Aja Varney [Customer Service]

Aja Varney – Director, Global Customer Engagement at Spartan Race, Inc.
Aja talks about:
·     What makes the Spartan Race so unique
·      How to keep the brand consistent over 200 races
·    The Importance of Community
 The book that has influenced Aja the most in the past year:
·      Be our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service https://amzn.to/3ifcfH9 
Her note to all CX professionals:
“Know your value. You are not “just” customer service…You are the front line, you keep the business rolling, you keep those customers loyal to the brand, you are making product development, you are all of those things in one. You’re never “just customer service.”

Nick Glimsdahl 0:00
Welcome to the Press 1 For Nick podcast. My name is Nick Glimsdahl and my guest this week is Aja Varney. She is the Director of Global customer engagement at Spartan Race, Inc. Welcome to the podcast, Aja.

Aja Varney

Hi, Nick. Thanks for having me.

Nick Glimsdahl

You bet. So I asked every single guest at the very beginning is what’s one thing people might not know about you?

Aja Varney 0:19
Me personally, although I work for Spartan and tough mudder my number one love is powerlifting. So I think the one thing people probably don’t know is I’m an 11 time record holder in my state for powerlifting.

Nick Glimsdahl 0:32
Wow, that was awesome. Can you tell me a little bit more about that? Is that how did you get started? You just say one day, I’m gonna in 2016 I have a new year’s resolution and I’m gonna start powerlifting

Aja Varney 0:47
Yeah, I think so actually, Spartan is kind of at fault. I think I you know, I you know, Spartan races and fitness in a in a more structured way, probably 10 years ago or so. And then I started lifting in some CrossFit classes, I was like, geez, I love lifting. And then I had a little bit of a natural aptitude and one thing led to another and I competed several times a year gotta defend those titles, you know,

Nick Glimsdahl 1:15
gotta defend the titles, just like in the Spartan Race. If somebody wins, they got to come back and be the defender of the title. Exactly. Well, congratulations, it sounds like you are kicking butt and taking names.

Aja Varney 1:28
We try we try it Some days are easier than others. But you know, you try.

Nick Glimsdahl 1:33
So the Spartan Race is very, very cool. There’s all sorts of races, and we’ll talk more about it. But I guess I want to start off by asking you what makes the Spartan Race so unique.

Aja Varney 1:46
I think what makes Spartan Race unique that I don’t think a lot of people realize is we’re not just a race, you’re not just signing up to run through the mud, get your medal at the end and be done. What you’re actually signing on for is more of a lifestyle change and joining this community of racers that’s, you know, crazy and passionate and all of those things. So, you know, just crossing that finish line, you’re crossing that finish line with your friend and helping them across. And you know, and really, I think, joining up with a lifestyle of fitness, and you know, self improvement and things like that. So I think it’s a lot more than a race. We like to think of it as a lifestyle and a full sort of mindset shift,

Nick Glimsdahl 2:26
right? And then it’s not just one race, there is multiple options, right? It’s, you can you can kind of have a beginner’s maybe an intermediary, and then a full on Spartan Race. So maybe talk about that.

Aja Varney 2:39
Absolutely, yeah, we’ve got something for everyone. We have a few different levels. So whatever you’re comfortable with, we have a race, that we often run in major stadiums that has no mud at all. So if you’re, you’re not quite ready for the mud in the fire, you can, you know, head over to one of our stadium events. We have everything that ranges in outdoor events from about a 5k all the way up to about a half marathon. And if you’re really crazy, you can do our ultra distance events, and spend 30 miles on a mountain running up and down and doing obstacles. So we’ve got something for literally everyone. And if you wonder if you can do it, you can everybody there’s we have all ages sizes, fitness levels, you can take as long as you need, you know, whatever it takes to get you across that finish line, whether you’re 30 and super fit or 50 and still working at it. We’ve got something for you. I

Nick Glimsdahl 3:32
love that you said there it’s all all sorts of people that are in it. So maybe tell us what’s what’s the oldest and maybe youngest person to compete and finish the Spartan Race.

Aja Varney 3:42
Yeah, so our oldest we’ve actually got kind of a he’s a little bit famous in our community. We’ve got Monty I believe he’s 92 this year. World War Two veteran, many races a year. This isn’t like a one and done situation. He takes his time I believe it his daughter and his granddaughter often come with him and he’s got a team of supporters. They will come out of the woodwork. If he doesn’t have a buddy for a race. The community is right there and come with him. And you know, he does all the obstacles. He’s not cheating anything. He’s just you know, doing what everybody else is. And he’s a trooper, man. I wish I wish I could do the races as well as Monti does.

