University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Ep. 13 | Taking Business Beyond the Transaction with Walton College Students

Walton Student Panel
March 29, 2021

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In this final episode, Andy hosts a special interview with four students from Sam M Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas to listen to their key takeaways from this season. 

This episode begins with a brief introduction to the four guests—Jacob Mitchell, Matt Barber, Taryn Lininger, and Shelby Hansen. The students jump in with sharing their ideas and what stood out to them from listening to this series. Hear about how the importance of data analysis, the harmonization of the art and science, looking at data with a lens on the human person, and how much customer-centric organizations have grown in the recent years! While each student highlighted a different emphasis, they shared that they appreciated the challenge to take business one step further than simply being transactional, by considering the people behind everything.

Andy asks the students to share how their thinking had been unexpectedly changed over the course of this season. They share about the “compass” for direction, how COVID helped to focus on the essentials, the psychology behind marketing, and the focus on employee experience. The students share that they were surprised at how difficult it proves to be to incorporate the customer centricity model and the challenges for businesses to actually measure their success with it.

Hear about how many leaders use storytelling as an effective means to communicate ideas and thoughts. Listen to the stories that caught the student’s attention—from the Ritz Carlton Hotel experience, to Paco’s “boots on the ground” with Furniture Gallery in Houston.

Andy wraps up this final episode by asking for insights as a student, or “customer”, of a university. The students cannot say enough about Professor Molly Rapert’s course. Jacob shares about the advising office, scheduling appointments, and the issue of eliminating friction. Learn about marrying technology and the in-person interaction. Matt touches on the wisdom from Jeff (previous episode) about mentors and how he wishes he had created his “personal board of directors” much sooner! Final comments and insights reveal the wisdom discussed in prior episodes about the importance of customers “coming back” and the “dissatisfiers” that limit frequency of customer visits. 

Like, share, and subscribe so you don’t miss the launching of Season 2! 

Connect with Andy, Taryn, Jacob, Matt, and Shelby on LinkedIn.

Find out more about Molly Rapert, the student’s highly suggested professor.


Episode Transcript:

Andy Murray: (00:05)

Hi, I'm Andy Murray. Welcome to It's a Customer's World podcast. Now more than ever, retailers and brands are accelerating their quest to be more customer centric, but to be truly customer centric, it requires both a shift in mindset and ways of working, not just in marketing but in all parts of the organization. In this podcast series, I'll be talking with practitioners, thought leaders and scholars to hear their thoughts on what it takes to be a leader in today's customer centric world.

Andy Murray: (00:40)

Hi there. For the final episode of this season, I felt it was only fitting to do a special interview with four University of Arkansas Walton College of Business students. The four I'm going to speak with have been following along with all 12 episodes of this series. So in this episode, I get to ask the students, what were their key takeaways after hearing from the 12 thought leaders I've had the pleasure of interviewing this season?

Andy Murray: (01:06)

After all, one of my major goals for doing It's a Customer's World podcast series was to help students get a peek into the changing customer landscape. So as they enter into the work world, there'll be more prepared to take on the unique challenges companies face today in becoming more customer centric. Let's jump in and hear what they have to say.

Andy Murray: (01:25)

Hi there everyone, welcome to It's a Customer's World podcast, this very special podcast where I get the privilege of talking with four students that had been following this journey of, oh gosh, 11 or 12 podcast interviews with different leaders, thought leaders in this customer centric space. And I thought it'd be fun to just have a view from the students and a chance to walk through what they heard and some of the key insights around what does it mean to be a customer centric organization? We covered so much ground and so much territory, but before we get started, I'd like to just go around the horn and have each one of you guys introduce yourselves.

Jacob Mitchell : (02:07)

Yeah, I'll go first. My name's Jacob Mitchell and I'm from the Dallas Fort Worth area in Texas, and I'm a senior marketing major here. Over the past summer, I had an internship with a small consulting company doing some marketing services for small businesses. And I just want to thank you for having me on Andy, I'm really excited.

Andy Murray: (02:28)

Yeah. Well, thank you Jacob. And it sounds like you had some exciting entrepreneurial type adventures over the summer, so that's great. Who's next?

