How To Turn Your Customers Into Lustomers™

About the show:

The Agency Spark Podcast, hosted by Sara Nay, is a collection of short-form interviews from thought leaders in the marketing consultancy and agency space. Each episode focuses on a single topic with actionable insights you can apply today.

About this episode:

In this episode of the Agency Spark Podcast, Sara talks with Bryan Rutberg on how to turn your customers into lustomers™.

Bryan Rutberg, founder and president of 3C Communications, guides and inspires leaders and their organizations to develop better communications skills, including public speaking, to build stronger relationships with customers and other key audiences as a path to deeper loyalties, greater market share, and way more fun for everyone.

Key topics:

  • What is a lustomer™
  • How to get your customers to fall in love with your brand
  • 2 ways to turn your customers into lustomers™

More from Bryan Rutberg:


Sara Nay (00:00): Welcome to the agency spark podcast. This is your host, Sarah nay. And today I have Brian Rutberg founder and president of three C communications who guides and inspires leaders in their organizations to develop better communications skills, including public speaking, to build stronger relationships with customers and other key audiences as a path to deepen loyalties, greater market share, and way more fun for everyone. So welcome to the show, Brian.

Bryan Rutberg (00:53): It is fun to be here. Glad to get a chance to spend some time with you and talk to the folks that you talk to.

Sara Nay (01:00): I am so happy to have you here. And I really look forward to the conversation we have are gonna have today. Cause the name of it has got my attention. And so I wanna dive into the concept of what is a luster. So Brian, the stage is yours.

Bryan Rutberg (01:14): Thank you. Yeah. You know, now picked up on the ebook, love and profit 10 ways to transform customers into customers. So the first obvious answer is luster. It's a play on words, a port Manto word, if you will. I talk about customer love. I believe that there is a place in the world of business for love. I've seen it work sometimes at no time does love mean the kind of love you might experience in a personal relationship, but when customers do fall in love with a brand or a service provider, it makes a huge difference in the way the relationship continues and the way the company the has been fallen in love with does. And there are things that can be done to make that happen. So you take lust or love and customer and you put 'em together.

Bryan Rutberg (02:13): If you're fortunate to make a sale, one time you've turned a prospect into a customer. If you're fortunate to get that person to transact with you again, now you've gotta repeat customer and then you can go from there to, I have a loyal customer, a continuing customer relationship, and we all want to grow our best relationships into fans and advocates. I was looking for a word that took us a level deeper than that because to measure your customer relationship by the conventional measures, customer lifetime value equation, net promoter, score numbers, things like that, all good, but through my corporate career and in the, the consulting I've done since I've had a chance to see what it looks like when it gets even better than that, when a customer will go on stage for you with one of your executives and say great things, when they'll sit and they'll do a podcast with you or, and interview, or they will become part of a focus group or even better a customer advisory board when they're actively giving referrals, because referrals are the best kind of lead gen, those are your customers and finding them and curating them and growing them and making sure they know you love them back.

Bryan Rutberg (03:39): What a customer relationship is.

Sara Nay (03:41): I love it. It's absolutely true. Our founder, John has actually written a book and came out last October and the concepts behind it was thinking of your customers, not as just customers of, but thinking of 'em as members. And so a lot of what you described there. And so they become so bought into your company and your mission and what you're doing, but that they're willing to go out there and support your business growth.

Bryan Rutberg (04:03): And any of your listeners, any of your clients who are working in the world of nonprofits or associations, and I've spent some time in both of those, they really are talking about members. There should be a feeling of affiliation and embracing and connection that goes beyond the merely transactional. Here's my money. Where are my goods or services? If you treat in a, if you treat a businesses, customers like members and you assume that they want to belong, you won't go wrong. I've just finished a project with the Seattle aquarium. And we looked at several different audiences of theirs, their donors, the international and national communities of folks in the, uh, conservation and animal security world. But we also spent a lot of time thinking about their members and their visitors. So absolutely a, a direct connection there. It's great to have any of these terms.

Sara Nay (05:07): Yeah, no, I couldn't agree more. And a lot of what we talk about is it's less about the transactions. Don't focus so much on the transactions, but focus on the transformations. You're able to take your clients on. So where are they today versus ultimately, where are they trying to go? And that's how you're gonna be successful as a business is if you can get the right people going on the journeys they're ultimately trying to go on. And that applies to a bunch of different industries, I think.

Bryan Rutberg (05:31): And if I can take that just a level deeper.

Sara Nay (05:34): Yeah.

