Service Based Business Society Podcast

Are you a service based business? Are you putting all your effort into getting new customers but forgetting about the ones you have? You're not alone. Most businesses focus on acquiring new customers without realizing that it's actually cheaper and easier to keep the ones they have. In this episode I talk about the importance of customer experience and how to improve it.

Show Notes

Are you a service based business? Are you putting all your effort into getting new customers but forgetting about the ones you have? You're not alone. Most businesses focus on acquiring new customers without realizing that it's actually cheaper and easier to keep the ones they have. In this episode I talk about the importance of customer experience and how to improve it. 

Resources Mentioned:

Elenore:  Visit and use discount code SOCIETY for 25% off
Service Based Business Society Facebook Community

What is Service Based Business Society Podcast?

Attention entrepreneurs! Are you looking for ways to scale your service-based business without sacrificing your sleep? Look no further than The Service Based Business Society Podcast, hosted by Tiffany-Ann Bottcher.

Each week, Tiffany-Ann shares valuable insights on productivity, business strategies, marketing trends, and tech secrets that you need to know in order to take your business to the next level. She firmly believes that a successful service-based business must prioritize an amazing client experience and sustainable, predictable, repeatable profit, and she'll teach you how to do just that.

But that's not all - Tiffany-Ann also invites expert guests to share their knowledge and experience with you, providing even more valuable insights on service-based business growth and sustainability. You won't want to miss a single episode!

If you're looking to create, grow, and optimize your service-based business, The Service Based Business Society Podcast is the perfect resource for you.

And don't forget to join the community on Facebook by searching for "Service Based Business Society."

Focused on helping entrepreneurs cultivate the right mindset for success in their businesses. Hosted by experts in the field, the podcast covers a range of topics related to mindset and business, including self-improvement, goal setting, visualization, and meditation. The podcast provides practical tools and strategies to help listeners develop a growth mindset, overcome limiting beliefs, and build confidence. Through inspiring interviews with successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, the podcast shows that a positive and resilient mindset is key to achieving business success.

Dedicated to equipping business leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to lead with confidence, based on data-driven insights. Hosted by experts in business leadership, the podcast covers a range of topics related to data analysis and interpretation, strategic decision-making, and effective communication. It provides practical tools and strategies for interpreting complex data sets and using them to make informed business decisions that drive growth and success. Through engaging interviews with successful business leaders and industry experts, the podcast offers valuable insights and examples of how to use data to build strong teams and drive innovation.

A great resource for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to learn from the experiences of successful business owners. Through relatable and engaging entrepreneurship stories, the podcast provides valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities that come with starting and running a business. Hosted by experienced entrepreneurs, the podcast covers a range of topics related to entrepreneurship, including idea generation, product development, marketing, and fundraising. Each episode features inspiring interviews with successful entrepreneurs, who share their personal stories and provide practical advice and tips for those looking to start and grow their own businesses.

As businesses continue to evolve, it's essential for entrepreneurs and business owners to stay informed about the latest trends and best practices in marketing, bookkeeping, technology, and innovation. The podcast is a valuable resource for anyone looking to keep up with these changes and stay ahead of the competition.

Whether you are just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, this podcast is a great source of inspiration and guidance from real-world examples of entrepreneurship success.

Brought to you by Bottcher Business Management Agency

Season: 1
Episode: 5
Title: Customer Experience or Bust

Hello, and welcome to the service based business society podcast. I'm your host Tiffany-Ann Bottcher. At our weekly episodes, we will dig into everything you need to know about scaling your service based business without losing sleep. With my experience in creating over seven figures per month, and a passion for marketing, finance and automation, this show will provide tangible tips and techniques for scaling your business. Let's get started.

Hello, hello, welcome back. We're here for another episode of the service based business society podcast. And I am super excited to be back because it has been a crazy week. I decided long, long ago that I was going to travel for business, launch a podcast and go through the last week before tax time in Canada all at the same time. And you know what, that may or may not have been a good idea.

Here's what we learned. We learned that customer experience trumps all. Okay, guys, let's dive into why customer experience trumps everything else. Here's the thing. We have this upside of the business, we have what works. And now from an operations automations standpoint, it's very easy to say, this is what is best for the business. This is what integrates with something else. This is what gives us the best data. This is what's easiest for us as a business owner. But then there's the flip side of that, and there is the customer experience. So if you are a business that has multiple different teams, and you have a sales team, or even if you have just a singular sales person, you are going to notice that that person and what they want typically differs from the operation standpoint. And now when you are a single person filling multiple roles, or you know, maybe your team, you have a field team and an office team, however, that looks like if you are filling an operations and a salesperson role, you're going to realize that what the left side wants the right side disagrees with, and what the right side wants, the left side disagrees with. And here creates this ever, circular merry go round of customer experience and operations.