Matt Barber: (02:37)

I can go next. I'm Matt Barber, I'm a senior marketing and management double major. This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern at the US Senate in Washington DC. And right now, I'm currently working in sales and marketing, and glad to be here as well. Thank you guys for the opportunity.

Andy Murray: (02:52)

Great. Thanks Matt for joining. Thanks for the questions you submitted through the season and we will not talk politics. So we'll just have to leave that out for today.

Matt Barber: (03:02)

Sounds like a plan.

Andy Murray: (03:03)

Excellent, Taryn?

Taryn Lininger: (03:05)

Yeah. Hi, I'm Taryn Lininger. I'm from Kansas City, Missouri. I'm a senior marketing major and data analytics minor. I'm currently actually working in a student ran business at the university, customer service manager. So obviously involved with the customers a lot, so I've enjoyed listening to these podcasts and I'm excited to be here.

Andy Murray: (03:24)

Oh great. Well, you should have some interesting perspective given you're doing customer service type work now. What a great way to get as close to the customers you could possibly get. So great, good to have you.

Shelby Hansen: (03:34)

Hi, I'm Shelby Hansen and I am a double major in marketing and finance with a minor in psychology. This summer, I interned with a fixed income management firm in Austin, Texas, where I'm originally from, and more of a sales oriented role. And I will be returning there full-time after graduation, which is really exciting. And Andy, I am so excited to be here. Thank you for having all of us, this is an amazing opportunity.

Andy Murray: (04:02)

Oh well, thank you Shelby. And I should say, I appreciate all you guys have given me questions over the course of the time to share with the presenters or the interviewees. And they've all really appreciated that as I hope that you've heard through that. So it's a lot of work on your part to go through all of those and stay with this. And I appreciate it so, so much.

Andy Murray: (04:21)

Let's just start from the biggest picture I suppose, of when you look at all the folks that we've gone through, how has it maybe have changed your perspective, any insights around the way you might've thought this space was about before, maybe even from not much to how it might change the way you look at these ideas when we talk about being a customer centric organization?

Jacob Mitchell : (04:44)

Yeah, I can take that first. So one of the biggest standouts to me throughout the whole series was the amount of time and energy spent in the marketing kind of industry on data and analyzing data, and using data to make insights. So for me, I haven't had that much experience in that data analysis. So just hearing about almost... Everyone talked about data and everyone talked about how important it is to understand data.

Jacob Mitchell : (05:11)

So moving forward for me, I think I will just look to try to have experiences that expose me to data analysis and making decisions based off data in the future.

Andy Murray: (05:23)

Well, certainly data does help you quite a bit uncover little patterns and such, and insights from customers, especially when you're using data to eliminate dissatisfiers, which is the things that really bug customers. They tell you about that pretty easily, as you might find Taryn from customer service.

Andy Murray: (05:41)

So the data piece is it's really both a left brain, lets the data say, plus the instincts and art of marketing. They both really have to be relatively harmonized. And so that's great. Taryn, what about you?

Taryn Lininger: (05:56)

Yeah, that's exactly what stood out to me, was that harmonization between the art and the science, and the left and the right brain. Being a data analytics minor, we focus a lot on the machine learning and the understanding, and being able to take our results and turn them into actionable insights.

Taryn Lininger: (06:12)

But one thing we never really talked about that stood out to me in the podcast was taking a human lens to that, and just being reminded of the fact that these are people behind these numbers. And so I think that's something I'll take with me moving forward for sure.

Andy Murray: (06:25)

It's interesting, one of the early podcasts was with Paco Underhill, and he talked about it definitely leverages data but there's nothing like boots on the ground in the store, perhaps with customers to get that human piece that just goes a bit beyond what the data can tell you. So that's a great insight, Matt?

Matt Barber: (06:46)

Yes sir. One of the things I enjoyed most about the series was learning how much customer centric organizations have grown in recent years. There was one statistic about... I think it was back in 2014, 10% of the Fortune 500, so 50 companies had established a CCO role or something of that nature. And I'm sure that number's grown since then.

