The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

23. Showing Up Authentically to Honor Your Customer Promise w/ Paula Hayes

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Paula Hayes is on a mission to change the face of beauty by putting multicultural women at the center of the modern beauty movement.

She’s in an industry that’s about making people feel good about themselves. But she’s tackling a part of the market that has often been scorched and scorn by that industry.

In this episode Paula who is President and CEO of Hue Noir Cosmetics, shares how brand ambassadors help to extend the company’s reach and also tells the story of why she pulled her products from Target shelves.

Customers or potential customers don't necessarily understandthe difference between someone who's part of the team or a friend of the team, if that friend of the team is really telling the story. Well,you're listening to the customer experience podcast, a podcast dedicated to helping today's growingbusinesses restore a personal human touch throughout the customer life cycle. Get ready tohear how sales marketing M customers success, experts surprise and delight and never losesign of their customers humanity. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Hey,welcome back to the customer experience podcast. I'm really glad you're here with mebecause, along with her team, today's guest is on a mission to changethe face of beauty by putting multicultural women at the center of the modern beautymovement. She's a chemist by background, which is very interesting, who foundedthe company over a decade ago. Our guest today is Paula Hayes, presidentand CEO of Hugh no are cosmetics. Welcome to the customer experience podcast.Thank you. Really excited to be here. Yeah, congratulations on what you've doneover the past decade and I look forward to getting into your personal storya little bit your interest in what you're doing around customer experience across your team. But let's start where I always start, which is your definition or your thoughtsor, you know, characteristics that you identify when I say the wordscustomer experience. Hmm, I first think of care. That's really big forme. I also think of how we show up authentically and in a waythat is both valuing our customers, their opinions, their desires and then ultimatelydelivering on our promise to meet their needs. Me, all that plays into mydefinition. It's so good. I love the word care because it's abouthow you make people feel. And then promise is something that's so important.We set these expectations, we manage these expectations, but I'm going to followup here with your choice of showing up authentically. What does it mean doyou? I think a lot. First of all, I'm very excited thatthese words and concepts are bubbling up in popular business culture and it's okay totalk about these things and that they're part of the conversation. But just toget real on it, like, what does that mean to you? Yeah, so I'm in an industry that, first and for almost yeah, it'sabout making people feel good about themselves, about the way they look, aboutthe way that they show up. But I am tackling a part of themarket that is often been really scorched and scorned by this industry, and soI feel like it's really important one. I think it's important for me,as a business leader and as the founder, Zeo and visionary person, to beauthentic and what we're doing. I think it's important for our customers tosee me in an authentic way, but I think it's important for me toinstill that in our entire culture. I think that the more that I dothat, the more that we're able to communicate with our customers in a waythat tells them that we're not just this robotic company behind the scenes delivering products, that we really have their interest at the core of what we do,and so I find that it's important, just from a cultural standpoint, thateveryone you know here knows that that's what we're doing. And I always goback to, I think by manter over and over is, how are wefulfilling our customers promise? Because we say, as you said at the opening,our mission is to change the face of beauty by putting multicultural women atthe center of the modern beauty movement. We only do that if we areauthentically champing that every single day in what we do. And then we oftenfind with some of our consumers that our brand experience is very different than theones that they've had it in and with our industry in general, and theyoften find a company that maybe is at our stage in that company isn't ownedby the founder anymore. The founders and...

