The guys talk with Matt Fehling about the current state of the Better Business Bureau and how he and his team are bringing it into the future.

Contact: Mike mike@resoundcreative.com or Chris chris@resoundcreative.com

Discuss at https://www.facebook.com/azbrandcast/

The show is recorded at the Resound offices in ever-sunny Tempe, Arizona (the 48th – and best state of them all).

Show Transcript

Mike Jones:
This is the AZ Brandcast, where we explore Arizona’s brand and the brands that make Arizona. I’m Mike Jones.

Mike Jones:
All right, everybody. It’s another episode of AZ Brandcast. Thank you so much for joining us. We are super excited for today’s episode, in particular because Matt Fehling, from the Better Business Bureau, is joining us today. You’re the president, so I think you kind of make a few things happen over there. You actually oversee a pretty large swath of territory for the Better Business Bureau, because you are not just Southwest but also Pacific, is that right?

Matt Fehling:
Yes, correct.

Mike Jones:
That’s awesome.

Matt Fehling:
Orange County, San Diego County, and Imperial County in California. Anybody from Arizona, Phoenix particularly, would know that as they drive to vacation in San Diego or Newport Beach, right? You either drive the 10 or the eight and you go through Imperial or get to San Diego or get to Orange County.

Mike Jones:
Yep. I’ve done that drive a lot.

Matt Fehling:
Absolutely.

Mike Jones:
Many times through the dunes.

Matt Fehling:
Star Wars, right? Every time you look out there, you just think, “Wow.” It’s so neat.

Mike Jones:
You keep waiting for that… What is that skeleton of that kind of snake type creature that’s in that opening scene.

Chris Stadler:
Maybe a Storm Trooper riding one of those big ole dinosaurs.

Mike Jones:
Yeah. That would be kind of fun. Instead it’s Border Patrol and you’re always disappointed.

Chris Stadler:
And trash and litter.

Mike Jones:
You’re not a Storm Trooper. You’re just Border Patrol.

Matt Fehling:
It depends who you talk to I guess, right?

Mike Jones:
Yes, there’s that.

Matt Fehling:
No, I have a couple friends that work there as Border Patrol agents and are stationed in Yuma. They get some incredible stories. I think that’s some hard work for sure.

Mike Jones:
It’s very hard work.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah.

Mike Jones:
They’re working really hard. So Matt, we’re so thankful for you coming on today, and we’re excited to chat with you, kind of find out more about the Better Business Bureau, kind of hear about your perspective on Arizona and businesses here, and in particular, kind of how can businesses think more ethically? How can they be better? We’ll dig into all of that. Chris has a whole lineup of great questions.

Chris Stadler:
As always.

Mike Jones:
First, I think we should do a little icebreaker, Chris. What do you think?

Chris Stadler:
I don’t know. Okay.

Mike Jones:
You spend so much time brainstorming these every time.

Chris Stadler:
Yeah. So Matt’s been a trailblazer a little bit, is what I’ve heard, so-

Mike Jones:
That’s what we keep hearing.

Chris Stadler:
Yeah.

Mike Jones:
Mostly from him.

Matt Fehling:
Is that right?

Chris Stadler:
And so I thought, well, tell us a story, man. What is the boldest or craziest or whatever you want to throw out there thing that you’ve done in your role as CEO President of the Better Business Bureau to get things moving.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah. The most. To me, it was our decision to essentially acquire an entire city block in midtown Phoenix to set up a campus environment, right? Create coworking space, creating meeting space, create a place to congregate where business leaders, community leaders could come together and have conversations about what they were working on, what they were concerned with under the roof and the banner of ethics and integrity, right?

Matt Fehling:
If you’re at the Better Business Bureau talking about how to make your company better, if you weren’t thinking about ethics, you probably are as you walk through those doors and you see the sign, “Welcome Tom and Mary from XYZ Roofing Company.” You probably are like, “We probably should make sure we do these things the right way.” Plus, it seemed like community is something that we should be doing. We talked about creating a community of trustworthy businesses, and what better way to create community than to establish a physical location where a real community, a physical community can happen?

Matt Fehling:
I mean, certainly, virtual communities are great, but we left a 7200-square-foot what I call the back office of an MVD, where we just went and just punched papers, and hit send, and copy and stapled stuff. Answered the phone. Did great work. I mean, don’t get me wrong, did great work, and moved to a place where we were inviting people to come see us. We were actually in the hospitality business now. And we went from a cash heavy and debt organization to a cash low heavy debt organization.

Chris Stadler:
I like how you swallowed as you were saying that.

Matt Fehling:
I had [crosstalk 00:04:47]. I look like the two of you. You should see. I could show you pictures. I had a nice, full coif and it was… I had the gel in it and I was looking good. So I think it was that. It could have been the kids, three kids, that made me lose my hair. Or genetics. Who knows?

Mike Jones:
Split the difference.

Chris Stadler:
[crosstalk 00:05:03] a couple. Yes, yes.

Matt Fehling:
And it’s really worked, and I think that nobody… We didn’t have anybody to model ourselves after, like our counterparts, our compatriots in the BBB system, as we call it.

Mike Jones:
Right.

Matt Fehling:
Nobody had tried this. Nobody had done it. Some people have availed their conference room. “Come use our conference room.” “Okay, that’s interesting, but how do we take that a stop further?” And the conversation was we can continue to keep doing what we’re doing, and what will we get? Or we can actually as a nonprofit, we’re supposed to take the money that we make, if we are lucky to make a profit, and reinvest that into the community that we serve. Hence, we’re granted that not having to pay income over expense tax.

Matt Fehling:
So it was bold vision. I had a great team around me. Board of Directors, staff, and everybody was bought in. It was a big, bold move and I’m pleased with where we are, despite COVID and despite the fact that we can’t really use it right now. We will, and we’ll come out of it, and people will be, I think, even more apt to turn to us for that.

Chris Stadler:
And how long ago was that?

Matt Fehling:
2015.

Chris Stadler:
Okay.

Matt Fehling:
2016 was our first year in there. Yeah. We actually took it out to San Diego. I know we concentrate more in Arizona, but we took the model out to San Diego and had our final walkthrough scheduled for March 20th.

Chris Stadler:
Oh.

Matt Fehling:
So if you go back, there was a Friday the 13th in there. So Friday the 20th-

Mike Jones:
So that’s why?

Chris Stadler:
Yeah.

Matt Fehling:
It could be. So Monday, we were like, “Nope. Everybody’s got to go home.” The governor in California made everybody go home. And so it was just… So it’s been sitting vacant waiting for us to launch this kind of same concept in souther California. But in Arizona, I mean, that was just a big, bold move, and one that was either going to propel me out of my career or kind of make it, “This guy’s all right. He’s got a few ideas that might work.”

Chris Stadler:
Did you meet a little resistance with that idea?

Matt Fehling:
A lot.

Chris Stadler:
Yeah.

Matt Fehling:
In the beginning. Yeah. And not resistance like, “No, I refuse,” but I would call it good resistance, right? I mean, that’s how you build muscle, right? Resistance. And so a lot of push back from what I would call an intellectual standpoint. Not an obstruction standpoint. “Prove that it’s a good thing. Why?” There’s a lot of why. “Show me how. What’s the reason? What’s the purpose?” And we kept going back to our core of who we are and what we’re about. Better Business, right?

