:38:33]:

time. Yeah. And sometimes I actually want a little hand sanitizer. Like, I travel, I shake a lot of hands. Nope, we won’t give you any. So my rule is Put sanitizer in these or get them off the floor. Right? Pick pick a pick a lane.

Brittany Hodak [00:38:46]:

Amen. Yes. Alright, Jay. Before I let you go, this is the Creating Super Fans podcast. I wanna know, tequila or otherwise, what is something or somewhere that you are a superfan of that more people should know about?

Jay Baer [00:39:02]:

I could Talk about a lot of different tequila brands, but, but, I don’t wanna pick 1 because that’s like picking a favorite child. So I am actually a super fan of Trek Bicycles in their corporation and their whole mission. I did a presentation for them a couple years ago, and they’re such a good company, such a commitment to, environmental sustainability and workforce harmony and, you know, getting people out cycling. They’re just a great company with a great brand and a great to and great DNA. I just really, really like Trek, and I actually, proudly ride a Trek myself.

Brittany Hodak [00:39:36]:

I love it. My friend Travis is a truck super fan. I was just over at his house recently, and I mentioned that it was almost time to get new bicycles for both my boys because, as you know, boys tend to grow and get bigger and new new things constantly. And he said, you’ve gotta go get a truck. We just took Elle to get fitted for her 1st truck. It was amazing. They loved it. It’s just like the one that Her mom and I ride, and when it’s time for her to get a new one, they’re gonna give us, I don’t know, like, 50% back towards the new bike.

Brittany Hodak [00:40:04]:

So awesome. Trek Bikes, thank you for the shout out. Last but certainly not least, my friend, where can people find out more about you and all of the amazing work that you do?

Jay Baer [00:40:14]:

Thank you so much. Just go to Find all the stuff. Book is available on Amazon. It’ll only take you less than an hour to read. You’re gonna love

Brittany Hodak [00:40:26]:

Fantastic. Jay, thank you so much for stopping by. Hope to have you back soon.

Jay Baer [00:40:29]:

I would love to come back, and we’ll do all tequila stuff. Thanks,

Brittany Hodak [00:40:33]:

 Alright. That’s all the time we have for today’s episode of the creating super fans podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in. Now remember, if you’re a super fan of today’s episode, you can help us out in a big way by leaving a review and a rating wherever you get your podcast. It may seem like a little thing, but it can make a huge difference in helping others discover the show. Now until next time, remember, super fandom is a two way street. Show your love for your customers and your employees, and they’ll love you right back.

Brittany Hodak [00:41:04]:

We’ve got an exciting show lined up for next week, So I hope we’ll see you right back here.

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