Matt Barber: (07:06)

And also listening to Brenda Malloy talk. She discussed some of the traits and key criteria that companies need to look for when filling that role. And her advice was take notes from Andy Murray and you kind of break that down and go more in depth on what that means, is you want a leader who is going to be empathetic, show a lot of humility, someone who has a high EQ and is going to be passionate and curious. So I thought that was really interesting hearing about that.

Andy Murray: (07:31)

Well, I thought it was interesting to have a person that recruits into this space in the series because it kind of tells you what they're looking for. And there was quite a few people talked about some advice I think for students entering the workforce. And I remember with Wendy Liebman talking about the importance of asking, being curious, just showing that curiosity is a real tell for empathy because we talked a lot about empathy through the podcast series. I think that word came up quite a bit with a number of different people. And so that was great, you picked up on that. Shelby, what about you?

Shelby Hansen: (08:08)

Yeah, just to kind of echo what Jacob and Taryn said. So I feel like in marketing as a whole, and then also in our coursework, we talk a lot about how to use data and interpret it, whether it's seeing a trend or maybe an average, but really taking it almost that one step further and recognizing that there are humans behind it.

Shelby Hansen: (08:28)

And I got to listen to Sherilyn and I really loved what she said about how the CMO and marketers, we are the ones who drive that culture. We're the ones who recognize the importance of customers not being a transactional, that shouldn't be a transactional term.

Shelby Hansen: (08:44)

And just seeing our employees and customers as people and expressing that empathy, that was a theme that I saw throughout all of the podcasts really, that I thought was really impactful.

Andy Murray: (08:54)

That's great. It was pretty inspiring, especially if you heard Jim Stingel talk about the role that marketers can play in society and the leadership that could build upon that. I think what Sherrilyn was saying as well is it really gives you a bigger sense of responsibility entering into business as students, is that we really can be a factor in changing our companies for good or changing the world comes from a lot... There's more responsibility now I think for the marketers to lead in that space to create change.

Andy Murray: (09:29)

And that should be an encouragement I think. It was encouragement for me to hear that. So any surprises that you kind of went through and said, "I just didn't really look at things like that," that it changed your way of thinking that you didn't expect?

Matt Barber: (09:45)

I had professional insight from the Jim Stingle podcast, and you too were discussing how there's not really a true roadmap of the future, but you can kind of paint it in a compass aspect and look at it that way. And I won't break it completely down just for time's sake, but the West on a compass, you think about how the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

Matt Barber: (10:03)

And so you two related that to the methods, trends, and technologies that are kind of fading away and yesterday, and how COVID-19 obviously comes into big play, and that discussion and the old way of work is kind of passed. We're seeing remote work, there's also been a shift to the digital world and that's been really accelerated by everything.

Matt Barber: (10:24)

And then also kind of in the past, you'd have companies focusing on eight to 10 objectives at one time, and now you're seeing more clarity, more focus about what's really important. And seeing companies narrow down on two to three of the really important details, and kind of focus on those.

Andy Murray: (10:41)

Yeah. Let's hope that stays. That's one of the things I've seen too as a real benefit, is a lot of those, a number of objectives. And once you get into big corporations, you guys will, or even small ones. Sometimes smaller is worse because the entrepreneurs are still in charge perhaps. And they've got an idea a day where they wouldn't be in that space. And so it can get a bit overwhelming chasing too many things at once.

Andy Murray: (11:04)

So I think what COVID did is really focused everybody down to the core essential things. And that was real releasing, to be able to go do that. And you saw an incredible amount of innovation happen to get closer to the customer in such a short amount of time. And I thought that was something that was brought out pretty well through a number of the other people that talked to us. So yeah, who else?

Shelby Hansen: (11:28)

I can answer that. One thing that I enjoyed getting to hear about that I wasn't expecting to hear about a ton, was the psychology that goes into marketing and understanding consumers a lot of times. I'm a psychology minor so that was of special interest to me, just when Paco and Nick were touching on how customers say that they do things differently than they actually do. That's a pattern I've seen a lot in my psychology classes with response bias and demand characteristics.

Shelby Hansen: (11:56)

And I thought it was just really interesting to see how different areas. I think anthropology was also mentioned a couple of times, just how that actually applies to marketing and people with those backgrounds can do well in this industry, and understanding people.

