Each episode, we meet people who's job it is to make great Customer Experience happen. Join us for insights into how you can improve your customer experience, and keep the customers you have.
Canadian Spa Icons Celine Tadrissi, and Elena Zinchenko: How Spas Thrive through Constant Innovation
In this episode we sit down with two of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs in the spa industry and take a close look a how each of them responded to the COVID-19 lockdowns, discovered new ways to innovate, and emerge from the worst of the pandemic lockdowns ultimately stronger than they were pre-lockdown. Today’s Guests: Celine Tadrissi,...
Jean-Guy de Gabriac: Achieving That "WOW" Experience in a World-Class Spa
Few would argue that the luxury spa industry requires among the highest standards of guest experience in the world, in which every detail is (or should be) designed not just to please you, or relax you, but to transform you into your better self. Our guest today, Jean-Guy de Gabriac, is one of the world’s...
Mike Saulpaugh: The Customer Centric World of the New Jersey Wedding Event
What is one of the most intense customer experience situations around? Weddings! Our guest, Mike Saulpaugh, has a really interesting take on what it means to deliver a great customer experience.Michael Saulpaugh is Managing Partner at Elegant Music Group, based out of Montclair, NJ. In addition to his 18 years in the events and entertainment industry, Michael has a professional background in creative advertising. His work has been featured in Adweek and BuzzFeed has called him, “hilariously clever.” Michael, as you’ll discover, is all about leveraging the experience of the customer to drive business growth, and was selected to and is now a contributing member on the Forbes Business Council.
The Future of Retail: Bringing the in-store experience into your home. Guest Oscar Sachs, CEO and Co-Founder of Salesfloor
Traditional retail has been on a slow, but steady decline for probably the last decade. So much so that retailers were getting super creative to find a way to bring you into the store. In-store mini concerts, dining options like great coffee shops or pop-up kitchens, were becoming a trend in some of the higher-end stores. And then – you guessed it – COVID-19 hit and the way we used to shop is pretty much history.So, since you probably can’t go to that favourite store of yours, or maybe these days you’re less inclined to, what if there was a way to somehow bring that in-store magic to you, in the comfort of your home?Today's guest, Oscar Sachs, is the CEO and co-founder of Salesfloor. Salesfloor empowers store associates to provide the personalized service customers love by connecting store associates to shoppers both in-store, and online. Think Facetiming with your favourite sales associate right there in the store. Salesfloor has over 45,000 associates from leading retailers in apparel, beauty, jewelry and baby items and toys. Salesfloor is redefining the role of store associates in N. America, and globally. And with retail trending how it’s been trending, simply put, they’re the future of retail. About Our Guest
Oscar Sachs is the CEO and co-founder of Salesfloor. Formerly a retail executive responsible for store operations at the Aldo Group and Best Buy, Oscar led some of retail's earliest omnichannel initiatives to create a bridge between the online and bricks and mortar retail worlds. Oscar Sachs is the founder of several successful start-ups in the retail digital space, such as Ad Splash Media, the first company to develop a digital media program for the top online ecommerce sites. Oscar earned his MBA degree from McGill University.For the Salesfloor website, click here.
