Lucas Root is an accomplished speaker, entrepreneur, author, business success mentor, and founder of SGIC Consulting, which works with clients to build a high-performance strategy and implement that strategy across their businesses to achieve the maximum growth potential possible.
With over 19 years of success across banking, technology, investments, health and wellness, athletics, and interactive media (gaming), Lucas helps identify roadblocks to success and where his clients could be heading toward failure. He specialises in speaking to entrepreneurs and business owners on getting their strategy on track for success and massive growth.
- Could you share in your own words about your journey, and how you got to where you are today?
- Based on your experience as a consultant in the last 6 years working with these different ranges of companies, what are some of the key things that you have coach them on as it relates to strategy to ensure that they are increasing their earning potential, retaining their customers, having raving fans who will spread good news about your business?
- We have a lot of listeners who are business owners and managers who feel they have great products and services, but they lack the constantly motivated human capital. If you were sitting across the table from one of those persons, what’s the one piece of advice that you would give them to have a successful business?
- Can you share with us what’s the one online resource, tool, website or app that you absolutely cannot live without in your business?
- Could you also share with our audience maybe one or two books that have had the biggest impact on you? It could be a book that you read a very long time ago, or even one that you’ve read recently that has really had a great impact on you.
- What’s one thing that’s going on in your life right now that you’re really excited about? Either something that you’re working on to develop yourself or your people.
- Where can listeners find you online?
- Do you have a quote or saying that during times of adversity or challenge, you’ll tend to revert to this quote, it kind of helps to get you back on track or get you refocused. Do you have one of those?
Lucas stated that he did what he thought what the normal person supposed to do, he went to college, and he got a good degree. And then as he was getting out of college, and this is two decades ago, at this point, as he was getting out of college, he got a degree in mechanical engineering and physics and he decided he didn’t want to go wear a lab coat, then obviously, there are plenty of people that are engineers or physicists that don’t but that was the picture he had in my mind. And so, he went to Wall Street instead.
And the critical thinking component of a science and mathematics based degree made it easy for him to move into the projects world on Wall Street, which very quickly turned into the mergers and acquisitions execution groups. So that’s the team that puts together businesses on a merger. And so, he spent more than 17 years putting together businesses on the backside of a merger. And over the course of that time, he got really good at understanding what makes successful businesses work and what creates the opportunity for somebody else to gobble you up, which is what a merger is.
It’s one successful company grabbing another company that maybe is less successful and there are significant opportunities for the bigger company to turn the smaller company into something great, or at least they think.
So, after 17 years, he figured he knew a thing or two and he decided to launch out into the world and share the thing or two that he knew. And the truth is now 6 years after launching his consulting business, he can tell you with that absolute certainty that learning really started after he left Wall Street.
He did know a thing or two, but really only a thing or two. But the journey has been incredible. Learning from amazing, incredibly smart, really successful business leaders on Wall Street set him up for the learning that he was going to do afterwards, the learning that he’s done since leaving as a consultant, as a business coach and as a mentor.
And he continued to learn with smart, talented, capable, hardworking, successful business leaders. And he’s delighted to say that among his clients is the Pokemon Company, which is the largest and longest relationship that he’s had as a consultant. So, he’s been with them since the beginning, 6 years now.
And he has 13 other companies of various sizes, ranging from a few 100,000 in annual revenue to 10’s of millions. And then, of course, there’s the Pokemon Company which is much, much larger than any of the rest.
And his learning, again, the real learning started after he left Wall Street, when he started working with the Pokemon Company, when he started working with smaller businesses, he’s loved every step of it, and he’s come to experience the market in a very different way than what he expected.
Strategies to Ensure That Companies Are Increasing Their Earning Potential, Retaining Customer, Having Fans Spread Good News About Their Business
Me: Alright, so you work with businesses and strategy, just in terms of listening to you speak just now, in terms of how you describe the companies; you describe them based on the amount of revenue that they were earning.
So, our podcast is Navigating the Customer Experience and of course people listen to this podcast primarily to figure out what are some new innovative, different ways that they can utilise to ensure that you’re retaining their existing customers, as well as attracting new customers, but actually getting customers who will remain loyal to them, because I think that’s what every business ideally aims for, loyal customers who will spread great things about their business.
So, based on your experience as a consultant in the last 6 years working with these different range of companies, what are some of the key things that you have coached them on as it relates to strategy to ensure that they are increasing their earning potential, retaining their customers, having raving fans who will spread good news about their business, which will help them to save less money on marketing and advertising, because their customers are the ones who will be spreading that news about them, what’s been your experience there?
