Tim Green of TeamUp: “Communicate openly and honestly”

Communicate openly and honestly. Customers might not always appreciate honesty and it might not win you that deal, but it will always come back to bite you if you do not act with integrity. As part of my series about the five things a business should do to create a Wow! customer experience, I had […]

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Communicate openly and honestly. Customers might not always appreciate honesty and it might not win you that deal, but it will always come back to bite you if you do not act with integrity.

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 Tim Green.

Tim Green is the Head of Marketing and Partnership at TeamUp, management software for fitness businesses whose goal is to offer their clients the best possible customer experience.

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?

As a child, I was always fascinated by business as it was part of my family background. I can remember being about 8 or 9 years old and knowing that it was what I wanted to do one day. I became fascinated by marketing and websites back in the heady days of the dotcom bubble.

I joined the founders of TeamUp when the company was in its infancy and have been part of the journey now for nearly 8 years.

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?

One that sticks out was a time when I was involved in the marketing for a brand called Young & Pure. It’s a natural cosmetics brand for teens. We printed a lot of banners for a big event with a lot of beautiful models. It was only when I stood back from the trade stand and looked from a distance that I realized “this does not look like we’re selling cosmetics”.

Lesson learned: you may think your message is easily understood by your audience but you have so much knowledge that you are assuming your audience does too. To get your marketing right it can’t be so mysterious that no-one knows what you are trying to say. Or, as in my case, they think you’re selling something completely different.

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 service isn’t essential for success in business. It is your business. Whatever your industry or service — you exist to serve customer needs. You might get away for a while with a bad experience if you have something unique or different, but you won’t be ahead for long if you don’t delight your audience.

Luckily it’s actually pretty easy to start building a great experience. It’s all about creating trust. You have surprisingly few opportunities to do this so it’s easy to start improving — and you should start today.

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 had an experience recently (well, a pre-pandemic kind of recently). I wanted to try a new fitness class at a local gym. I arrived at the start time of the class and was then asked to go to the front desk and sign in. The two staff behind the counter were chatting about something. I waited for them to finish and then said I wanted to sign up for the class. They said I needed to pay a drop-in fee. I said fine but it had said on the website it was a free trial. They went to check with someone. When they got back they agreed and said that it was free as long as I signed up for a membership. I said I would but asked if I could do it after the class. They went to check with someone again, returned, and then said yes. I went to the class and then the instructor said it was too late to join because I’d missed the warm-up. I ended up leaving without attending the class or buying a membership. And I never went back.

How easy would it be to improve that experience? Start with making sure your staff understand the offer. Welcome new customers with open arms. Make it easy to sign up online to cut down manual time wasted on nothing. Make payments easy to make. Give clear instructions. Be human.

Why do companies not see that this is their business? In my gym example, they think they are in the business of renting a building and buying equipment. They absolutely are not. They are there to help customers achieve their objectives and to make their experience the one that customers will return to have more of. In my example, they clearly fell short of this.

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?

More competition is certainly a driver. A certain level of experience quality becomes the accepted normality. Look at what Amazon has done for e-commerce. Every customer expects to be able to return products easily, get fast, free or cheap delivery, and be able to order from their phone. Competition changes the market.

There are other external pressures like regulation and the best companies will embrace that and go beyond the minimum expected.

Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?

At TeamUp, we have some incredible customers and they often recommend their peers to come and chat with us. One example I love is that we had a web design partner who recommended that a customer speak with us. They were struggling with a competitor and had taken 3 months to get their previous system set up. When they came to us we helped them extract their data, get set up, and be live within a few days.

We also recently had a customer reach out to us after seeing we were featured in an article. While doing the marketing for our customers isn’t technically part of our services she inquired if we could help point her in the right direction to help get more exposure for her business, and we were happy to do it. Not only was she then featured in a few online publications and able to share her story and business with some very happy to feature her websites, but we were also able to use our services to her as a case study and were also then featured for our efforts in helping her. It was a win-win for us both and now we have begun to help some of our other customers with marketing. Because we showed an interest in what our customer was interested in she trusted us and valued our help to her. She is also one of the first customers to always recommend TeamUp, which we couldn’t be more grateful for.

When our customers come to us looking for resources, if we don’t have them on hand, we do the work to make sure we can get them for them or create them. It’s one of the things we are most valued for.

Did that Wow! experience have any long term ripple effects? Can you share the story?

That same customer I mentioned above was one of the first customers we had in that particular segment of the market. They went on to recommend over 50 more customers and a partnership. We’re now the number one software in that particular segment.

Amazing customer experiences are a growth engine in themselves. If you serve your customers with integrity, good things will happen. It’s not a hack or a trick. It’s how to build a great business.

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.

In my experience the best customer experiences do not come from complicated things. Here is my action plan to create the perfect customer experience:

Communicate openly and honestly. Customers might not always appreciate honesty and it might not win you that deal, but it will always come back to bite you if you do not act with integrity.

It’s ok to not be perfect. There were many times in the early days of TeamUp that we didn’t have the best product on the market. We made up for it by helping customers navigate what we did have and then listening to them and improving.

Map out all your touch points. It’s not just your email campaigns. It’s every interaction your customer has with your business. Did they call and you weren’t there to pick up because you don’t work Saturdays? What happened next?

Listen to your customer voice. What words do your customers use to describe your business? Check out the Jobs To Be Done methodology. Understand what is going on in your customer’s world when they start looking for what you can help them with.

Hire the right people. Hire personable and friendly humans for your personable and friendly customer experience. Train them to be professional. Build processes that ensure that process is consistent.

(bonus) Be consistent. Everyone has a great example of a customer relationship that went well. Don’t kid yourself that this means you’ve solved your customer experience. It’s a long term process that needs investment of time and resources to get right. Until you’ve systematized that process to consistently deliver then you haven’t got a great customer 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?

Ask your customers where they get their information from and what prompted them to find you. Put energy into those processes. A great customer experience is a sales tool in itself. It never hurts to ask though.

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’d like to start a local small business revolution. I love what bookstore.org are doing to help small booksellers. Every time you buy from a local business you are supporting your local economy. You are putting food on a family’s table. You are generating employment. You are putting money into the hands of people who will then do the same and help grow a stronger community. There’s no point grumbling about globalization and the economy if we don’t take positive action to make a difference.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can reach me on Twitter on @TeamUpTim or get in touch via [email protected] You can also check out our TeamUp social media profiles here:

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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