Proven Strategies for Customer Retention
Oct 27, 2021
Customer retention is really just code for relationship-building, according to our guest, Marcy Lynn. In this episode we dig into why human connection is one of the best ways to optimize retention and magnify impact when you know how to incorporate it into your launch plans in an authentic way.
In this episode, we talked about...
- being intentional with your customer relationship
- fixing the leaky bucket of lead generation
- how to identify gaps in your customers experience
- creating a competitive advantage by doing little things to show customers you care
- mapping out your customer journey as a first step
- why it's time to schedule in opportunities for customer feedback
- small touches that make a big different in customer relationships
...and much, much more
Things mentioned in this episode
Connect with Marcy Lynn, Retention Strategist & Copywriter, at marcylynn.co
Learn more about Marcy Lynn (she/her)
Marcy (she/her) is a Retention Strategist + Copywriter who specializes in retention strategy that’s rooted in relationship building.
She started her copywriting career when the pandemic put a halt in her plans to backpack the Pacific Crest Trail.
Through her services, she helps integrity-driven course creators & coaches build intentional relationships with their customers at every touchpoint, leading to greater revenue and impact.
She served in the military for 8 years as a communications analyst - where she peered deep into every aspect of communications, found what was broken, and pulled out all the stops to fix it.
Because of this, she now knows exactly how to spot an organization’s fatal flaws. This is why she’s so good at connecting with customers and keeping them loyal to her clients’ brand.
She believes retention strategies and copywriting are simply tools to help more people feel seen, heard, known, and ultimately, valued - leading to more positive impact in the world.
She believes love is love, black lives matter, no human is illegal, and that we make progress as a society when we practice more love and compassion on the day to day.
When she’s not coming up with new ways to weave integrity & relationship into every aspect of the world of online business, you can find her hiking a trail somewhere or binge watching Marvel movies with her dog, Meeko curled up next to her.
Read the full transcript so you don't miss a thing
Marcy: There also needs to be a certain level of trust between the CEO and their team to see like I can trust you to make this decision to help this customer in a way that's going to be best for them without needing my thought process in my brain or when you're onboarding new hires or anytime someone on your team needs to like take time off or you know, if something then whoever's going to come in, they can someone else in your team can easily pick up where they left off, and they can continue to make sure that that part of your business is running smoothly, or when you're hiring someone. You can say, okay, hey, here's the ESOP. Here's what we do when you're like for this role, here's what we expect. And then they can be more quickly onboard. And so I think it's also just important to think about, you know, if the CEO was to, you know, have a family emergency like tomorrow, can they confidently say, like, know that their business is going to continue running smoothly without them.
Sara: You're listening to the launch playbook podcast, the weekly podcast for service based business owners to discover the start stops and tools to transformation that go into launching their online offers. I'm your host, Sara Vartanian. And if you want to launch your ideas into the world faster, with more success, and less burnout, well, friend, consider this show your secret playbook to get you there.
Hey, there launchers. Welcome back. I am truly geeking out over here about today's topic, because it's all about relationship building and customer retention. And if you've been listening to the podcast for a while, you know that we talk about human connection all the time and the integral role it plays in your lunch. So today, I hope you'll settle in and listen while I chat with Marcy Lynn. She is a US Army veteran who spent eight years serving the military as a communications analysis, and is now a copywriter who helps course creators build intentional relations with their customers at every touchpoint Hey, Marci, welcome, I'm so glad to have you chatting with us today. Hi, I'm so happy to be here. Well, you tell us a little bit about your story. And then what it has to do with launching?
Marcy: High yet. So I will kind of like as you said, I was previously in the military and I worked in communications, pretty much anything that had to do with communications during that time. And then afterwards, when I transitioned out, I worked in IoT and knowledge management, also as a government contractor. So I still worked very close with the military community during that time. And after that, I you know, it was actually the end of 2019 that I had decided I wanted to hike the Pacific Crest Trail for six months, if you're not familiar, it's the trail that goes from Mexico to Canada. That was my plan for 2020. But I mean, I think like most people experienced when the pandemic happened, that quickly changed. And so that's kind of how I fell into like this digital nomad lifestyle and started pursuing copywriting. And I think one of the things that I started to notice was just a huge opportunity to use not just copywriting, but for us as business owners and marketers, as a means to build relationships and help more people feel like seen and heard and known and, like understood, like the matter and, and I think, you know, when it comes to like launching, there's so many things you can do just from the earliest point like that somebody interacts with your brand leading into the launch. And then while they're in your ecosystem, and then to the time that maybe they outgrow it and move on, there's a lot of things that we can do to be intentional about that relationship. And, you know, therefore, like increase retention, but also the greater impact being that like, more people are actually seeing the transformation that we're promising and feeling like they actually are like they're known and like they really matter and what they have to say and contribute to the world is important too.
Sara: I love that so much. I'm so excited really to talk to you today dig into this conversation, because on the podcast, we've talked a lot about launch strategies and coffee. But we've only touched on this retention piece and like relationship piece specifically in the post launch period a little bit. And we know that it's so key, this post launch period to making sure the folks who purchase from you have a great experience. And as you said to actually achieve that transformation, we promise them so let's start with something you said to me in our pre chat. And some of you had mentioned before was that you wish people knew that the amount of effort they put into the launch is just as important for the post-launch.