Lucas shared that he loves the whole premise of this show, because he thinks people spend far too little time thinking about their customer experience and you’re 100% right, that’s the place people should be focused.
One of the reasons that he really enjoys the Pokemon Company is because of how focused they are on their brand, and on their customer, who their customer is, how they interact with their customer, what the customer wants out of the brand. One of his partners inside the Pokemon Company, his sort of most exciting story to tell on a daily, weekly, monthly basis is when he gets a customer service call of somebody who’s dissatisfied and he can turn that person into a potentially a raving fan, he can take that unhappy customer experience, which doesn’t happen very often, of course, and turn it into somebody who’s absolutely delighted.
So number one, the first piece of the answer to your question is, make sure that your customer service, so when people call in, make sure that your customer service is absolutely top of the line. He started out with an answer from the Pokemon Company, but his smallest client is a few $100,000 in annual revenue and they told him a story last week, actually last week where a potential sale called in and they answered the phone.
And the first thing out of this guy’s mouth was, “You’re already a step ahead because you answered the phone.”Now, he doesn’t know about you, but if somebody is calling him to buy from him, personally, his priority is to make sure that he answers the phone. If that was his response that tells him that other people in that area, in that industry were not answering the phone, he was being sent to voicemail.
Why would you send a person who’s ready to buy from you now to voicemail? Why would you do that?
So, step one is make sure that you give your customers who are reaching out to you the best possible experience they can possibly have every single time, so it doesn’t matter where they’re reaching out to you chat, email, calling into your customer service, walking into your storefront.
He realised that the industry is pushing harder and harder to have everybody move into automated response scenarios. So, your emails are automated, your Instagram or LinkedIn or Twitter responses are automated.
So, if somebody reaches out to you, they get an automated response and he understands why because in general, the customer service industry believes that him the customer wants an answer fast. But the truth is, that’s not actually what he wants.
He’s here to tell you as both a consultant and a consumer, he’s both, he doesn’t stop being a consumer as a consultant, he doesn’t stop being a consumer as a business owner, as both a consultant and a consumer, what he wants is the right answer. And he wants the right answer with the minimum possible work from him to get there. The easier it is for him to get to the right answer, the more satisfied he’s going to be and he has yet to encounter an automated response line that gives him the answers that he wants easily.
So, number one, make sure that your customers are getting the best possible service they can and if your automated responses are not the best possible service, then move away from that. Counter to business strategy 101 in the world right now, and he understands that, but trust, big companies, small companies, every single person who is moving into automated responses are risking their customer relationship and the more that your customer believes that they themselves are unimportant to you, the more that you as a brand are going to become unimportant to them.
Number two, and he puts them in this order intentionally. Focus on what your brand delivers and be great at that. And this, again, goes back to his experience working with the Pokemon Company, if there is one thing that they do, and by the way, the Apple company does the same.
If there’s one thing that Pokemon and Apple do that makes them exceptional in the world, it’s that they’re willing to say no to all of the potential distractions, so that they can stay super duper focused on what it is that their brand delivers and trying and continuing to improve what it means to them to be great at that. Right now, most people think in the reverse, be great at what the brand delivers, and then deliver a great customer experience, he doesn’t agree. He worked with some of the largest companies in the world, be great at the customer experience first and then be great at what your brand delivers.
Me: Interesting, that theory. At the end of the day, a lot of times customers will I primarily believe your customers only reach out to you for two reasons. So, they’re either calling because they have a problem and that could be a problem with an existing product or service that you deliver. Or they’re calling because they’re trying to make a request, it could be a request for additional services or products because they’re an existing customer, or it could be a new customer who is trying to make a new request for a new product or service. So, other than that, people aren’t calling to say, “Hey, Lucas, what’s up? What are you doing? How’s the sun going in your part of the world?” They’re calling because they have a genuine need and I think all businesses go into business for a particular reason to solve a problem. I’m sure you became a consultant because you saw businesses having a need and you could help them solve a problem based on your years of experience and your expertise in a particular area.
Same for me, when I started this company as a Customer Service Trainer, customer service is very bad in Jamaica, and I really wanted to contribute to enhancing the quality of the experiences that we had. And I said, instead of complaining about it with everybody else, why not be a part of the solution and help organizations, both public and private sector to really enhance the quality of the experience that they’ve had. And I mean, since I’ve been in business, 12 years, I’ve seen great improvement, it’s not where I want it to be, but it’s definitely much better than where it was when I started. So, I think we’re all solving a problem, every company, Pokemon is solving a problem, all of your other clients their businesses are solving a problem. So if you’re solving a problem, then how do you want that experience to be for those problems that you’re solving for customers?
