02:43 – Just what is Bonjoro?
07:29 – How to convert more people
09:37 – Creating the one-to-one experience
12:34 – The keys to retention
16:07 – Retention in a car dealership
19:36 – Bear suits and hoodies
21:30 – Growing your customer’s lifetime value
24:28 – The most powerful way to grow a business
27:26 – The story behind Bonjoro
30:02 – Simplifying stuff
32:00 – What’s been talked about
Need a hand growing your business? James will personally guide you inside SuperFastBusiness membership
James: James Schramko here, welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today, this is a great episode. It’s actually an essential episode if you have a business, and I hope you do, listening to this or you’re planning to have one. This is episode 575, How to Convert, Retain and Grow More Customers.
And for this one, I’ve invited a new friend of mine. His name is Matt from Bonjoro. Welcome!
Matt: Hey, James. Thanks for having me on the show.
James: Or should I have said Bonjour?
Matt: Bonjour, Bonjoro, Buongiorno. It’s all the same.
James: So I was in the city speaking at my friend Dale Beaumont’s event and just as I arrived, one of my other friends, Ilana Wechsler, who is a previous guest of this show, said “Oh, Matt from Bonjoro is here.” And I said. “That’s strange. What would he be doing in Sydney?” And there you were. And I was quite surprised that you were here in Australia, because I’d been doing business with you already and I had no idea that this business was local to me. You must have an international audience base, I’m sure.
Matt: Yeah, we do. So we are born and bred in Sydney. I’m actually English originally, but I, like many of the smart ones, left that place. But we have a team here, a few guys in the UK and the States. Most of my customers are now US-based. But I was sending out some bear suits today to certain customers and we’re shipping them to Canada, the US, Queensland, Sydney, Germany and Poland. So we’re starting to get quite an international base already. But likewise I was surprised to see you, because I also thought you were US-based or somewhere else. So it’s great to see some great businesses here in Sydney.
James: Well it’s quite interesting. I was in a regional part of the Philippines in December, and I was surfing up the coast in a reasonably remote place, it’s still relatively undiscovered. And there was an older Australian there, he was probably in his, I think he said he was 67 and he goes, “Where are you from, mate?” And I said, “Sydney.” He goes, “You don’t sound like it.” Maybe because I travel a lot or something. But born and bred in Australia.
Now, I’m sure our listener doesn’t really care about that but what they are interested in is converting and retaining and growing customers, so I want to talk about that. But just before we do that, we should just put some context here. What is Bonjoro?
What is Bonjoro?
Matt: Okay. So ultimately, we’re a customer delight platform. That’s how we think about ourselves. We’re still quite early on, but essentially the tool we have that’s most used is an app that plugs into your CRM or mailing list, if you have one. And essentially, when a new lead or a new customer comes and gets in touch with you, rather than sending an automated email or just a two-dimensional email, what we let you do is record a quick, 30-second video, just introduce yourself and say hi to that person one-to-one. If James ends up on Bonjoro with SuperFastBusiness, He’ll pop up on my phone. Then I’ll do a video, I’m like, “Hey James, Matt here, love SuperFastBusiness, been listening to the podcast for ages. Look, so good to have you onboard. Let me know how I can help. Please go and do XYZ. But just remember we’re here and we’re human and we’re here to help.”
We just load it to his email inbox. And then here comes this big picture of me smiling. He clicks then and watches that message. That message is recorded individually for him. And this is a key part. It’s not a generic message. You actually have to do it for each and every customer. We make that very easy to do, but the point is when you take even 30 seconds with a new lead that comes in just to say we’re here to help, it blows people away. Because let’s face it, most people in the world would never do this, will never think about doing it. But it is quick, and it’s all about starting to build a relationship with that customer because relationships lead to growing more business.
“Relationships lead to growing more business.”