...maybe just the name on attached tothe company, they're not really part of the company. So we actually canget questions from people that say that's great, this is the way the company wasfounded, and they'll hear the story, but they'll say, but who's behindit now? And we love to raise our hands and say us,we're we are still behind this company. And so that's kind of what Imean by, you know, showing up authentically that, regardless of weather itwas just in the beginning, when it was me and my garage, ornow at a point where I've got teams and we're naturally recognize is and youknow we're working to grow and expand that they know that we're showing up everysingle day for them awesome. Before we go farther, for context for people, and I'm going to wrap a lot in here, so take whatever youwant and run with it for a few minutes. You just said you startedout of your garage, which is just a wonderful thing. You're a chemistby background. We founded the company over a decade ago. For folks thataren't familiar with you know are talk a little bit about why and how youfound it. I have a feeling there was a gap in the broader consumerexperience that you were trying to fill. But what was your motivation? Howdid you make the transition? Just cheer a little bit about you know whoyou are as a person and as a company. Okay, I'll keep itas short as I can to okay, so I've love makeup all my life, ever since I was, you know, a young girl trying to my mom'slipstick for the first time. As I got older, say in myteam years, and I started to wear more makeup, I started to discoverthat I had a couple of major issues with it, that if it workedfor me from a color standpoint, it normally had a really adverse effect onmy scan. I've got really, really, really sensitive scan, which only mademy skin issues worse, with which recked havoc on my confidence. Ifit worked for me from a formula standpoint, so it didn't cause a lot ofissues, it looked horrible in my opinion. The colors never worked andI never feel confident going out that way. So it was like a double assort. I always with someone who liked to mix and tinker with things. I'm a tinker or by trade. In fact, my mom used tosend me to the beauties along when I was little and I'd watch my stylisticand I'd go like once a month, but I watched my style is likemixing in the products, and so in between services I would go home andmix stuff. So I was kind of had this fascination with mixing, youknow, beauty products anyway. So fast forward. I fell in love withscience. I decided I was going to major in biology and minor and chemistryand college I had an inkling that I kind of wanted to do something inthe cosmetic field because yes, I at least I saw a gap for myself. But I also started to just hear the complaints of all the other girlsand women around me. But I had no eye concept or idea how toget there. I started my career as a product development chemist, first inthe food and beverage industry. I still had a love from makeup and infact, on my first interview with my Soontobe Bossy ass where I saw myselften years and I literally said this may not be popular, but I wantto make makeup, and he kind of chuckled, but he said, youknow, there's so much crossover between food, beverage and cosmetic industry that if youget really, really, really good at the chemistry behind it all,there won't be anything that you can't make. And I kind of kept him athis word when he ultimately hired me as research and development chemist. Igot really good at product development, both taking it everything from reformulating to buildinga new concept to ultimately reverse engineering. And once I could reverse engineer,he was right. There kind of wasn't anything that I couldn't make. ButI started to reach a point in my career where I could look on storeshow els and see all these cool products are all these cool companies that Ihad either worked on or I had pitched in and ultimately, you know,got to the point where they could scale up and go to market. ButI still was struggling with this fundamental need in makeup and it just seemed tome like, I don't understand why someone didn't hasn't, tackled this already.So fast forward. I finally got to a point where I said, youknow, I could either keep complaining and sitting back waiting for someone to solvethe problem, or I could tackle the problem myself, and that that's wherehumour came to be so good and so...