Marcy: Yeah, for sure. I think so something that I've noticed is that there's a lot of emphasis and talk just about like sales and marketing and really just acquiring new customers because and I think you know, it's understandable because those are numbers that can easily be tracked. But what we don't realize that sometimes we end up in a position that we're just constantly chasing new customers and they're falling out kind of like a leaky bucket, you know, we might think oh, I need to double down on my marketing efforts or I need to try a new sales page or all these other things on the front end. But instead if we would take a step back and kind of look at the actual experience that you know our customers or members are, are having once they come into our programs or our just our atmosphere altogether, taking a step back to look at that and then Zoo Meaning on the details that we can do like the touch points, the entire experience is made up of different touch points with your brand. And when we do that, we start to see not just, you know, gaps in the customer experience in the journey, but also maybe things we can do on the back end to make sure that our teams are fully prepared to, like create that experience for our customers. And there's little things that we can do that make people feel like wow, like, they really they saw me and they actually cared about me, especially, I mean, I think just, you know, with businesses these days, they as we grow, it can feel harder and harder. Like for us as consumers, he can start to feel like I'm just a number in this grand scheme of things, I've just another transaction. And it's almost it almost becomes kind of like your competitive advantage when you take that time to really see them and show them like, we can all think of times in our lives that maybe we were building a relationship with someone or just someone we're really close to. And they did something that was like really meaningful and thoughtful. And it was to the point that you noticed, because it was outside of the ordinary, because it's not something that I think most of us have a habit of doing unless it's those people that we care about. And so again, like, with customers being the lifeblood of our business is like literally, I feel like it's like why not take the extra step and put in the extra effort to add thoughtfulness and meaning meaningful connections throughout their experience.
Sara: I love how you reframed this idea of like customer retention to really that we're talking about relationships, right? It's like about the relationship we're having with our customer, and making them feel good. And like you said, seen and heard throughout the journey, but also like through that, you know, the post purchase time. So I'm wondering, what can folks do to find out where the gaps are in their customers experience so they can help improve this relationship?
Marcy: So that's a really great question, I think one of the first things that we can do is maybe just again, like, take a step back and even map out the customer journey. I mean, it doesn't have to be anything super detailed and extravagant. But it also would help to have maybe like an external perspective, somebody that can look objectively at your business and the customer journey all together, because it's easy for us to say, Oh, yeah, like, I'm doing everything, right. And then and still miss those gaps, because we're the ones that are in it, you know, just taking a step back, and even just kind of like mapping it out. It's on like on a piece of paper or Google Docs or something every touchpoint that people are hitting as they experience your brand and then even writing out okay, who's doing what at that in the in the journey? And what's supposed to be happening? What's the customer supposed to be feeling or I don't even want to say, I don't even think what they're supposed to be feeling. Because again, like we're human, and I know a lot of the work that we do as marketers and copywriters.
Sara: To like dig into their feelings or their voice of customer research.
Marcy: Yes, yeah, like evoke certain feelings. And I just want to be careful with that. Because I think it's also important not to use that tactic in a harmful way, you know, where you're leveraging their shame, or really painful emotions, but rather, in a way that's gonna help them kind of see what's possible, and empathize with them too. And say, like, I see you, I understand you. But also, here's what we can do to move past that together. And so really, just, I think, taking those steps, and then even having someone else on your team or someone, again, externally, take a look at what you've mapped out, that can maybe point out different ways that those touch points could be better. And I also think that's how you can start to see maybe what you're missing. For example, if you notice certain people, maybe they request a refund, after so many months in your online program, and you can start to maybe notice trends, okay? Well, what's going at that, like what's going on at that point in our program that's causing us to have so many people dropping up, and then really analyzing that point and seeing what you can do to make it better. And sometimes it can, it could be something as simple as just checking in with them, seeing how they're doing at that point in the program, how they're implementing what you're teaching them, if they have any roadblocks. You know, I think sometimes again, we start to overthink it and overcomplicate it and maybe sound like a 10 email sequence, like, you know, kind of overloading them. But sometimes it could just be that, you know, understanding that sometimes people have stuff going on in their lives. And you know, there's, I mean, we're also, with everything going on in the world, it's understandable that sometimes we just don't have the capacity to implement what we're learning in these programs, too.
Sara: I love that something that we did in the launch playbook Club, which was my group program is in the post purchase sequence. We had like the post purchase email, of course, which is like welcomes him and gives him the, you know, the login link and all that. But I added in just another email that was done through video house. So it was just like a little recorded video that says, like, Hey, I'm just checking in and see how things are going now hit like hit reply, and let me know, they can reply by audio, video or, or message. And it's been really great because it's just open ended. It shows me like saying, Hey, what's up, and it's been so informative to like, what's going on in the state of people's minds a few weeks up and when they're into the program, and this helped make some like tweaks and add some other things out. So it was like a simple shift that really didn't take much time on my part, like I think I put together in 15 minutes, but it's just been really informative. And I like how you mentioned like, it doesn't have to be a big 10 email sequence. It's why I want to bring this Right It was like it's two emails the purchase email and the second email like which was again like a little video based but again just showing up I think in showing my face in that video maybe you just made it more is more like we're having a conversation.
