In this episode, we meet Jonathan Barouch, serial entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Local Measure. Jonathan was also the founder of fastflowers.com.au (one of Australia’s first e-commerce companies) and is an ambassador for the Sydney Story Factory.
We talk all about:
- What he learned from his early days starting, growing and selling one of Australia’s first e-commerce companies
- What most companies get wrong in measuring customer service
- How technology has helped transform the way we measure and engage with customers in real-time
- The importance of aligning technology and culture
- How employee experience is following the same path
- What the best leaders are doing right now to lead through the crisis
Connecting with Jonathan Barouch
Books and resources mentioned in the episode
Becoming AntiFragile: Learning to Thrive through Disruption, Challenge and Change – by Dr Paige Williams
“…The challenge is these days you’re not being benchmarked against your competitors. From a customer experience perspective, you’re being benchmarked against the greats like Disney and like Apple. That magical experience you have when you walk into an Apple store, you grab the product, you scan it with your app, you’ve paid for it, you get it home, you open the beautiful packaging and it just works.
So that’s the bar these days. And I think if leaders actually tested out their own products or service, they would find themselves wanting in many areas of their own business.”
On his early career
- I sold lollipops illicitly at school. I sold Chupa Chups and it got to the point where I bought more lollipops than Woolworths.
- Fastflowers began as a business project at school to prove I could find an online way of doing something that was pretty analogue.
- Back in 1999, you could probably count the number of e-commerce retailers on one hand. So we built our website and we built our own payment gateway.
- After a Channel 9 feature that was broadcast across Australia and New Zealand, we suddenly had about a hundred thousand people on our website.
- From that point we had a business and the orders started coming in. It was almost a joke that turned into a real business.
On transforming Customer Experience with Local Measure
- People don’t want to respond to large customer feedback surveys. And if you’re asking a question that you already should know the answer to and you’re asking after the fact, it’s sort of like looking in the rear-view mirror rather than looking out the front.
- We realised we could reinvent the way that businesses connect with their customers to understand their sentiment and serve them better. That was the nugget from which Local Measure was born.
- Personalization continues to be the driving force with customer experience.
- Customers are yearning for some kind of sense of recognition or loyalty. Some personalization. What I’ve learned and been surprised by, is the bar is really low. Customers will tolerate a lot. So I think if you just try and jump slightly above the bar, not leap over the bar, customers respond very, very well.
- We work with Accor, global hotel chain, who are phenomenal at recording guest preferences and bringing those preferences to life when you walk through their doors.
- Customer experience is a combination of technology, people and culture. To want to deliver an exceptional customer experience, your culture and technology must unite.
On how to improve your customer experience
- It surprises me how many business leaders have never even been a customer of their own product or service.
- The number one thing a business leader should do is put themselves in the shoes of their customer.
- We call this ‘dogfooding’ – actually eating your own dog food, to see what it’s like to be a customer of your own organisation. Very quickly you’ll realise how to optimise your customer experience.
- The challenge these days, is that businesses aren’t being benchmarked against competitors. From a customer experience perspective, you’re being benchmarked against the greats like Disney and Apple.
- If leaders actually tested out their own products or service, and experienced it from a customer perspective, they would find themselves wanting in many areas of their own business.
Final message of wisdom and hope for future leaders
The thing that is going to separate true leaders in this particular period are the ones who can lead and inspire with authenticity and the ones who motivate their teams to be better. They think of innovations and they think about what their business looks like beyond Coronavirus. The companies that do survive and the leaders that do thrive are the ones that are actually going to be leaders in the truest sense of the word. They’re going to lead their people through a really challenging period and come out the other side. Better than they went in.