Keynote speaker: Peter Shankman on the customer economy

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Peter Shankman will be delivering the closing keynote speech at FCSI The Americas 2022 Conference, discussing how the customer experience will shape the economy of the next 50 years

What is the customer economy?

We’re in a space in a society where your network knows more and more about what you’re doing; the companies you interact with, the stores in which you shop. The premise is that if I have a great experience with a brand, that brand will show up more in my networks and the feeds of the people with whom I interact. We covet what we know.However, the bar is so ridiculously low in terms of any type of customer interaction that I don’t need to be brilliant to succeed, I don’t need to be over the top amazing, I just need to suck less than everybody else.What’s key is transparency. We screw up, we’re human beings. You’ll never see loyalty in your business if you don’t screw up and then fix the problem. Statistics show that customer loyalty is actually greater when a company fixes a problem, because the customer has had a positive interaction with you.

How can foodservice consultants better engage with their clients?

The best thing you can do is listen to your customers, they will tell you exactly what they want. Listen instead of talking, find out what they want, find out what they’re looking for. We spend so much time trying to sell to clients that we don’t necessarily listen to what they want. Reach out to the client when you don’t have anything to sell and just have a conversation with them, you’ll be amazed what they tell you. Just ask: “What are you working on and how can I help?”It doesn’t have to be difficult or a long process. We don’t do that enough.

How can the industry embrace this approach?

You don’t need to be awesome – slightly better is more than enough. But focus on it and try to improve. We tend to get into our comfort zone and stay there. Try to get out of it and work a little harder.The concepts of transparency, relevance and brevity can help grow your business. The key is that it needs to start at the top and work its way down.

About Peter Shankman:

Peter Shankman is an entrepreneur, author and expert in social media, PR, marketing, advertising and the customer experience. Born and raised in New York City, he has successfully launched and exited three start-ups. Shankman is the founder of The ShankMinds Breakthrough Network, an online network

of thought leaders, business experts and change makers, and host of the ADHD podcast Faster than Normal, which focuses on the gifts of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

His clients have included American Express, Sprint, The US Department of Defense, Snapple Beverage Group, NASA, Sheraton and Walt Disney World.