Marcy: right yeah and that's another big just something that we overlook it's just how much deeper I mean especially with just you know in such a digital world everything is on the computer but even just seeing your face even though it's not face to face like in person but that still makes a huge difference because again like if you I think if we also just take a look around it's also not something that many other businesses I mean it doesn't even have to just be memberships and all my courses and programs like any business really that could implement that extra human connection that makes a big difference because again it's like it's even better because I know sometimes you have you don't have the capacity you could record just one generalized one of them you could send it to pretty much everybody as they come through your ecosystem but even better if you like you said just take the extra 30 seconds even say their name because then they know all i'm not just another person that's in their sequence that's receiving us automatically like they actually like they know my name there was a time in the past that someone who I look up to in the online marketing space like they mentioned my name and their email and I was like oh my gosh, it goes it's so cool. Like they owe me you know like when these people that we see as mentors and we learn from they take the time to see us you know think about again how it makes you feel I really love that you do that so yeah, I can imagine the impact that that's having.
Sara: I love that you mentioned the email thing too I mentioned it in another one of our episodes previously but it was something I'm in the think tank with Robin Kira as part of the cooperator club it's their mastermind and something that they do every single month is a there's an email that goes out that mentions all of our wins because we have the Slack channel in the Slack channel you can share your win and so at the beginning of every month they'll be like you know here's what's coming what's going on and then they'll literally go through and do like a brief fun little like updated everyone's win so if you share a win you know you're gonna be celebrated in some way or the other and it's just like every time you see your name and you're like oh yeah that's great. I did like this to happen this month and it just feels so good to see your names and it's just like it's really just a small thing but like what a nice way to make people feel good and noticed.
Marcy: Yeah, and it's cool to whenever someone else sees your win and they exemplify it because I also think for us like it's easy to just kind of like okay cool that was win and then move on to the next game we want the next thing but like to really celebrate those and having someone else there that you look up to dimension that it's like well you're right like I did do that and kind of like take that moment to be proud of yourself
Sara: Makes you pause through it right for on to the next thing.
Marcy: Yes because it's so easy to just pause and ponder on the really difficult things that happen and but so quickly move past the exciting thing so yeah, that's also something I'm learning to do more of.
Sara: So you mentioned that there are like that we can you know, we can spend time mapping out the journey maybe have some external look at it, we can maybe ask folks questions as well who are in our program, but what about like what are the main areas that you would say that could really use generally improvement for the customer experience. So like thinking about the whole sort of launch funnel where were those key spots you think that almost everyone kind of like ramp up or like turn up the dial on that.
Marcy: I think one a big one is being much clear in your messaging like on your sales page or the earliest touch point that somebody starts to notice whatever it is that you're going to be launching, I think being a little bit more using the copy in a way that helps people self select whether or not that's something for them I think a lot of times it's also like pretty well known just the really low course completion rates in at least in our industry but a lot of times even in conversations I've had with other people through programs that we've invested in and there's a good trend where it's like oh I got into this but it's really hard for them to implement what they're learning because they're not at a stage in their business that what they're learning is applicable so it becomes kind of like oh well I'll use this later on whenever I whenever I am at that point but you know I think at least for me there's a lot of times I would love to believe that I'll get to it at some point but it just doesn't happen because you also just grow in a different direction so helping people self select early on and notice that like okay this is not for me because I'm not at a stage of my business that I can actually get the most out of this and and it can be really frustrating to you might be going through you know if there's like workbooks or modules and trying to map everything out in a theoretical way like okay well I think this is what I want but the point is to be a lot more clear with you know when on your sales page if it's like this is for this is not for and I mean like actual helpful information not like sometimes you'll see on a sales page like this is not for you if you don't want to be successful in life and yes.
Sara: It was actually empathetic yeah sure I manage like real comments that are in integrity right that I want the I want the people in the program they're gonna see the success I think that I can give them with transformation not just because I want to have more numbers in my program or but like real qualifiers, it's like I you know, You're in business for one to three years maybe you are a super space business like maybe it's like really specific things it might suck more we're talking about.