James: Yeah, I’ll be testimony to that because I’ve been using it. I first heard about it from Jarrod Robinson, who’s my go-to technological sniffer. He looks for things. And then he knows not to share everything with me, because I don’t have the patience or the time or the energy to go loading up apps to my phone and start using things just because I’m a millennial or something, which I’m not. He actually sort of selects ones that he thinks I would like. He says, “James, you would like this one.” And I’m like, “Jarrod, do I really need another app?” He goes, “You would like this one. Hook it up to Intercom.” That’s what we’re using for our onboarding and some other things for my community. And he said, “It’ll just pop up a bubble on your phone with the name of the customer. You can record them a video from your phone and send it.” And I said, “Why wouldn’t I just make a video from my phone?” And he said, “Are you already doing the videos on the phone?” I said, “I have done them from time to time, but I guess having a system is good.
The other thing that I remembered is that sometimes when I sent videos from my phone, that shows up upside down for my customers if they’re using Android devices, so that was a small concern. But the most important thing is that now when someone joins SuperFastBusiness, I get a notification. I make a personal video. I get to select the thumbnail and type an individual message, and I think that part is very important. And then I hit upload and then I get to find out when the customer’s seen it and they can give me a little happy bear or I’m not sure what you call that, it’s like a thumbs up but Bonjoro-style and they’ve watched it on whatever device and it alerts me.
And then usually, they’re doing what I’ve asked them to do. It actually has a branded hyperlink to the section of the community where they can go and create a personal message for me because I want to coach my customers. When they join, I want them to immediately go and start a coaching discussion just between me and them and nobody else. And if I can have them start that early, then they will get results and that’s what I want for them.
So since I added Bonjoro, I’m getting people are absolutely blown away because the first thing they think when they see a little video thumbnail from me is, “Oh, here we go. Here’s a canned welcome video. ‘Hi, welcome to blah blah blah.’” But when I mention their name, they stop. I can see they re-watch it. They’re re-watching it because they can’t believe this is just for them and nobody else. And it’s not like a mail merge or anything like that. It’s truly custom. And Matt, you were at our local meetup recently in Sydney and you got to speak to some of my brand new customers who only joined us the month prior. And their feedback to you was…?
Matt: That it’s all about relationships and they’ve had their messages from you and each and every time, like you said, they think it’s going to be an automated one and when they realize it’s actually you speaking, they just can’t believe you would take the time.
James: Yeah. So I’m setting the tone from the very beginning of how involved I am in their future and they’ve just paid for it. They just bought the service. They’re paying an entry fee that is not loose change, you know? It’s a substantial investment in their business and they’re hopeful that it’s going to go well. But it’s such great validation when within an hour or half an hour or at least within a day, they’re getting a welcome message from me and it validates that they’ve made a good choice and they get started so we can start getting them a result quickly.
So that’s my personal experience with Bonjoro. I’ve been recommending it to all of my customers and we put up a review on SuperFastBusiness.com which explains more about what it is.
What can you do to convert?
Let’s just step through the process. So how are we going to approach this? We should start with conversion, I guess. What sort of things can we do to convert more people into customers?
Matt: So I think when you have new customers coming into your funnel – and these would be leads that you want to convert into customers or newly acquired customers who’ve come on board – I think this first interaction is extremely important. As you said just then, it sets the tone of the relationship going ahead. And obviously, it depends on what kind of relationship you want to have. But when another person realizes that you are going to invest in them. And right now, let’s face it, the most important commodity, the most expensive commodity in the world is time. That’s pretty much the ultimate commodity. When you’re willing to spend time on them, they will not only feel valued above and beyond, but they will then reciprocate with their time as well. And that time will be going deeper with you and your business. It will be taking that next important action which could be to respond, it could be to perform something. It could be to get an upgrade or pay, if that’s a lead.
So I really, really think this first piece of communication you have with the customer is almost everything. It’s about first impressions and we don’t give it enough weight. It doesn’t have to be about video. I mean, video’s a great way of getting yourself across, but always think, this is the moment. This is the bit that matters. It’s not just a transaction.
