…we send something that we call “pretty mail” to our clients every month. This includes a personal hand-written note and a small gift to show we are thinking of them. Our clients look forward to receiving these packages and often post about them on social media which spreads the word about our company.
As part of my publicist rockstars column, I had the pleasure of interviewing Caroline Kalentzos, She is the CEO + Head Doll at POSH PR®, a luxury branding and public relations agency. She is also the face behind The Caroline Doll blog and @thecarolinedoll on Instagram. She has been recognized as a social media expert by Forbes, is an international speaker, and has worked with clients like Tiffany & Co. and Saks Fifth Avenue. Caroline started POSH PR® with the mission of working with fashion, beauty, and lifestyle entrepreneurs to elevate their brands in order to create the life they had always dreamed of — just like she did when starting her own 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?
Before I started POSH PR® 7 years ago, I was in medical sales — — I was a National Sales Manager for a small technology-oriented company and I used to launch new drugs.
I will never forget when I was at the pool on a pink flamingo float and I called my mother to tell her that I was going to leave my six-figure medical sales job to start my own business.
She thought I was crazy! Honestly, most people didn’t think my business would be successful. However, I never gave up the belief that when you marry your God-given gifts with what you are passionate about, you are unstoppable! Guess what? I was right!
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?
When I first started my company, there was not a speck of pink anywhere on my website or logo. I realize that this might not seem funny now but once you get to know me, I promise it will. It was like I was wearing a disguise to fit in because I was told I wouldn’t be successful if I was my authentic self. As a result of that, I was not attracting my ideal client. I was not showing the real me, so how could I expect like-minded clients to seek me out?
I soon realized that I needed to be my authentic pink-loving, Champagne-popping self and when I did, my ideal clients started flooding in!
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?
In Kentucky, where I grew up, they breed three things: horses, cheerleaders, and pageant queens. While my mother was a pageant queen, I decided to go my own way and tryout for the cheerleading squad. All of my best friends were trying out too; however, unlike me, they all had training from their mothers who had been college cheerleaders.
When it came time for the tryout, I hadn’t trained one bit. I assumed that I would make the squad without question simply because I knew all of my friends would. I was wrong!
The cheerleading coach, Dolly, sounded heartbroken when she had to relay the news. She knew that not making the squad would mean big changes for my social life and she was correct. All of my friends disowned me because I wasn’t on the cheer squad with them.
From then on out I practiced every single day for an entire year. When tryouts rolled back around I was ready and not only did I make the team, but I was captain every year following. With all this being said, I am so grateful for Dolly. She made me work for my goals and taught me work ethic!
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?
Great customer experience is essential for success in businesses because those customers are walking brand ambassadors for your company! If they are pleased with the experience they had, they are likely to communicate that to others, whether through word of mouth or social media. On that same line of thought, people will always remember how you made them feel. Even when I say “no” or am turning down an offer, I make sure to leave this person with a positive impression of me and my brand. People are two times more likely to share a bad experience. It is just human nature!
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?
I think that companies often become distracted by monetary gains and in turn forget an important piece of the puzzle — they lose their “why” and the core mission behind what they are doing. We are all working to serve other people, whether it is to entertain them, feed them, house them, etc. We cannot get lost in the idea of making money and lose sight of who we are meant to be serving!
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?
I believe that if you stay true to yourself, you’ll never have competition. I don’t believe that more competition forces companies to improve customer experience because if you are trulyattracting your ideal client then nobody else should be able to serve them the way you can.
Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?
One of our fashion clients hired us for a branding photoshoot, an imperative part of building a brand. This service includes everything from designing a set that matches the brand story to help determine the best wardrobe options. Towards the end of the shoot, I asked the client if she would like to take some video to show the pieces in action. We provided this video free of charge because I knew that she had not anticipated the additional service. The video content from this day ended up being an imperative part of her shop and she was blown away at our willingness to do whatever was needed to help build her brand.
Did that Wow! experience have any long term ripple effects? Can you share the story?
We offered this service as a gift to our client and in return, we received a very happy POSH PR® brand ambassador. Plus the video that we created for her became a showcase of our skills and as a result of that, several new clients asked to hire us for video content.
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. Inspire your client. My company often serves as an example to inspire clients to build a strong brand identity — with our help, of course!
2. Never doubt yourself. Our clients feel confident about working with us because we are confident in the work we do!
3. Nurture your tribe. We show our clients that they are valued by celebrating each victory alongside them!
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?
At POSH PR®, we send something that we call “pretty mail” to our clients every month. This includes a personal hand-written note and a small gift to show we are thinking of them. Our clients look forward to receiving these packages and often post about them on social media which spreads the word about our company.
I know that sending a gift might not be possible for all companies, but the important thing is to make sure the customer knows that they are valued.
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. 🙂
I built my company around a mission that also serves as a movement. Our mission is to elevate her so she can live the life she’s always dreamed of. By empowering women, we are then inspiring them to pass that empowerment on to other women.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Absolutely! You can follow me on Instagram @thecarolinedoll and @poshpr
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!