Marcy: Yeah no or I know in like just like with copywriters for example, like maybe at least have worked with a few clients because I know that was from my experience being super new to copywriting I was like I don't know what to invest in our where to even start but and I think as newbies it's just easy to get overwhelmed with the many resources out there and if we can just try to make it a little bit easier for that person that's trying to figure out what that resource is for them it kind of helps them put a note in the back of their head like okay cool like this is something I want to come back to when I am ready for it and you start to look forward to it. And especially if they're already gaining so much from any like your emails or free resources and stuff like that that's definitely just the biggest one that I see even before that something I think I like to encourage my clients to do is whenever someone goes to sign up for like your waitlist for your program so even like you know you're going to be launching so you have a waitlist landing page or something like that. If somebody opts in for your waitlist don't just automatically add them to your main email list I think it's important to respect and acknowledge the stage that they're at in their journey and just because in I think too if the worry is that or if you know if we don't add them then they're not going to get to know anything else that I have to offer but if they're signing up for your waitlist they likely are already aware of you and what you do and what you teach and but still I think that's just another small touch point that you can be intentional about because again not many people do it I think about an experience I had with a friend of mine we both have curly hair earlier this year we were talking about different curly hair products and there was two of them that had quizzes that would help you identify which products were best for your hairstyle and your you know based on the ferocity and all that stuff and one of them just gave you your rest of your answers like the recommendations for free like you didn't have to put in an email or anything and the other one asked for her email and she did not she she never figured out which products were best for her because she didn't want to give her email but she knew she's like well then they're gonna start emailing me and I don't want that and so they also lost out on a customer because she ended up purchasing from the one who just gave her recommendations right off the bat. So taking a step back again like you know and even thinking of someone's email inboxes like a really intimate place that like you get to show up in their inbox and share different things with them and respecting that space and so that's just I think another way like pre launch that we can start to create a really excellent customer experience and then even during the launch once they make the purchase another thing really simple that I've seen actually missed is not even getting an email receipt or getting the emails the receipt combined with a huge list of like you know join the Facebook group here's the link to the slack group and don't forget to introduce yourself and then oh fill out this survey because we need voc and it can be overwhelming to receive this really long list of stuff to do and maybe breaking it up over the course of like two or three emails if they're not gonna actually start for you know another week or so to make it more bite sized actionable, like okay, I can do this really quick. This is no problem. I don't know about you, but for me when I get emails like that, I'm just like, oh, I'll just I'll get to that later. Like that just feels like a lot.
Sara: Too overwhelming. Yeah, here. Yeah, they kind of bring you up on that post purchase. Like I want to say a little bit of that higher excitement that you get like, okay, I made this decision I'm in and now it's like oh, there's so much
Marcy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So being a little bit more deliberate and intentional about that way when we're onboarding new customers as well. I think that's just another great way to just be more I think using the lens of like thoughtfulness in everything that we do not just like okay, this is what the experts say I'm supposed to do so let me just put this in my launching or you know, my onboarding sequence but maybe take a step back and say how can I make this really personal for this new person this human that has trusted me with their money that they work so hard for that they've invested in what I'm offering you know, how can I really honor them with where they're at.
Sara: Right? Something you mentioned about that whole um, haircare quiz, I was thinking that as you're talking about it, and it's something that I've seen come up with clients too, right? is that there is this feeling of like we need to put that gate on some of the information we get they have the results that they had to put email in or the one that they didn't and so sometimes they think well, we won't they won't be a good customer like they're not a good solid customer if they won't give us your email. But maybe we need to do more for them before we know we asked for that email. You're saying like that so she would have probably like got the quiz result she ended by from that company. Maybe she ends up giving them her email, like a few steps later. Alright, but it just wasn't ready yet. Like they hadn't sort of earned that yet. Right to think about more or less what's in it for us and more What did it for our audience, right? Like what do they need from us now? How can we make this an experience that they feel good about and also like the fact is we're all sort of jaded we know how this goes right? We know that like, I check yes, and there's an I'm gonna get much thinking of like, even like flexible kids shopping for my kids, right like that marketing email. I'm going to get hit by American Eagle with Exact meals a day, I might suddenly my inbox is full. So we already all know that. So it's like, we have to remember that people have already had these experiences, and what are they bringing to that to that purchasing process? I guess, right? Or that purchasing experience? Like, what are they already bringing here? All these thoughts that they already have about marketing.
Marcy: Right? And it can be something simple, like just adding a little pocket check for a checkbox, it's like, Do I have your permission to continue emailing you after this, and because again, even the checkbox is not common. So someone's like, asking, like, for my permission to, like, send me more emails and stuff. It's, I feel like invasive, you know, and I don't think we think about it as businesses and marketers, but from the person who's receiving it's like, oh, my gosh, like, I need this email for important things. And I can't be bombarded with all these marketing messages. So chatbox is a really great way to just ask for permission.
Sara: Because not everyone, if they're not in business, they don't have like three or four emails necessarily, like we might write they are one main one, and their inbox is like, so full. That's something I've done with my clients, we do the check box. So it's like a checking in for permission to send it. And then if people don't check it, we've actually built in a PS on the first email where we deliver the lead magnet, let's say, if we're delivering something, we'll say like trying to get a fun little common link. You know, basically, if you've changed your mind, we'd love to still like be in touch with you. So just click here and we'll add you to the list. Right? So giving them sort of one more option once they see the deliverable, or wherever we sent. And we've probably got about, like, I've usually found about a third of people will check in after that, which has been kind of interesting to see. So they change your mind when they see what you give them.
Marcy: Yeah, but that's really I think that's just another great thing to measure too. But also, it's just been if it's like somebody decides they don't want to continue hear from you, I would rather I would feel better knowing Okay, that they made that decision that I'm just sending messages to somebody that doesn't want to hear from me.
