Episode 7: Bariatric Fusion, How authenticity drives customer engagement and retention

Retention Podcast Ep 7 Zach 1

Today on Retention Chronicles we are joined by Zach Niemiec, Director of Administrative Services at Bariatric Fusion, a supplements company specifically designed for customers, who are also affectionately known as patients within the Bariatric Fusion community, who have undergone Bariatric surgery. You can almost feel the authenticity seep through the microphone as Zach tells Mariah about the care and community Bariatric Fusion provides their patients with. In addition to sharing how Bariatric Fusion listens to their customers with features such as access to a product recommendation email, health questionnaires, and recipe quizzes, Zach also shares about meeting the needs of his patients. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a lot of support groups Bariatric Fusion patients relied on were put on pause. Zach, seeing the positive impact these groups provided for his patients, swiftly acted to institute virtual support groups that have stayed within the Bariatric community even with in-person events resuming. This is a phenomenal example of how to understand your customers and add value to their life so that your brand creates a community for your people. As stated in the episode, the goal should be to make a brand community that is so loved that when and if someone walks away, they feel homesick. Make sure to tune in to hear more and subscribe on all your favorite channels.

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Zach Niemiec, Mariah Parsons

Mariah Parsons 00:02

Welcome to Retention Chronicles, a podcast sponsored by Malomo, a shipment tracking platform that helps ecommerce brands turn order tracking from a cost center into a profitable marketing channel. Today on Retention Chronicles, we're joined by Zach Niemiec, Director of Administrative Services at Bariatric Fusion, a supplements company specifically designed for customers, who are also affectionately known as patients within the Bariatric Fusion community, who have undergone bariatric surgery. You can almost feel the authenticity seek through the microphone as Zach shares about the care and community Bariatric Fusion provides their patients with. In addition to sharing how Bariatric Fusion listens to their customers, with features such as access to a product recommendation, email, health questionnaires, and recipe quizzes, Zach also shares about meeting the needs of their patients. When the COVID 19 pandemic hit, a lot of Bariatric Fusion patients relied on support groups. And so when those were put on pause, Zach saw the need for the support groups for their patients. And in order to provide value and fill that hole that had been left by the pandemic because there was no longer in person events, he swiftly acted to institute a virtual support group so that the Bariatric Fusion community, even with in person support groups being removed, were able to have some. They were able to foster some aspects of community virtually. This is even continued as in-person events have started to resume, which only speaks to the power that these support groups in the Bariatric Fusion community as a whole. This is a phenomenal understanding of how to understand your customers and add value to their life, so that your brand creates a community for your people. And as stated in the episode, the goal should be to make a brand community that is so loved that when and if someone walks away, they feel homesick. With that, make sure to listen to the full episode, give us your feedback, and subscribe and make sure that you tune in for upcoming episodes. So welcome to Retention Chronicles. Today, we have Zach on with us and welcome. Thank you so much for being here. We're super excited, love to just, you know, have you tell everyone about your position and where you work and your experience. So welcome, Zach.

Zach Niemiec 02:35

Thank you, thank you. My name is Zach Niemiec. I am the Director of Administrative Services for a supplement company called Bariatric Fusion.You know, we're an E commerce company online. And you know, we we deal with patients in particular, who've had weight loss surgery that the actual technical term is bariatric surgery. But you know, it's a very niche market in the E commerce world. So you can imagine why retention would be very important to us.

Mariah Parsons 03:07

For sure, yeah, that's awesome. And that's why, of course we asked you to be on here is to speak all about retention. And I know we want to focus on authenticity. And in the the e Commerce Industry, especially, but then the supplement industry as well. It's super, super impactful and important, important to your customers to have that authenticity. So I was hoping that, you know, you could just describe what does that look like for your brand and how you define authenticity?

Zach Niemiec 03:34

Yeah, so before I get into my actual answer, I'm going to tell everyone to hit pause on the recording of the podcast, or listening to the podcast that is, and go and watch the movie Patch Adams if they haven't watched it already. And the reason being is there's a there's a quote in that movie that I kind of use both in my own personal life and in business itself. And that that quote is you treat illness, you win or you lose, you treat a person you win every time. And there's nothing more authentic than that. So, you know, I kind of like to live by that and also bring that to any company that I worked for. So with that being said, you know, authenticity in a brand is always about treating, whether it's you consider them a customer or for us, all of our customers we consider patients. So it's- it's about treating people at the very core and making sure that you are doing right by them. And that's a very powerful brand persona but it's also very powerful when you lead with that authenticity. Everyone in your organization wants to bring that same level of work ethic to the table and it makes it honestly that much easier to be authentic then. It's not a competing personality or goal, it's everyone is working to support our- our end user.

