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This business coaching session is about ways to create experiences that develop customer loyalty.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Editor's Note: All of these companies excel at providing a WOW customer experience and in return create apostle customers.
  • Definition Magician: Someone who loves your business so much that they become a passionate, unpaid marketer for your company.
  • Lesson Nugget: TOMS has created an emotional experience that all of their customers can share in. Creating an emotional connection will grow your brand to another level.
  • "Great brands make emotional connections with their customers." Arthur Greeno

customer service training better than udemy


-All right Arthur,in this customer service training we are talking about how to help create the apostle customer here. How to really create that raving fan, as you might call it. Now Webster's says that an apostle is any of the early followers of Jesus who carried the Christian message into the world. Now we also talk about the word viral-- so we're trying to create some viral apostles here. The word viral says, quickly and widely spread or popularized, especially person to person communication.

So if our goal today in this customer service training is to create a viral apostle for our business, someone that goes out there and spreads the word and really just is zealous and excited about our product and passionate about our service. We aren't talking about developing a Christian who's going to spread the word quickly. What we're talking about here is a viral apostle customer and referring to a customer who loves the business so much that they become an unpaid and passionate marketer for your company. In your mind, can you think of two or three customers from over the years that are passionate apostles of your Chick-fil-A?


-OK. You may want change their names so we don't have to get their permission to talk about them, but can you think of just one example-- what's the most over-the-top example of somebody who's obsessed with the local Chick-fil-A that you've seen? Where somebody has become a viral, unpaid apostle?

-Without using names?

-Yeah. Or you can use a name. We just have to maybe edit it out and change it to Galawekich.

-Well, actually, a friend of both of ours.

-Galawekich, yeah.

-He loved Chick-fil-A so much that he made a video about it called "See you on Monday"-- it's on YouTube. And that thing, I think last time I looked at it, it had 250,000 views.

-And my understanding is that he spent an entire day shooting this thing?

-Yeah, he came out on a Sunday and him and--


-They videotaped at my restaurant.

-And did you pay them?


-Did you ask them to make it?


-They just did it because they like it.

-They called me and said, Arthur, we want to make a love story song about Chick-fil-A. And I said, you're going to have to let me edit it, because I get in enough trouble with the home office. I don't need assistance. And I said, as long as I get to proof it.

And he said, OK. So he did the video and it's been a success. And I use that when I'm going around, when I'm talking about apostles.

-Now I met a guy years ago, I was at a speaking event. And I noticed a guy, he had a polo on. And you could see the edge of a tattoo-- you couldn't see the whole thing, but a little bit. He pulls it and he's got the Harley tattoo.

And I'm sure we've all seen Harley tattoos, I've seen a lot of these things. The kind of people that would put the logo of your company on their body permanently because they're so into the brand. So some of the brands that I think of that have viral apostle customers would be TOMS Shoes.

-Yeah, absolutely.

-People love TOMS Shoes-- buy one, get one, give one. Apple computers.


-Think different. Whole Foods-- I know people who are into the Whole Foods. My wife is into Whole Foods. Harley, Starbucks-- people who carry around the cups and they've got the little Starbucks branding on it. Then you have Disney, you have QuickTrip, and Chick-fil-A.

So in your mind, why are people so viral when it comes to these companies-- the TOMS Shoes, the Apple, the Whole Foods, the Harley, the Starbucks, the Disney, the QuickTrip, the Chick-fil-A-- why are they so passionate? I mean, why are they so passionate about that company and then there's many gas stations out there-- and I've seen gas stations that have a lot of stores and nobody's passionate about that brand. What's the difference?

-I think the difference is, at some point those brands have made an emotional connection with them. At some point, those brands have made an emotional connection with them.


-It could be anything from-- like TOMS Shoes. You buy a pair, they give a pair. You feel like you're doing something for someone else.

So because of that, I bought a pair of shoes there, I feel good about my investment. Again, I'm feeling good about my investment. And I know what they represent.

-So you're saying that an emotional connection is key.


-Let's go and get into Disney, then. Why is Disney connected? Why is Disney creating viral apostles? Why are people out there just going crazy about Disney?

-Well, I think anyone that's gone to Disney has had an experience that they're walking away and they've made an emotional connection. Have you ever been to Disney?

-Disney World when I was about 12 or 13.

-And do you remember it?

-I do, yeah.

-And I think that's the key right there is that, with Disney, so many people have great emotions tied to it that they walk around talking about it for years and years and years.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Notable Quotable: "Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets." Steve Jobs
  • Lesson Nugget: The first step to creating a great customer service experience every time is to make your customers feel welcome.
  • Lesson Nugget: Your employees must know to look for opportunities to give the customer a better experience.
  • Lesson Nugget: In order to know where to improve, benchmark your company against other companies that are the best at what they do.

-So what you're saying is that if we can just create a great experience with every transaction, you'll take off?


-And honestly, with Thrive, that's why I'm so excited to have the team. That's one of things excites me about you, is that you get that. And as people subscribe and check this out, we don't want it be a place where you just learn, but it's a whole community. It's a place we can interact with other Thrivers. And we want to make it where you have an experience and that emotional connection. I think that's awesome.

Steve Jobs once famously said, Have you found that to be true at Chick-fil-A?

-Absolutely. There's people literally that come eat with me breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

-Because they love the taste.

-Not just because they love the taste. Because they love the brand. They love the taste, they love the experience. They walk in, my employees know them by name. They will address-- in fact, a lot of times, they'll see them getting out the car and say, I need a chicken biscuit with cheese and eggs on it.

-So let's talk about this. If I'm a small business owner, and I'm on a very limited budget, how can I produce a great customer service experience every time?

-Every time. The first thing is what are they experiencing when they come in the door? Do they feel welcome, or do they feel not welcome? One of my hobbies, of all the weird things that I do, is I take pictures of all the signs that people put up in their restaurants or other places. Things that say, like, we have the right to refuse service. And I look at that and go, how is a customer going to feel like you want them here when they see that? And so I just don't it.

-What's funny is that that sign is put out because there's one customer a month who's difficult. So they put a sign up saying we can refuse service for that one customer a month. Well, the other 400 or 500 customers end up feeling like, are they trying to refuse our service? It's interesting how that works.

What about the sign that says sorry, we're at lunch? What your thoughts about that, one of those hand-written-- it says sorry, at lunch? What do you think about that one?

-I think it's just as ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as when you go into places and they have a permanent now hiring sign mounted on their wall. What does that tell you about that place?

-In your business, you guys-- in order to create the great product, you have a detailed checklist every day to make sure that there's always an awesome experience. Describe for me three or four things that you and your team have done routinely to create a great experience? What do you do every day? What are three or four things you do every single day to create that awesome experience?

-Well, there's clearly the simple things. The simple things like greeting them when they come in the door. Tell them to have a good day when they're leaving. Walking their trays out to them, especially if they have young children, or what we call VIPs. It's looking for opportunities. Hold the door open, whatever it is. Those are the easy things.

Then we have a whole-- we have multiple layers of what we're going to do for them. We're constantly talking about look for the opportunities. If they have a child with them and we have balloons, let's give that child a balloon. If we go out, and they're sitting there, and they're socializing with their friend, we'll remove the trash from in front of them. We'll give them a refill of their drink.

-Your staff as attentive, though, and it seems like you're looking for opportunities when I walk in. You're looking for an opportunity to serve, as opposed to looking for an opportunity to not serve.

ARTHUR GREENO: That's correct.

-I guess an example would be I walked into a gas station about three weeks ago. I was on a road trip. I could not get to a QuikTrip. So I pull into the gas station, and the guy's trying to avoid eye contact because he's on the phone. You know? Or you'll be in line, and it's obvious he can't get to you for a while.

I went to a gas station just the other day [INAUDIBLE] by your place. Not a QuikTrip. Again, I went out there, and I was in there-- I had to grab a paper for my dad. I go in there to grab a paper, and the guy is-- three or four customers in front of me. He doesn't acknowledge that the other customers are in line, doesn't say, hey, I'll be with you in just a second, or hey, I'll be right there. He just continues arguing with this customer about something.

It's just interesting how you guys have that commitment to wowing the customer. Now what types of things does Chick-fil-A corporate do to generate viral apostles? Because corporate-- they have high standards at Chick-fil-A.


-What kind of things does the corporate do to make sure that you guys are wowing customers and not simply just satisfying them?

-One of the things is when we do our customer service evaluations, they will not pit us against each other, but they will show the stores that are great at what they do. And they acknowledge them and praise them, and so you're going, I want to be like them. What are they doing? That's one of the things that Chick-fil-A does well.

