Ep 24 – How to Best Serve Your Client

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Mike Miller  00:30

Yay. All right. So welcome to this episode where we’re gonna have, like, really interesting discussion, I think.

Shelly Miller  00:40


Mike Miller  00:40

So you know, it’s partly innovation. You were talking about innovation, and it is partly innovation. It’s also about your customer.

Shelly Miller  00:54

 Yes, it is.

Mike Miller  00:56

At the end of the day, it’s all about your customer.

Shelly Miller  00:59

It is it always is.

Mike Miller  01:00

Yeah, absolutely. So I want to start this off, we’re gonna kick it off.

Shelly Miller  01:07

All right!

Mike Miller  01:07

A little bit of basically, the Wall Street Journal did a interview with Elon Musk. And he was talking about a lot of things, you know, moving from California to Texas, that kind of stuff. He made some really interesting points.

Shelly Miller  01:28

He did.

Mike Miller  01:28

But one of the points he made is what I want to play. It’s about two minutes. It’s almost three minutes. And I think that’s the best way to start, because we can riff on that afterwards.

Shelly Miller  01:40

I think that’s a great idea.

Mike Miller  01:41

Okay. Awesome. So here’s Ilan,

Elon Musk from a WSJ interview 01:45

View the full interview here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGm4S3t0jro

“CEOs in corporate America focused enough on on product improvement? I think the answer is no. And I think generally, my advice to, or my recommendation would really be spend less time on on finance, spend less time in conference rooms, less time on PowerPoint, and more time, just trying to make your product as amazing as possible. I think there might be too many MBAs running a company does the MBA Association of America, which I think is okay, maybe not that great. that there should be more focused on on the product or service itself. less time on board meetings, less time on on financials, the financials come as a result, like you say, like, what’s the point of view of a company at all. And again, why even have companies it’s like a company is assembly of people gathered together, create a product or service and deliver that product or service. And sometimes people lose sight of that a company is has no value in and of itself, it only has value to the degree that is effective allocator of resources to create goods and services that are of greater value than the cost the inputs, this thing we call profit is just just should just mean over time that the value of the output is worth more than the than the inputs. I just, honestly would recommend to to any anyone listening, that just spend less time in meeting rooms, less time on, on, on PowerPoint presentations, less time in a spreadsheet, and more time on the factory floor, more time with customers. And honestly, a lot of people out there already doing that. But I just like, I just urge people to say like, hey, step back a second and say, is your product as awesome as it could be? Probably not? What could you do to make it make it great. And, you know, it’s a intellect thing about innovation. Like maybe it has to be like breakthrough innovation, I don’t think necessarily has to be breakthrough innovation, it just like, like, you know, just make your product better. If this is the thing that really matters, it’s not some mysterious thing. It’s just basically just be like, an absolute perfectionist about the product that you make the service that’s provided. Seek negative feedback from all quarters, you know, from customers from from people who aren’t customers, like, hey, okay, what do you what can we make this? How do we make this better? And I’ve had this conversation at Tesla a few times, where it’s like, we’re trying to think, okay, we don’t get it at times. Like, we don’t love this product, but we think others will love it. You know, that’s not really how it works. If you don’t love it, don’t expect those will eat.”

Mike Miller  04:25

Yeah, it’s interesting.

Shelly Miller  04:28

It is

Mike Miller  04:29

so yes. So really what he’s talking about, I mean, think about that. What is a business? A business is it so like, from the finance side, you’re like, you’re an entrepreneur would think, well, it’s for me to make money. But really, it’s to solve a problem that the customer is having.

Shelly Miller  04:50

Yes, it is.

Mike Miller  04:52

Yes. So if it doesn’t solve the problem that the customer is having, then it’s

Shelly Miller  04:57

it’s or you don’t like it and believe in it,

Mike Miller  04:59

right? Then it’s a crap business and you need to get out of product. Yeah. So you know, how do you serve the customer? The best that you can? How do you give them and deliver exceptional results exceptional performance, a product that’s better than everyone else’s a service that’s better than any other service that they can get? You want to do it profitably, that doesn’t necessarily mean inexpensive. I mean, you can go many different places with this, and he went towards innovation, right. And when you think about it, you know, Philip Kotler has been saying this for 20 years, that marketing should drive innovation. Because marketing has the, and really, it’s sales and marketing.

