29: Customer Service from Backers to e-Shoppers
What does it take to manage customer service? Why is customer service more important now than ever before? And finally, what are the best ways to ensure that you, too, can provide world-class customer service? Let’s dive right in…
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1. It’s hard to maintain superiority in products/services indefinitely and, whenever your competitors offer comparable benefits-and-costs, customers will rely upon other factors to make purchasing decisions, such as how well they know and like and trust you, plus how well you treat them.
2. Customer service is vital in encouraging customer loyalty, along with positive reviews, which are the most powerful form of marketing—and customer-centered businesses tend to thrive!
3. Service starts with actively nurturing love for our neighbors as ourselves, which naturally leads us to act in accordance with the Golden Rule by seeking mutually-beneficial business relationships, and it also starts with us and then works outward through our organizational structure.
4. Customer service is mostly an operations job not a sales job (although it may benefit from some salesmanship), and it should remain part of everyone’s job even if dedicated specialists are hired to oversee it.
5. Customer service improves whenever it’s measured, including through brief customer-satisfaction surveys.
6. Customer service generally involves setting proper expectations, communicating effectively (which may involve audio or visual communication), and proactively resolving concerns with empathy—and empathy is facilitated by avoiding presumptions, listening well to understand, and maintaining a positive attitude despite challenges.
7. Customer service in crowdfunding involves effective use of welcomes, updates, comments, surveys, and farewells.
[01:15] Zach reminds listeners about Funded Today’s Ultimate Crowdfunding Success Guide available at www.funded.today/guide.
[01:25] Zach introduces guest David Garber, who is Funded Today’s Director of Communications and, as such, manages Funded Today’s customer service and its social-media profiles, advertises its services, writes about crowdfunding, and generally serves as a jack-of-all-trades.
[02:43] David overviews his work history at Funded Today.
[03:34] Zach invites David to explain how he so quickly learns and develops skills.
[05:00] David asserts that choosing to maintain a good attitude can help us to endure adversity well while we develop empathy for others.
[05:55] Zach initiates discussion about why customer service is so important, and David explains that the market matters most, and that maintaining customers is essential to maintaining a business.
[07:34] David adds that, although your benefits-and-costs are most vital to customers, how you treat them through communicativeness with empathy encourages their long-term loyalty and word-of-mouth.
[08:05] Thomas agrees that both setting expectations and maintaining communicativeness are two critical elements in customer service, and David elaborates upon his experiences with this at Funded Today.
[09:34] Zach and David discuss using templates to improve efficiency at communication, along with the challenges of accommodating varying degrees of client interest.
[11:32] Zach teaches that people are more likely to transact business with likeable trustworthy people, but that it’s harder to help people to like-and-trust you in Internet communications.
[12:39] Thomas presents hostile attribution bias, Zach advocates assuming the positive about others (whether co-workers or clients), and David expounds his experience with this principle in customer service, along with the usefulness of supplementing text communication with audio and/or video communication.
[17:04] David explains that it’s hard to maintain an “edge” in providing superior products/services and that, whenever different companies provide comparable benefits-and-costs, other factors like service become increasingly important factors in people’s buying decisions.
[18:30] David counsels that it’s easier to maintain existing customers than to find new ones, that happy customers provide great word-of-mouth, and that customer reviews are more powerful than paid marketing.
[19:34] David reiterates that good service involves setting good expectations, communicativeness, and proactively resolving concerns with empathy.
[20:50] David cites two examples of companies that thrived from a customer-centered guiding philosophy, including both Costco now and Wal-Mart before Sam Walton’s death, after which Zach & Thomas observe how Amazon also places customer service above everything else.
[23:00] David remarks that you can’t control your reputation but that you can control your character, and that you should focus on what you can control.
[24:46] David preaches that businesspeople should actively nurture a good heart that genuinely loves their neighbors as themselves, which will naturally motivate you to behave in accordance with the Golden Rule by seeking mutually-beneficial relationships, including in business.
[26:06] Zach and David agree about the principle of focusing on improving yourself initially, and afterward working outward to others, including through vision and/or mission statements, and that good customer service should be everyone’s job even when specialists are hired for that task.
[27:17] Zach and David and Thomas discuss that customer service is an operations job, not a sales job (although it can benefit from salesmanship), and that treating employees well helps employees to treat customers well in turn.
[30:44] David highlights the usefulness of customer-satisfaction surveys in identifying operations that need improvement.
[31:56] David revisits the importance of effective communications in customer relationships, including by resolving concerns empathetically despite living in a combative age.
[34:49] David details how to welcome new backers effectively with gratitude.
[36:08] David details how to update backers effectively, and suggests what to include in updates.
[36:59] David details how to respond well to comments from backers, including with templates.
[38:23] David details how to use surveys effectively to solicit feedback from backers.
[39:52] David details how to bid farewell to cancelled backers to solicit useful feedback and/or perhaps resolve their concerns.
[40:50] David reemphasizes that business is all about serving both the market generally and customers specifically.
[41:11] Zach and David together promote Funded Today’s new Ultimate Crowdfunding Success Guide as a comprehensive compilation of everything that Funded Today has learned about how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.
[43:09] Zach and Thomas and David present this episode’s Projects of the Week.
Zach Smith: (00:00) Funded Today Nation, welcome back to the Funded Today podcast. We’ve got a really, really special guest on the show today, but before I introduce him remember Episode Number 28 was all about how to “achieve freedom in your business and in your life”, so if you’re struggling with that and want some expert guidance look no further than last week’s episode ’’Episode Number 28’’. Now, for today’s special guest, what does it take to manage customer service, social media, internal company promotion and become the most published and perhaps most influential writer on Quora in the categories of Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Crowdfunding. Why is customer service more important now than ever before and finally what are the best ways to ensure you too can have world class customer service in today’s episode, that is our topic. Let’s dive right in.