Mariah Parsons 05:08

I love that distinction that you made between customers and patients, I think it's very important to first and foremost take care of people as a whole. And that's why I love that quote, I have never heard it. But yeah, thank you for sharing. And you said that for your customers, you really want to make sure that you are portraying that authenticity. So how do you approach doing so, what, what are you sharing with your customers, or your patients, as you said?

Zach Niemiec 05:34

So it for us, it's really being supportive of, of what they've chosen to do with their life. Bariatric surgery is not an easy decision to get. And there are many reasons why people end up, you know, getting it. And some of it is because they really- medically their doctors are telling them, this is your only option, or some of them, you know like myself, because I'm a patient myself, too. You know, we're just heavy most of our life and we wanted to do something about it. So, and there's unfortunately, a lot of stigma still out there that people pick on people who've had bariatric surgery, because they think they took the easy way out, which is absolutely not true. Because I don't know about you, but surgery isn't an easy thing. So I just- anyone who's listening, if you still have that opinion, let's correct that too. But yeah, you know, it's again, about the support and providing, providing that. And we are company we were, you know, thinking about, you know, from the marketing standpoint, you know, tag-lines and everything like that. Ours is, one of ours is your bariatric journey continues here. And if you want to break that down, it's because their journey started the moment they decided to have surgery, our goal is to be supportive of them on that journey, and be there every step of the way. Because we know that a journey is just that, a series of steps, it you know, and they often need our products for life, because the types of surgery that are offered could cause nutritional deficiencies. So, you know, for many of our patients, we are a lifelong partner of theirs. And that's, that drives that authenticity, because we know that, you know, their lives are going to continue to change. And we need to be a trusted friend and advisor every step of the way for them.

Mariah Parsons 07:38

Right. And I could just, you know, as you speak about it, I hear the authenticity in your voice, you know, speaking out about the journey, and how you try and connect with your patients and those that you are on this lifelong journey with. And so of course, we want to honor the confidentiality, but I'm curious if you could speak to, you know, how do you instigate that relationship when you're first speaking to new patients or trying to connect and give them that support network?

Zach Niemiec 08:07

Well, um, you know, really, it, my website speaks for it all. I mean, it's just packed with resources. And that's really what it needs to be. You know, we have everything from blog posts on there, that are both nutritional based content written by dietitians, to recipes. And then, you know, we even have our own podcast called The Very Heart of It. And our goal of it is to get to the heart of all things bariatric for our patients. So, again, it's, it's all right there, that we're constantly offering the content that, you know, the patients need. And that's just being there for them.

Mariah Parsons 08:55

Right, yeah, and making sure that it's all, like you said, easily accessible, right on that web page, and that you're constantly you know, giving and providing that content is very important. And I did look at your website and all the awesome blogs that you have at Bariatric Fusion. And one of the things I also saw was the mission that Bariatric Fusion really holds itself to of having, you know, like a great taste, and it's an affordable supplement. And, you know, it's medically trusted and created. So, you know, what was the, I guess, the intentionality? Or why do you think that that's important for your customer journey and retention as to why you have that mission statement, so clearly publicized on your website?

Zach Niemiec 09:43

Well, it's quite simple- transparency. It's another factor of authenticity. And that is the main goal of Bariatric Fusion, since the day it's been founded, is to offer a great, sustainable product to the patient that you know is going to be consistent for them and to be, you know, kind of a staple in their journey. And it was created by our founder, Mark, who was a Physician's Assistant in a bariatric office, because he noticed that his patients were not being compliant because they had to reach for so many different products every month. So it was born out of solving problems for patients to begin with. So, taste, affordability, all of that remains a staple. And we want people to know that- that as times continue on, we're sticking with our mission.

