Meet Danny Phillips. Founder of Arkade Loyalty Agency. Arkade believes that convenience and relevance are the trademarks of a great online strategy. In a crowded marketplace, Arkade focuses on the customers that you already have and delivering them the best loyalty service possible.This is his entrepreneurial story.
How did you get your business started?
I started out as a freelance web developer in 2000 and then bought into an existing design studio to start their digital arm. Over the years we became more focused on digital rather than traditional advertising, moved onto social media and then finally got out of traditional print and advertising work altogether. My experience with the digital advertising and media industry made me realise that customer experience (CX) and advocacy strategy development was a better spend of client money than buying media, so our agency now focuses purely on engaging the “known customer” rather than trying to find new ones via interruption advertising.
Who has been your favourite/most rewarding client to work with?
The Witchery and Mimco brands (now part of the Country Road / David Jones empire) really took the idea of CX seriously before many other retailers and were constantly challenging us as a team to do better and deliver new value back to the business. The process was always collaborative with very little conflict and the management team were a pleasure to work with.
What is the most important advice you would give to budding entrepreneurs in regards to customer experience?
If you have a true focus on solving genuine customer problems with technology and people while ensuring internal business politics and process don’t result in a constant stream of compromises that deliver an ‘average’ experience to consumers because this won’t deliver results. Always make sure there is a strong voice of the customer or end user in the room whenever decisions are being made – and where possible you should be that voice.
What are your top three tips for starting a business?
Define your company or product vision and articulate what gets you going in the morning, why people would want to work with you and why customers would buy from you (watch Simon Sinek on youtube “Start with Why”)
Get your product or service in the market as quickly as possible – then change it as often as needed. My business does not look anything like it did three years ago, and will probably look completely different again in three years time.
Pay yourself a real wage as soon as possible so there are no false economies and you have a true P&L. You can still re-invest part of your wage back into the business, but this is equity that belongs to you in the long run.