28. Crushing Growth Goals With Hunter Boyle

28. Crushing Growth Goals With Hunter Boyle

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TRANSCRIPTION: THE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC SHOW PODCAST
with Mel Telecican (Customer-Centric Coach)

Episode 28. Crushing Growth Goals With Hunter Boyle
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You are listening to the customer centric show with Mel Telecican, where we talk with successful business owners and experts to share smart ways to attract more customers, profits and freedom by thinking about customers first. Now, here is your host Mel Telecican.
Mel: Hello and welcome to today’s show. My guest today is Hunter Boyle. He is a business builder, global adventurer, speaker and philanthropist. Hunter helps organizations optimize their sales marketing return on investment and GST that gets stuff done. He is passion for optimization. Content marketing has produced triple digit gain since the dot-com days. It has also fueled over 400 articles, webinars, workshops and podcasts ranging from entrepreneur and newsweek to marketing professionals, marketing shipper, kicks matrix, conversion excel and many more. His newest project is optimization co-pilot and as the name suggests it is about marketing strategy and content development ensuring that businesses get more growth from their online marketing and sales initiatives. I love the phrase on the website landing page it says let's crush your growth goals. That sounds very good. Good to have you with us today Hunter.
Hunter: Thank you so much Mel, it is pleasure to talk with you.
Mel: Now we start our show every time with an example of a business that you believe is customer centric and give us some reasoning for it. What’s yours?
Hunter: Well that’s a great question. I would say having been in Australia for all three months Mel, one that really stood out to me quite a bit has been the optics folks, when I was making a move here from Philadelphia, there is obviously a lot of different things to set up and getting setup with mobile, Wi-Fi and all that sort of things and we ran into some real issues with getting the Wifi going in our neighborhood or the area of Melbourne. So we were on a bit of backlog and it was a while for the Wi-Fi router to get here and Star Trek kept screwing up the delivery and meanwhile we were just chewing up bandwidth mobile plan but while star trek was not holding up the delivery side in days we are going by with was going into tons of couple of 100 dollars off this folks who were very good about trying to help us reverse the charges. They put their credit on there, they are trying to get the Wi-Fi router sorted. Went to the store and found out they couldn’t help us there but even the person in the store was very helpful in suggesting an alternative. So I am still not 100% clear on how this works but while they didn’t have a particular slot for us in their broadband at a time, we are able to go with a different provider but thanks to that store recommendation we were aware of that and were able to get that sorted. They did their best so stuck with them on their mobile. The short story to that one is it is complete night and day from a lot of what I was dealing with AT&T and COMCAST where I was illegitimately charged for services after I sort of stopped my contracts and I was on the phone and dealing with six different reps at a time to sort of get things sorted. It really stands apart for that reason. So my vote here at least in the short term goes to the office.
Mel: Oh that’s great. So when you saw them in store, it was about helping you find a solution even though it was not necessarily using their service is that right?
Hunter: Correct.
Mel: Yeah that’s brilliant. Good to hear. That’s great news. Can you give our audience a little bit of background about where you come from? You just moved from the states a few months ago as you said, share with us your successes and what has led you then starting your new business here?
Hunter: Yeah sure. Do you know the Beatle song, I will try and take a shortcut on that one because it is kind of a bizarre story. It is really combination of things starting to dropping at a high school and working 20 jobs. By age 18 going to a high school, there was a generalize scholarship, there is a semester in London, there was designing of magazine. So basically over the past 20+ years, I have had I don’t you maybe you at ADHD I am not sure exactly what you call it but a focus on working in content and design as well as sales and marketing in different capacities. So
Mel: Yeah I love it and thank you for explaining your background because when you said that when you first came back and you are working both of those opportunities were there for you and you actually filtered right through your life and now you are coming back to sort of full circle I guess to as you say co-pilot is a perfect name for it. You working on the ground closer with business owners so that you can get those results and love the measurement side of things definitely coming to play because not everyone is connecting back to measurements and making sure that you can track your return on investment.
Hunter: Yes definitely. I think analytics is one of the toughest area. A lot of companies, not just clients that I work with just I have seen for so many years I mean even google analytics is free, it used to be web trends or you core metrics or a lot of the older systems used to pay a fair amount but the google analytics became free and just became the number one platform, so many sites and businesses use that but they still aren’t using it to even to half of it’s potential. They know it is there, they can check it but I still work with organizations that they don’t know, you can set up these customers ports, you can do all these things and you can have them sent to you and you don’t have to keep going back all the time. Analytics is just one aspect, there are a whole bunch of different factors that work in similar ways. It is just really tricky to keep an eye on all of those things in the dashboard. So that’s another reason I thought of co-pilot for this new venture and it really works along those same lines to kind of help steer businesses and work directly with founders, entrepreneurs and leaderships to do a lot of the things that they can always do because they are focused on what is in front of them.
Mel: Yes absolutely and that’s the biggest obstacle. Just in the day to day operations right.
Hunter: Pretty much right.
Mel: You mentioned just before that when it comes to analytics there are areas where people are going to look. Are there any glaringly obvious one or two examples where you feel the easy things that people could be fixing or the easy areas that they be looking at to be able to get more information and to be able to make better choices going forward?
Hunter: I would say as I worked with a lot of e-commerce companies and clients. A lot of them have their goal setup. A lot of organizations that use google analytics maybe aren’t ecommerce. I find there are still few organizations that don’t use goals as effectively as they could. Either not setting them up or not having them as finely tuned as they could be. So I mean goals with google analytics are very rare rubber. You can look at your traffic number and those sort of things but when it comes to taking those extra steps in analytics and making sure you understand your conversion funnel, that’s where customer pads and goals really come to the forefront. Those are some of the big ones and then I still find sometimes as well a lot of times it is not with the analytics themselves but a lot of google does with its master tools, it can be pretty closely related as you see there is a lot of inner play. But sometimes we see that those opportunities are not there. So companies and clients wonder about SEO impact and these sort of things and some of the basics of getting maps and just a lot of other things within google. That aren’t necessarily being done and easy to do. So these are kind of things I keep discovering and talking about and helping clients understand. So those are two probably the biggest areas in there and it drills down in the most specific space on what type of site and those type of numbers but those two are a good starting point.
Mel: Yeah great and those analytics are constantly changing in terms of the new functionalities they offer to.
Hunter: Google analytics is almost completely different than it did a year and a half and two years ago. I mean they are constantly optimizing the tool itself. They are adding features and moving user interface around. Things that you may have been doing a year or two ago or if you are in that where you maybe check in couple of months recording and something like that by the time you got back there you are trying to figure out how to use these new advanced features. So yeah it definitely critical because that’s about half of your understanding of your customer base right. That’s your quantitating side and your analytics from what you see on the site combined with tools like click tracking or some session recording and those type of things and your quantitative side is the part where you are talking with your customers, you are getting the real feedback, you are using like the welcome series to ask them what you can be doing to help them and using social and paying attention and all that. So much of that really takes a lot of time. Founders and particularly entrepreneurs who are trying to run enterprise and focused on delivering the service and that kind of thing, it’s just almost impossible to keep all of that going and that’s really an important part that often gets left just by necessity but you know…
Mel: Yeah that makes perfect sense. You mentioned earlier before that your target market is small/medium sized business owners. Is that correct?
Hunter: Partly yeah. I work with pretty wide spectrum of clients but I definitely enjoy working with small or medium sized organizations.
Mel: Right. So when you think about your business compared to that competition then what is it that separates you? How are you client centric?
Hunter: Oh that’s great question. For me that often comes to probably two things. One being the emphasis on training and education. So not just providing the service but again the co-pilot metaphor really helping either solo entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs with small teams and the people on their teams really understand the processes and the approaches that are used in how and why they work so it is kind of that teaching manifest feeding for the lifetime thing. The other one would be a broader approach to what I consider growth optimization rather than just conversion rate optimization. I mean there are a lot of great friends of mine and a lot of fields that are focused on customer optimization as far as tenting and change of processes and that’s definitely a huge part of what I do. I find there a lot of the market tends to be very segmented by channels. So there are tons of different search engine optimization providers. That help with adverts and social media adverts. Then there are big full service agencies that do everything but a lot of time they tend to be too big for clients at this levels. So where I kind of fit in a little bit differently is I work across all of those different channels having experience with pretty much everyone that I have mentioned over the years. So that when you have small organizations that don’t just want to do SEO and the pay for drive a lot of traffic to their site but the site is not optimized for the conversions, rather than kind of putting all of the budget to the SEO or PPC or PR, but then not having the upside benefits of having a site that’s ready to capture all that and turn into RLI. I can work with clients across that spectrum and if they have a real opportunity of growth in any one of those channels, that’s where we can focus our efforts and move from channel to channel with a big contract and massive multiyear sort of contract and team like that and if it grows in scales and kind of agency partners that can work two side up alongside that. So it is sort of slightly different approach than kind of a typical consultant module and it fits well that in different background and I think a lot of different organization can really benefit from. So far the response has been really good.