And typically, when I say the salesperson is usually correct, I get a lot of side eyes from fellow operations people because ultimately, a lot of times what the sales people want is an operations nightmare. So even if you don't have a salesperson, like let's go back to a more singular focused entrepreneur, or business owner, whatever that looks like in your business, what is going to be best for sales is typically going to be a nightmare for operations.

Nightmare is a pretty big word. Obviously, that's pretty extreme. But when it comes down to the business, we always must remember that the customer experience trumps everything else. Because it doesn't matter how detailed your reports are, if there's nothing to detail, it doesn't matter how amazing this system integrates with the system. If there's no data in either of them, because you have no customers. We must always go back to what is the customer experience and use that as our guiding light when we're deciding and implementing change within our business.

So many years ago, I was implementing a system. And it was a digital dispatch system fully done on iPads, a fantastic system, but we were implementing it into a business that was very old fashioned. So this business was purchased by a regular business that I was working with. And so we had a very innovative forward thinking modern business, purchasing a very old fashioned paper based business. And so I would say the average age of the person in this new business was going to be about 60. And so you have a group of people who have done their job for almost their entire career. One way, paper based paper, calendars, paperwork, orders all of these pieces. And when we decided, hey, we're going to implement this digital system that of course had a little bit of NX by the people. So you know, you're getting close to retirement, you've done something all one way. And now all of a sudden, the business you work for has been bought out. And now you need to go digital. And one of the key pieces that I said, as we went through this was number one, we need to focus on customer experience, our decision to change with digital business model can't affect the customer experience. So that means that as long as you know where you're going, as long as you can get to your job, even if you write down all your information on a piece of scrap paper from the back of your van, and drive back to the office, and we go through it together, over and over until you get it, that's okay. Because the customer experience is not affected.

As long as you can get there and know what you're supposed to do when you get there. The rest of it, we can worry about after, but for the customer, they need that person to arrive. And they need to know what they're supposed to do when they get there. After that, it's a training piece. After that, we can go through it, we can go through it over video, we can go through it over zoom, we can go through it in person, we can go through it 50 times as long as the customer experience is not affected. And I think often we forget sometimes that our customer is unlike us.

When something comes easy to you, I'm guilty of this often, you know you're an expert in your field. And the person your ideal client is not an expert in your field. So but you are taking something that you assume other people now, you take it as a basic assumed knowledge and your ideal customer does not. They don't know what this assumption is. And so you know, whether that is the ability to use a piece of technology, whether that is the you know, a short form, you know, often in what we're talking in agency language, if I say, you know, what are your KPIs? You know, some people will smile and nod. But they don't know what that KPI is, yeah, that's okay. But a lot of times, people when they don't know, nobody wants to say, hey, I don't know what you're talking about. So it's really important when we're looking at customer experience that we have, remember that our ideal audience is, unlike us, our ideal audience doesn't know these short form trade specific terms, they might not know how to use the technology that we know how to use. And so when we're looking at customer experience, we have to really take that from a 30,000 foot view and say, Hey, what does this experience look like to a person like myself, who has a different skill set? Maybe they're from a different generation, maybe they don't use technology at all. You know, when I look, it took about six weeks to go back to that first example. It took about six weeks for this company to really understand the digital dispatch system that we were implementing.

But there were still outliers, there were still people that did not understand it in six weeks, there were people that did not understand it in 12 weeks. But patience, review going through that, as long as the customer is unaffected, we can continue to persist, we can continue to work on those training pieces. But if the frustration point of that person who's trying to adopt this technology, if the frustration point gets to the point where now that team member is it's affecting their ability to serve the customers, that's a different conversation.

So today, we're primarily talking about customer experience. And so in the example that I was just talking about, you know, this is really the experience of two people. Number one, the customer and number two, the team member. Also very important when we're looking at implementing new systems, looking at making changes, any kind of innovation, any real change in the business that's going to affect those around. So we're going to dive into team experience, and you know the different people on your team and who can be affected the most in a future episode. But today, we're primarily talking about customer experience.