Announcer: (00:47) The Funded Today podcast is brought to you by fundedtoday.com. Funded Today, is a premier marketing and video agency from start-ups to Crowdfunding, to Amazon and beyond. Funded Today has helped their clients generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. If you’d like help launching or growing your business visit www.fundedtoday.com to speak with one of their experts.
Zach Smith: (01:12) Welcome back to the show, I am Zach Smith.
Thomas Alvord: (01:15) And I’m Thomas Alvord.
Zach Smith: (01:16) And just another quick reminder that you can still download our “Ultimate Crowdfunding Success Guide’’ we’re calling it the UCSG for short at www.fundedtoday.com/guide. Now, today our very special guest had this to say about the Guide, our Crowdfunding guide unilaterally blows away any other guides that I’ve ever seen with respect to ’’Quality of Content’’. Hopefully, you our faithful podcast listeners and the marketplace at large will agree let me introduce our guest today Mr. David Garber is the Director of Communications at Funded Today. He not only manages our social media, runs company specific ads and promotions, but he is also very avid writer and a politician in fact. He is often the most popular and most published writer on world famous website quora.com on topics like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Crowdfunding together with myself and Thomas, David helped to completely master and write the Ultimate Crowdfunding Success Guide, and in the episode today we’ll be covering some of those same topics to give you a little bit of a teaser what you find in the guide. I can safely say that David is not just a jack of all trades, he is nearly a master of all trades too, whether it’s Social Media Management, Exceptional Customer Support we’re just planning being curious learning to master whatever that’s he is trying to do, there might not be many people on this entire planet as capable as David. So, without further ado we’d like to extend a very warm welcome to our very own Mr. David Garber. David, welcome to the show how are you doing today.
David Garber: (02:32) Hey, I’m hanging in there doing the best I can, and well that’s quite an introduction that’s a lot to live up to I’ll keep trying to do that well.
Zach Smith: (02:42) Well we’re so glad to have you, I just kind of want to dive right into things because I know our guests are anxious to kind of hear from you and learn about your experience so maybe I don’t know David before we get into the topics though tell us a little bit more just in your own words about what you do at Funded Today, and then we’ll kind of get into the things that we want to talk about the meet of the episodes, does that work for you?
David Garber: (03:01) Sure, yes I mean was hired to help to tender client so that our expert advertisers as such could have more time to do what they do best, and that’s what my job started at, but kind of quickly expanded in the helping both operation some and expanding into doing some ads for the company. Managing our social media, and I’m now more recently helping out some with their podcast, doing some writing Quora-Reddit like you mentioned, just trying to do what I can, fill in on anything that can and add value and just help your company grow and whatever I can do I’m just happy to do it so.
Zach Smith: (03:34) Yes, that’s awesome I think a takeaway that I have with what you said there is what do you think you could offer to our listeners in terms of -- I mean because you didn’t know a lot of these things when you first started I mean your background is not Internet Marketing, Online Businesses or any sort of thing like that and now you definitely stand as an expert in that field. What made you capable of doing what you do now so that our guests can kind of learn how to learn? How did you learn? How did you pursue things? How did you test things out? What made you not scared to dive into things that you had absolutely no clue about even a few years ago, and how did you get so good at them so quickly?
David Garber: (04:09) I don’t know I guess I always been a good learner I always excelled rather well in school. Growing up, I came to BYU with a full scholarship, I’d had a lot of problems with anxiety and depression though, and that really hurt my academic performance not that I wasn’t incapable of doing the work, but I just had a lot of trouble with that so and that’s kind of impeded my progress there in school. But I mean I’ve always been interested in practically everything to some extent to another.
Zach Smith: (04:35) So, the curiosity is kind of leads to somethings too.
David Garber: (04:39) I just every day brings new opportunities both to learn and to teach others, and I just love to take advantage of them of what I can. I spend a lot of time on social media talking in my spare times more religion, family politics, my passions but here on the job I just, I like to learn about whatever I can that I think will maybe help our business, help our clients and put it to use to.
Zach Smith: (05:01) No, not to shed too much more light on anxiety and depression though I think as an entrepreneur, we could probably spend an entire episode on that because it’s probably becoming more and more prevalent now more than ever. But do you think and you may not never been asked us before considered it David, but do you think some of anxiety and depression you’ve faced and pretty much been able to conquer in your life helps you have empathy to become better customer service and customer support and to understand the way others may feel in anyway?
David Garber: (05:27) Well, I think so, I think when you go through challenges you can do one or two things depending on your attitude you can either get hardened and embittered and or you can be empathetic, you can learn to have more compassion on others we’re going through similar things, and I’ve tried to have the right attitude about that and I think it’s been pretty successful, I hope I’ve been successful and as far as I can tell I have and yes.
Zach Smith: (05:48) Okay, wonderful.
David Garber: (05:49) This is more seasonal attitude.
Zach Smith: (05:51) Wonderful yes I love that a lot. Well let’s jump into kind of some of the topics that we have prepared today. Topic number one, that I want to get into right off the bat “Why is customer service important David, what makes it standout so much?’’ I know there’s always the common answers and the trite phrases and different things, but on this podcast obviously we kind of like to dive a little bit deeper and talk about how this has helped Funded Today to become a world-renowned company, why we’ve been able to be so successful and, and obviously just your own insights and takeaways from dealing with I mean what do we had nearly 3,000 clients worldwide that we’ve helped so.
David Garber: (06:25) Well, service is important because customers are worth the business is all about like you talked on that episode about “The Market is What Matters Most’’, “business is all about serving the market in general or the customer specifically’’. If you don’t have customers you don’t have a business, you can have great products, great personnel and everything else could be wonderful, but if no one wants them then what do you do? You got to find something else to do for living.
Zach Smith: (06:46) Then market matters most but if there is no customers there is no market.
David Garber: (06:49) Right. There was the, the business is all about, it’s important to say customer centric, focus on, treat them well, they’re certainly practical and benefits from doing so.