Mel: That’s great and I like the idea of actually being looking at what your opportunities are as a post to focusing in those single areas as you mentioned before. Very good. Let’s talk about effective marketing campaigns that you have been involved in. Can you give an insight into what made it successful and just how big the result was?
Hunter: Yeah actually I have gone to different campaigns and thinking about the common threat between a couple of these, it really is more so the strategy than some of the individual tactics. Tactics are always important but what I found has really worked very well in couple of instances for me has been the approach to co-marketing and you know sometimes organization call that channel partners and partnership marketing and relationship marketing and whatever label you choose to use from that. It has been the area that I have focused on for the past few years to great effect at marketing experiments where I led the content marketing. We actually worked in different channels and I put the strategy in the play where we took the webinars from a very much in-house internal focused approach to bring on a lot of different guests and partners and within a year we have increased the audience by a 185%. So by the weekly webinars we had an average of over a 600 listeners. This is still around 2008. It was certainly good time to take webinar marketing upto high level and then in conjunction with that what we were doing also had a great impact on the other channels. So we doubled the e-mail list. We got 60+% increase in blog audience by taking the re-design and taking some of the same principles. We grew the social media audience by 40% if I recall. All of these different factors were driving a pretty significant increase in the sales leads for our team there to really follow up and bring people who were getting a lot of very valuable education for free into a relationship whereby even if they weren’t ready for a full page relationship with the agency side just then. It was very good for building relationship that need a value first connection in their minds with the brand. So you are not just increasing the sales lead pipeline in the short term, you are also increasing a long tail pipeline. So when people aren’t ready necessarily for your service right now, but they have been getting the value from your webinars for three months, six months, something like that and they are ready to buy. Who is going to be the first organization they can think of? That was a massive success. I took a lot of roles to a business development and so working in joint campaign with a lot of tech partners and the immigration partners there. So unbound leadpages, copy bloggers and dozens of other one particular on an e-commerce platforms and other digital marketing partners and over the course of some of those initiatives we were producing triple digit increases in retention and some of lifetime value for some of the top customers. As well as launching initiatives there to really provide some premium level support for some of the top level customers and some of the influencers there. So in the digital marketing space working with a lot of people who have great audiences that would still benefit from the same product and working with them to help reach their audience from a co-marketing campaign was something very instrumenting and keeping some of the growth and retention at a high performing level.
Mel: I love it. So co-marketing is like partnering with people who have the same audience or the same target market as you have got. So that you can reach them and that’s not competing right?
Hunter: Right so it is more of a collaborative approach to growth. So instead of just blasting customers over and over with promos and discounts and you know product news to audiences that may have heard you already or they have signed up and there is whole different spectrum there but if you are working with and working particularly well with a sales product. So the market is tool campaign that we did with un-balance and hubspot and metrics and optimize. So I think there are 9 products in the product bundle and we all put discount opportunity in place there teamed up so all these products work very well all together. Hence the marketers toolbox concept and so I mean that was a great promotion the folks unbalance. They have amazing job putting that one together using a lot of those same kind of bundling and collaborating and co-promoting efforts are what I was referring to kind of co-marketing approach or the collaborative approach that hubs to expose new audience to your products and services with the globe of that referral with that recommendation from a service that they already trust or the brand or the influence.
Mel: Yes and I can see how this is perfectly small initiative for small and medium sized businesses because it means that the networks they have in long competing industries, it is a long term approach to being able to keep a relationship when they are ready to buy what you have to offer right.
Hunter: Exactly. Absolutely.
Mel: Okay. Thank you for explaining that. That’s the opportunity that a lot of businesses could definitely do with the networks they have right now and it is just un-touched opportunity at this point for a lot of and I see lots of big businesses and it is sort of very common but definitely underutilized opportunity there for small business. So great tip thank you for that. Now, can I ask you another question? What do you suggest that people should be doing our listeners who have retail business let’s say, what they could be doing to be more client centric in store and beyond the transaction because you have worked with a variety of businesses and I know you understand the value of beyond the sale. Can you give us insights into what your thoughts are currently around those topics?
Hunter: Absolutely. So I met to work with a webinar and it was e-mail marketing platform for small businesses. So while I was doing what I was doing from an internal level with a web, I had the opportunity to meet with so many businesses who are in retail and you know a lot of what we did in education. So I got tons of different stories and challenges. So I know the market really well and one of the things that I think about and I come in threat that come through is just thinking about the personal side and what I mean by that is really the best thing that you can do with your retail business or even a small business that is just kind of operating in markets or things like that is doing the very best that you can with personal approach. That’s what going to set your business apart from any of the larger chains that hear and admire major stories but what people really want is that special connection and that emotional feel. So for example, one of the things that we think about in terms of putting real high priority on is finding the right person to cut our hair. At least I do and I am not alone for that. So I can’t speak for everybody but finding when I moved here from the states I left behind women who cut my hair for 4+ years because the first time I walked in there, I had great experience, I felt very much at home to did the job right. It was great value and it’s just something that you feel emotionally because when your haircut comes out right, you feel good because you look good and I mean not for nothing that her business need. It is not just that haircut place. But hotels. If you think about restaurant and hospitality and these are kinds of experiences that we really are going to get stuck in our heads and that we are going to refer our friends to. For example there is a restaurant in my old neighborhood in Philadelphia where the chef had moved to three different towns over 12 years with 4 different restaurants and it was such a good experience that I would make a point to kind of go and find where John was with his restaurant you know Carmen feel when he moved out to Phoenix and moved on to Myanmar. So I mean those are experiences that go beyond the transaction. So there is a way to make it really easy and enjoyable for people who want to come back to rave about you in their friends and family and then you come back and bring friends with right. So that is tactical but having the value of overall experience is so critical because you can all the same tactics. You can social and giveaways. I love loyalty cards. Those are great. The place where I get my haircut now. I have a loyalty card that’s wonderful. It’s not the cheapest place but it have all those other notes in the same for different hotels that attempted change and I remember since my first experience in Palmar in San Francisco in 2004 and in fact I can’t even remember that is just remarkable. But those are the kind of things that small businesses can do and really when you are able to make those connections with people then those things stick in their head a lot more and it becomes more than just tactical and transactional. Those are the epidemic of the customer centric approach to value and service.
Mel: It has got to be real doesn’t it? because it not really sustainable when or consistent if people I guess have a face on I mean everyone has a face on some degree and everyone doesn’t have a good time but to keep that up in consistency of same friendly or same service its…
Hunter: If you have to fake it you are doing the wrong thing with your work. You don’t have to be the most charismatic person as a business founder. I know I am not but if you have people who work for you on your team can provide that service and experience for that customers. Maybe you are the silent partner or maybe you find some other ways you hire people for better of that part but yeah you can’t fake it. Like if you are in a store and you have been in there and you are having a bad day three days a week that’s not sustainable you know.
Mel: And it must be harder to do as you grow to be able to make sure that with your staff you can actually give off I guess the vibe of the venue that you have whether by retail hospitality or otherwise but being able to spread that across and it comes down across probably selecting the right people who have the same I guess vision for the business that they work and they really on purpose. They are in the right place.
Hunter: Yeah you are right and it is so ironic because one of the things that growth can do is stretch out business owners and that sort of leads to that bad day things so people with really good intentions and growth is a great thing but if those sort of things can put that strain on there, then you are right. Finding people who are very aligned with your values and your vision and can provide that same type of experience. It’s probably best to give them the floor and then just step back a little bit and make sure that your customers are really getting the best as they can and as much as they can.
Mel: Yes absolutely and I have to do that in my business actually and I never realized that well I certainly wasn’t bad at the front of my restaurant. I soon realized when I employed a restaurant manager wow you know like he is really comfortable with this and that was really good for me to see. I couldn’t see it myself. I think it is the most interesting thing and perhaps we don’t see that we could be better placed in our businesses doing different things too.