So, you know, last week, as we were launching the podcast, I was traveling for work, visiting different clients throughout the United States, and it was also the last week for the taxes. In Canada, the tax deadline, as much as everyone would like to think that they don't get things done at the last minute. Oftentimes, even the accounting agencies run last minute. So even if you have gotten all your paperwork here comes to the end, we're at the deadline, and now it's time to send the documentation. So one of the things here I am in Denver, Colorado, a beautiful place, amazing food. And it's time for my grandma to sign her page tax documents. And so from here, we can really look at customer experience from the customer standpoint. So my grandma is 81. She is fairly tech savvy for her age, she couldn't operate the computer, no problem, operate her cell phone, tablet, all these types of things. So as far as grandparents go, I would say she's probably on the tech savvy end of the spectrum.

And now it's time for her to sign her tax documentation. So it's, it's like the second to last day, and she phones and she phones me and she says, I'm super frustrated. I have spent hours trying to figure this out. And I say, Grandma, what are you trying to figure out? And she says, Well, I need to sign this tax documentation. Now they've sent me this email, and it has all these things in it. I don't know which one needs to be signed. And every time I open it, I have to enter a password. And so she's incredibly frustrated. She says, can you just come over after dinner? Now typically, I would say grab, of course, no problem. I'll be right over. But this time, I can't do that, because I'm in Colorado and I will not be back before the paperwork needs to be in. So I say no problem. Graham, I can totally walk you through this. Let's go over it. Now.

Here I am. Very tech savvy, thinking, how would I have sent these documents. And so now I am assuming dangerous words. Never assume that of course, these documents have been sent in a way that she can easily sign them something like DocuSign, or, you know any of these where it's going to take you to the spot in the document, you're going to easily sign the paperwork. I learned later that is not the case. So I say no problem, Grandma, I'm going to call you in two hours. And we're gonna go through this together, over FaceTime. No problem. So now, you know, we're on FaceTime, she's got her cell phone, on FaceTime. And we're trying to go over what it's on the laptop screen for the documents and what she needs to sign. And this is when I learned that these documents have not been sent in any kind of electronic signature platform. They have been sent as PDFs that are each there were six password protected PDFs. So each time she opened a document that was not named in any kind of standard, like it was not easy to tell which document was which.

And so here she is trying to sign these documents. And every time she goes to open a different one. Oh, enter the password. Nope. Wrong Password. So frustrating. She said to me, I said I would just come to them. It's about a 45 minute drive. She says it would have taken me less time just to drive there to sign the paperwork. But they tell me that because of COVID I can't do that. And I think so here you have an 81 year old lady who has done business with you for 20 years, 20 plus years. You've sent her a stack of documents that she doesn't know how to sign. You've not offered her any support on how to sign these documents. And she also can't just come to you to sign the documents.

This has put her in a very tough spot; the customer experience here is not positive. So we try to overpay the same. And the end result is that I can't explain it in a way that is helpful to her. So we switch over to zoom, I ended up you know, using the remote control feature, I get her to the right spots. And now we're going to sign the document. So you would think, Okay, we've got it, we are almost finished. This is what I thought anyway.
Now, you have an 81 year old person who is trying to sign their signature with a mouse. It's a laptop, so now you're trying to sign a signature on that little pad of the computer. She's not getting anything remotely close to her signature. This is not working.So I'm, I'm brainstorming. Okay, so the second option for the way that they have sent these documents through the accountants office has been that she can sign a white piece of paper, and she can hold it up to the webcam of her computer, and it will scan the signature. Now I'm not gonna lie, I have signed documents like, electronically signed a lot of paperwork in my day.
I have never, I have never had to sign a white piece of paper and hold it up to the camera.

So here we go, we're gonna sign the piece of paper, and we're gonna hold it up to the camera, well, this proves to be challenging. At the end of the day, all she's trying to do is apply her signature so that she can send her taxes in, I am not 45 minutes into a phone call with her trying to get this done. So in the end, we get the signature, we add it to the documents, we figure out that really, half of the signature is missing. We say it doesn't, you know, we've decided too bad. So sad, we're moving forward. And we send the documents off. In order to send those documents off or having to you know, save a copy, re attach the documents into the email, and all these things.

