Know your worth and charge appropriately. Network with others in your industry to see what they’re charging because if you don’t, chances are you’re selling yourself short!
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 Tasha Booth. Tasha is CEO and Founder of The Launch Guild, a Launch & Systems Support Agency for coaches & course creators. Tasha’s passion is helping entrepreneurs live more fully in their zone of genius. In addition to leading her own team of 18, Tasha coaches Virtual Assistants, Online Business Managers, and Project Managers to grow and scale their own businesses, and hosts the ‘How She Did That’ podcast. Tasha is also a proud Air Force Wife and has two adorable stepdaughters.
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?
Before starting The Launch Guild, I was a professional singer/dancer, a full-time Zumba Instructor, and a YMCA Health & Wellbeing Director. While working my 9 to 5 at the YMCA, I started a hobby blog, and that online presence led me to discover the job opportunities available as a virtual assistant (VA). Many of the skills I was using on my blog were needed as a VA, so I started my side hustle as a VA on the evenings and weekends. I soon left my 9 to 5 and started working full-time as a VA. I fell in love with supporting coaches and course creators because their passion for helping people and their never-ending drive was everything I love! But they were always in need of more services to help them launch their new offerings and I discovered I could not be a jack of all trades. So instead, I built a team of experts in their fields — a collaborative digital marketing implementation “team in a box!” — and that grew into what is The Launch Guild today.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
It definitely wasn’t funny at the time, but when I was first starting out at the very beginning of my business, I offered a special pricing deal of 10 hours of work for 50 dollars (so 5 dollars per hour). I’m now at the point where I can begin to laugh about it, but what I essentially learned is as a business owner you need to value your time and the services/outcomes you provide to your clients. I ended up attracting a lot of “deal hunter” clients with this offer, many of whom did not respect the boundaries I put in place. And why would they? The fact was I wasn’t respecting my own time boundaries either. This whole situation led to 1) Me becoming completely burnt out and not wanting to do any work on my business anymore, and 2) Me not wanting to work with any of my clients and resenting them along the way. I eventually realized that resenting my clients wasn’t fair of me. They are not the ones who set the price point, I was. I had to go back to the drawing board to decide what specific services I wanted to offer as a business owner, as well as reassess the price points for each. At the time I was offering everything to everyone and that just wasn’t realistic. I learned it’s much better to show up 100% for a select few clients who align with my business and its mission. I think this is an important realization that many business owners and entrepreneurs find themselves coming to at some point during the beginning of their business.
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?
I think there are quite a few! I’ve had some really amazing mentors and coaches throughout my business journey, and I believe in the power of coaching. I like to use the analogy of why walk through a forest for the very first time by yourself at night, versus doing the same thing but with a guide who has walked through that forest a hundred different ways and can warn you about common mistakes and lead you to a better outcome? When you look at it from this perspective, it’s a no brainer!
Two people in particular come to mind, who showed me the way. One of them is Chelle Weech, who is one of my earlier coaches and is still a dear friend of mine. I had no idea that as an operations person you could still earn the kind of money she herself was earning until I saw her doing it and leading the way for others like myself. I think the lesson and the power in that is we need others to speak up and show up to show others what’s possible. You can make this amount of money. You can have your own business in a way where it’s not too overwhelming, but you still make good money. Nicole Jackson Miller is another former coach of mine who is also still very dear to me and showed me what is possible along the way.
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?
When it comes to customer service, a lot of times we look at great customer service as the initiation and close of a sale, but customer service goes far beyond that initial sales interaction. What we try to do at The Launch Guild is make sure the customer feels supported from the beginning to the end of their journey in entirety. What that leads to is 1) A customer who is happy and satisfied, but also 2) A customer who is more likely going to be a repeat customer and/or is going to tell other people about you. The power of referrals is so important, especially when you’re starting out. That’s not to say you’re never going to have a client who is unhappy no matter what you do. However, if you try to weave the idea “How would I want to be treated if I were the customer right now?” into the entire journey, it always ends up being significantly better for both the customer and you.
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?