James: Yeah, I agree. I actually made a whole video about which customers to pay the most attention to. If there were three groups – the first time customers, the longest-term customers and then the ones in the middle. And I gave the metaphor of a sandwich shop. If you have a new customer walk in for the very first time, put a little bit of extra filling in the sandwich. Give a bigger smile. Because that is 100 percent of their experience with you at this point. It’s not like they’ve been in 157 times and you can drop the ball and they won’t really mind, because it’s only like less than 1 percent of their net experience with you. This is 100 percent of their experience with you, so you have to come out of the gates flying.
In fact, the guest on the previous episode was talking about the wow experience. You know, what can we do to really wow customers? So we’re really on topic here. What sort of things can we do to convert our customers in a way that stands out from the way that they’re used to being converted?
Can you customize something?
Matt: So I think it all comes down to this idea of, can you customize something for them? Can you give them the feeling of one-to-one experience? It’s funny, if you look at service industries, they are extremely good at this. When we moved online, we’ve actually kind of shied away from it.
“Can you give them the feeling of one-to-one experience?”
So there’s a whole world going towards automation scale, and that’s okay. But I still think we can make this first interaction and try and make it more personal. And that could be an email. It could of course be a Bonjoro. I think it’s not so much not about videos. The fact that gets across is your personality and your attitude. And if, like many of you who have taken the step into business, you’re probably already very good with people, so this will come across and can help you a lot as well. It could be through a tweet, through a kind of interaction on social. But again, don’t just hammer out the same things for everyone. Think personally. But the more personal you can make it… A name is incredibly powerful. It goes such a long way. It’s amazing how much saying someone’s name matters. But you can then mention their business or if you can think about the actual use cases. Like hey, let’s say you’re dealing with accountants. “Hey look, we work with other accountants and this is how they use it. Do you want to have a chat about this?”
And then I think as well, this whole first interaction, the point is to make a sale. Even if you’ve already sold them, you’ll then start to sell them on the next step to get them more embedded. So always make sure that you’re asking them to do something. Don’t say hi, give them a wave and walk away. It’s a waste of interaction.
“Always make sure that you’re asking them to do something.”
Interaction’s not without a purpose. Ask them to do the next most important task that you know it takes to get them further down that funnel. Always think about that.
James: That’s very good. So we’ll create a checklist that you can download at episode 575. The first thing I put is, what can you customize for the customer? Like, how can you show them this is not a generic standard back office automation? It’s not some robot doing something that took no effort. And, are you asking them to take the next step? That’s what I’m writing down, are you asking them to take the next step? Because it’s a wasted interaction just to do some little shout out or whatever. It doesn’t move the needle as much as asking them to do something.
Matt: Yeah, it’s the law of reciprocation, which I’ll mention again and again, where when you give someone something, they feel much more inclined to give you something back. And now when you give them something that’s wonderful, they should hopefully give you something wonderful back. Like, you always met, the most trusted guys in the world were the Hare Krishnas, where they go around and they would give people a book, and I think they were the highest fundraisers globally, because they would just put a book in people’s hands and everyone would feel obliged to give them a donation back. So this is like the same version, you know? You give someone a bit of love, a bit of interaction, they’re going to give you the same back and then use that in a positive way.
James: Very nice. They use that example, and Cialdini uses it in Influence where the Hare Krishnas give a flower. And then just further down the path, they ask for a donation. And then just past that is the bin where the people throw the flower and they grab the flowers and then take them back to the top of the line again. Don’t quote me on that, but that’s what I remember from the story anyway. A good system.
Matt: Yeah, it’s good.
How to retain the customer
James: So let’s talk about retaining the customer. Let’s say we’ve done something that’s customized. We’ve really stood out. We’ve asked people to take the next step and they have. So how do we retain that customer?
Matt: So first of all, I mean, talk about retention. This is the most important thing, I think, to get across in business and it’s so undervalued. So I think studies kind of show that retaining a customer is worth something like seven, I’ve heard it from seven up to twenty-seven times more valuable for the business than getting a new customer. And this is because if you have a customer, you have to put a lot less effort to keep them, you don’t spend much more on them to keep them, and they will stay with you for months, months, months, years and years. And while they’re doing that, they will actually start to bring other customers in.