Zach Smith: (06:58) That makes sense David, so the most important way to serve customers, then, is to what I mean what, if you had to narrow it down to just a couple different things how do you serve them in the best possible way so that they have a good experience and probably for most business owners hire you again. We have a lot of clients who have hired us many times which is usually a good sign it means that you did good enough the first time around that they want to hire you again the second time around and customer lifetime value we preach all the time on this podcast and in our own business maxims as probably the most important thing that determines a business from a fly-by-night shop.
David Garber: (07:35) Yes, well I think the most important thing is what you’re giving them, what you’re offering, the value, the benefits for the cost that you’re asking in return. If you’re not giving something good like that they are not going to really care about the rest. But when you do give them a good offer it helps additionally to treat them well in the process of doing it. Be empathetic, be communicative, help set expectations well, just to try to give them a good experience from start to finish and that will help encourage their loyalty, it will help them give good word-of-mouth to your company and so forth.
Thomas Alvord: (08:07) Well, David let me ask you, you said two things that really stood out to me which I agree with substantially. One of those, were expectations and the other was to be communicative. Could you expound on both of those and why those are important and what you’ve seen interacting with thousands of clients, why those two elements are critical?
David Garber: (08:31) Well, we do with a lot of clients, we have people constantly coming and going, we work with Crowdfunding clients mostly so at this time so people are coming in with 30, 45 day campaigns or whatnot, and so there’s a lot of turnover and we need to work pretty fast, we need to hit the ground running, get things going quickly and that kind of makes it very important to just get things kind of going right from the start and part of that is setting expectations, people need to know what to expect. Okay I’m here, I’ve signed up, I got your service, now what, what’s going to happen next. What are you going to do, what do I expect? Looking to get daily updates, am I going to -- how is this going to work and so I find it very helpful to try to get those questions answered as quickly as possible upfront. We end-up developing some documents and templates whether quickly after it came on board which very gradually took shape, interacting with one client after another after another that kind of help to inform clients about all these questions they’re having so that they could know okay this is what’s going to happen from this point onward, and that really help clarify things, so they know what to expect.
Zach Smith: (09:37) There’s something going to be said about that too David, you looked at what one customer was saying and then you saw what another customer client was saying, and after you saw two or three you said, I’m saying the same thing so many times, lets templatize it, let’s systematize it, and overtime those templates and systems have turned into some pretty remarkable answers to questions that are quite literally a doctoral thesis on crowdfunding so to speak right? I mean if you want to look at that point so it’s been pretty impressive and I know our customers time and time again say wow this is a lot of information, but I am so grateful for this, I can’t believe all this has been put together in such a beautiful fashion.
David Garber: (10:13) Yes, I’ve got that so many times, because some people find it too much say they want something shorter so we try to include both points and things like that to accommodate them, and I’m sure some people skim it and only look at the parts interested, which is fine, all but in general I found it, it seems to be more helpful to be thorough in. I noticed usually whenever I put something in the document because it kept coming up over and over and over, and calls after it was in there it hardly ever came up and once in a while it did.
Zach Smith: (10:40) And most importantly I loved what you said is more important to be thorough than not, you can always refer back to something when they do have a question, I actually told this to you earlier, Mr. Mrs. Client you can see it here, and then you refer to the document again and then they go through the document at that point in time, and it’s usually not too late at that point in time to review again anyway so I tend to agree with you even though there are there is a balance to be said of read this 20 page thing versus read these four or five bullet points, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job of marrying the two, here is a short little video explaining things that you want to learn more, here is an essay on the matter. Here is a document on the matter, here is some more stuff you can read and kind of creating a little bit of a balance between a short summary, and if you really want to become an expert on Crowdfunding here is what you really should know, is that fair to say?
David Garber: (11:23) Yes, that’s what we try to do as for how I succeed well, I think we’ll always do better that just comes in time, so constantly trying to improve.
Zach Smith: (11:32) So, let’s talk about that in order to do better, in the Harvard Business Review where you talked about this quite a bit and it’s quite frankly just commonsense, but people are more inclined to transact with likable trustworthy businesspeople, so don’t only get customers a good product and price but also give them a good experience with your team, how you create likability and trustworthiness, particularly when you are an online business or and nowadays almost every business is transitioning more and more to a promote never see people face-to-face I mean that used to be pretty scary, there is office, there is no workspace you may never actually shake the person’s hand you’re doing business with. In today’s modern day remote business how you create likability and trustworthiness through customer support?
David Garber: (12:19) That’s a really good question, and most of our communication is nonverbal, so it definitely helps to see someone face-to-face talk with them, but when you’re talking over the computer, you sometimes loose things, there is sometimes easier to make errors and trying to understand what people are trying to communicate the motives and so forth. In that fact we just talk a little earlier today about some kind of bias was the name of that?
Zach Smith: (12:38) Yes, Thomas share that for a sec.
Thomas Alvord: (12:40) The “Hostile Attribution Bias which is when somebody says something or does something and their actions or their words or their behavior is either ambiguous or benign even, they have no mal-intent that “Hostile Attribution Bias’’ is that we as humans have a bias to attribute their actions or their words as hostile or hostile I don’t how you pronounce it or the matters but that becomes really difficult right that Hostile Attribution Bias, it’s hard enough person-to-person sometimes what you have emotional cues and body language, but when it’s all digital, that’s a new scenario.
Zach Smith: (13:31) Yes, now I love that I have a new puppy dog a Toy Golden Doodle, and her name R1 and we call her Re for short and I see that all the time when you think of Evolution or Darwinism or whatnot you hear the phrase “fire flight’’ sometimes and I look at my dog sometime and I’m nothing but gentle and nice to her, but still she’ll kind get all scared or worry that I’m going to come at her something or maybe she just playing, if that can happen with an animal that I just absolutely love, and it can absolutely happen on the Internet and your communications with everything the “Hostile Attribution Bias’’ where we just immediately assume the worst when literally that was the complete opposite of what was intended. And at Funded Today we have a core value that we preach all the time we call it “Assume the Positive’’ and every single chance you get “try to assume the positive’’, and I think that’s the perfect antidote to this “Hostile Attribution Bias’’. When you notice that happening, when you sense the negativity immediately assume the positive, and get rid of that fighter fright that’s inside your mind, simply because of evolution or whatever you want to call it and realize that it’s just there to protect you but the protection is actually counterintuitive in the spot, and by assuming the positive I think you can balance out that negative emotion that you feel with the reality of what’s actually happening, and by doing that you can align with your customers, you can understand that when a customer asked a question and it comes across negative it’s actually not negative it’s just the customer asking the question because they want to learn more. They want more transparency and we can probably share 100 of examples like that is that right by David?