Hunter: Oh you are so right and I was talking about partnerships from a marketing perspective and a collaborative in those campaigns that I mentioned but honestly that is so huge as well for small businesses because if you are trapped in a situation where you are trying to do too many things which is almost a 100% small businesses right. Like your own situation. It shows like restaurant revolution or top chef when they do challenges and they have team do front and back of the house. It is all about teamwork and collaboration and knowing where your team works are and knowing where your limitation and your weaknesses are and using the kinds of support method that you have whether it is a co-founding partner or whether it is virtual assistant or staff like whatever the right fit is but really finding that and making sure that you have got a process that makes it really easy for customers to engage that level and it is so easy to overlook because of all of those different especially the founders and wanting that control and doing certain way and that’s where things are like let go or let other people in on that but I find so many incidences where people can do that, you will find the rewards shocking and you will blow away on how much better than can work.
Mel: So much better in my experience absolutely. Now speaking of trying to do lots of things, when we are talking about marketing to our customers or potential customers, how do you think we should be doing that? Should we be doing through social media? Should we be going out on our list? Where should people be starting? Because there are so many opportunities out there. What’s your take on the current best practices?
Hunter: This is great question. It is kind of catch 22 answer. I think all of the above makes sense but with a huge caviar right. You want to certainly make sure that you are reaching people where and how they want to be reached. But I don’t think that it necessarily means that you try and knock out every single channel for tactic across the board especially if you are dealing with limited resources and audiences that may really not care so much about the fact that you have google+ presence or you know a twitter presence. So I used as one example because for many restaurants you can do on twitter and there plenty of success stories out there so I am not suggesting that you don’t do twitter but think about your audience. If you audience and if it is catering to kind of upscale electric mark would be a little bit of an older dining set. Are they going to be finding on twitter? Perhaps not and I think about that from a different perspective. Say food trucks for example. Food trucks, there are bunch in states at least making their living on twitter because that keep you upto date on where they are as they move around a certain city in different location. So it really comes back to understanding your customer base first of all. Your demographics of customers of who they are and if you figure out how they are using channels like email or social media. That’s where analytics comes into play and that’s where using qualitative data and just putting real thoughts into how what you are doing is working in some respects and how that might not be working and making that puzzle a little more clear. That can give you at least short term prioritization for which channels you want to focus on and you can have tons of hundreds of thousands of whatever Facebook likes I mean that’s a great things but if you find that it is not actually driving your sales and you have been ignoring email or you haven’t been doing enough for search visibility, that would provide a bigger sale boost, that’s real problem. So I don’t have a real across the board prescription of which channel to use. I think this goes back to analyzing your digital properties and really knowing your customers and talking to them and using those insights to help prioritize your efforts and focus them because you are not going to be able to do them all by yourself even if you have huge budget in full service agency. I mean you can build up on those audiences but a lot of people are just going to sort of see a whole lot of numbers but time knowns in bottom line it really trick with that analytics. So that really guides the strategy. That’s where all the above makes sense when you use segments. You really hitting things to make the mark. Does it make sense?
Mel: Yes. Can I ask a question around choosing if you were to choose, is there any value in looking to successful competition and try what they are doing? Or is that something that we should steer away from?
Hunter: I think that’s definitely a great idea because when you look at competitors in your market. It is not just competitive analysis, if you are taking that same approach then you are taking a same approach for your prospective customer are right and I don’t think that competitive analysis is always seeming that right. Sometimes when we are within the organization we kind of look at in our framework. But really what you are doing as well is looking at how they have been found? What is their value proposition? What they are doing well and what they are maybe not doing so well and have to kind of put your own competitive bias slightly on hold and see how it is that other customers are finding them and what other customers are seeing and perceiving about them and saying about them. Using that as an opportunity to not copy what they are doing but to really think about your own business and your own unique value proposition because a lot of times one of the biggest opportunities that organization miss is figuring out your unique value proposition and what that means and what sets your business apart and why your customers are doing business with you instead of competitors in your market right and their ways to figure that out and looking at others helps to kind of do that comparison so you can see where the differences really are and then you combine that with thinking about hey what your own customers tell you that they love the most? What are they raving about? What are the things that they tell you as feedback in e-mail or the person in the store and you know when someone comes in and they say oh you know my brother once told me that we had to check this out because of this and the other thing. These are all the factors that help you see the bigger picture and once you realize what is one of those key factors are that attract and retain some of your ideal customers, those are the things you can emphasize with again not just your digital properties in your marketing but your offers and the way that you approach businesses in the way you interact with those customers. So yes I think it is a perfect way to spend not heaps of time but definitely a place to emphasize to start in an action plan.
Mel: Great. Well thank you for insights there. Next question I have for you is around retention versus acquisition of customers. So working on spending money on keeping customer you currently have or spending money to get new ones? Do you have ratio % attribution to either side? What’s your thoughts?
Hunter: I don’t have strict ratio but I mean the ratio would come down to revenue number. So for just any business particularly industries like software you know term rate is one of the key indicators. Turn rate is number of customers who sign on versus the percentage that drop off. So for software product there could be 30 day free trial from coming onboard and starting to pay for service and then cancelling the service. So that’s just one type of indicator but if you look across any industry you will see tons of case studies and research to choose to acquire new customer than it does to retain and grow an existing customer right. So I always prioritize retention because if you already made that first impression and you have gotten customer buy from you once, hopefully and ideally if you are providing excellent experience, it is easier to cost a lot less for them to come back in case to acquire someone to don’t comeback. So again there are a lot of variations on this. It could be selling one product or it could be kind of one-time thing so you have restaurant and somebody is just visiting your city from overseas or things like that so it is not a cut and dry case but in general if you are in a business whether it is a hospitality or service business that relies on business or truly benefits from repeat customers, then doing whatever you can to make that experience worthy is going to be huge because when that happens, they become your ambassadors, your extension of sales team. They are bringing in friends and family back when they are referring it and that’s not costing you anything additional there. You are just at your cost of doing business right. Whereas if you are spending on ads those sort of things, they are notoriously difficult in some cases to track. They can be valuable but it is really hard when you are trying to up your expenditures and you are trying to figure out was that worth it or not. So I definitely say for businesses in stage where they are really looking to find out best places for growth, you can really emphasize working with existing customers but if you are finding that you turned customer base is not big enough that it is sustainable, then I would say an emphasis on accusation then becomes a higher priority.
Mel: You described it really well. I think that’s fantastic based on what you got and what you will be continuing to get actually determines where you should be focusing. Thanks for that. Can you give us a run down? We are looking for top tips around what you believe will keep customers then? You mentioned that you have sort of prioritization towards retention, what do you say let’s say for service or retail business do you have any key tips for what people should be doing to do that?
Justin: Yeah there are probably few different tips that work. I think you actually kind of touched on one. That was great, which was taking the concept of looking at competitors if you haven’t done competitive analysis for a little while. Using that sort of analysis and again you don’t have to spend weeks and weeks on it. But just doing that quick ground view from the customer’s perspective of how they are being presented with other choices from your own organization and with more conversation with them. If you haven’t, maybe you are talking to customers on regular day basis. You are interacting with customers all the time. You are busy doing that from a conversational flow. So that information is in your head. But it doesn’t always get onto let’s say your laptop right onto your spreadsheet. Finding ways to really make it easy for customers to give you feedback and tell you what they love most about you and why they keep coming back. Those are going to be the same things when you learn about those and you put them into laptop or the spreadsheet doc or whatever you are using these tools, those are things that you can now emphasize and when you are doing either monthly reviews or quarterly reviews or whenever you are kind of taking step back from the daily grind of the business and really thinking about how you can approach growth and hopefully doing that on a monthly to at least a quarterly basis is something that businesses are doing and if they are not doing that it would be like a separate tip that does tell with these but using that is very similar to the continuous optimization process right. So I think that is one great place to start and it also kind of tapes with few other piece that I use when I work with clients on creating an action plan and formulating a strategy. I know that there are so many businesses that have been kind of developed the idea or even a business plan but couple of years go by and you have been steering the ship and you haven’t necessarily had time for the space and go back to evaluating all those different things that have changed over time. What’s new in the market? Are you customers changing? Is it time for your business to pipette slightly. Are there things that you can be doing differently with services? For example the optimization workshop that I do, we talk about the impact of bundling product and services and pricing right. What are your profitability margins in you know I did workshop in actually where I met at the Gold Coast and 2/3 of businesses in small businesses in the workshop weren’t really doing much with multi product and multi service sales like bundling. We are all very familiar with what amazon does. Where it says customers who bought this also purchased and they give a whole scrolling cell with 3 to 5 products. But they also do bundling. So when you land on a book or a DVD or whatever type of product on amazon, you are hard processed to find that page without a cross seller or up sell to a related product right. If you are looking for a new keyboard, you will see that they have a sale on keyboard plus mouse. Using that as one example of how to dramatically increase profitability by predicting and using the kinds of bundles or related products and services that your customer need and putting that out there as an option right up front rather than waiting for them to come up right.