So we always love to focus on the shiny new customer. And like what you said in that sandwich shop, and this is super important, but your customers you know will come back every single day, your regulars. Make sure you keep them and still delight them and still take time with them because you can guarantee they’ll be back tomorrow. So never ever underestimate the power of retention, it should kind of be your main focus.
“Never ever underestimate the power of retention.”
So I think that in mind, how do you retain? It’s about deepening that relationship again. And you may be a high-touchpoint business or you may be a low-touchpoint business, it doesn’t really matter. Relationships are still relationships. You don’t have to join the person for coffee every day or every week or attend to lunches. It’s amazing the small things you can do that will actually have the same psychological impact, that your customer feels valued and will stay with you.
So I think when you come down to retention, still be personal and try and deepen that relationship with multiple touchpoints. At least seven touchpoints, I would say, within the first stage of our business, which could be email, a phone call, it could be a tweet. Whatever that is, hit them multiple times. And then, I think, put in a system that lets you check in with that customer for their entire lifetime they spend with you.
Now, James mentioned using Intercom earlier. Intercom’s great. There’s other CRMs are great. You can build rules, you know, on day 97, it could pop a little message to your customer to just say, “Hey, just checking you’re okay.” Or Bonjoro will have customers built-in rules in the CRM, not just for onboarding but will say, you know, on day 433, just drops on a video and say, “Hey, I was thinking about you today. Haven’t talked in a while. How’s it going?” That’s all it takes. And some customers will reply, some are fine. The fact they know that you care and that you’ll keep caring past their first week, past their first month, incredibly important.
It is hard to do. That’s the caveat. It’s not easy and it was a habit to forget and focus on your customers because it’s easier.
James: Now, I’m just going to back this up. The enemy of a membership or a subscription model, which is the most popular topic that we talk about here, is churn. And my favorite part of the profit formula, of the five things you can focus on, it is not the getting customers part; it’s not the cutting costs part; and it’s sometimes the price, but it’s almost always the frequency. How many times can I have someone purchase from me? And that is where I like to put my effort. And it’s also the conversions. I mean, I was so passionate about this that I created a training a few months ago and it was called How to Increase Retention. It’s one of the most popular trainings inside SuperFastBusiness, and that training is worth millions of dollars to my customers because it’s saving them from losing members.
Other retention best practices
And everything you said, I absolutely agree with. I picked up a habit from my mum. She used to cut out newspaper clippings and send it to people that she knew when she saw them in the paper. And years later, when I was at Mercedes-Benz, if a Wheels or Motor magazine came out with a new model, a spy shot, this is kind of before the Internet was a big deal, I would actually photocopy it and then stick a Post-it note on it and send it out to my customer. I might say, “Hey, Lenny, check out the new C-Class. You should pre-order this now before everyone finds out about it.” And I’d stick this Post-it note on a photocopy of a spy shot and post it to the person with a handwritten envelope and a stamp. Nobody was doing that. And they would preorder it.
And when all the cars arrived, most of the orders were my pre-orders, because I’d been selling them or pre-selling them for years before they actually got there. So I figured out that this high-touch thing. And cars are a really good training ground, because it’s a long sales cycle. It can take two or three years or four or five years till someone re-purchases. But if you stay in touch with them, you invite them to events, you send them clippings with Post-it notes, you give them a phone call, you send them a new keyring chain when you think theirs might have worn out or you pop by and say “Hi” to them when they’re coming in for service, make sure that you’re their car guy.