Shelly Miller  05:49


Mike Miller  05:50

Because, but Kotler is, you know, a marketing professor from Harvard. So, but he, he made the statement that you should find out the issues that customers having, and build a product for them.

Shelly Miller  06:10

Yes, it makes the most sense.

Mike Miller  06:14

Yeah, it does.

Shelly Miller  06:15

That also puts you in the frame of er, if you’re doing that, which you should be, you’re also always in front of and with your customers, because every product you should make or think about making you should be talking to your customers about and the more you talk to them, the more products you come up with.

Mike Miller  06:34

Yeah, so Exactly. And the better products you’d come up with, because you’re trying so if you’re if you’re oriented around helping the customer,

Shelly Miller  06:43

Mm hmm.

Mike Miller  06:44

Right, then you would build the products or the services that they need. And you would ensure that they’re the best that the best option, the best that they could get. Because it’s not really your competition that you’re worried about. It’s your customer, you’re worried about science, different focus.

Shelly Miller  07:01

It is.

Mike Miller  07:02

And it reminds me and you may go, What are you talking about, but it reminds me of the Lee Iacocca story, where he’s walking the factory. And these guys on the floor, they’re like, you know, this car is really strong. And we don’t even need a roof. Like we could take the roof off of it and have a whole nother model. And he goes, get a get a chop saw and take the roof off of it. Let’s drive it around and see if girls look at us.

Shelly Miller  07:31

That’s awesome.

Mike Miller  07:32

Yeah. And girls did look at them.

Shelly Miller  07:35

And they and the car work and the car worked.

Mike Miller  07:37

And they made it another car. Why? Because it was good for the customers because the customers wanted to, you know, be in a they wanted girls to look at them.

Shelly Miller  07:48

Right, yes

Mike Miller  07:51

So and then you think about it. It’s really all around service, as well. And I know that’s a leap, you know, we’re focusing on the customer. But why are we focused on the customer, because we want them to get the best value and the best product, the best service that solves their problem. But part of solving their problem is like, especially in a world or or a market where there’s a lot of competition, like manage services providers, where there’s a lot of competition, how do you say, okay, we all sell the same thing, but we’re better.

Shelly Miller  08:33


Mike Miller  08:33

We’re focused on you.

Shelly Miller  08:35

Mm hmm. Right

Shelly Miller  08:36

How do we provide the best customer service?

Mike Miller  08:39

Bam, yes, the way to foot the way to separate yourself from your competition is not just in your marketing, but also in the service that you deliver. Right.

Shelly Miller  08:49

Right. And, and I was just reading that some of the largest software companies that by revenue, do do the best have the best help desk. And that’s why good customer service, they don’t outsource it. Most of them were I noticed and outsource their Help Desk either. You know, they they wanted to make sure their customer got help quickly and the best help that they could pay for

Mike Miller  09:19

Right. Exactly. That reminds me of another thing. Elon Musk said and that Musk said in that interview. And it was he was talking about government and how they’re really like a monopoly that they if they were just referees it would be okay, but they’re not they actually want to play.

Shelly Miller  09:39


Mike Miller  09:41

And that as when they play they’re a monopoly. And the reason that we need a lot of competition and not monopolies is Win, win win. You get like a company that’s really big, like Comcast. Uh huh, right. Yes. You call them and you’re like, you know, I’m not happy with my service. They do like a Joe Biden will don’t vote for me or we’ll go somewhere else. There’s nowhere else to go.

Shelly Miller  10:10

Right Yeah, there’s not enough choices, though. So they get to be flakes and lame, basically, exactly. Because they don’t care if they lose you, you’re no longer valuable to them.

Mike Miller  10:20

And they don’t give any kind of good. They don’t have to give good service, right? Because there’s no competition, right? Like an Elan Musk said this as well. If you go to the DMV, and you’re not happy, who you’re gonna complain to, right?

Shelly Miller  10:34

Darn it, there is no one you’re going to complain, dude. Oh,

Mike Miller  10:38

there’s not. And so, and that’s a problem, because we need people to separate themselves. With service. Ya know, if everything’s to say, if you will all sell the same products, then it’s the service that separates you

Shelly Miller  10:54

right. Well, and it’s the service that can save you. Right. Um, you know, I’ve also been reading about a couple of things with COVID. Customer Service in general, has went down. Yeah. And because people are using it as an excuse, yeah. which is unfortunate, which has turned people into flakes in that respect as well. So, you know, and they said that the 40% of businesses are not going to meet their projections, and they’re struggling to figure out, you know, how can we meet our projections? Well, it may sound really simple, but one way that is very simple is to provide better customer service. Yeah, it doesn’t matter what you do. It doesn’t matter if you’re retail doesn’t matter if you’re an MSP a software company. If you have good customer service, you do set yourself apart. That is very important.