Mariah Parsons 10:36

Right. And I love that, so eloquently said, and I think that too, goes into, you know, understanding your customers. And I think that's why you know, your team, that's such a great aspect, because you have so many different backgrounds and personalities that are all contributing and bringing, you know, different elements to the Bariatric Fusion team that will then of course, help understand the plethora of patients that you all are dealing with. And before you know, we get into that background of your team, and you know, what they reflect in your brand, I would love to also understand the the social mission that you guys have about donating to. I believe it's a program in Buffalo where your headquarters is, but it's to help fight childhood obesity. And so I think that also plays a major role into patients and trusting that the supplements that they're taking, are not only going to help them, but help others. So if you could walk us through, you know, like, what you've seen the benefits of that as just a company and just an organization being able to contribute to that would be awesome.

Zach Niemiec 11:42

Yeah. Um, so Fusion Cares is our giving back initiative. And we give to the O'Shea's Children's Hospital in Buffalo, New York, and they have a program designed to help combat childhood obesity. And for many of our patients, they know that obesity starts at a young age now and more than ever. So why not help combat that so that we can hopefully work to prevent these children from growing up to need to have surgery that- it's kind of a sensitive thing. And it's really just a strong mission to have.

Mariah Parsons 12:26

Yeah, and I to think that, that genuine care about trying to, you know, better the world around us and have that organization that is also so important- that it's also so important to your brand is just something that also ties back into that authenticity. And I can imagine your patients and team alike appreciate having that, you know, that avenue, to also give back.

Zach Niemiec 12:53

Yeah, well, I'm the notion of both the team and the customer base. We we have one of our sayings is the Fusion family. And it's not just our employees, it's every single person that's ever come in contact with our brand, whether you've purchased or not, if you've just interacted with us, we considered them a member of the Fusion family. And it you know, some people might have stumbled on site and found a blog that helped them or a podcast episode, or they found the perfect supplement that works for them, for their bariatric journey, then we've succeeded and they've joined our family.

Mariah Parsons 13:31

I love that that's, that's so beautiful, you know that it's isn't just the product, but also the content that really rounds out that that family approach and going along with that I would love to just understand from the team aspect, because I think we've talked a lot about the patient. And you know what the mission statement can do there. But I'd love to know, like as a team, how do you ensure that everyone is on the same page and really oriented to helping that Fusion family.

Zach Niemiec 13:59

It's usually all about communication, in today's world, is always making sure that you're, you're meeting and revising things in real time to make sure that we can achieve the goal we're setting out to achieve. So I think we're very blessed to have the team that we have from diverse backgrounds. And we all work really well together as a family.

Mariah Parsons 14:23

That is amazing. And I think too something that goes along with that is making sure that like you said the team and patients alike, no one falls through the cracks. So along that line of communication, how are you making sure that you are both communicating to your team and then also to patients just about like important updates about supplements or important initiatives that you're rolling out?

Zach Niemiec 14:48

While you got to, again kind of kind of comes back to the nucleus of communication. Communication with a patient looks a little bit different than internal communication, obviously, but being visible, when it comes to the patient is, is huge. So we have numerous sources that we get content pushed out the website being a big one. But you know, you have your tools like SMS, and email, and just, you know, anything personalized for that patient as well. And then internally, it's making sure that you're meeting enough to, but not too much, to make sure that you're aligned. So that's really the difference between the two is, you know, internally making sure that you're aligned, and then making sure you have enough outlets to get that information out.

Mariah Parsons 15:44

Right. And I'm hoping you could walk us through the typical customer journey, or a patient journey in your case that you're seeing, so the communications, so you mentioned SMS and emailing, you know, just so we could get a little bit of an insider scoop as to what what communication is, I guess, rolled out at specific times, right from when you get a new patient?

