Interview with Oliver Bridge, one of the founding members of Bonjoro!
In this special edition podcast episode, Oli and I go through the functions of Bonjoro and how it can help deliver amazing value and deep connection to your patients, and set you apart from your competitors. I guarantee that both you and your patients will LOVE it!!!
Simply put, Bonjoro is video email, perfected, easy to use, and extremely affordable.
I send them out to all my new patients that come to the clinic. If they are not my patients (they are patients of my associates) then I like to touch base as the founder, welcome them to the clinic, and let them know we are all here to support them however we can. If they are my patients, I use it to touch base a couple days after the initial appointment (after I have sent them their individualized treatment plan) to check in, encourage them to reply and ask any further questions they might have, and just generally show them that I am close by when needed.
It is SUPER easy to use, and comes at a SUPER affordable monthly cost. Bonjoro is a no brainer if you are looking for a new fun effective marketing tool for your clinic.
It is an amazing tool that is getting amazing feedback. The way of the future, I am positive.
Check out their website now…
Spence: Hello, everybody, and welcome to another Golden Podcast. I am your host, Spence Pentland, Founder of the Golden Cabinet. We’ve got a fun show, or episode, today, and that’s why I’ve got my fun shirt on. I am excited to talk to Mr. Oliver Bridge, and we’ll get into exactly why. Usually, we talk to TCM folk and leaders in our community, but if I find something that I think is just like an essential tool or something that’s just going to really help us all bring our personal practices and even our industry as a whole, I could go as far to say, I will jump in and do a quick podcast, just to let you all know about it. You can care or not, but this is something you’re going to want to listen to because I think, once you get it, everyone will want to use it. And I think, if we do as a collective, it’s going to help our industry grow. Anyway, without further ado, thanks for coming on the show, Oliver.
Oliver: Thank you, I’m really excited to be here.
Spence: So, Oli, is that what you go by?
Oliver: Yes, Oli is good. It’s quicker and easier to say.
Spence: We are speaking to Oli from London – what time is it there? I don’t even know.
Oliver: It’s just 5:00 p.m. It’s a good time of year here, we’re just coming out of spring into summer, and we get these nice, long evenings, so, yeah, things are good.
Spence: Awesome. So, Oliver is one of the primary partners – you can explain it a little bit more on the structure of the company if you want – of software or application called Bonjoro. To me, it is the evolution of email, a really fun way for you to set yourself apart from your competitors, and a really great way to connect on a really unique level with your patients, and maybe even your business referral network, or whatever with your
patients, and to create a culture there, and we’re going to dive into culture, which is great. Oh, yeah, there’s a deal that we’ll talk about, if you’re watching this, but, can you let people know elevator pitch, at least, and then, we’ll go deeper what Bonjoro is?
Oliver: Yes, so, Bonjoro, I’ll tell you a little bit about why we built it. We live in a world of, I guess, a lot of automation going on, and I think marketing has been in this sort of area for the last maybe 10, 15 years, where a lot of stuff between a customer and a business, particularly in the B2B space, has become more and more automated. So, that might be someone signs up to your product, and you have some onboarding emails that go out to them as a way to welcome them, and sort of show them through the steps they need to take to get familiar with your product. And that’s fine. But I think what you see when everybody in the world is doing that sort of diminishing returns almost, so, Bonjoro was sort of built out of a thought of how do we better connect with our customers, particularly in that initial moment. So, they’ve signed up, they’ve bought a product, they’ve done whatever we’ve hoped that they will do through our marketing funnel or whoever else we’re sort of getting our word out there. And it’s, how do we get close to them quickly, how do we sort of build that relationship with the customer. It actually came from, we had a previous product that we might talk about later, Verbate, which is a market research app, so, we worked with big brands and agencies to figure out what people all around the world felt, and we got them doing surveys on video essentially. People would sign up, our customers would sign up to Verbate online, and we’d do these automated things, and we thought, okay, what’s going to happen actually if we just use our own products, record a quick video and send them a video as soon as they sign up, maybe within like five 10, 15 minutes. And overnight, we saw three times more people responding to videos. We’re like, okay, this is pretty cool, this is different, people are actually responding to us rather than sort of sitting there, reading an email, which was really nice. We looked around at each other, and thought, okay, we’ve got to build this product, there’s something in it. We just felt there was something right about the thing that we were doing, sending videos to customers rather than just an email and being a bit faceless. So, we decided to build it, and sort of two years later, we’re still sort of figuring out what it means and what Bonjoro can do and where it can go.
