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In this podcast, Sam had the chance to speak with Eric Wright of the Disco Posse Podcast. We discussed about the power of automating the right things so that human can do things with greater meaning and impact. Sam also shares a lot of life lessons that have proven to be invaluable to his business and how we can all do little things with great impact.
Eric Wright: Hey everybody. Welcome to the podcast. My name is Eric Wright. I’m going to be your host. This is going to be a fun one. We’re talking with Sam Ovett. We’re going to get into exactly what he and the team at mobile pocket office doing. In fact, you can go to mobile pocket office.com forward slash DiscoPosse and check it out.
But I just wanna remind folks with the great people that are making this podcast happen. Today’s episode is brought to you by our sponsors over at Veeam software. Our good friends who’ve been giving you your cloud data protection needs for now. Well over a decade. And in fact, uh, doing amazing things, you can check out, uh, beam, uh, go to V e.am forward slash disco posse, and you can see exactly what they have for your cloud data protection.
On-premise sustaining protection. And in fact, with the recent acquisition of Casten, now they’re protecting your cloud native requirements for Kubernetes as well as SAS. So make sure you can get all that stuff protected. Go to V e.am forward slash DiscoPosse. The show is also brought to you by philosophy closing, I’ve been listening to salespeople, try to sell me things and to help coach teams become better technical sellers and how to properly engage with potential and new customers.
With that, I created velocity closing. It’s a nifty tool in order to enable you to better connect with your potential and existing customers to do better technical sales and really to satisfy their needs, and really, really helped to build a relationship. So if you go to the velocity closing.com, you can download the four step guide, delivering extraordinary software demos that win deals.
You can download the ebook today, as well as get access to the upcoming audio book, read by yours truly. And an online course, that’s going to go with it. So sign up now, get in while the specialist hot could have velocity closing. So today’s episode is with Sam Ovett, as I mentioned, uh, he’s the co-founder of mobile pocket office.
Uh, so Sam and Josh are the co-founders, Sam’s an amazing individual. We had a great conversation, really about the struggles of doing the right automation, but he really talks about the human aspect of it and why it’s so important. There is just so much in this conversation. You’re going to love. We go to his whole background, uh, being a competitive sports person, uh, so much more anyway, Sam Ovett, enjoy the show.
Sam Ovett: My name is Sam Ovett. I’m the co-founder of mobile pocket office, and we’re here on the disco posse podcast.
Eric Wright: And with that we are alive or at least online. I’d love to say that one day, I’m going to actually, I’m going to do these live just so I can actually say that in B and B.
Sam Ovett: I love it. That sounds super fun.
Eric Wright: So Sam Ovett this is really cool because, uh, I’ve been, when I found out that you and I were going to be able to record, uh, and, and I thought this is like, there’s a, my love of what I do here with this show is that I genuinely want to talk with people who I get to talk to.
Uh, I’m like totally the winner in every conversation. I don’t know if anyone listens half the time, but, uh, so of the, of the people that I talked to. There’s a really kind of complex problem, especially in my sphere of I’ll say, you know, community or influence that people that are getting started with things we’re looking around how to optimize kind of how, how we we’d build flow.
So I got a lot of tool lovers. I got a lot of tech lovers. I got a lot of startup founders. I got a lot of people that just want to do things better. And so with that, if you want to introduce yourself, Sam, let’s talk about, you know, what got you started with mobile pocket office. Yeah.
Sam Ovett: So just a little bit of the background with mobile pocket office.
I run it together with my father. And so we’re business partners, which is a really unique situation, at least I think so. And it’s really fun and there’s a lot of, um, You know, it’s, it’s like no other business relationship that I’ve had before. And so that part is really cool. But as far as what we kind of do and where we came from a mobile pocket office, the whole backstory on it is basically that, you know, there are so many processes that go on in businesses and they’re messy.
Sometimes they’re clean. It just depends on what stage you are in the business. And it doesn’t necessarily, I found, have to do with the maturity of the business. There’s a early stage where you’re kind of building your process and you’re figuring out like, what are you, what are you doing at all? But then after that, if it gets defined, some of it’s automated maybe in situations.
And what we’ve found is that like the majority of, of businesses. From fortune 500, like big companies that we’ve worked with too. Like medium-sized companies that we’ve worked with and small ones, it’s just a total range of, um, in, in terms of how much they’ve actually automated and processed and systematized what they do just it’s all across the board.
And we see a lot of opportunity to help people do this one specific thing, which is be human, where it counts and otherwise automate. So you have the outcomes of being more profitable with like less manual work and you can focus on like the very important things business, uh, with human resources and, and engage people’s creative minds to do that.
It was really important things versus doing manual tasks. And like, that’s kind of the big thing, but little more backstory, I’ll go back a little further. My, my dad, Josh, he’s also a business partner. He did business processes. I don’t know, 20 something, 30 years, you know, like he’s, he’s been through
sharp. And so with that, it’s this great thing in his own focus for a long time, it was like the business analytics aspect of it versus the, the marketing aspect and the sales and sort of more the front end, once that lead comes in all the way through. And so now we’ve taken that whole business process engineering approach and applied it to more of the marketing and sales aspect of what people do and automate.
And then naturally we take it all the way through the rest of the business process, because as you improve one, then it just goes down the pipe of the process and it’s like, well, what can we do here? What can we do here? What can we do here? But we start with that top end. So that’s the backstory. And then I was a professional athlete.
I, after college, uh, doing whitewater kayaking and guiding, and, you know, naturally as an athlete, you get involved in all the marketing aspect of things with the companies. It’s kind of, part of the role is the reality. And from that too, I also saw a lot of like, why do you do that? You know, can you even track if this is effective because I kind of picked up real quick, like, wait a second.
I’m the marketing arm. Yes, I’m an athlete, but really I’m just like a marketing tool.
Eric Wright: That’s right. Yeah. The, the little known fact that, uh, you know, while you’re out there pounding it out, uh, you know, in the wall or on the slopes, uh you’re, you’re also know that as soon as you get dead bottom, you are now the interviewee, you’re the marketing arm of yourself.
Sam Ovett: That’s right. And then you’re promoting whatever brand you’re representing in like you’re attracting new businesses. And I also saw like this whole lack in just the total outdoor industry, when we’re doing stuff of sophisticated marketing, follow up process automation, there’s some for sure, but largely it was underdeveloped.
And so that got me thinking, and then I got with my dad and then we started going, well, wait a second. What if we took this whole marketing side of it and what I knew about internet marketing, being involved with these companies and what he knew about the business process analytics, and we’d like, put it together and started saying, what if you apply the whole business process engineering to the whole internet marketing and digital marketing aspect of what you’re doing, what would that turn out to?
And that’s where mobile pocket office was born out of that idea. And then we’ve partnered with different software companies and that’s how a lot of our businesses come. Um, and so because of that, our industries that we are in are kind of across the board, which has been so cool. Uh, because we get to pull ideas across like, oh, we worked with a manufacturing company here.
We’re working with like a very digital, you know, based course company. That’s really a serious company, but they’re rocking and rolling and like, they need to track everything. Then we’re working with a software company and it’s like, you take these ideas from these different industries that are like, oh, of course you do that in this industry.
And you bring it to another one and then you apply all the automation and processing. We can go through that. And it’s just like so fun, you know, you’re, you’re out there solving problems and you’re going like, well, how can you be more efficient? How can you be more profitable? And, and, and a lot of ways too, like we’re given some of these founders their time back to focus on the things that they got them excited in the first place.
Eric Wright: Well, you, you bring up, uh, yeah. Well, and there’s a ton to unpack in there, but the stuff that sticks out really right away is that you said you want to be human where account
Sam Ovett: that’s. Right. And that’s like, ah, that’s the big one.
Eric Wright: So. When I talk to people about automation, automation is not about removing the human experience.
It’s about optimizing the human experience in my mind, right? It’s about releasing you to do the stuff that matters. Like I do a lot of mundane stuff and oil boy would I like to get out of it. And some you can’t because there aren’t truly human touches or some kind of interaction involved, but there is so much, and the hardest part I think that we all suffer from in our day to day is what can I let go of?
And so how, when you, when you get started with somebody and they come to you and they say, okay, Sam, Josh, look, we need help. I need, uh, I need to get out of the way of what’s going on because I feel like I’m stuck in the middle. How do you, how do you begin to kind of open up, you know, which stuff is. Human dependent and which stuff they can release to automation to get them back on track with what’s valuable in that human time spent.
Sam Ovett: that that’s that’s, I think that’s a great question as far as framing, because that is really people come to us and usually they go like, all right, I’m at a critical stage. And a lot of times people get this idea, like I need a scale, right? So like, I can’t scale because I’ve got all these things that are like holding me back from that, but I can sell like my product converts my offer, converts, whatever it is, and we can sell it more of it, but we can’t deliver it well, uh, because we have human like functions that have to take place currently, the way it’s done, it’s holding us back.
So the very first thing we do is we go, okay. Instead of like jumping straight into the weeds, we like say, okay, let’s take a step back. And we do it. What’s called a blueprint session, a mapping session. It’s just our name for it. And we go, let’s walk through the big picture of the business, like how you market, how you actually do the sales.
If there’s a human component to that, how you deliver whatever you promise, you know, how do you fulfill it? Do you delight people? And how do you ask for referrals? That’s like across any industry that spans the spectrum.
Eric Wright: It’s funny that this is the other thing too, is that you talked about before the breadth of your customer base and the diversity of the customer base, but it’s, it’s actually a sort of this elegant simplicity that it really is the, the core thing you change, the industry, you change the logo, you change the, you know, the color of the hair of the person that you’re talking to in the end, really.