Now in a recurring subscription business, there’s so many opportunities to do this. And with the technology now, it’s amazing. You can even set up your technology to contact people if they disappear. The slipping-away sequence is one of my favorites. And in my case, with the recurring subscription, we have things like weekly news, so they’re never going more than a week without hearing from me. And with the OTR system, we’re sending out new podcasts like this all the time to our existing customers. And I often put a personal P.S. and encourage people to reply to my emails, where I actually interact with them. And people still can’t believe this because we’re so used to the wrong one, which is No Reply, you know? You send an email back to someone and it bounces back and says Oh, this is not manned. If you want to contact us, go to this certain place or whatever. It’s like, doing everything you can to not get a sale.
So I wrote down my notes here for retention. Have at least seven touchpoints and build a system to check in for the lifetime of the customer.
And you know, going back to the motor dealership, we used to pre-program our database to spit out a letter every, was one week, one month, one year, and then every year for six years that would print out and we would hand-sign it and send it off every single month. In fact, I made the owner of the business hand-sign a personal letter to every person who purchased a vehicle from us that month, which was about 60 or 70 handwritten letters. And initially, he was resistant to do that. And I said, “These people have just spent a hundred thousand dollars with us. For you to just sign a letter is not a big deal.” So we got there eventually, but it’s not that hard to stand out and you can build a system.
Why lumpy mail rules
Now, I will share one automation around this. When someone joins my highest level program, Silver Circle, my automation actually sends me a task, which has the customer’s details. It’s got their name, address and T-shirt size. And that is pretty much a print and packing slip that I hand my wife, and we prepare a post pack and I actually take it down to the post office and send lumpy mail for everyone who joins my program when I’m doing the school run or whatever. And that’s part of our process, it’s a system and it doesn’t get missed, because it is a system.
Matt: I think that’s amazing. Like I say in the beginning of the show, we’ve been sending out bear suits today. So when users get to a certain level, sending X amounts of messages, we go and post them a bear suit, and a little hand-drawn card as well. And it takes quite a long time. It’s big in Australia. It’s hideously expensive to do, but it pays back amazingly. And every single one of them sends us back a video of them in the bear suit or them with their kids, we have kids’ bear suits as well. It’s funny, it’s like they dress in our brand. They feel what it is to be part of the brand.
It’s this idea of, you know, just gain them over time to become part of you. They’re no longer customers. They’re just part of your brand. It’s amazing.
James: They’re becoming advocates.
Matt: They’re becoming advocates. Exactly.
James: Yeah, I think the bear suit is a wonderful idea. What I’m sending customers is merchandise that they can wear. I still see people wearing SuperFastBusiness hoodies from my live events on Facebook and Instagram. I’ve seen Ed Dale wearing one, flying a drone. I’ve seen Clint Paddison wearing one in the supermarket in downtown Florida.
So it’s great. You know, it brings a smile to my face, but I think just as a business owner, that is a huge tip. I’m sitting here looking at a SuperFastBusiness pen. If you give people things that are actually useful, then they will actually use them and they won’t throw them out. If they’re valuable, they won’t throw them out. I’m sure, especially for the US market, a bear suit would be fantastic at Halloween. So it’s going to get an annual run. And it’s quite cold over there, too, at the moment, so maybe they’re able to rug up a bit.
Matt: We’ve sent a lot of kids’ bear suits, and every year at Halloween, the kids all want to wear the bear suits. Some would obviously put blood on them or whatever. We have these pictures back of all these kids wearing them on the streets, and you just look at it and you think, best like, 40 bucks we spent. Hands down.
Growing your customers
James: Nice. Good one. So, let’s talk about growing your customers. It really is my favorite part, as well. How do you increase the lifetime value of a customer? How do you create more offerings for them? You know, that’s a strategic business thing, but let’s say you do have other offerings for them. How do you integrate that and make sure they’re aware of it and that they’d like to take you up on those offers?
Matt: Yes, I think there is a third part of that as well.
So obviously, you’ve got creating customers, but there’s also this idea of turning them into advocates. And I don’t mention that at the end. I think it came back to how do you get them across more offerings. So ultimately, if you’re talking to them more, if you’re in this relationship with them, as I say, then naturally you will start to bring up these other products. As people start to buy into your brand, their time… Listen, brand is the thing that you can get right on day one before you even know what your product is, you need to have ethos. Whenever people start to buy from that brand more and more and more, then when you offer other products to them, they will trust that you’ll be able to solve their problems or help them in a specific vertical that you’re working.