Nick Glimsdahl 4:23
Wow. That’s something because if you think of he said his his daughter and his granddaughter, so I’m thinking maybe mid 60s, mid to high 60s and then maybe maybe still 40s and he’s still competing and I’m sure he’s making a lot of people other everybody else look bad. So kudos to him.

Aja Varney 4:43
No excuses. If you see Monti on the course you’re like, man, what’s my excuse? Yeah,

Nick Glimsdahl 4:49
there’s that famous guy. I gotta go after him. I’m gonna stay in his stay in his lane and try to beat him at the end. But so and then what about the youngest,

Aja Varney 4:57
our youngest, we actually have a son In kids specialized course, because you know, the kids are a little bit smaller. So we kind of a lot of the same obstacles as the adults just a little bit smaller for their height and things like that. But our youngest kids are four at this time, we have a lot of kids younger than that, that want to come hang out. But unfortunately, you know, for safety reasons, we keep it for and above at this point, but we have a non competitive division for the younger kids. And then if you’re an older kid, 10 and up and you want to take on, you know, a little bit more competition, you can get out there and race your peers, try and get that first place metal, get something for everybody.

Nick Glimsdahl 5:37
That’s cool. And then how many total races you guys put on a year, and maybe how many states or how many countries, maybe you don’t have to say exact, but I’m sure it’s it’s an abundant?

Aja Varney 5:47
It’s a lot. So we’re in something close to 50 plus countries at this point. So no matter where you are in the world, we got you, you can come race with us. In the US this year, we’ll be putting on something like 70 weekends, so multiple weekends on the same date and things like that. So we’ve got our amazing production teams that load up the trailers, set it all up, take it back down again, drive to the next one. It’s a pretty crazy life, but we’ve got events pretty much anywhere you want to go.

Nick Glimsdahl 6:21
So that’s what I think, from from my perspective, and I’ve never done a Spartan Race, I’ve been asked and now I’m challenged to to get out there and go do one. But so the hopefully the person that’s listening to this or that, that they’re not listening to this, the one who challenged me, because then he’ll come back and challenge me again saying,

Aja Varney 6:39
hey, you spoke about this, let’s do it. But is the consistency because from my perspective is everywhere, that there’s a Spartan Race, it’s consistent across every single city, every single state and every single country. And if you’re putting on a couple 100 events on per year, how do you how do you keep that consistency, it’s challenging, but it’s definitely a really big priority for our business is that, you know, whether you’re competing in Sacramento, California, or China or Australia, we want to make sure you still have the same core sparrin priority product experience. So we do that in a lot of different ways. We do a lot of training with the teams that are going to build the events and put on the events. And we have a really great team of quality managers that traveled to select events and make sure things are up to standards. We work closely with all the customer service teams to make sure no matter who you’re talking to in the world, you’re getting the same answers and experience, it’s definitely a really challenging part of the business because we do have so many moving parts, so many places in the world. But I think a really key piece for us is we like to partner with partners around the world that we know are, are heavy on the spot and ideals and they have the same sort of business focus and customer focus that we do. So you know, if we have a partner in Germany, we can we can teach them all the things and we trust that they’re going to do an event that is up to you know, an impeccable level. So I think it’s it’s kind of multi level, how we approach it, but it definitely is a huge bit business focus, because we want to make sure that, Nick, if you go run in China, you’re gonna have an awesome event, just as if you were running here in Boston. Yeah.

Nick Glimsdahl 8:26
And, and as a consumer, it’s not just me or you. But the world now tends to talk. It’s not just their friends and family, but it’s now social. And so the good, the bad, and the ugly. So if you keep it consistent, they’re saying, Hey, I, I’m from Ohio, and I ran this race in Cleveland. And now I’m, you know, I’m going to visit a friend or whoever in China and I want and you have that same experience, you’re going to be sharing that with the world.

Aja Varney 8:54
Exactly. We do like, you know, our international partners in various parts of the world, we put a little bit of, you know, local flair on every event, you know, you know, you know, Ohio, we don’t get to run through the jungle, like we do in Malaysia or something like that. But you know, the core product experience and the way that you’re treated by staff and the real sort of I think tenants of the Spartan philosophy are are consistent across the board.