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Nic Faitos, Founder and Senior Partner of Starbright Floral Design, on Delivering 5-Star Customer Experience to New York’s Top Hotels
Let’s say you ran a business. I’m not going to tell you what kind of business. I’m going to let you guess.In this business, your customers spend a lot of time, and consideration choosing which of your products they’re going to buy from you. Often they select only the components, and leave you to assemble it in its final form. There’s often a lot of emotional investment involved in making their decision. And needless to say the final result has got to be perfect.In choosing the component parts, your customers can choose among hundreds of options, and leave it to you to put it all together. To add to the complexity of this business, you never really know how busy you’ll be. That said, all of your inventory needs to be completely rotated about every three days. After about 3 days, you can’t use it. And finally, your customers will often never see what they finally buy. They select the components, pay you for them, and the work you’ll do with them, and walk away, and it’s your job to make sure they somehow feel good about their choice to work with you, without seeing what they actually bought!How are you possibly going to keep those customers coming back to you?Have you guessed the kind of business I’m describing? It’s a florist. Think about it. Think of those times you’ve ordered flowers. You may never see the final result unless someone sends you a picture. So what is it about that that makes it a great experience for you? Now to add even more complexity to that….What if you’re the founder/ceo of one of the largest florists in New York City, serving all of the major hotels, where you have to get it 100% right every time? Managing that kind of complexity is trickier than any juggling act I think I’ve ever seen. And our guest today, Nic Faitos, let’s just say he’s damn good juggler.About Our GuestNic Faitos is the owner and founder of Starbright Floral Design, Inc. He goes by the title of Senior Partner, and he started the company in 1994.Prior to Starbright, Nic has lived, worked and studied in California, Greece, Florida before finally settling in NY. Nic has always been entrepreneurial, and his career has included publishing, technology and financial sales. But it makes sense that he found his home in NY. Nic is part of that enery, that sparkle, that puts the pizzazz in NY. If you’ve been to NY, you know what I’m talking about.Nic’s dedication to this industry, and as well as his dedication to delivering a five-star service experience, helped set a new standard for the floral industry. Specifically in his interactions with hoteliers, travel and tourism, which is a market he soon dominated. We spend some time talking about that.Since its start in 1994, Starbright Floral Design has grown from a single employee to seventy-five non-seasonal team members. Never has the company experienced a down year in revenue and is by every measurable standard the largest and most well- known floral brand in New York City.Nic has been featured on ABC News, The Wall Street Journal, Crain’s Business and at a presser with former Mayor Bloomberg, and now, this podcast.Nic and I connected over Zoom late this summer. And we started our conversation talking about what has set Starbright Floral Design apart from other florists, and what has made them the florists of choice for hotelliers in NY who have the highest standards in the world. Click
Guest Ann-Marie Clendenin on How COVID-19 is Transforming the Retail Customer Experience
About Today's Episode
What would it take for you to go to a brick and mortar, say clothing store. Would you browse through the clothes on the hangars? Would you try stuff on? Stuff that other people might have tried on? And what would THAT be like? In a small change room that someone else had just left? Being all breath-y and everything? While a year ago you may not have given it a thought, today, it might set off all kinds of alarm bells for you. What we look for in a retail experience is fully, and perhaps forever, transformed. These are historic times.
In Today's Episode We Discuss:
* What brands need to do TODAY to stay competitive in the new post COVID-19 economy.
* What does the future of retailing look like?
* The key approach that's allowing retailers to deepen their relationship with their customers.
Ann-Marie Clendenin is a top leader of some of N. America’s most iconic brands, with a solid track record for driving massive retail growth globally through traditional expansion, as well as Omni channel (which basically means connecting meaningfully with your customers on every channel possible – brick and mortar, online, social, heck – graffiti on the side of a wall if that’s how your customers want to communicate). Ann-Marie’s career spans 30 years, and if anyone is poised to think retail, outside of the box, it’s our guest today.
Ann-Marie's leadership extends to The Limited, Ann Taylor, Aeropostale and most recently, holding executive roles as Global Head of Retail and eCommerce Operations for Kate Spade and President US Retail for Aritzia.
At Kate Spade, Ann-Marie drove physical store expansion, tripling the business from 68 stores to 225 stores in North America and from 445 to 680 stores internationally, while scaling volume from $300M to $2.1B.
With responsibility for 3 brands and 6 channels in Kate Spade, Jack Spade and Kate Spade Saturday, she Architected and drove a 13 pronged Omni Channel Solution with more than $350M in sales.
Ann-Marie is also an expert on "clientelling" – which is kind of like how it sounds. Rather than subjecting your “customer” to individual transactions, clientelling is about creating retail clients, which means a much more profound relationship than the individual, and often forgettable, transaction at the cash register, and the result is lifelong brand relationships and phenomenal, individualized customer experiences. You can just imagine that this is a disruptive force in traditional retail. So who better to re-envision and disrupt retail today than someone who’s been doing it for 30 years.
For Further Listening on the Importance of Brand Reputation
Click here to listen to my interview with Stephen Hahn-Griffiths from The Reputation Institute on the importance of safeguarding the Brand Reputation.
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A great window into CX
At the beginning of each show, Pat does a great idea settign the stage for the interview. He gives context to the conversation, unlinke many shows that just start with the interview. The interviews are so interesting that I often want to buy the brand's product or service, just so I can expereince their CX. The show is off to a great start, I can't wait to see it grow.