An exceptional customer experience will create loyal raving fans. We definitely saw this during the pandemic. We had customers who continued paying for dance class but weren’t actually attending them-they just wanted to help and support. When times get tough you need loyal fans. You can create an exceptional customer experience by wowing, surprising, and delighting your clients. Little unexpected touch points including sending a private FB message, a handwritten card, or calling and checking in can help build that loyalty.
As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stacy Tuschl.
Stacy Tuschl is a small business Growth Coach, who has multiple seven figure businesses (that literally began from her parents’ backyard). Additionally, she is an author, podcast host of the top-ranked Foot Traffic podcast, and was given the Wisconsin Small Business Person of the Year Award for 2019. Stacy’s podcast guest list includes Amy Porterfield, Suze Orman, Geoff Woods (of The ONE Thing), and Dave Hollis. —
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was in high school, I fell in love with dance and I really wanted to teach dance lessons. However, I was 18 years old and didn’t own a physical space for lessons.
So, I began hosting dance lessons for area kids in my parent’s backyard.
Eventually, I bought 1, then 2 dance studios. As my business grew, other business leaders noticed that growth and asked me for tips. They began seeking my advice about how they could grow their own businesses. That continued to happen, and it was clear that I was providing something other business owners needed, which was coaching. That laid the groundwork for me to start my small business growth coaching business.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
The hard things were being and doing what felt like everyone and everything. I was the janitor, the dance instructor, the receptionist all while going to school full time.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
My drive comes from my passion. I had the passion for dancing, and then I found the passion for business. It’s important to have a big “why”. If you don’t love it and you’re not excited about it, you’re not going to want it. This morning I woke up at 4:00 AM, not because I had to, but because I love what I do, and I am really excited about a project I’m working on right now.
So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?
Things are going well. At the start of the pandemic I recall telling my our customers I’m scrappy and I’ll figure it out. I’m the type of person that doesn’t wait for the change-I make a plan and move on it quickly. I have learned a lot over the last several months, and now I can help those I coach how to better navigate turbulent times.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The first year in business I had participants sign waivers and registration forms. At the end of the year-I discarded them. I just knew no one would sue me so out with the waiters! And I figured I wouldn’t need to remind people to register for more classes-I figured they wold do that on their own. So, I tossed out the registration forms too. I threw way documents that were not only legal, but were vital for continued business.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
My company stands out because we serve brick-and-mortar businesses, and I am someone who actually has one. There are not many people with the brick-and-mortar that also teach to brick- and-mortar owners that have that real experience and are doing it at the same time. So when the pandemic hit, I was literally pivoting and making decisions and then teaching my clients a day later.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
You need to be crystal clear on expectations of what you need from your employees. This will allow them to focus on the tasks assigned to them-so you won’t need to.
Take time away from business when it is possible. You need tp recharge. Finally, I am a huge proponent of efficiency, and it makes a big difference to have systems in place to make the most of your time.
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 credit my grandparents and parents. They had a family business. And initially, I saw my dance studio as a hobby, but they were the first ones to see that I could actually charge people and that I could make it into an actual business. I am forever grateful to them for transferring that confidence in me. Seeing their belief in me, helped me move forward. And now my mission is to help transfer confidence to my clients knowing how powerful it is.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
In my dance studios, one of our missions is to help create happy, healthy, responsible kids. It’s not just about good dance, music, and technique. It really is about the overall the health of the child. It’s the same thing in my online business. We are here to help other small business owners get out of that struggle. I want to give back to that person I was over a decade ago who is struggling, overworked, and underpaid. We work to show them there is a better way.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Find someone ahead of you. I struggled for a few years before I realized there are podcasts, and business books, and conferences. Attending my first conference was a game changer! Seeing people who were more successful and experienced than me and learning from them is the best way to short cut it.
- You can’t please everyone. Go with the majority and let go of the negative. We had an Easter bunny drive-through event that was huge. It was outdoors, safe, and socially distanced . The media was there and we had 400 attendees. Yet, we did have one person who was very negative in advance of the event, but we let that go and went forward with it.
- Be different not better. It is exhausting trying to outdo your competitors. You can constantly be tossing that ball back and forth. Get in a different category- this will allow potential customers to contrast and compare to see the difference between you and your competitor.
- Start with the end in mind. It is important that you and your team know the big picture and the intention. The faster everyone (including your team and clients) is on the same page, the faster you will move in your business, and the more your clients will refer to you.
- An exceptional customer experience will create loyal raving fans. We definitely saw this during the pandemic. We had customers who continued paying for dance class but weren’t actually attending them-they just wanted to help and support. When times get tough you need loyal fans. You can create an exceptional customer experience by wowing, surprising, and delighting your clients. Little unexpected touch points including sending a private FB message, a handwritten card, or calling and checking in can help build that loyalty.
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. 🙂
Dream big, but do it one step at a time.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
We have a free FB Community at:
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Thanks for including me. My hope is to inspire others who are working toward becoming a Founder or CEO.