Customer Wise: It’s all about your client’s experience

Michelle Di Gangi
Posted by Michelle Di Gangi
Small Business Banking

I know I speak for all of our business bankers when I say that we’re constantly inspired by — and in awe of — our small business clients. So much so, that we’ve started sharing on our blog what we hear from them in this ongoing series called “Customer Wise” — whether it’s advice, lessons learned, or an interesting market perspective.

Scott Richards, wearing plaid tie and leaning on a beige tiled wall.To kick things off and mark National Small Business Week this year, we’ve asked five of Bank of the West’s business banking clients to share insights and tips for anyone starting a business now.

Today Scott Richards, CEO of Faceless Technologies Inc., a marketing company based in Denver, shares some great insights about customer service (read the Q&A below). And it’s great to see how the love for his work influences what he teaches his kids.

Q: Think back to when you started your business. What do you wish someone had told you before you started?

A: Keep in mind the experience the customer has; don’t always make it about trying to have the most perfect product or service. Consider what the whole experience is like. We learned to not get defensive or not think difficulties are always about the product or service. It may be how you handle situations that arise.

Based on your experience starting and running a business, what advice would you give someone starting a business today?

I would actually say really look at your expenditures, keep your budgets tight, and do everything in your power to not have to borrow to start off your business. Then you can be more creative in how you get it going, and (hopefully) there is some revenue being generated. That way you’re not starting off this great idea with a huge amount of debt.

To help avoid debt early on in the buildup of your business, everyone involved must wear as many hats as possible to truly build a strong team foundation. Get a true understanding of revenue being generated and expenses, and know what goals need to be met to be able to cover those expenses each month.

With Faceless, I looked at how much the expenses were each month. The main focus was always to close some small projects immediately that covered the monthly expense by offering our products and services at rates so much lower than retail, it made it hard for clients to say no. It kept us all busy, and anything generated past that for the rest of the month was a bonus.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your business?

Our customer service. It’s a dual answer: First, I’m proud of our customer service because we’ve learned throughout the years how important it is that the experience dealing with us is a pleasant one. Even if they are calling up to say, “Oh my God, a mistake was made, what can be done?”

Second, I’m proud of creating value for our clients. We are in the marketing industry and we provide a wide variety of services and products for our clients to save them money, improve their image, and help them generate more revenue.

Our greatest achievements are when we can take a smaller, mom-and-pop, individually owned business and give it the ability to compete against a global or national business with the image that they are on the same level.

Would you do it again (why or why not)?

Absolutely. I love what I do. Yes, there are stressful days, long evenings, and weekends. But one of the lessons I’ve tried to teach my kids, and the younger generation in general, is that when you love what you do every day it’s not really work.

When your focus is finding something you absolutely love doing every day, you’re going to be good or great at what you do. And that leads to being near the top of your industry and generating revenue and making good money. I always tell people that’s the most important thing. So, yes, I would absolutely do it all again.

You can learn more about the company at Faceless Technologies’ site.

 

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