Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball

Top 3 Customer Experience Tips with Renae Gonzalez

February 03, 2020 Julie Ball Episode 11
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Top 3 Customer Experience Tips with Renae Gonzalez
Chapters
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Top 3 Customer Experience Tips with Renae Gonzalez
Feb 03, 2020 Episode 11
Julie Ball

#011- In this episode, Julie is interviewing her right-hand gal, her side-kick Renae Gonzalez. Renae is the Director of Customer Experience at Sparkle Hustle Grow. She is giving her top 3 tips for creating an amazing customer experience for your subscription box subscribers.

Links:

Sparkle Hustle Grow
Subscription Box Bootcamp
Cratejoy

Show Notes Transcript

#011- In this episode, Julie is interviewing her right-hand gal, her side-kick Renae Gonzalez. Renae is the Director of Customer Experience at Sparkle Hustle Grow. She is giving her top 3 tips for creating an amazing customer experience for your subscription box subscribers.

Links:

Sparkle Hustle Grow
Subscription Box Bootcamp
Cratejoy

Intro by Julie:

So you want to launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place! I'm Julie Ball, a subscription box coach and your host here at Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs that want to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper and let's have some fun.

Julie:

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box business owners. My goal is to help reduce the overwhelm of starting your own subscription box business. So most episodes, I will teach you on a specific topic that you'll need to know about, especially in the early stages. Well, this is the very first episode where I'm interviewing someone else. This will really take you behind the scenes as Sparkle Hustle Grow. Today, I'm interviewing my right hand gal, my ride or die and Sparkle Hustle Grow's Director of Customer Experience, Renae Gonzalez. Yay Renae! Welcome to the podcast.

Renae:

Yay! Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to talk to you and talk to all the listeners too.

Julie:

Alright! So let's start with a little backstory. So Renae and I, years and years ago, back in January, what was it? 2017 we met through an event called the Boss Mom retreat. The Boss Mom's group is primarily a Facebook group of mom entrepreneurs that are there to help inspire each other, ask questions that have to do with, you know, mom life, but also business. And so there was this retreat in San Diego in January 2017 and when I went to it, I did not know a single soul. And then I met Renae where we quickly became friends and we spent lots of time together at that event. And then we, you know, after that, she subscribed to Sparkle Hustle Grow. And that was one of the things I love about live events is that you come out with new friends, you come out with new ideas, but you also can come out with sales and new customers. So she became a customer. And then fast forward a couple months later, I was looking for someone to help me with my business. She was available for that type of work. And so I hired her and it's just been this wonderful relationship. We're what, three years into it now, and I could not be happier with having you on the team. So for our listeners now it's time for you guys to get to know her. Renae, can you please tell our listeners just a little bit about yourself and your business background?

Renae:

Yes, absolutely! So I'm ,like Julie mentioned, in 2007 I met her at this retreat. So at that time I was a brick and mortar business owner. I owned a boutique. I had been a business owner for six years at that time. So I started my own business, a brick and mortar in our downtown area. And in 2011 I had a daughter, one daughter at the time who was just turning a year and decided like a lot of people do. I think when they're in the beginning of motherhood that, um, I needed to make a shift. I was a kindergarten teacher and I didn't like the idea of leaving my daughter alone or, and going to work every day. So I was trying to find something that I could do and still involve her. So I opened a children's boutique. We are a party place too, and I had lots of fun and it was amazing.

Speaker 2:

And then as 2016, 2017 rolled around, I began to become more involved in Facebook groups and was looking for that next thing for my business and really found out something that I didn't even know before. That people were running their businesses completely online. So I really wanted a taste. Yeah. I had no clue. I, I think I kinda jumped into entrepreneurship not knowing anything anyways. And as right as I evolved and my business evolved, I was like, how do I get a piece of this online world? And as Julie knows, I like to travel and I, so the thought of being remote and running your business from wherever was definitely appealing. So that is kind of what enticed me into the Boss Mom retreat. I knew I also went into it not knowing any soul, so I knew no one, was totally outside of my comfort zone. Yes. And I feel like in hindsight now, looking back three years, the best decision I made for my business and for myself was really putting myself out there. But at the time I thought I was going to grow my business and transition it on to give myself a little more freedom. But um, but as we know, three years later, it completely transitioned my business to closing that and now working for you, for Sparkle Hustle row and everything we do.