Mel: As a gentle suggestion as a post of hard sale.
Hunter: Well yeah I used amazon as an example. You can think about this is couple of other ways too. So for example my partner does an amazing job with styling and hair makeup particularly for weddings and parties and things like that in Australia. So one of the big things that we looked at when about the business and the clients she has, most of her styling clients are coming for her weddings right. So as things like engagement photos becomes popular here in Australia and you think about the engagement photo session and you think about parties that happen before the wedding and then you think about wedding itself and then you think about the anniversary. What we launched with her company is packages where you can get engagement photo and party styling and wedding styling as one combined package right for people who are going to really like the results from one and going to use them again. Why not allow them for a savings and make it easy for them to kind of kill three birds with one stone.
Mel: This is often referred to as customer journey right.
Hunter: It can be yes as it ties into customer journey. That’s a perfect example for someone who is getting married and they are looking around online. They have tons of decisions to make. A lot of time people just look for photographers and don’t think about styling. But she works in a similar way you know with different photographers who specialize in wedding and those sort of things. So again that gets back to collaboration and you can think about it as bundling or packaging or whatever you call it. it is really about anticipating customer needs and thinking about the journey and making it easier for them to understand how you can help them with maybe not just 1 but 2 or 3 or more parts of the problems they are trying to solve or the purchases they are trying to make.
Mel: And potentially thinking for them about their potential especially when it comes to weddings or things like that when you are sort of doing the thinking for them and taking the pressure off.
Hunter: It is helping them by and that is really I mean people appreciate that so much. She gets not just clients who love the styling and makeup but just because you know this girl goes all the way back to and I am talking about the emotion right. They look good, they feel good. I mean it is wedding. It is one of the special days of your life. You need that to be amazing right. So when you get that it is such a huge search of emotions altogether it is a relief you know. It is just so much all bundled in there. That part is necessary transferrable to any business but that same concept underlies the whole thing. You are just making people less stressed more happy and there is an emotional component to that is not just sales tactics and really has that value and people see that and they understand that and it is why that works.
Mel: Yeah part of the process and the option available to you. In the beginning of the show we always say this podcast is about helping people attract more customers increase their profits and give them more freedom. My last question around this is what you suggest people should be doing to achieve more freedom in their business if they are an owner or they are in management. What do you see as the positive or effective component that people are doing or perhaps in yourself?
Hunter: Oh that is such a great question. So I am going to not to try to get on many so but you and I talked a little bit before about the idea of. So I know a lot of great people in entrepreneur space and I am all for motivation and for the kind of buddy mentality that comes with launching own business and understanding that when you are launching own thing it is a different module than going to work for another company. There is tears involved and you know people are stacked up against so many odds and things like families juggling and all that and I really love the sergeant mentality to an extent because you know I think we all need that. If you ever go to gym or have a personal trainer, we all know that in certain point we need that of course to keep going right. But I still feel like sometimes what we call entrepreneur just goes too far. I see threads on social sometimes, friends who start their own business and they are just like when was the last time you took the weekend off and everybody is piling like take a weekend off are you crazy? And I am like you know what 75 hours this week and this is only Wednesday and this and that and I see Gary doing the video one in the morning and he is like hey hustlers it is for all of you late night crushing it and I am just like you know what it is just not about that. Obviously hard work is super important. Having good ideas are incredibly important to make any business succeed and entrepreneurs know that as more as anybody because every business started somewhere. Everything that we see around today has started at some point with some entrepreneur going and putting in the hard work but I think there is kind of cult of 90 to 100 hour work week on one side and 4 hour work week on the other side and so many of us in the middle are trying to do great work to start the business but still have a life and be able to kind of get off the laptop and enjoy time with families and friends and really taking the fruits of our labor without giving away every single weekend or going year or two year without a vacation. So I think that there are two things that comes to mind. You really need to kind of make sure that you are not getting sucked to that mindset where you are feeling inadequate. If you are not working 90 hours a week or you haven’t figured out how to do with 10 hour work week. You are okay. You have to really figure it out what your system prices are for working most efficient right. So if you can do that, if you can be more focused and productive,
Mel: Yeah I like it. It sort of try to minimize the feeling of overwhelmed too right.
Hunter: Yeah just you know being human again for not the entrepreneur machine.
Mel: Because those things are motivating right but I guess it really comes down to knowing yourself as an individual like you said it is mindset. Knowing what your strengths are, knowing who you are and how you work best and I guess taking a little bit of everything but formulating your own method your own way.
Hunter: Yes you are right. They are motivating and I love a good camera image of motivation quote as much as anybody at the right moment but then there are times when I look at Facebook my whole theme would be like 5 rows in a row. You know selfie humble guy kind of things and I just be like alright you know…
Mel: Maybe you need to unlike some of those pages Hunter.
Hunter: Yeah there is a point where we just get to we get it. You know what I mean.
Mel: Yeah I agree whole heartedly and thanks for that because it is a really great way to look at it because I think what I am talking from my experience, sometimes it is that those things are massively motivating and you want to be part of that movement and you want to see that momentum but we are all individuals so we have to figure out our own way of getting there because go hard or go home method doesn’t work for all of us.
Hunter: Yeah you can’t have the same menu every single day you know. If you just sort of get locked into that then it is just going to be more brand less impact. So yeah just making those differences now and then giving yourself a little bit of slack and life gets in the way you know as John Lennon said life is what happens when you are busy making other plans so the 90 and 100 hour work week those sort of things. Yeah give yourself a little slot.
Mel: Excellent. I like it. Now tell me what is something that you are currently working on, I am assuming it is optimization co-pilot but tell me what is really exciting you at the moment?
Hunter: Well you are absolutely right. You definitely nailed it. Having been here for I guess three months, the biggest thing I am working on is really trying to continue growing optimization co-pilot. Working with more very cool clients in the Australia New Zealand A and Z market I think is what we call it. So I mean there is so much opportunity here and I really love working with challenges and I am very familiar with kind of different market and a little bit of different approach and being kind of a new arrival myself. I still have a lot of new initiatives that I like to try and do with social businesses and weak corporations and there are kind of expanding here in some ways as well. I don’t know and kind of triple bottom line for an approach to business that goes beyond just kind of shareholders and really looks at communities and other stakeholders. It is such cool concept that I get a little bit more settled here working with some of those areas as a big one as well some of the things for craft travel that are on the horizon for hopefully months ahead. But yeah really top of the list is still doing great work with few of the clients that I have already in this region with optimization co-pilot and growing that with even more cool folks and helping them grow up.
Mel: Excellent. Sounds great and look I came across Hunter, he was a speaker at pays the internet conference at the goal coast in Queensland Australia earlier this year and heard him speak he is a fascinating guy obviously heard from him today as well. if people want to follow you, they want to learn about what you do hunter. Where can they find you?
Hunter: Well I am lucky that my name is pretty rare. So there are only about 6 other Hunter Boyles in there and I usually get all the social media handles before they do so pretty much anything on social that is Hunter Boyle is going to be me and optimization co-pilot I know that obviously finding that Z right before moving Australia was not necessarily the best laid plans but optimization…
Mel: That’s okay we still get it.
Hunter: Yeah optimizationcopilot.com and then you know twitter @hunterboyle and you know hunterboyle.com as my social handles as well. So yes I am pretty easy to find and really look forward to connecting with some of your audience I hope that this has been educational and hah…
Mel: Oh look it has for me absolutely and I am sure out listeners will agree. Hunter thanks for your time today. I think I will have you back another a little bit down the line so thanks for joining us and thanks for giving us all the insight you have. You had such a big broad career and it is great to be got you here but thanks so much to be on the show. Really good to have you.
Hunter: Mel thank you. It’s been a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it and I look forward to connecting to approaching your audience and keeping in touch with you and let’s do it again to have a blast thank you.
*MUSIC*
Thanks for listening to the customer centric show. For additional smart ways to attract more customers, profits and freedom, head on over to the website www.customercentricshow.com.