You are doing what has worked. Like they always say the best new book to buy is a really old book because it’s probably a long time for a reason. And this is, we look at the classic books. I mean, Dale Carnegie, we, we talk, you know what, if you look at the release date, the original like publishing date of how to win friends and influence people, it’s like 1921 or something like it is from almost
Sam Ovett: over here on my shelf.
Eric Wright: it’s a hundred year old book, but if I pick it up today, it matters.
Sam Ovett: That’s right. That’s right. So it’s kind of like, we take that same, it’s that same idea, right? That you go, what are the fundamental components that make up running a business? And when we start there and you go, what, what do your interpret not interpretation, but what does your business look like?
In that context, like what do you actually do in those stages? And so if we, if we look at those stages, it’s like the very first stage is you’ve got to attract new interest. Like everybody has to do that. You got to like, let people know you exist, that’s marketing, right? That’s like the very top part of marketing.
And then there’s like marketing and sales where they merged and like actually getting an interest to become leads and then turn into sales. And, you know, that’s a whole big, messy thing to unpack and it’s different for everybody, but there’s some core things around everything, no matter what you sell.
And uh, and then you, whenever you promise somebody and they got excited about that, they said, yeah, I’ll give you my money in exchange for that, like effectively, that’s what people are doing then, um, then you have to deliver that. Otherwise you get a bunch of unhappy customers, like really fast.
Eric Wright: Yeah. The funny thing about that, it’s, uh, it is truly a cycle and, and most people, when they get started with anything, they don’t.
You it’s kind of hard to actually look at the whole end to end cycle. If we were that good at it, then we probably wouldn’t be coming up with new ideas. We’d be advising other people on other ideas. Like there are people that are truly kind of they’ve gotten it so they can repeat that process. But I would, it’s easy to say that 99% of people are not ready to go with a baked in understanding of a complete flow and life cycle of a customer experience, whether it’s, you know, leading to delight or leading to churn, and even if a churn leads to churn, what do you do after that?
Like what do you, especially when you get into like digital marketing flow conversions, like you don’t say like, oh, we convert at 4%. That’s pretty good. Like where this 96% of people, why did they leave? Right. Like you have to actually kind of unpack that. And so anyways, the point I want to get to this is when, when someone gets started and you say, all right, we’ve got this blueprint set.
How many people are like an hour in and going, okay, hold on guys. Like, this is, this is a real, there’s a lot. And you re and then you have to kind of tell them yes. Yeah. Cause it’s, I’m not going to give you get rich, quick marketing funnel optimization. Like no, no, no, no. This is not the business we’re in, we’re in the business of creating a flow that will work for you.
So I got to get you first.
Sam Ovett: That’s right? Yeah. Like we do these sessions in various lengths. Sometimes the shortest one we’ll do is like four hours. And it focuses on like a very specific aspect of a process that somebody wants to,
Eric Wright: sorry. I just, I know there’s a lot of eyes that just widened listening to that.
They’re like, sir, hang on a second. The shortest one is four.
Sam Ovett: This one is four hours. Like I can’t, I can’t figure out what you do in less than that amount of time and actually help you improve it. None of us can. And so like maybe somebody can, but I can’t. And, uh, and then like some of the longer ones we do spend like four days where we do two, four hour sessions a day.
Um, and so it kind of takes a lot of stamina to go through it. And it’s emotional too. Cause you’re like, we are going in and we’re not beating you up, but we’re we’re and that’s not our goal. Our goal is to ask you questions and really understand what you consider to be your business. What are the processes that you may not even realize are process.
And pull them out. And so it’s like, first we start with the flow, the big flow. Right. What do you generally do then we pull out, how do you do that? Like, how does it actually happen? Right. And then, then it’s like, okay, from there, then we start at that point only. Do we start looking at what should be human and what could you automate?
And then from there, then it’s down to actually getting into implementing those th these new, like, exciting world of automating and being able to track stuff and things like that. But it’s not can start with like, yeah, let’s just jump in and automate things.
Eric Wright: Open your HubSpot account. Let’s get started.
Sam Ovett: Yeah. Like can black that thing open and like click, click, you’re ready, you know? Yeah. Sometimes there’s a win here. There we can get, people are like, Hey, check this out. Like, let’s like literally free up, you know, a couple hours sometimes. Cause you’re doing this manual thing that you didn’t know, you could just simply automate, but really it’s like, let’s jump in.
Let’s take this experience of your business. Let’s identify what you do and what all the people that are in your business do.
Yeah. People it’s a syringe, like people who have the stamina, like they can go, some people can just like keep at it and go, go, go. And they can like really just dive in. And they, they’re not like they’re able to emotionally be like step back. Cause we try and make it a, a pretty calm like space, you know?
Cause it’s, it’s like, Hey, we’re literally looking at all the things you do in your business. And, and it’s like, it’s like, Hey, let me just inspect all, everything you built that you’re so proud of. And, and we’re also going to look for all the ways to improve it, which can feel like, Hey, we’re looking at all the flaws.
Eric Wright: Yeah. There is a, there’s a natural human instinct and a reaction, right. That we want to defend that we’re, we’re not wrong. And it’s really hard to get people to detach from that and they need, that’s why they need, like, you can’t go to them in an hour. They’re going to come out of there with an after an hour ago.
I don’t know, these, these two fellows just came in and, and showed me a bunch of flaws in my system. Like there, it’s just a weird, natural, psychological reaction that, yeah. Yeah.
Sam Ovett: I think just the ego, like, you know, our, as humans, it goes like, oh, it’s very defensive. And so I think that’s something that we, we, uh, to use a defensive word, but try and combat that right away and say like, look, if you, and the majority of our, our customers that really succeed with this kind of stuff are doing like half a million in revenue or more, that’s kind of like, what we’ve sort of found is like, if you’re doing that, then you have, you have process.
You may not know exactly what it is mapped out perfectly and like where you can automate it, but you’re doing something repeatedly. And, and at that point it gets really challenging to manage it all. Notepads and spreadsheets like you need some systems, uh, up to that point, you probably can do it all on notepads and spreadsheets, but at that point it starts to break and become less efficient.
Uh, and, and you start to impact the customer’s experience and drop balls is what I’ve seen is just generally what I’ve seen in my
Eric Wright: experience with it, you know, and it becomes a thing of scale. And I know I get this all the time, especially in the tech world, we talk about, you know, something that works at scale, and that’s such a subjective thing because four, it could be an Etsy seller who suddenly can’t keep up with an order flow.
And then they find themselves getting refund requests for something, and it can start there, or it could be, you know, effectively a huge product life cycle of a larger organization that. They, they need to go back and pick up the goal and, and learn the magic of gold rad. And so they’ll dig into that.
They’ll hire process analysts, and then there’ll be eight months into a, a large dollar consulting extravaganza, find out that, ah, okay. You know, we actually, we could have started smaller. Like there actually was a bottleneck that we could have identified
Sam Ovett: right away and just clean up that bottleneck and then like gone from there.
Yeah. Yeah. And so the, to go back to that original question of like, you know, people’s experience coming into what I think is really important is when, like, even if people do this on their own, it’s just like, look, if you’ve gotten this far, like you’re a successful person, like you’ve built something and that’s, that’s admirable and impressive.
And so like, we’re not here to tear you down. We’re here to look at ways that you can improve for what you’ve gotten to. So like, this is going to beat you up session. This isn’t, uh, something that’s supposed to be like, look how bad you are. Look at all the things you could be doing. Right. You know, the finger could be pointed at any of us.
And we could look at it and go like, well, of course there’s always opportunities to improve and you were smart enough to reach out to somebody and say, Hey, we want to improve. And we want some help doing that. And so we, we take it from that approach when we work with people, because I think that’s, that allows people to like relax and be like, okay.
Yeah. Let’s like, actually see how we can improve versus just get beat up by somebody, which is a terrible experience.
Eric Wright: Yeah. This is bad. And you should feel bad.
Sam Ovett: The, a successful business that’s running. Like that’s, anybody can be proud of that and anybody can probably improve it too.
Eric Wright: When you, when you approach a new client, what do you set as your out.
Sam Ovett: So we, we asked them what they want their outcome to be. That’s like, where it begins. It’s like, what do you want out of this? And for some people it’s more personal. They want like their time back, you know, and they’re more of a single family founder. Co-founder, that’s like really so involved in the business and managing through that just their time back, you know?
And they’d like to spend some time with their family, like some basic things like that, you know, as silly as it sounds, um, they, they don’t want to work a bajillion hours a week. They’d like to be able to back off and be like, Hey, I built this thing. And now I’ve got some space to think and be creative with the business and take it to the next level and approach the market in the next way that I want.
And then other folks that are, or I guess what I would call organizationally minded, they want to be able to, to have defined process that they can train other people on. Um, or they want to. Set it up in a way that the resource dollars that they’re allocated and their budget for are able to go towards people who are really doing creative work, doing the marketing work, the hard work of like attracting new people, um, or like a better sales person.
If it’s something we really could use a sales team, which is not everybody, but some of those are, uh, and they don’t want to waste their money on hiring people who can do things that could be automated. And so to that kind of point, I’ll arc on that for second it’s like if you invested, let’s say you’re going to pay an admin person like between 30 and $50,000 a year.
