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  • Writer's pictureJacob Curtis

Unleash the Power of Great Customer Service in Your Quilt Shop

One of the things that separates extraordinary businesses from ordinary ones is that they lead tribes of raving fans–not just customers. Your tribe amplifies your message and takes it to a level you could not reach with paid advertising. Here are a few qualities of extraordinary businesses that lead tribes:

  • They continually focus on wowing their customers, turning them into raving fans.

  • They create and foster lifetime relationships.

  • They make it easy and fun to deal with them.

  • They create a sense of theater around their products and services.

  • They have systems in place to reliably and consistently deliver a great customer experience.

Most businesses stop marketing once a prospect or a lead becomes a customer, effectively capping the relationship and any growth. However, extraordinary businesses get exponential results because this person becomes an evangelist for them.

Quilt shops can be agile and quickly respond to customer needs and feedback, which is a huge advantage. The customer doesn’t get lost in a sea of customers, but the relationship can feel more personal and tribe-like. As a quilt shop owner, it is your job to create and foster a tribe of raving fans and understand that the marketing process really only begins once you convert a prospect into a paying customer.

Sell Them What They Want but Give Them What They Need

I have previously talked about the importance of knowing what your customer wants. Now, we go a little deeper. When it comes to delivering your products or services, you need to give your customers what they want and need. Often, what a customer wants and what a customer needs to achieve their desired results are very different.

Some business owners feel it is not their responsibility to ensure that their customers get the desired results. They feel that since the customer purchased their products or services, that is motivation enough for the customer–nothing more should be done. However, this is shortsighted.

A customer who buys something and then doesn’t use it or use it correctly is very likely to write it off (and your store) as something that doesn’t work. At best, it’s a one-time purchase. At worst, you are labeled as a scam and spread across the social networks.

The winning mark will be providing turn-key solutions that help your customers get the desired result. In many cases, you are going to need to spoon-feed them. Your job is to sell them what they want but give them what they need. You may have to break up the steps or create different packages or bundles to get them to take action to ensure they get what they desire.

For example, you may have to sell a kit and a class together as a bundled package (or provide video tutorials), ensuring that the kits are made, and the customer is happy, which is more likely to make a repeat customer.

Leadership is an attractive quality, and people want to be led. Taking that initiative and packaging and bundling your products and services to overcome anticipated barriers shows leadership, unleashing the power of great customer service. Helping your customers all the way through to their desired result will pay off for both of you.

Innovate Around Your Products and Services

A common misconception is that innovation must be in the product or service itself. If you sell an ordinary product, like fabric, it may seem like innovation is not relevant to your quilt shop. It may seem you have no option but to compete solely on price.

However, innovation can go far beyond the actual product that’s sold. Innovation can be applied to how the product is priced, packaged, supported, delivered, managed, marketed, etc. Your customers not only want to be serviced, they want to be entertained.

For example, a boring blender company created a Will It Blend? video series that now gets millions of views on YouTube. Is theirs the only blender that can blend an iPhone or a golf ball? No, but they were the first ones to do it. Or how about the restaurant that offers a complementary drive home after a few drinks? Will they sell more high-margin drinks? Probably.

You don’t have to invent anything new. The drive-thru that was once unique to the fast food industry is now at banks, pharmacies, and many other places. Model, borrow, or shamelessly steal innovative ideas from other products and industries. Do anything other than stay bland, which forces you to compete solely on price.

Use Technology to Reduce Friction

As a quilt shop owner, you must ensure technology is used in your business to remove friction rather than create it. But don’t get technology, just for technology’s sake. Think of each piece of technology as an employee.

What would you do if an employee was not doing their job or was terrible at it? You’d fire them from that job. Do the same for technology. Set key performance indicators and track them to ensure the new piece of technology is doing the job you “hired” it to do. If it’s not, then fire it.