...uniquely qualified to do it at thatpoint. You know, it's so funny. I do you look at I lookat my career this way, you look at it in reverse from whereyou are today, and it all makes sense in hindsight, but as you'regoing it doesn't really quite make sense. Yeah, yeah, it's the rightthey totally have that. In fact, if you ask some of my friends, you know, and you're first getting out of college and you're all startingyour careers, were all kind of have our circles and I think every singleone of them used to look at me and say, what is she doing? Like, you know, I was the one who had this this jobas an rd chemist coming right out of college. I you know, Iwas traveling to these places, I was making product, yet I wasn't quitesatisfied. I went back and got my Mba and then I started cross trainingand then I left there. And you know, I just wanted to learnas many parts of business as I could and they used to just I think, look at me and bewilderment. And then I leave all that behind tosay I'm starting something in my garage. But you know, it's got itgot me to where I am today. And so now it's funny having thosesame conversations with some of those same people and and me, like you said, in hindsight looking at my career and I'm like yeah, you know,it all did make sense so good. So we connected because a friend ofmine saw one of your presentations and said you need to talk to Paula.Your presentation with Scaling Business Ventures by innovative disruption, designing for gaps in theconsumer experience. Can you just speak to the kind of the guts of thatpresentation a little bit? You used to work gaps in your previous answer,so maybe identify those gaps and then share a couple of the main points thatare of interest there. Yeah, so that whole talk was about how youtake this, you know, early company and really set it up for asuccess through scaling, right, and in my opinion, we could only successfullydo that if we were making sure, as a consumer, you know,good product company, that we were bringing our customers along for for the ride, if you will. So that whole presentation for me, and it wasa it was a more of a generic presentation. I was hoping that,regardless of industry, people could, you know, take some some points awayfrom but it was the idea of understanding that growing and scaling aren't always thesame thing. You know, growing is one of those things where you're constantlyadding resources like, you know, watering a plant, and the plant growsand you add some more and it grow some more. But it is reallythe idea of how you maximize your resources, both in terms of your people andin terms of your, you know, operations, but then also in termsof your experience with your customers, right, because at the end ofthe day, for a company like mine, unless I'm meeting their needs as I'mgrowing or scaling, it's all for not. I really won't won't bearound. And so I wanted to really set the stage for for you knowwhat that took. What was it going to take to kind of manage allthose things along the way that, if you really were going to tackle amarketplace innovatively, you know that innovation really had to take the place of learninghow you were going to differentiate yourself. It was about identifying, you know, not only how you are differentiating yourself, but what service or what products orhow are you going to meet a need in that place where you're differentialin yourself, you know, identifying that niche. And then, I feellike the most important thing you can do at that point is to work reallyhard to understand your targeted customers, their wants, their needs, their desires, what they have, what they don't have, and then working to setup your operation in your niche to meet that need. And so I talkeda lot about just what it took to understand your industry, identify those gaps, how you fit in those gaps, what's your customers are really wanting,how you can deliver to those customers based on that, and then how youdesign your entire operation to move in a direction where you're doing all those thingsand in somewhat of a seamless way. But then how do you grow?How do you scale along the way? When you do that, and Istarted to talk about once kind of have all that in place, you alwayshave to go back to your mission and vision. It's the only way,and it sounds Cliche as what I said,...

...but if you don't keep that inmind, you will end up in a place that you may not haveinitially intended in your in your experience and for your company. And so Ijust wanted to kind of show them how you kind of bring everything along forthe ride as your kind of scaling and being innovative. And if you doall that well, that's how you just rep markets so good. It reallynice bow on the end of that thing and toward the end there this ideathat that the mission and the vision are so critically important, and it's justa reminder of like, what are we actually doing here? Why are wedoing this? Are we actually about? It's that North Star. So like, as you're moving forward and growing and scaling, you have all these routesyou can take, and which route is the right route? It's not necessarilythe one that produces the most growth or scales the most efficiently. It's theone that's the truest. Again, going back showing up authentically every day.Yeah, who are we? What are we about? That? So atheme from the get go. As soon as you started in this conversation,you've been talking a lot about relationships with customers. Yeah, and and socustomer feedback. Talk about that in a practical way, like what kind offeedback mechanisms do you have? How do you stay in touch with your customers, because I know that it's true just in the way that you talk aboutit, but tactically, how do you achieve that and how does your teamachieve that? Yeah, I think it's a multiprong approach. It's everything fromI'm making sure that from the very beginning, as they are trying to, youknow, discover products, if they're new to US and they're trying toget answers or trying to make buying decisions, making sure that we're available to themgiving them some assurances. So it includes everything from just trying to beclear, trying to communicate our products and colors clearly. We offer something calleda hue guarantee, which is no questions asked forty five days or like.If you're not happy, we're not happy send it back because a lot oftimes, especially if we're dealing with directed consumers, we're not always in frontof people. We just want to give them a little bit more confidence intheir buying decisions. So it starts with that. From there, for us, it starts with having excellent communication with them as soon as that order isplace. So we've got a really robust to what I call personalized communication systemon the back end, and that's just making sure that we are communicating withthem. We always, always, always strive to get orders out in fortyeight hours or less, making sure that those products are out the door,that they are shipped, that they have tracking information, that what comes withit is and the information that they would need. We said, you know, I'll benefit cards. We send all the things that they would need tofeel confident about their products. My team still employs, whenever they can,some handwritten notes and some of our orders. We just feel like it's a reallyspecial touch as when orders are delivered, it's important for me to make surewe're getting feedback from our customers. We not only communicate that we've gotthat forty five day guarantee on products, but seven days after they are productsare received, we follow up and and ask them if they can give usa review. We in I tell them specifically in this request that it's importantfor us. We want to make sure that we are doing the best jobthat we possibly can for them and that are products are meeting their needs.But we also feel like their feedback helps other people to make more confident buyingdecisions. So that goes out seven days after order. It's a personalized note. We request that we give them, you know, a little incentive,although the interesting thing is we get a lot of reviews back, but notmany people take advantage of the incentive, which I always find interesting. Itmakes me feel like we're doing something that's just connecting with them and they're notnecessarily asking for something in return. So anyway, we then take those reviews, we post those on the website. We make sure that, you know, I'm not always good at tuning our own horn, but I try tomake sure that that we let people know what we're hearing from customers and thenit's continuing to follow up with them. So that's a lot around our directto consumer experience. We also know as...