Andy Murray: (12:10)

Yeah. That's funny, Paco told a story where he interviewed a person, and if you remember in the parking lot and said, "Did you buy this [inaudible 00:12:19]?" And it was funny because they said, "Oh yeah, yeah. I went down that aisle," or whatever, and that didn't even exist in the store, but it's to your point, we do kind of remember, our memories are not that great. And if you're just asking customers what they did, they don't always tell you exactly what happened, right?

Andy Murray: (12:38)

I thought that was really funny and I've seen that phenomenon myself and in the roles that I've had is that customers will tell you, "Hey, do you notice that?" Or they'll say things that didn't even exist. So that was pretty funny. That's great.

Jacob Mitchell : (12:51)

Yeah. So Shelby kind of stole my first answer. I was surprised by people and they said even not lying, but kind of telling you what you want to hear because that's what they think you want to hear, which I thought was really interesting. But another thing that surprised me and that I hadn't really thought about before I listened to these podcasts, were the amount of people that... The thought leaders that are also focusing on the employee experience throughout the process.

Jacob Mitchell : (13:16)

And I know a few people talked about it, like Jeff Swearingen and Rashad, but I really like... I think Andy you gave... Or maybe it was Jeff, gave an example of Chick-fil-A. And so Chick-fil-A for me, I remember at the beginning of Molly Rapert's class, we were talking about love marks and she asked, "What were two kinds of love marks for you, brands that you are loyal to?"

Jacob Mitchell : (13:38)

And one of mine was Chick-fil-A, and listening to this about the employee experience and how well Chick-fil-A does it, kind of made me see that, that is part of the reason why I'm loyal to Chick-fil-A because for two reasons I would say, I think that Chick-fil-A's employee experience, they treat their employees so well, and that in turn trickles down to how their employees treat me, which is awesome.

Jacob Mitchell : (14:02)

I don't know if you've ever seen their viral videos out there of Chick-fil-A employees running after people's cars when they forgot part of their order. And to me, I'm just like no other fast food company would do that. And that's amazing to me, I think, wow, if they really care about me that much, yeah I'm going to go there for lunch every week, I love that place.

Jacob Mitchell : (14:23)

And not only that is, in my opinion I think that companies should treat their employees well. And knowing that Chick-fil-A does, that also brings me into the brand and helps me like the brand that much. So just moving forward, I think at some point in my career, I'd probably like to own my own business. So just knowing that the way I treat employees is also going to affect the way my employees treat consumers, I think that's a really good learning that I took away from the podcast.

Andy Murray: (14:50)

Well, I got to tell you, Chick-fil-A is one of my favorites too, and it's the drive-thru experience that's so crazy because they're just so good at it, nobody can even touch them. I didn't know. I hadn't had a lot of background on how they treat employees, but from that discussion with Jeff, it all makes sense. And that was one of the things Jeff really hit on was it really starts with how you treat employees, and that flows over.

Andy Murray: (15:18)

And even Rashad, as I recall, what struck me about that was he pretty much at the very beginning of the podcast said, "The first thing I do is stop using the word customer." And I thought, okay, that's a bit challenging given it's the customer centric leadership initiative. I was about ready to fold up my tent and say, "Let's just start over or something."

Andy Murray: (15:38)

I never forgot that. I've really been thinking about that. It's really about people and there's not a big separation in Rashad's mind between customers and employees. And if you think about it, the word customer is a transactional description of something, right? It's a buying relationship, and if you really want to have a more engaging relationship, you should think of them as people.

Andy Murray: (16:01)

And that really already changes your mindset about when you start asking, "Well, what do people want?" Instead of just saying, "What do customers want?" So I found that was a very interesting piece. One of the questions I have, did I get through everybody?

Taryn Lininger: (16:18)

I was just going to say kind of going off of what Jacob said with the trickle down effect. For me, it was surprising how many companies aren't already implementing this customer centricity, and how difficult it is and how it affects so many different areas of the business beyond the CMO, beyond the CCO.

Taryn Lininger: (16:35)

And just how hard it is to measure and talking about kind of changing those KPIs of what we're used to looking at, ROI and maybe shifting that to a customer lifetime value, and how difficult that is to kind of get through the entirety of the business.