So with us, Bonjoro is actually only just, we just came out of our first year and we’re now building out a second offering in the product. I have talked to a lot of the customers about how we build this, but it’s a bit of a surprise. But I know I’ll be able to take it to probably 80 percent of my customers and they will use it.
James: And that’s because you talk to your customers a lot.
“You never have to think about a product ever again.”
Matt: We have this relationship, so we talk to them all the time. They know that we’re open. They know because we’re willing to help them when they have ideas or have issues or have challenges, they’ll come to us and talk to us. And it’s the greatest wealth of free information you could ever… You never have to think about a product ever again. Your customers will tell you what they want, and when you get 10 or more telling you, you’re like, well there we go. As long as it kind of fits with your mandate, that’s your next product. You’ve already got the sales.
James: That’s so true. I mean, where did you and I meet last time? It was at my local business meetup for SuperFastBusiness members, and I’d just been to Melbourne and, prior to that, Brisbane, and there we were in Sydney. So I had actually caught up with almost 100 of my members. So, to put that in perspective, that’s about 20 percent of my paying customers I’d just seen face to face over a meal or a drink in a conversational environment where I find out everything. I never have to wonder what my customers’ challenges or problems are, because they have so much access to me, and I’m a huge advocate for that.
And I also go out of my way to meet my suppliers. I want to involve my suppliers. I invite suppliers to my local meetups; I go to suppliers conventions; I speak with them behind the scenes to see if we can make their product work better for my customers. Because as one of my bosses once accused me of, I care too much. I really do care about my customers getting a great result. So I’m a champion for them when they’re not there to represent themselves.
So we’ve written this down, make multiple offers and to meet with your customers. Like, really get to know them on a deep and personal level so that you’re not guessing anymore.
What else can we do?
The most powerful way to grow a business
Matt: So, I’m going to mention advocacy. This is where your customers become your growth engine. And again, it’s something you can do on day one. It’s not something that takes that much time. But if you get it to work and you get it to work systematically, it is the most powerful way to grow a business. It’s probably the fastest way to grow a business, and it is incredibly, incredibly powerful.
So what I mean by advocate is somebody who will go and tell other people to come and check you out. Now, there are certain types of advocates.
If you ever do count NPS scores, you know, you’ll get these kind of promoters who like to go and recommend you to others. I think only 30 percent of your advocates actually go and recommend you. And this might be that they’re not in the right place to do this, so they don’t have the opportunity. It might be that they just don’t think. And I would challenge your thinking, even when a customer loves you, are they actively talking about you? Are they actively bringing you business? Because if they’re not, you can actually turn them into one quite easily. And again it comes back to reciprocation and quite simply, asking. I think a lot of us are too shy to ask for help.
When you have this relation begun with customers and you’ve taken time with them and you’ve done these little things and unexpected things to delight them, if you then say “Hey, I need some help. Do you know anyone who you think will be great to work with us?” that customer trusts you. They believe in you and they’ll reciprocate and go, “Hey, yeah, there’s five guys you should meet.”
James was like, “Come to our meetup, come have a chat with some SMEs.” And it was just just awesome to go along. I think you need to keep a relationship going, but don’t be afraid to ask help to grow them.
James: Yeah, I liked that about you, you’ve been so interactive, generous with your time and attention, and uber-curious about how you can improve the product, which I immediately responded with the two things that would help me more with the product. Because I said to you, actually, it’s pretty perfect the way it is. There’s only very, very minor suggestions based on the way that I use it. And I also know, because I’m a product developer, that my use case might be unusual or different and you have to potentially discount my feedback and take into account other buyers or people who spend more with you.
