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Building a People-First, Product-Second Culture

How to Keep Employees and Customers Loyal to Your Brand

Shep Hyken interviews Bob Phibbs, widely known as The Retail Doctor, host of the Tell Me Something Good About Retail podcast, and founder of SalesRX. He talks about how retail stores (and all types of organizations) can transform their business from a place where people merely buy products to a destination brand known for amazing customer experiences.

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Top Takeaways:

  • Brands sometimes invest more in products and in how their retail stores look without focusing on the experience. No matter how nice the brick-and-mortar store is, if your employees are not trained to properly welcome and pay attention to your customers, they will leave and buy from your competitors, go or online, where it is faster and more accessible.
  • What’s happening on the inside is felt on the outside by the customers. Be mindful of the environment that your employees are going to work in. Empower them with the right tools and training to do their job well. If you fix the people side of your business first, you will create a better customer service experience.
  • Create awareness of what great customer service looks like in your company. Ensure that your employees align with how you want them to treat customers. Teach them to recognize when they are providing a good customer experience and continuously train them to be better and better.
  • Employees are looking for more than just a paycheck when taking on or staying at a job. They are putting employers to the task of providing a work environment that provides growth and satisfaction.
  • Training is not something you did. It’s something you do over and over again. Invest in your employees’ training and onboarding. Then, constantly reinforce it throughout the time that they are with you, whether in weekly meetings, daily huddles, or sharing customer feedback and make sure what they have learned translates into their day-to-day engagement with your customers.
  • Plus, learn how not to (in Bob’s words) piss off your employees. Tune in!


“Focus on the people, not the products. You will get higher conversion rates when employees are happy, stay longer, and know how to engage with customers in a way that builds trust.”

“People that feel like they matter, buy. And the people that don’t, leave. This is true for both customers and employees.”

“Nobody wants to do a bad job. Employers must figure out how to make employees happy and empower them with the right tools and training to do a great job.”

“Be brilliant on the basics. Make sure your customers feel welcome and appreciated the moment they engage with your brand.”


Bob Phibbs is a customer service expert, author, sales coach, and founder of SalesRX. He works with retailers and brands to increase conversion rates by providing amazing experiences. He shares his expertise on The Retail Doctor.

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

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

  1. How do you hire the right employees for customer service?
  2. Why is continuous training essential for customer service?
  3. What is an employee-first culture?
  4. How does employee experience affect customer experience?
  5. Why is it important for companies to invest in employee onboarding and training?

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