Well, you have to do that every year with health benefits, all the different things that come with hiring a person, the infrastructure of hiring a person, the equipment. What if you invested that amount? In automation once and now you have that repeatedly forever, and then you can actually spend more money on the really like talented individuals that you want to hire to grow your organization.
You know, because they’re going to do the creative work, the like market opening work versus the, I need to move data around spreadsheets work.
Eric Wright: Yeah. Well, it becomes the problem of you are going to hire a marketing person and they come up with like fantastic marketing. It could do advertise and they do whatever, but now you’ve.
Basically backed up this new problem up to the gate, because you’re now creating a, an influx that you don’t know what to do with. So then they’ve got to figure out how do you handle that? And then give them something on the other side. Cause even getting, you know, funnel and pipeline and all of the good marketing, goodness, it’s only good if you’ve got something to give them, to keep them spin around the top up that funnel and converting down to the bottom, ideally.
And, and versus if you’re just like, like you said, spending the money on a person to handle the operational stuff that money is spent in automation could be spent on now generating excitement and delight. And X stuff is exponential value. I think that’s really what it is is that the 30 K to 50 K is flat linear.
I just, the lights have to stay on. So I’ve got to spend enough money to keep the lights on. Versus if I, you know, install a bike with that, I could, I like biking and I’m going to put generator on it. And then I can take that money and pay a guy like regenerate where that, that money is being spent. So then you can spend the rest of the money the right way.
Sam Ovett: Yeah. And then you’re not worried about the issues of scale because you’ve done that. But, but yeah, that’s, that’s totally the point. And that’s, that really is the big picture of this is like, when you talk about being human, where it counts and otherwise automating. If I, can I go down that path for a second?
Eric Wright: A hundred percent. This is, this is my jam. I’m all about the value of humans. Impact in automation, not on it, but in it, like it’s where do the touch points begin and where the handoffs and where are the right things that we can cause you, we still need, you know, look, I get a little pop-up I go to a website and it says like, Hey, it’s, you know, it’s Jack from whatever company.com, you know, got a question, you know, you see the little widgets pop up and like, that’s, you don’t know if there’s actually a Jack on the other side, or if it’s like jack.ai.
So, but when you do interact with somebody and it’s a human experience, you know, the, the impact it has on me as a potential or current customer. And so this is why Alex said be human we’re accounts. Let’s dig in there.
Sam Ovett: Let’s dig again. Cause like that, that is, is something that people go well, is it going to make an impact right.
Being human. And I start with like the very first thing, just as frame, the experience, like when was the last time you got a handwritten. And like, everybody’s gotten one they’re there, you know, at some point, and I go, how did that make you feel? Right. So like, when was the last time you got one?
Eric Wright: Uh, ironically enough, I had a, I had a podcast guest on and, uh, and he sent me a handwritten note to thank me for being on the podcast, which was kind of wild.
I was like, dang, I am totally not doing this. Right. Because I should be doing this for everybody. You know, I immediately felt like good about what we had just accomplished.
Sam Ovett: And so like that feeling good when you get that, right. It’s like, it’s a, it’s like a really good feeling. Like it sticks with you. You have a lot of experiences daily with purchasing, with working with other people.
For me personally, I don’t wanna speak for anybody else, but this is usually the experience that I hear is like that, that like makes you think of that person more often. It is a very warm feeling. And so like that one example of a human touch, the impact that it can have on someone’s loyalty to you and their interest in becoming a repeat customer can be so big.
And so like just starting with that and that like recognizing the feeling that we all get when we get something that somebody took some time to care for, you know, that’s unique to us, like, I know it’s not automated because they related something about the experience to me,
Eric Wright: right? Yeah. It wasn’t like, because there actually are, this is the funny thing, and you probably know this as well.
The folks listening, there are services out there that you can hire to write handwritten notes that aren’t written by hands they’re written by very cool robots that do you know. Yeah, enough deviation to look like a good old fashioned handwritten note.
Sam Ovett: Well, I do know about them and we, and we actually implemented for people in certain situations, but with a caveat and the caveat is that, and I’ll kind of go into this because I think this is the cool part about it.
And I kind of cut you off with the caveat is that you actually send a personal message in there and you just don’t have to do the work of the writing. It’s still handwritten same effect because you took the time to think about what you wanted to communicate, but you put that in somewhere digital and the automation sends it out.
And so it relieves the workload and that’s, that’s where we have like, kind of it’s, uh, you know, you cross the line of human and automation and that’s where that whole human side, I don’t remember this for sex. I just think it’s so cool. Um, but it’s probably cause I’m a nerd about it, but, uh, but uh, you know, the whole idea that.
A lot of times, here’s what I see as the challenge with company, but he’s an individuals trying to organize the human touch into the automation process. What does automation do for you? Couple of things, right? It, it saves you time if it’s built right. Provides a more consistent experience, not always better, but a more consistent experience if it’s done, right.
It’s a better experience for customers. You always want to do a better experience. That should be your priority. Not always automating better is, is what you’re going for. Um, and then the other thing that it does is a lot of times it gives you tracking to look, get the global picture. If it’s set up right.
Of what you’re doing and say, well, From the leads we get and the marketing we do to the sales and referrals on the back end, it’s easier to look at it when it’s coming through digital automated systems. Like it’s just easier than if you do everything manually. Otherwise you’re doing manual number crunching and it’s harder.
So, so what we try and do with this whole thing outside of the big picture of reducing workload, you know, try to make you more profitable with less risk. The sources is the aspect of tracking the human touch and the value of the human touch. And that’s a really big one that we like to focus on because it’s the first thing sometimes to go when you get busy, but it can have some of the biggest impact.
And if you can integrate it into the digital, you know, tracking that goes on nicely. A lot of times with automation when it’s put together. Then you can go, wow. If we take that away, we see a difference. We see less referrals. We see less happy raving fan customers. Yeah. And so adding in automation or human touch to the tracking inside of the automation to really show the value of it, because you go, if you’re doing human stuff, like there’s levels of it, right.
Like I just talked about where maybe you enter a note digitally, then it gets written by a machine, but it looks human. Like that’s still a great experience for someone compared to no note. Right. And there’s kind of a spectrum. Yeah.
Eric Wright: Yeah. Like if you get the note and it says, dear square bracket, first name.
Oh no, I’d see you inside. I’ve gotten some of those emails before and you’re like, oh, dang it. I know what it was. It was an accident, but oh, this is not cool. Yeah.
Sam Ovett: But like, if, for example, like, let’s say that microphone that you’re talking through right now, right. That’s like a nice piece of equipment. You bought it and like level one experiences, like they just send you nothing.
Right. You did check that you purchased, you got nothing level, two experience would be like, they sent you an invoice. Right. And so they confirm that you placed the order and your, and then they also sent you some tracking details. Let’s say in that level two experience. So you can track your order. Uh, and level three is they also sent another email that has like some.
Nice words that somebody wrote on a template, you know, that merges your first name into it. Yeah. And then like level four would be like, they send you a, some kind of like, thank you, brochure. That’s super templatized. Then like level five would be like, they sent you a, a template ID, but, but physical, like, no, right then level six would be an automated note that was clearly template.
But your name was merged into it. And it was like, looked like it was handwritten. Right. And then like level seven is where we start to go. Okay. Well now you put in the unique, thank you to you that somebody wrote in a digital format and then it got audited. Sent to the machine, the machine wrote, it looks handwritten and then like level eight beyond that, now we’re into full manual.
Right. And then like level, right. It’s like they scribbled something on the like fun on the note itself and like add some stickers or something. Cool. And like, so you kind of just take that spectrum of experience for the customer, um, experiencing you, apply it to all those ports and you go, well, well, what do we have the bandwidth workers, sometimes you literally don’t have the bandwidth at a certain time and have the experience where can we maximize using the human touch inside of the rest of the automated process?
And you could start, you know, you can, and you can split test it even, and see the results that come through it because you’re tracking it digitally. So like, well, what if we put a little less investment and energy into human touch by sending a template, a digital thing versus a non template, a digital thing.
That merges into a physical note, just using that example and like, do we see a raging fan experience difference? And like, if, if you don’t then, then you know, my recommendation is probably going to be like, go with the slightly less work one, because you can scale that better because you’re getting the same outcome.
But if you see one is like a dramatically better outcome, well then that’s when you want to invest the time and energy, because it’s, it’s doing the work for you. That is really valuable, like making a super happy customer. Does that make
Eric Wright: sense? It does. Yeah. And I think this is why the, the whole purpose of this.
And like, so even when we talked about the, the joke of the machine ready to your handwritten, but he said, it’s the fact that they went further to make your experience better. So even though I know it’s. By a machine and the signature on the bottom is from a JPEG of somebody’s signature. Yeah. And the little sticker that was put on, you know, is about as personalized as the thing that I found in my shirts the other day, it says inspected by number 17, number 17, you’re the best like that’s cool, but thank you 17.
And for that on Twitter, never 17 shout out fist bump to my man. Number 17, some damn fine shorts. But the, even though I know what’s going on in that machine, I still appreciate that they went to the distance to do it. And I’m way overthinking the process. So 90% of people, holy crap, that’s really neat.
They actually wrote me a handwritten note.
Sam Ovett: That’s it? And that’s how most people experience it. Right? And like, if you know that if you know how the sausage is made and you’re like in the world of tech and you know that like this stuff’s possible. Which a lot of people don’t, which is okay, it actually works to the benefit and it’s not pulling the wool over anybody’s eyes when people still go like, wow, I got something personal.
