Stay True to Yourself. People can spot the difference between a genuine reason or a business ploy. Furthermore, your authentic self will always get an authentic reaction.
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 Jovi Hough and Evita Horne of Jovita Health. Jovi and Evita are the duos behind the Health and Wellness Brand Jovita Health. Partners in business and partners in life, this dynamic couple juggles running a multifaceted company, as well as their own personal brands while maintaining a thriving relationship as a couple. Jovi is a personal trainer based in Los Angeles with an always growing clientele. He runs Jovitfitness.com which includes an online training EFIT course, merchandise, and fitness equipment. Evita is a nutrition coach who specializes in helping her clients find a long term, sustainable way for fat loss and develop a balanced, healthy lifestyle. She also runs Evitaeats.com, a health and wellness blog, and is the author of her E-book, “My Balance, A 30-day Gut-Healthy Mindful Meal Plan.” Together they form Jovita Health, a community of their clients who seek help with nutrition, fitness, and mindset.
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?
We met about 5 years ago and we were both far from where we are today. I (Evita) suffered from past eating disorders, insecurities, anxiety and depression. And Jovi was a lost soul who had no clue what his purpose was in life. Our minds, bodies, and souls were in turmoil. The beginning was a rocky start, two damaged souls colliding, but we knew we wanted better for ourselves and each other. We began the long journey of self-acceptance and finding our purpose by overhauling our lives and immersing ourselves in fitness and clean eating. With Jovi’s knowledge of fitness and my (Evita) background of healing an unhealthy relationship with food, we used our past struggles and experiences to turn our pain into a positive thriving lifestyle. Our passion to change our lives for the better, transcended into us wanting to help others change their lives also.
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 (Jovi) was once stretching out a client while she was sitting on the ground. As I pressed down, as you do when stretching someone out, my hand slipped, and by trying not to fall on her, I tumbled over to the side. This was early on when I started training and I was really embarrassed. I was always concerned about being professional. As I’ve grown in business and as a person, I understand now to always be myself. I joke around with my clients and don’t take things too seriously, but I still get the job done and keep things fun for both of us.
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?
When we first moved to Los Angeles, Evita started working as a stylist at a hair salon. The owner of the salon, Robbie, became a monumental figure in our journey and continues to mentor us to this day. We both knew we had a passion and love for fitness and nutrition but had no clue what to do with our ideas, let alone how to turn that passion into a career. He saw something in Jovi, in the early stages of Evita working for his salon, and sat down with him and asked, “What do you love to do?” That single conversation made Jovi take a hard look at himself and prioritize what he really wanted in life and what his true PASSION was. From there Jovi Fitness was born, with Evita Eats soon to follow. Robbie gave Jovi his first start by giving him the key to the gym connected to his salon. The rest was history.
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?
There are so many businesses that focus on the exact same thing. Great customer service is not an option, it is a necessity. Beyond that, the reasoning behind your great customer service has to be authentic. You have to deliver that great customer service because you truly LOVE what you do, and you genuinely want your customer to have the results they are looking for. When you come from a place of passion and love for what you do or what you are selling, your customer service will go above and beyond what they may have experienced before, and they will be able to see and feel the difference.
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?
We believe, as stated before, that truly amazing customer service comes from the founder’s love and passion for what they do. When a company is more concerned with turning the largest profit, and quality over quantity, the customer service inevitably suffers. This seems like an obvious statement, but more times than fewer finances are the ruling factor behind the decisions companies make, and not the love behind what they are ultimately doing.
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?
We’ve learned to not compare ourselves to other companies or brands and to focus on bettering ourselves. Jovi always tells his clients in the gym, “It’s you vs. you in here,” and the same applies in all areas of life. If you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, your mission can get lost and you can become discouraged. With that being said, it is good to keep up to date with the new industry trends and always stay inspired. As far as external pressures, it’s important to keep an open dialogue with your client and take any constructive criticism they might have.
Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?
I (Evita) always get very excited when my clients start their custom meal plans and start seeing results. I’ve had clients legitimately so shocked and amazed that they are following a fat loss meal plan and are actually LOVING the food AND seeing results. I’ve had multiple experiences where clients are mindblown that the food they’re eating is actually healthy! They say their minds are forever changed in terms of how they view food and a healthy way of eating.
Did that Wow! experience have any long term ripple effects? Can you share the story?
Absolutely! The more positive feedback you get, the more it reinforces what you are doing and gives you the confidence to expand to higher levels with your business, helping more people along the way. One of my clients loved my healthy treats so much that she asked me to cater to a premiere of a movie she produced. It just goes to show, what you love to do can transcend into so many different areas of business you may have never even thought about when starting out.
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.
- Stay True to Yourself- People can spot the difference between a genuine reason or a business ploy. Furthermore, your authentic self will always get an authentic reaction.
- Be Kind- Being kind is so important because you never know what someone is going through and that small gesture may make a huge difference.
- Remember why you started- This goes back to staying true to yourself, the passion and love for which you began will always be the authentic reason to give your customer the best experience possible.
- Be attentive to customer’s needs- Listen to customers cues, and what they are telling you, they are giving you the answer to what you should be doing.
- Make the customer feel like you’re going above and beyond to suit their needs- If you customize the experience for each customer, they will have the best experience possible. People are not one size fits all, nor should their experiences be.
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?
First impressions are everything! So make sure that first time experience is unforgettable! The way you meet them is the way you keep them. The effort you put in at the beginning, you should continue each time. If the experience is unforgettable to them they will inevitably refer to others. Offering referral program incentives is also a great way to reward your loyal customers.
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. 🙂
Curing world hunger and creating world peace! No, that was my beauty pageant answer haha 😉 But I (Evita) would like to create a movement that would bring healthier food options to “fast food” or mass-produced restaurants. Much as the vegan movement is bringing plant-based alternatives to fast food companies, but a lot of those meat alternatives have a ton of highly processed ingredients in them. Whole, real food is very affordable (i.e. fruits, veggies, beans, rice, etc) and could easily be incorporated in fast food chains more often to create less processed foods being consumed by the masses.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
On Instagram @jovihoughfitness and @evitahorne OR on our websites jovifitness.com or evitaeats.com
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!