Zach Niemiec 16:06

Yeah, no, you know, email should be a staple of everyone's, you know, retention playbook, if you will, you know, whoever said email marketing, or emails are dying and being replaced, I would really like to see the numbers on that, because my inbox is full every day. And you know, I have definitely bought things off of emails more so than other things as of late. That doesn't mean you discount the other channels as well. And I will not deny that channels like SMS and Facebook Messenger and things like those channels are certainly growing and becoming way more important. Another trend shift that, you know, I think we're kind of seeing too is a move away from social ads, because Apple kind of disrupted that whole world. And then on top of that, recently, because by the time this episode comes up, you know, there was the big Facebook and Instagram outage. And businesses suffered from that. So, you know, I think you need to build a stack. And, you know, everyone has that term marketing stack. But there's almost stacks within your stacks, you know, is when is the channel appropriate. And, you know, how many channels can you hit with that, but you know, one time to, and the real thing here is, everybody's brand is going to be different. Because some people's customers are going to say, one email or a text within two days is too much for me, depending on who you're, your person is. You know, otherwise, when you have an audience that is hungry for content, not just sales information, you have the ability to send them a couple of emails a week, maybe a text, maybe a push notification, things like that. So part of that is testing your audience and their tolerance. And it's a very delicate medium to do. But, you know, it's hard to say what everyone's journey is because you know, people opt into different things to what suits their delight, really. I know, there are customers who I have that have opted out of email, but are on text messages, because they like the frequency that they go out. And they still get the information that they're looking for.

Mariah Parsons 18:38

Great that you brought up a great point of you have to have that aspect of letting people tailor the experience to them. And that is not going to be a blanket statement or a blanket approach for any one person. And so I'm hoping to dive into how you test for the best communication or how you personalize that experience for different customers.

Zach Niemiec 19:01

Well, you know, I believe the customer should be always in the driver's seat. And our, I think our patients should be in the driver's seat of what works for them. And I'm proud that we are the only bariatric supplement company that offers a vitamin recommendation quiz on our website, and the patient gets to choose their own pathway in and our results that spits out, helps to recommend all the products that they would need to keep them compliant within the ASMBS, which is the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, their guidelines, their nutritional guidelines, depending on the type of surgery. So, you know, putting that patient in the driver's seat on what they want, is is at the the main stage.

Mariah Parsons 19:55

I yeah, I think that's one of the beautiful things about personalizing that journey, is that you can have that customer or that patient allow themselves to say like, this is what I want my experience to be within Bariatric Fusion. And I love that you mentioned too, that you have that survey, because I think surveys, whatever industry you're in, are super important. But I can imagine that they're even more important when you're dealing with supplements, right? Because that is something that is so unique to each customer. And so, you know, when when you started rolling out those surveys, did you have any other initiatives as far as trying to understand the customer and see what works best for them?

Zach Niemiec 20:35

Yeah, we made more.

Mariah Parsons 20:39

Great point.

Zach Niemiec 20:40

You know, I'm very thrilled to say that putting them in the driver's seat, they wanted more control over their experience. So what do you do? You give them more control over their experience? You know, they wanted the ability to build a bundle of some sorts. So we gave it to them using those same quiz building tools. And now we even have a recipe quiz on the site where they can type or not type, but choose, you know, their flavor interests. And it will spit out one of our blog posts to them, whether it's a shake recipe, in particular, the products that relate to that recipe as well, so they know what they would need to produce what they were looking for. So you know, sometimes you got to get creative with how you display your content. But, you know, again, put your customer in the driver's seat.

Mariah Parsons 21:42

That's fascinating. I haven't heard you know that, that build your own recipe approach I don't think ever, so that's awesome.

Zach Niemiec 21:50

Yeah. Try it out.

Mariah Parsons 21:52

Yeah, yeah, I'll have to. It sounds fascinating. And I think this all you know, circles back, of course, we've been talking a lot about the patient and the communication approaches that you can have. And I think this all wonderfully ties into authenticity, where we started out about making sure that your brand is putting that patient first, right. And so, and then with retention, why it's such a like umbrella approach, or a strategic approach is that everything seems to tie together, right? So one survey will affect a customer's experience in multiple ways, and you can't ever pinpoint where and I think one thing that's really important to keep in mind is if you're having all of these different, different surveys and different approaches, then you actually want to follow through with the customer and make sure that, you know, you're not providing all this amazing content, but then the product, when they get it, it doesn't match the expectations that they have. And so at Bariatric Fusion, you know, how do you ensure that the product itself is a dependable resource for your patients.

