Jason Anderson – Director, Customer Experience. Jason explains how he got started in CX, how to have a pre-customer experience strategy, along with steps you should take and specific road blocks to watch out for in your strategy.
Nick Glimsdahl 0:00
I’m excited today to have Jason Anderson. Jason is a director of customer experience at BriskHeat Corporation and the CO leader at CXPA, Columbus chapter. Welcome to the Press 1 For Nick podcast. Jason.
Jason Anderson 0:17
Thanks, Nick. appreciate you having me on.
Nick Glimsdahl 0:20
Yeah, no problem at all. I’m excited to get going. So, you know, how did you go about getting started in customer experience?
Jason Anderson 0:30
I think I’ve Well, first of all, I’ve been at BriskHeat for about four years, this past April. And I really was introduced almost six years ago to customer experience. At the time, I was the leader for the marketing and customer service groups at a mix specially chemical manufacturing company. And, you know, trying to figure out different ways to differentiate not only our brand, but enhance our customer service, you know, I, you know, took my talents to the interweb trying to find different ways I that I could, you know, really put, you know, that company on the map, and Kim across customer centricity. And I just, it’s just one of those things. I know, first second page of Google, I don’t know. But then I just started learning more and trying to figure out what that was, and how could I incorporate that into the company I was at, and, you know, worked on that and really got, I got really excited about it. I’m like, this stuff is pretty cool. It has a lot of similarities in regards to philosophies that I believe in. So from there, I started reaching, trying to find opportunities where I could transition from marketing and customer service into customer experience. Job pumps popped up over here. It’s risky, and, you know, I applied and, you know, her and now the director of customer experience of risky.
Nick Glimsdahl 2:06
Wow, that’s an interesting story. The the career of Jason Anderson in customer experience started on the second page of Google.
that’s interesting story. So, you know, one thing that kind of caught my eye, we’re both contributors for cx of Michigan, around blog content. And we had a conversation about one of your articles that you have written called, initiate your pre customer experience strategy in 321. Go. And, you know, first of all, I recommend everybody kind of going out to checking out that website, and I will post it along with this podcast. But feel free to go check out that but isn’t, isn’t customer experience just easy. You just kind of scribble a note on a napkin over lunch and, and you know, and then it turns into the, the Amazon experience?
Jason Anderson 3:08
Well, yeah, absolutely. It’s, you know, that’s why this the field is growing exponentially, because you can just walk in the door and go to lunch. And by the time you’re done you know, everyone’s like cheese nest next, Jeff beezus here, we’re, we’re gonna make it seem like
Nick Glimsdahl 3:24
it’s like the Easy Bake gummy, just set it and forget it.
Jason Anderson 3:27
This Oh, absolutely. And that’s why we’re also widely thought of, and you know, our jobs super easy. It’s, but now I got my feet up. My feet are up, and I’m just watching my minions do everything.
Nick Glimsdahl 3:38
Yeah. Highly unlikely. So, back to the article, how do you go about, you know, building this and having a pre customer experience strategy.
Jason Anderson 3:50
You know, when I originally was trying to figure out what type of article to write for cx admission stay. And I, the first thing that popped up into my mind is outside of really just a traditional customer experience strategy, which there’s 745 different variations if you if you look online, and you know, for me, it’s somebody getting who’s getting into customer experience. As this is my first role in the field. I you know, I didn’t know where to start. And just like this are required. I actually remember one of my first jobs out of falling graduate school, I was working at a facility where we tested medical devices. And I was working with customers, explaining them how to know what testing they needed to be their subject their medical device to what’s you know, medical device, you think catheters and, you know, hip replacement parts and such. And the opportunity came up to mentor because they’re starting to mentary probe Ram. I jumped at it because I was fresh out of grad school and approached the president and CEO at the time, Jeff Blair said, Hey, I’d love to, you know, be your mentee. And he agreed upon it. And, you know, along the lines of our conversations, he two things that he really stuck out that still stick with me today is, he told me, Jason, if you want to be a leader in any organization, to have to start by talking to your co workers and your employees, he’s like, I don’t care what you do look at the picture on their desktop, about their kids, find out their hobbies, but they are the most crucial part to any organization and effect. If you learned anything from me, he’s like, that’s where you need to start. And, and that’s, and as soon as I the, like I said, the opportunity comes for, right, and like, that’s what popped into my mind. I’m like, before I do anything, you know, Mike, I think one of the key components, which I didn’t realize that at the time, but now do is you know, your employees? And how do you start. And I think you have to make the time and make the effort to get to know everyone within your organization. So you can move forward any of your initiatives, whether it’s, you know, engaging your employees more, or trying to work with leaders, or executives, if you don’t understand who they are, what they know, and what their motivators are not gonna be able to get anything you want to accomplish off the ground.