But certainly from an advocacy point of view, it’s such an easy product to recommend because it works. And that’s my favorite product of all. It’s the one that does what it’s supposed to do and that’s what I spend almost all of my time doing with my own products. I just want to make a great product and then I don’t have to worry about affiliate programs, product launches, buying a stack of paid traffic, basically trying to always be on that conversion rat wheel. I’d love to grow part of the business. Let’s just keep the same customers and grow with them. And I’ve watched that whole community in SuperFastBusiness grow up over the last nine years, from where they started to now it’s like they’ve gone from kindergarten out through school and left university and they’ve got a job and they’re really swinging from the fences now.
How Bonjoro came about
So I’m excited about where your company is going to go with the core engine that you bring to it. I’m interested, Matt, how did you get to the point where you created this thing in the first place? I know you told me once, but I’d love you to share that very short story with our audience.
Matt: Yes. I regarded it the reverse way around, I think. Me and my team will always Bonjoro before Bonjoro existed. And so we were doing this anyway. And it wasn’t so much of a system as more of we just felt, this is how we should do business and it obviously was working. So we had an agency and we would work with clients, they were mostly overseas, like London and New York. And we’d be getting leads in from these big agencies overnight, when we were sleeping. And so I know that me and my team were really, really good with people. And when we’re with them, we can sell. Like, we had a great product, a great offering, and we were great with people. But sending out emails to get those leads when they were warm when they came in, it’s a law of diminishing returns. You know people, less were opening emails, there was less people coming in, and it’s very hard to get them back in if you’re not on the right timezone.
So I live in Sydney in Manly, and we work in the city. So whenever I was on the ferry, I built a little hack in Slack that would ping us whenever a new lead came in with their details and their name and their company. I’d then record a video. I then laboriously download this, upload it onto a private server, we take a screenshot, we put it into an email with a link to the video behind it, and we’d email that person. So the first piece the customer ever had of me was me on a boat with the wind blowing in my hair, getting sprayed in the face. “Awesome to have you on board, James. Obviously I’m in Sydney, but I’ll be in London six weeks. We’d love to come in and pitch you guys.” I then show them the Opera House, show them the Harbour Bridge and just generally it wasn’t very serious. It was more like us having a bit of a joke with them. And we literally tripled our response rates overnight. So suddenly we’d got this influx of emails. The general response was, “You guys are hilarious. You should definitely come in.” And that’s the kind of clients we were dealing with.
But then we go in and then we grew the business from Australia and these overseas countries because of this. And inevitably, a few of those agencies who had a great culture as well turned around and and said, “Hey, can we use this with our clients?” Do you think it would work?” And we gave them this godawful-looking hack that kind of half-worked. And they started and they came back and I was like, “How’s it going?” They said, “triple the response rates.” Again. And so you know, we let a few people use it, a few people try it. And me and my CTO sat down for a bit, one Friday afternoon, and looked each other. And I think at the same time we both said, “We’re going to have to build this.” And since then, it’s just gone kind of crazy.
So it turns out there’s a lot of great people and companies in the world who this works spectacularly for. And it’s just because they have a great culture already. They’re very good with people. We’re just helping them to get that across.
Making things easy
James: Fantastic. You know, the guy who referred me to Wistia, his name is Will, and he was teaching this, this video marketing conversion thing like you were. But what you’ve done that’s brilliant is you’ve made it easy. It’s so simple. If it didn’t work on the iPhone app, I would not have used it. That’s the big difference.
Because we’re a long way from the stage where we’re plugging a USB camera into our PC and recording stuff on a computer then trying to drag it in or process it. And it kind of made me smile when you are describing your prototype version of it, because that’s how I started my Own The Racecourse thing. I used to record something, edit it, extract out the bullets, find an image or take a picture, put it in my blog post, format it, make tweetables, publish it and then syndicate it.
And then one day, I said to my team, “I don’t want to do this anymore. Can you just do it?” And we created a system with folders in Drive and semi-automated the transcriptions and the editing and the processing of the media, etc. But from an operator’s point of view, now all I have to do is just talk. As soon as we hang up, I’m going to drag this folder into a drive and let the team know on Slack that we have a new podcast, and everything will happen from there.