Andy Murray: (16:50)

You would be surprised how this is a difficult journey for so many companies, and how you're absolutely right in its still a wide open space. So it also shows the difference you can make, you're going into business because most companies' systems aren't set up to do this right. And they don't have all their customer data in one place and they don't have all the practices in place. And so it's a great, great observation.

Andy Murray: (17:14)

One of the things that I was curious about from your perspectives is if you noticed a lot of the leaders we talked to, they're all great communicators, many of them are authors. How often they use stories to communicate an idea or a thought, they would tell a story. And so I don't know if anybody else picked up on that, but the storytelling of that is a great skill to watch because when I talked to [inaudible 00:17:39], you kind of want to hear the content for sure, but you want to hear how they deliver that content.

Andy Murray: (17:44)

And I don't know if anybody remembered one of the stories they talked about. I know you talked Jacob, about the Chick-fil-A story, but were there any other stories that kind of caught your attention as a good storytelling idea?

Matt Barber: (17:56)

I had one that I remembered from Jeff Swearingen podcast, and it was kind of similar to what Jacob touched on with the Chick-fil-A example. And he brought up an analogy of a Ritz-Carlton hotel and how that experience of staying there is awesome, but it starts right when you pull up to the hotel. And he kind of related that to the first interaction an individual has with the product or brand, because that moment is going to define the relationship you have and lay the groundwork for that.

Matt Barber: (18:23)

In Ms. Molly's class, we've kind of talked about that as the zero moment of truth and the first moment of truth. So that was an analogy that really resonated with me. And I thought he described it very well.

Jacob Mitchell : (18:33)

I have one. During Paco Underhill's podcast, I was really struck. And you touched on this a little bit, but on the boots on the ground subject Paco talked about... And he asked you, "Have you ever been to Gallery Furniture in Houston?" So specific, but how he talked about the owner of that store has his desk right at the front door. And he is constantly interacting with his customers that walk through and constantly gaining, "How can I make this place better? How can I do this?"

Jacob Mitchell : (19:02)

And I just really was struck by that. And I think that's a great story and a great example of how being consumer centric means that you need to interact with the consumers. And actually Andy, we were listening to a podcast you did with Dean Waller earlier this semester where you said, "If you want to get to CMO, you might want to take a stop in the customer service department first."

Jacob Mitchell : (19:24)

And that line has really stuck with me. And I think that, that boots on the ground and just really getting to know your consumer is super important. And Paco's takeaway of senior level management needs to get in front of consumers, face-to-face more often. I think that's something that can really help out a marketer.

Andy Murray: (19:42)

That's a great story and it is so easy for a senior leader to get stuck in a bubble at the top, and not reach out and rely on everybody else to go do it. And you can't do that, you've got to be out in stores. I think Taryn took that advice seriously and went straight to customer service right away. Shelby, anything stick out in your mind?

Shelby Hansen: (20:03)

Yeah. When I was listening to Wendy, she was talking about how to get that emotional human experience in a retail store, and she did a store walk with a Walmart executive through the beauty aisle. And she suggested to put a mirror in the beauty aisle because it's not so much that the person's going to pick up a lipstick that they haven't bought yet and put it on. But it's more seeing yourself in the mirror and realizing you are human, and in that situation, "Hey, I think I need something in the makeup aisle."

Shelby Hansen: (20:34)

And you actually commented on that with the mirror in the Florida drugstore that was positioned above your head. So you could see if your roots were going out in the hair care aisle, which I think is immensely creative. And it honestly made me laugh a little bit, but I can resonate with that, like personal experience, if I'm in the beauty aisle at a retailer, having a mirror does kind of make me have that moment of human experience.

Shelby Hansen: (21:00)

And in a good or a bad way, make me think about how I look and it also will affect the products I buy. So secretly, I think it's a genius idea.

Andy Murray: (21:09)

Yeah, that's so good. I still remember when I first heard that story with Wendy and then just seeing that in the aisle with the gray hair, that was genius and low costs. It's just a great word picture to communicate. Yeah, that's great. Okay, I'm going to switch gears a bit and go a different direction. And from all the learnings you've had about how industry thought leaders are thinking about the customer experience, if you were Queen or King for a day, are there any of those insights you could play back to... You think about the student experience as a customer of the university?