Spence: Awesome. In a nutshell, the response I’ve been getting is phenomenal. I mean, some people are like head over heels, like, wow. Thank you so much for this message, but, essentially, it’s the easiest, quickest, super affordable way to send someone a quick email, that is just a quick video of you chatting with them.
Oliver: I’ll wind it sort of right back to basics to describe what Bonjoro is and what it does. Essentially, someone signs up or buys a product, you get a notification on your phone or on your mobile phone or an email saying, name X has bought something or signed up to your mailing list, do you want to send them a Bonjoro. And they’re in your to-do list to send a personal video. And what you then do is record a video, and you’re not just recording a video that’s going to go out to 100, 500 people as like a mass emailing thing, it’s totally for them, it’s completely unique, and it’s personal. It’s one-to-one, and you’re saying their name, and more than that, the next level of it is, it’s looking at them and their business, and trying to form an idea of how they can get the most value from your product, and talking to that in that initial touch point. And I think that takes relationship very quickly, from this detached thing and this impersonal thing, much higher. We talk about almost getting something from zero to one, getting someone in the door, and then Bonjoro is that 1- 1,000 that we take that relationship really high. And I think we find here as well whenever we send them, and we get responses back, we’re still in touch with all of those same people years later, which is amazing.
Spence: Maybe, it’s almost like shaking hands over the internet versus just writing a letter. That’s an analogy that might fit, but it creates an instant connection. For example, in my clinic, which is what I think everyone here should be using it to set yourself aside, like, if you’re on this video or podcast, you’re lucky. Anytime a new patient comes in to the clinic, my reception fires it into our system, and then a tag, and then puts them through our email system, and then Bonjoro – this is all automated, it’s pretty crazy how awesome it is – and then I get this like notification on my phone that says, hey, Jane Doe is a new patient at your clinic, send them a video or a Bonjoro, sorry. I just go in, literally, I click my phone, your app is so easy, I just click a button and hit record, I say, hey, Jane – you know, super personalized – I just really wanted to send you a personal
message and welcome you to Yinstill, if you need any continued support, we are here for you. You know, just 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and the response has been phenomenal.
Oliver: Yeah, our target audience or our niche is small businesses. It’s really sort of 1- 50 company size, it’s where the person is essentially the business. Particularly, the U.S. has been a really big market for us, where you’ve got so many people with the entrepreneurial spirit, with the willingness to do these things that sort of don’t scale apparently, but are really important, which works really well.
Spence: It’s okay to a certain degree, but I think everyone starve for deeper connection. There’s a place for email marketing, mass emails and getting education or messages out, but this is different. And if you’re not a big business, you have time to do this. This is, and should be a part of your marketing plan, because it’s really just a way to connect with people. I remember listening to Tony Hsieh, the Founder of Zappos, talk about the phone, and he’s like, it’s the only time you get someone’s 100% undistracted attention, and even in this day and age, for sure. And he’s right. I think Bonjoro is really similar to that.