Hunter Boyle

Growth Goals

Hunter Boyle has produced triple-digit gains for businesses since the dot-com days. He’s a business builder, global adventurer, speaker and philanthropist. Hunter helps organizations optimize their sales and marketing ROI at Optimization Co-Pilot. Hunter’s passion for optimisation and content marketing has fueled over 400 articles, webinars, workshops and podcasts, ranging from Entrepreneur and Newsweek to Marketing Professionals, Marketing Sherpa, KISSMetrics, ConversionXL and many more. I love the phrase on his website landing page “Let’s crush your growth goals”. It’s a solid commitment to getting results.

During my conversation with Hunter he shares:

  • The danger of SEO optimization used in isolation
  • Examples of powerful co-marketing initiatives for SME’s
  • How he doubled an email list and grew social media by 1400%
  • The strength of a “value first” marketing approach to attract new customers
  • What to do to set your business apart from your competition
  • The downside of growth and how to effectively manage change
  • How to prioritise social media channels for your target market and boost sales
  • Why you MUST discover your unique value proposition for the market and where to discover it
  • The benefits of competitive analysis and customer feedback
  • The impact of bundling to increase profitability; and
  • His unique and brilliant answer to how to be more productive and get results

 

Hunter’s Example Of A Customer-Centric Business

  • Optus – for solving his connection issues with external solutions

 

Selected Links For This Episode

 

“The co-marketing approach helps to expose new audiences to your products or services with the glow of that referral or recommendation from a brand they already trust”-Hunter Boyle

 

“If you’ve already made that first impression and you’ve gotten a customer to buy from you once, hopefully and ideally if you’re providing that excellent experience, it’s easier, it costs a lot less for them to come back than it does to acquire new ones in case they don’t come back”-Hunter Boyle

 

On How To Achieve More Freedom In Business:

“Make sure you’re not getting sucked into that mindset where you’re feeling inadequate if you’re not working 90 hours a week or if you haven’t figured out how to do your 4 hour work week yet. You’re okay. Being okay with the hard work and where you’re at is 1. Number 2, figure out what your systems and processes are for working most efficiently. If you can be more focused and productive it helps you to set those boundaries and get away from all the distractions. Prioritise and work with what’s in front of you”-Hunter Boyle

Read Full Transcript

TRANSCRIPTION: THE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC SHOW PODCAST
with Mel Telecican (Customer-Centric Coach)