And it left me really scratching my head going, what just happened here, because now I'm talking to my grandma, and she, the lady, is the sweetest lady ever. And she is ready to pull her hair out and says I will not be doing that ever again. And I have to think I agree. That was a lot of steps. That was a terrible customer experience. And so why did it have to be that way? And I look at it and I think okay, what would it have taken for that experience to be better? So for me, I would think okay, well, rather than password protecting every single document, maybe we have a password protected portal, where all of the documents are uploaded to so now you enter your password one time and you can access the documents. Now, we'd have to do a little research, maybe there's a reason why they have password protected each of the documents as opposed to the portal.

But from a customer experience standpoint, logging your password in one time, having the documents would be much better. Then we look at the second part of this and we say is there a program that will take the PDFs, bring the signer to the correct spot, allow them to enter their signature, their name, the date, all of these types of things in a much easier fashion. And we say yes, this technology exists. So why are we using it? Is there a cost associated with that platform? Yes. Is the way that it was sent free? Yes. Did they lose a customer over it? Yes. So suddenly, that piece of software that focuses on that customer experience becomes very inexpensive when you have lost an 820 year client over it. And this is really the roots of some of this analysis. And when we start to look at what does innovation cost?

The bigger question becomes what does it cost to not innovate? So there are cash costs, like there is the actual expense, what are you going to pay out every month for a piece of software or each time you know, there's a lot of electronic signing platforms that are a per document. So each time you send a document out to get signed, it's a certain chart. There are so many different platforms out there that offer this service. And so you think, Okay, this is a big accounting firm that she has been dealing with for 20 years. You know, what is this small charge? Was that, you know, decided to be not worth it. And then you say, Well, what is the cost of not improving that experience? Okay, well, the cost is you lost the client. And while you might say, Okay, well, we may have lost the client by next year anyway, you know, maybe it was, there's so many different factors. But what you can say is that losing this customer in this example is 100%. tied to that experience. So the cost of not innovating, the cost of not offering an improved customer experience realistically comes down to the cost of a client, and what does it take to replenish that client? So take apart, you know, the 20 year work history, take apart the fact that you know, this person has been with your firm for a long time, you've worked through many different parts of life. You know, she's 81, take all of that aside, and just say, for any client, if you lose a client over a simple experience piece, what does it cost to replace that client?

And, it becomes this bigger question. You know, we've all been to a restaurant where the food was amazing. Food was outstanding and the service was terrible. Do you want to go back, you know, now you're saying you have friends in town, you want to take them to an amazing restaurant, are you going to say, Oh, I'm going to take you here, the food is outstanding. Service is terrible, but we're just going to ignore that. And we're just going to focus on the amazing food. No, because going for dinner is an experience. And so when you're not focusing on the little pieces of the experience, you lose clients. The better your service, the better experience, you expect, you know, if you go into somewhere, and you are, you know, you, let's stick with that restaurant example, if you're going into somewhere, and it is like to new taco bar, and they're gonna sit you down, and you're gonna get a drink. And it's like a giant glass, and they're gonna come by and refill it a couple times throughout your meal. And basically, it's like, help yourself, the taco bar is over there. And at the end of the, you know, at the end of your experience, you leave feeling very full, the service was mediocre, but you know what, that glass was full.

You know, Bill was cheap, service was mediocre. Food was decent, and you left feeling like you got great value. But now if you're gonna go out, and it's like this, you know, fancy restaurant where you're going to order an appetizer, you're going to order dinner, you're going to order dessert, you know, you expect the person to know the wine list, be able to make a recommendation to be able to say, you know, this, this is a great complimentary appetizer to this wine or, or all of these pieces you're expecting, you know, the price on you know, when you get the bill at the end of this meal is going to be much larger than the Taco Bell. Your expectation, you know, if you, if you leave your high priced, say steak dinner, you're not going to think well, my glass was full, so the service was fine. You're expecting a better experience. And so that really partially goes with price. You know, tacos are less expensive. It's just a less expensive vibe. The experience is a lower cost experience. But when you start to get into being bigger, offering a bit bigger a better experience, your pricing is more, your branding is more, you know, maybe your team is larger, your reputation, your history, all of these things are bigger, the expectation of the experience is more.

And so what could have been a reasonable experience in the first few years of your business as if you have seen some success, things are going well, you know, people expect more, the experience must be better. And in today's day and age where, you know, in the last few years, we have seen massive shifts in experience, because so many businesses were forced to go online. Everyone has curbside pickup, almost every fast food restaurant now has, you know, orders from your mobile device, and it'll be ready when you get here. You know, I remember when Starbucks came out with that mobile ordering.

