Real Talk with the C-Suite about CX: Anton de Wet, Ian Golding, Lewis Taylor, Jeb Dasteel [Executive Buy-In]


Anton de Wet, Ian Golding, Gabe Smith, Lewis Taylor, Jeb Dasteel, Nick Glimsdahl

Nick Glimsdahl 04:53

Thank you. Alright guys, so before I get started, I obviously want to introduce you to the panel and First off, I’ll start introducing to Ian Golden so he is the global customer experience specialist and customer experience consultancy Ltd. and actually just last week and was rated the number one CX influencer in the UK according to customer experience magazine, so, congrats to you, Ian. Next up, we have Lewis Taylor. He is the VP head of global customer experience and Austin site lead at Dropbox. He focuses on the global support and customer experience. So welcome, Lewis. Number three, we have Jeb Dasteel. He is the owner of distill consulting, he focuses on advising chief customer officers and helping organizations develop or refine their customer strategy. Prior to his current role, though, Jeff spent 21 years at Oracle and I believe 12 of those being the chief customer officer at Oracle. So welcome Jeb. And then last but not least, Anton de Wet is the Chief Client Officer at Nedbank RBB. And he has also has an impressive tenure at Nedbank coming up on 23 years. And he just passed as of Saturday his CCXP. So congratulations to you and Tom.

Anton de Wet 06:15

Thanks, Nick.

Nick Glimsdahl 06:17

So to the panel, I’m going to do my best to make these questions around Robin. But as the experts feel free to jump in at any time to add additional value where you guys see fit. And like Gabe mentioned everybody else joining in, we set some time for you to ask questions. So be writing down your questions throughout the conversation. And feel free to drill these guys with questions because they are the experts. So let’s kick off right at the beginning. And we’ll start with the Lewis customer experience isn’t just one thing. So what does customer experience mean to you?

Lewis Taylor 06:55

Wow, that is an awesome question. And I get asked that quite a bit. So it was really exciting to actually get this out in a larger forum. So absolutely. It’s not just one thing. There are so many touch points in a customer’s journey in their lifecycle with you that it just means so much from how you market to them how you’re selling to them. What does that mean post sale when you now have that customer on board? And I like to liken it to there’s this journey or life cycle where we own a customer from cradle to grave. Now as CX professionals we all know sometimes we don’t own or we’re not directly responsible or accountable for some of those pieces. But we influence those pieces. So there’s just so much more to the customer experience than just one thing is all about that customer journey in that lifecycle.

Nick Glimsdahl 07:51

I couldn’t agree more. Ian, do you want to touch on that a little bit?

Ian Golding 07:56

Well, as you know, Nick, I always love answering questions like this. And it’s always interesting to hear a leader’s perspective on what customer experience really means. And I completely agree with you, Lewis, the even simpler way that I articulate what customer experience encompasses is that it is everything that an organization does that enables its customers to interact with the products and services. That is the simplest way that I can articulate what customer experience is. And another way, an alternative way just to give people Food for Thought is more of a strategic way of thinking about customer experience that I was taught many, many years ago, when I worked for the giant that was General Electric. And when jack welch, not didn’t teach me directly, but I learned in the Jack Welsh era, the mantra of what they called find, win, keep, and that strategically, business is all about finding new customers winning their business and keeping them for as long as possible. And essentially, that’s what customer experience is all about.

Nick Glimsdahl 09:07

I thought that you taught Jack you this entire time. So well, I got to go back and tell everybody else that I was wrong.

Ian Golding 09:15

I like to think maybe he learned something. Jack had a huge influence on my career. And that’s why I always have to mention it.

Nick Glimsdahl 09:23

Well, Jeb, I’m not going to leave you. With the easy answer. I’ll start getting into the meat of the conversation. But we say that organizations need to listen to their customers, but are CX professionals listening to the C suite?

Jeb Dasteel  09:40

That’s a great question. So if we’re talking about our C-Suite, I think the answer honestly, is not so much. Right? I think we tend as a profession to come across as very process oriented, and that concerns me a little bit. I think it’s up to up to us to translate the organization’s business objectives. Very specific strategies and actions with measurable results. The other thing I guess that I would say too, is that I think there’s generally a lack of alignment between a CX team and the CEO. And the advice that I tend to give is that we all in this profession need to step up and really pursue new strategies and prioritize projects in a thoughtful way that will really drive results for both our customers and for us, and, and I don’t think there’s really effectively any other way to create the right alignment that I’m sure we all want.