Episode 28. Crushing Growth Goals With Hunter Boyle
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You are listening to the customer centric show with Mel Telecican, where we talk with successful business owners and experts to share smart ways to attract more customers, profits and freedom by thinking about customers first. Now, here is your host Mel Telecican.
Mel: Hello and welcome to today’s show. My guest today is Hunter Boyle. He is a business builder, global adventurer, speaker and philanthropist. Hunter helps organizations optimize their sales marketing return on investment and GST that gets stuff done. He is passion for optimization. Content marketing has produced triple digit gain since the dot-com days. It has also fueled over 400 articles, webinars, workshops and podcasts ranging from entrepreneur and newsweek to marketing professionals, marketing shipper, kicks matrix, conversion excel and many more. His newest project is optimization co-pilot and as the name suggests it is about marketing strategy and content development ensuring that businesses get more growth from their online marketing and sales initiatives. I love the phrase on the website landing page it says let's crush your growth goals. That sounds very good. Good to have you with us today Hunter.
Hunter: Thank you so much Mel, it is pleasure to talk with you.
Mel: Now we start our show every time with an example of a business that you believe is customer centric and give us some reasoning for it. What’s yours?
Hunter: Well that’s a great question. I would say having been in Australia for all three months Mel, one that really stood out to me quite a bit has been the optics folks, when I was making a move here from Philadelphia, there is obviously a lot of different things to set up and getting setup with mobile, Wi-Fi and all that sort of things and we ran into some real issues with getting the Wifi going in our neighborhood or the area of Melbourne. So we were on a bit of backlog and it was a while for the Wi-Fi router to get here and Star Trek kept screwing up the delivery and meanwhile we were just chewing up bandwidth mobile plan but while star trek was not holding up the delivery side in days we are going by with was going into tons of couple of 100 dollars off this folks who were very good about trying to help us reverse the charges. They put their credit on there, they are trying to get the Wi-Fi router sorted. Went to the store and found out they couldn’t help us there but even the person in the store was very helpful in suggesting an alternative. So I am still not 100% clear on how this works but while they didn’t have a particular slot for us in their broadband at a time, we are able to go with a different provider but thanks to that store recommendation we were aware of that and were able to get that sorted. They did their best so stuck with them on their mobile. The short story to that one is it is complete night and day from a lot of what I was dealing with AT&T and COMCAST where I was illegitimately charged for services after I sort of stopped my contracts and I was on the phone and dealing with six different reps at a time to sort of get things sorted. It really stands apart for that reason. So my vote here at least in the short term goes to the office.
Mel: Oh that’s great. So when you saw them in store, it was about helping you find a solution even though it was not necessarily using their service is that right?
Hunter: Correct.
Mel: Yeah that’s brilliant. Good to hear. That’s great news. Can you give our audience a little bit of background about where you come from? You just moved from the states a few months ago as you said, share with us your successes and what has led you then starting your new business here?
Hunter: Yeah sure. Do you know the Beatle song, I will try and take a shortcut on that one because it is kind of a bizarre story. It is really combination of things starting to dropping at a high school and working 20 jobs. By age 18 going to a high school, there was a generalize scholarship, there is a semester in London, there was designing of magazine. So basically over the past 20+ years, I have had I don’t you maybe you at ADHD I am not sure exactly what you call it but a focus on working in content and design as well as sales and marketing in different capacities. So
Mel: Yeah I love it and thank you for explaining your background because when you said that when you first came back and you are working both of those opportunities were there for you and you actually filtered right through your life and now you are coming back to sort of full circle I guess to as you say co-pilot is a perfect name for it. You working on the ground closer with business owners so that you can get those results and love the measurement side of things definitely coming to play because not everyone is connecting back to measurements and making sure that you can track your return on investment.
Hunter: Yes definitely. I think analytics is one of the toughest area. A lot of companies, not just clients that I work with just I have seen for so many years I mean even google analytics is free, it used to be web trends or you core metrics or a lot of the older systems used to pay a fair amount but the google analytics became free and just became the number one platform, so many sites and businesses use that but they still aren’t using it to even to half of it’s potential. They know it is there, they can check it but I still work with organizations that they don’t know, you can set up these customers ports, you can do all these things and you can have them sent to you and you don’t have to keep going back all the time. Analytics is just one aspect, there are a whole bunch of different factors that work in similar ways. It is just really tricky to keep an eye on all of those things in the dashboard. So that’s another reason I thought of co-pilot for this new venture and it really works along those same lines to kind of help steer businesses and work directly with founders, entrepreneurs and leaderships to do a lot of the things that they can always do because they are focused on what is in front of them.
Mel: Yes absolutely and that’s the biggest obstacle. Just in the day to day operations right.
Hunter: Pretty much right.
Mel: You mentioned just before that when it comes to analytics there are areas where people are going to look. Are there any glaringly obvious one or two examples where you feel the easy things that people could be fixing or the easy areas that they be looking at to be able to get more information and to be able to make better choices going forward?
Hunter: I would say as I worked with a lot of e-commerce companies and clients. A lot of them have their goal setup. A lot of organizations that use google analytics maybe aren’t ecommerce. I find there are still few organizations that don’t use goals as effectively as they could. Either not setting them up or not having them as finely tuned as they could be. So I mean goals with google analytics are very rare rubber. You can look at your traffic number and those sort of things but when it comes to taking those extra steps in analytics and making sure you understand your conversion funnel, that’s where customer pads and goals really come to the forefront. Those are some of the big ones and then I still find sometimes as well a lot of times it is not with the analytics themselves but a lot of google does with its master tools, it can be pretty closely related as you see there is a lot of inner play. But sometimes we see that those opportunities are not there. So companies and clients wonder about SEO impact and these sort of things and some of the basics of getting maps and just a lot of other things within google. That aren’t necessarily being done and easy to do. So these are kind of things I keep discovering and talking about and helping clients understand. So those are two probably the biggest areas in there and it drills down in the most specific space on what type of site and those type of numbers but those two are a good starting point.
Mel: Yeah great and those analytics are constantly changing in terms of the new functionalities they offer to.
Hunter: Google analytics is almost completely different than it did a year and a half and two years ago. I mean they are constantly optimizing the tool itself. They are adding features and moving user interface around. Things that you may have been doing a year or two ago or if you are in that where you maybe check in couple of months recording and something like that by the time you got back there you are trying to figure out how to use these new advanced features. So yeah it definitely critical because that’s about half of your understanding of your customer base right. That’s your quantitating side and your analytics from what you see on the site combined with tools like click tracking or some session recording and those type of things and your quantitative side is the part where you are talking with your customers, you are getting the real feedback, you are using like the welcome series to ask them what you can be doing to help them and using social and paying attention and all that. So much of that really takes a lot of time. Founders and particularly entrepreneurs who are trying to run enterprise and focused on delivering the service and that kind of thing, it’s just almost impossible to keep all of that going and that’s really an important part that often gets left just by necessity but you know…
Mel: Yeah that makes perfect sense. You mentioned earlier before that your target market is small/medium sized business owners. Is that correct?
Hunter: Partly yeah. I work with pretty wide spectrum of clients but I definitely enjoy working with small or medium sized organizations.
Mel: Right. So when you think about your business compared to that competition then what is it that separates you? How are you client centric?
Hunter: Oh that’s great question. For me that often comes to probably two things. One being the emphasis on training and education. So not just providing the service but again the co-pilot metaphor really helping either solo entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs with small teams and the people on their teams really understand the processes and the approaches that are used in how and why they work so it is kind of that teaching manifest feeding for the lifetime thing. The other one would be a broader approach to what I consider growth optimization rather than just conversion rate optimization. I mean there are a lot of great friends of mine and a lot of fields that are focused on customer optimization as far as tenting and change of processes and that’s definitely a huge part of what I do. I find there a lot of the market tends to be very segmented by channels. So there are tons of different search engine optimization providers. That help with adverts and social media adverts. Then there are big full service agencies that do everything but a lot of time they tend to be too big for clients at this levels. So where I kind of fit in a little bit differently is I work across all of those different channels having experience with pretty much everyone that I have mentioned over the years. So that when you have small organizations that don’t just want to do SEO and the pay for drive a lot of traffic to their site but the site is not optimized for the conversions, rather than kind of putting all of the budget to the SEO or PPC or PR, but then not having the upside benefits of having a site that’s ready to capture all that and turn into RLI. I can work with clients across that spectrum and if they have a real opportunity of growth in any one of those channels, that’s where we can focus our efforts and move from channel to channel with a big contract and massive multiyear sort of contract and team like that and if it grows in scales and kind of agency partners that can work two side up alongside that. So it is sort of slightly different approach than kind of a typical consultant module and it fits well that in different background and I think a lot of different organization can really benefit from. So far the response has been really good.
Mel: That’s great and I like the idea of actually being looking at what your opportunities are as a post to focusing in those single areas as you mentioned before. Very good. Let’s talk about effective marketing campaigns that you have been involved in. Can you give an insight into what made it successful and just how big the result was?
Hunter: Yeah actually I have gone to different campaigns and thinking about the common threat between a couple of these, it really is more so the strategy than some of the individual tactics. Tactics are always important but what I found has really worked very well in couple of instances for me has been the approach to co-marketing and you know sometimes organization call that channel partners and partnership marketing and relationship marketing and whatever label you choose to use from that. It has been the area that I have focused on for the past few years to great effect at marketing experiments where I led the content marketing. We actually worked in different channels and I put the strategy in the play where we took the webinars from a very much in-house internal focused approach to bring on a lot of different guests and partners and within a year we have increased the audience by a 185%. So by the weekly webinars we had an average of over a 600 listeners. This is still around 2008. It was certainly good time to take webinar marketing upto high level and then in conjunction with that what we were doing also had a great impact on the other channels. So we doubled the e-mail list. We got 60+% increase in blog audience by taking the re-design and taking some of the same principles. We grew the social media audience by 40% if I recall. All of these different factors were driving a pretty significant increase in the sales leads for our team there to really follow up and bring people who were getting a lot of very valuable education for free into a relationship whereby even if they weren’t ready for a full page relationship with the agency side just then. It was very good for building relationship that need a value first connection in their minds with the brand. So you are not just increasing the sales lead pipeline in the short term, you are also increasing a long tail pipeline. So when people aren’t ready necessarily for your service right now, but they have been getting the value from your webinars for three months, six months, something like that and they are ready to buy. Who is going to be the first organization they can think of? That was a massive success. I took a lot of roles to a business development and so working in joint campaign with a lot of tech partners and the immigration partners there. So unbound leadpages, copy bloggers and dozens of other one particular on an e-commerce platforms and other digital marketing partners and over the course of some of those initiatives we were producing triple digit increases in retention and some of lifetime value for some of the top customers. As well as launching initiatives there to really provide some premium level support for some of the top level customers and some of the influencers there. So in the digital marketing space working with a lot of people who have great audiences that would still benefit from the same product and working with them to help reach their audience from a co-marketing campaign was something very instrumenting and keeping some of the growth and retention at a high performing level.
Mel: I love it. So co-marketing is like partnering with people who have the same audience or the same target market as you have got. So that you can reach them and that’s not competing right?