Andy Murray: (21:44)

And I'm not fishing for problems, but I am curious because I think there is an opportunity in U of A, certainly on that journey where you think about the university experience, and it's been really under pressure because of COVID of being able to deliver that experience. And so I don't know if you've got any thoughts around advice or insights around how your own experience as a customer of the university could be looked at as an area for continued growth and improvement?

Taryn Lininger: (22:16)

Yeah, I'll jump on that. I think I can speak for us all when I say Molly Rapert's class is just amazing. And the format she uses of not teaching from a textbook and we're reading real time articles. And even with this podcast, learning in this kind of format, I'll say I've learned so much just from listening to these episodes even more so than I've learned in an entirety of a semester of a class.

Taryn Lininger: (22:38)

So I think definitely implementing more of this kind of format of listening to people in the industry and thought leaders, and getting an understanding of what's actually going on. I think that would be great.

Andy Murray: (22:50)

Yeah, Molly is top of the top in terms of a partner for me and great idea bouncer. The only sad thing is I'd have a few ideas and I'd call her up about it and say, "Yeah, we're already doing that." And so I almost give up trying to give her new ideas because she's already on top of it ahead of me. But you're right, the teaching experience and going through that, that's very... I'm glad you said that because it is a unique thing and it does open the door once other people see that there's so many different ways you can learn, right? There's so many different ways you can be taught and engaging. And I just appreciate, I think she's always thinking about her students first, so that's great.

Jacob Mitchell : (23:32)

I have one. I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're asking, but I think it is. So I'm sure Matt and Shelby and Taryn have kind of dealt with this as well, but the advising office at Walton College, there's not a lot of opportunities to get a meeting scheduled when it comes to needing to sign up for your next semester's classes.

Jacob Mitchell : (23:50)

And it goes back to some... I forget who it was, but someone in the podcast was talking about people just like to talk to people. And so instead of just me going online and looking at what classes I need to take next semester, I enjoy more going and talking to... And I have a great advisor, his name is Bill Reagan. Shout out Bill Reagan, he's awesome, but I really enjoy going in and talking to Bill Reagan and talking about the options I have, what can I minor in? What classes will help me in my career?

Jacob Mitchell : (24:20)

But one thing about Walton is that when you're about to sign up for classes, it can be hard to get an appointment for a month or two months out. So that's my biggest suggestion, is maybe kind of figuring out a more efficient way or getting more appointments available for students to have, to talk about their classes and talk about their opportunities.

Andy Murray: (24:41)

What's interesting about that is you're talking about eliminating friction and hassle factors. And so I think any university, a good starting point to improve student experience would be to talk to students and find out where those layers of friction and hassle are. And as we found out through these podcasts, most companies get the biggest bang for their buck on customer experiences by eliminating dissatisfiers first, before starting to create a lot of new things from scratch.

Andy Murray: (25:11)

And I think it wouldn't be that hard really, to pull together all the things that are there and rank them and then say, "Okay, let's take this on first." So that's a good piece of advice to look at.

Shelby Hansen: (25:23)

I have some quick input. I'm not sure if I have a specific suggestion, but just with COVID and things that were emphasized in the interviews, a lot of the time was marrying the technology and in-person interaction. And I think that's something we've seen a lot just this last semester, having some in-person classes and some over Zoom.

Shelby Hansen: (25:44)

And it will just be interesting to see how the student experience can be further enhanced, even just years down the road through hybrid classes. And it's definitely a learning curve right now and I think the university has done a great job, but I think it'll just be interesting to see where it goes next semester, and then even continuing onward.

Andy Murray: (26:04)

Yep. A 100%. It will be interesting, I think we might look back a couple of years from now because so much technology has been improved because of the pandemic, but you do kind of wonder, will Zoom be the same two years from now, or will we have virtual headsets? And I got to feel, and this is going to feel antiquated not too long from now, because there's still things you realize you can't do yet. It's just still not the same as being in person and there's still big gaps of where I think probably technology could continue to advance, and it feels a bit more natural.