A lot of times not putting yourself in the customer’s shoes is where that disconnect happens. Also, not taking the time to share what that should look like with your team, so that your team is emulating the exact customer service process you pride yourself on as a business owner. An example of this is my team has very specific standard operating procedures for any case scenario we may encounter (i.e. if a client says this, here’s how you should reply). My Director of Operations and I are always talking about how we can improve our procedures, and update our SOP’s regularly to change the outcome for the better next time. By setting clear guidelines, your team doesn’t even have to think twice about how they should go about navigating a particular customer service issue. My team members know exactly how The Launch Guild goes about responding to different types of situations as a business.
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?
Yes, having competition helps because it challenges you to set yourself apart and differentiate yourself from your competitors in some way. I think what we don’t want to do is be so focused on one-upping our competition that it becomes too overwhelming for both the customer side and your team’s side. Other external pressures that can force a company to improve customer experience is simply the drive of getting it right so you can improve your business’ pipeline of potential clients and referrals. You want your business to be viable and receive the majority of its leads from word of mouth — be it referrals, satisfied customer testimonials, etc.
Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?
We have a lot of those stories, but one that stands out is a client we had recently who was a business coach and course creator and she had a launch coming up. The project manager we assigned to the client did such a great job guiding the client through the entire process, to the point where even if the course launch didn’t go perfectly, the client still felt like the entire team is walking through the process with them. The client was wowed by this hands on approach — the feeling that we would be there no matter what. We have elevated the client experience in terms of not just ending the journey when their cart is closed, but conducting a launch debrief with them, and showing them what they can do in the future including best practices for them to have an even better launch in the future.
Did that Wow! experience have any long term ripple effects? Can you share the story?
This definitely had a ripple effect because this particular client came back to us to support her in two additional launches. At this point she’s now done four different launches with us and has also referred her wife to contract us for a launch of her own. They’ve been amazing loyal clients who have helped tremendously in increasing our revenue this past year. They’ve also increased our reach because their happiness has led them to recommend us to other people.
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.
- Know your worth and charge appropriately. Network with others in your industry to see what they’re charging because if you don’t, chances are you’re selling yourself short!
- Always approach a client from the lens: How would I want to be treated if I were in their shoes right now? This is such a powerful tool when it comes to achieving a positive customer experience.
- Make sure you have very specific SOPs in place for your team so they know how to navigate the different customer service situations thrown their way.
- Don’t be afraid to hire a coach who inspires you if you have the resources to do so. As I’ve mentioned, I strongly believe in the power of coaching.
- Always allow the client to properly debrief and provide feedback about their experience. This is what will help your business’ customer service grow and evolve for the better.
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?
Definitely conducting some form of client debrief at the end of your work together is a great thing to do. Our team will usually conduct these debriefs over Zoom and record the call so that the client has future access to it if needed. A few questions we like to specifically ask are: Why did you decide to hire us? What are some of the things that wowed you during our working relationship? What are some things we could have done better? That way, if they end up saying anything positive that we can use as a testimonial on our website, all we have to do is ask their permission before posting. Doing this is not only beneficial for the client to reflect on the working relationship, but it also benefits you because you’re able to compile testimonials without having to track the person down weeks or months later.
The other way is to create a referral incentive. If the client has had a wow experience with your team the best thing to do is incentivize them to go out into the world and talk about it! That could be a monetary incentive, a small gift, whatever you want it to be. The point is to encourage them to spread the word about their great experience.
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. 🙂
At The Launch Guild this year we have committed to contributing 1% of our monthly revenue to a different charity of our team’s choice each month. The third week of every month we open nominations up for our team so they can propose any charities that are currently standing out to them. Then the 4th week of every month the entire team gets to vote on which charity we will donate to that month. This year we’ve donated over 10,000 dollars to these charities of choice. We gave additional contributions during the Black Lives Matter protests, as well as when the COVID-19 outbreak was at its height in the U.S. The movement I’d love to start with this is for business owners to give back to their communities. It’s not the one time big gesture that will make the difference, rather, the commitment to consistency in giving back. Be a force of good in your community and neighborhood! Your team members will see this and want to emulate this approach as well.
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