...a company that sells products that areabout appearance that are customers like us to show up. So we have gearedall everything, from our social media to product activations that we do with ourcustomers in mind. When I first started, I would go to any city thatI possibly could and I, you know, do any event that Icould get us in. We're not really focused like, especially on our toptwenty markets, of making sure we have some way of showing up in thoseplaces. Now I can't get to all those markets anymore, but we've alsobeen working to build out a pretty robust brand ambassador program so that we alwayshave people who are connected to our organization who can represent us in those cities. We work really hard with them. We make them, you know,not only feel like they're part of the team, but we are engaging withthem constantly, we're doing fun sorts of things with them constantly, and thenthey go out and show up as their best selves with with our customers aswell, and so then we just try to have touch points all across theway to making sure that we are touching someone in a really personalized way.activations and having opportunities for people to try are also really important for our industry. Gone o the days where a lot of there are people who will buyproducts site and seeing, but it's really hard in the makeup space. Somaking sure that we're getting out and giving people experiential chances to try and,you know, without pressure. We're not saying here, try this now,by it. It's just experience the brand, discover something new and we feel likethat in turn leads to great relationships and you know, we try tocultivate that through our newsletters and and other touch points as well. So good. I have a variety of things that are of interest to me, soI'll just knock them off. Yeah, forty five days. It seems likea really good number. It's plenty generous, you know. Gives me many,many opportunities to use it. How do you arrive at forty five days? Like we've done? A thirty day money back guarantee, no questions askkind of a thing. Talk about forty five. Well, you know,I wanted forty five because, you know, we're talking director consumer. It takessome time to get their products are brand. I feel like I'm reflectedby customers who are busy women just like me. I've got a couple kids, I'm really busy. I may not always get to that package, admittedit, it shows up on my doorstep, it might take me a couple days. If it's something that I want to use, it might take mea week before open it. If it's something that I'm going to use.Honestly, makeup is one of those things that looks different in different lighting.So if I'm going out to an evening event or a day event, sometimesthe makeup I'm wearing mix. It just looks different. So I just wantedto give opportunities for people to try. I didn't want them to fill rushthrough the process, but I wanted them to know that, you know,we were willing to, you know, work with them and again, ifit doesn't work, they could send it back. I had someone on myteam early on who said, let's just do a limited but make up isone of those things you, you know, at some point sown that either worksit doesn't work. So instead of being a limited or instead of rushing, I decided I had like an extra couple weeks to our window and that'show we arrived. If that's great. Six and a half weeks is avery generous and I love I love the rationale there. So I feel likeyou're doing probably some email and some direct mail in these personal personalized touches.Is that okay? Cool? Ye, talk about the ambassadors a little bit. This is something I was in a conversation with the guy at a differentsoftware company that I had the chance to visit in it wasn't an ambassador programper se, but these these friends of the company that are properly like froma customer experience standpoint, they might just as well be a direct employee,because the consumer doesn't know where care the difference. How do you cultivate that? How do you develop it? You have training? Do you have assetsfor them? What is your vetting process like? How do you you know, when you hire a new team member? You're recruiting, you're interviewing, you'rehiring, you're making offers and on boarding and training all that. Whatdoes that look like for this kind of this this half step out out typerelationship with a yeah, yeah, it's...

