The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 3 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 understand the 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 growing businesses restore a personal human touch throughout the customer life cycle. Get ready to hear how sales marketing M customers success, experts surprise and delight and never lose sign 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 me because, along with her team, today's guest is on a mission to change the face of beauty by putting multicultural women at the center of the modern beauty movement. She's a chemist by background, which is very interesting, who founded the company over a decade ago. Our guest today is Paula Hayes, president and 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 done over the past decade and I look forward to getting into your personal story a 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 thoughts or, you know, characteristics that you identify when I say the words customer experience. Hmm, I first think of care. That's really big for me. I also think of how we show up authentically and in a way that is both valuing our customers, their opinions, their desires and then ultimately delivering on our promise to meet their needs. Me, all that plays into my definition. It's so good. I love the word care because it's about how 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 follow up here with your choice of showing up authentically. What does it mean do you? I think a lot. First of all, I'm very excited that these words and concepts are bubbling up in popular business culture and it's okay to talk about these things and that they're part of the conversation. But just to get real on it, like, what does that mean to you? Yeah, so I'm in an industry that, first and for almost yeah, it's about making people feel good about themselves, about the way they look, about the way that they show up. But I am tackling a part of the market that is often been really scorched and scorned by this industry, and so I 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 be authentic and what we're doing. I think it's important for our customers to see me in an authentic way, but I think it's important for me to instill that in our entire culture. I think that the more that I do that, the more that we're able to communicate with our customers in a way that 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, that everyone you know here knows that that's what we're doing. And I always go back to, I think by manter over and over is, how are we fulfilling 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 at the center of the modern beauty movement. We only do that if we are authentically champing that every single day in what we do. And then we often find with some of our consumers that our brand experience is very different than the ones that they've had it in and with our industry in general, and they often find a company that maybe is at our stage in that company isn't owned by the founder anymore. The founders and...

...maybe just the name on attached to the company, they're not really part of the company. So we actually can get questions from people that say that's great, this is the way the company was founded, and they'll hear the story, but they'll say, but who's behind it 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 I mean by, you know, showing up authentically that, regardless of weather it was just in the beginning, when it was me and my garage, or now at a point where I've got teams and we're naturally recognize is and you know we're working to grow and expand that they know that we're showing up every single 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 you want and run with it for a few minutes. You just said you started out of your garage, which is just a wonderful thing. You're a chemist by background. We founded the company over a decade ago. For folks that aren't familiar with you know are talk a little bit about why and how you found it. I have a feeling there was a gap in the broader consumer experience that you were trying to fill. But what was your motivation? How did you make the transition? Just cheer a little bit about you know who you are as a person and as a company. Okay, I'll keep it as 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's lipstick for the first time. As I got older, say in my team years, and I started to wear more makeup, I started to discover that I had a couple of major issues with it, that if it worked for me from a color standpoint, it normally had a really adverse effect on my scan. I've got really, really, really sensitive scan, which only made my skin issues worse, with which recked havoc on my confidence. If it worked for me from a formula standpoint, so it didn't cause a lot of issues, it looked horrible in my opinion. The colors never worked and I never feel confident going out that way. So it was like a double as sort. I always with someone who liked to mix and tinker with things. I'm a tinker or by trade. In fact, my mom used to send me to the beauties along when I was little and I'd watch my stylistic and I'd go like once a month, but I watched my style is like mixing in the products, and so in between services I would go home and mix stuff. So I was kind of had this fascination with mixing, you know, beauty products anyway. So fast forward. I fell in love with science. I decided I was going to major in biology and minor and chemistry and college I had an inkling that I kind of wanted to do something in the 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 girls and women around me. But I had no eye concept or idea how to get there. I started my career as a product development chemist, first in the food and beverage industry. I still had a love from makeup and in fact, on my first interview with my Soontobe Bossy ass where I saw myself ten years and I literally said this may not be popular, but I want to make makeup, and he kind of chuckled, but he said, you know, there's so much crossover between food, beverage and cosmetic industry that if you get 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 at his word when he ultimately hired me as research and development chemist. I got really good at product development, both taking it everything from reformulating to building a 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. But I started to reach a point in my career where I could look on store show els and see all these cool products are all these cool companies that I had 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. But I still was struggling with this fundamental need in makeup and it just seemed to me 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, you know, I could either keep complaining and sitting back waiting for someone to solve the problem, or I could tackle the problem myself, and that that's where humour came to be so good and so...