David Garber: (15:12) It definitely helps sort of company, it helps in dealing with clients, get new clients to understand that principle isn’t well yes -- it might help to but yes I mean definitely being patient with them understanding not just automatically assuming the worst, but and just trying to work things out with them not escalating the situation and just saying okay, how can we help you fix this, what can we do to work with you to resolve whatever concerns or problems or issues you have, you can be happy that we and I’ll say in those words of course naturally but yes I mean that the intent. And certainly getting on regular calls and such helps to because then you you’re not just seeing text on the screen, you’re actually hearing a voice and that even seeing a video call maybe could potentially help more because you see someone’s face so.
Zach Smith: (15:58) Such a powerful takeaway, we’ve been trying to implement that more and more it’s so easy to text message over send something or somebody, and quite frankly it’s actually so easy just to call somebody up on Skype or the phone as well, and get for whatever reason at least in our company we weren’t doing that as much and now we try to do a lot more phone and Skype calls and we found that goes a long way to adding empathetic element to this otherwise text environment where you generally can’t get your emotions conveyed as well as you could if you were face-to-face in the conference room with somebody, so I love that David I think that’s powerful as well, and that definitely creates a little bit more trustworthiness. I just did this on a call myself today just to make sure I don’t become so far removed from the company that I helped to create I chatted with one of our best clients, we talked about on the podcast a little bit last shout out to them they’ve just a just a few days left in their campaign at the time this recording, but it was a great chat we had a chance to go over some things, recap the experience, learn from each other and I found it to be very helpful and I was able to get a little bit of feedback, and then I brought that feedback to our team that’s I think how we continue to improve, so, I love that. Is there anything else you want to share this David before we jump on to our next topic?
David Garber: (17:06) Yes just more about the “why’’, you know, why you customer service especially in crowdfunding you usually come in with a unilaterally superior product out, you know this is better than anything else on the market right now, this is amazing, but it’s really hard to maintain that edge, sooner or later you’re going to get competitors, it’s almost new only natural in the free market someone else going to say that hey I can do that to or I can even do that better. And so it’s is just kind of a constant struggle in fact we talk about that some recently to about the need to invest, reinvest the money that you’re getting from your current cash cow and experimenting and trying for how to create new ones, because it was can last forever especially in this rapidly evolving tech world.
Zach Smith: (17:46) Right, literally before we recorded this podcast episode we were talking about a product that comes to market in a little bit we’ll probably talk about is the product the week on this episode, but they have invented a “Superior Toothbrush’’ for the other toothbrushes that we’ve even talked about on this podcast before, so absolutely right David continue that train of thought. Don’t
David Garber: (18:04) Yes, so anytime your competitors catch up with you as far as the benefits and costs and everything else they’re offering, and they’re giving something very comparable to what you’re doing, well customers are going to start turning the other things to help them decide which one do I buy from, and one of those factors is very important is Customer Service how well you treat them? If two people are offering the same thing and one is really likable and trustworthy and you have a really good relationship that you’re enjoying with that person, then you will buy from them, and that helps encourage customer loyalty is a lot cheaper to maintain existing customers in the go and try new ones. I think I mentioned briefly earlier they’ll give you word of mouth which is really the most powerful form of marketing.
Zach Smith: (18:42) It’s how Funded Today started, we worked with the RooSport the RooSport told a few other people and they told few other people, and suddenly there were hundreds of people who wanted to work with us, and we didn’t have a business so.
David Garber: (18:52) Right now all this other stuff can help you running ads can help and all the stuff and we do that all the time and is great, lot of times when people are deciding what business to go with they’ll see an ad or they’ll go checkout your website or something, but then most people will next go check the reviews on you, and say okay I’ve seen what these guys say about themselves, what is everyone else saying about them, and those reviews can be really powerful, they can make or break businesses sometimes especially you in the information age when information is so readily available, that you speak something on the Internet and you can you can reach a much larger crowd than if you just spread along your family and friends, so it’s really important to maintain good word-of-mouth about yourself. Otherwise, you’re undermining every other thing you’re doing with your marketing.
Zach Smith: (19:36) So, what have you done in terms of maintaining that those good reviews so as what have you done, and what would you recommend to listeners of we call them Funded Today Nation, but what would you recommend a Funded Today Nation in terms of ensuring the good word-of-mouth, people talking good about you behind their backs.
David Garber: (19:52) Well just give them good service they’ll just naturally go out and promote you.
Zach Smith: (19:56) What about in terms of what you do at Funded Today to encourage positive word-of-mouth and to solicit testimonials and different things from clients who’ve had successful experiences things like David I mean what does that look like and how can a business owner apply some of these principles for their own business?
David Garber: (20:11) Keep customers happy were some of the things that we talked about, good setting expectations, good communication, making sure they know what’s going on if they have complaints being proactive about that, trying to figure out what it is that they’re concerned about and see we can do to help resolve that, sometimes these minds are something because of misunderstanding or misinterpretation you’ll not being able to see everything is going on, like you said before “your perspective is a private experience from all these objective’’ that we don’t always see reality quite the same way, because as we have various biases, we don’t really see everything we don’t know everything, and so we misinterpret things and it’s important to kind of correct those through communication.
Zach Smith: (20:52) Not far but I love that now you tell an example of Walmart and I’ll let you tell the story but I think it transitions perfectly into her next topic so maybe just lead into that David that Sam once possibly and maybe more specifically how Costco kind of handle things nowadays?
David Garber: (21:04) As you develop your reputation, as you have feel customer after customer and they have good experiences with you they spread good word-of-mouth and your reputation gradually takes shape over time. If you have a really good reputation, people naturally tend to rally around your company and support it. Costco for example, they’re one of America’s most beloved companies, they treat their employees wonderfully, they have a very generous return policy. People know that Costco cares about them and is really interested in treating them well and so they respond in kind, they’re very supportive of Costco their loyal customers, they give good word-of-mouth, and Costco just keeps growing and that stock keeps going up and up and up, but some people sometimes complain that Costco puts the interests of their employees and customers ahead of the shareholders, but it doesn’t seem either shareholder are separate off from that and Walmart used to be the same way I mean Sam Walton had this great guiding philosophy for his company that “if you take care of people, then they’ll take care of you’’ and that worked really well for Walmart just grew and grew and grew and did amazingly well and unfortunately after he died, his guiding philosophy did not get past along with them, Walmart faltered quite a bit since then just because the various scandals and things, they stopped with the take care of people and take care of you, and then just became about low prices and that was it. In the name of keeping low prices they didn’t take good care of their employees sometimes, or their customers or others.
Zach Smith: (22:34) Even more recent -- even more recently could you probably lump Amazon into the take care of take care of your people or at least on the customer side of things?
Thomas Alvord: (22:43) And that’s what I was going to say Zack as well, Amazon right the company with the largest market cap in the world that has created this massive enterprise and they put customer service above everything, it’s insane.
Zach Smith: (22:59) It’s almost crazy yes you can really see that shine through. So David, how to achieve good customer service then generally speaking?
David Garber: (23:06) The best way to create a reputation it has to start with your character like you talked about in “Stoicism’’ you need this focus on.
Zach Smith: (23:13) I love how you’re referencing all of our past episodes.
David Garber: (23:18) Thanks, I’ve been really enjoying the stuff you’ve been talking about, in general and you know I’m happy to make sure it gets brought up as well myself so but anyway the only thing you can control fully is the substance not the image, you can only focus on the sort of person you are, the sort of character you have and then the reputation well that that has to do with other people you can’t really control that, you just have to leave that up to them, you know do what’s right let the consequence follow. Some people try to focus on Reputation Management maybe more than trying to fix fundamental flaws but their character and that can help someone the best way and then the easiest way to present yourself well with the public is just to be good, and then this is so much easier, everything else since this follows so naturally from that, promoting yourself is good but you need to make sure that that the image of promoting is consistent with the substance. I was for some reason I was just thinking about this anecdote with Benjamin Franklin his autobiography when he came to Philadelphia and he was working and he was a very industrious fellow, and he not only was industrious, but he thought it would be good to let people know about it, so he made sure that this wheels on his wheelbarrow deliberately squeaks, so when he is going around town people would notice his and say well that guy is all pretty industrious fellow, and so it was a false representation, he was just simply making sure people notice what was already there, rather than trying delude them in the believing something that wasn’t so. So with that “first things first principle’’ in mind I would say that service starts with the heart and that the risk of getting kind of touchy-feely I would say that we need to focus on the hearts first and foremost. We each have or can develop the capacity to both squelch bad desires, and actually nurture good ones, and what we need to do is just nurture genuine concern for the welfare of others as we do that the actions kind of naturally flow from the feelings, you know we.
Zach Smith: (25:13) Oh! I do the golden rule I guess so.
David Garber: (25:14) Yes exactly, I believe in the principle of loving our neighbors as ourselves and is part of that, there’s a golden rule which is actually I was looking at Wikipedia a while back and I learned that the golden rules actually found in pretty much every major world religion in some form or another, is a very common principle that so many people on earth understand. Stephen Covey talks about it as well as in the form of “Think Win-Win’’ you need to seek mutually beneficial business relationships, you know you don’t want a parasitical or predatory you need to try to think, how can we both benefit from this, this relationship not just what’s in it for me.
Zach Smith: (25:52) I will take even one further David I think “Triple Win’’ “Win-Win-Win’’, how can I win, how can the client win, and how can the customer win if it’s a business-to-business type service where there’s also a customer that we may or may not be interacting or interfacing with directly so now I love that, that’s great.
David Garber: (26:08) The amount are great.
Zach Smith: (26:09) So, let’s bring it back home and I like this point that you make quite a bit “after you’ve changed yourself, then you can change the world’’. The idea that you have to start inwardly before you progress outwardly what is meant by that and how does that specifically relate to customer service without getting a little bit too philosophical.
David Garber: (26:26) Yes, I mean I think that’s a good correct principle too “if we want to change the world, we need to start with ourselves’’ and work outward to our families, or community, state, city, nation, etcetera you know we got to start with ourselves work outward and I think if we want good customer service then we not only have to develop those qualities in ourselves, but once we done so after we done so that we can start focusing on others to our work outward through organizational structure, make it part of our company culture. Make sure that if we have a vision statement or mission statement, make sure they all think about including that in there. We need to instill that in employees too and ultimately customer service should be everyone’s business, you know your entire business should be focused on serving customers. So, even if you have like a dedicated person who does nothing but customer service everyone should really be focused on. At least that’s what I’ve learned from other people, and I believe it’s true.
Zach Smith: (27:20) I love kind what we talked about earlier David and I think you believe this too “when you treat your people well, when you treat your team members, employees or contractors it helps them treat your clients your customers well as well right’’ I mean, it kind of starts from the top and works its way down.
David Garber: (27:37) Yes when people love your company, when they’re happy to show up for work each day, when it’s a thrill for them, they’re just full of happiness it makes it easier for them to treat customers well.
Zach Smith: (27:46) Wow, I like that a lot and I think probably a very strong takeaway that most people don’t consider you think you hire a customer support person Oh! We got a customer support person they handle all that no, that’s completely wrong, that’s a fallacy. When you hire a specialist to handle your customer support great, but “everybody’s job should be customer support’’, “everybody’s job should be to try to create the customer service’’, because when you do that, then you stay true to your mission, you stay true to your purpose, and when you’re doing that like you said it create happiness, and when you have happiness at work it really is a great thing.
Thomas Alvord: (28:19) Well at the end of the day every department from product to marketing to sales if the focus is on pleasing the customer it’s the same endgame right, and so if that’s your endgame to please the customer then that’s been a trickledown into the customer support, and if it’s not then you’re not going to have good customer support, if it’s just to make a quick buck then the customers are going to feel that.
Zach Smith: (28:48) Well, I love that, now, David when we talk about customer support kind of playing off this theme here A lot of times we think of it, customer support, and you kind of put it aside and you say that’s customer support job, that’s that job but in reality I love this concept you have, you classify customer services and operations job rather than a sales job, explain that a little bit and talk about kind of how a customer service oriented professional needs to be holistically minded in terms of every single hat they have to wear?
David Garber: (29:17) From what I’ve read it seems like that’s a common view that customer support should be an operation job not a sales job, I mean certainly benefit from sales, it affects your sales because it improves customer loyalty, and helps good word-of-mouth and so forth. But certainly when you’re dealing with customers, if you want to upsell them on additional services or things as part of their service experience than that can help, but really it’s just about making sure that the customer is happy and making sure that working with different departments, and divisions to make sure things are getting where they need to go when they ordered something it’s actually getting to them and if it doesn’t well where the heck is it? What happened to it and how can we get this problem resolved? So, you’re just trying to make sure that operations are working together toward serving that customer, that customer is getting what they need their happy and this is kind of at the heart of operations of service.
Zach Smith: (30:11) I think a lot of times we think customer service is just its own thing something but in reality and I said this in your introduction, jack of all trades -- master of all trades for you, but really a customer service professional is going to be most qualified if he or she understands a little bit or a lot of all the different components of your business instead of just how to manage customers and how to deal with customers, and I think that’s where you excel probably greater than any other person I’ve met in my life truth be told, when it comes that because you understand every single component intimately with what we do here at Funded Today. Now you did a lot of surveys at Funded Today, and you and I monthly, quarterly kind of review different things and you bring other things to my attention as they come about, talk about that a little bit, talk about why those are important your strategy behind the surveys that you do and how those help to improve customer service and keep the pulse on how your clients are feeling?
David Garber: (31:05) Others have said and I believe it’s true that performance tends to improve when it’s measured and improve even more when it’s reported, and so is good to keep -- continually measure the most important factors and your company success which includes your service. One common way that people do that is through Customer Satisfaction Surveys that’s something that we do in our company when were done working with our clients we give them the survey and asked about their experience and that just kind of helps us to keep track on the pulse of how well are our services going from month-to-month, and just to identify any problems are coming up, something is coming up repeatedly over and over it’s probably something that needs to be taken care of.
Zach Smith: (31:47) And think of how many good things we’ve had come of that David, I mean we’ve invented I can think of probably 10 to 12 things just in the last year that you and I talked about and then we implemented because what we learned from our clients and customers were saying right. Let’s talk about performance as it relates to customer service, we’ve talked about how when we measure it and then we report on that it improves, but talk about “Customer Service Performance’’ as it relates to effective communications the idea of setting the correct expectations properly explain products and services.
David Garber: (32:17) That’s communication is a big part of that, communication is very important in any relationship, including a business relationship. You ideally want to get involved in a good relationship with your clients, maintain that relationship, and that can only be them with communications. Communication both requires trust and helps encourage trust or at least it can do so if you do it right, part of communication is again like we talked about earlier, setting the expectations, explaining how to use your product services, so when you finally shipped that I thing a crowd funded you probably want to include some instructions and there’s a people know how to use it right announcing any kind of developments with your companies and then what’s going on, resolving concerns both promptly and empathetically.
Zach Smith: (32:59) Let’s talk about that one for second David how do you resolve concerns empathetically because I like tell you added in that word what’s the best way to create empathy to have empathy for somebody when there is a concern that comes up because invariably there will be concerns as you start a business or as you run a crowdfunding campaign or as you try to communicate with your backers or your clients.
David Garber: (33:22) Yes, well it’s mainly trying to put yourself in the customer’s position. Let them speak and I’ll let them explain what’s going on in their own words and then you try to put yourself in their position, what if I were in a position where what if I were perceiving the things the way they are which may or not maybe accurate and how can I respond in a way that’s your honest, that’s accurate, that’s sufficiently forthright with them, and yet it also in harmony with what they would -- how they would want to be treated you how I want some to treat me if I were in that situation so.
Zach Smith: (33:53) “Listen more, talk less’’ two years one mouth for a reason that old dodge yes lot of these things you try phrases but I mean they really do matter and it’s easy to forget them, even now more than ever because of like I said Digital Communication as there is a lot less empathy in the world now I mean think of the way people comment on Facebook post, on Reddit or YouTube, and the way people go about and engage online is a lot different than they would if they were sitting with you across the table at dinner so I think it’s important to take these things in consideration, and you see this all the time David I’m sure.
David Garber: (34:27) Yes I think it’s partly the age in which we live, we just seemed to live in a particularly at least in my opinion or rather arrogant and combative kind of society now compared to what it was 40 years ago. I think it has a lot to do with generational cycles, which is very different topic that might be interesting to discuss on another occasion, but not on this podcast.
Zach Smith: (34:44) That’s what I find fascinating about you, you’re always studying new things and just hearing that word makes me want to go Google it, but David just staying on topic with you I want to do a little rapid-fire can to kind of wrap up the episode. How to achieve good service specifically as it relates to Crowdfunding rapidly go through five bullet points of what you recommend anybody doing a Crowdfunding campaign, how can they do it? What are five quick takeaways boom, boom, boom, boom, kind of thing.
