Episode 063: How To Never Lose A Customer Again with Joey Coleman

Joey Coleman helps companies keep their customers. He is an award-winning speaker. He works with organizations around the world ranging from small startups to major brands such as Deloitte, Hyatt Hotels, Zappos and Whirlpool. His first 100 days methodology fuels the remarkable experiences his clients deliver and dramatically improves their profits. His Wall Street Journal number two best-selling book Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days offers strategies and tactics for turning one-time purchasers into lifelong customers. When he’s not speaking to audiences around the globe, Joey enjoys spending time with his amazing wife and two young sons in the mountains of Colorado.


  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey
  • Could you shed some light on what you wrote in the book as it relates to the eight phases of customer experience, the assessing, the admitting, the affirming?
  • As it relates to your different trips and travels all over and being a subject matter expert as it relates to customer experience, how do you feel about customer experience on a global level?
  • How do you stay motivated everyday?
  • What are some of the online resources, websites, tool or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your own business?
  • What are some of the books that have had the biggest impact on you?
  • We have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel they have great products and services but somehow, they lack the constantly motivated human capital. If you were sitting across the table from that person, what’s one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business.
  • What is the one thing in your life right now that you are really excited about – either something that you’re working on to develop yourself or people?
  • Where can our listeners find you online?
  • What’s one quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge you revert to this quote to kind of help you to refocus and just get back on track?


  • Joey stated that he has a really eclectic background which he supposes is the polite way of saying he has done a lot of completely random things that made no sense to the outside world as he was going through it. But now with hindsight looking back there’s a common thread. He was a Government International Relations Major in College then went straight to law school where he studied Litigation and National Security Law and International Law. He worked for the CIA, the White House and the Secret Service. He was a Criminal Defense Lawyer. He taught executive education kind of nighttime NBA type courses. He ran a division of a promotional products company. He ran an ad agency for over 15 years and now he’s a full time Professional Speaker. So, he travels around the world giving speeches, leading workshops and consulting with clients to help them keep their customers. The thread that ties all of these crazy different jobs and careers in this life that he has had the blessing of leading together is the fact that in each of the positions he held, the way you excelled was to have a keen understanding of the human condition. Why do people do the things they do and what can we do to make them do the things we’d like them to do?And so that’s kind of the common thread and that’s really what led him to this world of customer experience. He was running his ad agency and of course they were very focused on helping their clients develop websites and ad campaigns and brand identity kits that were designed to bring customers into the fold. But the more he did this the more he realized that customers were running out the back door as quickly as they brought them in the front door. And he quickly realized that focusing on customer retention was actually a more valuable and more important practice than focusing only on customer acquisition.

Yanique agreed that his background is eclectic as it is sure to form great stories when he’s speaking to these different people throughout the world being able to draw on different experiences from different industries. Because it kind of pulls it together because at the end of the day even though he has worked in so many different areas we’re still human beings regardless of where we’re from or what we do.

Joey mentioned that he is a big believer that regardless of whether you see yourself in a B to B (Business to Business) or a B to C (Business to Customer) or a B to G (Business to Government) environment, whether you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner or an employee no matter where you fall in kind of the different things you do as part of your job or career, you’re interacting with other human beings and the better we can understand the journey that our fellow humans are on and meet them where they’re at the more we will be able to achieve the goals that we have for our business or for our life or for our growth.

Yanique mentioned that she was lucky enough to be one of the persons that Joey sent an advanced copy of his book to Never Lose A Customer Again and she has been reading it and it’s been so amazing because it feeds her soul because this is all that she cares about. She’s passionate about customer experience and customer service and there’s some valid points that he has in it.