And that’s what I like about Bonjoro. I don’t have to do anything, it comes to me, which is one of my rules. I don’t want to have to go to things, they should come to me. That’s how my daily reporting works for the numbers in our business. The team posted into Slack, so it comes to me. When someone joins my membership, the least I could do is make a short video welcoming them. And if I know anything about them, I will personalize it beyond just their name. Like, for example, I might have had a conversation with someone face-to-face or on Facebook Messenger and we’ve decided that SuperFastBusiness would be a good solution for them. Then I’ll refer to that conversation. I’ll say, “It’s great that you’ve decided to come on board. I’m going to help you with the…” and then I talk about the specific thing that we spoke about beforehand. And I’m sure that builds them a lot of confidence.
A point-by-point summary
So as we get closer to the end here, firstly I’ll just do a little summary and then I’m going to ask you for some parting wisdom. So I’ve just given you a bit of a notice there. I’ve been talking to Matt from Bonjoro, who loves getting around in bear suits and we talked about converting more customers by sending something that’s customizable and by asking them to do something.
And then we talked about retaining customers by having multiple touch points and building a system to make sure that happens every time.
Then we talked about growing your business by making more offers and getting to know your customers more so that you can really create products and solutions that serve them the best. And they actually become advocates and they become part of the brand, and Matt shared with us how important he thinks brand is, which I’m sure Greg Merrilees from Studio1Design.com is going to be very excited about, because he does all my design and I’m big on brand. Most of the traffic coming to SuperFastBusiness is typing in the name SuperFastBusiness. So the brand means something to those people. And I know there’s an ugly website movement online where they say direct response is everything, but I know that the branding is actually really important. And I go looking for that little bear icon on my phone when I want to make those messages.
So, Matt, having chatted about the things we’ve spoken about so far, how are we going to impart some wisdom at the end of this call? What would be the thing that you would like someone to take away from this episode and then action?
James: Love it.
Matt: That’s it.
James: That’s such a sentiment that would be on the same page as Dean Jackson, who I was speaking to recently on a podcast, and we were talking about Bonjoro, funnily enough. But that is it. So, automate processes but not relationships.
Matt: That’s it.
James: It’s so funny that Facebook is now cleaning up all their rules and guidelines to have people create actual, engaging content and they’re trying to pull back on all the robot spam that people are spewing out. And the same happened to Google when they cleared out splogs. Over-automation or non-thoughtful automation (I’m not sure if that’s a word, but we’ll run with it) is really damaging for your brand and it’s really building your house on sand. So if you want to build a house on bedrock and solid foundations, the relationship part of the business is absolutely essential. And so funny when I’m talking to someone who is technologically savvy and in the bleeding edge of where the tool sets are, and you’re talking about human-to-human relationships. And that’s where I came from and that’s what’s worked for me and it’s still going to be in vogue, if not more of a business advantage, in 10 years from now. Dealing with actual humans and caring about them is never going to get old.
“Dealing with actual humans and caring about them is never going to get old.”
So Matt, thank you so much for coming in and talking to us. We’ll put up a little checklist on episode 575 which will have the convert, retain and grow checkpoints. Give yourself a little assessment, see if you’re doing the things we talked about, and if not, then you stand to prosper.
If you’ve enjoyed this show, please leave a review on iTunes. If you don’t already have it, of course go and get Bonjoro. Give it a test run, see if you like it. I’m using it in my business and I love it.
If you order Bonjoro from the review page on SuperFastBusiness.com, rumor has it that you’ll save a kitten somewhere in the world and I could potentially make a small affiliate link. But aside from that, I’m sharing this because I really believe in the tool. And gee, if you do enough Bonjoros, you could end up with a bear suit. I mean, that’s a reason to get it, alone. Aside from that, I hope to see you at a local meetup in a city near you. And Matt, hopefully you’ll come back and meet with our members again.
Matt: For sure. Thanks James.
James: Thank you.
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