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Nate DeMars’ Mantra: One Customer at a Time

Photo credit: @PursuitYourself

Nate DeMars is the Owner of Pursuit, an affordably modern suit store with high-end service, designed to outfit and inspire for life’s biggest moments. With two shops and over a decade of experience raising the bar on customer service, we asked Nate to share his wisdom with us.

He graciously accepted our invitation to speak to the Haven community, either out of a sense of obligation because we’ve spoken to his entrepreneurial class in the past, or just because he’s a great guy. Either way, we were thrilled! And then he blew us away with his open-mindedness towards listening to his customer, willingness to try and fail until they get it right, and his honest approach to building a business. The lessons he shared from his journey with Pursuit are listed here because they were just too good to keep to ourselves.

8 Lessons in Customer Excellence

Take it personally

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What do they care about most? What keeps them up at night? Make sure that those are the things you care about and stay up thinking about too. It’s personal for your customer and it should be personal to you also.

Never stop improving

Learn from failures. You don’t have to be perfect, but you should be of the mindset to always question what you’re doing to find ways to make it better for your customer. Continuously test yourself and if you do that, as your customer evolves you will evolve with them. It’s easy to get into a rhythm and get comfortable and become out of sync with your customer.

Be fanatical about process

Replication is how you make sure every single customer has an excellent experience with your brand. As you grow, your team will need to know the process that you’ve been keeping in your head. Your customer doesn’t care how it gets done, only that it does and gets done the same by each member of the team, so don’t forget to streamline your process to make life easier for them.

Know who you are and who you’re not

Being very clear about who you serve and what they need will allow you to stay laser-focused on creating an experience that aligns with your brand. It can be tempting to try to be everything to everyone, especially when you’re just getting started, but it will leave you feeling burned out and will likely leave your customers unsatisfied as well.

Be OK saying ‘no’ before you take their money

Be confident saying ‘no’ when the customer, project, or timeline don’t align with who you are. In those early days, it might seem hard to turn away money, but overpromising is a sure-fire way to underdeliver and disappoint the customer. Saying ‘no’ also frees you up to do the things you are good at.

Build service into your pricing

Providing excellent customer service provides value far beyond your product or output. Build that into your price or plan to lose money indefinitely. It is possible to raise your rates, work with fewer but more aligned clients, and make the same or more each year.

Think long term

This is a marathon, so you can’t expect that everything you know now is all you’ll ever know or ever need to know. Think beyond your immediate needs to build a brand and customer loyalty that will stick by you for years and even amidst a global pandemic. Keep listening. Keep iterating. Keep learning.

Do less but do it better

By focusing on what truly matters to your customer and letting go of any fluff, you can learn to excel, exceed expectations, and provide your customer with more value than you can imagine.  Dial-in your high-performance output and give it your all and watch your desired customer come back, refer others, and write you 5-star reviews.

To get the complete picture of how these lessons come together in a business, schedule an appointment for a suit at Pursuit in the Short North of Columbus or in Over the Rhine of Cincinnati. Excellent customer experience is part of their fabric.

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