Response Time vol. 6 with Barry Pepper, VP of Customer Experience at PushPress

Response Time: Vol. 6

You satisfy your customers, but can you satisfy our curiosity?

With Barry Pepper, VP of Customer Experience at PushPress.

Please tell us a little bit about your company and what you do there.

PushPress is a gym management system that helps gym owners manage everything from their member billing and workout tracking to lead automations and their website. I am currently in the role of VP of Customer Experience, having started with PushPress almost five years ago as a part-time support specialist. Over the years, I was given the opportunity to progress up the ladder and build our CX team.

“When we can make our clients smile, it makes a small part of their day better”

Which celebrity would be really great at your job, and why?

Will Ferrell. In my role, it is all about providing a great experience for our team and customers. The lightheartedness and comedic relief puts a smile on people’s faces. When we can make our clients smile, it makes a small part of their day better. If we can send them from our interactions back to their own clients happier, then they are able to provide a better experience for their clients, too.

What’s the most valuable thing that working in customer service has taught you?

Don’t underestimate what a customer may be going through in their own life. An angry customer isn’t always upset with you or your company. Sometimes, things in their life have boiled over and you just happen to be the person to take the brunt of it. I always treat each interaction in a way that I am able to impart some small change to their day or their behavior.

What’s your greatest productivity hack?

Currently I would say it has to be AI. That has saved me a lot of time in proofreading messages and summarizing support conversations to get caught up.

What gif best describes your mental state right now?



What’s the best customer service you’ve ever experienced?

This is a tricky one, because I have interacted with so many great organizations that are amazing at customer service. The one that comes to mind was with a small jewelry company. I had ordered my wife a necklace for her birthday. When it arrived, it was a tangled mess. I went to their online chat to start a return, and the person that I spoke to was fast and got a new one on the way. When the new one arrived, she had personally taped the necklace so it wouldn’t tangle in shipping, and also left a handwritten apology note for my wife in the box.

What’s the worst customer service you’ve ever experienced?

I contacted my local internet service provider due to some issues with my internet speed. The customer service representative informed me that they had made some recent changes to their plans and internet speeds, and unfortunately, the speed I was currently subscribed to was no longer available. The representative suggested that I upgrade to a higher speed package.

To my surprise, I discovered that I had been paying $20 more per month for a slower speed than what was currently being offered. When I asked why my plan was not automatically updated, the representative replied that they had sent out a letter notifying me of the changes. However, upon further inquiry with a supervisor, I learned that the letter only contained a general invitation to discuss upgrading my plan, with no mention of the price change or the fact that I was being overcharged.

In summary, I reached out to my internet service provider to address a speed issue, only to discover that I had been paying more for less. While the company claimed to have sent a letter notifying me of the changes, the communication was inadequate and misleading, resulting in a frustrating and costly experience for me as a customer.

Is a burger a sandwich?


What can you do that a bot will never be able to replicate?

Genuine empathy and understanding for our customers is at the core of our values. As a company that serves gym owners, we recognize the unique challenges and pressures that come with running a gym. In fact, many of our team members, including myself, have been gym owners in the past, and we understand the daily struggles and mental fortitude required to succeed in this industry.

“We believe that the human touch is essential in building strong relationships and delivering exceptional customer service”

Our team is committed to providing personalized support and solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of each gym owner we work with. We believe that the human touch is essential in building strong relationships and delivering exceptional customer service. While technology can certainly be helpful in streamlining processes and improving efficiency, it cannot replace the human element of empathy and understanding. That is why we have a team of dedicated professionals who are passionate about helping gym owners overcome challenges and achieve their goals. At our company, we are not just selling products or services – we are building a community of like-minded individuals who are committed to the success and well-being of each other.

What do you doodle when you’re on video calls?


What’s the one piece of advice you would give to your peers in the customer service industry?

Have empathy and make sure you truly understand what someone is asking. I always refer back to the number one asked question at Disney, being: “What time is the three o’clock parade?” The answer seems easy, but in reality, the person knows the parade starts at the front gate at 3pm. They want to know what time the parade gets to the back of the park where they are currently at.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I just finished Fans First by Jesse Cole.

What words make your skin crawl?

“Glitch,” “glitching,” and “is the system down?”

How would you explain your job to an alien?

I guide a team of humans that assist other human gym owners on how to use our software and also provide best practices in running a gym.

What’s your most used emoji in customer chats?

I don’t use too many emojis. I probably send the Forrest Gump “Hello” gif more than anything.


Do you identify more with the title “customer support,” customer service,” “customer success,” or “customer experience,” and why?

Customer Experience. For me it is, because I lead our CX team that consists of the Support team, Success team, and Onboarding team. My goal is to view the higher level of how all of those departments affect the customer experience at each stage of the journey and how we can improve the experience.

“Working in customer service requires a great deal of patience, empathy, and professionalism”

What do you wish people knew about working in customer service?

First and foremost, working in customer service requires a great deal of patience, empathy, and professionalism. Customer service representatives are often the first point of contact for customers who may be frustrated, angry, or confused. It’s important to actively listen to their concerns, address their issues with respect, and strive to find solutions that meet their needs. Working in customer service can also be emotionally challenging. Dealing with difficult customers and handling high-stress situations on a daily basis can take a toll on one’s mental health. It’s important for customer service representatives to practice self-care and have support systems in place to help them cope with the demands of the job.

Additionally, customer service representatives often have to follow strict guidelines and policies set by their company, which can limit their ability to provide certain solutions or accommodations. It’s important for customers to understand that while customer service representatives are there to help, there may be certain limitations and procedures that they have to follow. Overall, working in customer service requires a unique set of skills and can be both rewarding and challenging. It’s important for customers to approach interactions with customer service representatives with patience and respect, as well as recognize the hard work and dedication that goes into providing exceptional customer service.

Conversation closed… for now 😏

If you’re interested in being featured in our Response Time series, you can share your insights on customer service – and thoughts on whether a burger’s a sandwich or not – with us here.