Andy Murray: (26:41)

And a lot of companies are struggling with return to office to work, and will we really go back to five days in the office? I don't know. I really struggle. I don't think it's going to be that at all. I think there's going to be a hybrid and maybe when you're going to a new company, instead of getting a company car, if that's what you get, whatever it is, maybe I just need a better setup at my home.

Andy Murray: (27:05)

Give me a great camera and lighting and I'll be good. So I don't know what the new kind of kit would be for employees coming in. So Matt, you're about to say something?

Matt Barber: (27:16)

Yeah, sorry. I was just going to add one thing real quick, and everybody kind of touched on how we're missing the human experience. It reminded me of a piece of unconventional wisdom from Jeff's podcast, I believe. And we all have mentors, some formal, some informal. And I think that's one of the best aspects of being a college student, is you've got the faculty, your peers, you've got employers and community members, especially here in Northwest Arkansas that are just unbelievable people.

Matt Barber: (27:42)

And Jeff talked about creating a personal board of directors, which is kind of a step above just a mentor. He said it can be a little bit more intentional that way. So looking back, that's one thing I wish I would have done early on in my college career, was kind of set up my mentor group as a personal board of directors.

Andy Murray: (27:59)

That's great advice and I tell you, you're right, you can start that at any point. Not too late now, you can absolutely create this "Board of directors," of people that are influencing and helping you through, because I think a lot of people want to help too.

Andy Murray: (28:14)

Any other comments or insights? I think it was great comments all the way around. Anything else you guys want to talk about or questions you might have?

Jacob Mitchell : (28:22)

Yeah. I want to talk, this was one of my biggest takeaways and it's kind of a story or multiple stories of situation. But I think that it really just taught me what the real focusing on the consumer is. Wendy and Louise both talked about it, imagine a supermarket and the milk is in the back. And so for me, I remember when someone first told me, "Oh, you know why they put the milk in the back? It's so you spend more time in the store."

Jacob Mitchell : (28:48)

I remember thinking like, "Oh wow, that's so smart. I would spend more money," whatever. But now, after listening and learning about the consumer experience, I am just completely on the other side. And just think that Louise said, "Come back, come back, come back." That should be the goal. We want you to come back because spending more money in the store on one trip is way less valuable than taking multiple trips.

Jacob Mitchell : (29:14)

So for example, supermarkets should begin to focus on the customer and what are their dissatisfiers like time. If it's taking a customer more time to go to the back of that supermarket and get milk and that is a dissatisfier for them, they're going to not like going to the store because they're spending too much time.

Jacob Mitchell : (29:31)

Rather delete that dissatisfier, they're going to enjoy going to the store more and they'll come back to your store more often, ending in more value for the company. So I think that just example in situation really embodies the consumer experience and the consumer centricity.

Andy Murray: (29:50)

You couldn't be more right, and you can see some of the new formats that Walmart is rolling out with the front end at the front [inaudible 00:29:57], where it's fairly easy and fast to get to go stuff that's really based on that insight. And that's super helpful for customers when you do that.

Andy Murray: (30:07)

And it was funny when I was working at Asda not that many months ago, you would talk to... When I talked to customers, we'd often hear the reason that they might prefer, we call them a hard discount, or an Aldi Lidl versus Asda, is they would say, "Why I come to Asda, I overspend because I'm weak. And I see the promotions and I can't help myself. And I end up spending more than I should. But if I go to an Aldi, I can't spend because they're not many items there. So I'm not going to really... It's almost like they're being edited because of the temptations that they know they're weak.

Andy Murray: (30:43)

And so I always thought that was kind of amusing, but it's probably true how customers look at those stores. And it is about getting them to come back. It's not about getting every penny out of pocket as a customer and over promoting them, because they tend to not like that. They don't want to feel like they overspent because they just couldn't get enough of all the different promotions. And so that's a great insight.

Andy Murray: (31:07)

Well, I want to thank you guys, you have been awesome. And I know I pulled on you for last minute a lot of times of getting this person on, anybody have any comments? I know Molly's put her through a few fire drills, but it's been really, really cool.