Sara: Right? That's not a relationship, right?
Marcy: Yeah, exactly. Like, even if we think about relationships in real life, like with other humans, people that we love to talk to, like we put a lot of effort into that like people with, that we care about. And so that same amount of effort should go into these people, again, who are potentially going to purchase from us and trust us with their hard earned money or people that are already doing that. And I love to that you put the option at the bottom of the first email. And that's another thing is just making the unsubscribe link, very easy to find. It's kind of like a little pet peeve once it's like hidden, or they make it really small. So you can't find it, or it's worded in a way that you think you're unsubscribing. But you're not really. So again, just being very clear and upfront and transparent with that kind of stuff. because like you said, I think just people these days, the consumers and everyone what we're, you know, that are purchasing these things like we're getting smarter, and they understand what people are well, not that they were less smart before, but just they're understanding the tactics that marketers use.
Sara: I mean, just getting like savvy to the way that internet works.
Marcy: Yeah. Yeah, that's a better word for sure.
Sara: You mentioned to me earlier in our pre chat before I hit record on this episode here, that with your previous experience in the military, you're in communications, and there was this emphasis on like SAP, so like systems and checklists? How do you think those could maybe help improve our customer experience? If we had this in place our business?
Marcy: Really great question. Most of them, I just love talking about this. I think they would make a huge difference. And something I've experienced when I've talked to people about it is you know, I think SLP is a checklist, they may not sound like the most exciting thing, but they're so crucial to running an efficient business and kind of going back to like when you map out the customer journey, and maybe you see that people are leaving your ecosystem at a certain point. It could also be something like, customer experience. It's like, Okay, well, they're having really bad response times, or they're just not getting what they need from your customer service team. And then it's like, Okay, well, let me take a look at the back end.
And oh, it's because our customer service rep that either doesn't have the capacity to keep helping everyone at the rate they were before? Or maybe there's not an SLP? Or what is it a service standard in place for them, so they don't know what to do, or the other thing that I'll see is they need to get the answer from the CEO. So then the CEO is becoming a bottleneck, because they're already dealing with other parts of the business and the customer service person is depending on them to get back to them so that they can then relay the message to the person that's needing help.
And so one of the things that I like to do with my clients is map out the entire customer journey, but then parallel to that map out the systems and processes and slps and checklists and just stuff like that, on the back end. They need to be in place at every touchpoint in that customer journey to really again, make sure that the the customers are experiencing what they're supposed to be experiencing because it's easy to be on the back end or just you know, especially if you're someone that's like a visionary and you're really relying on your team to take care of your customers the most because they're the ones that interact with them the most that you think everything's just going good, everything's fine. All these numbers are normal, you know, industry standard.
We lose so many people after so many months or or whatever the case may be. But if you look closer, you can see Well, there's actually stuff that you can put in place to make sure that they're having a really excellent experience. And so for example, like with your launches, I'm sure, there's probably processes that you go through to make sure that it runs as smoothly as possible. Even when you've done it so many times, it's easy to start to think, oh, I've got this, I don't need to refer to my SLP, or my checklist, you already know what to do. But still, like I think, because we're human, and we can forget things and, and having these slps in place also takes that weight off of the business owner. So instead of that customer service rep like meeting to wait for them to get back to them with the answer, they already know that that process or the questions or the criteria, or whatever it is that they need to go through so that they can give, they can trust themselves to give that customer the answer that they need, that's going to help them move on.
And so there also needs to be a certain level of trust between the CEO and their team to see like I can trust you to make this decision to help this customer in a way that's going to be best for them without needing my thought process in my brain or when you're onboarding new hires or anytime someone on your team needs to like take time off or you know, if something then whoever's going to come in, they can someone else in your team can easily pick up where they left off. And they can continue to make sure that that part of your business is running smoothly or when you're hiring someone, you can say okay, hey, here's the ESOP here's what we do when you're like for this role, here's what we expect. And then it can be more quickly onboarding. And so I think it's also just important to think about you know, if the CEO was to you know, have a family emergency like tomorrow can they confidently say, like, know that their business is going to continue running smoothly without them.
And it's easy, I think, for like much larger businesses and corporations to do and stuff like this, like, it doesn't matter. But I think for a lot of us that are smaller business owners service based businesses that we are either a one person or show or like a small team to realize like Oh, actually I don't think I can do that having that in place and then also automating it where we can, I think can take a lot of that weight off of the business owner as well. So the biggest thing is just to have not just the customer journey mapped out but parallel to that kind of like your I guess you can call it like a business systems journey on the back end to make sure that it's running as smooth as possible and it just it'll create I think more accountability for your team and just be that way people on the team also are very clear in their roles and responsibilities and understanding what they're supposed to be measuring and how they're handling what's going whoever comes on their plate in their business.
And another thing that I've noticed with my clients is they'll start off as a one person show but then they grow very quickly because they start offering programs or mastermind and then they have to hire quickly but then maybe not having that documented their systems and their processes beforehand it makes it a lot harder for their team to come on and take that weight off from their plate for them so you know, when you're hiring them, it meant to help them but it's not helping them because
again, like vsop is where employees.