Oliver: Yeah, that’s really interesting. When we were first building the product, and I’ll say quickly, Zappos, I think we referenced Zappos in almost every blog post that we ever wrote…
Oliver: Yeah, culture. I think it’s interesting, when we first built the product, we had this sort of thought, is this a bit like replacing phone messages, you know, living a voicemail. It’s a bit different, but a voicemail is sort of a nice way to connect with someone. It’s almost their own personal time, that’s sort of asynchronous, which is interesting. Because when you’re doing a video call like this, it’s one-to-one, you have to have the time to be here to have that conversation, and not all conversations can happen like that. And the beauty of voicemail for 20, 30 years was that it had that sort of asynchronous thing going on, and it’s a nice way to connect, despite some of its flaws. But then Bonjoro, we think
it’s almost taking that thing to a whole new level. If someone can watch this video in their own time, with Bonjoro, they will see it come into their inbox, and you know they’ve opened it, and then maybe three or four hours later, when they’re on the ride home on their commute, they’re going to be watching the video in that space where, it’s their own impersonal space. I find that really interesting thing. It’s a concept we could think about all day, but we need to build a product.
Spence: Well, it’s on demand, like your emails. I mean, it’s basically video email, and that doesn’t seem so extraordinarily out there, but you’ve made it so easy to do. It’s so tangible. Trying to do it without Bonjoro, is a process of recording yourself on your screen, uploading it somewhere, where you can get like embedding a link to it. It’s 15 to 20 minutes versus like two minutes tops.
Oliver: Yeah, that’s how we were doing it, when I said, early days in our previous business, it took a long time, and it was painful. Bonjoro makes it really easy, and that’s part of how we built it. We just wanted it to be really frictionless. People use that stuff, and it’s just a better way of building products. We don’t want all these bells and whistles, it’s how do we give you the opportunity to get in front of your client as quick as possible. I think a key part of it, that we could talk about is, it’s extending your culture outwards, so we speak a lot about business culture of Bonjoro. A lot of small businesses have amazing business cultures. I guess what this gives you the opportunity to do is to really open up and show people and invite them in really quickly. So, a lot of stuff you read online about business culture tends to be about big businesses, their cultural values and what they mean internally. But this is something that enables you to just really quickly and easily do the business culture thing, open up to your customers, which is really nice.
Spence: Well, people want small town service, I think, and they are screaming for it more and more. And that one-to-one, even behind the scenes, it’s like, you sent me this video, that was so nice, and you’re in a T-shirt versus a suit, whatever, you bring them inside. It’s instant, inner circle stuff. I grew up with my father, who is a pharmacist, and in a small town, 5,000 people, less, I think, and his customer experience was absolutely everything
to him. I try to bring that into our clinic, and that’s why I love what Bonjoro is all about. We really emphasize, obviously, in a clinic setting, we’re looking for clinical results, you know, that’s number one priority, but I would argue that they may not even be separate entities, the experience that patient or client has as well is a part of the treatment a), and b) is important to getting results, just how satisfied and happy they are in life. We emphasize client experience so much, even in the course that I have online. I’ve got a lot more than a hundred bonjoros, but I just got a card – can you see that – in my mail, a physical card, hand–written from Amy, who said she’s your full-time Customer Delight Coordinator.
Oliver: CDO, Customer Delight Officer.
Spence: So, client experience, hello, that’s so amazing.
Oliver: Yeah, customer delight is sort of a way of describing this next level of client experience, I guess in the SAS space, a subscription software space, where we work, it’s customer success. But we see it a slightly different. We have this debate with people in our world, which is, you have customer success, the objective is to get someone to particular points or milestones within your product, so they’re getting value. And that’s sort of what you just spoke about. We’re saying, okay, that’s great, but there’s also space for another thing, which is customer delight, which doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. You don’t have to spend all of your day, just trying to delight your customers, which would be tiresome for them, and for you maybe. But, it’s almost a bridge, we see it as a bridge between customer satisfaction and client experience, and then you’ve got customer delight, and it bridges to advocacy. And we think this is particularly for small businesses that are looking to grow and want to retain clients. Advocacy is so important. It’s a beautiful way of sort of moving clients through into that space, and here at Bonjoro, we’ve done a few calculations, and we think probably 50%, possibly 70%, of our entire growth in two years has come from advocacy and word of mouth. So, we’re not doing a lot of the marketing stuff, we don’t really do paid marketing. And a lot of small businesses can’t really afford to do paid marketing, so what else can you do? So, you can
delight your customers, you can create advocates and word-of-mouth, so it’s really important, it’s a big thing. Hence, Amy is a Chief Delight Officer.
