Customer Service Interview with Anthony Graziano
Let me introduce to you anthony grant cno and his brand name is grass so he is a musician and he's also a graphic designer and he's also a customer support superhero at creative life he's actually in the seattle office so and because it's saturday he's not going to be able to join us live so who recorded this ahead of time but if you want to check him out you can look up his work at grass dot bandcamp dot dot com so should we bring up the interview hands on me hey how's it going you good good good I'm so excited to have you on here I think we're going to learn so much from you today s o to start things off like many of the people in the audience and people were going to be watching this course you have multiple passions so you are the graphic designer and musician and producer for your brand grass and then on top of that you're also the customer service superstar for the guys here at creative life why don't you tell us a little bit more about your own business s own my own business is ...
I it's all culminated around my music my stage name is graz and I do a lot of graphic artist teo go along with that as well loza dance music production so e g m and uh underground kind of stuff like that so what I do is I make some of that together and I haven't online storefront where a cell with my own merchandise and all my and products to go along with that hey cool so I know in our previous chat to you have done previous customer support work with creative life and with other several big companies so how do you feel like all of that experience and all the skills you've learned from that how do you feel that transfers over to you running your own business? I feel like it's it's all relative I would really say anybody who's in any sort of position in any job in a way is kind of customer service without even realizing it there's always somebody that you're trying to please and somebody that you really tryingto make sure has a good experience I feel like it's it's all translated to my current my current work outside of creative live in the way that you just want to treat people as a as they want to be treated and how you want to be treated and make sure that there's always an empathy element to that make sure that you're really understanding what it is that they're trying to get from you and and to not treat them like they're somebody different because at the end of the day there's a person just like you right right so you've also probably in your experience come across a few crazy stories from your experience would you be able to share a few stories of some nightmare situations you've had with customers and how you were able to deal with those you know there's a lot of a lot more than I would care to admit I would say a lot of them generally and this is probably going to be the same for people who are trying to run their own business is if you have any sort of tangible good so if you're sending anything things getting lost in transit is a big issue eso I've had a situation where one of my one of my customers didn't get a parcel that I sent multiple times internationally and for anybody who has shipped anything internationally it gets expensive in addition to also the price of the product and murdered or whatever it is that you're sending uh so the best way to go about that is ah just let them know that international shipping is is a hard thing and make sure toe if you have to send it again, make sure you ship it where they can actually track it. So that's that's been one of the nightmare situations where they get really upset and you don't have the tracking information so you can't really you know tell them where it's that but uh the best you can do is just honor their word and say they haven't received it and try to send it again and you know, just have a lot of apology, I would say the other issue is ah had situations where people haven't been happy with the products they've received, so say that the ah copyrighting on it wasn't as good as it could have been on then what they do is they take to social media. So that's that's a big nightmare situation, especially if you're a young business, and I would say the best way that I've dealt with that is to really just try to get them in a one on one situation just say, you know, I'm really sorry you had that experience. I want to do everything I can to get it resolved. Is there any chance that I can email you? Because the main point of that is to get your attention and to get other people's attention, so really validating that and say, hey, I really want to do what I can to resolve, uh, is something that is really helped in that situation, but those air, I would say that the most common and and the biggest nightmares, yeah, it's, something that I've experienced to a lot of my business, and I know a lot of other makers and people who actually had make their own products go through the same thing I'm curious to know when you deal with the shipping crisis do you normally ask them to pay for shipping again or do you have it kind of in priced into your pricing so that you can just ship it to them for free again? How do you normally handle that s so what I do is I don't charge him again usually it's out of pocket and the reason behind that is if you were purchasing something from any other website, any other big business and something didn't arrive that's really beyond the customers control and so I don't think that it would feel good for the customer to have to pay out of pocket again for a situation that they didn't really have any involvement with I understand that there's money involved in and it takes it takes out of the bottom line for you but the customer experience definitely is much better if you if you just bite the bullet and say hey that's a loss but I'm gonna make this person happy and make sure they get the product that's awesome that's actually something I do for my since two I kind of try to put it in my pricing toe toe take care of when things like this goal awry andi think like what you've said that really helps in their customer's mind really they're going to think a lot better of you and they're gonna have a good experience with you and I think at the end of the day that's the result that you want to have so because you're on your own business and obviously you've had angry customers, you have to deal with them, right? How do you not take things personally? And how do you remain calm and keep your cool? I would say it's taken ah, it's taken a long time and a lot of customer service to really fully get the grasp of the key reason why people do the things that they do and why they get so angry. I'd say the the easiest way tio relate to the customers, that at the end of the day, they were just really excited about the thing that you're offering, they really wanted it, and they spent time on the internet to do business with you. So if that's, if that's something that you appreciate, you appreciate them to do business with you, you would understand, naturally, they'd be upset when they didn't get that. So I think the key is just to relate and no know about all of the negative experiences that you've had in the past and trying to make sure that that doesn't end like one of those ones. So I guess relating to the customer is the best part of that, and just making sure that you, I guess, I guess, treat them like a human being, it's a I mean I can't stress that enough it's something that people really don't even think about it's ah it's just a kn email that comes in on your computer and you don't take the time of day to say hey you know this is somebody's hard earned money in time that there really using tow to come and do business with me so you want to treat them like they're the star at least for that time until everything's taken care of that's great so we've kind of been talking about a lot of angry people lately so why don't we turn things around and maybe talk more about some of the practical tips that you might have for keeping your happy customers happy sure I would say if you ever have any promotional materials those air cheap and easy way to lighten somebody's day up with getting whatever it is that you're sending so for me I have ah whole bunch of ah little like three quarter inch pins and stickers and things like that eh? So even if they didn't order that I usually throw one or two of those in because it's one of those things that really just surprises and delights people it's something that they didn't expect and generally if they're already excited to get something to get something additional for free is even better so it usually has a really good result and and even might even already might even work in tow having them tweet or message you and just say thank you so it really does go a long way and it doesn't cut too much into the overhead of what it is that you're doing so I guess we're kind of wrapping it up with our interview here do you have any parting advice for our audience on just any any general tips that we can take away for how to do customer service better and howto just get in that mindset of treating our customers better yeah I would say the biggest thing is don't be afraid to let the customer no you've made a mistake at the end of the day if you own up to your mistake and you're accountable for it that's going to go a lot longer then if you're just making up excuses just being accountable opens up that communication too say hey I'm human you're human I want to do everything I can to get this result for you so really just being being a person is the best advice I can give you cool so why don't you share with the audience where we can find you your website your your your social media links where can we find your work so you can fund my music g r a z dot bandcamp dot com so graz dot bandcamp dot com also have ah blogged that occasionally has my art but usually just up incoming information such as events and things like that and that's ah, graz, core dot com also have instagram and twitter, also under the same grass score, already. Thank you so much for being here. I'm sure we're all going to learn so much from this, thank you and anthony, happy to helpem. Thank you, but I I wanted to expand on what he said there with with just giving your customers the best experience and just empathizing with them. And if you are dealing with an angry customer, what I found, I actually read a study on this on our that a study was done on this, and they found that an angry customer that you can make happy is more likely to turn into a loyal customer, then someone who just goes through and is just happy from the beginning. So I thought that was interesting, but I think I can see how that might be true.