Sara: totally and what really stands out to you that you're saying is it's kind of I'm kind of laughing in my head about something cuz I'm thinking about how you know when people go and launch courses and offers we often think like, we're looking for the dream of the passive income right and we all know really that nothing's ever passive. Here you're talking about this like setting up this this infrastructure right?
Like standard operating procedures and checklists and things what it is doing now is letting the person like the visionary the CEO the you getting you to it allows you to be more passive really and like let your team take on more of it so I was thinking as you were talking, but that also even if it's still you and let's say a VA running you know during this launch for example, like that's mostly My team is it I haven't I haven't OBM but it's mostly my VA and me.
The more we develop these checklists and systems I have found the more I can actually shut off my brain right because I know that these things are happening so it's not like every time we have a laundry even a podcast episode, we have a list of things that we do every single time and now I'm not having to hold that list in my brain is just there so we can just like go in and look at if it's my part of my role or for the VA is role and I think that's how we actually become more I'm err quoting here like passive with with the things that we're doing in our business is because we have these great structures in place that allow us to, you know, retain our energy and not have to make some of these decisions because they're already laid out for us.
Marcy: Yeah, exactly. And the other thing I don't think that someone was realized is that if this back end like stuff is not in place, then that bleeds into the customer experience and like your customers and members end up kind of like paying the price for that poor systems management or key manager whenever you want to I just however you want to label it, but sometimes we don't realize when our team is flying by the seat of our pants, like we might think we're doing a good job of like hiding it behind closed doors, but our customers again, like and it bleeds over through really poor customer service experience. Or maybe modules don't come out on the time that they're supposed to because someone on the team didn't know that they were supposed to take care of it by a certain time you know, those those standards were not established. So like little things like that and, and a lot of times something else that I've seen is that your customers maybe you don't feel comfortable or confident enough to reach out and say hey like I know you said that we were going to have this by this day but it's not it's not here yet you know, where is it, but instead of another thing is they might go to their other inner circles because I think we all have those other those business besties that we kind of have groups with, share that experience and then with them and so that's another thing that I think we're not thinking about is those conversations that are happening offline, the ones that we can't go message mining for and find on social media.
And because I mean something that I think we all do is we trust the word of the people that we already know like and trust if we ask someone Hey, like I invested or I'm looking at investing in this program that's about to be launching, you know, and I know you took it or I saw your face on their testimonials and then they want to know you know, what was your experience you know, cuz I'm really considering it, you know, is it worth it? What was your transformation, and maybe they'll say, it was really great, the content was really excellent, but customer service was really bad, I never got the answer they needed the modules was late or, or just little things like that. So keeping in mind, it's interesting because I feel like retention and the whole customer experience, it's just like a giant puzzle, and there's all these pieces that need to be in play, it's not just one thing you can use all these different little tactics to keep them and it'll work for so long. But again, if you don't have that foundational stuff in the backend in place, it'll definitely fall it'll get overwhelming and fall apart very quickly.
Sara: And it sounds to me as your schema this that it's something that if we start doing that from the early days of a launch or that we actually will be better positioned because at one point or another your launch like your numbers are going to grow more people are going to come in so that the time that it happens, you're ready for it right like you've had the structures in place to handle your customers and to best support them and and show up for them. If you already had this stuff created. Definitely you were talking a little bit about you know those offline conversations that can happen when people aren't having let's say, like a not a seller experience. So what can we do when our customers don't have a good experience? How can we repair that relationship for starters?
Marcy: I would most definitely acknowledge it I think that's something that I see is even if it's brought to the course creator or CEO, whoever it is their attention sometimes it can just seem like it's maybe it is important but they haven't so much on their plate that they don't have the time to address it but I think addressing is probably the most important thing you can do. And even letting them know hey, I see you and here's what we're going to do to fix it because again, speaking from my own experience, and with other people I've spoken with sometimes it can be really frustrating when you do voice those concerns and sometimes it's not even so much because I just want to complain but it's because I want to see you do really great at what you're offering because what you're offering is really transformational it's really helpful but there's this one thing that could really help make the experience better not just for me but for everyone else I think it's important to from the get go be very open about letting your customers or your members know that they can come to you if something is wrong or if they're having a less than stellar experience so if it's like a group program and that you're all starting together to a certain at the same time then from the beginning saying hey if you ever have any questions or something's wrong like even if it's something negative like let me know I can handle it because sometimes we also were like afraid if I report a negative experience and they're gonna go tell someone else or they're gonna hurt their feelings or whatever the case may be but let him know hey, it actually helps me make this better for you.
But saying that invoicing that one of the times that I felt most comfortable sharing about my experience was when the person whose program I was in from the beginning was just like hey, if you have a problem let me know let someone so no, here's who you are I'm making that very clear and easy for people to say this is what you do if you have something that you want to share or a critique or whatever the case may be and then again like responding and letting them know that you see it and you hear it when I see someone that or when I you know receive an email from somebody I really like you and then they say you know respond back with whatever you know they're trying to increase engagement and I do and then I don't ever hear anything back from them It makes you question like why did you ask me to even respond if you weren't gonna acknowledge it?