And like that, that felt nice. Um, and if you can get people to say, like, that felt nice more often in your customer experience, where they just feel that then inevitably you’re going to have happier customers, as long as your product also works, you know, whatever it’s promises
Eric Wright: in. Anything that we do.
There’s like, I, I know the phrase we call it as impact versus intent, and one can often outweigh the other, like the, the impact in some cases. So out have a hundred customers that, you know, it doesn’t jive with or whatever they, but the, the intent will be felt through the process, even though maybe the impact and the outcome isn’t desire as desired as, as hoped.
Yeah. But it is important that. And the same thing with automation. Like, why are we doing this stuff? Not because I want to get out, I want to get away from customers is because I want to delight my customers.
Sam Ovett: Yeah. And I want to reliably delight all of them. Right. And versus versus some of them, because that’s, I think where I see is an issue that we help people move past is that people get in this phase of like, I can reliably delight like this many flow of customers at that point.
Now it’s not as delightful of experience because I can’t handle it because I can’t keep up with the many stages of the relationship that someone is in with our business. And so like, number one, that makes for a worse experience, even though the customer may not know, there’s a better experience out there.
And number two, inevitably, if those other pieces help drive more sales and more repeat business and more referrals, which is how you grow right then. Well, why would you not want to like, try and increase that experience reliably for everybody so that it is a better experience. And then, and then that’s where you go.
Like, well, what can I automate that takes up all this time that I’m don’t have anymore. And then what should I really be human with?
Eric Wright: But the other thing about optimization is you’re never optimal. Or if you are. At a point in time, like it can be long lasting. It could be a period of time. One of my favorite examples I gave is like, again, really good marketing automation company called buffer that they did.
And I, I could go back through my inbox and I, you know, have archived just rather than deleted my Gmail. Cause it was just the easiest button just in case they go back. And I remember getting my, like every other day I get my email from Joel, from buffer. I’m like, you’re my man, Joel, I appreciate this. You know, I knew it was a form letter.
I know it’s what they do is they do this for a living they’re in social marketing, the whole course, all their stuff is fully automated. But then about a year later, I got a note from Karen, from buffer. The first thing I thought is, oh no, what happened to Joel?
Sam Ovett: Yeah. And that, and it’s, it’s those kinds of things that you go like, wow.
You know, when someone’s in the midst of doing automation and you know, you’re, we’re on a zoom call and we’re working through processes. Hey, what name do you want in the email? You know, it’s like, oh, just do like info, right? It’s like, no, no, let’s be personal. That’s an opportunity to be personal and be human.
Um, and that, that is a great example of like, oh, you actually knew to expect stuff from Joe. And like, the other thing is if you can actually reply and Joel replies to you, that’s pretty human versus fake Joel, no reply.
Eric Wright: That’s right. Yeah. But the interesting thing about it. So this is interesting dichotomy that we can have a good flow and, and, and, you know, the truth is we all get too much email.
We all get whatever, so we don’t necessarily convert or answered or interact with it. But when that day comes and, and maybe, you know, it was close and I see a change, I may having seen a new name on it. Detach. And it was a kind of an interesting feeling that I, I had this internal sort of monologue of like, I know it’s fake.
Why did they change the name? And like, and just for what, and this is again old Eric overthinking the whole process. But knowing the reason I do that is because I studied behavioral psychology. I want to see where this stuff breaks. And so I think if that happens, just like, if I get a new account rep at a vendor, I start to detach.
Yeah, totally. Right. So change can actually a beautiful automation flow that you have to change for a variety of reasons can, has to be remeasured, rechecked and, and monitored because it’s not just like, Hey, this thing worked, we’re just going to run it. Ad infinitum. Right.
Sam Ovett: And that’s another opportunity.
Like you just look at all these different points in someone’s journey. And like, that’s a great example of when it’s like, oh, I’m switching over to a new rep. Well, if that’s made note of, and it’s thought through, then that’s an opportunity to try and not lose you because we know that you’re likely to detach at that moment.
Right? You’re, you’re, you’re less invested because humans work with humans, right? Where people, we work with other people and neurology facilitates this process. We don’t work with technology. We don’t get excited usually about like the technology. We usually get excited about like the human story behind the technology and that’s what gets us into it.
And then we find that it’s useful, you know? And then we find that it’s helpful, but really we’re humans working with humans, connecting with humans, connecting with human stories. And if you can recognize, and we can all recognize those stages where we break the human story that we’ve built a relationship with, then that’s also an opportunity to rebuild that relationship so that we can.
You know that one person doesn’t lose you as a customer because your new rep could be better, could be more helpful and they could jump on and they could, they could actually say, Hey, I know I’m new. I know that we don’t have a relationship, but I have your history here. And I value you as a customer. I’d like to get on and see, you know, what we can do to improve your experience.
Like, wow, what an opportunity and who knows chances, are you probably going to buy some more stuff or add the feature and stuff like that because they thought about you and they cared about you as a customer, even though it was a new person, but they also put in, if it’s done right into their automation, a note that says, Hey, when this data point gets updated, that on your contact record, you have a new rep assigned to you.
Then that rep has a human task to reach out. Even if it’s done through automation to reach out and say, Hey, I’d love to schedule a call because I know I’m new. And I know, and I’d like to, even with all this history, get to know you. So. I understand the nuances that may not be in her system.
Eric Wright: And it, this is the interesting it’s, it’s not, it’s not a money problem or fix.
Cause I literally had a company, I won’t name the company, but they’re potentially valued in the billions that this point very well known organization. And I love them to death. I went to go, it was like, oh, darn it. It’s renewal time. My license is up. I got to make sure that I can get a new PO to, to renew this.
Cause I know that’s what I had to go through last time. So I send a note to my account rep I’m like, Hey, just checking in. I haven’t heard from anybody in a while, but it’s good. I’m actually low touch. I don’t want to be, I don’t want to get a lot of stuff. I send me the emails. I’ll I’ll I’ll to pull for me.
I’m I’m aggressive on what I want to get at or something. Sometimes a push is good cause it, oh, oh, I didn’t know that. That’s fine. So anyways, I go to my email, my account rep nothing crickets, three days later, send another email. At this point, now I’m in the account executive business here because I am now trying to take over my own account.
I just want to remove renew my bloody license and so nothing. And then I literally had to go sideways inside the organization to somebody else that I knew and say, Hey, so I’m assuming that my account rep is no longer with the organization. And then I do a quick LinkedIn check and sure enough, they’ve moved on and fair enough.
But the fact that, that nothing caught that I no longer had an account rep and even worse, it didn’t catch that. I was trying to contact that person. Yeah. And like, I w I was going to renew anyways, but I w they are lucky that I cared enough to
Sam Ovett: like, got you enough value that you still needed. It, it solved the problem for you.
It sounds like, but like, the experience was made worse based on the fact that. The you used to be able to go to a human and then that, you know, you’re sending it to that same email address. And it’s like not forwarding now to the new person. Who’s responsible for that. And like obviously the CRM system, isn’t tracking it and paying anybody and you know, that whole idea of automation and CRM systems, they kind of go together in a way from the customer experience standpoint to go, like, I can pick up like, that’s right.
The whole idea of CRM, as you can, anybody could pick up your account and know your history of the customer and appreciate the value. So you don’t, you also don’t have to repeat stuff to people
Eric Wright: and, and go here. There’s nothing worse than when you, you you’re like when you get a call from somebody and I’ve, I’ve actually gotten same thing.
I, I busted on, on somebody pretty hard one time. Cause they’d phoned me. And they’re like, Hey, you know, I just want to know if you’re, uh, if you’re interested for this job, it was a recruiting firm and they gave me the whole details on it. I was like, oh yeah, no, sounds interesting. Send me a, send me the rec.
I’ll get your resume. And whatever, like four hours later, I get a call. Hey, this is somebody different from the same company. And, uh, we noticed that your, where your resume, whatever. And we wanted to bring this gig. And I was like, you know what you need to do. You need to look out for people with resumes around like CRM, uh, implementation, because apparently you guys need one called four hours ago, but the same job by different rep in your firm lose my number.
Sam Ovett: Right. And it’s one of two things, right? Yeah. We have when we don’t use it because we’re not trained on it.
Eric Wright: Right.
Sam Ovett: Which is common. And in my what, in my experience, the bigger the company, the more they can afford to lose the customer. So the less sophisticated they are in using their tools, like a CRM to really care about the customer, not a hundred percent across the board, but if you’re a bigger, if you’re smaller, you can’t afford to lose that customer as much, or you feel, you
Eric Wright: the immediate impact when it doesn’t work.
Sam Ovett: Yep. Versus, Hey, I’m big and somebody new and they’re a little bit detached because they’re just in a more corporate environment. Um, and if the culture is good, then it works. You know, people that’s part of what they built into it. It’s, it’s, you know, we treat everybody with the human touch, but if it’s, if it’s just okay, which is a lot of cultures are just, okay then, um, it’s we lost them and, you know, on the balance sheet, it’s like, you don’t even notice that one.
Yeah. It’s a
Eric Wright: rounding error somewhere,
Sam Ovett: right. The surrounding area versus like, we care about you. Um, so. It’s taking that approach, not being around in your, and, and there’s like all these, all these, you know, sexy stories we have of people who’ve like put in automation and they’ve generated this much revenue and, and it’s, you know, saved this much time and those are fun, but the, the real like impactful stuff and that’s impactful.
No doubt. People love that. Right. They’re like stoked. Right. I’ve got time. I’ve got more money. Like automation is awesome. And then, uh, and then, and then there’s the aspect of like, just taking that viewpoint of that single customer as they go through the different paths that they could as your journey.