Andy Murray: (31:22)

And one of the things that blew me away, I don't know what Molly did, but I did one piece of content. I forgot what it was even. It might've been Dean Waller's interview, but I got on my computer in the morning and I found most of the people that comment on my LinkedIns are like, "Yay, great job mate." They're like three words or something. And I got these 70 comments that were really thoughtful comments from students.

Andy Murray: (31:50)

I didn't know they were students. I didn't know where they came from. And I thought for a fleeting second, I was brilliant, that this was the most amazing content in the world because I've never gotten a comment. And then only to find Molly had shared that with the class, and I don't know if she gave you guys extra credit for that, but you absolutely blew my LinkedIn out of the water.

Andy Murray: (32:12)

I really did enjoy going to each single one and trying to give a helpful, unique response back. But that was four hours of my life that went away, but I was so grateful for it because that just never happens. And so you've pushed my LinkedIn ratings I think through the roof accidentally, but I've enjoyed the comments and they were all great comments. Everybody really could tell was highly engaged in this series and the content.

Andy Murray: (32:40)

And any time I get to work with the class and the students, it's the highlight of my time. So I couldn't be happier and really, really thankful for all you guys and especially you four rose to the top and really helped me out quite a bit. And so I just want to say thank you.

Shelby Hansen: (32:56)

Thank you for having us, and one quick comment with our LinkedIn posts. I just want to say, I guess thank you on behalf of all of us. As students, I know we felt very encouraged that you took the time to reply to each of us individually so thank you for that as well. This whole process has been fantastic.

Andy Murray: (33:14)

Excellent. Thank you. It was a joy, it really was. It was a lot of fun, so thank you guys.

Jacob Mitchell : (33:20)

Yeah. Thank you Andy. And I just want to say if there are any students out there listening, the biggest piece of advice I could give you, take Molly. Rapert's class. It is the best class, she's the best professor. And I've learned more in her class than any other class I've ever taken, and gotten opportunities in her class that I wouldn't have gotten in any other class. So take Molly Rapert's class, and thank you for having me Andy.

Andy Murray: (33:41)

You're welcome, and you couldn't be more right, she is the best. Any other shout outs you guys want to make while we're in our 15 minutes of fame? Shout outs to anybody because we're going to distribute this as widely as we can.

Shelby Hansen: (33:53)

Yeah. I second what Jacob said, Molly is awesome. Any U of A students listening, you're missing out if you don't take her. This has just been an extraordinary opportunity, just one of many from her class, so she's the best.

Andy Murray: (34:07)

Excellent, excellent.

Taryn Lininger: (34:08)

Ditto. And thank you Andy just for having us and for everything you've done and your work with Walton. I'm excited that for the next few years, marketing students will get to experience more of what we're experiencing now.

Andy Murray: (34:20)

We're going to keep it going. Lots of new people in the lineup to be interviewed, so I'm excited about that. And we're going to try to keep it going and even just make it bigger and bigger as we go. So again, thank you guys and have a great week. Thank you.

Andy Murray: (34:40)

Thank you for joining me for season one of It's a Customer's World podcast. If you've not had a chance to listen to all the episodes, please make sure you don't miss out on that opportunity to hear firsthand from some of the biggest game-changers and leaders in the customer experience space.

Andy Murray: (34:55)

I'd encourage you to pop over to our website. It's listed in the link in the show notes, where you'll find a list of all the episodes you can sign up to, as well as our newsletter. And we'll keep you up to date on all things that we're doing with the customer centric leadership initiative, as well as letting you know first, when season two is ready to launch. Thank you, and thank you for tuning in.

Andy Murray: (35:20)

That's it for this episode of It's a Customer's World. If you found this helpful and entertaining, I would be so grateful if you could share our show with your friends. And I'd be super happy if you subscribe so you can be updated as we publish new episodes. And if you really want to help leave us a five-star rating and a positive review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.

Andy Murray: (35:40)

It's a Customer's World podcast is a product of the University of Arkansas Customer Centric Leadership Initiative, and a Walton College original production.

Walton College

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Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. Learn more...

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The Customer Centric Leadership Initiative promotes thought leadership and ongoing inquiry among scholars, students, business leaders and regulators to address the evolving marketing and customer engagement challenges inherent in an omnichannel, transparent and hyperconnected marketplace through education, research and outreach. Learn more...

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