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Customer Service and Community Support

How to Use Customer Experience as a Brand Identity

Shep Hyken interviews Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, founders of Barefoot Wine. They discuss how Michael and Bonnie built a successful wine business from the ground up by focusing on customer service and experience.

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Top Takeaways:

  • Creating a good customer experience requires doing research. Learn about your customers and their expectations, then build your CX to meet those expectations.
  • To find out what your customers want, ask them! Incorporate conversations with customers into your business and CX model. Ask people who may not usually get asked. There are many untapped sources of valuable information that will help you succeed.
  • Know who your customers are, and once you do, you will be able to better market to them personally. Personalization will help your product sell.
  • Don’t confine yourself to your industry alone. Mine information from other industries. This will help you come up with more creative solutions to problems.
  • When you support your community, they will support you. The more you give, the more you get. This is the law of reciprocity.
  • Everybody is in customer service whether they realize it or not. Even if an employee doesn’t have direct contact with a customer, they support someone who does. Customer service must be part of the company’s culture.
  • Employees who do come into direct contact with customers are best positioned to collect customer feedback. This feedback must be communicated throughout the rest of the organization.
  • A great product or service alone is not enough to get and keep customers. You must support your great product/service with amazing customer service.
  • Don’t just be a vendor; be a partner. This means helping your clients and customers succeed with the product or service you offer. This goes beyond customer service and into customer support and customer success.


“Make friends in low places. Ask questions and gather information from everyone. It’s amazing what you’ll learn about your customers and their expectations.”

“Your customers buy YOU. They don’t buy your product. The question is, can they depend on you to service what you sell? Do you really satisfy the customer service that they want?”

“Try not to fall in love with your product or service. Don’t think that there’s a value to your product or service that overpowers the need for detailed customer service research.”


Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey are the founders of Barefoot Wine and Business Audio Theatre. They are the New York Times bestselling authors of The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How can I build the best customer experience?
  2. How can I improve my customer service?
  3. Can I market my product without a budget?
  4. How can I help my customers succeed?
  5. How can I make customer service part of my company culture?

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