And like, how do we really care about our customer and use automation to make sure we care? And part of caring is not forgetting to offer people things that could improve their experience. And I think that’s something that’s sometimes lost in, depending on the world is people go, I don’t want to like bug people with offers and stuff like that.
It’s like, you almost have an obligation. If you have something that could improve their experience to let them know. Hey, we’ve got this other part of the experience that could improve. If you’re interested in it, we want you to know about it. And that’s another way you can use automation so that you, and you’re doing it at a relevant time versus trying to choke people with too much upfront or giving him the wrong thing.
Right. If I bought, you know, you see the skis in the background, we’re here in Colorado and we’re like eight miles from the nearest ski resort. So like
Eric Wright: no shortage of skis, uh, in the house, for sure.
Sam Ovett: Yep. And so it’s like if I bought skis and that same company sells bindings, well, I, I’m pretty interested in the bindings after I’ve picked my skis.
Not necessarily before. And so then I want to, you know, I’d probably be really excited to get an email or a note about the recommended binding for that type of ski. That would go really well with it. And that’s like a great opportunity to improve that my transaction value as a customer, my experience as a customer, and also like they thought of me and helped me get the better value out of their product.
There’s a neat thing. When I buy it, say thank you with some kind of notes, like a personal video, and like, wow. Now I’m really connected to a human at the organization. And I think that’s what all the human stuff is about is usually companies are selling things, but if you can connect the customer with a human at the organization, then you have an opportunity to cement that relationship.
And we any, one of us is more likely to become a raving fan. If we do truly love the product and are excited about it. And you built a great product, which is a prerequisite to a lot of this stuff working. Yeah.
Eric Wright: Oh yeah, exactly. Underneath it. All. This is only good in support of a fantastic actual product experience.
Sam Ovett: right. That is bad. Then it’s, you can do all the human and automation you want, and it’s just not going to work,
Eric Wright: but it, it it’s proof of that scaling of every part of the experience has to be persistent and continuous. Otherwise you will be doing both wrong. They’ll have poor product experience and poor interaction.
So you’re, you’re losing on both fronts. And there’s a, there’s a saying amongst sort of the user experience community of like how you define build like web user experience and such. Yeah. I can’t, it’s a good user experience is difficult to know, but a bad one isn’t right. This idea that is very obvious when you have a bad user flow.
Uh, but a good one. It’s kind of like when you walk into a room, you’re you ever do that? You go, you paint your room and you’re all you start off in that first, a bit of it goes in the wall and you’re like, oh man, this is going to be brutal. So you paint all the trim and you do the corners, you do your edging, you spend all this effort and then it takes like an hour do the rest.
Cause it’s a roller it’s faster. And then somebody walks in and they’re like, did you paint it like every three hours? Because you experienced all of the sausage making, but in the end it just looks like a beautifully painted room. So it should be almost innocuous.
Sam Ovett: Right? Yeah. And that totally relates because we just painted our living room and it was like there’s it’s post and beam in this.
And so we, we had like all the wood beams running through, we painted it from like a green to like a more, uh, soothing sort of white that captured the light because we’ve got a bunch of kind of skylights and stuff. And, uh, and so I, and, and, you know, people walked in and nobody knew that we just painted the house and in fact could be so, cause we didn’t leave all the tools out there wasn’t stuff, you know, all the paint brush was put up and it was just clean and nice.
And cause it said, oh, this is lovely, but they didn’t say this. Lovely because you painted it. It’s lovely because it’s lovely. And that’s like exactly what we wanted.
Eric Wright: Perfect. Yeah. And boy, that’s, that’s the thing. So obviously I get where your dad, uh, which is always, I always laugh when I see your content.
And I’m like, you gotta say, you gotta call your dad by his first name. Cause he’s your business partner. That’s always like a weird think of a family business. You like to say, this is my dad, Josh,
Sam Ovett: Josh, you know, and I refer to him as Josh a lot. But, but yeah, and I like, it’s usually this, like when we get to know a customer pretty well with kind of a relationship and we’re on a call together, I’ll say like, Hey.
Eric Wright: Yeah, but you definitely, it it’s a funny thing. And that, that in itself is like one of those oddities of, I shouldn’t care whether it’s a family business, whether the person that, you know, runs, you know, whatever, R B a G bank, you know, north America, I don’t care if the vice related to the president, but I probably don’t want to, you know, it would be a little weird the first time you see them to have him call them, Hey dad, it’s time to go to the board meeting.
Sam Ovett: I think it’s just probably a cultural norm that we, that we have built up as a society that’s like is probably why it sounds
Eric Wright: weird. I think we’re gonna S we’re going to see more of that shake out though, which is kind of nice, which is why I think also it’s so important what you’re doing because.
In the same way. We’re introducing the personalization in this real family personal experience. Cause that’s what we want. We’re here. We want this, we want
Sam Ovett: connection means
Eric Wright: connecting with humans. So we, we do this in larger businesses and at the same time we can bring the large business workflow capabilities to smaller organizations so they can scale being human.
Sam Ovett: Totally. I’d love to share a little bit of back what people can actually do to like figure that out, like just on their own, because I know a lot of people listen to this and you know, I’m sure some people have an interest in reaching out, but like there’s a lot of basic takeaways that people can use in their business on their own.
Um, if you want to go that
Eric Wright: route, like I’d like to, if you’re ready to drop some knowledge, then I will take it. I don’t want to make you give away your goodness for free.
Sam Ovett: The more I can give away, this is my opinion. The more I can give away of this, the more people can become educated. And if they have a truly complex process, they usually need someone else to come in and work with them.
If they’re at a stage, that’s really a truly good customer because for us, this is like the selfish side of it because they, they are busy doing the other things like the marketing and the selling. Those are usually the two things that keep you really busy. And then they’re hiring people to do delivery fulfillment type of stuff.
If it’s a physical product, and if it’s digital, then they’re hiring people to move data around a lot of times. And it’s physical and they’re kind of doing both. So I don’t care. I’ll give away knowledge because I think the more that I give away, the more people, uh, can use it. And it also helps people feel a little bit more comfortable if they do have an interest in like reach.
So I’m all about giving it away. So as far as that goes, I think this is the process that we take people through. And this is stuff people can do themselves. Largely what you don’t have is the breadth of experience across multiple industries. Unless you have that and then you can utilize it and you should, um, the step one is to identify what do we do for marketing?
How do we actually close the deal after we get the lead? What’s that process look like? How do we deliver our product? What’s that look like? And that’s a fulfillment stage and it’s like, that can be easy or it can be really complex. Uh, and then do we make an attempt once we deliver our product to actually delight a customer and check in, how’s it going?
How’s it using? You want this additional piece that goes with it that could improve your experience, right? And then do you ask for referrals in some systematic way? Referrals can take a lot of forms of asking depending on the business. But if you’re not asking for referrals from people who love you, you are losing a lot of business and that’s one of your biggest opportunities to improve your marketing quickly with the least amount of cost.
So that’s like, identify those. Those are your big buckets. Then you go into those buckets. And usually depending on the size of the organization, sometimes people are, you know, many times in organizations, people wearing many hats, right? That’s just the reality. Um, what you do is you take a spreadsheet and it can be a piece of paper or like a, like literally a notepad, or it can be an Excel spreadsheet.
If people feel like they want to be digital about it. And for two weeks, You write down, everything you do is hard, kind of hard to remember to do, but if you just go, you can do it for like, I would say like two days is kind of the minimum, but depending on how much process is involved in what you do, if you write down what you do daily for a two week period, you are going to find out all the different things that make up your aspect, that you focus on the business.
So if you’re on the marketing side, you’re going to let it out. All of that. If you’re selling, you’re going to learn about all the process or configurations of the process that go with selling. If you do fulfillment, you’re going to learn about all the different pieces that go into fulfilling. If you’re responsible in some way for delighting customer, you’re gonna learn that and then same for the referrals, right?
And some of these buckets may be pretty blank for you and that’s okay. Yeah. This is an opportunity for improvement. And so we call that a personal activity log. So that’s like, there’s all kinds of fancy names. We use that come from the whole world of manufacturing, six Sigma, but they don’t matter, you know, it, what matters is the actual function.
And so you write that stuff down and now you have your process or your lack of process or your mixed process, basically. It’s your set of decision points and actions that you do to accomplish doing business in those different buckets of the functions of the business. Now that you have that, now you have an idea of what’s taking up your time.
Like when you go to work or you get on the computer and you start quote unquote working what makes up work. And if a lot of that time is like wasted, whatever, you’re still running a business. So you’re finding out what makes up, quote, unquote, work, this idea of work. Right. And, and so. Then now that you have this idea of what actually makes, if you work, you can go, well, what of these is the human touch?
That’s we feel like we want to keep that’s important. Cool. Let’s like take let’s like, like that. And a lot of times you may go, wow. If you’ve listened to this, you might go, wow. There’s probably a lot of opportunities to include a human touch. So there’s what do you do? And there’s a lot of thinking, what do we not do that we could do?
But you start with identifying what you do to run business as it is today. And then from there, from that process, what we do with people is you actually make a visual map because that helps communicate the idea. Do you need a visual map? No. Is it helpful to communicate across many people? What actually happens to make those pieces of business function?
It really is. And so we use a tool. People can use diagrams.net, free tool on the internet. Yeah, that’s their new name? I’ll give you the links.
Eric Wright: It’s always funny. Yeah. Especially when you use a tool and then it like changes names and you’re like,
Sam Ovett: it was like draw that IO, but now it’s diagrams and we use that tool.