Jeb Dasteel 10:37

I think, oftentimes, at least in my experience, is that you have to start with taking on something that maybe you don’t want to do, maybe you’re feeling like really doing some strategizing, first and foremost, but I think what we what many of us need to do is build street cred with the executive team before we really can, in a way that can be really effective, get things done, so I and what that means to me really is built about building rapport with sales and with marketing, especially. But certainly with the C suite and the CEO, CEO and the Chief Financial Officer, that’s critical. And you know, that that can that can mean in practical terms is just hosing down the burning platform that in fact might be, you know, a significant customer issue, or a deal gone bad or working with marketing to execute something really innovative in terms of a an engagement program.

Nick Glimsdahl  11:28

Lewis, what are your thoughts about building the street cred? With this conversation?

Lewis Taylor  11:33

Yeah, I couldn’t agree with Jeb more. I think it’s all about aligning first on what do you want the customer experience to be as an organization for, to building an effective strategy and not a strategy that sometimes CX news, we know what’s best, and we just go off and we act, we start building a strategy, and then we go want to execute on it. And it’s not aligned with where the C suite wants to go, or it’s not, it doesn’t exactly align where the company’s going. So making sure we’re marrying our strategy and the strategy of the company and are completely lockstep. The other piece that I found having a lot of success for me, and Jeb touched on it, which is being 100% aligned with sales and marketing, because CX is going to be that that glue kind of make everything fit very well. But if you’re 100%, aligned with sales and marketing, when you are going to the C suite, to talk about your strategy and get the resources you need to actually fulfill that strategy, it makes it a lot easier if you’re already aligned with the sales and marketing organization, because that means your goals are completely lockstep. So that’s an approach I love to take when I’m when I’m pushing for something new. And in CX, one, make sure is aligned with sales and marketing and to make sure it’s 100% aligned with the goals in the direction that companies go.

Nick Glimsdahl 13:02

Yeah, I’ve heard those sales and marketing, people can be real, real pains in the butt. So watch out for those guys. Anton, what does the CFO, CEO and CEO care about in regards to customer experience? What do they really want?

Anton de Wet 13:20

So Nick, thanks for that I think the shortest answer is they want results. And I find they want results out of what can feel to them as a pretty messy framework. So I think when we talk amongst ourselves, we get very happy and confident that we know what we’re talking about in a CX language. And I think that from that those executives quite often that can be they can quite honestly get quite irritated by that. And I think what they’re looking for is simple questions, like, show me where we where we are leading in plant experiences? And how am I going to know that we are leading the benchmark? And even more importantly than that, if we’re leading in this particular space? Where’s the market share gains coming from? And conversely, if we’re not leading, you know, what are the problems? What are we going to prioritize, that’s going to give us the biggest fix to greatest effect. So, you know, bottom line is they’re wanting results, and they’re wanting them more deliberately from something a little bit more scientific. I think they can feel preached to at times. And I think it can come across as quite frustrating, from their point of view, where, you know, you’ve got these six professionals talking CX strategy and wonderful words. And there’s an appreciation, you know, certainly I’ve talked for, for our organization, is a strong appreciation from the top down of the importance of client experience. But there’s, if I may put words in his mouth, I would say this irritation, that the framework is far too messy. They need to make sense of what we’re saying. And they need to have a very deliberate answer in terms of what does this all mean? Well the measures that matter how do I know that I’m winning? And if I’m winning on this particular score, how does it translate in terms into market gains? And then if it isn’t, what are you going to do about it? And where it is, you know, why aren’t we getting more of these gains? If it really matters, then show me.

Nick Glimsdahl 15:18

Show me the ROI. Show me the money. I always talk about when it comes to customer experience. The problem is, is organization talk about the pixie dust and fairy tales. You said it’s great that people are presenting the big words in the in the fluffy things about customer experience, but it’s not really it doesn’t sound like what the C suite really cares about. And Jeb, you kind of talked about a business outcomes. What are your thoughts about this question?

Jeb Dasteel 15:45

Yeah, I think I mean, I love what Anton said about framework. And in fact, I think more often than not, at least at least in my discussions with Chief Customer Officers, there’s most of the time not a framework, to be honest. And that lack of a framework really means that you’re not sufficiently well informed, in terms of how to engage with the rest of the organization. And maybe even more importantly, I would say, don’t have kind of the guardrails and prioritize what you do next, what you do first and what you do second, third?