Zach Niemiec 23:06

The easiest part is we have a world class Scientific Advisory Board. And they they help us, they guide us, and they help us navigate those guidelines I previously mentioned. And we just make sure that we put out that quality product when we manufacture it as well. But one of our doctors on our advisory panel is Dr. Lillian Craags Dino and she is a world renowned dietitian. And she is the co-author of those guidelines. So when you have someone who helped write the guidelines, making sure your products adhere to the guidelines, and also she works with real patients on a daily basis still, you know, you you have the ear, you have the voice of that community. And we're held to a higher standard by someone who not only writes the guidelines again, but you know, you know, works with it for her patients to.

Mariah Parsons 24:14

Yeah, and I love that initiative on your front of making sure that you have someone who's super connected to the patients and like you said, interacting with them every day and keeping you know, your team accountable to those to those different guidelines that you mentioned. And so with that, from what I can tell, with all the success stories that you have on your website, it's part of the content creation that you have. But why did you you know, why do you have those success stories on the website and how does that you know, just help put perhaps new customers at ease when they see those real success stories?

Zach Niemiec 24:57

It goes back to the simple saying of life's a journey. Everyone's pathway on the road to bariatric surgery is going to be a little bit different because humans are remarkably remarkably similar, but also remarkably different. And, you know, we have guidelines and, and suggestions because but it's funny because everyone's body acts a little bit differently in the end. And we want people to know that, you know, they shouldn't always just be listening to us, why don't they listen to people who've gone through it, too. And that's part of being authentic is don't let us always speak for it is let other people, the patient, let other patients speak for it too and hear what they've gone through, hear their successes, hear their struggles, it's not always smooth sailing, we don't try to you know, you know, hide that, again, journeys are bumping, too, right. So it's about putting it all out there visibly. I mean, we even have an email address established that people can send their ideas to us. Because one of the biggest things that I think is important that you could do as a brand is have your listening ears on at all times.

Mariah Parsons 26:12

And you, this is exactly the next thing that I wanted to ask you about. So kudos to you. But I love you know, that you have that email for already putting it out there to listen to your customers. So in addition to that email, you know, or what you've seen from it trends and whatnot, how does that help your approach in going forward with new initiatives or new strategies within the team?

Zach Niemiec 26:37

Well, let me let me actually just paint a picture, please do because we all know that there's this thing called COVID going on.

Mariah Parsons 26:45

Yeah, crazy, right?

Zach Niemiec 26:47

And you know, we're two years deep, and hopefully not three. But the patients are very reliant on something called support groups. And when the world shut down, so did the support groups. How many messages did you think I got about 'what am I going to do?'

Mariah Parsons 27:11

I'm sure.

Zach Niemiec 27:11

What are we what have we done almost pretty much every month since May of 2019. Or not 2019, excuse me, 2020 pandemic, my years are all messed up now. What day is it. But we've held a Facebook live support group every month, bringing different people on whether they're from in our company, or outside medical professionals to even Dr. Lillian, who I mentioned a little while ago, has been a guest several times, we've provided that resource because of the feedback and using, using our listening ears. And you know, at first we thought, oh, we'll do this for a couple of months until the in person support groups are back and guess what they came back. And we're still doing it. Because our audience is only getting bigger, we've created an additional resource born out of something that we thought we didn't even need for longer than a couple of months. And quite honestly, I actually hosted it. And I love doing it. Because I get to interact with people all over the country in the world, they get to tell me what their struggles are and what they want to hear from us all the time. And I got to just say, as someone working from the company, and not even just that, as a patient myself, all boil it down to it is always refreshing to me to see how tight knit the bariatric community is, and how patrons are always willing to help one another and be a resource to one another. And I'm truly blessed that I get to partake in that not only as someone who works in the industry, but as a patient myself.

Mariah Parsons 28:59

What a lovely picture that you just painted, it warms my heart to hear that and support groups, I think, you know, with COVID, anyone and everyone needs that and so that's- I'm so happy to hear that. Like you said, it was something that was born out of an unfortunate event, but that will hopefully continue to have a plethora of benefits for multiple people. So you know, I thank you for sharing just so much about that and being able to really be a leader when it comes to listening to your customers and having the initiative to do so.

Zach Niemiec 29:35

Thanks. Yeah, no, it's it's it really- brands that don't listen are going to struggle with retention. You know, you can have a great product and offer, you know, great experience on your site that carries you for a while but when there's a lack of innovation, a lack of listening, a lack of watching what you know your market is doing or what your customers want, brands run into trouble. And they start to see their, their customers going elsewhere for what they're yearning for. So you know, you, you have to be mindful of all of that. And you also have to be mindful of going back to what your mission was in the first place, and never straying too far from the sidewalks. I think that's a song.