When the iPod first launched, it did okay. It was arguably only marginally better than the competing devices. But when iTunes launched, iPod sales skyrocketed. That is what technology should do for your shop.

Become a Voice of Value to Your Tribe

To truly unleash the power of customer service, you need to provide real value. You need to create content that your customers will find valuable. To become a prolific content creator, you need to have valuable ideas.

Very rarely do these ideas just appear. You need to seek out these ideas by seeking out the leaders in your industry–go to conferences, listen to podcasts, watch online videos, read their books, and more. By seeking out more knowledge, you lay the foundation for building your own valuable ideas.

As I have previously mentioned, the point of education-based marketing is twofold. First, it positions you as the authority in the space. And second, it makes you the expert, laying down a foundation for a relationship built on trust between you and your audience.

Becoming a voice of value is hard work, and it takes time, but the time invested will pay dividends. You can’t afford to be just another quilt shop in a reputation economy. There are many ways to start: write a weekly blog, send e-newsletters, create tutorial videos and many others.

Providing value is a form of great customer service that creates loyalty to your quilt shop.

Tell Them All the Trouble You Go To

Tell your prospects, leads, and especially your customers about all the effort you and your team go through to deliver your products and services. In your sales copy, tell them all the painstaking details of getting your products and services ready for them–your customers and raving fans.

How many hours did you and the team spend creating that kit? Or the hours of researching and deciding on that line of fabric. Or the number of stitches used to create that sample. Or the number of people involved in making that custom fabric line. The list can go on and on.

No one cares about your logo or company name; they want to know what your product will do for them, and your backstory is essential to this.

Products Make You Money, Systems Make You a Fortune

Creating systems will take you from struggling and broke to doing well and being successful. Micheal Gerber talks about this concept in his book The E-Myth Revisited, as does Mike Michalowizc in his book Clockwork. The most valuable business systems are those that are replicable. If your shop depends on a single superstar or person, it will be difficult or impossible to replicate and less valuable–it is a high-risk business. Systems allow us mere mortals to run extraordinary businesses, delivering reliable customer service.

Many businesses get bogged down with fulfillment and administration while neglecting the sales and marketing systems. After all, no one is pressuring you with deadlines to get more marketing done like the IRS does with taxes. However, customers do not know how good your product or service is until after they buy it. Smart quilt shops go to great lengths to perfect their marketing and sales systems.

Quilt shops often overlook systems in general for two reasons: they are boring and lack urgency. While building them may be boring, the power they give you is anything but that. And while systems may not seem urgent now, when you try to “get out” of your shop, you can’t, and at that time, it will be too late to create systems. It’s a sad situation when a quilt shop owner goes to sell their business and finds out, after putting years of hard work into it, that the business is only worth the wholesale value of its inventory. It’s not that the business itself is worthless; it’s that they ARE the business, and without them, there is no real business to sell.

There are numerous benefits to implementing systems, especially sales and marketing systems, in your quilt shop. Here are some of the most important reasons.

It builds a valuable asset. A systematic business gives you cash flow, but it is also highly desirable as a turn-key business to potential buyers, potentially giving you your biggest payday when you want to retire.

Leverage and scalability. Systems allow the quilt shop to grow and expand beyond your limited abilities.

Consistency. This is one of the keys to delivering an excellent customer experience.

Lower labor costs. When you and your staff don't have to waste time and effort reinventing the wheel each time, this improves efficiency and reduces labor costs.

The ability to fire yourself. Time is the only resource you cannot get more of. Everyone only has so much time. Often, quilt shop owners feel shackled to their businesses. Systems allow you to get your time back and spend it how you want to.

Next Steps

To grow your quilt shop, you need to unleash the power of great customer service and create raving fans by selling what your customers want and giving them what they need, innovating around your product and services, using technology to remove friction, providing value, and investing in systems.

What are you going to do next to create raving fans? Tell me in the comments below or email me at

If you need help with this and piecing together financial freedom, please schedule a call with me by clicking the link below.


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