Eric Wright: say I’m like, I used to use a tool called , it’s a similar thing.
Sam Ovett: Like a ha we rebranded the diagrams, that net. Uh, and so, but it’s like, you know, of course just like a little app that’s on my Google drive. And so, like, I don’t think about the name, but it is a different name, stag games that net I’ll double check that, and I can send you the, we can get that for people.
But, um, but basically you, you use this free tool. We use a free tool because you don’t have to deal with logins and users, and it’s easier that way. And it’s just saved and in the drive, The big picture point is that you have a map. Now you can see the visual process of what happens to make business run and work.
And you’ll end up with kind of one or two ends of the spectrum. A lot of times is, wow, it’s simpler than I thought, right? Where do I spend all my time working? And then the other end of the spectrum is holy smokes. We do like so much more work than we need to, to get this thing done. And now when we look at it in a visual flow, we, we realize that.
We’re passing information from one person to another, whether it’s physical or digitally done. Now we’re all living in Corona virus, you know, pre post coronavirus world and more and more as digital. Right. But there’s still physical stuff going on in the world. So this is like what manufacturers had done for years.
They, they like go to the manufacturing floor and they go document the process and they can, but it’s easy to see when it’s physical. It’s hard to see when it’s digital and it’s easy to send files. And somebody said another file. And then it’s on slack because on a sauna, it’s on teamwork. It’s on this, whatever this tool is, you realize like, if you did that physically, if you had to like, pick that file up and like move it around, you’d be like, holy smokes.
Like I’m pretty tired, you know? Cause I’m like doing a lot of work. So like physically you, you see the inefficiency when it’s physical, but digital it’s it’s you have to get it. I feel like it’s much easier when you put it in this visual form to see the inefficiency. And now it just like opens up this world.
Well, how could we do it differently? And then the other thing we do with people, a lot of times, since a lot of it’s digital is what are all the different tools that you use to accomplish this? Because then you start to identify all the tools that data has to move to and from, and all this connection points and all the points of failure that are potentially there and where balls could be dropped and things like that.
Um, and you do that for each of the components of the business, right? And, and the reality is some bleed into others depending on your business. Um, and that’s just like, that’s just what it is. And then you look at it and you go, well, what can I automate? If you don’t know much about automating, it’s harder to identify what you can only make.
Cause you don’t know what could be automated and what points could be connected and create automate. If you do, then it’s easier. Like, you know, that’s somebody asked me like, how do you know what to automate? It’s like, well, years of experience, lots of researching and figuring out what waste time and if it could be solved, you know, it’s like, I don’t, there’s not an automation manual for all things that can be automated.
It’s like, you know, there’s people putting pieces of the puzzle together that fit the unique situation.
Eric Wright: It’s a, there’s a funny thing. And it’s, it’s a visual, so it’s hard to describe on an audio podcast, but I, so I get it. I got a good friend. He’s um, he’s a magician. Uh, he was actually, his name is Rory Wheeler.
So yeah. You know, people always see me with cars in my hands and I’ve always been a fan of cards. And so, but the simplest little thing is like just doing a simple fan of cards and it doesn’t look like the reason why it looks easy when, when I do it is because I’m spending way too much time just doing it.
Yeah. So why would I not want to learn. And leverage the abilities of somebody who is good at it, rather than somebody who points me to a book in the bookstore on how to do card magic. Like, so first I want to see that it can be done by the person that’s done it. Yes. And then from there, I know. Ah, okay, cool.
So that becomes the
Sam Ovett: let’s find out if they can teach it well.
Eric Wright: Right. And so there’s a lot of, a lot of aspects and you, you hit the biggest thing. You can’t automate what you don’t understand. And this is the biggest thing I’m into. They like I’m going to automate my whole sales flow. Cool. What is it? I don’t know.
Sam Ovett: I just know that I closed the deal yesterday.
Eric Wright: Yeah. And I see in my Instagram feed a thing that’s supposed to get rid of all my other tools. Yeah. Just having to have a special right now that if I buy by midnight, I’ll be
Sam Ovett: automated by,
Eric Wright: they are in the business of look. Those are fantastic things, but only if you use them as a tool to actually reach the outcome. And this is why there’s so much, and this is why having people do it. And Y you know, I, I’m white. I said, why I’m a fan of, of what you and Josh are doing. If I can call your dad.
That is always that I, and I, and I think, and I apologize. I was funny. I say that I don’t mean it to be it’s, it’s partly seems tongue in cheek, but it really, I had a massive respect for the fact that being in a business where you and, and, and your father happened to be related, but you bring genuineness to it.
To it, which is tied to that thing.
Sam Ovett: And it’s cool too, because we can talk cross generationally a lot easier. I think there’s just a reality, like sure. I can connect with people really well, uh, across different ages and soak and Josh, but you know, if somebody wants to talk to somebody who’s, who’s been doing it for 30 years, 30 plus years versus, you know, like I’m not that, uh, not as old as Josh, so I didn’t have as much experience as Josh is the reality in.
And so, um, it doesn’t mean that I’m not good at things just, it means like, yeah, he’s been around longer. I would hope he’s got more, you know? And so, and, and other things too, that relate to like a different way of thinking across different generations that people were brought up through that, you know, someone could explain to me and I would get it, but I wouldn’t, I would like miss some nuance.
And, and the same for the younger generation that Josh might miss some nuances that I otherwise pick up.
Eric Wright: And most importantly, having a diverse set of experiences is important because you will be less attached to some historical thing. And this is what, you know, quite often, I remember doing a big, we were doing a design session for us, like a, I was a Microsoft engagement.
We were doing, we were taking these two big, huge directories and we’re going to merge them together. So we had all these senior people in the room and they built the system from the ground up. So they were like, they were deeply entrenched. They knew the names of the servers. Like they were their own kids and they were so attached to how we were doing it.
Sam Ovett: There’s a funny note about server names like Josh, he came from the era where like people had their own servers, you know, onsite, like he had servers. You know, for many years. And like, I remember as a kid, like, oh, this is the James Bond server, you know exactly what you’re talking about. And like this one acts up and this one doesn’t yeah, that’s right.
Eric Wright: So we, we, we have an over attachment to a lot of stuff. And so what happens is when you have to make a hard decision, you, you can’t separate yourself from it. So what happened was we were talking and we had all these people in the room. It was like a eight hour all day session. And we literally had half the company in one half the company on the other merging two companies.
So both of them believe they’re the ones buying the other one, both of them believe we agree. We should choose a common standard hours. Right. So, you know, they’re coming in with bias, right? Each side is like, we already did a great job. We’ll just help you adjust your side. And the other side is like, we agree, but the other Ray.
This, you know, I see as a kid, right. He was probably like 28, you know, he walks into the
Sam Ovett: room, you know, you’re still like, you
Eric Wright: know, you
Sam Ovett: may be like the best mind in the room. Right? Where do you always tell people like you’re new employee and I will go for the standard for long, but your new employee, whoever you brought in or partner, whatever that doesn’t know how you do things and is learning for the first time is you’re literally your most valuable asset because they have fresh eyes and they’re asking, why do you do it this way anyways?
Eric Wright: yeah, yeah, no. And so that was the funny thing is incomes, this, this, you know, kid quote unquote, right. And he walks in, he comes in, he we’re, everybody’s in like traditional business attire. He walks in, he’s wearing a, just a regular, you know, button shirt, leather jacket, hangs this jacket on there, looks on the whiteboard on the wall and says, so this is the before directory.
This is the after directory. Like yeah. And he just draws a circle beside both of the tree charts and says, we need to just start a brand new directory and just import everything there. And then we went on a lunch break. So we literally had like six minutes with this person. And it took six minutes for everyone in the room to hate because they’re like, hang on a second here kid.
Like there was literally this weird
Sam Ovett: get off
Eric Wright: my lawn. And so we had this amazing, like the first reaction was you just moved. It’s my cheese. You told me my cheese. Nice. All this your stuff just occurred psychologically. And then four hours later, we all shook hands. As we finalized the new centralized third directory design, because we realized having no attachment to it, he had made the right organizational decision.
And it was an intellectual discussion, not an opinionated one. And it took us all a while to get there together. But that was the thing of, but he couldn’t have done it without having the folks that built this thing from the ground up. They’re in the same room. So this is why you and Josh having this diverse experiences, somebody may come in, you know, and next thing you know, you’re coaching a team for a startup where they’re in their mid twenties and they don’t even know what six Sigma is.
Cause they heard about it. They read it in a book.
Sam Ovett: Yeah, exactly. And it’s like not in their world, you know? Yeah. So
Eric Wright: you get the, the, it is super valuable to have, like you said, some fresh lenses and fresh eyes on things. So, and talk about diversity of, of experience. How does whitewater rafting make you better at business process?
Sam Ovett: yeah, so that’s a, that’s a one we, we, we sort of talk about because I think it really is valuable if you relate the experiences, if you do it independently and I, I have a big, uh, and it’s, and I’ll kind of correct. You being a little bit snarky and whitewater kayaking.
Eric Wright: Sorry. Apologies. But my, I totally got busted by that too.
I was like, I should have known better.
Sam Ovett: It doesn’t matter. And so, you know, I grew up, I have, uh, like, uh, degree wise have a degree in environmental science, which, which was physics and economics, and taught me a lot about ecosystems and how things work together. And so that experience is one aspect of it.