...uniquely qualified to do it at that point. You know, it's so funny. I do you look at I look at my career this way, you look at it in reverse from where you are today, and it all makes sense in hindsight, but as you're going it doesn't really quite make sense. Yeah, yeah, it's the right they 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 starting your careers, were all kind of have our circles and I think every single one of them used to look at me and say, what is she doing? Like, you know, I was the one who had this this job as an rd chemist coming right out of college. I you know, I was traveling to these places, I was making product, yet I wasn't quite satisfied. I went back and got my Mba and then I started cross training and then I left there. And you know, I just wanted to learn as 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 to say I'm starting something in my garage. But you know, it's got it got me to where I am today. And so now it's funny having those same 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 of mine 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 the consumer experience. Can you just speak to the kind of the guts of that presentation 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 that are of interest there. Yeah, so that whole talk was about how you take this, you know, early company and really set it up for a success through scaling, right, and in my opinion, we could only successfully do 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 was a it was a more of a generic presentation. I was hoping that, regardless of industry, people could, you know, take some some points away from but it was the idea of understanding that growing and scaling aren't always the same thing. You know, growing is one of those things where you're constantly adding resources like, you know, watering a plant, and the plant grows and you add some more and it grow some more. But it is really the idea of how you maximize your resources, both in terms of your people and in terms of your, you know, operations, but then also in terms of your experience with your customers, right, because at the end of the day, for a company like mine, unless I'm meeting their needs as I'm growing or scaling, it's all for not. I really won't won't be around. And so I wanted to really set the stage for for you know what that took. What was it going to take to kind of manage all those things along the way that, if you really were going to tackle a marketplace innovatively, you know that innovation really had to take the place of learning how 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 or how are you going to meet a need in that place where you're differential in yourself, you know, identifying that niche. And then, I feel like the most important thing you can do at that point is to work really hard to understand your targeted customers, their wants, their needs, their desires, what they have, what they don't have, and then working to set up your operation in your niche to meet that need. And so I talked a 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 you design your entire operation to move in a direction where you're doing all those things and in somewhat of a seamless way. But then how do you grow? How do you scale along the way? When you do that, and I started to talk about once kind of have all that in place, you always have 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 in mind, you will end up in a place that you may not have initially intended in your in your experience and for your company. And so I just wanted to kind of show them how you kind of bring everything along for the ride as your kind of scaling and being innovative. And if you do all that well, that's how you just rep markets so good. It really nice bow on the end of that thing and toward the end there this idea that that the mission and the vision are so critically important, and it's just a reminder of like, what are we actually doing here? Why are we doing 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 routes you can take, and which route is the right route? It's not necessarily the one that produces the most growth or scales the most efficiently. It's the one that's the truest. Again, going back showing up authentically every day. Yeah, who are we? What are we about? That? So a theme 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 so customer feedback. Talk about that in a practical way, like what kind of feedback 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 about it, but tactically, how do you achieve that and how does your team achieve that? Yeah, I think it's a multiprong approach. It's everything from I'm making sure that from the very beginning, as they are trying to, you know, discover products, if they're new to US and they're trying to get answers or trying to make buying decisions, making sure that we're available to them giving them some assurances. So it includes everything from just trying to be clear, trying to communicate our products and colors clearly. We offer something called a 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 of times, especially if we're dealing with directed consumers, we're not always in front of people. We just want to give them a little bit more confidence in their buying decisions. So it starts with that. From there, for us, it starts with having excellent communication with them as soon as that order is place. So we've got a really robust to what I call personalized communication system on the back end, and that's just making sure that we are communicating with them. We always, always, always strive to get orders out in forty eight hours or less, making sure that those products are out the door, that they are shipped, that they have tracking information, that what comes with it 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 to feel 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 really special touch as when orders are delivered, it's important for me to make sure we're getting feedback from our customers. We not only communicate that we've got that forty five day guarantee on products, but seven days after they are products are received, we follow up and and ask them if they can give us a review. We in I tell them specifically in this request that it's important for us. We want to make sure that we are doing the best job that 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 buying decisions. 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 not many people take advantage of the incentive, which I always find interesting. It makes me feel like we're doing something that's just connecting with them and they're not necessarily 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 to make sure that that we let people know what we're hearing from customers and then it's continuing to follow up with them. So that's a lot around our direct to consumer experience. We also know as...