Nick Glimsdahl  16:19

Yeah, I think we’ll talk a little bit about priority here in a little bit. But Ian when it comes to, you know, a lot of companies have the directors of VP and our director or VP of customer experience, but don’t have that chief customer officer or the seat at the C suite table. So these middle management organizations or professionals struggle to deliver that the right information to the top execs. So kind of going what Anton and Jeb said, what advice would you have for customer experience professionals in that in that mid-market? Because I think there’s a lot of professionals in that mid-market.

Ian Golding 16:54

I have to say, if I if I nod my head any more vigorously with everything everyone’s saying in my head is going to fall off.

Nick Glimsdahl 17:00

I might have to put you in concussion protocol.

Ian Golding 17:04

Absolutely. I mean, vehement agreement with everything that I’ve just heard Jeb and Anton saying, and in fact, I’ve been saying for a very long time to the profession, that we need to stop over conceptualizing and focus on the how not the What the hell, whether or not organizations are applying the principles of customer experience, well, is a different matter. But businesses and leaders, they know what this is, they understand the fundamentals of what customer experience is, what they don’t necessarily understand is the science, as Anton rightly described it, and yes, there is a science behind it. And the CXPA has been fundamental in defining the competencies that have established what we do as a profession. But there is what I’ve always called a seventh competency. The seventh competency being our ability as professionals to influence guide counsel, to apply diplomacy, to enable leaders to recognize that becoming sustainably customer centric doesn’t have to be difficult. But there is a huge amount of confusion. And the confusion is usually down to a lack of understanding and education. And as customer experience professionals, we have got to be exceptional at communicating. We’ve got to be out there in front of leaders continuously talking to them, explaining to them, not the rot, but the hell. And so Anton’s point, all those little wins those little games that in isolation might seem small, they all add up, and we’ve got to ensure that there is continuous momentum. And it might mean that there are times where we come across is really quite irritatingly annoying, because we’re constantly chipping away. But we’ve got to be chipping away at the progress that’s being made. What we can’t keep doing is over obsessing with what CX actually is. Sorry, I get rather over effusive when I start to talk about this, but that diplomacy point, I just don’t think there’s a profession we’re investing enough time in how to be influencing upwards.

Nick Glimsdahl 19:37

You don’t sound passionate. You just seem like you’re just monotone and not excited about keep being you. Lewis, what are your thoughts about educating and providing insight to the middle market?  Well, first, it says so well. I’m not I’m going to be able to add much. But as CX professionals, we’re often very, very passionate about the customer experience. And we’re so passionate that oftentimes when we get in the room, the passion transcends so far out that we do tend to turn people a lot off a little bit. So what we’ve got to really do is come in with, and I agree on the how, like, here’s what this is, is this plan is going to look like, here’s where we are today, here’s what it’s going to look like tomorrow. And the very driven towards your cross functional organizations and make sure you have buy in with them, as you’re approaching the C suite. That makes it a lot easier for you to have success at that level. But we have to be careful about coming in and just saying, customer experience, customer experience, customer experience, we need to be more deliberate about what we’re actually going to do. And what that translates into for success model for the business. And I love that some of the conversations that we had prior to this event was how you communicate not just up into your peers, but lower to can you get maybe into that without sharing any trade secrets.

Lewis Taylor 21:21

Yeah, absolutely. So we today look at our organizations as one big unit. And I know that sounds really simple, but what I like to think of is product, and I call them the big three product and engineering together, marketing and sales. And those, I have to make those leaders, my best friends, absolutely my best friends. And when I do that, then what I’m doing is I’m making sure that I’m talking to them about the things and in the language, they understand that makes sense. And what’s good for you out of this whole program, versus just coming in talking about a blanket CX program, and then making them a part of the process. So I invite all of those cross functional leaders to come and spend time with CX come and see what we’re doing. And then in addition to that, is all about getting them the voice of the customer. So is isn’t just my perspective, I’m actually telling you and showing you what the customers are saying, and I’ve done the work for you. I’ve put those in categories for you, I pulled out the bold statements, I’ve given you what potential impact could be if we solve some of these problems that the customers are saying, but I need to feed you in the language and the understanding where you will want to take ownership of your piece of the pie. Because customer experience. We like to think as CX leaders, we all own it all. We own the journey into n. But we can only influence probably less than half of that the rest of it. We’re often relying on cross functional groups for our success. So the key is buy it.