-They benchmark, like Store A did this much success, Store B did this much success, Store C.

-And they'll show us a study that shows Store A does this much success, and look at their sales. Store D does this much success, and look at this sales. There's a correlation.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Ask Yourself: Do I look at my business and try to justify what I do, or do I look at my business from the perspective of trying to improve?
  • Lesson Nugget: Small businesses must set their own expectations, to avoid falling into mediocrity and self-imposed "Customer Status."
  • Lesson Nugget: One way to make your employees really care about doing a great job: Tie their payment to the level of their performance.


CLAY CLARK: Let's say I'm in the Chick-fil-A system and there's 100 stores. How many Chick-fil-A stores are there?

ARTHUR GREENO: There's about 1,800.

-1,800. Let's say I'm the worst. How does corporate help me?

ARTHUR GREENO: How do they help you. They would actually come out and work with you and take steps with you to figure out what you need to do. Specifically, the easiest thing is step back and look at your business. Normally, if you're one of the worst stores, you're not willing to really look at your business with a set of eyes that says, I want to improve. You're spending a lot of your time justifying why it is that way.

CLAY CLARK: OK. So it sounds like corporate, though, has a high level of expectation.


-What if someone just refuses to do a good job, Art? What if I'm doing a bad job, I know it, and I don't want to change.

ARTHUR GREENO: The reality is that's when we, again, would promote you to customer status.

CLAY CLARK: So the Chick-fil-A corporate brand could promote me to customer status?

-They could.

CLAY CLARK: OK. So they won't tolerate mediocrity?


-OK. OK. Now the reason why I think it's important is because the people watching this here, 99.7% of all the business owners watching this, maybe you right now have 10 employees or less in America, according to the Small Business Administration. So if you have 10 employees or less and you don't have big, bad corporate making you do a good job, if left to your own devices, you might do a not great job. So you have to set your own expectation, right?

ARTHUR GREENO: Yeah, yes, absolutely. And so one of things I encourage people to is who is looking at your business? Chick-fil-A has a great system of inspecting products, and inspecting store. I spent some time with the president of Kwik Trip.


-And he was telling me that they go around, and Kwik Trip is one of those names you mentioned that they have a mystery shop program where somebody goes around and mystery shops and inspects their stores. But this is the cool thing. They actually have mystery shop people that inspect their mystery shop people to make sure that the mystery shop people are making sure that their following all the standards. And I was like, well, that's just kind of creepy, but it works, clearly.

-So I'm just gonna write down a couple of these up here, because I think we're helping somebody here and I want to get these out here. One, it seems like if you want to make sure to create that viral apostle, if you want to wow people, one is you could benchmark against somebody else and say, your store versus mine, let's compare to see--

ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely.

---how I could get better. The second is it sounds like a mystery shopper is huge. And a mystery shopper, for anybody who's not familiar with this, that's somebody who is paid to shop your store, to write down their feedback, and to report back to you.

And then, the third area that we haven't really talked about, but that I see a lot of companies doing is they do surveys with their customers. Now I have found that with Kwik Trip, I found with Southwest Airlines and a lot of companies, ultimately, this performance is somehow, the performance is tied to bonuses.


-So is that-- whoa, what on I writing? I'm writing Spanish here. In Chick-fil-A is performance tied to bonus or is there any type of play to the performance?

ARTHUR GREENO: Well, when we're talking about the owner operator experience, the more sales we do as owner operators we will make more money.


-But, like for me with my team, everything is about that. Everything is performance based--


---for all my leadership. Anyone from a team leader, whether they're a 17-year-old team leader to my upper management, it is all performance based.

CLAY CLARK: OK, so ultimately you promote people based on performance. You pay people more based on performance. You don't pay people based on who you like to most or whose the--

ARTHUR GREENO: Absolutely.

-OK, OK. Now if I'm a landscaper watching this, this is going to be kind of like rapid fire round with Arthur Greeno, OK?


-Because a lot of landscapers haven't been able to hire you as a consultant, so here we go, OK?


-I'm a landscaper. What can I do to turn my merely satisfied landscaping customers into viral apostles? What can I do?

-OK. Well, I would look at, first of all, what is the experience, again, when you show up? How are you showing up? Are you showing up in that shirt and those jeans with the holes in them and dirt and your fingernails are gross, or are you showing up as a professional person? One of the phrases I love to say is dress how you want to be addressed.

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