  • Joey stated that in the book he outlined his way of thinking or kind of the way he has developed in coordination with his clients of thinking about the customer journey and he believes there are eight potential phases that your customers have the ability to go through if you’re willing to hold their hand and help them navigate them. All eight phases start with the letter A. He spent enough time working in Washington D.C. and Government not to give an acronym that he was expecting people to remember so he made it easy. The goal is to get your customers to give you straight A’s on your report card. All of the phases start with the letter A. The first one is Assess, this is Phase 1. This is when a prospect is considering whether or not they want to do business with you. In common parlance we call this marketing and sales. Then we go to Phase 2 Admit, this is day one of the first hundred days of the customer relationship in the admit phase, the prospect acknowledges that they have a problem or a need that they believe you can help. And so, they transition from being a prospect to being a customer almost as quickly as that happens, they enter Phase 3, the Affirm phase. In common parlance this is buyer’s remorse. This is where the customer begins to doubt the decision that they just made. And your job as the business is to counteract those negative and doubtful emotions by reinforcing the wisdom and the benefit of their purchase decision. We then come to Phase 4 Activate. This is the first major experience the customer has with your brand after the sale. So, if you sell a product this could be the unboxing experience or when they get the product home. If you sell a service this could be the kickoff meeting or the first time you start to deliver on the service. He calls it Activate because he thinks it’s important to energize the relationship when you formally start working together and are really set the tone for what the interactions and the relationship are going to be going forward. So, we’re halfway through the eight phases. Then we come to Phase 5, this is where most businesses start to fall off the rails a little bit. See most businesses deliver the product or service and then they’re kind of done and they miss the opportunity in phase 5 to Acclimate the customer to doing business with you. Most businesses have sold their product hundreds, thousands maybe even millions of times. But to a new customer it’s the first time they’ve ever had an interaction with you, so you need to hold their hand and get them familiar with your way of doing business. After that we come to Phase 6 Accomplish, this is when the customer achieves the goal that they had when they originally decided to do business with you. Every customer before they make a purchase decision or when they make a purchase decision has a goal in mind of what they’re hoping to accomplish. If as the business, we don’t track that and measure whether we’re making progress towards succeeding at achieving that goal and then celebrate with the customer when they accomplish that goal we miss the opportunity to validate the original purchase decision. And if you don’t successfully acknowledge the accomplished phase you can’t get to the last two phases. Okay so the last two phases are Phase 7 Adopt, this is when the customer becomes loyal to you and your brand. They’re only going to do business with you, they will happily buy whatever you create. They’ve definitely become a big supporter of yours. And then last but not least we reach Phase 8, the Advocate phase. This is one that adopting customer becomes a raving fan referring their friends and colleagues to you. So, these are the eight phases that a customer as he said has the potential to go through regardless of what business you’re in, regardless of whether your product or service – domestic or international, small, medium or large. All human beings have the potential to go through these phases. It’s just a question of whether as organizations we want to help them do it.

Yanique mentioned that she liked the fact that Joey noticed this straight A’s theme. She thinks it’s so important to recognize that they cannot become evangelists or advocates of our business unless they’ve gone through some process. She stated that people think that people are going to walk and speak great things about our organization just because we’ve sold them an item once or we’ve sold them an item twice. And it’s so much more than that, there’s a process that goes through that will convert that person from just feeling like, “Okay, I just did business with an okay company” versus “I just did business with a great company and I need to tell everybody else and I want my friends to shop from them and I want my family members to shop from there.”

 Joey stated that all too often he thinks we ask for those referrals too early in the process immediately. For a while it was very popular especially in e-commerce settings when you bought something online for after you went through the checkout cart, they would hit you with a pop-up screen that said, “Who else do you know that would be interested in our product or service?” And they wanted you to enter an e-mail and he’s thinking to himself, “I haven’t even received the product or service that I signed up for and you already want me to be sharing it with other people.” It’s way too soon. It’s kind of like being on a date with someone and you go on a first date and before the waiter takes your order for what you want for dinner your date says, “So, I’d like to meet your mom and dad.” It’s too fast it’s going to make me anxious I don’t want to order then. It’s too early in the relationship. He doesn’t think you should be asking for referrals until the customer has accomplished their goal. That phase 6 level where they achieve the goal they originally had when they decided to do business with you. He thinks after that is when you start to ask for referrals and additional business because they have proven that their investment has had a nice return.

