The customer isn’t always right but it’s how you treat them that creates that memorable experience.
Remember that your relationship with your customer is an ongoing relationship not a one and done. Treat everyone as they are your friends and family for life.
Sometimes it’s hard to satisfy everybody but it’s important to stand behind your service or product no matter what.
As part of our series about the five things a business should do to create a Wow! customer experience, I had the pleasure of interviewing Fiona Tennant, CEO of Nurse Fiona Medical Spa.
Fiona is a Registered Nurse, business owner, and activist. Fiona is nationally board certified and C.A.N.S. certified. Fiona practices in the Greater Boston area, treating clients from all over New England. In addition to her career in aesthetics, Fiona is president of The Nurse Fiona Foundation which launched in October 2020.
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?
Hello Authority, thanks for the interest! I’m originally from Miami, FL, currently living in Boston. I’ve worked at high-end hotels and restaurants before becoming a Pedi ER and Neuro nurse. I worked in plastic surgery before opening my own aesthetic business 10 years ago
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?
Oh gosh, sure! After taking my neurotoxin (aka Botox) and filler course, I called Allergan, the makers of Botox to open an account with them and they said I couldn’t do that as an RN. I had no idea how to get started because there were no guidance for nurses who inject back then. Take-away: do your research before calling a huge company like Allergan, because I felt like a fool lol.
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?
There are many people, not just one. My husband who loaned me money to take the botox/filler course, my friends and family who allowed me to practice on them, business owners that welcomed me into their place of business to promote my services, other providers and industry leaders that shared their knowledge.
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?
It’s simple, without customers, I don’t have a business.
Now that I’m a business owner, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to run a successful business. We all have needs and wants, coming from employees, customers and owners as well. It’s like a beautiful dance between the customer and the business. There are MANY aesthetic providers in our industry and customers can go wherever they want. What has brought my patients back in is great customer service and great results. They go hand in hand.
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?
Too much pride/greed from the business owner. For years I was an employee of hotels and restaurants that pride themselves on great customer service and I learned to swallow my pride in certain situations. I’m not saying to allow someone to treat you with disrespect, but I always try to see the bigger picture and not focus on the petty details that can interfere with my decision making. It’s essential to put yourself in your customers shoes, how would you like to be treated in certain situations?
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! I often say that I’m in competition with myself, but it’s also great to watch others be successful. That inspires me to do better. That mindset wasn’t born overnight though, it came from when I used to swim competitively in childhood/teenage years. I always tried to do better and beat my own time but it also felt amazing to win swim meets.
Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?
We recently had a patient with a filler complication and stayed vigilant about following up with the him/her to make sure everything was handled appropriately and the complication didn’t get worse. She was extremely impressed by the great customer service and said this is the only reason she drive an hours each way to us. She did a lot of research and knew she would be in the best hands with the best team in the industry.
Did that Wow! experience have any long term ripple effects? Can you share the story?
I shared the patients positive feedback with my team and that inspired them to continue to provide this exceptional customer service. It may be hard sometimes dealing with difficult people but in the end we all win when everybody is happy.
Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience. Please share a story or an example for each.
- The customer isn’t always right but it’s how you treat them that creates that memorable experience.
- When someone is overly upset, don’t take it personal. You don’t know what that person’s day has been like and why they are acting out. They may just be taking it out on you, which doesn’t make it OK but don’t feed into it and give great customer service no matter what.
- Remember that your relationship with your customer is an ongoing relationship not a one and done. Treat everyone as they are your friends and family for life.
- Sometimes it’s hard to satisfy everybody but it’s important to stand behind your service or product no matter what.
- Create a “human” experience. Don’t treat customers like a number. There’s so much technology out there these days and automated systems, remember that we’re all humans and thrive on an emotional connection. Figure out a way to connect on an emotional level with your customers. Remember small details about that customer, take notes, wedding anniversary, birthday, children’s names Etc. It’s the little things that create a memorable experience.
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?
I always encourage my clients to share their results on social media, tag me @nursefiona, or refer a friend!
My particular expertise is in retail, so I’d like to ask a question about that. Amazon is going to exert pressure on all of retail for the foreseeable future. New Direct-To-Consumer companies based in China are emerging that offer prices that are much cheaper than US and European brands. What would you advise retail companies and eCommerce companies, for them to be successful in the face of such strong competition?
1.Start small and don’t bite off more than you can chew
2.Build a strong & loyal team with good customer service training
3.Stay true to your loyal customers.
4.Have a good return policy and respond quickly to complaints
5.Ship products out quickly.
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 am currently building my non-profit corporation called Nurse Fiona Foundation. Here is the mission statement: illnesses brings enough unwanted stress into people’s lives. Nurse Fiona Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to helping people suffering from a disease or illness. Our mission is to provide support and care to patients, caregivers, and healthcare workers by alleviating stressors involved in the care of anyone suffering from a medical condition.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
IG: @nursefiona @nursefionaskin
Facebook: @nursefionamedicalspa @nursefionaskin
YouTube: coming soon @nursefiona
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!