David Garber: (35:09) I think is important to thank each backer personally when they pledge, and even engage them in conversation the good express gratitude I think that’s good at helping to start initial relationship with the customer. Yes some people might want to use this opportunity to invite and the join some kind of affiliate marketing programs which can help with their pledges, there is also good opportunities to set expectations for what’s going to happen in the near future. There is one other benefit to and that’s if the backer ends up canceling their pledge if you’ve already initiated contact with them before they do so on Kickstarter then you’ll be able to continue to do so after the cancel it and you can try to find out very, very politely, kindly hey what would happened? Why did you cancel? Is anything I can do to improve so if it can be great for getting feedback and backers in general are very good for giving feedback and is good to take maximum advantage of the opportunity when you’re Crowdfunding to get as much feedback as you can about your product, your service and other aspects of your business to.
Zach Smith: (36:06) All right so number one welcome thank every backer individually as they come, number two?
David Garber: (36:12) Number two “Updates’’ is good to communicate regularly with your backers through updates. Backers will sometimes give you feedback if you’re updating too often or not enough is good to kind of pay attention to that feedback, and just try to figure out how you can serve them best. Usually twice a week seems to work pretty well, as for good things to include in your updates, a lot of creators like to who answers the questions, notices about new features and your rewards, alerts about changes in their media or notable publicity that you’ve tamed. Celebrations of campaign milestones that you’ve reached your deadlines are looming, or just to thank them for pledging or maybe even encourage them to find others to the pledge so.
Zach Smith: (36:52) That episode for “Cross Promotions and Finding Others to Pledge’’ we’ve got a great episode where Colton came on talked about Cross Promotion so listen to that episode if you want to learn more about ideas there. All right David number three, “Comments’’.
David Garber: (37:05) Yes, you have a section in your campaign for Comments and it’s really good to respond promptly to any feedback you see in there, it’s shows backers that you value what they want that you value what they say it also gives him reassurance that you’re not a scammer. Some backers I understand have the habit of going through a campaign of looking at all these creators responding their comments? Are they providing regular updates and what are they doing and if they’re not then at that kind of makes me a bit leery of your campaign about pledging, so.
Zach Smith: (37:33) And not only that David it’s important that you respond empathetically and kindly and with enough detail and transparency, because if you just comment and it doesn’t seem to match the way backers want to receive a comment then there going to be even more worried than had you remained silent, so it’s important to be thorough in the way that you update and communicate with your backers within the comments section right.
David Garber: (37:55) Yes definitely, yes and templates might be helpful in this case to again if you feel like we talked about earlier, if you find yourself saying the same thing over and over and over to different backers in a one-on-one chat well maybe you want to make that on to template, you shouldn’t use your templates rigidly, you shouldn’t just say oh I got this template now I’m going to use the same one for everyone, you need to be flexible be able to customize it for each person because even if it is 90% of the people there is always going to be maybe 10% that is just not quite in the workforce, so.
Zach Smith: (38:24) Yes, all right number four “Surveys’’?
David Garber: (38:27) Yes , so surveys all along was passively waiting for unsolicited feedback from backers, you can also seek it out through at least one survey to backers this isn’t the same as the official survey, at the end were you get information okay what colors and styles and so forth as everyone one, this is more something that you would want to just kind of send out each backers like maybe a Google Form or something. It might they might become hard if you got lot of backers might be hard to do was that some automated software like the kind we have, but especially of a smaller campaign to just down it should be a lot easier to just do it on the onset and then individual message to each one, each backer.
Zach Smith: (39:05) Couple of cool takeaways from the surveys to or the idea the idea that you can use surveys capture certain information about your backers like an email address and then use that to create look like audiences so you can find more of your backers through Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, that sort of advertising, so that’s another powerful way that you can use surveys in your customer support, but also benefit your marketing arm side of things to.
David Garber: (39:27) Definitely Indiegogo lets you collect those emailing addresses as you go fortunately, but the Kickstarter yes you’ll need to ask for them because normally don’t get them till actually your campaign ends successfully if it does. So, that’s one good thing, another thing people sometimes like to ask in surveys is about “stretch goals’’ some people plan our stretch goals in advance of the people just like leave them to backers okay what ideas you guys have your what would you like to see in this product, which is kind related to your customer service to just trying to figure what they want and fulfill those ones.
Zach Smith: (39:54) And, finally “farewells’’ number five David.
David Garber: (39:57) Yes and we talked about that briefly A moment ago just times backers cancel so if they do, just try to find out why even if they don’t end up re-pledging it at least gives you some good feedback to perhaps minimize others from canceling or just in general, see what you can do better, so yes.
Zach Smith: (40:15) I love that one we’ve applied it hundreds of times but you ask a backer why did you leave, what do you cancel? And a lot of times they’ll say well the price was too expensive, and then you say well we got this cashback now we’re called Funded Today where you get 10% cashback if you could get 10% cash back would that make it better?
David Gaber: (40:30) Yes, that’ll be great.
Zach Smith: (40:31) Wonderful.
David Garber: (40:32) Okay great.
Zach Smith: (40:30) Here’s a link to go buy and you can get them back just as simple as that right so there’s lots of cooler marketing strategies you can do while you are applying customer support to get cancel backers or people who have questions or concerns back excited and engaged on your campaign and maybe even hook up with a discount through things like the Funded Today Cashback Network, so I like that ideas as well. Anything else to add on those David for achieving good customer service as it relates to Crowdfunding.
David Garber: (40:59) Well, I think that pretty much covers it just to reiterate the market matters most, business is all about keeping focused on serving the market and your customer in general and your customer specifically. If you don’t do that you don’t have the business so.
Zach Smith: (41:12) Love it now David one last plug for the “Ultimate Crowdfunding Success Guide’’ because your hand is all over that tell us about it Get Funded Today Nation excited about this.