Bryan Rutberg (05:35): When I'm working with folks and both for running my business, but for helping my clients run their businesses, I love to look a step beyond what you're doing for the client, cuz ultimately I, I spend most of my time in the world of business to business. So if you've got one business selling widgets to another business, that business isn't the end user for those, the end customer for those widgets are gonna go into another product or it's a service that is going to help them meet their mission of enabling their customers. So looking two steps down the path of, I worked with a software company a while back and the obvious move was to help them think about how do you talk to your customers about how you enable them to do their jobs as opposed to just giving them features and speeds and feeds on your solution?

Bryan Rutberg (06:38): The less obvious thing that we found really turned on their customer base was talking about how my client enabled their clients, their customers to enable their customers. What does it mean if you're buying from us, how does that help you achieve your mission of helping your customers achieve their mission? And I know that's a little meta and it usually works better if there's like a PowerPoint behind me to show the different pops of logic. But if I'm helping you build your business in a way that helps you help your customers, you and I have a relationship where we're focused on the same thing and you appreciate me because I'm helping you achieve your goals.

Sara Nay (07:24): Yeah. I love that. We have a full consultant network that basically our consultants and agencies that get certified in duct tape marketing. And so a lot of what we do is we help them build in scale their own businesses, but we also provide a ton of training so they can go out and use our system in methodology to impact the small businesses that they work with as well. So it's an example that I think fits within what you're talking about there nicely.

Bryan Rutberg (07:48): Yeah. At the, on the one hand, it's the simplest thing in the world, right? Yeah. We run a business. We have to think about our businesses in terms of what it is. We allow the rest of the world to do because we exist. We all have a reason for being.

Sara Nay (08:04): Yeah.

Bryan Rutberg (08:05): If that reason for being is I wanna show you the love because I care about the mission you're trying to achieve. That has all sorts of ramifications and taking it downstream to the next audience. The next customer, what you're saying is right on, we build the love when we're paying attention to the way we make someone else feel or the way we help someone make someone else feel.

Sara Nay (08:35): Yeah, I love it. So I know we only have a few minutes left before we wrap up, but you mentioned very earlier on that you have 10 ways to help people transform customers into customers. And I know you probably touched on a couple of them there, but if you had to pick on like one or two of your top examples or ways, would you be willing to share,

Bryan Rutberg (08:56): Oh, share, I we're gonna, we're gonna talk in a little bit about how folks can get in touch. And I will encourage folks to go to our firm's website and download the ebook, which has all 10 tips right there for you. But no two of my favorite, again, not counter in two, but it takes another step or two of logic to think about it. Companies that treat their employees best are the ones that end up with the best customer relationships, verifiable empirical data book written in the 1990s. I wanna say maybe early two thousands by a fellow named David Mester called practice. What you preach showed unequivocally that financial services firms and their branches that had highest employee rankings were the ones that not only at highest customer, uh, judgment of them, but also were the ones generating the most profit. If you practice as a business owner or leader in really treating your employees, right? Guess what? Those employees will run through brick walls to help you succeed, which means helping customers and reflecting that attitude. The second thing that I love to preach about is again, probably the easiest, but the easiest to overlook right? More. Thank you. Notes, do more personal outreach to folks. I have yet to meet someone who thinks that receiving a handwritten thank you note or even an email. Thank you. That is sincere is a bad investment of the sender's time. Yeah. Show your gratitude.

Sara Nay (10:33): Love it. Really. Those are two great tips to start with. And can you share one more time if people are interested in reading about all 10 of them, as you mentioned, where can they grab the ebook or just connect with you online?

Bryan Rutberg (10:45): Please do come check out the website for our firm three C communications it's www dot the number three, the letter C and then the word coms C O M S www three C and right there at the top of the homepage, which has a picture of me and the question do your customers love you enough on it at the top, there's a link to download the ebook, love and profit, cuz they go together 10 ways to transform customers into customers. You can also check out the show notes. There's a link there too. If you want to work on your business communications skills either individually or on behalf of a team that you lead, we have a self-assessment that folks can do off of the website that maybe leads them down a path of understanding where they're already excellent and where they could use a little bit of work and how it all comes together. So those are our free offers. Take advantage and heaven knows. I'd love to hear from you directly. If you have, if you wanna talk about these things, if they turn you on the way they turn me on.

Sara Nay (11:52): Awesome, Brian, really all great stuff that you shared today. And I'll definitely take a look at the ebook and resources. You mentioned myself. So I appreciate it. And thank you all for listening to the agency spark podcast. This is your host, Sarah.



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