Nick Glimsdahl 9:19
Yes, so is there KPIs or metrics that you’re going about that inside the during the race or throughout

Aja Varney 9:27
that, we really tune into how our customers felt about that race. So after every race, every spring customer is going to get a survey, and I know that a lot of people are like, Oh, man, it’s another survey I got to complete, but I want to tell everyone listening, we read each and every one there is a person. For every event that goes through every single comment, people leave and analyzes the data because it’s really important to us to make sure that you know, everything is as you expected, so we focus on a lot of NPS data coming out of those surveys. So we can say, Hey, you know, this year, we didn’t do as well at this event as we did last year, what changed? What could we do better? Or maybe, hey, this event was really awesome. And people really loved, you know, the slide made out of ice that we did in Europe. I mean, hey, you know, maybe we got to bring that back. It was I think, for us, it’s a constantly evolving process, like what it what are people loving? Do they love that new innovation? Did they hate it, we, you know, pull the audience on new obstacles, new features, we add all kinds of things. So it is definitely a data heavy process, but an important one. So

Nick Glimsdahl 10:38
with with the race itself, people don’t just necessarily sign up and say, Hey, I’m going to do a Spartan Race, there’s probably a reason behind it. It’s, hey, my I am, you know, I like to lose 40 pounds, because my mom had a heart attack, and I’m trying to trying to get healthy, or I’m racing for so and so for cancer and trying to beat cancer, like, what are some reasons why people can’t, you know, compete and maybe some unique ones.

Aja Varney 11:08
Yeah, so literally, I would say almost every reason you could think of someone has definitely, you know, use that as motivation. But we have everything from you know, people on a fitness journey, like getting back into fitness, or getting into fitness. And this is a step in the journey. We have people that we have a lot of military veterans that are looking for the camaraderie and the challenge, we have people that just love to compete and want to challenge themselves with a difficult new thing that they don’t get in their, you know, nine to five office job, literally anything we’ve got, I think the one of the biggest drivers, and my personal motivation is people just like to come with their community, and do a cool thing. So we’ve got regional teams around the country and around the world that can be 300 people deep, and they will all organize to, you know, barbecue at an event and show up, run together or small groups. And you’ll get across that finish line. And it’s, it’s a community event as much as it is a somewhat competitive event.

Nick Glimsdahl 12:14
So tell me more about that. Tell me more about the Spartan Race community, it seems like it’s pretty strong, based off of what you’ve kind of mentioned throughout the questions.

Aja Varney 12:22
Definitely, I think our community is probably the thing that makes us the most unique. We’ve been racing since late 2010, or the early stages. So we’ve been at this, you know, about 11 years now. And during that time, the community is just really propelled us along like there was a really core community initially, that was relatively small when we were just doing a handful of races. And they would show up at every event, and they would tell their friends, and they would, you know, go to their gym and be like, why are we doing this and, you know, the community really evolved the race as much as the race provided for the community. So I think that, you know, now our community is so strong and so big. And so global, thanks to you know, social media. And a lot of these teams have their own websites, Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, discord servers, like you name it. And you know, we have a community for you. So whether you want to just race the people that are near you, or you want to race with other army events, or you want to race with people on a weight loss journey, there is that for you within the Spartan community, but at the end of the day, everyone identifies as Spartan. So if you’re on the race course, and you’re trying to get over that eight foot wall, and you’re like, I don’t know how I’m going to do this. I’ve personally been in that situation, many times, I don’t have a lot of ups, Nick, I don’t get over those halls really easily. But there’s always you know, 12 people right behind you that are gonna push you up and over. And I think that’s really kind of representative of our community. No matter what challenge you’re facing, there’s 10 people 12 people ready to boost you up and help you get through it.

Nick Glimsdahl 14:03
That’s one thing I’ve also heard of all the people who are maybe not the the crazy athletes, is that they still compete. And they realize that they can push themselves not just in the race, but they realize that they can push themselves further than they thought they could.

Aja Varney 14:19
Absolutely our founder, Joe de Sena is a big fan of personal growth and personal growth, sort of through these experiences. So for instance, you know, if you run your first Spartan beast, and it’s 13 miles long, and it is a grueling experience of a ski mountain, and you’re like, what did I get into and then you finish at the end, and you’re like, I did that thing. And I have a medal to prove it. And that was the hardest thing I thought I’ve ever done. Now, I can probably take on the next thing like maybe the next thing is a longer race. Maybe the next thing is, you know advocating for your promotion at work or maybe the next thing is, you know, who knows, but I think You know, doing tough things kind of teaches your brain that you can do more tough things.