  • Joey mentioned that one of the things that Yanique probably had learned from some of their exchanges back and forth before scheduling this conversation, he has a tendency to be pretty direct pretty blunt in his feelings and his beliefs which sometimes can get him into trouble but that’s the way it goes. He believes it’s a general rule the bar for customer experience on the planet is lying on the ground. He thinks that most businesses do very little to pay attention to customer experience. He’s in this space as well as Yanique and he knows the people that are in this space we work very hard at it. But he thinks globally, it is not nearly given the priority that it needs to be given. He thinks more often than not customer service gets attention, but customer experience doesn’t. And he sees a distinction between those two phrases. He defines customer service as something that is more reactive, solving the customers problem, helping them to navigate using your product or service, whereas customer experience he thinks is proactive, it’s all the perceptions that your customer has based on all the touch points and interactions they have with you. So, he thinks most companies that are doing anything are just kind of in triage reactionary state. A customer service state as opposed to thinking more holistically, how can we create the most remarkable interaction possible that is going to catch our customers off guard, is going to surprise and delight them and is going to leave them wanting more.

Yanique agreed and stated that it’s definitely more of a proactive approach as it relates to customer service and of course customer experiences taking everything into account, more of a holistic approach and not just from a face to face point of view but just every possible touchpoint or channel that the customer could possibly have an interaction with you.

  • When asked how he stays motivated, Joey stated that he loves what he does. It’s pretty easy. Being on stage is such a pleasure and such a delight. He takes very seriously his role and responsibility to educate an audience, to entertain an audience, to keep them engaged. He just absolutely loves it so every day he’s on stage is fantastic and the days he’s not on stage, he’s preparing for the days that he will be on stage. So, it’s just absolutely incredible. He also really connects to the message that he’s trying to promote which is we need to care more about each other as human beings. Our businesses have a responsibility to not only take care of our customers but to take care of our employees and those two things have a tendency to feed upon themselves. The better experience you create for your employees, the better experience they can create for your customers, the better experience you create for your customer, the better experience it creates for your employees. It’s just a nice little loop that feeds on itself.

Yanique agreed and stated that internal customer service is very important. The health of your organization not just the health of the employees but how they feel about the business is so critical. One of the things that we say in workshops or she’ll ask the participants if their company sells a particular product or service, I always ask them if they’re actually a user, do they actually consume this product or service because that to me is a key indication if they believe in the company that they work for.

Joey agreed and mentioned that it’s shocking how rare it is. In his experience he asks a very similar question and he’s always amazed at how few of the employees use the product or service and what he’s even more amazed by is that the businesses don’t make it easy for their employees to use the product or service. For example, because he travels a lot, he finds himself in restaurants often and one of the things he always like to ask the waiter or waitress when he’s in a restaurant getting ready to order is, what are the two or three things on the menu that are your favorites, what do you like here, what do you recommend or what are the best things. And it never ceases to amaze him how it’s very clear the way they describe things that they haven’t actually tasted the dish they’re recommending. If he ran a restaurant he would have it set up so that every employee in their first month on the job sampled every single dish we serve. And then they had a context and then about every three or four months he’d run them through that cycle again. And he’d give them the chance to try the specials and to try the regular items and to develop kind of their own palate as it related to the menu. It’s not just restaurants, this can apply in every business on the planet, “Are your employees actually users of your product or service and customers of your business?” And if they are, what are you learning from them and creating opportunities for them to speak more intelligently about what you offer.