Matt Fehling:
And so a lot of our services were geared and are geared towards the consumer, the end user, right? I’m going to make a major purchase. Let me do some verification. I’m going to call my mom. I’m going to call my friend. I’m going to check the government. I’m going to make sure they pay their taxes. I’m going to check with the BBB, make sure that if they have problems, they’re going to take care of it.

Matt Fehling:
That’s fine and dandy, and we want to continue to do that. We’re not abandoning that. It’s not a binary this or that. But let’s continue down that path, and continue to iterate these services to the public, but then let’s look at the businesses and opportunity. How do we help them get better so that they don’t have these challenges, and so they can elevate their status so that this consumers can trust them, because trust is the bedrock of a free market society. I pull a green rectangle out and give it to you, you trust that you can buy a pack of gum with it, or put it in the bank, or save it under the mattress and it will convert to something that you need later. So how do we help business elevate their portfolio of trust?

Chris Stadler:
So bringing people in, creating space for that conversation by doing those crazy investment into this facility, moving, making yourselves more maybe vulnerable in the day to day, more interruptible it almost sounds like where you have to… I bet that lead to some interesting conversations.

Matt Fehling:
Yes.

Chris Stadler:
Go ahead.

Matt Fehling:
So internal for sure, right? With the staff, right? It became, “Okay, this is no longer your space. This is our space. This is their space.” You invite somebody into your home, you make sure that the laundry is put away. You make sure that the dishes are at least tucked away in the dishwasher and the door shut. Clean the jelly stains off the counter where the kids made the toast.

Mike Jones:
You’d put the toys in the closet.

Matt Fehling:
Absolutely, right? And the kids know, “Hey, people are coming over and you got company.” And so that’s how we had to begin to look at it. Nobody had every thought of Better Business Bureau as a destination, right? A place. We want to be the Ritz-Carlton, not the nondescript kind of whatever store where people walk in and just grab stuff off the shelves. I mean, there’s room for both, right? But we’re inviting people in.

Matt Fehling:
So we had a lot of conversations with staff around, “Okay, look. You’re now in hospitality. You got to understand that. You’ve got to ask people how they’re doing. If people look lost, you’ve got to say, ‘Where are you going?’ If you see somebody wandering around, you stop and say, ‘Excuse me, ma’am. Excuse me, sir. Anything I can help you find? How is your day?'”

Matt Fehling:
Learn the five and 10 rule, right? At 10 feet, give them an eye contact. At five feet, give them a personalized greeting. Those are things that you just don’t think about when you go into work in an office job, right? Nobody can see those air quotes.

Mike Jones:
It’s a different level of customer service.

Matt Fehling:
100%. Yeah. Yup. Yup. And then the board too, the KPIs change, right? So all right, they become additive where it’s not just about how many complaints did you close, or how many businesses signed up, or how many investigations did we launch? How much money did we save for consumers? But it’s how many people walked through these doors? Which businesses are using our space? How are they using it? And so it made some interesting conversation, for sure.

Chris Stadler:
So you were able to change the KPIs at your level, or did you have to negotiate that upward?

Matt Fehling:
We pretty much just added… I mean, it was and is an evolving kind of process, right? We look at CSFs more than we look at KPIs. So critical success factors, right? Because anything can be a KP… I mean, you can identify anything as a KPI. So I use the term KPI when I really mean critical success factor. And it’s like if we’re going to have a space and invite people in, what’s the critical success factor of people using the space? And so how many visitors came through? How many different organizations came through? How many repeat people came in? We didn’t set it up as a revenue generator, either. So that as the other, right? You talk about conversations. It’s like, “Wait a minute.”

Mike Jones:
That’s a hard one.

Matt Fehling:
“You’re going to have a hotel, but not charge for the rooms?” “Yeah.”

Mike Jones:
Yeah.

Matt Fehling:
“Okay, explain to me how this is going to work?” That’s the, “Well, we do have a nominal charge for nonaccredited business. If people do want to use it routinely and regularly, we’re going to talk to you about a nominal fee of some sort to help us. But by and large, it’s free. And that’s kind of when you run a P&L on free as your top line, the expenses still show up. They’re not free, right? You’ve still got to pay staff to show up, and help set up the wifi for people, and plug this in. Forbid they bring in a Mac and you’re like, “Oh, no. How do you plug that into a wall,” right?

Matt Fehling:
And so you got to pay people for that kind of stuff. But it’s the downstream, right? It’s the, “How do we change the perspective of a brand that’s been around for 100 years?” That’s a good thing, but it’s also our biggest… Well, it’s our biggest feather in our cap. The largest feather, I should say. It’s also the biggest impediment in the middle of the road for that undiscovered pathway to the right or to the left, which leads to something really cool. It’s just like, “We’ve got to push this boulder, and how do we do that without blocking the other path that we’ve already… “

Mike Jones:
Yeah. And I love how you keep bringing it back to kind of what’s the mission, right? What’s this vision and mission that the Better Business Bureau has at a really large view, that highest view point? And it’s like, “Okay, we do all these other things really well that service that mission and vision, but that’s not all we could do.”

Matt Fehling:
Yeah.

Mike Jones:
And how do you kind of get people to buy into this larger vision that says, “Hey, there’s more than just some kind of certification or a check mark, right?

Matt Fehling:
Yeah.

Mike Jones:
Or facilitating a disagreement, essentially. But how do we… I love that vision. I mean, that’s something that as I’ve gotten to know the Better Business Bureau, and I’ve gotten to work with you and a lot of people on your team over especially this last year.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah.

Mike Jones:
Just this vision of creating a community around better business. I think that’s awesome.

Matt Fehling:
It’s built in, right? A lot of businesses have to create a purpose, or create a greater cause. And there are some really good examples businesses. The one that’s often cited is Waste Management going from a garbage company to this eco friendly save the world. Wow, right? So that’s a very large, macro example. For us, we couldn’t let our services become our mission. That’s one of our biggest challenges is I have a lot of compatriots that it’s difficult for them because this is what they know, and they do it well, and they continue to iterate, but then they begin to that creep… That creeps over. It’s like, “That’s not the mission.”

Matt Fehling:
Whenever we have a new employee orientation, we’ve got about 130 people on the team, and so we’ll have people come and go. We’ll set up a quarterly kind of very big… We have, of course, orientations and onboarding, but we have this very big full day new employee orientation or newer employee orientation. And we talk about the mission. And it’s to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust, right? Okay. What doesn’t that have? Let’s go down what that doesn’t have. It doesn’t have process complaints. It doesn’t have issue ratings. It doesn’t do scam alerts. It doesn’t have sign up business.

Mike Jones:
Yeah, all the specific things that are actually happening every day.

Matt Fehling:
It’s conspicuously and intentionally absent from that mission because, “Hey, we’re Better Business Bureau.” People will say, “Well… ” Someone shows you a competitor. Yelp is your competitor. No, they’re not. They’re not our competitor. They’re a business and they do their thing.

Mike Jones:
Yeah.

Matt Fehling:
And yes, they are one part of a larger puzzle, but if you’re going to put a roof on your house, and you have an opportunity to check Yelp or the Better Business Bureau, generally you’re going to trust the Better Business Bureau more than a Yelp review, right? Now if you’re really, really concerned, you’re going to look at everything. You’re going to look at both. It doesn’t have to be a binary… Again, we’ll go back. It doesn’t have to be Yelp or Better Business Bureau, right?

