expert interviews May 31, 2021

Today’s interview is a little bit different. We’re not talking about ergonomics per se. We’re talking about how to deliver the best possible experience to our customers so we can develop those long-term relationships and have lasting success. As a customer experience expert, Matthew Hopper shared some unique insights on how Ergonomics Consultants can optimize service delivery to win long-term clients. On top of that, he shared some strategies for pricing your services, relationship development tips, and simple ways to give that extra value (that doesn't COST you anything) to your customers. 

How To Keep Clients Happy: An Interview with Customer Experience Expert, Matthew Hopper

The best way that I can describe Matthew is that he offers a perspective that’s truly unique as has expertise with project management and outward client-facing strategies, just to name a few. These two specific elements are the reason why I wanted to interview him for this episode. Matt was a guest expert in one of our Masterclasses in the Accelerate membership, and it was incredibly valuable for our members, so I wanted to share his experience and expertise with you. Here’s an excerpt of our conversation: 

1. What does Customer Service mean and why should we even care about this in the first place?

Matthew: It's a very broad question. Customer Service is the basis of 75% of the jobs in the world now. We used to have careers that were very silo-based. What I mean is used to work in transportation, health, teaching, medical, construction, or whatever it is. Now, that doesn’t exist anymore. There's really only three types of jobs in the world now: customer service-focused, building-focused or creation-focused, and positions that are a combination of both.

One example that I've used before is medical doctors. Their opinion was respected more than anything, but I would suspect that 60% of people at least questioned their doctor on everything they do now, or they're already doing research prior to going in. So the doctors’ only way to make money, because they're all independent businesses, is to give you proper and/or good customer service. If you don't get good customer service, you're shopping for a new doctor. A lot of older doctors are starting to fail because they get really poor customer service. Everyone thinks customer service is like, “Customers are always right” and “I need to kiss their butts,” and it has nothing to do with that. 

It has to do with treating a person like a human and not a number. It really is more about the human and the human experience, and you will not get business if the human doesn't enjoy the experience.

2. Do you think it takes a certain type of person to want to dive into this world of entrepreneurship or is it necessary to take a course to learn how to better serve customers?

Matthew: I think that people only want to improve themselves when they don't feel that they're doing well enough. A lot of times, people lose track of the fact that you have to constantly be learning, adjusting, and transitioning because the world is not the same as it was five or ten years ago. If you can't adjust and grow, you're getting left behind. You just don't know you're left behind until it's too late. When it's too late, you can try to catch up, but you're missing the way. 

3. From an employer's big picture perspective, how do you think they see ergonomics?

Matthew: A lot of employers get into ergonomics when one of their employees gets hurt. They have trouble seeing that what works for Person A when they’re hurt would work for Person B who’s not hurt. All they see is that $2500 standing desk, and they’d rather just fix that one person. The key is to not push anything else at the time. The key is to just develop the relationship. The easiest way to develop the relationship is by following up, and there are three different types of follow-up: following up on the original patient or client directly, following up with the HR person, and following up with whoever your contact is. 

4. I love to say to folks that it's not a matter of if an injury is going to happen at work, it's a matter of when it's going to happen. That’s why it’s important to build the relationship up to the point that when they need someone for a big consulting help, they’ll call you in.

Matthew: Yes. Well, each size of company is different. One of the analogies that I was taught years ago was about McDonald's. McDonald's is like a giant cruise ship. They may see a really good idea, but they're not capable of turning and making that turn on a quick basis. So if you're trying to sell something to McDonald's, you have to direct them to that point. You have to accept the fact that they can't just turn to the way you want quickly. 

You have to adjust to each company to see what type or size of boat they are. So if they're a boat that can turn immediately, they might be able to call you the next day and say, “We need you for this consulting” or “We need you on retainer.” But then there are other ones where it's going to be six or seven years of work to create. It's probably just a follow-up every six or four months in different formats. But remember, during that time that you're not talking to them, you’re also learning and adjusting. It may not be on their docket for this year, but you're slowly wearing them down, as terrible as it sounds. 

5. When you're first starting out, sometimes you can feel desperate to get clients (we all have bills to pay!). I’ve used the "dentist" value ladder approach in my business before (and it has worked... a lot!), and I feel like you have to offer your clients something at first, like a Lunch and Learn.

Matthew: It can be valuable, but there's a fine line between providing something that's secondary versus providing a direct thing. So providing free ergonomics consultations may not be valuable. Providing a Lunch and Learn towards a business is something that provides value because that's actually not something you sell. That's something that you would add on. Your Lunch and Learn is great or something that’s secondary to the direct product you're selling. There’s a thought that if you're not working, you're not making any money. But there’s a point where working at a value that doesn't make sense actually costs you money. 

6. One of the major takeaways that you talked about in our Accelerate Masterclass was about mass purchases. So if I do 20 or 30 ergonomic assessments, it will cost me less because I don't have to market and find other businesses to come in. Is that fair to say?

Matthew: Most companies now sell any product that would have a cost to acquire a consumer. You can say things like, “This a retainer” or “This is my monthly subscription. This subscription includes five ergonomics assessments,” or whatever you want to offer. If you offer 10 things, maybe you can offer some package that includes a fair amount of all of those. Then you can adjust and say, “If you want more, then we can do an à la carte.” The people will stay on longer because you're giving them value, as long as you continue to prove the value.

Next Steps

I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did. Did you learn any valuable insights you could put into action now? 

To connect with Matthew, reach out to him on LinkedIn.

Do you want to learn more on how to use modern marketing techniques to sell ergonomics and find paying customers? Grow and scale your business through the Accelerate program. We're opening enrollment at the end of June 2021. If you’re interested in joining, sign up here to get on the waitlist. I only open it 4 times a year!


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