Nick Glimsdahl 6:37
Yeah, so, you know, I guess, kind of backing up a little bit. Let’s say, the listeners don’t have a plan, or a goal, or they didn’t inherit an existing program. What steps should they take, before building a cx strategy, besides just kind of listening to the employees?
Jason Anderson 6:59
I think you know, and this goes back to this was the other thing that I learned is, I think, as cx professionals, you have to have a deep understanding of your organization. You can’t just walk into it and say, I’m going to build a cx program. And my strategy has these four or five components. I mean, you need to invest the time and one, again, not getting to know your coworkers, but understand what your business is, what their mission is, who’s in charge of what, how, how was a sale made? How does, how are people hired? All those things in your product developments? You have to spend time getting to understand that, because those are some of the key drivers. Besides you employees, if you don’t understand it, again, you’re not going to know where to start once you start building out your strategy. Right?
Nick Glimsdahl 7:55
Yeah, that makes total sense. You know, so you, you’re doing all this work on the front end, and you’re building this kind of the foundation for a cx strategy? Does it make sense? And should you tell people about this, this kind of the goldmine that you’re kind of building this foundation before you even start implementing it?
Jason Anderson 8:20
Oh, absolutely. I’m a firm believer in transparency. Now, I’m not going to go down to the minutiae, because as you know, people’s eyes are gonna glaze over. But I do work with, you know, other, you know, my co workers, people that are on my team, and other departments. I have a customer experience team here, that I bounce ideas off and say, Hey, this is what I’m thinking this makes sense. You know, from an overall strategy standpoint, when we’re looking at corporate objectives, you know, I’ve worked with our senior management, saying, here it is. And then, as I start piecing all these together, I’m absolutely sharing all of that. So they know where I’m at. And they have a voice in this as well, because we’re all in this together. And I’ll try and incorporate as much as their feedback as I can. But I think it’s key that everybody knows and has a stake in that strategy that I’m building and continuously refining.
Nick Glimsdahl 9:20
Right? No, I know, that makes sense. You know, why? What, what some of the listeners might think of is why should Why should they receive buy in prior to launch? Is it? Is it because maybe they they want to align it with other business objectives? Is it because everybody is saying, well, that’s just one more thing that I have to do. You know, maybe did they have champions inside of each department? What What advice would you have for them?
Jason Anderson 9:52
Um, you know, I guess from my point of view is you know, and I utilize my customer experience team Because they represent members from across the organization, they, you know, different departments and utilize them, and encourage them to speak to their leaders and give them a voice, not only within their department, but within brisky in general, saying, you know, that, hey, this is this is Tom, you know, this is what he says, from accounting, and as part of the CX team, and so, you know, utilizing a team, and folks within their own department helps familiarize them and works towards what I believe to be executive buying. But those are separate conversations, that you have to have a separate plan, you have to have to really work with your executives. Yeah,
Nick Glimsdahl 10:42
that the the one quote that you had inside the article that I really liked, was by Robert Collier, and it says success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. So you can’t build Rome in a day as has to be continued stepping blocks, or stepping stones along the way to build your masterpiece. And it’s, it’s gonna take some hard effort, but hopefully there’ll be reward at the end, you know, when you go through building this platform are building this this strategy? You know, you know, Mike, my guess is he probably ran into a few roadblocks. But what are some specific roadblocks that that people should should watch out for?
Jason Anderson 11:29
The biggest I think Roblox is, you know, if you are like myself, I’m a customer experience team of mine. And I don’t have a staff, or people that report directly to me to actually go and help me accomplish some of these goals. So the big roadblock is how do you work with other departments and other folks, to get them to help push forward some of your initiatives? And I think that ties back to working with getting to know folks, you know, in that pre customer experience strategy, when you’re out there talking to folks that the biggest roadblocks is how do you work outside of your own department and get them to actually, you know, help them be part of it. And helping is a key aspect of it, but it that’s one of the biggest roadblocks. The other one that that I face constantly? Is, is the bottom line? And how do you show return to a manager of a different departments so they can let you use their staff? Or use their resources? That sort of philosophy? What’s in it for me? And how just going to help further my departmental goals? Yeah,
Nick Glimsdahl 12:49
yeah, I hear that a lot around the ROI of customer experience. And and leaders tend to want that ROI, within the quarter or within the within the year in some time. That’s, that’s not feasible, because it’s a, it’s a longer term solution for the organization, but it’s what’s best for the customer. You know, the one one question I didn’t prep you for, but we’ll put you a little bit on the spot. Hopefully, it’s a softball is, you know, you’ve been in the customer experience space for a while, you know, you’re co leader at cxpa. Now you’re writing content you’re speaking? You know, what do you know, now that you wish you knew when you first started out? What What advice would you give yourself when you first started out?