...not extremely different, other than thefact that they're not, you know, paid employees, a part of theteams. Like you said, they really are friends of the brand and typicallyit starts with people who already have some sort of relationship with us. Oftenit's people who are currently following us on social media or they're showing up atthe events when we're going out and doing some of these major events across country. Some of them express an interest and how can I get involved? Ilove this brand, I want to get involved, and so, as Iwas looking at the fact that, you know, we need it to beable to expand our reach, we have people raising their hands saying we wantto be involved with the brand. So this is something that we just startedbeginning of this year because I wanted to take the time to put together everythingthat you mentioned. I had to make sure are that we had a bettingprocess, I had to make sure that we had an onboarding process of makingsure that they could go out as confident as we need them to be,representing the brand and talking about the brand. So which, you know, meantthat we not only had to on board them and get them set upand send them their shirts and make sure they have maked up and make surethat they could do all the fun stuff, but making sure that they could youknow, that they understood the brand, they could tell the brand story,they understood the products and they could be as enthusiastic about the brand aswe are. So we take everyone through that process. They have opportunities toapply. In fact, right now we're doing a whole campaign because I meetmore and would love more brand ambassadors in like the New Orleans area and Texasarea. So Social Media Post goes out, we say hey, if you're interested, here's a link, or tag a friend. A lot of peopletag their friends, which is great, right. And so then they gothrough the official application process, which really just ask them more questions about themand they're you know, how do they hear about the brand and experience theyhave, and then we take them through the wetting and then once they're throughthe wetting, you know, we want to be engaged with them. Sowe want to make sure that they have opportunities to engage with the brand.So we do fun things like we'll do contest that allow them to create theirown looks and will post them on our social media and will let people votein the in the winner gets her own ig you know, TV programming onour through our social media or other sorts of fun things. The ways topromote them and show the great work that they're doing but also represent the brand. What's the really up to speed? They maybe the person who are goingout and doing our events and then, prior to the events we make surethey not only have everything that they need, I have someone who's on call tomake sure that they can, you know, set up successfully, thatthey can execute successfully. And then we always follow up afterwards. We checkon the experience, we check on how they felt about how things went andthen we ask if there's anything else that we can provide them in the wayof training or support. And then, in between them, we just loveto invite them out of events and have fun with them, and so Ifeel like it creates really a great friends, someone who's enthusiastic about the brand,who understands the brand, who can speak not only well about us,but can do it in a really authentic way. So it goes back tothat. Yeah, it's really a community building play. In general's awaited ina way scale your your proper team that's been directly hired in compensated. Soscales that a little bit, but I but you're creating this this additional layerthat allows the community really happen in the local environment. I mean, ifyou know the top twenty markets, you could probably name them right now ifI asked you. I won't. You can probably name them and you've probablybeen to all of them at least once over the past couple years. But, you know, to your point, this this allows you to have thattype of represent where are you all base? Like, where's the bulk of yourteam? In Portland, Oregon? Okay, yeah, and so,yeah, those brand ambassadors are critical for us at markets like lay in NewYork and Chicago. And Yeah, you're right, I could name them all, but they were. You're right, they really are an extension of usand they allow us to show up, or at least the brand to showup, in those places and and spaces.