Lucas stated that’s 100% right. And do you want to be memorable or forgettable? And if you’re memorable, what do you want them to remember? Because you could be memorable in a bad way, which is not what you want.
Advice for Business Owners Who Lack the Constantly Motivated Human Capital
When asked about advice he give to a business owner who lacks the constantly motivated capital, Lucas stated that that’s a fun one. He treats it like customer service actually.
He thinks that most businesses have lost track of helping their employees connect to their mission, connect to the values that the company is working through to deliver the service.
And the more that people inside the business and remember, as a business owner, often you have employees and often your employees are the ones that are interacting with your customers.
So, previously, we talked about customer service, it’s probably not you, the business owner who’s answering the phone; you probably have somebody else answering the phone. Now, to some degree, they’ll do what you tell them to do and that’s cool. You tell them to smile while they’re on the phone, and they will smile while they’re on the phone. But at best, if they’re in a situation where they’re just doing what you tell them to do, at best, what they’re going to do is somewhat mechanically execute your orders, and that’s good.
But if you want great, you have to be better than just someone who can execute your orders, if you want great, what you need is someone who can execute your orders the way that you would if you were in their shoes, if you were in their, seat if you were the one on the phone.
And the only way to create that is by creating a culture that is connected to the mission of the company. Now, there are a lot of different ways to create a culture that’s connected to the mission.
For better or worse, when you start trying to do this, you’re going to find that some of the people that are employees right now and maybe even some of your better performers might decide they don’t want to be connected to the mission and that might result in you making changes in your staff and that’s okay. Because the end result of this and this isn’t just coming from him, by the way, you can look up some of the top business strategy, speakers in the world like Gary Vee, who says the same thing. The culture that you create inside your company is the most important thing and it doesn’t matter what you have to do to create the right culture and protect that culture.
So, in terms of creating the opportunity for motivation inside your company, for him, the most important thing you can do, the best thing that you can do is to give your employees the opportunity to connect with the mission, or the purpose of the company.
Now, maybe you haven’t thought about what the mission or the purpose of your company is, now’s a good time to start.
Think about what it is that you’re trying to bring to the world through service. Because if you have a product or a service, you’re trying to serve a customer, you’re trying to serve somebody needs, you’re not looking to just sell you’re looking to serve. So get focused on what it is that you’re trying to bring to the world through service.
Are you trying to bring smiles?
Are you trying to bring ease of transportation or ease of communication?
Are you trying to bring amazing meal experiences for your food service listeners?
Are you trying to bring incredible experiences throughout the islands for your travel listeners?
So, what is it that you’re trying to bring to the world through service?
Is it experiences?
Is it satisfaction of needs?
Is it satisfaction of desires, like whatever that is connect to that.
And then spend time with your team, helping them connect to that because their primary job is to serve that need, is to serve that customer through that need.
App, Website or Tool that Lucas Absolutely Can’t Live Without in His Business
When asked about online resource that he cannot live without in his business, Lucas shared that these days it’s Zoom.
Me: COVID has certainly changed our priorities.
Lucas agreed that it really has. Before Zoom, he would have said Microsoft OneNote, or for people who want to use a free version, both Google and Open Office, they both have a tool that’s similar to Microsoft OneNote.
He uses OneNote for everything, truly, from keeping track of the things that he owes his employees on a daily basis. And yes, he said that intentionally. He worked for his employees as much as they worked for him.
So, keeping track of what he owes his employees, his sort of let’s call it his management dashboard and by management, he means managing himself, keeping track of the different engagements like working with Yanique today, that all happens in OneNote and notes about what he’s doing and how he’s going to show up.
Keys, thoughts about what he needs to be thinking about while he’s going through this interview. His morning routine and things that he does in the morning, the things that he needs to accomplish throughout the day, week, month, all that happens in OneNote.
And he’s writing articles in OneNote, this is actually true. He’s writing a book in OneNote, his previous book, which you can find on his website, he wrote that in OneNote first, and then moved it into an editing tool like that one particularly was in Canva, but he wrote it in OneNote first, it’s a simple, incredibly powerful tool. And he thinks he uses it fairly well.