And then, you know, growing up around our dad, our mom who always in business and like our dad, who’s always been involved with this business process. Like you just sort of pick stuff up and ways of thinking about things. And so my brother and I were always involved with like, Running little businesses and stuff along the way, we have had a sincere interest in the environment.
Um, and so I took that and got a degree in environmental science after high school and, you know, went to college and it was a great experience because I learned to think about systems other than things, about how things interact. And so, but I had more of a pull of like an interest after that. And in whitewater, like I wanted to go be in the mountains and, you know, paddle hardest whitewater I could find.
And that like really drove me for a few years and you know, I have to make a living. So I was guiding and teaching people about how I was teaching people, the systems of learning whitewater, and it was teaching people. And then I was paddling and racing in different races on steep waterfall races, where you’re racing complex rapids and, and then doing, um, different runs where, you know, rivers and creeks, where there’s a lot of risk assessment that has to take place.
And then. You want to take that experience? If you can. In my view, I always found that what I was learning in those environments was how to assess objective risk, and then do the take the risk that I was comfortable with. And also try and not put myself in situations where I couldn’t make adjustments.
And then when I did have to make certain actions, I had to commit to them and move swiftly. And then you’re also looking out for other people that are with you, you’re doing your own personal thing in your boat with your paddle, but then you’re also looking out for the rest of the people in there, looking out for you.
And so this idea of risk and judgment and breaking things down into the component parts, cause you, you don’t just paddle the whole river. You paddle one rapid at a time. And within that rapid you paddle sections of it at a time and you can even break it down further by getting in the calm spot behind the rocks.
And then looking ahead and saying, well, I have three options, which one should I take? Based on my position skill. So with this, what you’re doing, and there’s a lot of planning and organization, because you’ve got to get yourself to the put in and where you’re going to start. And you’ve got to make sure that there’s so many to pick you up at the takeout and you’ve put a vehicle there.
And so all these factors go into judgment, risk assessment, objective risk versus subjective risk and designing a thought process that you can use and breaking down things into their fundamental component parts in a really chaotic environment. And if you relate that to business, what I found is like businesses, super chaotic, cause it’s chaotic and you know, are people going to die?
Generally people don’t die in business. You know, when the whitewater people can die and we’ve had friends who’ve unfortunately passed away. Like they’ve got and, and you know, that’s a terrible thing, but in business people don’t die. So like number one, that’s easier. Yeah. Number two, the chaotic nature of humans.
And organizations is like, what makes up business relationships? So what makes up people’s experiences? And if you can break it down to the fundamentals of those experiences that create the journey of that, the customer has, then you can identify how to proceed and you can weigh your objective risk of trying new things.
And you can also limit your objective risk by testing things in smaller aspects of the customer base or prospect base and seeing if it’s a good path and if it’s going to work and then you can apply that to the rest of the business. Because a lot of times what I see as people, I want to automate everything and I’m like, you have zero automation right now.
If you automate everything right now, objectively that’s potentially extremely risky. Because you have the potential to totally you’re, you’re going to change every customer’s experience with you over night, you know, in a matter of weeks or months, that’s quick for business, right? That can be very quick.
And you don’t know the impact. You have zero idea of the impact and you have zero idea of what that’s going to be well received. And I don’t know either like anybody who tells you, they know exactly how things are going to be received. Give me a break. Like, you know, you can make assumptions and you can make good guesses, but like, until you try it out there in the wild, you don’t know how it’s going to be received.
You know what I mean?
Eric Wright: Talk to dig, you know, Twitter, every company that’s, especially at scale, they make, uh, a little, uh, this really neat change. And then like Digg was a great example where they literally just evacuated their user base because said, we, we think that this is where we need to go as a company and they.
Redesigned and re-architected the flow and it resulted in a catastrophic effect on the business that they couldn’t recover from. Right. And
Sam Ovett: that’s the key. So it’s like, that’s an objective risk. Anytime you’re going to change your systems. It’s objective really risky. If you have systems that work today, even if they’re time consuming.
Yeah. So you need to take that and break it down into component parts and then apply it to small segments of your audience, whether that’s prospects to conversions, to sales or a fulfillment aspect of it. Um, and if you break that down and this doesn’t matter what business you’re in, right? Like you change things.
You don’t know how people are going to respond to it because they came in conditioned a different way. They didn’t come into the experience with the new one you’re talking about. And thinking about that, like in the boardroom, in the zoom meeting with everybody seems like, oh, this is going to be the best thing it’s like, yeah, probably it’s pretty cool to you.
But like people have a certain experience, right? You need to change that carefully and thoughtfully and test it and see what happens like, and test a portion of your business. That is enough to make a significant test, to see if it’s possible. And then if it’s viable, if it’s a better direction, people like it, but don’t just wholesale change overnight and tank the business along the way.
Yeah. And so that aspect of the adventure sports now, he’s like we ski and we skied avalanche terrain. And so we’re doing all this objective risk assessment, um, and you know, still do whitewater bunch. Um, but, uh, that’s where I moved to Colorado, my wife and I, because we love the environment here. And the idea is that like, change doesn’t have to be slow, but it should be done smartly.
And so, yeah, you want to break that down, break the components of the change down. What impact did the customer experiences. You know, change the post-purchase experience first. Maybe see if you can increase customers that way they are, they’re already buying. They’re likely that’s the less risky. If you want to change the experience of how people come into your business today and the whole sales process, and it’s like working and you have a functioning business, you’re not just trying to actually figure it out, do it in chunks with portions of your, you know, a lot of times this case portion of your database of your customer base, test it that way and, and make sure you put the measurement in place to see the impact.
And that’s, that’s a lot of times missed, um, is the measurement component, which is, we work a lot with that. And not only that automation, but like measuring the effectiveness so you can see what the impact, the change had. It, you can try different things, but that, that is really the big thing is. As far as how whitewater cause that was the sport that I became expertly proficient enough that people want to respond to me.
I could paddle at a professional level. I could run, you know, an 80 foot waterfall slide thing and I felt comfortable. I wasn’t red lined in my mind. I was, I could see all the nuances I could. Navigate them there still objective risks, but I knew how to navigate the nuances. It didn’t just look like a crazy ride.
I don’t actually really like adrenaline that
Eric Wright: this is the, the thing that I, so I do, uh, I, I do a lot of crazy. Yeah, no, that’s perfect. It’s, it’s very appropriate to what I want to close up with is like, you know, I’m, I, I’m a cyclist, I’m a road cyclist and my favorite thing, and I liked you. You talked about, you know, w one of the things you had to talk about is going uphill.
My favorite thing to do is to go uphill because immediately I made an elite category of people who think this is a fundamentally stupid idea. Like there’s no need. So I go up the hill while other people are coming down. And then I come at the end of that race hurdling down that hill at like 80 kilometers an hour.
Effectively on to some tips of rubber.
Sam Ovett: Yeah. Yeah. We’ve I can relate. Cause we ride up to the, from our house to the ski resort. So it’s like we climb the hill on our bikes and we love that. Yeah.
Eric Wright: I, people always think like, that’s, it’s quite a rush. I’m like, it is, it is a physical adrenaline rush that you get, but I’m also always mindful of, like you said, objective risk.
Cause when I come in I’m I’m moving. I slowed down to like 60 and 50 I’m heading and I see there’s a hairpin corner. I’ve got to know my breaking speed. I’ve got to look for. Is somebody else coming up travel?
Sam Ovett: Is there some new road wash? Is there like a pothole.
Eric Wright: Every time. I see an extreme, you know, sport video, it’s always closed up with a dedication to a loss.
Oh, it’s scary. Now, not to say that they aren’t also aware of objective risk. They’re just extremely exposed to high risk. And it’s like, I don’t want to be, I’m not doing this because I want to be fielded the adrenaline. I’m doing this because I want to get back to the mountain that I can climb that thing back up again.
Cause that’s where I really enjoy it. Yeah.
Sam Ovett: I would say that I think the majority of really high level athletes that I’ve met and probably high level business people too, um, can be related that like most of these people are pretty risk adverse. And so they try and do that whole thing that we all hear about like protect your downside.
Right? In business. I feel like it’s a little different in a way, but athletically, you can train to a point where you have skill and you’re not like you’re not experiencing an incredible amount of adrenaline. You’re experiencing, uh, a high level of skill to execute what you’re doing. And so you’re able to work within those objectively risky environments and they are truly objective risky, and that’s why people die because sometimes things go wrong and that’s the objective risk.
But the majority of them are like not adrenaline throw seekers. They’re actually just like what to master their skill to a level. They can operate in an objectively risky environment. And, and that’s my experience. And I th I feel confident in saying that. And then I think like, if you look at really good business people, they don’t tend to take massive amounts of objective risk without some way to protect their downside of that risk.
Eric Wright: It’s uh, it’s the skill I R I T so my oldest daughter, she’s a professional snowboarder and okay.
Sam Ovett: Yeah. So you get that
Eric Wright: zone, you know, Scott are rolling on stuff and I taught her like BMX, we go to like BMX park and stuff like that. And so I I’m like coaching her on stuff that she’s going to surpass me on fairly quickly.
And I’m pretty proud of that, but what’s funny is she’d always say, you know, I want to learn, she does like inverted tricks on a snowboard, which is like the scariest thing to watch as a parent, because then, you know, the risk, you know, the risk that’s involved there,
Sam Ovett: if you mess up. Right. Yeah. And so spinal injuries
Eric Wright: through that kind of stuff, that’s it.
Right. And so I, I think like I am, I’m a fairly confident athlete. I do not want to take that risk on she’s at the next level. If she doesn’t want the risk, but she understands it. So she knows it’s a balancing act of like training towards the understanding, you know, that, that risk potential. And I told her from the very beginning, she said like, how do, how do I jump?