Oh, it's probably because of whatever engagement numbers and so the same thing with that like if you're going to tell someone if you're going to tell your customers to email this email or text this number to voice your concerns actually respond or have someone on your team designated as a customer experience or customer success person that says hey, this is your job when somebody messages you or emails you you have within 24 hours to say hey, I see you and here's what we're doing to fix it or we're working on a way to fix it or just even because sometimes it can be Oh yeah, we know we just had tech issues and so we haven't been able to get it fixed. But if you know you're going to have tech issues don't wait for them to send a concern like hey, this model didn't come out yet and then you're being more reactive instead of proactive and then you can send a message beforehand to your to your customers and say hey, we're having some tech issues maybe expect some delays this week and the modules or maybe this call might have to be rescheduled so that we can all go over together or whatever the case may be when it comes to that but the biggest thing is just acknowledging and owning it another thing that can be frustrating is to say oh my team this or so and so that just own it and say here's what we're gonna do like I don't think we want We excuses, we just want to know, okay, you, you, you see it, you hear it, here's what we're going to do, here's how we're working on it.
And that's good enough, it can be uncomfortable sometimes, you know, just as humans, for us to feel like someone's pointing out our flaws, or something that we've done wrong, or tell us something about ourselves that we know we're working on, or we're trying to improve. And then you feel like, Well, I know I'm doing it I'm doing by like trying to put that aside and saying, here's what I'm doing so that I can make this better for you.
Sara: It sounds like you're really good reminder for us to own the fact that we're humans, right? Yeah, we don't have to be perfect in any, you know, in our delivery, we just, we want everyone to be perfect, but it doesn't have to be perfect. But what we really need to do is just own whatever's happening. Try to get ahead of it really by saying that it's happening, you're saying and then also just like, take responsibility for it. We don't need to blame on our team members. It's just this what's happening, here's what's going here's, here's what's gonna, like, here's how we're gonna fix that, or here's when you know when you can expect but whatever the thing they wanted, like the module or the the next call is, I think that's really great.
And then also reminds me going back to the SLP is, like you said, like, making sure that there's a timeline to respond to those to those responses that you're getting and things that it's not just going into the void. They're actually being worked hard enough. It's just acknowledgement, like you may even put on an automated email thing saying, like, we received this, and you'll get back an answer. And even if it's three days to tell them, it's three days. Yes, yes. Yeah, if we know them, we're not wondering or feeling ignored, right? Even if it's like, okay, it's five days, okay, well, at least we know, they're gonna get back to me at this point, I'm going to be expecting a response.
So could you walk us through, what you would say would be the most important things we could put in place for a post purchase plan? Like it's for this for this great relationship? So what are a few things that we could do to have a great experience after purchase? I mean, it's a really great question, probably the one of the biggest things.
Marcy: I mean, it's a really great question, probably the one of the biggest things to deliver on every single promise that you made during the launch and keeping track of those promises, which I think might also go back into, like the slps. And stuff for like a wanna, because what I've seen often is, you know, we get so tied up with like, here, I'm gonna make this long list of these bonuses and extras and goodies in a coaching call, or whatever the case may be, so that they can, so I can make these experience or just make this offer seem more appealing. But then we maybe forget that we offered all of those different things. And then someone might say, Well, what happened to that coaching call that I thought I was supposed to get within the first couple of months. So having a plan in place to follow up, even if it's someone on your team, your customer success team to follow up with them on Hey, you know, I saw that you joined within the first few days of the launch. So not you, like you're eligible for this coaching call with the person, here's what you can do to schedule it. So then people know, like, oh, okay, like, cool, they're actually like they're taking the steps to do what they said they were going to do following through is so so key, because that also just helps you start to build that trust with them, and show that you're gonna follow through on the transformation that you promised and sold as well. That's probably the biggest thing other than that, I would say, when it comes to group programs, something I've seen, too, that I really thought was a really great idea was putting part of your onboarding sequence, maybe having like a boundaries and expectations agreement or a video. I know, one of the big things right now is I hear it in a lot of conversations that our industry is just having maybe a little bit more trauma informed decisions, or ethical marketing is another
Sara: like a value statement or like what the community had. Oh, yeah. The community. Yeah, think of values. Yeah, those happening. Yeah.
Marcy: yes. Yeah. So being clear, upfront, like, Hey, here's what you can expect from us during your time in our program, but here's also a we're gonna expect from you. Because I mean, the reality is to like, even if you're going to promise a transformation, you can't guarantee that they're going to do what they need to do to see that transformation. So being clear upfront about what they can expect and and letting them know, Hey, this is how you're agreeing to show up in this community so that we can make sure that this is a safe space where you know, everyone can show up and be brave, because again, like you can't really guarantee that safety, but you can show that you're actively putting these steps in place, so that it can be as safe as you can possibly make it when you're just in a community or a group community or group coaching program. And everyone maybe you have a Facebook group and some people might say things not realizing it could be triggering for someone else and setting those boundaries up front and expectations in front saying hey, you know, this is having a plan. I know I don't I don't think it's talked about enough but for managing conflict, because again, we're human and we may not always agree with one another. But saying here's what to do, if maybe somebody says something that is triggering, or it causes a conflict, here's how we're gonna handle that together, we're gonna work through it. And if you know so and so doesn't want to then maybe some steps in place to handle that and moving forward.
