Listen to Frontline Magic Podcast:
By the time you’ve called lawn care providers, found a good price, been let down by the team who didn’t turn up, and then found someone else to finally mow the lawn, the grass has grown another 6 inches!
What if there was an easier way to get the job done well, first time? Bryan Clayton, CEO and co-founder of the GreenPal app, has invested years into looking after gardens all over the US - and also - growing a very special breed of customer service excellence.
After selling his own successful lawn care business, Brian wasn’t ready to hang up his gardening boots. With 15 years of knowledge, at the time, he knew that he could play a role in innovating and simplifying the process for customers to find a reliable provider, and support those providers to grow their businesses much faster. Brian caught up with us recently to share some top tips on how to create the very best customer service, and inspire a nationwide team.
Know your purpose
GreenPal employees live out the company virtues every day through company routines and habits – the most important of which is interacting with their customers and vendors.
“Values are written on a whiteboard. Virtues are things that you do. Firsthand experience closes the gap between customer logic and company logic - what the customer wants vs what the company thinks they want.”
Yes, the operational processes and routines are important in getting the job done – but Brian says “all of that almost doesn't matter if you're not embodying the purpose and virtues and constantly reiterating them,” – because without that focus and buy-in, how can you expect the team to be invested in innovation and improvements to support vendor achievements, and the success of the business?
Use feedback as your R&D department
By making it super easy for people to talk to you, and giving them clear company guardrails, you are giving them the opportunity to create wow moments – and you’ll be surprised where those ideas can take you… and how effective a $5 dog bone can be!
“GreenPal offers value and convenience to homeowners – connecting the buyer to the seller. But our why is the success of our vendors. If homeowners get a high five, then the vendors get a hug.”
Creating value… for discontent customers
Brian shares a quote from Jeff Bezos:
“One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent. Their expectations are never static – they go up. It’s human nature.”
Innovation is key for success – because change is constant, including customer expectations for how you can add value to their life. Not delivering enough value will be picked up in metrics pretty quickly!
“We make it really simple for anybody that uses our products to talk to us, so we’re always very certain what the next three or four things we need to work on are. A constant focus on innovation means we’ve never been at a loss as to what to do next.”
Every day is a school day
So many established, great leaders acknowledge the mistakes they made along the way and what they learned to get to where they are now – so why not take the time to learn from them too?
“If you're doing business well, you're growing, and should completely evolve every three to five years. That's one of the beautiful things about business - it makes you want to level up and grow.”
Brian encourages leaders to allocate time in the week to invest in become a good leader and tells us that he has “Probably watched a million hours of YouTube over the years, learning from hundreds of mentors.”
“Your living room must become a classroom, or your car a mobile classroom, because you're always listening and trying to learn from leaders to understand your leadership style and how are you going to implement that into your business.”
The final cut on creating frontline magic:
- Make it as easy as possible for your customer to communicate with you.
Remember that feedback is a gift - it's not happening to you, it's happening for you.
- Align your company purpose and incentives
Success is based on everyone wanting to provide great value and service for the customer.
- Your brand is nothing more than a promise.
Think of your brand as a bank account – all the planning and strategy that deposits into the account won’t stop the brand equity withdrawals made by the customer who you didn’t look after…