And I said, well, start small. And she’s like, if I like do a 180, how do I know? You know, like how do I go from a 180 and, and maybe dry a 360, you know, said just the only thing you need to know. And this is Shawn Wade, I think said this. They said, how did you learn how to jump? He says, I didn’t learn at a jump.
I learned how to the land. Exactly. And if I knew that I could land from any angle. Then I knew that I could jump and I could get back to where I knew I could land. And that lesson that he kind of gave was how he teaches as well as this thing of like, I’m not going to teach you how to do us. You know, a backside seven 20, I’m going to teach you how to land, you know, front side, backside, switch, whatever inverted off the side.
If you hit the lip, I’m going to teach you how to land 85 different ways so that when you do 80 jumps, you still got five free landings that, you know, you can land, you know, like you always know that
Sam Ovett: the closest with the whitewater thing is like, there are like three or four fundamental skills. If you can master those skills on easy whitewater that does not have the consequence of hard, dangerous whitewater.
And then you can master your mental state in the harder whitewater to execute those skills by progressive increase in the difficulty and exposure that you’re facing yourself. You’re going to be doing those same three or four skills. You’re just going to do them faster, more repeatedly. And with a greater degree of objective risk, if you screw them up.
And, but, but the fundamental movement is the same. And that’s like the taking that to the whole like automation and process side is like, what we talk about is like scale the idea in your own organization, start objectively with small risks, like where you’re not exposing yourself to great risk. The first time you try something, meaning try it with a small segment of your customer database and see what happens.
Try it with, uh, you know, a thousand new leads. If you’re generating. Let’s say four to 10,000 a month, like try with a thousand enough that you can actually get a sense of, is it working? You have to actually try you. Can’t not try a certain amount and make a decision on five people, but try it with a segment where you can keep running your business.
You’re objectively not exposing yourself to hazard by doing it in smaller portions, one piece at a time, and then add to them as you improve that, you know, build your big vision, like lay it out. What do you want to do? And then do one piece and do the next, then do the next versus mega overhauls that have the potential to change things.
Eric Wright: There’s a,
Sam Ovett: I think about that in terms of like, well, athletic makes sense. You can just compete, you know, you just repeatedly up the exposure to the difficulty. And so the skill doesn’t outpace the. Difficulty. And it’s like, well, it’s, you know, what’s the body and the mind in business, it’s, it’s your customer base and the amount of people that you’re trying, something new on, and then seeing what outcome you get and making sure that you’re like aware and truthful with that outcome before you make major overhauls.
And that can be done incredibly fast with the right amount of flow of business. It can be done very fast, but you don’t want to skip it.
Eric Wright: And in the same way as this, like the exposing them to, um, limited controlled adversity, you don’t suddenly say I’ve got all these names in my database. I’m going to start sending them an email a day.
Yeah, no, you start them on a weekly email. And when someone, when you see the click through rate, go up, then you do a test and you’d send a, a midweek email. You don’t just suddenly go, all right, cool. I’m going to put this, I’m going to put my new database lead into the old, uh, put in at the top here. And I’m just going to send them on down the falls.
You know, you, you begin in the pool and then you get them comfortable with that, and then you move them up through it and progress them and measure it. So that, like you said, it’s not just internally, but externally we are all we grow with, uh, like the, the right amount of exposure to adversity, especially it’s like, like a vaccine you’re purposefully exposing yourself to a mild contagion so that you’re prepared to handle it.
If it comes back and forth,
Sam Ovett: And so like, that’s the whole thing, right? Like that’s the, the how, you know, we all want overnight, like, ah, this person just did this thing and then it worked. And like sometimes yes, like you can lock out a hundred percent, but in business, you know, in sports, it doesn’t relate.
You try to jump and you’re not skilled enough. You’re probably going to crash. But like in business you can, you can lock out for sure. You try something and it just like, shoot, you locked out. But, um, if you try to like quickly, but smartly make changes and track their effectiveness or not effectiveness, so you can do something different.
Then you have the opportunity to do that. Gradual increase to a different environment. And it’s not, as thing were difficult, environments is a different environment, I would say. Um, yeah, I think that’s a big part of it. How we look at process with people. Cause it’s exciting. You get, you know, you do identify all these opportunities when you do these mapping sessions of like all this potential improvement that, that like on paper and in discussion, it feels like improvement.
And most likely it is improvement, you know, but to just like roll it out wholesale, is this the most dangerous thing somebody could do to an existing business?
Eric Wright: It’s like saying, I really like going to a buffet, I’m going to become a competitive eater or worse. I can eat three meals a day. Like that is effectively what it is.
I’m just, I’m going to start going to a buffet every day. Now you’re like, no, no, no. It is the right. It’s the intelligent approach to amplifying the human potential to let people be people. Where it matters to be
Sam Ovett: human. That’s really what it’s about. Let the humans do the cool freaking human work, the creative work, the smart work, the strategic work and let the machines let the computers do like the repetitive, boring stuff that still has to happen
Eric Wright: with that.
I am proud to have had a really great discussion here today. This is good Sam. So mobile pocket office, uh, we’ll have links to course, uh, down below. And if folks want to get ahold of you and find it more, uh, how can they connect with you through the socials and such a what’s your easiest way for people to find you?
Sam Ovett: So I’ll just put it out there. People can, if they want to email me directly, they can do [email protected] That’s easy, uh, anywhere on the site, there’s there’s book now buttons, they can schedule a call through our scheduler. Um, and then what I’m happy to do. And I don’t know if it’s immediate, but I, we can put a page up, uh, mobile pocket office.com forward slash.
Um, uh, disco posse dot, or it would just be mobile pocket office.com forward slash disco posse. And, uh, on there, we will put some resources up for people to like, learn more in depth about how to do this for themselves. How to think about this for their organization. I
Eric Wright: love it. I would be, I’d be honored to, uh, to be part of the URL and, and hopefully send some folks there.
So, uh, so yeah, let’s do it. And thank you again, you know, both, you know, there’s, there’s, there’s a ton of great lessons in here and I appreciate that. You’ve shared that. And, uh, so I’ll, I’ll say definitely to Sam and say, say hello to Josh. Hopefully we’ll all, I’d love to have the, both of you on one time as well, because you both have such a great, I love the rep RTA you guys have together.
It’s uh, and also. The clients tell the story, you know, I go through and I went, I, as part of my research, what does, I’m a guy like that. I, you know, you look at the people that, that feedback and, and I see why, right? I I’ve been lucky enough to spend 90 minutes with you and I’d spend a lot more if I could.
So look forward to catching up again. Uh, and also shout out to Joel from buffer. We miss you brother. He’s out there somewhere.
Sam Ovett: Number 17
Eric Wright: and Joel from buffer is this.
Sam Ovett: Cause I tell you what, like the shorts, you know, I let them know if people realize this, but like a lot of clothing is handmade. And so like who actually did that?
Stitch, it could be like a centimeter off and it changes. Yeah. Especially when it comes to like sports and dress apparel, like, man, it’s
Eric Wright: talk about human experience. Uh, you know, we, we think that we, we outsource it and farm this stuff out that it’s made by a machine. You like know it’s very much, you know, why all
Sam Ovett: the shirts on the rack on and see which one fits best of the same shirt.
Cause they’re all going to be a little bit different.
Eric Wright: Well, it actually, I hate to extend, you know, I, I don’t want to step on what you’re, you’re saying, but it’s like, so I’m a guitarist. And one of the things that’s amazing is so fender is a classic American brand and then they have Japanese versions which are made and they are like laser cut and they are perfect.
So you could pick up any Japanese Stratocaster and it sounds exactly like the other ones. It’s so beautiful. Versus you pick up an American Strat and you could probably fit a dime between the neck and the body on some of them, like, it’s, they’re actually handmade and they’re like slight nuances to it.
Yeah. And there’s actually, it’s a beautiful thing because, well, I had, you know, that’s why they’re more like, because they literally are like handcrafted. So I always laugh when someone says like, you know, I, I get like handcrafted, you know, clothing, like I think all closings handcrafted. It’s just a matter of who’s handcrafted it and how much we paid.
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It’s just that it’s a really, really big Etsy store called Nike. That’s
Sam Ovett: absolutely right.
Eric Wright: Awesome. Hey Sam, thanks very much. There’s been a real blast. And then of course, like I said, I’ll have links to the show notes and we’ll send some books diverse. There you go. Check it out. Whole mobile pocket office.com for slash disco posse.
I love it. I’ll talk to you later.
Sam Ovett: Thank you.
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- Just feel sometimes like chucking your whole system out the window?
Then we can help.
Here’s the problem: You are manually doing everything in your business. And have no idea where to where to start or how to start automating. Finally, you want to be working ON your business not IN your business.
Here’s the solution: Understand what your process looks like to acquire a customer. By making a map of each and every step a customer takes in your funnel. Then reduce any mistakes they can make when entering information.
Easier said than done. Traditionally this is called Business Process Engineering and we at Mobile Pocket Office have taken this concept along with Six Sigma and LEAN manufacturing concepts concepts to improve a business … aka be human where it counts, otherwise automate!
Just because your business is still afloat, doesn’t mean it isn’t taking on water. But you probably already know this, and that’s why you are here. Identifying that there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be is the first step, but what are the next steps? Mobile Pocket Office is leading the way in helping new and established businesses augment their human and technological resources to leverage growth and streamline productivity.