In the CX roam or just in general
Jason Anderson 13:44
cx rounds? I would say, the biggest thing that I can think of right now that I seek is, helps me a lot is and I would certainly tell is, you know, you’ve got to, you got to be able to focus and be able to calculate what that return is on investment, you got to keep the bottom line in the forefront. Otherwise, I don’t like to say this, it’s professionals, you like to keep the customer in mind at all times. But to truly benefit them and get things accomplished. You have to understand how that factors into your organization and what are what that means to other people. And otherwise, you’re going to be spinning your wheels and ultimately customers aren’t going to benefit.
Nick Glimsdahl 14:32
Yeah, not as great answer and even better since I put you on the spot. So I appreciate that. It two questions that I leave that I asked at the very end of every podcast to my guests. And the first question is what book or person has influenced you the most in the past year around customer service or customer experience?
Jason Anderson 14:59
book or person? I would say, Actually, I’ve got, I’ve got two people that come to mind. And for me, I don’t know, it’s one of the things that I sort of, you know, Judge books, and any webinar I attend is, you know, after reading this, is there something that that person wrote or said, that moves me to action? Or moves nice or Want to learn more? And is there some sort of takeaway that’s up? I mean, that’s my mindset when I’m listening, because there’s some amazing speakers out there in the CX space. And there’s some amazing books. That really I mean, to be speak to me, they’re powerful, but really, when it comes down to it, I need actionable insight. And things things I want to be able to walk away and do something now. And the two people that come to my mind are Annette France, in James Dawkins, and I was probably maybe a month or two ago, and that had a hosted a webinar. And you know, she speaks she does employee experience. And something she said, within the first five minutes of her talk hooked me and she was talking about how she does executive interviews, in regards to try to understand where that company organization is in their CX, know, journey and understand where their pain points that friction is of their customers. And that struck me and, you know, after that, I said, I got to learn more. From that, she’s been great. I’ve reached out to her a couple of times, and she shared some, some information and some insight. And that’s been awesome. And James, is I think this besides being a rock star, literally, he he has four points that I’ve always thought I continues to think about, and I’ve actually typed them up, printed off and stuck it at my workstation. If that were true, to me, actionable insights, is when you’re thinking about your customer experience initiatives, how are they going to impact customer satisfaction? Are your customers happy? customer loyalty? Are they going to come back to you share a wallet? Are they going to spend more money with you? and operational efficiency or cost savings? And what are those are your objectives hitting any of those that you want to accomplish in the organization? And what he do, he said it and like, that’s, that’s pretty amazing. And and since, you know, being introduced to James, and, and, you know, those I’ve just sort of tried to absorb as much as they have. Because I think they’re pretty amazing and their takeaways today, you know, it certainly helped me and utilize them all. And hope to learn some more from those guys.
Nick Glimsdahl 17:58
Yeah, no, those are both pillars of cx leaders right there. And actually, both of them will be on the podcast here in the coming months. So stay tuned for that as a little hook. But the second question I have is, if you could leave a note to all the customer service or customer experience professionals? What would it say?
Jason Anderson 18:28
I don’t know. It just popped into my mind. Because, yeah, you might have prepped me a little bit, Nick. But I have been stuck on this. I don’t I don’t know what notes, I couldn’t think of something that I wouldn’t want to leave behind in a desk drawer for someone to think about. But then something pops in my mind. I think about the old for all those people that are familiar with the H VHS tapes, that statement of you know, be kind, please rewind. And that popped into my head for some reason that I’m like, Well, I think of as cx professionals, customer service professionals, really in any of the service industries, you need to be kind to not only your, your customers, but your co workers. But at the end of the day, at the end of the end of the interaction, take a moment, rewind it a little bit, think about it and say okay, what could I have done better? What would How was that interaction? How could I think about this and maybe replicate that with the next customer or, you know, I do have the resources I need, how can I let my manager know to get some of these resources. So that next interaction for another customer is even better. So that’s, that would be my it would be my little post it note rolling in the shape of a VHS cassette.
Nick Glimsdahl 19:55
That’s awesome. I did not think that we were going to be talking about VHS tapes. But it makes complete sense. So, Jason, I appreciate your time today. where can our listeners connect with you online?
Jason Anderson 20:09
The best place to catch me is on LinkedIn. I’ll be sure to promote your podcast and I’ve been checking out. I will check out your future casts with the net is jeans for sure. But yeah, check me on, on LinkedIn.
Nick Glimsdahl 20:25
All right, sounds good. Thanks again for your time and hope you have a great day.
Jason Anderson 20:31
You too, I really appreciate it next. Thank you.
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:
- What book or person has influenced you the most in the past year?
- 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.