Nick Glimsdahl 15:05
Yeah. My guess is maybe I’m wrong. But my guess is immediately if somebody first tries it, and they’re completely exhausted and maybe getting that tunnel vision that you do at the end of a race, they’re probably not thinking, Hey, that was awesome. And I want to do that next year, they’re probably thinking, I’m never going to do that. Again, that was the worst thing possible. And then 30 minutes later, when they get composure and hydrated. They’re saying, Well, that wasn’t so bad. And then they start talking about the journey. Because it is it’s just like life, right? I mean, we are all going through a journey of sorts. And just as in customer experience, we are all experiencing a journey. And sometimes it’s good, sometimes not so good. But there’s lessons learned. But it’s all about the journey.

Aja Varney 15:48
I think that’s absolutely true. I think, you know, there’s that moment where you’re like, what did I get myself into? Usually, for me, it’s usually the first mile or two of the race. And I’m like, what, why is this a good plan? You know, but by the time you see that finish line in sight, and there’s a big, shiny metal, and your friends are at the end cheering and you get that, you know, a few moments to kind of reflect on what you did, then you’re like, ah, all right, let’s do this again, you know, so I think, I think there definitely is a process of reflection, for sure. Yeah,

Nick Glimsdahl 16:18
I love the fact that you said, at the at the eight foot wall, it’s not necessarily friends or family, who are helping you out, but they’re all Spartans. And they’re all they’re willing to help you because maybe they’ve been there before. Or they’re saying, Hey, this is the community, and I’m here, if this is gonna slow a portion of my race down, it doesn’t matter. Because I’m here to help.

Aja Varney 16:42
We have a notorious phenomenon had Spartan races where, especially around certain, particularly challenging obstacles, and that people often need help through an eight foot wall, we have some kind of, you know, various inverted walls and things are genuinely challenging to get through on your own if you’re not totally prepared for it. And there’s a phenomenon that happens where you know that those three strangers that help you get through that obstacle, suddenly, they’re coming with you, and they’re gonna finish that race with you. And now you’re exchanging information. And now you’re your best buds and your race to the next three races together. And I mean, that’s kind of how the community happens is you have that experience, you know, it could be pre race, but often on the course, and you just kind of adopt that new Spartan family that’s gonna help you through those things.

Nick Glimsdahl 17:32
And that’s how a community starts. That’s when you get the Spartan Race, local t shirts, swag, websites, etc. Exactly. Very cool. So how are you? You know, from from customer service to customer experience, during this journey, from, hey, a buddy told me to sign up, I’m not wanting to do it. A year later, they’re looking on the website, they finally poke him again, and they say, hey, yeah, we’re going to sign up. So from the day they sign up, to the day that they run the race, there’s that journey, and it’s in it, it’s either customer experience, or it’s customer service, or contact center, or both. And so how are you marrying those two throughout that journey?

Aja Varney 18:16
Yeah, I think you know, from from a high level, we try and make sure that you are prepared that you know, what you’re getting into as a customer. So, you know, from a high level, we’ll send you periodically informational, hey, if you’re preparing for that, you know, super beast event, here’s some workouts you might want to try. Or here’s some tips we have and kind of, you know, prepare you so that when you get on site, your experiences, not like Oh god, what happened, you know, you kind of have a little easing into what you’re getting into, will help you kind of build your team will help you, you know, train for the events, work on your nutrition, whatever you need. There’s kind of a informative path that, you know, we want to make sure people are prepared for the event. That said, we have an excellent customer service team, because they are often the first contact for a lot of people. So we get a lot of questions from Hey, I’m not really sure what shoes to wear to I can’t figure out how to add myself to a team or did I even register for the right thing? I’m not sure. It’s our customer service team is often the first real Spartan interaction that customers have with us. So there, I think it’s the most vital interaction, like if the first impression of your company is a dismissive contact center, you know, that’s not what we’re aiming for. So, you know, our customer service team is all Spartans. Every single one of the customer service team has worked arrays, run a race, in many cases, run many, many races. And so their customer at the same day understand the full perspective and how important some of these questions are. So, you know, if you come in and you’re like, I just don’t know what shoes to wear. You’re likely talking to someone who’s had a wide variety of experience and can tell you from personal experience. Hey, here’s what you should do. Don’t worry about it. It will get you covered. Here’s some tips. So I think it’s, you know, we use the customer service team to really complement the journey. But we definitely try and attack it on multiple levels, give you the information you need, but be there to support if it’s if it’s not quite lacking or you have further questions.

