C-Suite Insights: What It Means to be an Authentic Company

11/18/2016 12:57 pm ET Updated Jan 31, 2017

Thomas White, CEO of the C-Suite Network and host of the nationally-syndicated radio program "Business Matters,” hosts Executive Briefings. This online event brings together top thought leaders to provide you, as a business leader, insights into the most pressing challenges you have in being successful at your work.

This week’s guest is Randy Garn, Chief Revenue Officer of Skipio, and founding member of Hero Partners, a partner of the C-Suite Network. Garn has also founded companies such as Prosper, Education Success and several others. As a tremendous philanthropist, it's not enough to just do business. Garn uses his knowledge to give back and share his insights with others. He's been awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and Top 40 under 40 Entrepreneur among numerous other awards.

The Challenges of Common Sense

We think that we have great relationships with our customers. We think the technology we have has produced that. That’s not the case. “One of the things I think that has helped excel my career is understanding the customer,” says Garn. “How we do that and how we make those customers feel like the most important person in the world, requires some tactical things that business owners can do today.”

What about experienced economy? It’s a sort of economic food chain of how we create experiences with our customers. At Hero Partners, we have taught this a lot of in our business modeling. We've been doing business modeling for years and years, and have some amazing partners there. We teach strategy and execution. We also teach about this experienced economy. Just like the market has changed, we talk about going from a commodity market, to a goods market, and then to a service. We’re in a time right now where people are transforming from a service to an experience. Teaching companies how to do that in a way that can drive more economic value for their customers, creates more profits and revenue for their business.

How do you set yourself completely apart from everyone else?

It used to be, if you delivered the product, that was the end of the chain for companies. We have evolved. What happened that made the marketplace shift from "Let me just give you a good product" to the customers expecting more?

“I think literally it's entrepreneurship at its finest. It's continuing to drive more differentiation for the customer. How do you set yourself completely apart from everyone else? Everybody can sell the same suit, but why do you buy from your suit guy?” Garn explains. How do you drive that to a service? Whenever I buy a suit I always go to the same guy. He takes care of me. He calls me. I get letters from him. He knows when my birthday is. He asks how my family is doing. He invites me to go duck hunting. He does stuff that doesn't even have to do with business. He's providing experiences with me while he does that. A lot of companies just get stuck in the services.

How do you drive additional things to help them keep relationship with you?

This level is what we call stage experiences. Some people say "I don't have enough profit margins to be able to do that." Any company can do it. It doesn't always have to cost you money. A lot of time it's just letting people know you literally care about them and want to hear from them.

When you're dealing with services you're always dealing with three things:

1. For Goods – it’s price, price, price. What's the highest value I can get from a good?

2. For Services – it’s improved quality.

3. For Experience – it’s rendering authenticity

That's a big thing to think about. Do your customers have enough experience with you every single time? Do they feel like you truly care about them? Things like hand written notes, promotional gifts, periodic “how can we improve” surveys are all items that maintain that authentic experience. You'll retain more customers, and in the long run, it's well worth the investment if you do it right.

How Skipio Supports Company Authenticity

Skipio is at the forefront of supporting authenticity between companies and their customers. It’s a growing technology company that puts the best of customer relationships all in one package. We're trying to coin the term "customer love." This allows you to build that deep, meaningful relationship where we're texting more than we're emailing.

Skipio has several features to it. It has texting, but it's not just group texting. It's a home texting CRM. It has email marketing, in the form of simple email campaigns that you can set up. So, there are texting and marketing campaigns that you can deploy. Skipio also offers voice broadcasting, where you can send a voicemail. It bifurcates the ringer and goes straight to your voicemail. You can send a voice recording to 300, 3,000 or 400,000 CEOs to remind them to jump on a conference call. The messages will feel like that came right from you, because it did. We're building personalized technology. You want to send them to people you already have deep relationships with. Make sure that you don't overdo it, but implement it appropriately to keep in contact with them

The C-Suite is a vast audience of leaders who all have a little extra insight into their industry and the current business world. I sit down with these leaders to give them the opportunity to share that insight and give a glimpse to their personal stories as a business leader.

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