...a company that sells products that are about appearance that are customers like us to show up. So we have geared all everything, from our social media to product activations that we do with our customers in mind. When I first started, I would go to any city that I possibly could and I, you know, do any event that I could get us in. We're not really focused like, especially on our top twenty markets, of making sure we have some way of showing up in those places. Now I can't get to all those markets anymore, but we've also been working to build out a pretty robust brand ambassador program so that we always have 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 with them constantly, we're doing fun sorts of things with them constantly, and then they go out and show up as their best selves with with our customers as well, and so then we just try to have touch points all across the way 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 buy products site and seeing, but it's really hard in the makeup space. So making 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 like that in turn leads to great relationships and you know, we try to cultivate 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, so I'll just knock them off. Yeah, forty five days. It seems like a 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 ask kind of a thing. Talk about forty five. Well, you know, I wanted forty five because, you know, we're talking director consumer. It takes some time to get their products are brand. I feel like I'm reflected by 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, admitted it, 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 me a 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, sometimes the makeup I'm wearing mix. It just looks different. So I just wanted to give opportunities for people to try. I didn't want them to fill rush through the process, but I wanted them to know that, you know, we were willing to, you know, work with them and again, if it doesn't work, they could send it back. I had someone on my team early on who said, let's just do a limited but make up is one of those things you, you know, at some point sown that either works it 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's how we arrived. If that's great. Six and a half weeks is a very generous and I love I love the rationale there. So I feel like you'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 different software company that I had the chance to visit in it wasn't an ambassador program per se, but these these friends of the company that are properly like from a 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 assets for 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're hiring, you're making offers and on boarding and training all that. What does that look like for this kind of this this half step out out type relationship with a yeah, yeah, it's...

...not extremely different, other than the fact that they're not, you know, paid employees, a part of the teams. Like you said, they really are friends of the brand and typically it starts with people who already have some sort of relationship with us. Often it's people who are currently following us on social media or they're showing up at the 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? I love this brand, I want to get involved, and so, as I was looking at the fact that, you know, we need it to be able to expand our reach, we have people raising their hands saying we want to be involved with the brand. So this is something that we just started beginning of this year because I wanted to take the time to put together everything that you mentioned. I had to make sure are that we had a betting process, I had to make sure that we had an onboarding process of making sure 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, meant that we not only had to on board them and get them set up and send them their shirts and make sure they have maked up and make sure that they could do all the fun stuff, but making sure that they could you know, that they understood the brand, they could tell the brand story, they understood the products and they could be as enthusiastic about the brand as we are. So we take everyone through that process. They have opportunities to apply. In fact, right now we're doing a whole campaign because I meet more and would love more brand ambassadors in like the New Orleans area and Texas area. So Social Media Post goes out, we say hey, if you're interested, here's a link, or tag a friend. A lot of people tag their friends, which is great, right. And so then they go through the official application process, which really just ask them more questions about them and they're you know, how do they hear about the brand and experience they have, and then we take them through the wetting and then once they're through the wetting, you know, we want to be engaged with them. So we 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 their own looks and will post them on our social media and will let people vote in the in the winner gets her own ig you know, TV programming on our through our social media or other sorts of fun things. The ways to promote 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 going out and doing our events and then, prior to the events we make sure they not only have everything that they need, I have someone who's on call to make sure that they can, you know, set up successfully, that they can execute successfully. And then we always follow up afterwards. We check on the experience, we check on how they felt about how things went and then we ask if there's anything else that we can provide them in the way of training or support. And then, in between them, we just love to invite them out of events and have fun with them, and so I feel 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 to that. Yeah, it's really a community building play. In general's awaited in a way scale your your proper team that's been directly hired in compensated. So scales that a little bit, but I but you're creating this this additional layer that allows the community really happen in the local environment. I mean, if you know the top twenty markets, you could probably name them right now if I asked you. I won't. You can probably name them and you've probably been to all of them at least once over the past couple years. But, you know, to your point, this this allows you to have that type of represent where are you all base? Like, where's the bulk of your team? In Portland, Oregon? Okay, yeah, and so, yeah, those brand ambassadors are critical for us at markets like lay in New York and Chicago. And Yeah, you're right, I could name them all, but they were. You're right, they really are an extension of us and they allow us to show up, or at least the brand to show up, in those places and and spaces.