Matt Fehling:
And so for us and for the team and just going back to those difficult conversations, we’ve had to have those over the years where it’s like, “No. Look, let’s not get sidetracked and just completely locked into the service model. Are there things that we could be doing that push the organization further, farther?” And is that a iterative change of the current process, or is that abandoning your current process and adding a new one?

Mike Jones:
I think that’s a fantastic lesson. I mean, I think it can be easy for some maybe to hear that, and they go, “Oh, you’re a nonprofit and therefore, you are mission oriented.”

Matt Fehling:
Right.

Mike Jones:
“Oh, that makes sense,” right? I mean, I can’t think of how many clients that we’ve talked to. They have a sense of purpose and mission, even on the for-profit side.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah.

Mike Jones:
And it so often is a challenge for them that’s exactly the same where they’re like, “We’ve gotten too locked into service,” right? Or sometimes on the other end of it, they’ve gotten too broad, right?

Matt Fehling:
Yeah.

Mike Jones:
A client asks for something, and they say, “Oh, yeah. We’ve got some kind of capability to do it, and so we do it.” And 10 years later, you realize, “Oh my goodness. We have now 40 different services, and they don’t all fit the mission, right? And so there’s some pruning to do. As you talked about, it’s not just about what do we add, but it’s also is there anything that we need to subtract in order to keep going on that mission? So I think that’s a fantastic lesson for so many businesses of your mission isn’t necessarily your service.

Matt Fehling:
Right.

Mike Jones:
Right? It’s a means to your mission.

Matt Fehling:
It should push you forward.

Mike Jones:
It’s not the end.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah, it should absolutely contribute to your mission, right? The things that you do should be contributing services or goods that propel your mission forward. And an example that I know a kitchen remodeler who their kind of thing is… They’re mission isn’t to build the best kitchens. It’s to create the space for the… And I’m butchering their saying, right? So I won’t say the company because they’ll kill me. It’s like, “This is the most important room in the house. This is where family happens. This is where family matters. And so what we are doing is we are creating a space for family bonds to strengthen and to grow. And so that’s what we’re doing. When we go into a kitchen… “

Matt Fehling:
And they beat that into their installers and their designers and everybody. It’s like, “We are not here to build you the most beautiful kitchen. Somebody else might.” Whatever, right? Whatever cabinet or that whatever countertop may not be, even though it looks great, and even though we won a design contest, and even though we can make more money off of it, that doesn’t help this family and what they need. And so they’re like if they push that, and people go, “Oh, yeah.”

Matt Fehling:
When you go to parties, you always end up in the kitchen. You’re always in the kitchen. That’s their kind of… They’ve really taken hold of that. It’s neat to see that even a commodity/service or whatever, they’re dialed into that, and they know it, and everybody on the team knows it. I think they can begin to say, “Okay, what’s the second biggest? The living room, the family room.” They could add to that, right? They don’t have to stop at the kitchen. But clearly-

Chris Stadler:
Well, that’s going to change their approach, and that’s going to meaningfully change the decisions they make about how they design something.

Matt Fehling:
Absolutely.

Chris Stadler:
Like you said, someone else might build you the most beautiful kitchen, but what they’re building around is a function. That’s going to change how it’s=

Mike Jones:
They might do something like if you’re looking for the most beautiful kitchen, if that’s your mission as the organization building those kitchens, you might put in really hard cornered countertops because they look beautiful.

Chris Stadler:
Right, yeah.

Mike Jones:
And they got three little kids running around the house knocking their heads into it.

Chris Stadler:
About counter height.

Mike Jones:
Exactly. And so it’s like that shift in mission from aesthetically beautiful, like you’re going to impress everyone that comes over. But then on the other side, it’s like, “Well, no. It needs to be functional to facilitate kind of your family life, right?”

Matt Fehling:
Absolutely.

Mike Jones:
And those two things might at times come into conflict.

Chris Stadler:
Right.

Matt Fehling:
I mean, it may not… You could be done with it and put it on Instagram, right? Was your goal to have an Instagram kitchen, or to have a family, right? And you have to sacrifice. And as a designer, you have to have people that are your designers that working for you as a company that get that. That aren’t like, “Well, I can’t do that. I’m too proud. I refuse to do that because it would look better if I did this.” And it’s like, “Okay, well go work for that company,” right? That’s what they’re about, right? And you can choose who you… And that’s not to say that there isn’t room for that and those people. Our mission is to build the most beautiful kitchens period, because that makes certain people happy.

Mike Jones:
And there are people out there who will probably hook, line and sinker, “I want that.”

Matt Fehling:
100%. Yup. Absolutely.

Chris Stadler:
So that’s interesting. So I bet you have some pretty interesting conversations with people. What are some of the more difficult things you have to try to help businesses understand in order to kind of grow in the direction that they really should be growing.

Matt Fehling:
So specific to Better Business Bureau, and maybe kind of the services that we get, the difficult conversations are when the business starts getting a few customer complaints. And they’re viewing it as somebody is telling them their kid is ugly, right? And you’re like, “No, you got to check your ego and your pride at the door a little bit.” And they’ll say to me, if they get to me, “You’re team keeps sending me complaints. Tell your team to [inaudible 00:21:23].”

Matt Fehling:
“Whoa. I would much rather have these people working on something else. They’re your customers. They came to us because they weren’t getting anywhere with you. For the love of you know, please take care of it, and so we can do other fun stuff, and we can do stuff maybe that can help you in other areas. But right now, my team’s having to be an intermediary between a disgruntled customer.” So generally, it’s getting them to understand two things, really. One is it’s okay to have disagreements. It’s okay to have a customer that’s unsatisfied because if you don’t have an unsatisfied customer ever, you’ve never had a customer. You’re just not going to-

Mike Jones:
That’s like the restaurant that pleases everybody. That doesn’t exist.

Matt Fehling:
Right, yeah. Or to me, it’s… Yeah. Right. And go back to Yelp. It’s like the five star. Really? Nobody ever had a bad experience there? Okay. It’s just pizza. It’s that good? Okay. Well, that’s five stars? Okay. Fair enough. It’s five stars. The other piece is it comes down to communication, and people don’t like to hear that they’re not clear, or their communication style is poor. But it’s something that I just talked about with somebody that I’m working with, with Culture Index if you’re familiar with them. I mean, just working through kind of… I think I’m clear when I walk away from my team sometimes, and they look at each other probably and go, “What the hell did he just say? Who’s supposed to do what, now? Matt just came in here and just garbled and threw up on our your know, and walked away.”

Matt Fehling:
To me, I’m like, “I was very clear about that. I told them what I wanted, and when I wanted it by, and… ” But I didn’t, right? I clearly didn’t because they didn’t hear it. And so telling a business, “You were not clear… ” When I first moved to Arizona, pools were everywhere. Moved to Phoenix. And so I told my wife we’re moving to a house with a pool. Absolutely. We have to. She was back in Denver, and we were going to move out here, and it’s 2004.

Matt Fehling:
So one of the first… We got a pool and everything, and then I realized how much work it was to keep up a pool, which I’m fine with. I’m not complaining about it. But wow, it was a lot of work. But then the construction side. I was like, “Oh, the… ” Okay, we had a board member who was from a company. I don’t think they’re around anymore, or they sold. But he was saying, “Matt, my god. Can you tell these… We have all these complaints. It’s not fair.”

