Create an experience you’d be wow’d by. Some brands do this with personal greetings and others might have special packaging. Whatever the experience created, test it on yourself and ensure you’re wow’d.
As part of my series about the five things a business should do to create a Wow! customer experience, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jason Chan.
Jason Chan is Rakuten Super Logistics’ VP of Sales and Marketing. In this role, Chan directs the company’s sales/marketing functions to grow RSL’s market share and drive revenue. In addition, he manages major client accounts, coordinates public affairs and community outreach, and implements sales and marketing goals.
Prior to joining the team at Rakuten Super Logistics, Chan ran CenturyLink’s Las Vegas marketing and nurtured his entrepreneurial spirit, owning several businesses including car washes and an energy drink company.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I’ve been in sales and marketing for nearly 20 years ranging from owning my own companies to working in the Fortune 500. I’ve found success in everything from real estate to telecom to energy drinks and now logistics. My secret sauce is to accurately assess opportunity, craft strategy to maximize the success of said opportunity, and then execute that strategy with unrelenting passion.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
When I took my energy drink company public, I wrongly assumed all of the initial shares had a vesting period and that we were all committed to the long-term success of the company. WRONG! Unbeknownst to me, the bankers’ shares were freely tradeable from day 1 creating a different motivation and incentive amongst partners. They sold quickly creating uncertainty around what was a very sound business.
I learned to not only read but thoroughly understand complex documents and to ask pertinent questions of competent counsel and advisors. Having been around the block a few times now, I’ve gotten a lot better at knowing what to look for and what questions to ask.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My mom was a very good school teacher who loved children. She was blessed to get paid to do what she loved. Although she would never have been on a Forbes list of business tycoons, her lifestyle was literally the fundamental of good business. She instilled in me the ideas of fun, fairness, and empathy. These fundamentals have shaped how I approach every client and negotiation. It’s not about me. It’s about “US.” How can “WE” work together to have fun doing business in an equitable manner where both sides feel better for having done business with the other side? This winning mindset and style have served me well!
Thank you for that. Let’s now pivot to the main focus of our interview. This might be intuitive, but I think it’s helpful to specifically articulate it. In your words, can you share a few reasons why great customer service and a great customer experience is essential for success in business?
What’s the best lead you can get? A referral! If clients have bad experiences with your company, do you think they’ll refer you?
Always remember people like easy and they don’t like pain. Pair this with the golden rule of treating others how you’d like to be treated and you have a recipe for success.
The easier clients can do business with you, the better. We all know that even with the best of intentions, mistakes still happen. What separates the winners and losers is if the company’s processes keep the client experience in mind to assure a quick recovery. If they don’t, you can kiss your potential for referrals as well as your business bye-bye.
We have all had times either in a store, or online, when we’ve had a very poor experience as a customer or user. If the importance of a good customer experience is so intuitive, and apparent, where is the disconnect? How is it that so many companies do not make this a priority?
The most obvious answer is cost. Good service costs money in training, headcount, benefits, technology, etc. A chatbot doesn’t sleep, nor does it need time off. It’s great for cost, but lacks the intelligence, experience, and know-how of a human. Extended service hours, US-based and/or multilingual customer service all have a cost to it. As the bean counters achieve a bottom-line result, all too often the client experience falls to the wayside. Rakuten Super Logistics has proven that it’s good business to have a US-based client services team serving both coasts as we can provide true expertise that our clients rely on that a robot simply couldn’t replace.
Do you think that more competition helps force companies to improve the customer experience they offer? Are there other external pressures that can force a company to improve the customer experience?
Absolutely! Monopolistic companies rarely have good experiences. They don’t need to ask you to have no alternative. Is anyone dying to call the power company to discuss an issue? NO. The expectation is you’ll be stuck with a phone tree, on hold for a while and who knows how long it will take to resolve your issue.
Beyond competition, the market does a pretty good job of telling you whether or not you’re doing well in the form of online reviews and videos as well as direct feedback. The near-immediate feedback businesses can receive today is a blessing when you’re doing well and a curse if you have areas for improvement. Either way, the market forces you to improve or business will suffer.
Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?
I was looking to sign a prospect and began stalking their Instagram to prepare for my presentation. I learned they were huge Star Wars fans and always had sweet treats on Fridays in the office. I surprised them with their favorite donuts the Friday before my presentation and delivered the owners some unique Star Wars shoes as a memorable gesture.
When I arrived for the meeting the next week, they were so impressed I had taken the time to learn not only about their company but more importantly about their culture, personalities, and the things that made them tick. They wanted to learn more about my company and what we offered. Needless to say, I walked out with a signed contract.
Did that Wow! experience have any long term ripple effects? Can you share the story?
Now that they’re a client, I subscribe to their emails and wish them success when they have a sale or congratulate them and send well wishes with new hires. The key to these gestures is they have nothing to do with my core business. This is knowing my client, cheering them on, and being a supportive partner they know cares about them. My competition can’t touch the level of support my team and I provide.
Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a founder or CEO should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience. Please share a story or an example for each.
1. Create an experience you’d be wow’d by.
Some brands do this with personal greetings and others might have special packaging. Whatever the experience created, test it on yourself and ensure you’re wow’d.
2. Go above and beyond.
Your competition is doing the bare minimum. Don’t be like them. Creating great customer experiences is one of the easiest ways to stop competing for the business and just win.
3. Recognize that great customer experience should be a marketing tool and not just a function of doing business.
This is literally the core of Zappos. When the market of shoe sales had basically become commoditized, Zappos went to market with a service and experience first strategy. It’s served them quite well!
4. Be consistent.
One of the tough parts of delivering a great customer experience is that it’s not a singular instance. If you do it right, clients expect it, demand it, and ultimately look forward to it. Nothing is worse than disappointing the client because you couldn’t maintain the high standard you taught the client to expect.
5. Don’t rest on your laurels.
If you’re good at something, someone will copy you. Continue to innovate and prove to the client that you’re the sole provider of this experience and you’ll have a client for life.
Are there a few things that can be done so that when a customer or client has a Wow! experience, they inspire others to reach out to you as well?
You’ll never receive what you don’t ask for, so Ask for the referral. If you’ve done a good job, the client will be happy to sing your praises and spread the news to their friends and family. Even if they love you, make it as easy as possible for them to inspire others by providing the hashtags, sample copy, and places to share.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
People shouldn’t go hungry. Skip eating lunch out one day a week and donate that lunch money to your local food bank. Every 1 dollar equals three meals. Donating a typical 15 dollars lunch will provide 45 meals.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
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