POWER OF FREE! #8: The New Era of Marketing in Intelligent Content Marketing: Our Customer Experience

That’s all well and good. How have we reflected this in the Hong Kong Visa Center business model? Well, as you’d expect, we’ve put the customer right at the heart of everything that we do.


In thinking through our business model, I needed to understand exactly what our proposition was. Now, I knew that what we are selling at the end of the day, is peace of mind. When people buy an immigration service from us, they’re not buying a visa stamping a passport, they’re not buying the voice of cues at the Immigration Department. They’re in their parting with their hard earned money into our hands, because they want one thing and one thing only the peace of mind knowing that their visas are going to get approved, and that their intentions and objectives for Hong Kong are going to be satisfied. And so in thinking through that, it occurred to me that really, if I wanted to address the challenge of peace of mind to customers, and I was thinking about the experience that I was delivering, I needed a guiding light.

And my one of my intellectual heroes, Charlie Munger talks about the golden rule, the golden rule being that you should treat other people just as you would hope to be treated yourself. And this, of course, is an innate notion to the human condition, and it’s reflected in all the major religions. So it’s got to be Right, right. So the golden rule is at the heart of everything that we do in our business model, because we know that we deliver peace of mind. Okay, so how is the golden rule implemented in our business model, understanding that we’re trying to deliver experience to customers, okay, so the golden rule basically drives the start of the relationship. Now, the status of our relationship is to basically put out all of our intellectual property on the internet for free. Because we understand that when people find their way into our hands, what they’re really looking for is answers to questions.

They’re looking to understand what their circumstances kind of are. And they basically want to have information to make informed decisions. So by putting out all our IP, we’re able to address that human need for people to kind of be empowered to make the right decision. Then, during the relationship development exercise, if a client indicates that they kind of understood what’s involved in getting the visa approved for themselves, and even though they’ve got access to all the IP and know how to do it themselves, they actually prefer to have an expert take care of it for them. And we’ve established our credentials as experts as a result of everything giving our IP away through the web. So our next move is to say, Well, okay, all that we need to do first is for you to give us your basic immigration information so that we can open a file on you. So we know who you are, we have no further expectations of a client who’s ready to instruct us professionally than that.

Because we know that people don’t want to be pushed, people want to take their own time, they want to do it in accordance with how they feel about the situation. So we have a very simple, straightforward client engagement process. And then once the client has sent their basic immigration information back to us, we then prepare a service agreement and a fee note, and that represents our contract. And so we send that to the client. And then at this stage, if they want to progress to a professional relationship with us, all they need to do is to pay the fee now. And once we’ve got the client into that stage of the relationship with we don’t push them as is in a classic sort of sales sense. We let the fact that we’re on standby ready to help sit in the hands of our, of our clients. And when they are ready, they can initiate, they can start the relationship. They’re in control, because I understand that you’re delivering an experience to customers, customers want to have control.

So that’s our third stage. Okay. And then in the fourth stage, once we’ve received our payments, and we’ve professionally engaged, we deliver a checklist of requirements to our customers and in delivering that checklist of requirements, which is fully customized. We laid out in such a way so that the client can actually understand not only what they need to supply us, but why they need to supply it to us so that our understanding of the project is aligned with veterans. The standing of the project, because again, experience tells me that this is what customers are looking for. They don’t want to be blindsided, they want to have control and an understanding of what’s involved for them.

And so in delivering on this part of the experience, we’ve set out the documentation checklist in this fashion. And also the documents come back in, we then submit the application. And during the application process, we keep our clients appraised at all times about everything that’s going on. And then after that, they get approved. And then we manage the approval formalities, and everything’s really fine and dandy. But throughout all of this, there is this really important determinant in play. And that is, our clients need to understand that we’re not just talking about getting the result for them, we’re actually invested in their application, almost to the same extent they are. And so we deliver what’s known as our irresistible offer, or 200% money back guarantee.

Because if our clients instructors to deliver a visa solution for them, and we haven’t been able to do it, then what worth are we to them? No, that’s the reality. And so, I have always understood that our customers need to feel that we are in the trenches with them. And so we offer 200% money back guarantee, if they don’t get approved, we give them 20% of their money back. This is what the customer service experience is really all about in my view. And that’s why we’ve inculcated into our business model. But then finally, I knew there was a piece missing. So a couple months ago, we finished a pilot program, which is a bit of a secret at the moment. But essentially what we do, and we certainly are planning to roll this out later this year to everybody is that within a few days after approval, we will then send a link to a webpage, a secret webpage, where we invite our customers to go out and have dinner on us at our expense to celebrate their approval. Because we want our customers to feel that we’ve been with them.

Right from the first moment that they encountered our proposition on the internet, and traveled through that journey along that journey to the point where the last thing in their mind about their entire visa experience has been celebrating on us because we actually care. So that’s how we’ve inculcated the idea of, of an experience into our business model. Now, the golden rule drives everything, but we also have a creator. And this determines how we deal with our relationships from day to day. Firstly, if we know that a customer is trying to contact us, then whatever we’re doing, we stop it, we drop everything. And we call them. Because we know that when a client has a question, they’ve got that question there. And then we’ve got to try and get back to them as soon as we possibly can. Because that’s what’s expected in this situation. It’s a tough call to make sometimes because we’re busy. But the stop dropping dial is our core credo that allows us to deliver on that promise.

Always keep your promises. I find it astounding that I’m having commercial relationships with people and they just think nothing about saying they’re going to do one thing and then not deliver on it. What an easy thing to master. Make a promise, keep it. So that’s part of our credo. And then ultimately, whenever there’s an issue, it’s not about being right. It’s about doing the right thing. So there’s a problem, fix it, fix it, take responsibility for it. And if you do that you’re amongst the 99.999% of businesses that are prepared to put their hands on the heart and say, doesn’t matter what the cause of the problem is, we’re gonna take ownership of that, and we’re going to put it right, because that forms the basis of, as I say, an experience that essentially is worth having. So essentially, then experiences are the wave of the future.

Now, how many people in here have got businesses have started businesses that are thinking about how they can be successful through their sales endeavors? Can I just take a straw poll? Good. And how many of you have thought about constructing your proposition around the idea that you’re going to have an experience to deliver an experience to a customer. So all I can encourage you to do is to go and do it. Because this stuff works. And we’ve been in business for four years. The first year we did 125,000 us in sales from a standing start of nothing. And it took us six weeks to get our first set of paid instructions. The second We did a quarter of a million US in the third year, we did half a million US and we just finished our fourth year we did a million US dollars, and we’ll do 2 million US dollars next year.

All driven by this idea that you understand your marketplace, you understand the psychology of the person that you want to have a relationship with, structure, everything that you do around that relationship, no matter how they feel it is, and then you’ll find, you’ll meet incredible success because that’s what’s happened to me. So next time out, I’m going to talk about the currency of attention. And by this one I mean is that in today’s world, in the connection economy, the only thing that’s truly a value is the ability to command somebody’s attention. Just like I’ve commanded the attention of 40 people this evening. So thanks very much.