IAM2044 – Author and Speaker Helps Companies with Innovative Customer-Centric Strategies

Podcast Interview with Dr. Chip Bell

In this episode, we have Dr. Chip Bell, who is considered a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and service innovation.

Chip talks about his experience with innovation, the evolution of customer needs, and how businesses can adapt to these changes.

He narrates his journey into helping companies become more customer-centric, the necessity for continual innovation, and shares his perspectives on being a CEO and creating a culture of collaboration.

He also shares lots of insightful advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners and CEOs.

He shares his best hacks for improving business efficiency, stressing the importance of constant learning, exploring diverse industries, and discerning insights from what you read.

Key Points:
  • Background: Dr. Chip R. Bell has helped many Fortune 100 companies enhance their bottom lines and marketplace reputation through innovative customer-centric strategies. He is considered a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and service innovation, having written over 600 articles for numerous business journals, magazines, and blogs, and authored nine national best-selling books.
  • Customer Service Expertise: Dr. Bell shares best practices from organizations leading the customer loyalty charge, providing his audiences with powerful cutting-edge ideas and unique strategies that they can immediately put into practice.
  • CEO Hack: Dr. Bell believes in reading and finding inspiration from sources such as the Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Wired, and Rolling Stone. He also recommends the book “If It Ain't Broke…Break It!” as a source for innovative thinking.
  • CEO Nugget: He advises others to find and follow their passion, maintain a balance of curiosity and humility, and always keep reinventing themselves.
  • CEO Defined: For Dr. Bell, being a CEO means inspiring people to help others at their highest level and enabling them to be their best selves.

Website: www.chipbell.com

Previous Episode: author-speaker-helps-companies-with-innovative-customer-centric-strategies

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Dr. Chip Bell Teaser 00:00

I think those organizations today that are gonna win. And here's why. I think we have reached the limits of what I call incremental improvement. We've got to revolutionize everything we do. We've got to change the way we think about everything. Well, I help organizations think that way.

Intro 00:16

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkness values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I Am CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:43

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast. And I have a very special guest on the show today I have Chip Bell of chipbell.com. Chip, it's awesome to have you on the show.

What I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Chip so you can get an idea of all the awesome things that he's been able to accomplish and do.

And Chip R. Bell has helped many Fortune 100 companies dramatically enhance their bottom lines and marketplace reputation through innovative, customer-centric strategies. Dr Bell reveals the best practices from the organization's leading the customer loyalty charge, giving his audience is powerful, cutting-edge ideas and unique strategies they can immediately put into practice.

He is considered a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and service innovation, writing over 600 articles for many business journals. magazines and blogs, and he has authored nine national best-selling books.

Chip, are you ready to speak to the I Am CEO community?

Dr. Chip Bell 01:37

I can't wait.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 01:38

I wanted to jump right in and I wanted to ask you a little bit more about what led you to get started with your business and what exactly your CEO story was.

Dr. Chip Bell 01:45

Sure. My focus is all about the customer, and that has been a passion of my life. I think that's why the good Lord put me on this earth to hopefully help organizations figure out ways to serve customers in a way that's memorable, that's impactful, and that's profound. And so, I started my career many, many years ago with that as its focus.

I'm a picky customer. And too many times I've seen opportunities where it could have been not just good, but great and not just great, but unique. And so that aspect, which we'll talk about as we go along of making the experience unique has been my focal point, my trademark and what I would call my sweet spot.

But it all began with a desire to. Make a difference in the lives of customers.

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Gresham Harkless 02:33

Awesome. Awesome. And for anybody that's been in business or is in business, we understand how important customers are. So I wanted to ask you and drill a little bit deeper to find out what do you feel is your quote-unquote secret sauce?

Or what do you feel makes you and your organization unique?

Dr. Chip Bell 02:45

I think what makes us unique is that because we're all about innovation, it is creating an organization that's always changing, that is always focusing on the leading edge. That's looking for ways to help organizations be disruptive in what they do.

I think it is the ones that win are the pioneers, the ones that lead the way. We know all the fun metaphors about errors in your back when you're a pioneer, but nevertheless, it's the ones out front that are willing to take risk and try new things. The ones that are willing to fail forward.

I think those organizations today that are gonna win. And here's why. I think we have reached the limits of what I call incremental improvement. We've got to revolutionize everything we do. We've got to change the way we think about everything. Well, I help organizations think that way.

Gresham Harkless 03:36

I love it. I love it. And yeah, definitely being revolution, especially with technology improving so rapidly that it's hard to try to incrementally improve and be ahead of the competition. Like you said, you have to make a, you have to be a game changer and make it a revolutionary change and what it is that you're doing. So I love that.