Julie:

Oh my gosh. And it's been so fun. Renae literally started out with what, like five hours a month maybe. And then as I saw how growing my team could help me get out of my own way and you know, it helped us scale the business. We continue to grow, um, Renae's hours and her involvement in it and now she is in charge of um, all of our customer service and our social media. Um, a lot of the other things too, she's got her hands deep in like our email marketing and product development. So she is seriously my right hand gal. So let's talk about customer experience because as I just mentioned, you are in charge of that for Sparkle Hustle Grow. So can you give our, our listeners three tips. What are your top three tips for creating an amazing customer experience for their box subscribers?

Renae:

Yes, absolutely! So I think too, so I have three tips, but as you were just talking, it made me think, um, whether people who are listening, whether they're doing this themselves or looking for someone else to do it, I think something that makes our, our partnership really good is that I am also our target market as you are. So I feel like if you, whether you're deciding to do customer experience yourself or finding that right person to do it for you, um, it doesn't need to be necessarily someone in your target market, but look for someone who has that passion that you have about what you're doing. Cause I feel like that's something, and we joke about it too. You and me, Julie, like I get that mama bear feeling too about business. So I feel like if you're on the hunt as a business owner for someone to handle your customer experience for you, um, so kind of like added bonus tip is find someone or have that person be someone who really cares about your customers and your business as much as you do too.

Julie:

I agree you have a lot of the same personal values as me and you get the brand voice because it's a voice that you really resonate with and that you can use naturally. Um, so those are really, really good tips. And before we go into those, those three tips about customer experience, listeners just know that, um, I'll have Renae on again and we'll talk more specifically about customer, customer service, you know, responding to people. We'll talk more about building community. These are some of the things that Renae does on a daily basis with Sparkle Hustle Grow. So she'll be a regular on the show. Alright, onto the tips, Renae.

Renae:

Alright, tip number one is treat people the way you'd like to be treated. And I think it is so simple and something when you think of customer service that um, should almost go unsaid, but it really can't. You have to constantly remind yourself. And I think, um, me being in the entrepreneur world and customer service world for now over a decade and just working for Sparkle Hustle Grow for three years, it is something that I constantly remind myself too because, um, your first glance sometimes you think like, Oh, like why are they frustrated with this? Or why this? But then you have to realize like, yeah, it did take their, like their package may have took longer than normal or they're really excited to get something. So, um, just definitely treating people the way you'd like to be treated as something that should always be at the forefront when you're, when you're handling customer service moments.

Julie:

I think (that's tip number one), yeah, that is such a good point. And I think as the business owner too, um, for our listeners who are thinking about hiring someone, I don't know about you, but I take a lot of things really personally and everyone says, "Oh, it's business. It's not personal.". But when you run a business and you put a lot of heart and soul and time and effort into it, it's hard for it not to be personal. And so, you know, a couple of years ago before you were doing all of the customer service or managing the other people that help us out, um, I would have to sit and like breathe a few times. I would have to rewrite an email four or five times to make sure it was coming across right. Um, because, you know, it's so funny, Renae, you say this sometimes, but like we get butt hurt, you know, like, like if someone is not like being nice or if they're using all caps and you've tried really hard to make them happy and you still cannot make them happy, sometimes it does go deep and it hurts. And so, um, I would encourage everyone who is ready to scale or to kind of get out of their own way. This is one of those moments. This is one of those things that is a great place to delegate early in your business because you can kind of take that personal side and, and use that heart to build the box and to build the experience rather than answering emails all day long.

Renae:

Absolutely! Yes, definitely agree. And then, um, so transitioning into my second tip too, so sort of along the same lines, um, some, but something that is a little added value that we like to do at Sparkle Hustle Grow is to always find ways to surprise and delight our customers. So whether it is in the form of online and or in the box and throwing something new in there or we do it too with customer service. Um, a big way we like to do it is the handwritten notes. So we'll um, and it can be both positive or, um, a lot of the times, both of myself and Julie will look for customers who unsubscribe, but they've been around for awhile and we'll reach out to them and thank you. Even though they're leaving us and they're technically no longer our subscribers, we still want to reach out to them and thank them for that time they spent with us too. So I think finding those little extra ways to go above and beyond that customers, whether they be potential customers or customers that left or your current customers, something that they wouldn't expect. Um, you've got to delight them as much as possible.

Julie:

Yes, absolutely! It was whenever someone cancels, um, mostly I would think most softwares do this, but Cratejoy is what we use. So Cratejoy allows them to tell us why they canceled, but it also shows us how many renewals that they've had. And sometimes they'll come through and I'll see 24 renewals. Like this person has been with us for two years. I think that definitely merits a handwritten note, a thank you. Or you could even do it as an email and thank them. Say you've been with us for two years and I just wanted to say thank you. It goes so far, but you know, snail mail, it's, it's, it's less, um, prevalent these days. So it's more of a surprise when it happens.