Mike Miller  11:48

Yes, exactly. So yeah, actually, we went out to eat the other day. And I won’t say where, but the person was taking the order, and they did it in the rudest way.

Shelly Miller  12:00

Yeah, they did.

Mike Miller  12:01

And I’m not gonna I probably won’t go back. Because it was like, offensive to me. It was. So what do you want?

Shelly Miller  12:08

Right. And and that’s a good point, too. Especially, who’s what’s one of the industries struggling really bad right now? restaurants? And who is, you know, we’re kind of getting to this point where we’re all kind of worried we’re gonna have a shutdown again? Well, they are, if we do, restaurants are definitely going to be wanting to be shut down. So it’s, you can see how that’s a huge problem. If you have horrible customer service, while you are able to be open in your restaurant. That’s really unfortunate.

Mike Miller  12:36

Yeah, you

Shelly Miller  12:38

need to you need to bump up your game in that too. If you push that up, I have a feeling that you will also see your sales not slide. You know, if you’re worried about the, you know, where we are in our economy, go and keep providing that great customer service. keep letting your customers know how important that they are to you.

Mike Miller  13:01

Exactly. Exactly. And you know, if you think that it’s, you know, Mike and Shelly are just saying things that are nice to do, but you don’t really need to do it.

Shelly Miller  13:13

No, you need to do it

Mike Miller  13:14

Yeah, well, look at the story of Joe Girard.

Shelly Miller  13:17

Mm hmm. And I love that story.

Mike Miller  13:19

The number one car salesman in the world according to the the

Shelly Miller  13:25

Guinness Book of Records,

Mike Miller  13:26

yes. Yes. Book. Yes. Right. So, uh, so here’s, here’s this guy, right? In the 60s, or 70s. Maybe it was the 80s. It was a while back. Mm hmm. But anyway, he was in rural Ohio town. Yeah. Not a lot of people. How is he the number one car salesman in the world? Right, right. So here’s how he did it. When you came to, to purchase from him, he had a bar in his desk. And he he got everyone he gave everyone drinks. He had candy for the kids and toys and coloring books and crayons. He gave the kids something to do. It was like a party. Now he had colored water or tea, right? So it looked like he was drinking bourbon or something. But but he wasn’t. And so he was really entertaining to people. And he told them that if they and he sold Chevrolet’s,

Shelly Miller  14:26

yes, Chevrolet’s,

Mike Miller  14:27

like they were Cadillacs. Yes. Right. And he, he treated people with white glove service. So one of the things that he would tell them is if you ever have a problem with your car, and you bring it in for service, I want you to tell me because I’m going to take care of it for you. And he always did. So like if you had to bring your car in for service, you would you wouldn’t take it to the service. People. You take it to Joe. Joe would bring it back Joe would bring back there, Joe would get it taken care of as fast as possible. And he he’d have it turned around. And yeah, you’d have it back to you. And he was on top of it.

Shelly Miller  15:09

And think about that, what great customer service. Yeah, I mean, it also puts something in your brain, like, as he does all of this for you. And he’s telling you, you ever need service come back, you know, you ever want, it makes you go, Oh, this guy sells cars. Like he’s not gonna, I’m gonna buy from this guy. And then, you know, two or three months later, or maybe or a year later, when I need service isn’t gonna be here. Right. I mean, that’s a lot of salespeople. They’re, you know, he, he’s basically in it to win it until the end, you know, I’m a salesperson, and I’m going to make every experience great. So that and then he keeps contacting you. He kept contacting people, right. So then you bought your next car, or your kids car,

Mike Miller  15:51

or you know, he was he was amazing. He was he would stop by if they weren’t busy. He’d stopped by your office or your house. Take you to lunch.

Shelly Miller  16:00

Yeah, your car was his Yeah.

