Making sense of Info-sense.

Info-sense is “the ability to utilize data to really understand customers as people and personalize their service.”

Coined by, this sixth-sense capability will enable companies to learn more about customer’s individual needs in real-time.

Companies who embrace info-sense can provide customers with exactly what they need right when they need it.

This concept isn’t new. Here’s a story from the early 1980s:

The year is 1981, the same year the very first US Space Shuttle rocketed to space from the Florida coast.

A few weeks after that launch, a sixteen-year-old named Michael, then a high school student, took a summer job selling newspaper subscriptions for The Houston Post.

The Houston Post was the evening newspaper. Michael started his new job as a salesman.

He was a given a basic piece of technology . . . the telephone.

As for data, the newspaper gave its salespeople a list of new phone numbers issued by the telephone company.

Michael was instructed to “smile and dial”, effectively cold calling prospective customers.

Michael soon noticed two common threads. New subscribers tended to be people who either . . . had just moved into new homes . . . . or who had just married.

Armed with this realization, Michael hired two high school friends to go around the city and find as many people getting new mortgages and uncover couples who were getting married.

He then created a personalized letter to these prospects. The letter congratulated them for the new home or new marriage and spoke to the benefits of subscribing to the Houston Post.

The result:

That summer Michael sold thousands of subscriptions. He earned $18,000 that summer in commissions and became the highest-paid salesperson at the paper. To put that into perspective, that was more than his high school economics teacher made the entire school year.

Why did this work so well?

Michael had uncovered a key insight. He had spent time understanding his customer and their needs. By knowing more about his ideal customer, Michael was able to eliminate the guesswork and, knowing his prospect would likely convert, spend more time connecting with them on a personal level.

Two years later Michael would head off to the University of Texas. During his second year in his dormitory room, Michael would start a company focused on creating custom-built direct-to-consumer PC’s.

That Michael was . . . Michael Dell.

That company is . . . Dell Computers.

The lesson that Michael learned is even truer today than it was in 1981. Technology has paved the way for every company to know more about their customers and build deeper relationships with them.

I call this concept of leveraging technology, data, and analytics to enhance the customer experience a Blue Goldfish.

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Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

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