Boldface is the maker of experiential backpacks. At Boldface we let consumers create customized backpacks that feature images and designs that are special to them (we also have some pretty awesome Boldface images!). A pet, a child, a car, a sunset or anything else that makes them feel good. Our goal is for our customer to experience the backpack - not just wear it. And through the "replaceable face system," (RFS) consumers can change the look of their backpacks with the swap of a 'face'.
About a month ago Boldface received a request for a backpack that supported Hillary for President. We assumed the backpack was for a fan looking to show his/her love for Hillary at school or work. Little did we know - until this past weekend - that the backpack was created to support Hillary at the California Democratic Convention.
I am thrilled to report that the Boldface backpack was a wild success. By 8:30 am on Saturday morning of the Convention I was getting text messages about our bag at the convention. Later that day we were sent a Facebook post showing the bag alongside some powerful California democrats. It was exciting to see the pride of its owner. Clearly, Boldface's mission of creating an experience for the consumer was successful!
As Boldface's Chief Operating Officer there is little that makes me happier than a happy customer. Perhaps the only thing that makes me happier is a happy customer that creates fans for us as this customer did.
As a frequent speaker at conventions, conferences and seminars I often speak about the need for companies to turn customers into evangelists. The Facebook photo above is an example of how a company can turn one purchase into the source of pride and hundreds of referral purchases.
The following are three tips you can follow to improve sales and turn consumers into evangelists:
1. Make the customer a priority.
Boldface is not about the backpack. Boldface is about the experience.
I am constantly shocked when I observe a business owner that treats the customer poorly and then complains about lackluster sales. In today’s competitive environment, anyone who thinks a business is about anyone but the customer is best served by shutting it as quickly as possible. Cut your losses.
2. Get close, interact and listen.
The best way to find out what a customer thinks about a product or service is by asking. Too often business owners fail to actively listen to their customers. Businesses that repeatedly listen to customers and act on the information can earn a special place in their hearts. I hate being woken up on a Saturday morning...unless it is a text letting me know that Boldface is somehow creating an experience. I'll lose sleep for that anytime.
Entrepreneurs can tap online survey tools like Constant Contact, Survey Money and Mail Chimp to gain feedback about customer sentiment.
3. Develop the company's personality.
I preach constantly anywhere someone is willing listen that "people do business with people" - not companies, brands or ideas. But I think there's one exception: People also do business with companies that they perceive as having a personality.
It is our goal at Boldface to give our company a real personality. When you think about Boldface we want you feel like you would if you were hanging out with Randy, Dean or myself. Through high quality products, social media and every other touch point, organizations can share a little of themselves with their customers. And customers generally appreciate that sentiment.
I am so grateful to everyone that sent me a message during the Democratic convention about the Boldface backpack. We work hard to ensure a positive customer experience. In the spirit of equal time, my only comment is, "hey Republicans! Are you going to let the Democrats have all the fun?!"