Matt Fehling:
I said, “Wait a minute. Time out. What isn’t fair.” And he goes, “Well, we have got four or five, whatever, pools going on, construction at the same time, and they’re all complaining.” I said, “Well, what are they complaining about?” The guy’s name was Mike. “Mike, what are they complaining about?” Mike said, “Well, they want to know why it isn’t done and clearly, it’s been raining for the past… It’s an unusual summer here. We’ve had all this rain… Or an unusual fall. We’ve had all this rain, and everybody knows you can’t… When it rains, you can’t do anything.”

Matt Fehling:
I said, “Wait, why couldn’t you? Isn’t the ground hard? Wouldn’t it be easier to do it when it rains?” He goes, “No, what are you… ” I don’t know. I’m not a pool builder. I had no idea. And I said, “So let me tell you, if I’m getting that pool built… ” I’m like, “Are you guys calling them, or are you just calling off for the day? Are you guys… “

Mike Jones:
Yeah, you got to communicate that.

Matt Fehling:
And he goes, “That’s a really good question. Let me find out.” And he goes, and he asks his scheduler and whatever. “Are you calling these people in the morning and telling them the crews won’t be there?” And she’s like, “No. Why would I? Everybody knows that when it rains… ” And he’s like, “Yeah.”

Mike Jones:
Yeah, they know.

Matt Fehling:
They don’t. They think it’s easier to dig, which I thought. And he goes, “Yeah. But then you got to take the backhoe back there, and that sinks down, and this happens, and that.” He goes, “You just can’t do it.” And I was like, “Wow. Interesting.” So their whole process did not have anything built in there to tell them how to communicate. People, if you tell them bad news, they’re okay with it. If you don’t tell them bad news and they find out, they’re not, right?

Matt Fehling:
If you call me… If you were to call me five minutes before I walked in and said, “Matt, sorry. We’re not going to talk to you today,” I would have been like, “Oh, okay. Do it again another day?” “Yeah, sure. Okay, great.” If I would have shown up here and you guys weren’t here, I’m like, “Hmm. Okay. Jokes on me.”

Mike Jones:
That’s why I wouldn’t be coming back.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah, let’s do this in 2025.

Chris Stadler:
Yeah.

Matt Fehling:
Right? I think businesses, there’s pride, and that’s a good thing. But pride can also prevent you from really analyzing your kind of inner workings, and what you do, and how you do it. There’s a lot of that over the years where I’ve talked with business owners who are just so upset with me and the BBB for their customer complaints. And I’m like, “Ahh.”

Chris Stadler:
Yeah.

Matt Fehling:
There’s something wrong.

Chris Stadler:
So do you get to do that a lot? Because I mean, I can see that being something really valuable for businesses who have blind spots and just don’t know what they are. Maybe they’re just not talking. They don’t have a trusted group of friends, or co-business owners they can talk to about these things that will expose some of those blind spots they have.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah. I don’t personally have them as much as I used to as we’ve grown, right? As I’ve kind of gotten away from the day to day, and gotten more strategic, and visionary, and hired people. I would be stepping on toes if I was doing that now. If somebody gets through to me, they ran the gauntlet. I’m happy to talk to them, right? I’m like, “Yeah, okay.” They’re like, “You still talk to customers,” or, “You still talk to angry businesses?” “Oh, absolutely.”

Matt Fehling:
I mean, but I don’t do it a lot because we have a great team that’s empowered to really help them. But to your question, do we have that conversation? We try to set up webinars, and in person seminars, and all sorts of trainings for these things directed to the businesses. But generally, people don’t know about this until it’s too late. Or not until it’s too late, because you can always fix it. But I mean-

Mike Jones:
But they’re getting complaints.

Matt Fehling:
It’s reactive. Correct. Yeah. It becomes reactive, and not proactive. I don’t like that word, but it’s not… And you’re hoping that you can take it from being reactive to being responsive, right? Because reactive is just, “Oh, crap. What happened? We got to fix that.” And responsive is like, “Okay, what do we do? How do we fix it? Let’s move forward. What processes do we need to change?” And so you’re trying to get people into that responsive mode. If you’re a high volume business that’s low cost, you’re generally going to be turning out a lot of projects and a lot of things and your opportunity for mishaps, miscommunications and miscues increases. So it’s going to happen.

Mike Jones:
What’s maybe one or two ideas you’ve had in those conversations that either you’ve had or the team’s had around how can a business, specifically like an owner or somebody’s in that kind of, the driver’s seat, how can they be that more responsive rather than reactive type business?

Matt Fehling:
I think it’s surround yourself with people who will challenge your own beliefs. We talked earlier about good friction, right? About good resistance, right? Find those people who are good resistors and not resisting you out of spite, but resisting you because they want to know why. And when they’re asking you why and making you explain, you begin to hear yourself. And so a lot of times, if nobody asked me, “Okay, explain that decision,” right?

Matt Fehling:
I tell people, “I walk in with 100 bad ideas every day. And once every four or five months, one of them is actually good and it worked.” But every day I walk in and I just go, “I’m going to do this and that.” I talk myself out of every one of them. And the ones that I don’t talk myself out of, my team generally does. And they don’t say, “No, that’s a terrible idea.” They say, “Okay, what would we have to do to do that? Tell me what this requires. What sort of… Okay, that’s probably not the best idea,” or, “We don’t want to do that right now. We don’t want to tackle it.”

Matt Fehling:
So I think for a business, they are finding that. It could be for a lot of small businesses, you got husband and wife teams, or brothers, or sisters, or a mother father kind of small business. Make sure that you’re working with people that don’t just say yes and walk away and kind of go, “Oh, that’s his idea. I’m going to do whatever he says.” So I think that’s probably the biggest thing that you could do is surround yourself with the people that buy into your vision broadly, but also can bring their own flavor to it and will also argue and challenge you over the path to get there.

Chris Stadler:
Yeah. So speaking of ideas, what are some things… So I know you guys are not afraid to maybe buy a city block or [crosstalk 00:29:52]. I know you’re not afraid to try something if you think it’ll make a difference. So what are some… It doesn’t have to be as big as that, but what are some things that you guys are thinking about for the future? Maybe some ides you have, or some problems that you think you guys might be able to solve?

Matt Fehling:
Well, the ideas that we have are around how we help business in both the ideation phase where people are [wantrepreneurs 00:30:24], or they’re brand new, right? For so long, BBB has been about helping establish businesses. And we will give you our trust mark if you’re an established business who meets these… Which is again, it’s great. I’m not trying to cast any doubt on that. That’s awesome. But what about you go out, and you open a business tomorrow and you call me up and say, “How can you help me?” “Call me in six months when you’ve been around and established.” And you’re like, “Oh, great. Thanks appreciate that.”

Matt Fehling:
So how do we set up blueprints for success? And we’re working towards those, actually. We actually have some programs that we’re running right now and are beyond beta tested. They’re going to be going and launching into our second season of kind of iterations for that. Then how do we scale that broadly across the US so that other BBBs can take advantage of it?

Matt Fehling:
So that’s really what we’re working on now is how do we hit that early stage business? And then also layered on top of that is how do we help businesses that want to scale and grow that kind of maybe are stuck spinning their wheels? Need a little help. Need a little assistance. Some push, some guidance, some connections, some people that can connect them. Again, building a community for them to walk out and go, “All right. This is awesome.”