Hunter: Right so it is more of a collaborative approach to growth. So instead of just blasting customers over and over with promos and discounts and you know product news to audiences that may have heard you already or they have signed up and there is whole different spectrum there but if you are working with and working particularly well with a sales product. So the market is tool campaign that we did with un-balance and hubspot and metrics and optimize. So I think there are 9 products in the product bundle and we all put discount opportunity in place there teamed up so all these products work very well all together. Hence the marketers toolbox concept and so I mean that was a great promotion the folks unbalance. They have amazing job putting that one together using a lot of those same kind of bundling and collaborating and co-promoting efforts are what I was referring to kind of co-marketing approach or the collaborative approach that hubs to expose new audience to your products and services with the globe of that referral with that recommendation from a service that they already trust or the brand or the influence.
Mel: Yes and I can see how this is perfectly small initiative for small and medium sized businesses because it means that the networks they have in long competing industries, it is a long term approach to being able to keep a relationship when they are ready to buy what you have to offer right.
Hunter: Exactly. Absolutely.
Mel: Okay. Thank you for explaining that. That’s the opportunity that a lot of businesses could definitely do with the networks they have right now and it is just un-touched opportunity at this point for a lot of and I see lots of big businesses and it is sort of very common but definitely underutilized opportunity there for small business. So great tip thank you for that. Now, can I ask you another question? What do you suggest that people should be doing our listeners who have retail business let’s say, what they could be doing to be more client centric in store and beyond the transaction because you have worked with a variety of businesses and I know you understand the value of beyond the sale. Can you give us insights into what your thoughts are currently around those topics?
Hunter: Absolutely. So I met to work with a webinar and it was e-mail marketing platform for small businesses. So while I was doing what I was doing from an internal level with a web, I had the opportunity to meet with so many businesses who are in retail and you know a lot of what we did in education. So I got tons of different stories and challenges. So I know the market really well and one of the things that I think about and I come in threat that come through is just thinking about the personal side and what I mean by that is really the best thing that you can do with your retail business or even a small business that is just kind of operating in markets or things like that is doing the very best that you can with personal approach. That’s what going to set your business apart from any of the larger chains that hear and admire major stories but what people really want is that special connection and that emotional feel. So for example, one of the things that we think about in terms of putting real high priority on is finding the right person to cut our hair. At least I do and I am not alone for that. So I can’t speak for everybody but finding when I moved here from the states I left behind women who cut my hair for 4+ years because the first time I walked in there, I had great experience, I felt very much at home to did the job right. It was great value and it’s just something that you feel emotionally because when your haircut comes out right, you feel good because you look good and I mean not for nothing that her business need. It is not just that haircut place. But hotels. If you think about restaurant and hospitality and these are kinds of experiences that we really are going to get stuck in our heads and that we are going to refer our friends to. For example there is a restaurant in my old neighborhood in Philadelphia where the chef had moved to three different towns over 12 years with 4 different restaurants and it was such a good experience that I would make a point to kind of go and find where John was with his restaurant you know Carmen feel when he moved out to Phoenix and moved on to Myanmar. So I mean those are experiences that go beyond the transaction. So there is a way to make it really easy and enjoyable for people who want to come back to rave about you in their friends and family and then you come back and bring friends with right. So that is tactical but having the value of overall experience is so critical because you can all the same tactics. You can social and giveaways. I love loyalty cards. Those are great. The place where I get my haircut now. I have a loyalty card that’s wonderful. It’s not the cheapest place but it have all those other notes in the same for different hotels that attempted change and I remember since my first experience in Palmar in San Francisco in 2004 and in fact I can’t even remember that is just remarkable. But those are the kind of things that small businesses can do and really when you are able to make those connections with people then those things stick in their head a lot more and it becomes more than just tactical and transactional. Those are the epidemic of the customer centric approach to value and service.
Mel: It has got to be real doesn’t it? because it not really sustainable when or consistent if people I guess have a face on I mean everyone has a face on some degree and everyone doesn’t have a good time but to keep that up in consistency of same friendly or same service its…
Hunter: If you have to fake it you are doing the wrong thing with your work. You don’t have to be the most charismatic person as a business founder. I know I am not but if you have people who work for you on your team can provide that service and experience for that customers. Maybe you are the silent partner or maybe you find some other ways you hire people for better of that part but yeah you can’t fake it. Like if you are in a store and you have been in there and you are having a bad day three days a week that’s not sustainable you know.
Mel: And it must be harder to do as you grow to be able to make sure that with your staff you can actually give off I guess the vibe of the venue that you have whether by retail hospitality or otherwise but being able to spread that across and it comes down across probably selecting the right people who have the same I guess vision for the business that they work and they really on purpose. They are in the right place.
Hunter: Yeah you are right and it is so ironic because one of the things that growth can do is stretch out business owners and that sort of leads to that bad day things so people with really good intentions and growth is a great thing but if those sort of things can put that strain on there, then you are right. Finding people who are very aligned with your values and your vision and can provide that same type of experience. It’s probably best to give them the floor and then just step back a little bit and make sure that your customers are really getting the best as they can and as much as they can.
Mel: Yes absolutely and I have to do that in my business actually and I never realized that well I certainly wasn’t bad at the front of my restaurant. I soon realized when I employed a restaurant manager wow you know like he is really comfortable with this and that was really good for me to see. I couldn’t see it myself. I think it is the most interesting thing and perhaps we don’t see that we could be better placed in our businesses doing different things too.
Hunter: Oh you are so right and I was talking about partnerships from a marketing perspective and a collaborative in those campaigns that I mentioned but honestly that is so huge as well for small businesses because if you are trapped in a situation where you are trying to do too many things which is almost a 100% small businesses right. Like your own situation. It shows like restaurant revolution or top chef when they do challenges and they have team do front and back of the house. It is all about teamwork and collaboration and knowing where your team works are and knowing where your limitation and your weaknesses are and using the kinds of support method that you have whether it is a co-founding partner or whether it is virtual assistant or staff like whatever the right fit is but really finding that and making sure that you have got a process that makes it really easy for customers to engage that level and it is so easy to overlook because of all of those different especially the founders and wanting that control and doing certain way and that’s where things are like let go or let other people in on that but I find so many incidences where people can do that, you will find the rewards shocking and you will blow away on how much better than can work.
Mel: So much better in my experience absolutely. Now speaking of trying to do lots of things, when we are talking about marketing to our customers or potential customers, how do you think we should be doing that? Should we be doing through social media? Should we be going out on our list? Where should people be starting? Because there are so many opportunities out there. What’s your take on the current best practices?
Hunter: This is great question. It is kind of catch 22 answer. I think all of the above makes sense but with a huge caviar right. You want to certainly make sure that you are reaching people where and how they want to be reached. But I don’t think that it necessarily means that you try and knock out every single channel for tactic across the board especially if you are dealing with limited resources and audiences that may really not care so much about the fact that you have google+ presence or you know a twitter presence. So I used as one example because for many restaurants you can do on twitter and there plenty of success stories out there so I am not suggesting that you don’t do twitter but think about your audience. If you audience and if it is catering to kind of upscale electric mark would be a little bit of an older dining set. Are they going to be finding on twitter? Perhaps not and I think about that from a different perspective. Say food trucks for example. Food trucks, there are bunch in states at least making their living on twitter because that keep you upto date on where they are as they move around a certain city in different location. So it really comes back to understanding your customer base first of all. Your demographics of customers of who they are and if you figure out how they are using channels like email or social media. That’s where analytics comes into play and that’s where using qualitative data and just putting real thoughts into how what you are doing is working in some respects and how that might not be working and making that puzzle a little more clear. That can give you at least short term prioritization for which channels you want to focus on and you can have tons of hundreds of thousands of whatever Facebook likes I mean that’s a great things but if you find that it is not actually driving your sales and you have been ignoring email or you haven’t been doing enough for search visibility, that would provide a bigger sale boost, that’s real problem. So I don’t have a real across the board prescription of which channel to use. I think this goes back to analyzing your digital properties and really knowing your customers and talking to them and using those insights to help prioritize your efforts and focus them because you are not going to be able to do them all by yourself even if you have huge budget in full service agency. I mean you can build up on those audiences but a lot of people are just going to sort of see a whole lot of numbers but time knowns in bottom line it really trick with that analytics. So that really guides the strategy. That’s where all the above makes sense when you use segments. You really hitting things to make the mark. Does it make sense?
Mel: Yes. Can I ask a question around choosing if you were to choose, is there any value in looking to successful competition and try what they are doing? Or is that something that we should steer away from?
Hunter: I think that’s definitely a great idea because when you look at competitors in your market. It is not just competitive analysis, if you are taking that same approach then you are taking a same approach for your prospective customer are right and I don’t think that competitive analysis is always seeming that right. Sometimes when we are within the organization we kind of look at in our framework. But really what you are doing as well is looking at how they have been found? What is their value proposition? What they are doing well and what they are maybe not doing so well and have to kind of put your own competitive bias slightly on hold and see how it is that other customers are finding them and what other customers are seeing and perceiving about them and saying about them. Using that as an opportunity to not copy what they are doing but to really think about your own business and your own unique value proposition because a lot of times one of the biggest opportunities that organization miss is figuring out your unique value proposition and what that means and what sets your business apart and why your customers are doing business with you instead of competitors in your market right and their ways to figure that out and looking at others helps to kind of do that comparison so you can see where the differences really are and then you combine that with thinking about hey what your own customers tell you that they love the most? What are they raving about? What are the things that they tell you as feedback in e-mail or the person in the store and you know when someone comes in and they say oh you know my brother once told me that we had to check this out because of this and the other thing. These are all the factors that help you see the bigger picture and once you realize what is one of those key factors are that attract and retain some of your ideal customers, those are the things you can emphasize with again not just your digital properties in your marketing but your offers and the way that you approach businesses in the way you interact with those customers. So yes I think it is a perfect way to spend not heaps of time but definitely a place to emphasize to start in an action plan.
Mel: Great. Well thank you for insights there. Next question I have for you is around retention versus acquisition of customers. So working on spending money on keeping customer you currently have or spending money to get new ones? Do you have ratio % attribution to either side? What’s your thoughts?
Hunter: I don’t have strict ratio but I mean the ratio would come down to revenue number. So for just any business particularly industries like software you know term rate is one of the key indicators. Turn rate is number of customers who sign on versus the percentage that drop off. So for software product there could be 30 day free trial from coming onboard and starting to pay for service and then cancelling the service. So that’s just one type of indicator but if you look across any industry you will see tons of case studies and research to choose to acquire new customer than it does to retain and grow an existing customer right. So I always prioritize retention because if you already made that first impression and you have gotten customer buy from you once, hopefully and ideally if you are providing excellent experience, it is easier to cost a lot less for them to come back in case to acquire someone to don’t comeback. So again there are a lot of variations on this. It could be selling one product or it could be kind of one-time thing so you have restaurant and somebody is just visiting your city from overseas or things like that so it is not a cut and dry case but in general if you are in a business whether it is a hospitality or service business that relies on business or truly benefits from repeat customers, then doing whatever you can to make that experience worthy is going to be huge because when that happens, they become your ambassadors, your extension of sales team. They are bringing in friends and family back when they are referring it and that’s not costing you anything additional there. You are just at your cost of doing business right. Whereas if you are spending on ads those sort of things, they are notoriously difficult in some cases to track. They can be valuable but it is really hard when you are trying to up your expenditures and you are trying to figure out was that worth it or not. So I definitely say for businesses in stage where they are really looking to find out best places for growth, you can really emphasize working with existing customers but if you are finding that you turned customer base is not big enough that it is sustainable, then I would say an emphasis on accusation then becomes a higher priority.