Renae:

Absolutely! And we know in the subscription box industry that people like getting snail mail cause that's what they're, they're in it for us. So even just a little, even if it's not a full blown box or extra item, that little extra note goes a long way.

Julie:

Yup. I agree.

Renae:

All right. And then moving onto my last tip. So this is something that I think we will talk probably more about in other episodes too. But um, but something I call the sandwich method and it is something that I deal with when I'm writing emails or even just dealing through social media with customers is I always start a conversation. I'm validating their feelings and with a positive when I'm dealing with an email. So let's say for example, they come up, they email us into our system, they're upset about something, they had a broken item. Um, I always approach it with this sandwich method. So you validate their feelings and start it with a positive and then you go into a solution. Like a lot of the times for us, we'll replace the item or get them in touch with whoever they need to get in touch with and then always ending it again with uh, a positive reinforcement and something touch even if it's like as simple as enjoy the rest of your week. But yeah, and it wraps back up into that first tip of treat people the way you want to be treated. And it's such an elementary idea, but I feel like it really goes a long way when you're validating their feelings and you try to get a customer leaving happier than when you, when they first wrote you that email.

Julie:

I love it. The sandwich method and I think, um, without even knowing what you were calling it, I use that often as well. And one of my favorite ways to close out an email with the positive is "Thank you for giving us a chance to make it right". (Absolutely!) You know? Yeah. I think a lot of people automatically think in this day and age that a, that they're going to get bad customer service, that they are going to have to go to social media and you know, air their dirty laundry before they get a resolution. And I want people to know that when they email our support or they reach out to us for support that they are giving us a chance to make it right. So I just always want to thank them for that.

Renae:

Absolutely! Yup.

Julie:

Awesome! Well those tips were great. I hope the listeners get a lot out of them. And um, I wanted to ask you, Renae, you know, since you've been in this industry for a couple of years now, you travel with me, we go to events like the Sub Summit and other marketing-type events. So what would you say is one of your favorite things about working in the subscription box industry?

Renae:

All right, so I knew this question was coming and I wrote something down, but then as we were talking, I kind of, I, and just now I shifted it. So I...

Julie:

Tell us both. Tell us both.

Renae:

I was just going to say normal fashion. I'm going to go against the rules and give two answers. So my first answer, my, my selfish answer is, so I love getting subscription boxes as well and I get multiple a month. So I think as selfish answer, as I love being a customer for subscription boxes, cause even for Sparkle Hustle Grow, I know the things that are coming and it's still, I get the same feeling our subscribers get. I get excited when I see our pink box. I get delighted when I open it. So really getting the box and, and using it as a business write off and uh, and something that I continue to learn from that same experience our customers get as one of my favorite things. And then my second answer to my favorite thing about working for subscription boxes and specifically Sparkle Hustle Grow is the community and the people, me and, and um, no matter what the subscription box you're getting. You get that because you enjoy that thing. And there's other, in our case, thousand other women who also enjoy that thing. So those are your people. When you subscribe to a subscription box. You're subscribing to be part of your community with your people. So I feel like yourself and Amy, our whole team have become some of my closest friends and it's definitely because we have like similar interests and we are all in a similar area hanging out. So the answer two.

Julie:

I love that. Thank you for sharing that. I think it's so important to find your tribe and that's one of the reasons I started Sparkle Hustle Grow was I was looking for my community because I feel like as a, as a woman and as an entrepreneur, I thrive in community. So we just built one instead.

Renae:

Absolutely! And regardless of what your subscription box is, you're finding your people or finding each other. So yeah!

Julie:

I agree. And for the record, I also subscribe to plenty of other subscription boxes and I mean I'm, I'm using my air quotes but I use it for market research, um, because I need to feel those feelings of delight or disappointment so that I can really use that to help me pick better items. Pick the right trainings, um, really energize the community. So I want, I use it as a way to kind of, um, remind myself what it feels like to get, you know, excited about getting that tracking email, "It's coming in three days!", You know, it gets so excited and then that feeling of good or bad. So I agree. Well, I hope you guys enjoyed this little interview with Renae, our Director of Customer Experience. As I mentioned, we'll have her on again and we'll dive deeper into some of these other topics. But if you loved this episode, please subscribe and give us a great review. In that way, it gives us a chance to reach more people. So just wanted to say thank you, Renae, for joining me today and thank you all the listeners as always for spending this time with us. And we'll see you in the next episode.