Matt Fehling:
And for us, it’s always been, “So I should back up just a little bit here.” When I talk about business, a lot of the businesses that come to BBB or that we have traditionally been supported by are blue collar, service based, or service based industries. That’s not all. I mean, we certainly have banks, and we had ad agencies, and we have a lot of white collar stuff too. And you think of we have the essential businesses, right? When they shut down, and states started to want to do stuff… Oh my gosh, they were scrambling because all of their focus and outreach had been app developers, or fintech, or this, right?

Chris Stadler:
All the sexy stuff.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah, exactly. But who’s mopping the floors? Well, that’s who we care about, and that’s who… And when we started our co-work space and our collaboration space and our meeting space, our design really was to go after them to say, “Here’s a place where not only can you not feel maybe you won’t feel weird, you’ll feel welcome, and wanted, and a part of. This is for you. This is for the caterer. This is for that.”

Chris Stadler:
Oh, okay. Yeah. So those businesses that you were just talking about. Not the sexy ones, but this is for… Okay, got you.

Matt Fehling:
Well, we’ll take them all.

Chris Stadler:
Sure.

Matt Fehling:
But there’s plenty of incubators, co-work spaces, etc. that are going after fintech, that are going after app development, that are going after… Right? That’s what [inaudible 00:33:03] all about, bringing them all in. Kudos. They’re doing awesome work, right? I’m really impressed with the work that they do. But somebody’s got to mop those floors. Somebody’s got to sweep the gutters. Somebody’s got to-

Mike Jones:
[crosstalk 00:33:13] work.

Matt Fehling:
100%. And you read this stuff about Silicon Valley where a poor lady has to take a train in three and a half hours each way. Six, seven hour commute just to… A day. I mean, I’m like, “Seven hours to commute a day plus working nine hours a day? What country is this?” So for us, it’s like, “How do we shine a light on these people?” Because you know what they need? They need websites. They’re going to make some money, and they’re going to need to invest it.

Matt Fehling:
So let’s make the community a little [wholer 00:33:43]. Let’s make it a little fuller. Let’s make sure that we take everybody and make them part of this community. And look what we are starting with. We are starting with the painters. We’re starting with the fence builders. We’re starting with the kitchen remodelers. We’re starting with these wonderful, huge contributors to the economy, right? Monster contributors to the economy, and monster contributors to society as a whole. And employers, and employees, and…

Matt Fehling:
So how can we help these businesses scale grow? How can we connect to them? Again, we’ve got these other… We can help them with their branding, right? Everybody knows they’re a fence builder, but now they’re a trustworthy fence builder because they got our badge next to them, right? So we can help there still. We can still do that. If they have an issue, hey. We can help resolve it through our dispute resolution processes. But how do we get to them and say, “Okay, this is how you seek additional funding.” Or, “This is how you market better.” Or, “This is how you deal with scaling and growing. Are you ready to merge and acquire?”

Matt Fehling:
Things that they may not have gone through an MBA program at Arizona State. They may have just learned on the fly. How can we begin to get them connected with the right people? Our focus, our new thing is really looking at the business and saying, “We can help you be better, right? Better business.” They don’t like Bureau. It’s kind of old and antiquated, but I do like better business. And so if two thirds of our name is good, right? There was a while with branding, you guys will appreciate this, where we tried to just be BBB. “We’re just going to be BBB. We’re going to throw away… ” Because Bureau was, we were so afraid of Bureau that we threw away two thirds of it.

Mike Jones:
And this front end, that’s the mission, right?

Matt Fehling:
It’s all we’re about, better business. And so if we can say, “Building better business, or better business this,” I mean, there’s ways we can do it. And Better Business Bureau is okay. Again, I’m not going to run out and try and change that tomorrow. Because we talked about there are some great things that come with the name Better Business Bureau. Some great history.

Chris Stadler:
Yeah. Something you said earlier made me think. I mean, you guys have been around for you said 100 years?

Matt Fehling:
1938 in Arizona, but 100 years, 100 and some in the US. Yeah.

Chris Stadler:
So one of my biggest complaints I think in society in general is older people have experience. Unable to connect with younger people, right? Unable to connect. What I’m hearing is you’re kind of trying to bridge that gap a little bit. But what I see is older people with the wisdom, experience, unable to translate it, unhumble. There’s just a lot in the way in translation and just kind of a lack of, I hate this word too, empathy. Sometimes it’s overused, but a lack of that ability to understand like, “All right. Let me listen first so I understand what I’m giving advice to.”

Matt Fehling:
Right.

Chris Stadler:
And it sounds a little bit kind of like what you guys are trying to do.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah, absolutely. I think it cuts both ways, right? I think you’ve got the younger generation maybe not willing to pay homage to what the older generation has gone through to get to where they are, right? To put the group in position. I think communication is huge. Today, I said goodbye to an employee that has been with us since 1972. She finally packed her stuff and is leaving. And she is our historian. I wouldn’t let her retire. She tried to retire when we moved to the new space, and I just said, “Helen, come on. Just fob in and fob out, and I’ll pay you for when you work. Be our historian.”

Matt Fehling:
And so she set up our museum. I didn’t want to lose that. I didn’t want to lose somebody that started in 1972. So I think there’s tremendous value in analyzing the way we communicate. So for her, email, I used email, came out probably broadly in the mid to late ’90s. I mean, not where a company didn’t just have an info app where everybody had, right?

Mike Jones:
Every individual has got their own account, and they’re having to manage it.

Matt Fehling:
And I’d say then what, in the late ’90s then? Probably. Late ’90s. So we’ll call it ’98. She started in 1972. So that means she worked 26 years without an email address, right? And so to her, email is still a new form of communication. Still a newfangled, right? That fancy email you’re going to send me. Yeah, newfangled, right? That’s a business term, I think. The kids that come in, it’s newfangled to them too, because they never emailed, right? They’re texting, and Snapchatting, and TikToking.

Mike Jones:
Because it’s so old.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah, it’s so old.

Chris Stadler:
It’s oldfangled, maybe.

Matt Fehling:
It’s oldfangled. Yeah, it’s so old it’s new. So now you’ve got two… And then you’ve got me, right? It’s like, “I don’t know. I mean, it’s just normal, right?” It’s not new. It’s not old. It’s just part of kind of… Right? It kind right when I got into the workspace. I mean, we could still smoke at our desks, but we also had email. I’m from Richmond, Virginia, so you could understand that, right? Philip Morris had a few things to say about that.

Matt Fehling:
But the idea that it’s hard to communicate sometimes across this kind of generational thing because of the way people… Right? You probably read that story about punctuation is now considered passive aggressiveness or something. I’m like, “Come on. You’re making stuff up now. That just can’t be true.” But like, I can’t not put a period in because I’m worried about what some kid’s going to think about my text. It’s like, “Did you get the coffee, question mark?” Okay, don’t put the question mark because they don’t like it. No, I’m not going to do that. I refuse to play that game. But that’s an example of why I think it’s difficult sometimes. So I think that yeah, you’ve got a little bit of, “Oh, damn kids,” from the older folks.

Chris Stadler:
Get off my lawn.