Sometimes we get things that come ourway last minute or were beginning to work with a lot more boutique retailerswho want to just have a day and have, you know, a humourthemed day, and so we can send an ambassador to go in and helpout there. And you know, and customers, or potential customers, don'tnecessarily understand the difference between someone who's part of the team or a friend ofthe team. If that friend of the team is really telling the story,well, all they know is they've engaged with the brand and they walk awaywith a better understanding and hopefully you know more confidence about about us and whatwe do. So you do business online through your own website and you alsowork through retailers. If I read correctly, do you pull products out of atarget store? You'll so. We were part of a program that's areetlaunched a little over a year ago. We went into program called the emergingbeauty project and it basically was them taking a companies that offered beauty product specificallyin the cosmetic space for women of Color. This would be the first time thatthey really had focused products in that area. As part of it,you know, bringing an indie brands and it was a hundred stores, whichwas you know that that's that's no small change and it was in most ofour popular markets. I was totally excited about it. It was not onlya phenomenal billboard for the brand. I shop and target. In fact,I think I was in target just early this morning before coming into the office. So I'm in target a lot and I just thought what a great placenow, place that me and a lot of women like me shop already.I love the idea of our products being accessible and easy to reach, expressivefor talking retail so we thought it would be a great opportunity for us andand like I said, it was a great billboard. But we started tofind out pretty quickly piece of the customer experience that wasn't happening. For peoplewho are interested in buying hue know ours product specifically. It was our twentydark shades of foundation and foundation is that bass layer of product right and it'sskintoned and it's got to work and it's got to work well. What Iwas finding as I was watching comments or feedback, is that a lot ofwomen were walking in the store looking at the products, but they were walkingaway empty handed and we wanted to understand why. We also started to hearfrom target that they just weren't seeing the cell volume that they were looking for. At the same time, Ethan, I started to find out that oursample request people who were going on to our website to request samples of ourfoundation in increased by over one thousand three hundred percent. I didn't think thatwas any small coincidence. No, and when we dug into those numbers,about sixty five percent of that were people who had physically gone into a targetstore. The others were people who were discovering the brand, whether it wasbecause they heard about the target launcher, they were discovering the brand, butI just thought that is such a huge increase and what it meant, ifI was really looking at that customer journey, was that they realize we were intarget. By one method or another. They were walking into the store,they were looking at the display, they couldn't make a decision. Theyweren't just going to buy a couple to figure out which one worked. Sothey were going all the way back home, going onto their website, requesting samples, waiting for that request to be processed, receiving their samples in themail from us, making a decision. Then the question was, do weexpect them to go back, to go back into the store at that point? Right, I mean realistically, we're being really honest about it, andso I felt like that was a big part of why that relationship just wasn'tworking and it we had a mutual conversation just about what was or wasn't working. I had offered things like sending samples...

...to the stores. I had offeredgoing in and doing instore activations, all the things that we know hands downwork for our consumers. We had talked about in the beginning, we talkedabout again. It did just really wasn't the room to do that in thatin that platform and space, and so as a result we, I theymutually decided that it just wasn't the right fit, especially for that type ofproduct, for for a foundation, and so we parted ways, but itwas amicable. We've all said that you never know down the road there mightbe another time or place, but we've decided to focus as a going outof that at the end of the year on our director consumer on maybe otherretail relationships. We could take some of the learnings from that experience and workwith the retailer to make sure that that customer journey and experience was what thecustomer needs and what the store needs. So I'm happy to announce I endedup signing the deal in January with Sally beauty and we are working with them. We launched online on their stores may one and so we're looking very closelyat that data. We want to be really clear about locations. We alsowant to be clear about customers preference and using this time to introduce our productsto their customers and then we'll be talking about which locations we go into andhow we provide that customer experience. Nice to taking a great opportunity, learningfrom it, being true to what you want to provide dear customers and havingto walk away from it and then taking that learning and turning it into anotheropportunity. So so the the experience with the product itself is super important.Probably Education is as well. I feel like in some of the earlier partof our conversation here, you know, as you're talking to try to tryto lower the the lower the anxiety, I guess, with a guarantee insome of these other pieces of information, just kind of lowering that barrier sothat someone to make a decision. Just talk briefly about the importance of educationin the experience that you want to provide. Yeah, it's extremely important and itshows up in different ways. It's important for us to communicate what ourproducts are and what our products aren't to a customer. I think that helpsto manage expectations. We want people to understand the benefits of our products,but I also like to explain a little bit of the why, what whybehind what we do. I also find that in makeup many women have hadexperiences before with makeup and sometimes you'd like to assume that ellipstic is just ellipstick, but that's not necessarily the case and some of that goes back to theformulation, and so it's important for me for people to understand our products,how they work, best way to use them, and all of those thingsare important also when it comes to things like our foundation product, something thatis it's extremely proprietary and it's not necessarily like many of the products that customershave used before. It's especially important because their experience, their first experience withit, is going to be shaped a little bit by what they've used priorto right, and so we want to make sure again that they're clear aboutwhat it is what it isn't. Some people, my shades sometimes look verydifferent than other brands shades, but there's a reason for that. It's becauseit really is, for us, a product solution. We took exact skintone matches and use utilize that data to develop each and every one of ourshades of foundation and started off as a custom shade for someone who had aparticular need, and so it doesn't always show up the way you would alwayssee brand show up. So it's important for us to communicate those things.So that's on the customer side, but when we're talking about retellers, it'simportant for them to understand our products. So we use everything from product factsheets to make sure that that sells person in the store understands the products andcan talk conflay about the products to the...