What I want to do is switch gears a little bit and ask you now for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or a book or something that you lean on and use that makes you super efficient and effective in your everyday business.

Dr. Chip Bell 04:04

I read a lot, Gresham, and I like to read weird things. I like to read Rolling Stone and Wired Magazine, and in addition to things you might expect a CEO to read, like Harvard Business Review and Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur and Fortune in Business Week and all the usuals, because I think the insights come from looking At how things are changing in a more of a holistic way and not in a specific way, then more than reading.

It is trying to discern the insight from what you read. It is okay, what does it mean? Elon Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla launched a roadster Tesla roadster out there in space and astronaut behind the wheel. It's up there right now, up there rotating in space. playing David Bowie's The Life on Mars, which is fun in itself.

What's the significance of it? Why would he, here's a disruptor squared, what led him to spend the money to launch a roadster in space, a car out there in space? You know what? Why would he do that? So it's thinking like the Apple watch is interesting, but could it become the portal to everything in our life, everything in our life?

We already know it has the technology, for example, to be able for someone who's diabetic to take to do a test on their, check their diabetes and give them insulin. The watch can give you a dose of insulin if it needed to. And so if you thought, a watch can do that, what else could it do?

And what does that mean for my manufacturing company? What does that mean for my healthcare company? What does that mean for my entertainment company? And so I think about, I read a lot about who's out there disrupting all kinds of industries.

And how is that changing customer expectations? And, I look at how Uber changed the way we think about ordering a taxi on your smartphone, tracking it, because you can see it coming, and being able to pay for it all online, and etc.

I see all of that. I saw how he did all that. And I go what's that going to do to the banking industry? What's that going to do to the hotel industry? In the hotel industry now, I can, not only can I use my smartphone to check in remotely, but it also, I can just bypass front desk, go straight to my room and open the, my guest room door with my iPhone.

And so what does that mean for every company? And so it's not just what I read. I think it's how you think about what you read. And looking for those insights that are then translatable to all companies, because now you're looking through the lens of how does that change customer expectations.

Gresham Harkless 06:42

Understanding the essence and being able to drill it down to exactly what it is that is transferable to other industries and other parts of your life.

So I love that. And that actually transitions me now to what I would call your CEO nuggets. So what kind of pearls or words of wisdom would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs, existing entrepreneurs and business owners?

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Dr. Chip Bell 06:59

Oh, absolutely. I think several things that have been important to me. I've been doing this for 35 plus years and a half.

I think one is I would say find your passion and follow your passion above of all else. I think the importance of if you aren't having fun, why do it? People keep asking me when you're gonna retire and I say, when is how about Clint Eastwood? He's about 86 and I don't think he's retired yet. How come he hadn't retired?

I know that boy doesn't have problems with his mortgage. And so I think it's finding something you love and being willing to follow that passion. I think another thing that's important to me as a CEO, and I think for all entrepreneurs is the degree that they bring a balance of curiosity and humility to what they do.

I think if you study the lives of those who have come before us, who've been successful as entrepreneurs, they all possess a sense of wonderment, ease with which they are amazed at things and they like the way that feels. And so they're always curious. But they're also willing to borrow from others and look at what others have done and said, What does that mean for me?

The Industrial Revolution was started by Sam Colt. Did you know that? I didn't realize that. But he was the guy who invented the colt pistol, and he was the one who first applied together interchangeable parts and assembly line because he got used to pistols were made by hand.

And he got a big order for a thousand pistols from the texas rangers for a revolver that can shoot five rounds and he realized he couldn't meet that order without some other way and he'd been looking for a way to test it.

And so he finally perfected this whole concept of interchangeable parts, which we'd had before, and assembly line, which existed before, but he put them together in a way that later Henry Ford goes, we can do that with automobiles. In fact, we can move the automobile and not have a worker have to move. And all of a sudden from that, we got the beginnings of the industrial revolution.

And so because it all of a sudden made goods and services available to the masses. And obviously there were tons of factors they contributed the industrial revolution, but I think being able to look through a different lens and say, what could that do for me? How could I apply that? That's the kind of curiosity I'm talking about that I think is critical for any entrepreneur.

You've got to always be reinventing and you've got to always be willing to try new things and never be satisfied with the way things are. My friend, Bob Kregel wrote a great books that was titled, If It Ain't Broke, Break It. And all of us, and that means that never stop changing, never stop improving, never stop looking for ways to think of it differently, never be satisfied because there's always a better way.

And part of the rationale for that is, is you're delivering it to a marketplace. That's always changing. You got to stay up. I think I would add to that having a great sense of marketing and understanding the marketplace and what the marketplace wants and needs and studying the marketplace and following the trends in the marketplace so you can be there and be proactive in terms of what you bring to the market.