Sometimes we get things that come our way last minute or were beginning to work with a lot more boutique retailers who want to just have a day and have, you know, a humour themed day, and so we can send an ambassador to go in and help out there. And you know, and customers, or potential customers, don't necessarily understand the 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, all they know is they've engaged with the brand and they walk away with a better understanding and hopefully you know more confidence about about us and what we do. So you do business online through your own website and you also work through retailers. If I read correctly, do you pull products out of a target store? You'll so. We were part of a program that's areet launched a little over a year ago. We went into program called the emerging beauty project and it basically was them taking a companies that offered beauty product specifically in the cosmetic space for women of Color. This would be the first time that they really had focused products in that area. As part of it, you know, bringing an indie brands and it was a hundred stores, which was you know that that's that's no small change and it was in most of our popular markets. I was totally excited about it. It was not only a 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 place now, 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, expressive for talking retail so we thought it would be a great opportunity for us and and like I said, it was a great billboard. But we started to find out pretty quickly piece of the customer experience that wasn't happening. For people who are interested in buying hue know ours product specifically. It was our twenty dark shades of foundation and foundation is that bass layer of product right and it's skintoned and it's got to work and it's got to work well. What I was finding as I was watching comments or feedback, is that a lot of women were walking in the store looking at the products, but they were walking away empty handed and we wanted to understand why. We also started to hear from 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 our sample request people who were going on to our website to request samples of our foundation in increased by over one thousand three hundred percent. I didn't think that was 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 target store. The others were people who were discovering the brand, whether it was because they heard about the target launcher, they were discovering the brand, but I just thought that is such a huge increase and what it meant, if I was really looking at that customer journey, was that they realize we were in target. By one method or another. They were walking into the store, they were looking at the display, they couldn't make a decision. They weren't just going to buy a couple to figure out which one worked. So they were going all the way back home, going onto their website, requesting samples, waiting for that request to be processed, receiving their samples in the mail from us, making a decision. Then the question was, do we expect them to go back, to go back into the store at that point? Right, I mean realistically, we're being really honest about it, and so I felt like that was a big part of why that relationship just wasn't working 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 offered going in and doing instore activations, all the things that we know hands down work for our consumers. We had talked about in the beginning, we talked about again. It did just really wasn't the room to do that in that in that platform and space, and so as a result we, I they mutually decided that it just wasn't the right fit, especially for that type of product, for for a foundation, and so we parted ways, but it was amicable. We've all said that you never know down the road there might be another time or place, but we've decided to focus as a going out of that at the end of the year on our director consumer on maybe other retail relationships. We could take some of the learnings from that experience and work with the retailer to make sure that that customer journey and experience was what the customer needs and what the store needs. So I'm happy to announce I ended up 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 closely at that data. We want to be really clear about locations. We also want to be clear about customers preference and using this time to introduce our products to their customers and then we'll be talking about which locations we go into and how we provide that customer experience. Nice to taking a great opportunity, learning from it, being true to what you want to provide dear customers and having to walk away from it and then taking that learning and turning it into another opportunity. 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 part of our conversation here, you know, as you're talking to try to try to lower the the lower the anxiety, I guess, with a guarantee in some of these other pieces of information, just kind of lowering that barrier so that someone to make a decision. Just talk briefly about the importance of education in the experience that you want to provide. Yeah, it's extremely important and it shows up in different ways. It's important for us to communicate what our products are and what our products aren't to a customer. I think that helps to 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 why behind what we do. I also find that in makeup many women have had experiences 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 the formulation, 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 things are important also when it comes to things like our foundation product, something that is it's extremely proprietary and it's not necessarily like many of the products that customers have used before. It's especially important because their experience, their first experience with it, is going to be shaped a little bit by what they've used prior to right, and so we want to make sure again that they're clear about what it is what it isn't. Some people, my shades sometimes look very different than other brands shades, but there's a reason for that. It's because it really is, for us, a product solution. We took exact skin tone matches and use utilize that data to develop each and every one of our shades of foundation and started off as a custom shade for someone who had a particular need, and so it doesn't always show up the way you would always see 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's important for them to understand our products. So we use everything from product fact sheets to make sure that that sells person in the store understands the products and can talk conflay about the products to the...