Mike Miller  16:02

How’s he cars? Well, your car? Yeah, exactly. Hey, and what I brought the new version of your car to take you to lunch? it? Yeah. Yeah. And he, he would take a picture of himself with all the people who bought the cars, and he put them on his wall. It was Polaroids at that time, but he would put them on the wall love it. And it’s great. And he made a family and his business like exploded. And it was mostly from referrals. Because he took care of these people. And they’re like, you want to you want to buy a car, you got to talk to Joe. He’s amazing. He’ll take care of you see, he’ll take care of you.

Shelly Miller  16:40

Right. So it’s the it’s the perfect customer service story. So a lot of people, when we go through scripts or help people with their marketing, they’ll say, when we get to their customer service, most people like to tell you Oh, it’s great. Yeah, we’re doing good. No problem there. There’s not a problem there. Right. But you look at their reviews or you go listen to their call center for a little while. And it could be a lot better. Yes, no, don’t don’t just especially now, basically all the time, but especially now, it you know, it’s a little uncertain. If you bump that up, you keep that bumped up your customer service top notch. You’ll make it through.

Mike Miller  17:20

Yeah, I agree. It’s it’s the thing that no one can take from you. Exactly. It’s you know, it’s like the I forget who it was, I think it was Richard Pryor said this may sound stupid, right? So it’s a joke. But he basically said, I hate it when guys are like I take care of my kids. I take care of them. And because you’re supposed to, you know, that’s like the thing that you’re supposed to do. That’s like, number one. You can’t, you can’t go I’m good because I take care of my kids, right? You’re supposed to do that customer services the exact same way it is. And that’s why I think what Elan Musk said was so important, because he’s saying, look, we’re focused on the wrong things. We’re focused on finance, we should be focused on the customer.

Shelly Miller  18:17


Mike Miller  18:18

right. Right. We should be making them happy. They’ll tell us what they like what they don’t like. They’ll tell us if we’re doing a good job or a bad job. Exactly. And serving them. We can’t go wrong.

Shelly Miller  18:33

Right. Right. We’ve even had people say, Well, I have bad reviews that I’ve had a couple bad reviews. Yeah, yes. So perform great customer service. Exactly. takes care of it. Yeah. Yeah. Make sure you’re right there, right back to that person.

Mike Miller  18:50

Exactly right

Shelly Miller  18:51

on it. Hey, what what went wrong? Tell me, here’s my email, send me an email, let me know,

Mike Miller  18:55

right. And even if let’s say you go, if this product doesn’t work, I’ll give you a full refund. Right? Some people even said, if it doesn’t work for you, I’ll give you double your money back. And then someone goes, it’s not working for me. So then they go out and they give them double their money back and they get a picture of them handing the money to the person. You know, showing that look, I will give you double your money back proof. Here. It is evidence.

Shelly Miller  19:22

Yeah. great customer service. Yeah.

Mike Miller  19:24

Because we care about the customer. More than we care about our profits, more than we care about anything else. Hopefully that didn’t make it a loud sound. I just did the microphone. Alright. Sorry. But you got to care about your customer first and foremost. You do. Yeah. And so that number one, right. If you do that, if they’re your your litmus test for if you’re doing a good job or not. Right, then you’ll be successful.

Shelly Miller  19:58

Sure. Well, And you can find out how good you’re doing by talking to your customers.

Mike Miller  20:03

Exactly. So yeah, maybe take him to lunch?

Shelly Miller  20:07

Maybe? Or maybe if you can’t go to lunch right now. Have a zoom call. Exactly. Send him a little candy gram and call him up. Hey, candy grams on the way. Hey, let me ask you a question. Flowers.

Mike Miller  20:19

Yeah, exactly. Um, well see, and that’s what cracks me up. Some people go. I just don’t know who my target market is. I think it’s these people, but I don’t know why they would buy from me. Well, it’s the same kind of thing. You know, like, call him up. Talk to them. Get them on a zoom call, take them to lunch. If you can’t take them to lunch, then tell them you’ll send him a $50 gift card. if they’ll spend 30 minutes on the phone with you. So you can ask him some questions and get some research. Yes, you know, best 50 bucks you’ll ever spend. It is. It is so. I mean, I think we’ve hit that pretty, pretty good. What

Shelly Miller  21:04

do you think just perform great customer service.

Mike Miller  21:06

Yeah, that’s that’s what needs to happen. focus on the customer. Always customer always first. Exactly. All right. Well, with that, hey, appreciate you watching and listening.

About Shelly Miller

Entrepreneur, marketer and social psychologist - I help you make the most of your business with marketing, online and offline.

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