Matt Fehling:
Get off my lawn. Quit playing around. You’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean. And then you’ve got the younger kids who are like, “Man, I never would have done that. I can’t believe you wore a tie to work. Man, I would have… ” No, you would have worn a tie too, bud. You would have worn a tie, too. Trust me. And it’s just how it is. So I think there’s… For us, it’s fun for me that I’ve got federal work study students working for us coming out of Grand Canyon or ASU still getting their degrees. Up until today, I had somebody that started in 1972. That’s just so cool to me. We preach respect, and we preach compassion, and that sort of thing. It’s just identifying that it’s there, that that gap, either real or perceived, exists. And how do you bridge it? I don’t know.

Chris Stadler:
It reminds me of something I heard. I think it was… Who wrote Rework? David Heinemeier Hansson. The other guy.

Mike Jones:
Yeah, I can’t remember. It’s the Basecamp guys.

Chris Stadler:
Basecamp.

Mike Jones:
The 37Signals.

Chris Stadler:
Yeah. He was at a conference. I just remember hearing him, and you can hear him say this all the time is, “It’s not always about the sexy startups.” What he likes to see is a business that’s been around for a few years. When everybody, all they could talk about was startups, and he’s saying, “No, it’s the… ” Almost like, and this is me reading into it, but classic values. Those values are still true. Those values are still important. And that’s kind of what I hear you saying a little bit. To get more to the point, it feels like you guys are refusing to abandon those, but trying to build that forward. And so when I hear you talk, you’re not saying, “Yeah, we’re just trying to make it young and hip.” What I’m hearing is, “We are applying that substance, right?”

Matt Fehling:
Absolutely. Trying to make it young and hip to me would just be external, right? It would be an exterior. Ti would be a whitewash kind of broad brush new paint job. Whatever you want to call it, right? It doesn’t make it any different to me. To me. And it could, right? Other people words and phrases have different meanings to people. But to me when I say make it young, it’s just make it accessible to everyone, and understanding that…

Matt Fehling:
I’ve got young kids. Nine, seven and six. I can remember my nine-year-old when he was four going up to the big TV and trying to move it around with his finger because that’s [crosstalk 00:42:08]. I’m like, “Ahh.” Right? We’ve all experienced that. And so I think it’s kind of like that in the workplace, right? You’ve got to recognize… It would bother me. And I know millennials, it’s probably passe now, right? What’s a new one? Digital natives or whoever is coming in, right? They’re like, “But all those damn kids.” I’m like, “They’re awesome.” “How do you work with them?” “What do you mean? How do I work with them?” I mean-

Mike Jones:
Just like I work with everyone else.

Matt Fehling:
I don’t understand. We kind of made a rule with earbuds, right? I’d say one earbud in. Just keep one in. If you’re going to listen to music, just have one out so I don’t have to scream at you or smack you on the head. Because I’ll probably get sued if I smack you on the head because you can’t hear me. But just one earbud in. So we made little rules like that internally, and I think we want to look at our whole system, and our whole approach, and how we approach business, and consumer outreach and all of that.

Matt Fehling:
It’s like, “How do we make it accessible and understandable that doing the right thing and being concerned with doing the right thing is critically important as a society if you want to be in a civil society.” And so we have programs that target kids from elementary school up through high school and into college. We’re always looking to increase that and enhance that.

Matt Fehling:
But then we also look holistically at our organization and say, “All right. The 18-25s aren’t coming to us.” Well, they never did. If we really stop and think about it, I mean, what’s the first major purchase you made? Unless you’re unusual, it probably was your mid to late 20s was the first major investment that you made. Now stuff starts to matter. You get screwed over on a $50 bike from the guy down the street, that’s $50. That sucks.

Mike Jones:
[crosstalk 00:43:52] your car, your first car that you dropped some serious money. You probably took out a loan for.

Matt Fehling:
Absolutely. Who do you get the loan from? Who do you buy from? Do you get the… And so we begin to educate yourself, and that’s when people start to turn to us. But the challenge is, “Okay. Well, when I was 18-24 or whatever, right?” That was 1980 something. And you didn’t have the internet to go look at, and you didn’t have anything. All you had was the old man and his buddies. And so now, they’ve grown up seeing reviews on Amazon, seeing reviews on Yelp, seeing reviews on Google, seeing reviews on whatever else the new review model is.

Matt Fehling:
And so they may skip us, right? They may not even think about coming to us because they may think that they’ve done their work. And so us, it’s like, “Oh, that’s great. You should do all that, but why don’t you check with us too, because we’re unbiased, because we don’t just crowdsource other people’s opinions. We actually have our own, and we put a company through certain processes, and we look at things. And so you can see that they’re legitimate. You can see their track record. If they have any issues, how they’ve taken care of it. So look at both.”

Matt Fehling:
So our challenge is to get the kids, or get the younger generation to include us and begin to include us in those kind of evaluations. In the evaluation stage of any purchase, right? Whether it’s a stick of gum or… Well, they really shouldn’t look at the BBB for a stick of gum, right? But I mean, every-

Mike Jones:
If you’re going to get your house, your yard re-fenced, right?

Matt Fehling:
Yeah. Purchases that matter. Purchases that matter, right? And I think when I say matter, I mean…

Mike Jones:
It’s a large enough expense. It’s going to last a while.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah.

Mike Jones:
We were talking about this. I’m trying to remember who I was talking to. There’s certain purchases too, that don’t lend themselves to an Amazon or even a Google review because it’s not a transaction that happens very often, right? Who expects to find their fencing company well reviewed on Google, right? If they have a couple reviews, they’re either going to be swayed towards the customers that they solicited those from, or they’re only going to be highly negative reviews that are maybe outliers, right? So having some kind of validation, a more validated type of service like what you’re doing where it’s a little bit deeper.

Matt Fehling:
And we’ve talked with both Amazon at a higher level, and Google, who are offering some of these local services where you get a fence. You buy the fence on Amazon, right? So when I’m going to go buy my fence, I’m going to buy 100 yards of white picket fence, and all I need to do is… “Would you like us to connect you with an installer?” “Oh, sure.” “Okay.”

Matt Fehling:
Well, Amazon has a great track record of, “If you don’t like the product, you send it back and they give you their money,” right? There’s very little concern about Amazon’s return policies, right? They’re probably too generous if you think about it. But that’s a product. But what happens when the installer comes in, and kicks the dog, or lets the dog run loose. You know what I mean? Scratches your car, or dumps oil in your driveway. Any litany of other kind of issues. How does Amazon take care of that?

Chris Stadler:
Can’t send it back.

Matt Fehling:
Can’t send it back. Can’t send it back. You’d like to sometimes. Get out.

Chris Stadler:
Undo. Control Z.

Mike Jones:
Control Z.

Matt Fehling:
And so we can add to that. And again, that’s to say that Amazon is a marketplace. Google is a marketplace right now. So look at a lot of these places as marketplaces just like we used to look at the main street, and then we looked at the mall, and then we looked at the strip malls, and now we’re looking at online Google and Amazon. These are marketplaces. This is a, in a sense, a almost… It’s almost a physical location that you’re going to. You’re going online. I get it. But you’re going to a store to buy whatever, even if it’s groceries now.

Matt Fehling:
And it’s the Safeways, and the Fry’s, and the Kroger’s. Everybody has this way now of conducting business virtually online, transacting that way. Goods are one thing, service is another, and how do you guarantee that service, and then what are your remedies when the service goes awry? And that’s where we can step in, right? The evaluation stage and the conciliation phase where we kind of… The stage where we kind of, “Okay. You guys had a problem. Here we are. This is what we do. We do 100,000 of these a year. What’s your gripe? Okay. What did you just hear that you didn’t like? Okay. Anything you want to offer? Yeah.”

