5 Things a Business Should Do to Create a Wow Customer Experience

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Samantha Myers of Let’s Dress Up: 5 Things a Business Should Do to Create a Wow Customer Experience

An Interview With Orlando Zayas

Thank You — Appreciate your customers. Thank them for their business with words, actions, rewards, discounts and everything in between. Use social media to publicly thank and highlight special customers.

As part of our series about the five things a business should do to create a Wow! customer experience, I had the pleasure of interviewing Samantha Myers and Judy Famigletti. They are the duo behind Let’s Dress Up, a fairy tale themed play space for kids in the heart of New York City. Samantha left a lengthy career in Financial Services in 2018 to be an entrepreneur and joined forces with Judy at Let’s Dress Up.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

After graduating from college at Tulane University, I got an entry level job in the Financial Services Industry and loved it. Twenty years later after various roles, a merger, countless restructurings, and a couple of moves I was burnt out and ready for a change. So I decided to answer that nagging voice in the back of my mind that told me I should own my own business. I approached Judy about coming on as a partner at Let’s Dress Up and an entrepreneur was born.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

One that comes to mind is certainly funnier now than it was at the time. Three year old twins were having a monumental meltdown over a mermaid dress. I somehow ended up in the crosshairs of both the twins and their stressed out mom who ended up yelling at me in the middle of the event. I did my best to keep cool, but many lessons were learned that day (for me at least, I can’t speak for the twins as I think they were just happy to get their way).

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My husband is a serial entrepreneur. He encouraged me to make the leap from my predictable office job to the wild world of being an entrepreneur. And he helped me believe that I could truly be a successful small business owner.

Thank you for that. Let’s now pivot to the main focus of our interview. This might be intuitive, but I think it’s helpful to specifically articulate it. In your words, can you share a few reasons why great customer service and a great customer experience is essential for success in business?

Customer service is at the core of running a successful business. People have so many choices about how and where to spend their hard earned money. For small businesses especially, the personal touches encourage people to keep coming back. Building a good reputation, word of mouth, reviews and referrals are also the keys to growing your small business and go straight to the bottom line.

We have all had times either in a store, or online, when we’ve had a very poor experience as a customer or user. If the importance of a good customer experience is so intuitive, and apparent, where is the disconnect? How is it that so many companies do not make this a priority?

The value a company places on customer service has to come from the top. Leadership sets the example and must make it priority all the way down the line. Each employee represents the company and should be encouraged to behave as such. It takes extra effort to add those extra special touches, to thank people, to create loyalty programs and to resolve complaints and I think sometimes it just gets pushed to the bottom of the list.

Do you think that more competition helps force companies to improve the customer experience they offer? Are there other external pressures that can force a company to improve the customer experience?

Without a doubt. The more competition there is, the more options people have. They can frequent any businesses they chose and they can choose to move their business after even one bad experience. Another external pressure is all of the social media outlets. This gives dissatisfied customers a platform (and sometimes a megaphone) to air their grievances.

Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?

We had an experience recently where a parent wanted to plan a small birthday for her daughter (while trying to navigate the 2021 COVID environment). Some of her guests did not want the children to eat at the party so we substituted a themed craft and packed the cupcakes to go instead. She wanted to make it extra special with a princess appearance so we had one of our princess contacts “Zoom” in with a special birthday wish and song. We simply worked with her to give her the experience she wanted at a reasonable price. And she (and the birthday girl) were thrilled!

Did that Wow! experience have any long term ripple effects? Can you share the story?

In these times especially, being able to adjust your policies and offerings is key. One of the guests at that party had such a great time and heard how easy we were to work with that she booked her party with us a few weeks later.

Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience. Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. The Customer Perspective — Make sure to see your product or experience through the customers eyes. What happens when they walk in the door, how is the flow, the look, the feel, the greeting. Or what happens when they go to your website, is it user friendly, easy to navigate, does it reflect your brand.

  2. Thank You — Appreciate your customers. Thank them for their business with words, actions, rewards, discounts and everything in between. Use social media to publicly thank and highlight special customers.

  3. Employee Culture — Train employees to reflect the values of the company so that no matter who the customer encounters, they are met with the same level of customer service.

  4. Reputation — Cultivate a positive reputation across the board. Ask customers for input. Collaborate with other local businesses, be a positive member of the community.

  5. The Details Matter — The bottom line is details, details, details. From attracting the customer to the experience to the follow up, you must think about all the little things that make your business truly special.

Are there a few things that can be done so that when a customer or client has a Wow! experience, they inspire others to reach out to you as well?

Encourage them to write a review, this goes a long way with potential customers. With our mom customer base in particular, word of mouth and reviews from actual people are a huge driver. You can also use social media to highlight positive reviews.

My particular expertise is in retail, so I’d like to ask a question about that. Amazon is going to exert pressure on all of retail for the foreseeable future. New Direct-To-Consumer companies based in China are emerging that offer prices that are much cheaper than US and European brands. What would you advise retail companies and eCommerce companies, for them to be successful in the face of such strong competition?

Find your niche and offer a best in class experience. Highlight what you do best to stand out against the competition, do not make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people (leave that to the Amazons of the world). Know your demographic and make personal connections with customers and within your communities. Especially for small businesses, this can make all the difference.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I hope small businesses come back in 2021. I am working hard to do my part in this movement and hope we will see more and more people speaking out, funding and promoting this vital initiative.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@letsdressupnyc Instagram

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


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