Nick Glimsdahl 20:17
I love the fact that your team has gone through it before. And so you they there’s a lot of lessons learned, hey, I did this, I didn’t train right, I wore the wrong gear, these socks sucked, whatever it is, right? Like walking them through that journey. And it makes them even trust you guys more because they’re saying these guys have already gone through it once. And they’re the guide for me to help me get to the the first one. Because from my understanding is not just one race on average that people do. It’s once they they get in and they start joining the race they join the Spartan community, they’ve done three, four races almost a year, right? Is that average?

Aja Varney 20:58
Absolutely, our average actually can be as much as in some years, we’ve had up to seven or eight races a year. Because people it’s a kind of like eating potato chips, you can’t eat just one, you know, you come in, you cross that finish line, you’re like man, I could do a harder one, I could do a longer one, maybe I just want to do this again and get another medal. Or maybe I want to go try it in a different part of the country or the world or, or my friends are going to this other one. It’s it’s very rarely just one and done. Because we really try and create an experience that’s engaging and super fun. And I don’t know about you, Nick. But this year after everything that we’ve all been through, you know, a really fun event with your friends with a good metal and a cold beer at the end. Sounds like a real good time.

Nick Glimsdahl 21:46
Absolutely, yeah, sign me up. So speaking of the rough year, 2020 has been kind of tough for everybody, regardless if you’re in customer service or not. But specifically inside customer service, you’re kind of getting getting all of the above, right, everybody’s calling in because there’s something going on and expectations have changed, which means people find a way to get a hold in and change those expectations. So I guess the first thing is that that I’ll end on is how is more open with your guys’s team? And I’ll start there.

Aja Varney 22:21
Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, in brutal transparency, it’s been a rough year, I think most customer service teams would probably agree with me on that one, you know, we our primary product and thing that we did the best was live events. And the world said we couldn’t do that anymore. So we had to pivot. And, you know, we were trying to do virtual events, we were trying to do you know, all kinds of different things to you know, kind of keep supporting our community and do what we could do. But it was rough. And you know, I think customers were frustrated with that. But at the same time customers, customers were frustrated with, you know, everything happening in the world at large. And I think sometimes it’s really easy to direct that customer that frustration at whatever customer service rep you happen to be talking to for whatever issue whether it’s your airline or your Spartan Race, or whatever it might be, it was definitely a difficult year for customer service. And it’s it’s hard as a person, you know, as a customer service agent that is really invested in the product and the brand and, and the community to absorb that kind of negative vibe for a long period of time. So it was definitely a difficult year. I am blessed to have an excellent team that’s been with us for many years. So I think everybody was able to recognize this is a, this is a particularly tall obstacle that we’re working through. But I’m happy to report we’re coming out the other side, I think the team is as strong as ever. It was not easy, but I think you know, like in true Spartan fashion, we made it through together. And we did a lot of kind of support. We talked a lot about the challenges in meetings, we, you know, let people just have space to vent, whatever we needed to kind of support the team is what we did, because it was it was a year it was a year neck. If we could not do that again, it would be great.

Nick Glimsdahl 24:15
We could not do that again. That’d be great. It but you’re not alone. You’re not alone there at customer service as a group. As a Spartan team, we have struggled, the organization or the industry has has taken a beating. And there’s been a decent amount of eight foot walls. That’s it. So my question to you is and you kind of touched on a little bit, but what are you doing? or What did you do to get out of it? or How did you boost morale?

Aja Varney 24:48
I mean, it was really tough because as you can imagine, and probably a lot of, you know the listeners we had to cut staff during this time so we were operating you know at sub optimal staffing levels. Yeah, so we did a lot to optimize where we could. So for me, I love technology, we tried to use as much technology as we could to help, you know, get customers answers faster, whether that was, you know, bots to send them FAQs that might help self service, optimize, you know, the process that people had to go through transfers or to, you know, get done what they needed to get done. So we looked at every piece of the business, and basically, to see how we could make it a smoother journey, you know, remove any self imposed obstacles, and just kind of, you know, do what we could, and at the end of the day, you know, even if we were facing a mountain of emails, we know all that a person can only do so much in a day. So we asked you to do the best you could. And that’s what you could do that day, you know, it was it was a tough journey. And we certainly had longer than usual wait times, and and, you know, sub optimal metrics for a while. But, you know, we basically talked to the team about it constantly, we know you’re doing a good job, like, here’s what we’re doing to try and support this effort. We’re implementing these chat bots, we’re going to, you know, do some more FAQs, where people things like that. And I think, you know, we just all kind of pulled together and we took ideas from everybody, customer service agents would say, Hey, we need this FAQ. So people can figure it out themselves, or, hey, we need to fix this process, or Hey, tell marketing to stop sending those emails. Whatever it was, you know, we just took the feedback from everywhere and tried to implement anything we could to help, you know, both for the customer service agent and for the customer. And to make the journey a little bit easier.