Matt Fehling:
And it’s just how can we help facilitate that, because that’s when a business can really grab hold of the customers, when they screw up. I’ve shared this in a talk sometimes, and people will come up to me afterwards and say, “So do you think I should screw up on purpose maybe?” I’m like, “No. Gosh, no. Gosh, no.” But I can tell you, the only dry cleaner that I ever remember was the one that ruined two of my shirts in consecutive weeks and gave me the entire order for free. I was kind of a new employee worker. I wasn’t getting paid a lot, and that dry cleaning bill, it was worth it because I didn’t want to iron. I mean, it was a lot of money.

Matt Fehling:
And so I remember them. I was like, “That’s… ” They owned it, they apologized for it, they made amends for it, and what more can you ask for? I know now I can trust you, right? Because you’ve screwed up and you’ve owned it. Nobody likes when somebody screws up and then won’t… It’s like, “Dude, you’re wrong. You know you’re wrong. Just say it. All I want is for you to say it.” And it’s amazing how many things come to us if they just, if the business would have just said, “Oh, my bad.

Chris Stadler:
Yeah. So in the next… We have a couple minutes left. I kind of wanted to get to one question here about is there a time when you’ve kind of gotten through to a business, they really turned it around, or you’ve seen them? I’m not saying you’re taking credit. I’m just saying that you’ve seen actually maybe have some complaints. Maybe they’re kind of going the wrong direction maybe even with their values. Maybe even at a fundamental level where they actually said, “Wait a second. We’re kind of going about this wrong.”

Matt Fehling:
We have, and it’s rewarding when it happens. You see it a fair amount with the small companies that don’t, like you were talking earlier, don’t have a lot of opportunities to transact, right? It’s not like the… But when it happens with the larger businesses, the really big businesses where they come in and they tell you, right? You have C level people saying, “Your code of business practice is on every one of my sales rep’s desks. All of our dispute resolution people know that their goal is to have zero complaints.” I’m like, “Wow.”

Matt Fehling:
And so yeah, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen people thumb their nose at us where we’ve called them in and said, “Look, this mailer you’re sending out, we don’t like it. No. It’s deceptive, right? Don’t, right? And we’re telling you right now, we’re self-regulatory, right? We believe that we’re not one more regulatory agency. We’re the one standing in between you and the regulatory agency. We’re telling you to stop it. Please stop it.” “Oh, no. There’s nothing wrong with it. Who do you think you are?” We’re like, “We’re just trying to be your friend, really.”

Chris Stadler:
[crosstalk 00:51:11] regulatory agencies have this conversation with you.

Matt Fehling:
And they did. One guy was flying back to Atlanta, and I get an email that comes across my… The Attorney General had gone after them for this very thing that we that afternoon they had thumbed their nose at us for. And I was like… I mean, I left him a message of like, “I can’t believe you sat here and talked to me like this when we were trying to help you. You wouldn’t have this challenge if you just would have listened to us.” And we don’t mandate anything. We make major suggestions, and then we report on what our experience shows.

Matt Fehling:
So I’ve seen it both ways. I’ve seen that business kind of get run into the ground because they have refused to make these changes in spite of overwhelming evidence that they need to. And then I’ve seen other ones, very large companies, even just take it one step further and say, “Look. These ideals are phenomenal. We want these ideals. We want all of our employees to embrace them, embody them. And if they do, we think the decisions that they make will be guided by these, and that we’ll all be better for it.” That doesn’t mean they didn’t have future complaints or future issues, because they were, again, a huge company.

Mike Jones:
You’re always going to have them.

Matt Fehling:
Always going to have them.

Mike Jones:
Yup.

Matt Fehling:
Always going to have them. And if you think about, again, I don’t like to name names, but if you think about certain companies that may provide certain services, you could have internet, phone, TV, alarm, this. Every second of every day is an opportunity for something to go wrong.

Mike Jones:
Yup. Yup. Yeah, those are complicated systems.

Matt Fehling:
Complicated. You go to get gas, what? Once every two weeks if you’re lucky, right? And so you have one opportunity at the pump, but you have an opportunity every second of every day with other companies. So yeah, we’ve see both.

Chris Stadler:
So how has your region, specifically Arizona because this is the AZ Brandcast, embraced and kind of how have they come along with you guys in these changes?

Matt Fehling:
So it’s been a tremendous response, really. So we were the… Again, there’s been some… We took over Southern California, and there’ve been some other kind of consolidations where it’s made sense to centralize some administrative functions. But at one point, we were the largest single… Before we merged, we were the what I would call the largest single market BBB that’s ever existed. Meaning we only had one market, and we had more business support than any other across the… I think today, there’s still more businesses that are members in the city of Phoenix. Not just Phoenix, right? Now you’ve got Tempe, and you’ve got Scottsdale, and Glendale, and everything else [inaudible 00:53:47].

Matt Fehling:
But if you look just to the city, more businesses that support the idea of self-regulation, which is really our core, right? It’s like, “Hey, let us take care of it first before you come in and tell me what to do. We don’t need somebody from the capital saying, ‘This is what you need to do,’ right?” Or in California, we don’t need Sacramento telling us… Who better to solve your own problems than the people who know best?

Matt Fehling:
Now you have to be committed, and you have to want to do these things, but the changes that we’ve made, it’s been phenomenal. I mean, we were… I know, Mike, you were the big part of Startup Week, and that way we were a host venue for two of the days. I think so many people were like, “Oh my god. This is the Better Business… What?”

Mike Jones:
I think a lot of people’s eyes were opened.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah. They go, “This is crazy.” I remember doing something with Conscious Capitalism and speaking. I got up after Eric Keosky-Smith, who is pretty dynamic, and he had said something where I just, “This wasn’t what I expected.” So I just had everybody raise their hands, and I said, “First, if you’ve heard of the Better Business Bureau, raise your hand.” And so everybody raised their hand. And I said, “If this is your first time inside a Better Business Bureau, keep them up.” And just about everybody kept them up, right? Maybe five people put them down.

Matt Fehling:
And then I said, “All right. Now I want you to keep them up if this is exactly what you expected we would be.” And they all went down quickly. You could almost feel this breeze kick through it, right? And they were like, “This is not what we expected,” but everybody is really happy about. This is neat. I was playing tennis with a guy the other night, right? I play tennis. This guy lives near us. He said, “Oh.” I play at Arrowhead and they play at Phoenix, the Tennis Center. And I said, “Where do you live?” “On the 12th and whatever.” I said, “Oh, you should… Here’s my card. You should come by if you ever need us.” “Oh, I’ve been to your place. I tell everybody about it.”

Matt Fehling:
So I mean, when you hear that… I’ve never met the guy before that night. I don’t even know what his business was or anything, and he was like, “I tell everybody about your space.” That tells me people are talking about Better Business Bureau in a good way, right? In a way that we want. If people can talk about us unsolicited, that’s a great thing. That’s really I think as a brand, that’s probably what you want. It’s like, “We might not get the Coke and Kleenex thing, but if people are talking about us in a way that is A positive, and B unsolicited, I’ll take it seven days a week.”