...customer. We also make sure thatI'll send in our cells team to go in and educate the customers not aboutnot just about the products, but about the brand overall, about the products, ratings and reviews. Again, it goes back to wanting them to beable to communicate in a way that helps people make buying decisions and I thinkit's important for them to know more than just this lipstick is read. Sowe work hard on all those things and it's it became obvious to me overthe years just how important that is, and sometimes it seems like a littlething where you could just have a conversation and have someone understand, but it'svery different from having a sales team that has all the product fact sheets sittingin the back, you know room, or me sending a person in toanswer their questions and really work with them one on one. It is reallyreally important, especially because you're doing something different, I think, for folksthat are listening and you and you don't have a physical product or a tangibleproduct in this case, and I'm speaking for my own experience. Yeah,people come to our software with based on their expectations of how other things haveworked before. Like you, we identified a gap in the way people arecommunicating every day and solved for it a bit, and so just getting peopleup to speed on a new way to do something that is quite common.Yeah, I need for you, it's foundation, right, like a lotof women put on foundation every single day and they've done it for years.But this is different, and so that education layers just so critical. Pollcongratulations so much on the growth that you've experienced over the past decade. It'sreally cool to have to speak with you about a again, identifying a gapand using that as your primary point of differentiation in going to market, butblending it with your personal passion, your personal experience, having this unique backgroundin the foresight to get an Mba just because you wanted to understand how businessworks, and then in hindsight at all kind of comes together before I hitmy the the way I always love to close the show. Can you shareon this journey that you've had, maybe some things that you've struggled with orfound some great success with along the way in terms of preserving the type ofexperience you want to provide your customers over this decade, from from the garage, yeah, to you know, all the things we concluded with. Therewas some of these retail opportunities and and all of that. Yeah, youknow, it's funny. I was having a conversation with one of my staffmembers earlier because I feel like the longer we go along, I can identifythings that have happened over the years that I know I've led to our successhere. And there are things that I think we can't take our eyes offof, and one of them is just having the discipline to do this stuffevery single day. It seems easy to say, yeah, we've got ourcustomer experience dialed in, but it's another thing to execute it every day,to listen every day and to respond every day and to not take that forgranted. So there are things like that that I just tell my team wecan't take, we can't take for granted. I also think, you know,I'm my staff would tell you, I'm I'm really cool. I don'tmicromanage, but I am one of those one of those people that I reallybelieve that it's important for us to not have a lot of exceptions. Rightbecause when we make exceptions, or I'll get to that tomorrow, or Oh, you know, I'll the a person's bought from US three or four timessale. They know us by now. We don't need to respond the sameway. But I feel like when you make those kinds of exceptions, thoseexceptions start to corrode away and they ultimately become the rules over time, I'mand then you're moving further further away from delivering on that promise. So Ijust work really hard to make sure we say discipline and what we do,that we always keep our customers at the center of decisions that we make andnew products or new retellers, that they are always at the center of thatand that we've got a couple things around how we treat them that better nonnegotiables, and I feel like as long as...