We all grew up with Ralph Waldo Emerson's great line that says. If you build a better mousetrap, the world will be the path to the door. Not unless they know about the mousetrap. They're not going to go anywhere. Hopefully, that's a few nuggets that might be helpful.

Gresham Harkless 10:16

Awesome. We definitely appreciate that. And now I wanted to ask you like for what you feel would be the definition and what it means to you to be a CEO.

Dr. Chip Bell 10:24

I think it is a, and I'm going to get a little metaphysical here on you, but I think, the dictionary says it is someone in a role who influences others. To achieve important goals to me, it's more than that.

That's the high-level view. But I think it is also has a dimension that says it's inspiring people. It's inspiring people to achieve important goals, but it's also inspiring people to help others at their highest level, work in a way that approaches their ideal self and in a way that honors and values people's dignity and their well-being, their wholeness.

I think if you look at those organizations that have been around for hundreds of years, it was a great book. Written by a guy named R. A. D. Geis, who was the head of strategic planning for Royal Dutch Shell, called The Living Company, and he studied companies that had lasted over 200 years to see what they had in common.

And I think they all possessed a sort of a sense of reverence and in the dignity of people. And they didn't go about in a way that used people in a negative sense. They looked for ways that would Optimize people's best side, the best of who they are, got optimized. And I think those are the healthy companies that help people do that.

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Help facilitate a culture where people want to do that for each other. And so it brings out a, I'll give you a fun twist on that. I like to ask people, which animal in Africa Is the most successful, most efficient hunter, which wild animal is the most efficient hunter in Africa? And a lot of people want to go for, maybe it's a pride of lions.

or tigers or whatever. When a line goes after their prey, only about 15 percent of the time and they're successful. And when they're working collaboratively with a pride, they only about 30 percent cheetah, which is the fastest animal on the planet. They only get about a 50 percent efficiency ratio.

Half the time they fail, but there's another animal that always surprises people that better than 85 percent of the time they go after their prey, they're successful, and it's an African wild dog. It's a spotted wild dog. And when zoologists studied them to figure out what it was that accounted for their excellence in the field and their efficiency, what they found was that they.

Several things. One is they loved each other. They cared about each other as a pack. Lions only come together for the hunt and they fight among each other over spoils. It's in their DNA to be aggressive. And wild dogs, they'll even bring food back to those that didn't participate in the hunt.

The sick, the hurt, the old, the young, the whatever. And so they share. And when you watch them, You can go on videos on YouTube videos and watch them. They're happy. They're obviously very happy. They support each other. They take cues from each other. They teach their young to work as a team. They teach their young to learn tactics in the field.

They don't just allow the DNA of brute strength. And so, and they focus on the long term, not just the short term. They're not selfish at all. And so you take away from that and you go something about this animal that is so good and the way they work together. And I think that's what great CEOs try to do is to create a culture in which people work so well together like those wild dogs and with it comes their effectiveness in this case.

It's how frequently they bring down their prey. They're pursuing in a limited market, scarce market that they're operating in an effort. But I think the metaphor applies to all organizations that say it's how we work together. It's the co-laboring. It's the collaboration that makes a difference. And that means we've got to be supportive of each other.

And that means I think for the leader, it's not about the leader, all about the leader and the ego, the leader. It's about the leader as a supporter, as a helper, as a resourcer, as a someone who provides people the authority to work on their own. We'd sometimes call that empowerment, but I think all of those things are what make an organization successful in times that are changing very, very quickly.

Gresham Harkless 14:33

That makes perfect sense. And no, I appreciate you taking some time out of your schedule, Chip. I wanted to know if there was anything additional that you might want to let our readers and our listeners know and the best way for them to get ahold of you.

Dr. Chip Bell 14:44

The best way for them to get a hold. Thank you for that. No, I can't think of anything to add. You've done a great job, Grishwinton. I've enjoyed being with you. I think the easiest way for people to reach me is my website, chipbell.com. That's one I can remember. Or they can email me, chip@chipbell.com.

When you go on my website, there's, information about my organization, what I do, books I've written all the usual predictable stuff.

That's the way they could get a hold of, easiest way to get a hold of me.

Gresham Harkless 15:09

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. We'll have those in the show notes and I appreciate you so much again, Chip, for taking some time out of your schedule and imparting us with so much knowledge and information, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Dr. Chip Bell 15:19

You as well. It's been an honor and a pleasure. Thank you.

Outro 15:22

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I Am CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community.

Want to level up your business even more? Read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch videos at cbnation.co. Also, check out our I Am CEO Facebook group. This has been the I Am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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