Chris Stadler:
Yeah. A good name is better than riches, right?

Mike Jones:
Do you guys have anything coming up that you want to plug for people to check out?

Matt Fehling:
Absolutely. Lots of stuff. The main thing I would say is we’ve got this wonderful partner on GoDaddy who has a program called Empower by GoDaddy that they run out of a number of locations across the US. It’s really a marketing kind of… We’ve wrapped around a full kind of what I would call an accelerator around it. Partnered with Desert Financial Credit Union, Snell & Wilmer as our legal partners, and really created a full soup to nuts kind of incubator/accelerator program. That’s open right now. We ran our first one and graduated the co-hort. We switched it halfway through to online virtually. Tremendous feedback from the group. So if anybody kind of finds themselves looking to juices their business a bit, bbbempower.com is that website. Applications went live today.

Mike Jones:
That’s awesome.

Matt Fehling:
So we’re really excited about that. We’re going to have two courses here, or two cohorts. Actually, I’m sorry. One cohort for that, and then we’re doing another thing called BluePrint, which will… If you got to bbbempower, you’ll see all the other stuff.

Mike Jones:
That’s cool.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah. It’s fun. it’s neat. It’s an interesting twist on… Again, we’re so thrilled to… GoDaddy’s been incredible.

Mike Jones:
A great partner to have. That’s awesome.

Matt Fehling:
Unbelievable. That was like the… Yeah. We’re just so blessed to have a company like that kind of really have it’s founding or roots here, and in Arizona as well, right? I know Iowa as well, but here. And then Desert Financial. Wonderful partners. Snell & Wilmer has been great as well. So it’s been-

Mike Jones:
That’s really cool.

Matt Fehling:
That’s what we got.

Mike Jones:
That’s awesome. And the website for that was bbbempower.com?

Matt Fehling:
Bbbempower.com I believe, right? We talked earlier, you guys told me a secret that I should always know my website. And I just double checked it, and it is bbbempower.com.

Chris Stadler:
Always rehearse before any podcast.

Mike Jones:
[crosstalk 00:58:03] edit it later, right Sam?

Matt Fehling:
The magic of editing. No, you can keep all that in. I don’t know. I have so many websites, right? So many URLs, and so many handles, and so many… I don’t know, man.

Mike Jones:
[crosstalk 00:58:16]

Matt Fehling:
Well, there’s the chip, right? They put it in Sweden. That’s the chip. Just sign me up.

Mike Jones:
Just check the chip. Don’t ask me questions like that. I don’t know.

Matt Fehling:
Just scan me. Wasn’t that Rollins that had the first one to have that EPC code on the back of his neck or whatever?

Chris Stadler:
Yeah, I think so.

Mike Jones:
Henry Rollins?

Matt Fehling:
Yeah.

Mike Jones:
Really?

Matt Fehling:
I think so.

Mike Jones:
Just scan my head.

Matt Fehling:
Yeah. Just scan me. I’m done.

Mike Jones:
That’s how he checks out at the grocery store.

Matt Fehling:
Oh, that’s some scary stuff that’s coming out. I’m kidding. I’m excited for all that. And then I don’t want to be that old guy a few years from now, right? I got a few months left in my 40s, and I’m not looking forward to being that guy that doesn’t help, right? Or is scared of everything. I hope that I can… In 20 years, that I’m like, “Oh, that’s awesome. Tell me about it, young lad.” But I’ll probably be, “Get off my lawn,” and, “Geez. In my day we used to… We only had one remote.” Or no, we had three remotes, right? One for the VCR, one for the TV, and what was the other remote for?

Chris Stadler:
Was there a cable box? Stereo, maybe?

Mike Jones:
The cable box. Yeah.

Chris Stadler:
Yeah.

Matt Fehling:
Oh my goodness.

Mike Jones:
Or you could go really old school and have the remote with three buttons on it like grandparents.

Chris Stadler:
That actually clicked. It physically clicked.

Mike Jones:
The clicker.

Chris Stadler:
No, I remember that.

Matt Fehling:
The DIAL. So had the cable. We had the DIAL TV. And you had left, center and right. And so center was two through 13 normal, right? And then left was like 11 was HBO and 13 was the movie channel. And to the right, you got USA, ESPN, MTV and all that. And so it wasn’t even a remote. It was just like a little thing on the…

Chris Stadler:
I might be just a touch younger than you, but I do remember standing at the rabbit ears. You want to see a sports play? Dude, stand up there and don’t move.

Matt Fehling:
Yup. Absolutely. Late night, you could pick up… Like when I was in Richmond, we could pick up Baltimore. So I could pick up the Orioles’ games late at night when there’s no interference, right? And you had the just right-

Mike Jones:
It’s a little cold outside, those radio waves go a little bit further

Matt Fehling:
You get the tin foil, and the-

Chris Stadler:
If there’s nobody else there and you were holding it, and you were trying to move your arm around and try to figure out, “All right, that’s the signal.” And then you just freeze.

Matt Fehling:
It was awesome.

Chris Stadler:
Mike, do you ever do that, or was that-

Mike Jones:
So I grew up with a black and white TV without a remote, and it had just the channel dial on the front. Antenna, everything.

Chris Stadler:
And so if you went up and changed the channel, sometimes the signal would come in better, right?

Mike Jones:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I know because you act like an antenna.

Chris Stadler:
Yeah. Totally.

Matt Fehling:
You hold it, or you could put it between two. Did you ever have one of those where you put it between two channels and it gets another channel?

Chris Stadler:
Yeah. Because it’s so analog that it’s just like, “Oh, you’re kind of in between.” Yeah, totally.

Matt Fehling:
Picking up something else.

Mike Jones:
That’s so funny. Matt, thank you so much for coming on today.

Matt Fehling:
I’m thrilled.

Mike Jones:
This was a great conversation. I kept thinking Chris and I don’t have anything to add because you are saying it all.

Matt Fehling:
Oh, well good. I think.

Mike Jones:
It was great perspectives, and information, and this was really fun.

Matt Fehling:
Well, thank you.

Mike Jones:
So thank you. For all of our listeners, if you want to check out other episodes of AZ Brandcast, we’ve got tons of them. They are on azbrandcast.com, or you can find us on iTunes, or Google Play, or Spotify. Pandora, if you’re into that.

Chris Stadler:
All of those places.

Mike Jones:
All those places. Go check it out and get subscribed there. If you want to find out more about us, go to our website azbrandcast.com. Find more information about Chris and I. You could find more information about Resound, our agency, as well as get signed up for our newsletter at azbrandcast.com. Thanks everybody for another episode.

Chris Stadler:
And Sam.

Mike Jones:
And Sam. Thanks for doing all that you do, man. Making us sound good.

Sam:
You’re welcome.

Chris Stadler:
Yes, he talked.

Mike Jones:
The first and last time Sam talked today.

Chris Stadler:
Got him.

Mike Jones:
The AZ Brandcast is a project of Resound, and is recorded in Tempe, Arizona with hosts Mike Johns and Chris Stadler. It’s produced and edited by Sam Pagel. Music is produced and provided by Pabrid, an Arizona music group. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and at azbrandcast.com. If you’d like more episodes, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you prefer to get your podcasts. To contact the show, find out more about AZ Brandcast, or to join our newsletter list to make sure you never miss another episode, check out our website at azbrandcast.com. Copyright Resound Creative Media LLC. 2020.