One of the interesting things is we ask our employees to create remarkable customer experiences but many of our employees have never had a remarkable customer experience. He explained that he was at an event recently doing a workshop for a company and the CEO told him, “I want to have first class service. I want to have Ritz Carlton service. I want to have white glove service and create those type of experiences for our customers.”He said, “Okay.” So they got the whole company together and he said, Here’s the deal, how many of you have heard the CEO talk about the importance of a Ritz Carlton first class, white glove experience?” and every hand in the room went up, he said great. Let me ask you a few questions. Number one, “How many of you have ever flown first class?” and the CEO proudly raised his hand and the CFO raised their hand and no one else in the room raised their hand. And I said, “Okay, how many of you have ever spent the night at a Ritz Carlton?” and the CEO proudly raised his hand, the CFO put his hand down and still none of the other people in the room had their hands up and then I said, “Okay, one last question. How many of you have ever eaten a meal that was delivered by waiters wearing white gloves?” And no one put their hand up. And he turned to the CEO and said, “It’s really difficult to expect our employees to deliver a world class customer experience when they’ve never had a world class customer experience.” So, if there were one piece of advice that he would give to business owners listening it would be make sure that your employees have a context and a framework for the type of experience you’re asking them to provide for your customers.

  • Joey stated that he is probably one of the least online connected individuals that has ever been on Yanique’s podcast. He uses online resources but they’re not very complex, he doesn’t have a huge presence on Social Media and he doesn’t use a lot of different tools but one that he does uses, and he finds to be incredibly effective and has helped his business dramatically is a tool and a service called Mixmax. Mixmax is a scheduling tool, it’s kind of an add on that you can connect to your Gmail account or your e-mail account that allows you to click on a little link and offer available appointment times when scheduling, that has made my life so much easier because then when people get that email I can say I’m available at these three or four times. When they click on that time link it automatically books it on his calendar and if he gave the same time as a potential slot to two people when they click on it, it will tell them that that slot is no longer available and offer one of the other ones. It just has taken the 17 e-mails back and forth to do scheduling and really reduced it dramatically and I actually like Mixmax better than some of the other calendaring services because some of the other ones it gives you access to the person’s calendar and you can see a bunch of things but you kind of have to figure out where to insert yourself. Whereas this one he feels like proactively says I care enough about you, the person he’s sending the e-mail to say, “I’ve allocated these particular windows of availability, which one works for you?” and they can focus in on it a little bit more than looking through all of the available times on the calendar.
  • When asked about the books that have had the biggest impact, Joey mentioned that this is a really challenging but fantastic question because for context, he’s in the process of moving right now and so he just recently packed up their books and they have north of 5000 books in their house. He loves books, he has read a ton of books, he loves being surrounded by books. There are so many books that have had a tremendous impact on him. He thinks back to some of the first business books he read which included Harvey Mackay’s Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You the Shirt. Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty by Harvey Mackay, Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Tons of the writings of Tony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within and just lots of books that he read kind of back in the day when he first was starting. Then there’s a bunch of business books that he read kind of as my thoughts around customer experience were evolving. His good buddy Shep Hyken has written a number of fantastic books on customer experience as well as Scott McCain and Jay Baer and mutual friend Dan Gingis. A number of folks that are kind of write more specifically in the customer experience space. He also tried to read fiction from with some regularity because he thinks if we’re really looking at the human condition reading fiction helps us to understand people as well. So, he reads everything from science fiction to fantasy to kind of pleasure reading, fiction in the kind of espionage and spy novel space so he tries to read across a really wide swath of genres and topics.
  • When asked about advice he would give a business owner who lack the constantly motivated human capital. Joey stated that this goes back to that story he told right the best way to motivate your employees is to make sure that they’re having an incredible experience. As the business owner, the manager, the executive, your employees are your primary customers. You need to be taking care of them, you need to be holding their hand to navigate them through the 8 phases, you need to be making sure that they’re having a remarkable experience when they come to work. And so, he thinks if there was a question around, he thinks there are a lot of business owners that say, “Well our employees just don’t get it, they’re not motivated, they don’t come with the kind of excitement that I need them to come to work.” He usually would ask those type of executives or owners. “Are you excited about the fact that those employees come to work? Do you let them know that, do you show them that in your words and in your actions and in your behaviors?” and usually by the time he gets to that level of questioning they’re like, “Well, maybe not as much as I could.” and I’m like great, so there’s a huge opportunity for us to improve the employee experience.

Yanique reiterate by saying that the gap that exists why there’s constantly motivates human capital is the leadership influence that drives that whole engagement. So, recruitment is critical because you have to hire the right people. But after hiring them, there are things that you need to do to sustain their interest in what they’re doing everyday so that they can be motivated.