Spence: Chief Delight Officer, CDO. I like that. And, literally, when someone is suffering in life, the definition of being a patient, we all definitely should have CDOs, chief delight officers in our clinics. Bonjoro is such an amazing tool. For sure, very soon, I’m going to be sending 500 Bonjoros, and I hear rumors that you guys work in bear costumes or something?
Oliver: Yeah. I should be wearing one right now, to be honest with you. When you join the company, you’ll get this bear onesie, designed for you, which is, it’s a funny thing, it’s part of our brand. It‘s a little bit contentious, it is too playful that some people think it’s a little bit over the top possibly. But, our founder Matt, he speaks to us about this a lot, and he’s like, everything you do, try and be in your onesies. Now, we’re building a brand that needs to be recognized, we are building a brand to last a long time. And, yeah, it’s a sort of silly, little thing, but, you know, if you’re talking about business culture and people being able to associate or recognize who you are instantly, we live in quite a visual world now, so when our blog posts go up, it should be something around the bear theme or us in a onesie. It’s just part of us growing a brand, and actually, as a business. Matt wrote a really great blog post on this recently, and it will probably be relevant to your audience as well. It’s about, are you product first, or are you brand first as a business? It’s a small business. You can sort of choose to do one or the other first. You can choose to build great product or great brand. The problem with focusing exclusively on a product is, it’s going to take 5, 10, 15 years. It’s going to take a lot of money, a lot of resources, employers will come in and help you build that product, but that’s your brand. You can sort of shortcut, you can jump ahead almost. So, bear onesies are sort of part of that trying to jump ahead on brand, but it’s everything we do. Speaking about business culture, culture is one of our core pillars of content that we talk about all the time in our blog and elsewhere. It’s us trying to use brand as more of a growth leader rather than just relying on our products, because those products just get better and better and better, but there’s no sort of simple fix unless you chuck, I don’t know, five million overnight, which
we’re not going to do. We want to build the sustainable business instead of a business that is going to last a while. So, that’s what we do.
Spence: I think it’s awesome. And I can’t wait to wear mine, once I get there. I think life needs to be a little bit lighter. It’s so heavy enough, so anytime we can lighten it up with a bear suit, cheers. People want that human connection, they just do. It’s just what you’ve created, and how you guys have made it so easy. This is exactly why I’m so excited that you decided to jump on the show, and I won’t keep you too long. It’s just an essential tool now for connecting with, especially, patients, where when you’re sharing intimate details about your health with someone, it is nice to break down that barrier. I know there’s a traditional white-coat physician deity, like mentality, and then there’s the patient you want to keep a professional distance, and yeah, that’s fine, but I think more and more today, especially with our industry, acupuncture Chinese medicine, people on some level, subconsciously even, expect a bit more of a closer connection, because we spend a lot more time with our patients and we talk about everything under the sun. There is nothing that is off-limits in our door. They’re breaking down their barriers, so if you can kind of help connect on another level as well, like this, you’ll make your emails even more personalized.
Oliver: I think it’s a lot in that. I think when you look at the nature of media today, yeah, it has its bad sides, but, actually, something I think that appeals to everyone is when there are people out there showing everything, opening up, maybe showing their weaker sides. Like on LinkedIn and other networks, the things I tend to click on is where someone’s actually sharing the authentic self and the sort of raw side of things. And that’s really important.
Spence: It’s nice to meet the guy, one of the guys at least behind, you guys have been so amazing and so accommodating and rolling out new stuff. Obviously, we’ll put the link in the show notes, and you mentioned that for people viewing or watching for the next 7 days after we post this, you’ll extend a little deal for the golden peeps?
Oliver: Yeah, absolutely, happy to do that. We’ll do a 20% discount on all monthly and annual plans on Bonjoro. I’ll send that over to you, Spence, and you can share it with the community.