Mariah Parsons 30:37

A great one, if that. Great for advice, like, and, you know, we've been talking, of course, about authenticity, and just the customer journey in general, and really patient focused, which I think that just speaks so loudly to the Bariatric Fusion community, that you all have established. And I would love to also get your perspective on perhaps more of the trend side of things, you know, so when you're building out these initiatives for customer retention, what are the usual, I guess- what are the usual things that you're hearing from customers that they want more of?

Zach Niemiec 31:18

You know, it's, it's a lot of its product driven to in today's- in today's world of, hey, we want this in this flavor, or we want this product that you don't have. In fact, because again, we have that ideas email address, so our listening ears are on. And I'm proud to say this past August, we had brought our most requested product to a reality, because of that. And that was because of social listening online, the emails that were coming in the phone calls that our customer service team and our sales reps have been getting. And we brought our collagen, multi collagen protein powder into existence this year, because it was a need that was established by our patients. And it came to fruition and we've had other products in the past that we've brought to the table because, you know, it's- they've been requested. And that's kind of that perfect example of, you know, making that stack if you will, and and, you know, bringing things into reality when your customers are requesting them. Now, there's the other side of it, too, is of you know, building your own internal stack, as I mentioned previously. And, you know, I also say don't, don't just discount, you know, the sub stacks, make a stack within your stack. And I know that sounds silly or a little redundant, if you will, but the way I like to picture this, you should make your macro stack. And then you know that that's really your big ones, that's your email, your text, you know, any content here if you're looking to push out those quizzes, but then you need to look within that. And when is the right time, determine your timing, determining your audience for that particular piece of content, don't be afraid to sit down and really look at those. Again, listening not just for product to or service, if you're a service company, and you offer a service, don't just always listen for those new services or new products to listen to the feedback your customers are getting, or responding to your marketing. I bet you that if you have you know, your responses on and inboxes set up and people respond, you might see 'unsubscribe me from this list or stop texting me or stop messaging', that's natural. Everyone, you know, you're always going to get unsubscribes, don't think you're going to live in this perfect world where everyone wants every single piece of content you're ever going to put out there. One of the most humbling things that you can know as a marketer is you can think that you have a brilliant piece of content and it's going to go over like a lead balloon. Just take it in stride. Don't get discouraged. But when you start to get a lot of those messages that says hey, you're messaging me too much. Pause, listen, evaluate. You might not actually be you might just be for that one particular person, it might be too much for them. So find something that works for that customer. But don't be super reactive with your overall strategy, you want to always be proactive when it comes to that, that retention, stalking, do right by as many customers as possible, so to speak, and then adjust for the ones that you need to.

Mariah Parsons 35:14

Mm hmm. That's phenomenal advice. Thank you for sharing, just having those tidbits are great and been speaking about, of course, listening to your customers and whatnot, and how that all relates to the authenticity of a brand. And so I'd love to also get your perspective on the customer retention piece, and really dive into that of, you know, what is your thought process while you're trying to build out that customer retention strategy?

Zach Niemiec 35:41

Well, you know, again, for me, it might be a little bit easier, because being such a niche field that we are, we already understand from the beginning, that this is a product that customers, patients, if you will, should be taking for life.

Mariah Parsons 36:00


Zach Niemiec 36:01

So what should our goal be, aside from that? Well, retaining them for life, if you will. So you have to get creative on what retention looks like for you too. So for us, it's- it's being that trusted friend and advisor. Every every person in our company helps to make up what our brand is, again, we're all families, every patient helps to make up what our brand is, when you have that authenticity, it is so powerful in keeping people there. But on that same note, for us being in a niche field, again, I know people are going to get sick of this and think I'm just being repetitive- listening is key in the retention of a customer here. It's not just always about promos, and discounts, and specials when it comes to that I know, I know people think that deals and sales are always key to to retaining your customers. And don't get me wrong, I don't discount that. There's my cheesy pawn of the day for you. But, um, and often those things are key in bringing new customers on. So, that's a different side of the stack or a different sides of the coin. If you will, you, you got to really make it difficult for someone want to leave your brand. Yeah. And and, you know, picture, picture this, as my metaphor here for those listening is, you know, make it a place that is so love that when you walk away, you're home sick. And that's what we strive for.

