MSMP 96: Justin Varuzzo on Putting Customers First
The proliferation of podcasts in all spheres means that occasionally one of my guests also hosts a podcast. My guest for this episode of the Mads Singers Management Podcast, Justin Varuzzo, hosts the Marketing and Service podcast. Here he interviews guests who share, through different techniques and strategies, his focus on exceptional customer service.
Justin shared several stories that illustrated something we instinctively know but don’t often ponder: the bar for customer service is so low that even a minimal effort will impress people. Justin shared that when asked, most people can’t even come up with three exceptional customer service experiences. While that’s bad for our society as a whole, it’s a great opportunity for businesses to shine and to build strong long-term relationships with customers.
I really agreed with this and I shared the importance of adding 24-hour chat support to e-commerce websites in an increasingly globalized economy. While some people mistakenly consider such chat support to be a luxury, the reality is that it’s often the difference between someone placing an order and someone not placing an order and we have often seen for ourselves the jump in sales after chat support was added.
Justin also noted the people sometimes miss the basics when looking for some special hack to promote their businesses. One of those basics is making sure that you claim your Google My Business account and make sure that all of the information is correctly filled out. This can make a difference to your SEO in general and local SEO in particular.
One of the maintenance tasks in Google My Business is responding to reviews and Justin noted that he’s seen far too many solopreneurs, in particular, take negative reviews personally. As a result, they tend to respond inappropriately, for all the world to see. I agreed, and added that a negative review can sometimes turn out to be a positive thing! The whole world can see your response and if you do it right, people can and will still do business with you. In fact, some of the biggest brand advocates we’ve seen once left a bad review...which takes us back to how we kicked off the episode: talking about the lifetime value of customers and doing what is necessary to keep customers happy rather than take the chance of losing them.
Some customers deserve more attention than others...these are the “whales” that keep your business afloat. Justin advocates doing something nice for them on a regular basis. It’s just one more way to stand out in a global marketplace.
I really appreciate Justin’s customer-oriented approach, and I think you will too!
Key Learning Points:
1. Justin explains his focus on the customer journey - 2:53
2. Justin talks about his goals in building a relationship with clients - 4:10
3. Justin shares a fascinating story about customer service experiences - 8:28
4. Mads discusses the rising importance of 24-hour chat support - 13:30
5. Justin notes the importance of warranty in a purchase decision - 18:30
6. Justin warns against the danger of taking negative reviews personally - 24:20
7. Mads explains what a great opportunity negative reviews can be - 25:10
8. Justin advocates doing something nice for the “whales” in your business - 27:40
9. Justin explains a mistake many make on employee evaluations - 30:33