Ian Golding 23:17

It’s not something Nick. Yeah, go ahead, man being really irritating just too absolutely, again, support what Lewis is saying. I think the really important thing is based on my opinion, and what I’ve observed, the best customer experience professionals in the world are the ones who exist for the benefit of the organization. It is not about them. And they will do whatever they can to enable the organization to become more customer centric. And that means you do things that won’t necessarily make you popular, won’t necessarily, you know, enable you to get a big job title. But that’s not what this is about. You know, ultimately, this is about doing the right thing for the organization. And I think in a roundabout kind of way that absolutely supports what Lewis is saying.

Nick Glimsdahl 24:11

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. One thing that I had a question on, just to follow up with what Lewis was saying is, you mentioned talking to talking to those department heads in their language. And I’m going to give you a little bit of an easy answer. Maybe it’s complicated, but what’s the risk of not telling them or giving a clear and making those bold words in their language?

Lewis Taylor 24:37

Yeah, so I think there’s a huge risk and one, I think for customer experience professionals to be truly successful. You have to have a cross functional support on all of the teams, and especially the big three. So you absolutely have to speak in their language number one. You absolutely have to show them what’s in it for them. And then ultimately, what’s in it for the company. And ultimately, what’s in it for the customer, even though we know as CX professionals, we come in a lot of times and we tout customer, customer. Well, sometimes that’s not received very well, either. So it needs to come down to a three phase approach. What’s in it for you? What’s in it for the company? And then what’s in it for the customer? And ultimately, the customer benefits from that?

Nick Glimsdahl  25:33

Yeah, and I think one other thing that we can talk about here coming up to is, what is in it for the person that you’re trying to influence? Like, what are their business objectives? How are you going to align their objectives with what their pain points are? And then going, going back to what Jeb was talking about lining it always back up to business objectives? So I love that. So Anton, how do you measure client or customer experiences.

Anton de Wet 26:01

So we’ve got, you know, the very traditional one, what we did a couple of years ago is we just tried to narrow it down to using net promoter score as at least a common language, a single measure that we could get, the whole organization rallied around. And we have these annual measures that do the benchmark relative to competitors in that space. And we’ve seen quite a nice trend line over a couple of years, how that score has at least improved. But we all know, it’s not about the score itself. It’s about what the underlying pieces are. So we’ve got the client satisfaction measures, we’ve got the annual sort of net promoter score measures that come through at an industry level. And then we’ve got the day to day functions, right down to those touch points. Where are we getting, you know, feedback per region per branch per banker, where we’re able to see how that person is actually doing in terms of servicing their clients and the feedback that we get? And then in banking, I think another piece that we really focused on, is there’s a big change from, it seems bizarre now, but only a couple of years ago, you know, a lot of the digitization hadn’t yet happened. So it’s been a period of about five to 10 years of strong digitalization in banking, in banking services, and certainly what we’ll be watching is how effectively we have used that technology and digitization of these processes and experiences to improve that customer experience. And so I think we try to measure it at a number of levels, we’ve tried to simplify it down to at least a common language for starters, to get everybody aligned into one common language. But there’s still, you know, a whole lot more for us to do, as we build upon improving these experiences substantially over the technology, and digital enhancements.

Nick Glimsdahl 27:47

Yeah, in when it comes to those, those metrics, are you. How do you are you aligning those with? So let’s say it’s the NPS and customer satisfaction score? Are you running those by themselves? Or are you kind of combining those and measuring them, and aligning those with other metrics?

Anton de Wet  28:08

So we’ve got in banking, and in financial services, we’ve also overlaid a very broad framework against our market conduct piece. So you’ve got a financial sector Conduct Authority, from a regulatory point of view, which is looking at building on a framework, which is really treat customers fairly. And that has now evolved and grown into a multifaceted area where we’re looking at everything from recruitment practices to sales practices to you know, remuneration, it becomes a full, totally encompassing ambit that we cover, in order to see how we’re actually transforming our ability to be able to manage our customer experiences more effectively. But ultimately, what you’d be looking for is what I said right up front, is how these improved client experiences are? And hopefully, leading client experiences, translating into gains in the market?

Nick Glimsdahl 29:00

Yep. Because that’s what the C suite cares about is gains in the market. Yeah. So Jeb, right back to your wheelhouse? Can you tie customer experience to what the C suite cares about?