Once he turned his wife on to it she actually has up levelled and uses it even better than he does because she speaks to it. He does everything typing, she actually speaks to it so she uses Microsoft speaks to text in her OneNote, so she’ll take voice notes while she’s working, she’ll record things, OneNote is an amazing tool.
And before Zoom changed the world because of COVID, OneNote was his absolute number one go to tool anywhere ever. And now that we have to use Zoom to do business, or Skype or Go To Meeting, whichever one we’re on Microsoft Teams, those are kind of ruling his day, but OneNote is still a very close second.
Books That Have Had the Greatest Impact on Lucas
When asked about books that have had the biggest impact, Lucas shared that he’s a big fan of the Dalai Lama. One of the lesser well known books that have come out of his writings is called The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which he thinks is just an incredibly wonderful book. And it’s on his annual reading list. So, he picked that up and touch up on it again, at least once a year, every year.
In addition to that, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss, he thinks that a fairly significant portion of what’s in there was actually out of date before he even published it. So, the notion of being able to automate your way into a 4 hour workweek while you have a normal job, even when he published it was already reasonably out of date. But what he thinks that people missed in the book, and he’s read it several times now, that’s really important, is thinking about your life that way. Thinking about what are the things that I can change the way that I do them, so that they have a less significant impact on my time, on my life, on my energy. And or what are the things that I want to be impacted by and I can change the way that I do them so that they have more impact on me.
So, things that people don’t think about are things like a nap, he love naps, really love naps. And if he’s going to take a nap, he doesn’t take a nap every day, but if he’s going to take a nap and because he loves them, he wants that to be impactful. And people don’t think about a nap in terms of it being impactful but he likes his naps and when he takes them, he really enjoys getting into it, he enjoys taking the nap, he enjoys the way he feels when he’s done with it. He wants that to be an impactful experience.
And the way that he thinks about everything he does all day long, including the nap and the reason he brought that up is because he thinks most people like try to minimize the impact of their naps on their day and he disagrees. If you’re going to take a nap, maximize the impact it has, again, enjoy it, get into it, savour it. The way that he thinks about that came out of reading The 4-Hour Workweek because that’s the way that he puts together his thought process and he doesn’t share it in that way, but that’s what he took out of it is, think about the things that you’re doing in terms of minimizing, or maximizing the impact that they have, so that the day feels the way you want it to feel.
What Lucas is Really Excited About Now!
Lucas shared that the first is he got involved with a not for profit at the beginning of the summer called the Jericho Centre for Medical Diplomacy, which is focused on bringing truly cutting edge, amazing medical technology to the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in Jordan because breast cancer right now is one of the biggest impact factors of cancer in that population.
So, he got involved in that because he’s deeply and passionately involved with creating and deepening the experience that he has and that women have around him in the world and supporting women and becoming a much more clean and balanced society with respect to the role that women choose to play.
And so, that’s just this little piece of what he’s trying to do to open that up, open the world up. If a woman dies of breast cancer, she doesn’t have a choice anymore, she can’t play any role anymore, like that’s done. And so, bringing really cutting edge medical technology to the Palestinians, which is a population that has limited access to medical technology in general and specifically for this stuff, is one of the things that he’s really excited about. And so, they did a couple of galas over the summer to raise some money and they’re going to do a really big one in October or November to raise a lot of money and really start moving this forward in a big way. And that’s something he’s very excited about.
And then the second piece, they’re two totally separate things, but they’re both like really exciting to him is, he’s working with the credibility nation, which is a brand that’s trying to bring credibility to humanity. And he’s partnered in with them to do a five day challenge, which is in a week and a half. And for the listeners who want to hear more about this, they can find it on his socials. So, in a week and a half, they’re going to do a five day challenge where they train the joiners on how to show up in the world with credibility and how to deepen their connection inside themselves with credibility.
Where Can We Find Lucas Online
Website – www.lucasroot.com
Instagram – @lucroot
Quote or Saying that During Times of Adversity Lucas Uses
When asked about a quote or saying that he tends to revert to, Lucas shared that he does and it’s not just during times of adversity, he keeps this in the forefront of his mind more or less all of the time, as much as he can. “It’s in the midst of chaos lies brilliance.” And to him, what that means is that the more that things get challenging, the larger the opportunity for something amazing to happen.
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Grab the Freebie on Our Website – TOP 10 Online Business Resources for Small Business Owners
- The Tibetan Book of the Dead by Graham Coleman, Dalai Lama
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
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