...customer. We also make sure that I'll send in our cells team to go in and educate the customers not about not just about the products, but about the brand overall, about the products, ratings and reviews. Again, it goes back to wanting them to be able to communicate in a way that helps people make buying decisions and I think it's important for them to know more than just this lipstick is read. So we work hard on all those things and it's it became obvious to me over the years just how important that is, and sometimes it seems like a little thing where you could just have a conversation and have someone understand, but it's very different from having a sales team that has all the product fact sheets sitting in the back, you know room, or me sending a person in to answer their questions and really work with them one on one. It is really really important, especially because you're doing something different, I think, for folks that are listening and you and you don't have a physical product or a tangible product 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 have worked before. Like you, we identified a gap in the way people are communicating every day and solved for it a bit, and so just getting people up to speed on a new way to do something that is quite common. Yeah, I need for you, it's foundation, right, like a lot of 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. Poll congratulations so much on the growth that you've experienced over the past decade. It's really cool to have to speak with you about a again, identifying a gap and using that as your primary point of differentiation in going to market, but blending it with your personal passion, your personal experience, having this unique background in the foresight to get an Mba just because you wanted to understand how business works, and then in hindsight at all kind of comes together before I hit my the the way I always love to close the show. Can you share on this journey that you've had, maybe some things that you've struggled with or found some great success with along the way in terms of preserving the type of experience you want to provide your customers over this decade, from from the garage, yeah, to you know, all the things we concluded with. There was some of these retail opportunities and and all of that. Yeah, you know, it's funny. I was having a conversation with one of my staff members earlier because I feel like the longer we go along, I can identify things that have happened over the years that I know I've led to our success here. And there are things that I think we can't take our eyes off of, and one of them is just having the discipline to do this stuff every single day. It seems easy to say, yeah, we've got our customer 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 for granted. So there are things like that that I just tell my team we can'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't micromanage, but I am one of those one of those people that I really believe that it's important for us to not have a lot of exceptions. Right because 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 times sale. They know us by now. We don't need to respond the same way. But I feel like when you make those kinds of exceptions, those exceptions start to corrode away and they ultimately become the rules over time, I'm and then you're moving further further away from delivering on that promise. So I just 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 and new products or new retellers, that they are always at the center of that and 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 making decisions with them in mind. Will continue to look at the opportunities that come our way and ultimately, as I said, kind as we were talking about that whole presentation I gave earlier on Scaling. That will be bringing them along along for the ride as well. Definitely a winning formula and it's, I'm sure it's all based in your mission and values as well. I think that that discipline, you know innovation is the norm, that that the market is going to change, that consumers are going to change, expectations are going to change, 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 going to enjoy it to relationships are our number one core value here. So I always like to before I let you go, I always liked to ask is there someone you'd like to thank or mention who's had a positive impact on your life or career, and is there a company that you'd like to give a mention to for doing customer experience really, really well, maybe something that's inspired you on your journey in terms of building your own company? Yeah, you know, so there have been a couple people that have have been a lot of people, I should say, that have been influential on me along the way, but I think to that really set me up for where I am now is my first mentor. Her name is Brenda Green. She was an adjunct professor and when I graduated college I was so proud to call her and tell her I got this job as a product development chemists and we stayed in touch and at one day she asked me, well, what's next, and she wanted me to think about not settling and I think she was the one who gave me that spark of do I really want to be making products for someone else my entire career? She sparked the interest in me going and even thinking about getting an Mba another so I think she's really critical. And then one of my early bosses, his name was Bill Haddat. He was not only the person who told me that if I learned and did a great job in formulation, there wouldn't be anything that I couldn't do, but he advocated for me. So years later, when I was getting that MBA, he commenced the company to cross train me across the entire business, and that's because of the puzzle started to come come together and I think without those two early experiences I'm not sure if I would have done this venture the way that that it is, and I don't know how it would have ended up. I'm you know, all I can say is I'm excited about what I've accomplished and I know that they sparked a lot of it. In terms of companies to shout out, you know, I'll tell you a company that I came across a 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 idea of taking this really personalized service of being a not just a personal shopper but a 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 was getting 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 tried the service and what I found pleasantly surprised me. Just the time that they took, even though it was the more of a personalized digital format, to get 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 products and to allow me to talk about things that I had coming up or trips that I was taking and to have that person reference that as they were thinking about items that they pulled for me and then ultimately having that bad coming the Maut with it that if it didn't work for me, I could send it back, send them a few notes and they could either send me something else or, you know, be funded all together. I thought was actually a really 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 as a process that could be digital tie digitize, that there are still ways to have personal connection. So shout out to them. You know, obviously they're not 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 as personal and personalized. Yeah right, there is something truly personal about what they're doing there, in addition to the fun game of do you like this or that? Yeah, neither. You know that. That whole thing. Paula Hayes, president and CEO and founder of Hu know are cosmetics, thank you so 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 where paths cross. You also can find this on Instagram as huo are all together, or facebook, as you know, are awesome. Thank you again so much for your time and continued success to you. Thank you anything. It was a pleasure being here. You're listening to the customer experience podcast. No matter your role in delivering value and serving customers, you're interesting. Some of your most important and valuable messages to faceless digital communication. You can do better. Rehumanize the experience by getting facetoface through simple, personal videos. Learn more and get started free at bomb bombcom. You've been listening to the customer experience podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit bombombcom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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