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Connecting With Customers

I was sent this email by one of my team members, Arielle, she works on the front line as one of our pleasure relations consultants – on the phone and via email ensuring people have a great time. She thought I would be interested in the contrast between two different types of customer service. As Chief Experience Officer for RedBalloon, I’m accountable for how people experience our website. I did like the tale of two customer interactions:

    • “I was in Brisvegas yesterday and went to get a gelato. The lady at the counter was lovely and friendly and my friend and I ordered 2 flavours each in a cup. The lady then scooped 4 generous scoops of gelato for us each and as she did it, explained that she thinks any less is a rip-off and so she’s happy to give more just ‘don’t tell the boss’.
    • From a customer’s point of view I was happy (although I don’t really need 4 scoops of ice cream!) but if this was my business, I wouldn’t want a staff member behaving in this manner. Not only is this friendly gelato scooper possibly scooping into the profits, but telling us that anything less is a ‘rip off’ doesn’t exactly make us feel good about the ‘brand’, or getting served by anyone else in case we don’t get as good a deal next time.
    • I thought about the RedBalloon value of integrity and our team of brand ambassadors and felt chuffed to be working in an environment of such dedication, with values and ideas that we can all relate to and easily uphold consistently every time.
      • In contrast to this, Col, our relaxed host at Amity Bungalows (Stradbroke Island), introduced us to the resident koala on arrival, lit our BBQ at dusk, dolphin ‘whispered’ to ensure we got some action, offered us local advice on where to buy mud crab for dinner, and put on a show with his tuna fishing during breakfast. And I’ve already told 5 people in the office they MUST stay there sometime… it was all about the experience.” –

    Arielle Nakache-Moulay

Interesting that whilst we often look for the cheapest deal or best value and we will tell our friends if we discover a bargain, what we really talk about most is how we experience a business.

It is the value adds, the extra care, the ability to really connect with customers that make the difference – and allowing our people time and space to do that is very important. (Nice plug for Amity Bungalows too – and the word did travel).

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  • Friday drinks must be here soon surely ... or I'm out! #friyay
  • In the 90s I left my cushy job at Apple.

I’d be a squillionaire if I still had my stock options.

I don’t regret it. Here's why:

After 10 years of corporate, I wanted to ‘do my own thing’. I started with freelance marketing.

My strategy? Hard work and build strong brands.

It seemed to work - new clients came from referrals.

But after 18 months, I came to a realisation:

All my clients wanted was “more customers”, not complex branding plans.

SO I thought I’d build a brand of my own. Something to get them “more customers”. RedBalloon was born. The purpose? Give people amazing experiences.

16 years on, RB has delivered 3.8 million customers to 2000 small businesses.

Now, when I give talks, I always get the same question: “How did you build such a strong brand?” Funny how it comes full circle.

I can’t answer that with a time limit.

Though I think I found a way - an online course. “How to Build your Business Brand” - years of experience in one place (link in bio if interested). But, that’s not the point of this post.

If I stayed with Apple I’d be unbelievably wealthy.

Quitting was still the best thing I’ve ever done.

So if you want to take a leap of faith, do it.

All I ask you is this:

Trust yourself and never underestimate the power of brand.
  • #tbt the originals circa 2004 🎈 it reminds that an entrepreneurs journey is long and full of twists and turns. What a ride! @redballoonexperiences
  • I have always been rushing! I need to remind myself of this one regularity. I'm intentional, not frenetic. Choose the one thing that needs to get done to make everything easier! #inspiration
  • If you caught @sharktankau tonight I might have mentioned #gettinglucky @luckybuddhabeer 😂 🍺 @ten_insider @beer.pal


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