Joey agreed and stated that you need to sustain your interest. He thinks part of the challenge we have in HR is that it’s run like many businesses are run with their external customers. We spend all this time courting, marketing and selling, filling the funnel trying to convince someone to come work for us, trying to get them in the door and then they start, and they show up for their first day on the job and we don’t have a desk for them. They don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing, they don’t know anyone to go to lunch with or maybe if we do an onboarding program it’s a day or two and then we kind of leave them to fend for themselves. We need to hold our employees’ hands, especially through the first 100 days of the employee relationship. What are we doing to make sure that they’re achieving the goal they had when they came to work. Lots of times we don’t even ask our employees, “What’s your goal? Is your goal to get a cheque? Is your goal to grow a career? Is your goal to explore something new that you haven’t thought about before? Is your goal to put to work the things you studied in school and have that be compensated for what you learned?” Every employee has different motivations and by the way those motivations change, they evolve over time. And so, what did motivate them to take the job in the first place six months in might not be the motivation anymore. Employers and managers need to have a finger on the pulse as to what’s going on with their employees and that’s how you get motivated employees.

  • Joey stated that there are two things that he’s really excited about right now. One more professional and one more personal. On the professional side, he’s thankful and appreciative of the tremendous support for the launch of the book, when we’re recording this, the book has been out for about 2 months now. They had great success as not only during the launch but since then. He continued to get wonderful feedbacks and reviews on Amazon from people and people sharing how they have been able to put the principles that are outlined in the book into practice in their own business and they are already seeing huge results, so, that’s been super exciting, the book culminates and kind of represents, he would say 20 years of his professional career but it’s really more 45 years of his entire life/career because it’s all the different things that he has been involved with and all the things that he has learned about human beings and trying to put that down on the paper as a way and hopefully provides some value to other people that helps them understand themselves and their customers and their employees better, so that’s been really exciting. On a personal note, in a few days of recording this episode, he will be moving from his home in Evergreen, Colorado which is high in the Rocky Mountains about an hour west of Denver. I’m moving up the state and down the mountain a little bit to Boulder, Colorado where they’ll be a little bit closer to civilization and the wonderful things. Their neighbors will be humans as opposed to bears and mountain lions. They’ll will have the chance to kind of have a new chapter and a new experience for him and his wife and their two young boys, so excited about that. Moves that he thinks are a great opportunity to recommit and rejuvenate and set new habits and new practices and so he’s really excited about what this transition offers for his family and their personal lives but also for him and his professional life.
  • Joey shared listeners can find him at –

Twitter – @thejoeycoleman


  • Khashf Joey shared that it’s both an interesting and a timely question because as you might imagine with the travel schedule he keeps being on the road about two and a half weeks out of the month and just getting back from a trip about a week ago. He was on the road for about three weeks, his family got sick while they were on the road, so he had to reschedule the recording and that’s just never fun to have a sick family especially when you’re not at home. That makes it even worse and then they get home and they’re moving in two days. So, his quote would be from the incomparable quote master Winston Churchill who said, “When you’re going through hell keep going.” That’s kind of what he’s been trying to do as of late and he doesn’t want to be overly dramatic, his life is very blessed and he feels very fortunate but there’s been a lot of stress lately with the travel and the move and kind of the craziness of the book launch and a number of things and so his goal has been just to keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting that this will all eventually work out beautifully.

Joey also mentioned that the Nike tagline “Just Do It” is probably if not the best one of the best taglines in the world. He’s not a big fan of taglines because most taglines are watered down platitudes that could easily be given to any company, you could take the tagline and apply it to another company without anyone missing a beat. But he always points to Nike’s Just Do it as one of the best out there.

Yanique agreed and stated that it can be applicable to any industry or any area, even in kids going to school who are trying to advance themselves athletically or academically, just let them know that at the end of the day the only thing that’s holding you back is your own fear. So “Just Do It.”


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