EP 161: Gratitude Is The Whole Customer Experience

What would 11-star service look like? That’s the question that Brian Chesky asked himself to figure out how he and his team at Airbnb needed support hosts to help everyone involved have an exceptional experience.

I first heard this idea of 11-star service during Brian’s interview with Reid Hoffman on the first episode of Masters of Scale. The idea is that you want to create the capacity for these exceptional customer experiences to happen on a regular basis. The more regularly they happen, the more people come back and buy again–and the more they tell their friends.

Of course, creating this 11-star service doesn’t just produce business results. It produces human results. Someone who takes the time to create an 11-star service isn’t just concerned with the bottom line, they are truly invested in showing genuine gratitude to the person they’re doing business with.

This month at CoCommercial, we’re talking about Gratitude and how it shapes the way we do business. What does authentic, meaningful gratitude look like? How are small business owners showing their customers this gratitude and creating exceptional customer experiences on a regular basis?

So we asked a few of our members: what do you do to ensure your customers know you’re grateful?

In talking with 5 of these members we noticed a pattern in their responses.

Gratitude wasn’t about a thank you gift or note. It wasn’t something that happened once at the end of an engagement. It wasn’t even a bonus surprise that got thrown in as a special value-add. These are the themes being explored in the conversations we’ve been having all month long with our CoCommercial community.

These business owners have operationalized gratitude into the very bones of their businesses.

It’s how they do business. They are integrating gratitude into every step of the customer experience. From the very beginning, they’re connecting the customer’s experience to the mission of the company.

They are making sure that their customer feels like more than a transaction.

For them, gratitude is the whole customer experience. 

Prefer to read? No problem. Find the entire episode in article form by clicking here.

This episode features Lacy Boggs, Nicole Lewis-Keeber, Bonnie Gillespie, Anna Laman, and Kristen Runvik. 

By Tara McMullin

Writer, Podcaster, Producer. Founder of What Works.

Nov 15, 2018

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EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

This week, I’ve got 4 more stories to share with you from small business owners who have intentionally done things their own way when it comes to sales and selling. They’ve found what truly works for them–even if it bucks the prevailing wisdom or would make a bro marketing expert role his or her eyes.

These stories come from business coach Ashley Gartland, marketing expert Amy Lippmann, designer Mel Richards, and work reinvention coach Lydia Lee.

Listen for how they incorporated these same considerations into finding their own unique sales systems. They designed their systems with personal values, strong relationships, reduced anxiety, and agency in mind.

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

This show is called What Works for a reason.

Sometimes it’s a declaration: this is what worked for this small business. And often, it’s a question, “What works?”

Today’s episode is very much a question, many questions, really:

What works when it comes to selling when you want to avoid manipulative or exploitative practices?

What works when your values conflict with many of the best practices of selling online but you still want people to buy your stuff?

What works when it comes to sales in a business that is actively anti-racist and anti-capitalist?

And even more bluntly: Can you even sell things without causing harm or perpetuating harmful systems?

My friend Kate Strathmann is the founder of Wanderwell, a bookkeeping and consulting firm that grows thriving businesses while investigating new models for being in business.

Recently, Kate took a bit of a detour from how she’s used to building her business, which is 90% referral based and fueled by deep relationship- and community-building. She decided to offer a small group program called the Equitable Business Incubator as a way of exploring anti-capitalist business practices and how they apply to the small businesses we’re building.

To fill the program, Kate need to sell differently.

Which led her to asking the question: Can you even sell things as a anti-capitalist?

While that might not be your specific question, I have a feeling that you too have wondering how you can effectively sell your offers without causing harm, perpetuating harmful systems, or damaging relationships. And that’s why I knew Kate and I needed to explore this topic on the show.

This is a conversation about what a kinder, less harmful sales process could look like—and it probably contains more questions than answers. But I’m confident those questions can help you find the answers that are right for you and the sales system that you want to build to make your business stronger.

We start out by defining what we’re really talking about when we talk about capitalism and anti-capitalism. Then, Kate shares how the Equitable Business Incubator came to be and how she ended up selling it. And then we dig into what makes many of the sales formulas and best practices being taught today problematic—and how to think differently to create your own alternative practices.

Now, let’s take a look at what works for creating less harmful sales systems!

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