And the concept was, was new. And for now, I'm in Canada. So this happened not that long ago. I don't know how long Starbucks mobile orderings in the States, but this concept of order your coffee before you leave, and it'll be ready when you get there. You know, before you leave home in the morning, coffee will be ready when you get there. This became an incredible experience.

So now, I mean, you could order ahead almost anywhere. The time shifts the experience. So that feeling of like, well, my coffee was ready and waiting for me when I got there, that good experience when everybody offers it. So now it's just average. So now it's what is, you know, Starbucks, or the next company? What is that business going to do to level up the experience, and so that, you know, if you, if you spend some time on social media, and you look at different businesses, you know, through the pandemic, we saw a lot of different businesses online, who really focused on packaging, you know, their packages shipped out in beautiful boxes, and always had an extra product or two, and maybe some stickers, and this and that, then we saw another shift, and it was okay, well, now we really want to focus on environmentally friendly packaging, and what does that look like? And you know, what, what is this value add? And so, it comes down to taking all of the information and saying, What is the very best customer experience I can offer?"

And looking at the cost of implementation of some of these pieces, but then also looking at the cost of not implementing some of these pieces. Because here's the thing. You know, if we go back to that beautiful packaging, I mean, the amount of just money that businesses invested into packaging. Startling, truly. So now you think, Okay, I've ordered this product. Now, we primarily focus on service based businesses here. But if we're talking about packaging, let's think ecommerce for a moment. Someone opens their mailbox, and they get this beautiful box out. And they open up the box, you know, if you go on YouTube, there are hundreds of 1000s of unboxing videos. So this is a big thing. And you open the box and the beautifully folded paper and this nice card on top, but you open the custom tissue paper and now your product is there. It's displayed perfectly. You know, the insert card with the instructions is a nice, thick, glossy paper, some stickers, maybe a chocolate or two. I mean, this is nice. It doesn't even matter what the product is. But what does that cost? And this is when it comes down to what it costs? And what is the cost of not doing it?

What is the cost? Well, we could say the cost of the box, the tissue paper, the sticker, the chocolate, all of these we can add them on. We can say okay, for instance, let's say that it costs $10. Now if we say if we wanted to just make that basic, we could do it for $5. Leave out the stickers and leave out the chocolate. What is the cost of not doing it? Do we truly think someone is going to lose a customer? Over no chocolate? No stickers.

Maybe, if you had a direct competitor that was offering the exact same thing and they offered stickers and chocolate maybe. So you could say maybe there's a connection there. But the cost of someone not being able to purchase so maybe instead we look at that person, you know that ecommerce store and their payment processing platform. So maybe their website only works half of the time. It's way less expensive to do it this way. And so we're going to upgrade. And we're going to, you know, pay for a more expensive website platform, the cost could be $500 of this upgrade. But the cost of not upgrading is that one in two people arrive at your website, and it doesn't work.

This is guaranteed to cost you customers. And so this is where it you know, this concept of customer experience, and the cost of customer experience comes down to two things, what does it cost, and what is the cost of not doing it If we look at this example, and we say, the customer may like the stickers and chocolate, that may offer an added experience. But by not focusing on the tech platform by not innovating by not improving the customer experience in a way that makes sure it works. You are losing customers, and the cost of not innovating, the cost of not improving your customer experience will far surpass the cost of innovating. Even if that is not what feels natural to you.

I want you to think about going through, you know, your tangible tip for this week that you can implement today that is going to offer you benefit tomorrow is to go through your system through your customer process. So whether that's they call and leave you a message, whether that's they send you a text message, whether they contact you on Instagram, whatever that is for your business, they go through a process and I want you to go through that process. Without assumption without knowledge of how it's supposed to be. Go through that process and see what difficulties you run into. Have someone else have a friend, a parent, have you know, a business associate, go through your processes and see where they've run into difficulty. Your customer experience will improve when you make it easy to do business with you.

That's all the time we have for today guys, so thank you so much.

Well, we are all out of time for today. If you guys have not joined the service-based business society Facebook community, make sure you head on over to Facebook and we can continue the conversation. Be sure to also follow the show by going to any podcast app and searching surface space business society. Click subscribe, put the fifth star, and leave us a written review. Have a great week and we will see you soon