Sara: I love those and I like that you really talked about that safe space, right? And how we can tell people like how to be in our community and how we show up and I've noticed that more and more I'm part of a community and one of the things that they did and I love this is that they said like everyone on their team when they are on zoom, it's gonna add their pronouns and they encourage you to add pronoun your pronouns like you don't have to, but they're encouraging you to, but they're going to do it. And they're and they're explaining, and then they explain like, why this is important, right to them. And then another thing was about, like, what do you do if you're called in, right? If like your or your will, you're called out for something. So they're gonna say, we're going to call you we're going to, we're going to call you in to learn, and then this is what we're going to do. And then if someone is acting out of integrity for the group, like, here are the steps, we're going to take, like, first we're going to talk to you, then second, this is going to happen. And third, you're going to be removed. Like there's a clear boundaries of like, what's going to happen when these things occur. So people know that they're, they're proactive, right? They're trying to, they're trying their best to create a space. That's safe. I'm so glad that you got you talks about that, because I feel like it's not part of most post launch launch plans now. But it's becoming the bigger communities, I see it happening more and more. And I think we can all start to adopt a version of that.
Marcy: Right? Exactly. Especially with you know, just everything going on in our world and how there is a lot of learning and unlearning that's being done in our just society. But there's also there's a bit of resistance to for, for some people, as we're all trying to like grasp, like this new way of talking to one another. Again, I think it just means that we need to slow down and be more thoughtful and intentional in the way that we speak to each other, not just mindlessly speaking, whatever comes to mind. And maybe that means taking our eyes off of ourselves for a little bit. And considering how our words are going to impact somebody else in the group or someone close by, because then all of that impacts the experience and that impact whether or not someone continues to purchase from you, from you, and anything else that you come out with, because they're, they're also watching, they're gonna see how that person who's leading that group is going to handle that.
And it's going to show them whether or not they can trust them to continue standing up for them and showing that they're actually enforcing what they what they say they're gonna enforce because another thing that I know me personally and other people like business best friends that I have, when we look at sales pages is we want to see how much diversity there is on the page. And if they're using language that's directed to just one type of person, or if it's something that I can show up and feel like, Okay, I'm not going to stand out because I'm different from everyone else. But then when there's a lot of, I think marketers out there that will maybe use that diversity language and show diversity in their testimonials.
But then when you go in the program, like they're not actively acting in accordance with what they're perceiving are what they want people to perceive. So that also forces you to stay in integrity, some people can see it as a trend to just talk about ethical marketing and all that stuff and talk about it in their sales page, but then actually practicing it and changing the way that you run your business and these programs shows those people that come into your atmosphere, okay? Like they're not just talking about it, you're actually doing it too. And the way that they're doing it is by having this boundary statement, and they're handling this conflict that I had with this person that maybe said something that was triggering for me.
So it also just kind of holds that person that leader accountable as well, because whether we want to believe it or see it or not, I think we're all leaders in this space where there's a certain aspect of leadership that needs to be exemplified when we're leading a group program or a course or membership or, or business in general. And as service providers for our clients, we need to be able to step into that leadership role. Even if it's not something that we've ever seen for ourselves. The reality is that there's, there's leadership traits that we need to be in order to be great at our jobs, and great at helping those that we serve.
Sara: I think that was a beautiful way to wrap up our conversation today. Because it really comes back to that relationship building right and being and again, you said it being an integrity, and developing relationships and showing up how we want to be English with other people like how we want to be treated, how we want to treat people, so we can actually then have customers who stick around and want to be with us. Right, Marcy, will you please share with the folks listening how we can learn more about you and potentially work with you?
Marcy: Oh, absolutely. So my website is Marcy Lin. Co, and I am on Instagram at Miss dot, Marcy Lin, and LinkedIn at just Marcy Lynn. So you can pretty much Find me on any of those platforms.
Sara: Perfect. We'll drop all of those links in the show notes, of course, so that people can go over and check out your services and learn how the they can get your support for this customer retention relationship building themselves. Thank you so much for joining us today. Marcy, this has been one of my favorite conversations.
Marcy: No, absolutely. This has been so much fun. So I truly appreciate you for having me.
Sara: Thank you. Thanks for tuning in to the launch playbook podcast. If you want to get weekly launch secrets in your ears. I hope you'll hit subscribe on iTunes so you'll never miss an episode. Because who knows? It could reveal just the thing you've been looking for to make your next launch a success. And be sure to leave a five star review on iTunes telling me how this episode inspired your launch plans. Until next time, keep putting your big ideas out into the world. I'm rooting for you.
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