...we do that, will be makingdecisions with them in mind. Will continue to look at the opportunities that comeour way and ultimately, as I said, kind as we were talking about thatwhole presentation I gave earlier on Scaling. That will be bringing them along alongfor the ride as well. Definitely a winning formula and it's, I'msure it's all based in your mission and values as well. I think thatthat discipline, you know innovation is the norm, that that the market isgoing to change, that consumers are going to change, expectations are going tochange, and so that that discipline is what allows you to stay in touch. This has been an absolute pleasure for me and I know listeners are goingto enjoy it to relationships are our number one core value here. So Ialways like to before I let you go, I always liked to ask is theresomeone you'd like to thank or mention who's had a positive impact on yourlife or career, and is there a company that you'd like to give amention to for doing customer experience really, really well, maybe something that's inspiredyou on your journey in terms of building your own company? Yeah, youknow, so there have been a couple people that have have been a lotof people, I should say, that have been influential on me along theway, but I think to that really set me up for where I amnow is my first mentor. Her name is Brenda Green. She was anadjunct professor and when I graduated college I was so proud to call her andtell her I got this job as a product development chemists and we stayed intouch and at one day she asked me, well, what's next, and shewanted me to think about not settling and I think she was the onewho gave me that spark of do I really want to be making products forsomeone else my entire career? She sparked the interest in me going and eventhinking about getting an Mba another so I think she's really critical. And thenone of my early bosses, his name was Bill Haddat. He was notonly the person who told me that if I learned and did a great jobin formulation, there wouldn't be anything that I couldn't do, but he advocatedfor me. So years later, when I was getting that MBA, hecommenced the company to cross train me across the entire business, and that's becauseof the puzzle started to come come together and I think without those two earlyexperiences I'm not sure if I would have done this venture the way that thatit is, and I don't know how it would have ended up. I'myou know, all I can say is I'm excited about what I've accomplished andI know that they sparked a lot of it. In terms of companies toshout out, you know, I'll tell you a company that I came acrossa couple of years ago, me May. I'm sure you've heard of it.It's stitch fixed. The thing that I liked about them was the ideaof taking this really personalized service of being a not just a personal shopper buta stylist for someone. In doing it and more of a digital format.I was kind of curious of whether it could work for me. That wasgetting to the point where it was starting to get hard to pick probably,you know, pick clothes and events and I was too busy for it all. But didn't want to pay for a stylist stylist, and so I triedthe service and what I found pleasantly surprised me. Just the time that theytook, even though it was the more of a personalized digital format, toget to know me a little bit, to get to know my style,my preferences, but then to have a personal note come with all my productsand to allow me to talk about things that I had coming up or tripsthat I was taking and to have that person reference that as they were thinkingabout items that they pulled for me and then ultimately having that bad coming theMaut with it that if it didn't work for me, I could send itback, send them a few notes and they could either send me something elseor, you know, be funded all together. I thought was actually areally pleasant experience, and so I've always kind of held that experience of,even in a digital format, with something that you don't necessarily think of asa process that could be digital tie digitize, that there are still ways to havepersonal connection. So shout out to them. You know, obviously they'renot paying me anything for it, but I'm just happy to mention that one. So good. I love the blend...

...of digital and physical as well aspersonal and personalized. Yeah right, there is something truly personal about what they'redoing there, in addition to the fun game of do you like this orthat? Yeah, neither. You know that. That whole thing. PaulaHayes, president and CEO and founder of Hu know are cosmetics, thank youso much for being here. If people enjoyed what they what they learned her. How can someone connect with you or with your your company or your products? Here are so the company website is Hugh noircom, Hue and o ircom. I can be found as Pola Hayes on Linkedin. I love connections.I just think the like it's really important. I love to, you know,learn about what people are doing in their careers and you never know wherepaths cross. You also can find this on Instagram as huo are all together, or facebook, as you know, are awesome. Thank you again somuch for your time and continued success to you. Thank you anything. Itwas a pleasure being here. You're listening to the customer experience podcast. Nomatter your role in delivering value and serving customers, you're interesting. Some ofyour most important and valuable messages to faceless digital communication. You can do better. Rehumanize the experience by getting facetoface through simple, personal videos. Learn moreand get started free at bomb bombcom. You've been listening to the customer experiencepodcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player or visit bombombcom. Thank you so much for listening.Until next time,.

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