…It would probably be bringing women together as true supporters of each other not just in business but in life. I am all for the underdog. Doing things that help uplift, support and guide those in need (whether is being in confidence, business growth, friendship, etc.) I truly have a million different ideas on what I want to do to help encourage a place where we are all here to support, uplift, and love. I come from a place of kindness in everything I do…period.
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 Carrie Masters, COO of LGE Design Build.
Carrie believes in people. Driven by empathy, she has a natural ability to identify talent and put people in roles where they will thrive. Masters responded to an ad to be a receptionist at LGE more than 17 years ago and has been a force of change, culture, and charity ever since.
Masters worked as a receptionist, then quickly transitioned into the executive assistant role for David R. Sellers & David E. Sellers. Her forethought and detailed planning made her the perfect candidate to become the office manager. She has also worked as LGE’s human resources manager and many other roles before being promoted to Chief Operations Officer.
Today, she acts as a trusted advisor to David E. Sellers, as well as an excellent leader to the team. She ensures the internal LGE team stays motivated, connected, and empowered in their roles. Her philosophy is to coach people by focusing on their natural abilities. By encouraging empathy and integrity in everyone around her, Masters has guided a number of HR, Administration, Sales, and Marketing team members to successful and fulfilling careers.
Masters has also played an integral role in the David R. Sellers Foundation. Launched in 2015, the foundation donates to various charities throughout the year in an effort to support the community and make genuine connections to the people in it. Masters is most proud of the impact the Foundation has made on those who need it most here in Phoenix.
Outside of work, Masters is most proud of her daughter, whom she loves watching turn into a beautiful and intelligent young woman.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. 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?
I have been with LGE for so long I honestly cannot remember, but I have always worked from the mindset that mistakes are necessary to improve, grow, and gain deeper understanding/empathy. The first step takes in every mistake is admitting fault and putting forth the effort to fix it and put steps in place to try and prevent the same mistake from happening twice. I don’t fear making mistakes and I think that has been key in my success.
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?
Yes!! I wish I could scream it for the world to hear 😊 David Sellers. Dave is my boss, business partner, and best friend. His guidance, support, and ability to see in me what I didn’t even see in myself have been a driving factor in my personal and business success. He has been the longest standing person I have had in my entire life (including family as they have all left me at some point in my life). I truly do not know what I would do without him in my life. He hired me on as the receptionist in July of 2003 and has had my back in every aspect of my life since then.
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?
By providing a great customer service experience you are cultivating a loyal client/customer base which helps in repeat business and referrals for new business. Word of mouth has always been the primary source of getting our business.
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 believe it starts with company culture and hiring the right cultural fit. Without that, you are just hoping for the best outcome.
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, watching the competition closely on what they are doing right and wrong always helps guide decisions and in the customer service driven industry you have to always change and improve to keep up with client needs and wants. We doing customer satisfaction surveys at the end of every project to gain insight into the client journey. We utilize that data to help us improve. And stay in tune with what our clients really want. The external audience’s perspective is what drives our business.
Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?
Yes, this just came in from one of our clients last week in reference to one of the gentlemen on our team:
All too often we want to give feedback on people who underperform and rarely take the time to recognize those who aspire to excellence. As a 24-year military veteran, I have had plenty of opportunities to do both and in this case, I want to point out that Jorge Trueba is simply outstanding. In many places customer service is dead. However, Jorge listened to the input we had, showed us the build plans, and explained what he would do to help address the severe miscommunication. He was highly professional and very understanding.
The next day a Cox representative came by and again Jorge did a great job getting him the information he needed. And when Jorge didn’t know, he called the people who did. The Cox rep even commented to me how great Jorge was to work with.
Now some might say he was just doing his job but every person I have talked to that has worked with him has had the same wow reaction. I only wish more people were like him so that our expectations of people weren’t so low.
I communicated directly to him how appreciative I was of his actions and professionalism, but I wanted to ensure you knew how your employee was performing in the field.
Thanks and have a great weekend,
VP of Security, IT and Compliance
Did that Wow! experience have any long-term ripple effects? Can you share the story?
I believe it did. I shared this with the employee (Jorge) which made him want to try harder and encourage others to do what he does. I also believe it will come back to us tenfold when it comes to new business. Only time will tell 😊
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.
Empathy — gives you a true understanding of what the person is communicating
Communication — listening with the true intent to just listen, then clearly communicating how you will improve the situation.
Proactive — forward-looking to try and prevent roadblocks, issues or negative situations
Dependable — ensuring your words and actions align and creating a trusting environment so that when a situation arises they know we will come through with a solution…and do so quickly.
Respect — never waiver on showing respect even in situations when it may not be given. I am a firm believer in being the ‘Bigger person”.
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?
We put cards out at our front desk encouraging any and everyone to rate their experience with us and our team. We also encourage our internal team to rate and relay when they have a good experience with any of our vendors, clients, partners, subcontractors, etc. Often times this encourages them to repay the favor when applicable.
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. 🙂
It would probably be bringing women together as true supporters of each other not just in business but in life. I am all for the underdog. Doing things that help uplift, support and guide those in need (whether is being in confidence, business growth, friendship, etc.) I truly have a million different ideas on what I want to do to help encourage a place where we are all here to support, uplift, and love. I come from a place of kindness in everything I do…period.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!