Mariah Parsons 37:57

Right. Yeah, that's, I mean, that's a great goal to strive for.

Zach Niemiec 38:01

But but that but in order to get there. Again, I hate to say it comes back to listening, you have to understand who is coming to you. And I think for me, it might be a little bit easier and knowing that my what my market is and no, I'm a patient myself, so I can sympathize and relate with our, with our audience. You know, I think there's a little bit of a different customer, I bet you Amazon has a heck of a time determining who actually their- their customers, because it's like everyone, but what reason is someone coming to Amazon for a product, you know, versus the the reason people are coming for our site is pretty clear.

Mariah Parsons 38:48

Yeah, that's, that's awesome. And so would you say, you know, at the foundation of that strategy is truly listening to your customers and going from there? Because I think that's a great place to be.

Zach Niemiec 39:00

Yeah, um, you know, there's an old adage in politics, if you will, the voice of the people. Yes, that's the voice of the patient for us. Yeah. You know, just just listen and build a roadmap then around, listening and for us, putting our patient in the driver's seat of their journey. And, you know, if you are someone who likes NASCAR references, then we're, you're the pit crew for them. You know, as a company, we're just here to support them. And oh, yeah, we happen to sell the supplement you need to but you don't I think that really is our goal is being supportive on someone's life altering journey.

Mariah Parsons 39:51

Mm hmm. And yeah, I truly can see that- that is where all of your strategy comes from is truly listening because you have those initiatives set in place. But then it just, you know, it sounds like such an awesome community and you shared so many nice aspects about your supplements and your community that you strive for. But I know just listening it, you know, to it myself it. It's truly amazing. So thank you for sharing. And I have one last question for you. You've given so much advice already. But if you just had one, one little tidbit to share, you know, what would it be? What's something that you take with you day to day or when you're trying to just approach something new about customer retention and staying authentic?

Zach Niemiec 40:35

Well, I mean, I'll go back to that go from earlier again, in case of oneness to have, you know, if you treat a person, you win every time, but I'm going to take that one step further. And don't be afraid to not always prioritize getting the sale, prioritize your customer, your audience, and you should get the sale you're looking for, you should get the retention you're looking for.

Mariah Parsons 41:05

I love that. It's such a great, lovely note to end on. But formerly I'd like to say thank you so much for sharing your valuable time with us. It has been awesome, highlight of my day, for sure. So thank you, Zach.

Zach Niemiec 41:18

And everyone check out Malomo too because they're an incredible service. So make sure you learn about what they do.

Mariah Parsons 41:27

Thank you, we deeply appreciate that. And that brings us to our fact check. So the first fact that I have is from the quote that Zach is about Patch Adams. And so I just wanted to give a little background on that seeing as some people, like myself, might not get that direct reference. There's a movie that was made about him, called Patch Adams, where the late Robin Williams plays him but Patch Adams, or also known as Hunter Doherty, was an American physician, comedian, social activist, and author. And during the episode Zach quotes this so the direct quote is "you treating illness, you win, you lose, you treat a person, I guarantee you you'll win, no matter the outcome." So it was a very sweet and intentional, quote to add and I really, I really appreciated it and like the sentiment. The next fact I wanted to check was around the program that Bariatric Fusion donates to, and they've donated almost $11,000 to help combat childhood obesity. And the next fact was surrounding if email marketing was dying. Now, Zach himself didn't quote any numbers, but I was in fact curious. And so I found a HubSpot article which said that email isn't dead, but some of the old practices are, so I thought it'd be interesting to run through those. And they said those dead practices, as they're calling them, are in personal subject lines, ignoring GDPR standards, so General Data Protection Regulation, using templates that aren't mobile friendly, poor design in your email, and not strategically using metrics. So as any email marketer will tell you, you know, marketing is not dead. It's just always evolving. The last fact that I had to check was one of the members of the bariatric fusion team and that was Dr. Lillian Craags Dino. So as Zach states in the episode, she is one of the doctors that they consult and that is on their board. With that, that's the end of our fact check. So make sure to tell us your comments as always and subscribe. Till next time!