David Garber: (41:26) Yes I have been working very hard on that for the first quarter of this year, so it’s basically completed just needs to be pretty fired up a little bit and prepared to synopsis. Just try to distill every bit of Crowdfunding wisdom that I could from our company, from our podcast per blog episodes, from our personnel from everything that I’ve learned working with all the clients that I’ve worked with over the last few years, and just distill together into one just power packs thing about just everything we know that potentially help someone to campaign and so is very comprehensive, try to make it as exhaustive as possible without being overwhelming, hopefully is not overwhelming, but I think anyone who is planning a Crowdfunding Campaign even someone has already run one successfully I could potentially benefit a lot from this advice we have in here. We worked with over 2,500 clients so far, we’ve learned a lot of things on the way, and we think that these things can benefit others who are just starting out or likes more experience so.
Zach Smith: (42:26) Awesome, thank you. And David is the very modest he is probably the most honest, humble person, you’re ever going to run across so, this is an amazing guy I think you going to want to check it out without even trying to over hype or oversell it this is probably the best thing ever written when it comes specifically related to Rewards Based Crowdfunding, and David might not say that because he is very political, he is very smart, also had informed this is a wonderful guide and thousands of creators have better Crowdfunding campaigns. David thanks again for being on her show today thanks for letting us have you on.
David Garber: (43:01) You’re welcome happy to do.
Zach Smith: (43:02) It was wonderful and very insightful; we’ll have to path to do it again sometime and talk about the myriad of other topics that you are an expert on the thanks again appreciate it.
David Garber: (43:10) I don’t about that, but thank you very much I really appreciate that.
Zach Smith: (43:13) All right Funded Today Nation, it’s again my most favorite time of the podcast episodes this is the today product of the week, and I’ve got a really cool one for you today myself. This is a product by Dr. Pik called “Vumblr’’ and it’s going to be hard to describe the things, you going to want to check it out it had even launch yet, it’s launching soon on Kickstarter this is the world’s first all-in-one vacuum oral care device. If you remember me talk about UNOBRUSH on the podcast it’s a toothbrush, but it’s a little different. This is a toothbrush that can clean white and massage your gums and your teeth all at once and the way he does it is through a vacuum sill. The vacuum sill makes it so that there is a repetition in contraction and expansion for the specially designed brushes that don’t just get rid of the (inaudible 0:44:02), but they also enhance blood circulation in your gum tissue. Now that’s a mouthful basically this toothbrush does all the things better than the other toothbrushes that ever launched on Kickstarter do that’s their promise and it’s exciting. This was invented by Dr. Hyun he is the founder of Dr. Pik, and he was upset whenever he encountered difficulties with people suffering from gum and dental disorders and he found that this vacuum control technology of sucking all that out was the best possible way to not only clean your teeth, whiten your teeth, massage your gums improve everything, but to also make you have the healthiest teeth imaginable in the quickest amount of time so “Vumblr’’ it’s exciting I think it’s going to do really well V-U-M-B-L-R we’ll link to it on the show notes as well. So take a look at it let us know your thoughts. Thomas what you got for us?
Thomas Alvord: (44:53) My product of the week is a watch and there’s been a lot of watches on Kickstarter but if you like watches I do -- I have a Rolex I have a Gucci I have a couple other watches I usually go with my Rolex thought, after you have Rolex you know what are you supposed to do right, I felt kind of bad for my Gucci watch it always just sits there, but whatever, so although.
Zach Smith: (45:21) David and me always could take another watch Thomas.
Thomas Alvord: (45:24) Although if you look at the watch “Aficionados’’ a brand like Gucci, they don’t really care much for because it doesn’t necessarily have the internal components right that make a watch beautiful right, and so the watch that is the product of this week is called Austin Sydney already has a very elegant sophisticated name Austin Sydney and the design is actually based off Sydney, Australia and some of the design, and architecture that you get from Sydney Australia. You’ll have to check it out to see the design it’s a very beautiful watch. They actually use full grain leather, and so it has Swiss made movement which all top watches are going to have and the weather is from Italy, where the best Italian or the best leather products will come from Italy. So check it out if you like watches again it’s a beautiful, beautiful watch and it’s called “Austin Sydney’’.
Zach Smith: (46:34) Awesome thanks Thomas. Now David as we like to do with every guess that comes on the show you get a chance to talk about a product that you’re kind of enamored with us well so what do you got for us.
David Garber: (46:44) Yes, well I thought I’ll talk about “Saxmonica’’ Nick Millington came to us with this Saxmonica project the last year, he is now back with us for 2. This is pretty funny I enjoy music, and this new instrument he has created seems pretty neat to me it has a sound that’s a lot like a saxophone but yet is very durable, it doesn’t get dinged up, we don’t need to polish it, you don’t need to clean out the of the spit from whatever, it’s pocket-size, you can take with you wherever you go it’s very simply put together just really cool thing. He is adding like a few different tubes to it so you can even add different scales that can play and also doing some custom paint on it I think it’s really, really, neat.
Zach Smith: (47:28) Very cool, I appreciate it thanks for sharing it and there you have it, the Funded Today Products of the week. This episode was jam-packed with wisdom, action items, all kinds of little gems and takeaways and “I love the Benjamin Franklin story and the squeaky wheelbarrow so’’ you can apply these all to your own business right away, and if you do, I can guarantee you can start enjoying world-class customer service, and most importantly to reap the benefits that come from serving your customers the best possible ways. So re-listen this episode share with some friends and family give us a review on iTunes or other platforms that you listen on we love it, it helps us to keep engaging side. I personally read every one of them and kind of motivates me and if you have topics or ideas we like to hear them as well because then we know what you want to hear more about. Next time were going to actually feature one of those ideas with and hear about it quite a bit to talk about Shark Tank the TV show, Life After Crowdfunding and so much more with another very special guest One of our successful past Kickstarter creators herself Tammy Rant that’s all I’m giving you now, but I promise you’re not going to want to miss this one and until next time remember, don’t wait till tomorrow, get Funded Today.
Announcer: (48:33) Funded Today is the worldwide leader in Rewards Based Crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo combined they have raised over $200 million and counting for thousands of new ideas and new worldwide. If you got an idea for a new product or invention visits fundedtoday.com to speak with one of their experts.
References and Resources
- Wikipedia: Strauss-Howe generational theory
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