The Nitty-Gritty:

  • Why SmartStart founder Linda Lopeke has every potential client complete a rigorous application
  • How she sets expectations clearly from the get-go so that every client has the best chance of getting results
  • What inspired her approach to business systems and client experience
  • How she makes brand-new clients feel at ease, step-by-step

Starting my working life as a retail worker, I always associated “customer service” with what you do when there’s a problem.

A customer needs to make a return. They have a question about this week’s sale. They need to report a problem with the bathroom.

Despite years and years of training on customer service, no one ever said to me: customer service starts before the customer even walks in the door.

Customer service is having the right product on display. It’s having the carpet freshly vacuumed. It’s having the music at the right level, playing the right songs.

Do customer service right, right from the beginning, and you dramatically reduce the number of problems you encounter during the day.

I didn’t learn that lesson until I started my own business—and really many years after.

For our final episode on our series on designing exceptional customer experiences, I spoke with Linda Lopeke, the founder of SmartStart.

Linda knows that customer service starts long before the first purchase is ever made.

She’s designed her entire client on-boarding system to set clear expectations, ensure fit, and make new clients feel at ease. Instead of crossing her fingers and hoping she doesn’t run into customer service problems, Linda has crafted a process elevates her client experience.

I talked with Linda about the lengthy application process she uses, why she interviews every prospect before they can work with her, and how she brings on a new client step-by-step.

Play close attention to all the opportunities Linda has to set expectations throughout the process and reduce the friction of doing the work.

Now, let’s find out what works for Linda Lopeke!

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