Nick Glimsdahl 26:38
That’s great. It’s always helpful to hear how other people are, are finding ways to boost morale. So I’ll keep you updated on on what everybody else is doing as well.

Aja Varney 26:47
Yeah, there’s been a lot of creative ideas in the industry, especially working remotely, it’s been great to follow. You know, we’ve tried, we did a virtual escape room as a as a group. That’s the thing I never done before. And it was awesome. So I mean, I think I think as difficult as This experience has been, it’s certainly bred a lot of creativity, especially for our remote teams and things like that, that I think are gonna be really asked a real asset to carry forward.

Nick Glimsdahl 27:16
That’s great. So I asked every guest two questions at the very end. And the first one is what book or person has influenced you the most in the last year? And then the second question is, if you could leave a note to all the customer service professionals, it’s going to hit everybody’s desk Monday at 8am. voted say.

Aja Varney 27:33
So I think the note I would leave for the customer service professionals is know your value, you are not just customer service. And I think that’s really easy trap for people to think about like oh, I just work in customer service. No, you work in customer service, you are the front line, you are keeping the business rolling, you are keeping those customers loyal to the brand you are promoting the product, you are marketing, product development, you are all of those things all in one. So no, you’re worse, you’re never just customer service. And if you’re working for a company that says you’re just customer service, leave them and come see me because we know that you’re a hero of high value person.

Nick Glimsdahl 28:12
Boom, I love that. That was great. So and then the second one is if you leave what book or person has influenced you the most in the last year?

Aja Varney 28:23
Yeah, so it’s been a crazy year. So I admit, I’m down on my reading. But one book that I read this year that I kind of really stuck with me is actually from the Disney Institute, it’s called VR guests perfecting the art of customer service. And we’ve definitely done a lot kind of where Disney also has kind of the theme park situation and a lot of those kind of values and things transfer over to the way we put on sparking events and things like that, you know, we’ve had a lot to kind of learn there. And I think the biggest takeaway that I’ve gotten from a lot of sort of the Disney book philosophy is no make it easy for your customers. Like, you know, Disney uses a great example about placing trash cans at close intervals. Because it’s easy for the customer. And it makes their journey easier. They’re not carrying around their sticky ice cream napkin or things like that. So, you know, we try and transfer a lot of that to both our onsite business and our customer service journey. But like, how can we make it easier for the customer? Why should they have to take extra steps if we could do it for them? So I think beer guests perfecting the art of customer service has been a good read for anyone out there that needs a little bit of inspiration.

Nick Glimsdahl 29:34
That’s great. That is a good book. asure, what’s the best way for people to get ahold of you if they want to connect with you maybe on social?

Aja Varney 29:42
Definitely, you can find me on LinkedIn. You can shoot a message to any of our Spartan Facebook channels, and they’ll come to me as well. We’d love to see you if you want to come to an event. throw throw down the challenge. We’ll get you hooked up. love to talk to you if you have any questions, but definitely look me up. love to talk about customer service, customer experience and all things. obstacle racing.

Nick Glimsdahl 30:06
That’s awesome or or power lifting or powerlifting. And that’s true. I had a blast. I learned a ton about what you guys are up to. I’m excited to see more here in Ohio and across the country and I wish you guys nothing but the best. Awesome thanks, Nick.


The Press 1 For Nick podcast is both educational and engaging, and each episode offers listeners a dynamic blend of insightful stories, best practices, and invaluable lessons.

Nick’s guests – each with a unique wealth of knowledge – include leaders from a variety of backgrounds and industries. Some of his guests include:

  • Customer service & customer experience leaders
  • A hostage negotiator
  • Award-winning authors
  • Home Depot’s Senior Director of Customer Care
  • Former VP of Disney’s Magic Kingdom
  • Lyft’s Head of Partner and Customer Engagement
  • Deputy Chief Veteran Experience Officer from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

On every episode Nick asks his guest two questions:

  1. What book or person has influenced you the most in the past year?
  2. If you could leave a note to all the Customer Service and CX professionals, what would it say?

You can find all the podcast guests’ answers under their episodes below.

If all you want is the guests’ book recommendations, you can go here.

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