Edgar Blazona The Customer Experience Should Not Suck
Should you learn from a high school dropout how to make your customer experience better?
- Trust In Yourself – Edgar talked about how he started his first entrepreneurial adventure all the way back in high school. Selling his and his fellow artist’s skills to local businesses and events. Using their graffiti talents to advertise those events. Then it came to the point where he felt like he was no longer learning IN SCHOOL. So he left it, BUT he still wanted to continue to grow and learn. Stepping away from that conventional path of learning took and takes a lot of trust in yourself. Stepping away from what most consider the norm of the 9-5 or cubical lifestyle to step into a more entrepreneurial lifestyle again takes HUGE amounts of trust in yourself. Edgar always knew he wanted to be something so he set up to steer that course. Are you wanting to set off on your entrepreneurial path? Have you already? Are you looking to expand upon that path? All of these will require that you have trust in yourself. In your abilities, your skills, your knowledge. A few quick way that you can foster that trust in yourself are 1) Be yourself – yeah you knew I was going to say that right? Be yourself, who you truly are at your core and your ability to trust yourself will grow exponentially. It is when you are putting up facades and fake faces that you distrust yourself – why? Well because you are being distrustful with those around you. 2) Set reasonable goals. Look, you know my high regard for setting goals so that you are driven in the right direction consistently. But if you set a goal that you know in your heart is unattainable then you are setting yourself up for failure. I am not saying set weak easy goals. You need to stretch but don’t say you are going to jump the grand canyon next week when you can’t even step across a gutter today. 3) Be kind to yourself! You are great at some things, good at others and well let’s be honest; suck at a few things. Do not beat yourself up because you are not great or perfect at everything! Be kind to yourself and keep on making those little improvements along the way 4) Build on your strengths – as i said you are great at somethings – well then get out there and leverage that greatness you already have. Stop fretting all the time about what you are not perfect at and use what you are already good or even great at and build from there. 5) spend time with…. YOU! Get comfortable being with and trusting you. Here’s the deal – when you do not have trust in you – you won’t be able to take the time to look inward to improve…YOU. You will find yourself busying yourself with more mindless and even menial activities all outside of yourself. You need to get pulled away from that habit, and begin to look at that man or woman in the mirror. And be patient as you begin looking inward Last but not least 6) be decisive. Review all the info available and make a choice. If you truly feel you need more info then set a timeline say a day or two or a week together that info and then make a decision. And stick to it. You will build trust in yourself by breaking the habit of over analyzing and even questioning your decisions. Next time you make a choice, stick with it. Even when it turns out it was not the best choice, learn from it and move on. There really is no use in beating yourself up over the decision you have already made.
- The Experience Shouldn’t Suck – Edgar was watching customers in his industry go through long waiting periods as well as cumbersome processes just to get something as simple as a piece of furniture picked out and delivered to their home. He was bold enough to realize that even though everyone was willing to wait, and they were willing to jump through all those cumbersome hoops – they shouldn’t have to! The customer experience should not suck! Come on we have all been through some buying experience when you thought either out loud or if nothing else at least in your head “holy shit this does NOT have to be this difficult!” Now, as an entrepreneur have you taken that same magnifying glass to the buying experience YOUR prospect or YOUR client is going through? I am not talking about when you first set it up, I am talking about recently. Perhaps when you first set up the experience you set up the best possible experience available at that time. But what about today? Tomorrow? Next month? How can you make it easier? Smoother? More reliable? More intuitive? How can you make it so right and harmonious for your customer to do business with you that not only do they want to come back but they tell others “OMG if you want X then you need to go to ….” That is the kind of advertising you just can not put a price tag on!
- Ease Them Out Of & Into The Norms – Edgar brought up a great point – in this industry people are use to waiting not just weeks but months to get a custom piece of furniture. When he went to market saying he could build it in as little as 24 hours, he was met with some resistance. The consumer was so trained on the “it takes months” in order to get a custom piece of furniture that they looked at the quick turn around as a loss of quality. On the flip side, if you can build it fast why can’t you get it to me fast like amazon and fed-ex etc. Well because this has to travel a different mode – old school trucking so there is time involved in that – sadly can’t just toss this large piece of furniture on a plane like an amazon box. What norms are you facing in your industry? Are you able to greatly improve on those norms? If so, GREAT!! I would caution you on just how, and how quickly, you introduce these new abilities or standards to your market. Because you don’t come out with your new super power and get looked at like “it’s too good to be true” That would have the total opposite effect that you planned on. There are a number of ways to address this… education for one, slow roll out for another and there are many more whichever tactic you choose, just choose it wisely to ease them out of or into new norms.
- Show You Mean Business – Edgar in his industry breaks the norm in his customer experience to show his prospect that he means business. One example is the fabric swatch sampling he sends out. He invests in this onboarding of the prospect into this experience to differentiate his business from all the others in this experience. Picture it if you will, you get this awesome big box of 100 fabric samples that measure 4×4. You can hold them in your hand, heft them if you will and feel the weight and quality. You get to hold them up to other decor in your home to best pick out what works for your design and desires – it gets you involved, immersed and invested into the buying process. Then days later behind that from another vendor you reached out to – you get an envelope with a select few 2×2 or so squares of similar fabric. Which one leaves you with the best impression? Now ask yourself – of the touches you make with your prospects…are you sending an envelope like everyone else or are you taking the time and effort and investment in them to 2nd day air that beautiful box of samples? Of course I am speaking metaphorically but you know what I mean right? Does your landing look just like everyone else’s? Does your freebie or ethical bride deliver the same stale dry content as everyone else in your industry? If so, how can you show them your mean business? I mean after all shouldn’t you invest in them as much as you’re asking them to invest in you?
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