Mel: You described it really well. I think that’s fantastic based on what you got and what you will be continuing to get actually determines where you should be focusing. Thanks for that. Can you give us a run down? We are looking for top tips around what you believe will keep customers then? You mentioned that you have sort of prioritization towards retention, what do you say let’s say for service or retail business do you have any key tips for what people should be doing to do that?
Justin: Yeah there are probably few different tips that work. I think you actually kind of touched on one. That was great, which was taking the concept of looking at competitors if you haven’t done competitive analysis for a little while. Using that sort of analysis and again you don’t have to spend weeks and weeks on it. But just doing that quick ground view from the customer’s perspective of how they are being presented with other choices from your own organization and with more conversation with them. If you haven’t, maybe you are talking to customers on regular day basis. You are interacting with customers all the time. You are busy doing that from a conversational flow. So that information is in your head. But it doesn’t always get onto let’s say your laptop right onto your spreadsheet. Finding ways to really make it easy for customers to give you feedback and tell you what they love most about you and why they keep coming back. Those are going to be the same things when you learn about those and you put them into laptop or the spreadsheet doc or whatever you are using these tools, those are things that you can now emphasize and when you are doing either monthly reviews or quarterly reviews or whenever you are kind of taking step back from the daily grind of the business and really thinking about how you can approach growth and hopefully doing that on a monthly to at least a quarterly basis is something that businesses are doing and if they are not doing that it would be like a separate tip that does tell with these but using that is very similar to the continuous optimization process right. So I think that is one great place to start and it also kind of tapes with few other piece that I use when I work with clients on creating an action plan and formulating a strategy. I know that there are so many businesses that have been kind of developed the idea or even a business plan but couple of years go by and you have been steering the ship and you haven’t necessarily had time for the space and go back to evaluating all those different things that have changed over time. What’s new in the market? Are you customers changing? Is it time for your business to pipette slightly. Are there things that you can be doing differently with services? For example the optimization workshop that I do, we talk about the impact of bundling product and services and pricing right. What are your profitability margins in you know I did workshop in actually where I met at the Gold Coast and 2/3 of businesses in small businesses in the workshop weren’t really doing much with multi product and multi service sales like bundling. We are all very familiar with what amazon does. Where it says customers who bought this also purchased and they give a whole scrolling cell with 3 to 5 products. But they also do bundling. So when you land on a book or a DVD or whatever type of product on amazon, you are hard processed to find that page without a cross seller or up sell to a related product right. If you are looking for a new keyboard, you will see that they have a sale on keyboard plus mouse. Using that as one example of how to dramatically increase profitability by predicting and using the kinds of bundles or related products and services that your customer need and putting that out there as an option right up front rather than waiting for them to come up right.
Mel: As a gentle suggestion as a post of hard sale.
Hunter: Well yeah I used amazon as an example. You can think about this is couple of other ways too. So for example my partner does an amazing job with styling and hair makeup particularly for weddings and parties and things like that in Australia. So one of the big things that we looked at when about the business and the clients she has, most of her styling clients are coming for her weddings right. So as things like engagement photos becomes popular here in Australia and you think about the engagement photo session and you think about parties that happen before the wedding and then you think about wedding itself and then you think about the anniversary. What we launched with her company is packages where you can get engagement photo and party styling and wedding styling as one combined package right for people who are going to really like the results from one and going to use them again. Why not allow them for a savings and make it easy for them to kind of kill three birds with one stone.
Mel: This is often referred to as customer journey right.
Hunter: It can be yes as it ties into customer journey. That’s a perfect example for someone who is getting married and they are looking around online. They have tons of decisions to make. A lot of time people just look for photographers and don’t think about styling. But she works in a similar way you know with different photographers who specialize in wedding and those sort of things. So again that gets back to collaboration and you can think about it as bundling or packaging or whatever you call it. it is really about anticipating customer needs and thinking about the journey and making it easier for them to understand how you can help them with maybe not just 1 but 2 or 3 or more parts of the problems they are trying to solve or the purchases they are trying to make.
Mel: And potentially thinking for them about their potential especially when it comes to weddings or things like that when you are sort of doing the thinking for them and taking the pressure off.
Hunter: It is helping them by and that is really I mean people appreciate that so much. She gets not just clients who love the styling and makeup but just because you know this girl goes all the way back to and I am talking about the emotion right. They look good, they feel good. I mean it is wedding. It is one of the special days of your life. You need that to be amazing right. So when you get that it is such a huge search of emotions altogether it is a relief you know. It is just so much all bundled in there. That part is necessary transferrable to any business but that same concept underlies the whole thing. You are just making people less stressed more happy and there is an emotional component to that is not just sales tactics and really has that value and people see that and they understand that and it is why that works.
Mel: Yeah part of the process and the option available to you. In the beginning of the show we always say this podcast is about helping people attract more customers increase their profits and give them more freedom. My last question around this is what you suggest people should be doing to achieve more freedom in their business if they are an owner or they are in management. What do you see as the positive or effective component that people are doing or perhaps in yourself?
Hunter: Oh that is such a great question. So I am going to not to try to get on many so but you and I talked a little bit before about the idea of. So I know a lot of great people in entrepreneur space and I am all for motivation and for the kind of buddy mentality that comes with launching own business and understanding that when you are launching own thing it is a different module than going to work for another company. There is tears involved and you know people are stacked up against so many odds and things like families juggling and all that and I really love the sergeant mentality to an extent because you know I think we all need that. If you ever go to gym or have a personal trainer, we all know that in certain point we need that of course to keep going right. But I still feel like sometimes what we call entrepreneur just goes too far. I see threads on social sometimes, friends who start their own business and they are just like when was the last time you took the weekend off and everybody is piling like take a weekend off are you crazy? And I am like you know what 75 hours this week and this is only Wednesday and this and that and I see Gary doing the video one in the morning and he is like hey hustlers it is for all of you late night crushing it and I am just like you know what it is just not about that. Obviously hard work is super important. Having good ideas are incredibly important to make any business succeed and entrepreneurs know that as more as anybody because every business started somewhere. Everything that we see around today has started at some point with some entrepreneur going and putting in the hard work but I think there is kind of cult of 90 to 100 hour work week on one side and 4 hour work week on the other side and so many of us in the middle are trying to do great work to start the business but still have a life and be able to kind of get off the laptop and enjoy time with families and friends and really taking the fruits of our labor without giving away every single weekend or going year or two year without a vacation. So I think that there are two things that comes to mind. You really need to kind of make sure that you are not getting sucked to that mindset where you are feeling inadequate. If you are not working 90 hours a week or you haven’t figured out how to do with 10 hour work week. You are okay. You have to really figure it out what your system prices are for working most efficient right. So if you can do that, if you can be more focused and productive,
Mel: Yeah I like it. It sort of try to minimize the feeling of overwhelmed too right.
Hunter: Yeah just you know being human again for not the entrepreneur machine.
Mel: Because those things are motivating right but I guess it really comes down to knowing yourself as an individual like you said it is mindset. Knowing what your strengths are, knowing who you are and how you work best and I guess taking a little bit of everything but formulating your own method your own way.
Hunter: Yes you are right. They are motivating and I love a good camera image of motivation quote as much as anybody at the right moment but then there are times when I look at Facebook my whole theme would be like 5 rows in a row. You know selfie humble guy kind of things and I just be like alright you know…
Mel: Maybe you need to unlike some of those pages Hunter.
Hunter: Yeah there is a point where we just get to we get it. You know what I mean.
Mel: Yeah I agree whole heartedly and thanks for that because it is a really great way to look at it because I think what I am talking from my experience, sometimes it is that those things are massively motivating and you want to be part of that movement and you want to see that momentum but we are all individuals so we have to figure out our own way of getting there because go hard or go home method doesn’t work for all of us.
Hunter: Yeah you can’t have the same menu every single day you know. If you just sort of get locked into that then it is just going to be more brand less impact. So yeah just making those differences now and then giving yourself a little bit of slack and life gets in the way you know as John Lennon said life is what happens when you are busy making other plans so the 90 and 100 hour work week those sort of things. Yeah give yourself a little slot.
Mel: Excellent. I like it. Now tell me what is something that you are currently working on, I am assuming it is optimization co-pilot but tell me what is really exciting you at the moment?
Hunter: Well you are absolutely right. You definitely nailed it. Having been here for I guess three months, the biggest thing I am working on is really trying to continue growing optimization co-pilot. Working with more very cool clients in the Australia New Zealand A and Z market I think is what we call it. So I mean there is so much opportunity here and I really love working with challenges and I am very familiar with kind of different market and a little bit of different approach and being kind of a new arrival myself. I still have a lot of new initiatives that I like to try and do with social businesses and weak corporations and there are kind of expanding here in some ways as well. I don’t know and kind of triple bottom line for an approach to business that goes beyond just kind of shareholders and really looks at communities and other stakeholders. It is such cool concept that I get a little bit more settled here working with some of those areas as a big one as well some of the things for craft travel that are on the horizon for hopefully months ahead. But yeah really top of the list is still doing great work with few of the clients that I have already in this region with optimization co-pilot and growing that with even more cool folks and helping them grow up.
Mel: Excellent. Sounds great and look I came across Hunter, he was a speaker at pays the internet conference at the goal coast in Queensland Australia earlier this year and heard him speak he is a fascinating guy obviously heard from him today as well. if people want to follow you, they want to learn about what you do hunter. Where can they find you?
Hunter: Well I am lucky that my name is pretty rare. So there are only about 6 other Hunter Boyles in there and I usually get all the social media handles before they do so pretty much anything on social that is Hunter Boyle is going to be me and optimization co-pilot I know that obviously finding that Z right before moving Australia was not necessarily the best laid plans but optimization…
Mel: That’s okay we still get it.
Hunter: Yeah optimizationcopilot.com and then you know twitter @hunterboyle and you know hunterboyle.com as my social handles as well. So yes I am pretty easy to find and really look forward to connecting with some of your audience I hope that this has been educational and hah…
Mel: Oh look it has for me absolutely and I am sure out listeners will agree. Hunter thanks for your time today. I think I will have you back another a little bit down the line so thanks for joining us and thanks for giving us all the insight you have. You had such a big broad career and it is great to be got you here but thanks so much to be on the show. Really good to have you.
Hunter: Mel thank you. It’s been a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it and I look forward to connecting to approaching your audience and keeping in touch with you and let’s do it again to have a blast thank you.
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Thanks for listening to the customer centric show. For additional smart ways to attract more customers, profits and freedom, head on over to the website www.customercentricshow.com.

 


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