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Aug 18, 2021

It can be difficult to hang on to your loyal customers as you begin to scale and grow, especially if you plan to increase your prices. Today’s guest knows a thing or two about keeping customers for life, no matter the circumstances.

Paul Brown is the creator and writer of the What’s Offline column, which is featured every Saturday in the business section of The New York Times. He and his wife also wrote the Dream Home Diaries blog, also featured on When he is not writing for the Times, Paul, a former contributing editor to M.I.T.’s Sloan Management Review, serves as an editorial consultant. He has worked with everyone from individuals to Fortune 500 companies and leading academic institutions such as NYU, in developing products that have ranged from software programs and videos to op-ed pieces, TED talks, books, and more. He also had his own twice-weekly blog in Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and The Harvard Business Review.

Paul accidentally stumbled into writing for Forbes. His trick was to just ask as many questions as you can, and eventually, you’ll learn something. Fast forward to today, Paul has written several books, including Customer for Life, which was first published in 1990. At the time, there weren’t many books out that thought about the customer in this particular way.

Paul co-wrote the book with a car dealership owner, Carl Sewell. They both realized that they had a very short attention span, which is why the book is structured in a quick and easy way for readers to process.

People tend to gloss over customer service as a business strategy. Everyone sees the value of turning a one-time customer into a lifelong customer, but a tangible and tactic strategy that makes it easy to execute on is much less talked about in business.

If a customer asks for something unusual, it’s your job as a service provider to deliver on it. Good customer service often looks like this. Paul shares an example of a customer asking for something somewhat ridiculous and out of the box, but by delivering on her ask, the company ended up gaining a lifetime customer.


Interview Links:

Sponsored by:

Paul on LinkedIn

Pauls work in The New York Times

Paul’s Book: Customers for Life: How to Turn That One-Time Buyer Into a Lifetime Customer, by Carl Sewell and Paul B. Brown



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Scaling Up is the best-selling book by Verne Harnish and our team for Gazelles Coaching, on how the fastest-growing companies succeed where so many others fail. My name is Bill Gallagher, host of the Scaling Up Business Podcast and a leading Gazelles Coach. Gazelles is the term we use for fast-growing companies.

We help leadership teams with 4 Decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth success. Scaling Up for Gazelles companies is based on the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 (from Verne’s original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits).