How a Scruffy Bum in Dallas Taught Me About Curating the Perfect Customer Experience
JULY 20, 2020
Six years ago, I stepped off the Amtrak Texas Eagle and into the Dallas Union Station lobby. I had a handful of luggage, a belly full of cashews and Epic bars, a travel pillow around my neck and no clue where to go or how to get there. Then, a Scruffy Bum (his words) with long curly, matted locs and a torn white tee walks over to me. I asked him how to get to the Hilton Anatole and he gives me a once-over. "You can take the 63…but dressed like that, I’d bring a bodyguard with you. You look like a lost tourist.” He was right. As I contemplated hailing a cab, he goes, “or, you could just give me $7 for a Whataburger sandwich and I’ll escort you there myself. No funny stuff.” …and that was the time a Scruffy Bum (again, his words) taught me everything I needed to know about curating the perfect customer experience. In today’s blog, I will teach you every lesson I learned from Scruffy Bum, from the moment we boarded the bus to the second our paths diverged.
Curating the perfect customer experience is more important than the actual content you create or the pitch you make to qualified leads. It is so important, that every dollar bill spent in UX produces a return of $100. (ROI= a whopping 9,900%) Why? Curating the perfect customer experience will formulaically (Wait, is that a word? I didn’t see a red squiggly so yea, def a word and if not it is now!) ensure that your offering to your customer exceeds their expectations. What you provide is more than just a solution to their problem, it leaves them with a sense of direction and more understanding about their role in a bigger picture.
Scruffy Bum got this one thing right, and that set the tone for our interaction: he educated me first, then pitched second. He put my needs first:
curating the perfect customer experience lesson #1- educate first, pitch second. put the customer’s needs first.
He answered my question in his first sentence. I’d say that he delivered on the valuable content straight up. He gave me what I needed. No questions asked.
But he delivered his pitch as above and beyond the solution…not as the solution. Sure, I could’ve taken the 63 but I also ran the risk of getting jumped, jacked or harassed. I really wasn’t about that life, so I weighed the alternatives.
That’s when he hit me with the price and what that would buy me. To me, having a personal escort to my destination was more important than the $7 he was charging me. Fair price. Loved it. That’s another thing: Under charge and over deliver, and price will never be an issue. I’m not saying don’t factor in profit margin; I’m simply saying up the value factor with relation to the price and no matter what’s happening with the economy, no matter what the projections look like for your industry and no matter what your competition is doing, you’ll score big every time.
As we boarded the bus, Scruffy Bum goes: “So here’s what’s gonna happen: we’re going to get on this bus. Then, we’re going to get off right before the overpass. Why? Because if you cross the overpass, you won’t be able to get right to the hotel on foot, you’ll have to go by car. But if you get off right before the overpass, it’s a bit of a walk but I’ll point at the street you’ll need to take. You’ll go left and I’ll go right to Whataburger then catch a bus back across town. Got it?”
Beautiful. Scruffy Bum kept me in the loop by setting the agenda for our experience. He let me know what to expect and where to go. This was the second thing I learned from him about curating the perfect customer experience:
curating the perfect customer experience lesson #2- keep your customer in the loop; help them set expectations by setting the agenda.
By setting the agenda, I knew what to expect and would know if something went wrong.
Scruffy Bum didn’t just give me directions, he crafted the ultimate Dallas experience. There was adventure in the delivery. That is the third thing Scruffy Bum taught me about curating the perfect customer experience:
curating the perfect customer experience lesson #3- sprinkle in a little adventure into your delivery
How can you create an experience for your customer?
IKEA? An adventure.
Singapore Airport? An adventure.
Hooters? Ugh. Still tho…an adventure.
Start by creating an experience for your customer.
We stepped onto the 63 and we passed by a random chicken joint. Scruffy Bum looks at me and chuckles.
“So that chicken joint right there? My cousin got robbed once. At knife-point. She pulled out a bag of weed, offered it to the guy and he just goes. ‘yo….thanks!’ and walks off. So a little unsolicited advice: always keep a nickel bag on hand in case you get cased.”
Five minutes later, Scruffy Bum goes: “So why are you in Dallas? How long is your stay? ‘Cause if you’re here a spell, definitely hit up Dealey Plaza if you’re one of those history buff types. That’s where JFK was popped. Sad, right? But it’s interesting. Also, for food, there’s some good spots near your hotel.”
The value with that one! Forreal. So I was paying for a pseudo-bodyguard, a mahram of sorts…but I got my own personal Yelp situation and a lil’ history #facts. Love it.
Scruffy Bum definitely curated the best experience.
So how did I apply these lessons to my business model? How have I used this to curate the perfect customer experience?
how we at bpc content curate the perfect customer experience:
Assign each client their own personal writer. So for the life of that client’s working relationship with us, they are able to work directly with their writer to guarantee the best content written in their voice and to their specifications.
Start with a Complimentary Content Assessment. Without direction, you’re lost. Not cool. We don’t want our clients feeling lost, so we do what Scruffy Bum did for me: we
Identify the needs of our target audience and answer their questions, straight up. This is why you aren’t getting the results you want online.
Tell them possible outcomes and possible workarounds. Scruffy Bum told me which bus to take, but told him of the possible outcomes of trying to go it alone.
Deliver our best recommendations for the solutions. We send a proposal letting our clients know how much it costs and what to expect in order to get the results they want online. Scruffy Bum did the same—he told me the solution and how much it would cost me. He even went above and beyond, telling me precisely what that money would go toward (Whataburger).
Create content that’s relatable. Whether we’re talking about Scruffy Bums or drunken bartenders, we aim to curate the perfect customer experience by aligning it with everyday scenarios and encounters. Why? Because everyone has an interesting travel story. Everyone knows that townie bartender that had an oddly large following. Everyone can relate to these scenarios, so creating content adjacent to everyday life makes complex concepts easier to understand.
Make sure our clients understand how to use the content we create for them. We do this through providing supplemental content about content marketing, content strategy, content development, content creation…pretty much all the things when it comes to content. We do this through the blog and through exclusive content to our email marketing subscribers. Literally, we create content like the actual words and phrases to say if you want to do things like…sell more products through your content, up-sell services, create an emotional response, make your audience see the value of your brand and more.
From start to finish, from the initial CCA (Complimentary Content Assessment) to the moment we send over the deliverables, we want to ensure the best content experience for our customers…and it’s working. Here’s how we know it’s working:
Our SEO is significantly improving. People are sharing our blog posts, and inviting their friends to read our content. We are getting Google Reviews and are noticing more and more cross-links to our content from other blogs. Thanks for the love, everyone!
We are getting more new client leads…from our current clients. Fewer things are more powerful in business than a qualified referral. When clients trust you, they feel comfortable referring you. Curating the perfect customer experience residually results in getting more customers, happier customers and customers happy to refer you to their friends.
We are getting more Google Reviews. Yes! Clients are letting other potential clients know, with their own words, what the BPC Content experience is like.
Oh, yea, and significantly more revenue. Duh! This happens when clients love your products and value when you curate the perfect customer experience and show this by bringing you repeat business.
So back to Scruffy Bum. We arrive at the overpass, hop off the bus and we walk down the street. He points, says “Well, here’s where our paths diverge.” I hand him a $20.
“Wait, I told you $7.”
“Yea but you gave me way more than a $7 experience. Thanks, you’re AMAZING!”
“Well, thanks but I’m nothing special. Just a Scruffy Bum tryna help.”