Jeb Dasteel 29:12

Yeah, I mean, I think we absolutely have to. And, and honestly, this really is the core to me of customer strategy, even to say that if we can’t find a way to do this for our business, and do it fast, we maybe ought to be looking for other work. I mean, I really think it’s that it’s that critical for us to focus on this. And the way I think about metrics I like I’d like Anton’s answer very much. And I would break it down a little bit too maybe four kinds of metrics. And I think there’s financial metrics like incremental revenue, margin, some strategic metrics around key wins and market share and engaging customers to be partners for new product introduction and new services introduction. I think there’s trailing metrics, which I would argue tend to be things like NPS or Customer Loyalty index, maybe leaders, maybe leading indicators would be things around customer effort, or measures of customer engagement, and customer adoption. So I think I think you can definitely break it down into financial, strategic leading and trailing. And I think the more you do that, and the more you find ways of what’s been said very well earlier, to use the right metrics for the right audience and use the right language for the right audience, you really can’t go wrong. But if you don’t have that in place, I just don’t think you can. We can be successful.

Nick Glimsdahl 30:36

Yeah, Lewis, you kind of talked about the right conversation with the right audience. What are your thoughts about this question?

Lewis Taylor 30:44

Yeah, I just think it’s so imperative that as we think about CX, and those are, I like to tell everyone, those are two big words, right. But ultimately, there’s a bunch of stuff that goes underneath that that’s, that’s really the drivers for the company and what it’s like. And he’s evolved and said, market share revenue, influence, direct revenue, retention for customers, and establishing yourself in your industry as being an expert, not just with a great product itself. But that experience, either before or after, when customers have made that decision to engage with you from a product or service perspective. And I think customer experience has a huge role, I think post sales that we often neglect, because we get wrapped up in some of the other things, but that she was rolling a post-sale aspect is always going to be around retention. And we have to have that top of mind. Right? It’s revenue influence. And then ultimately, it is, how does that customer feel when they engage with you after they bought a product? And what does that mean to them? I mean, there is nothing more. Yeah, I’ve talked to a lot of customers. And there’s, there’s nothing more rewarding to hear. When you talk to customers, when they say, I have a great experience with you. And they don’t mention the product. Of course, we know the product, including it included in that. But hearing that they had a great experience with you means you’ve done your job into n. Right. And for that one time, you can pat yourself on the back and move on to the next issue.

Nick Glimsdahl 32:38

Yeah, you’re only as good as your last compensation. Right? So it’s keeping yourself humble a little bit in that conversation. So, but Lewis? I’ll stick with you for another question here. Is that all about metrics? Or where’s that context? And how is that important?

Lewis Taylor 32:56

No. So it’s absolutely not all about metrics, I think metrics is just a piece of it. And honestly, sometimes what we do as CX professionals, we use the metrics so heavily that we sometimes turn people off. Because we’re pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing the numbers. Well, I think there’s an aspect of it that we often forget, which is, you don’t capture the true customer intent and true customer feelings completely in the metrics. So I like to use something. And this is what we heavily use today, our customer feedback loop. And we gather feedback or Voice of the Customer from every single surface, every single touchpoint that we engage, or customers engaged with us either well before they bought the product, and longtime standard customers. And we take that information, and that is more meaningful sometimes than the actual metrics itself, because you’re hearing directly what customers are saying, you know, what they you know, what they say about your service, you know, what they say about your product. They want to help influence the roadmap, of course, and we do that we take that customer feedback loop. And we interject the in with the engineering product organization and help influence a roadmap directly from what our customers are saying. And that’s a key point that we use. But not only that, it helps you from influence perspective, when you’re talking at that sea level isn’t just about metrics, because ultimately, you engage a small fraction of your customers after they bought your product. So that’s the metrics. But what really is true talent if you can get that end to end customer feedback from customers, and package that in a way and make it meaningful to all of their cross functional partners.

Nick Glimsdahl 34:47

Yeah. Ian what are your thoughts on that?

Ian Golding 34:50

Are you sure you really want to ask me this question?

Nick Glimsdahl 34:53

Man, I want real conversations.

Ian Golding 34:57

So I just need permission to be blunt. Is that okay?

Nick Glimsdahl 35:04

This may or may not be our last LinkedIn live dependent.

Ian Golding 35:09

I’m just going to be blunt. That measurement, as I’ve said for many years is, in my opinion, the most important competency of all, when it comes to the subject of customer experience. However, regrettably, it is a competency that is misunderstood, and is being done incredibly badly, in general by organizations around the world. And this is a massive, massive issue, because far too many organizations, and it doesn’t matter which continent they’re on which industry they represent, are completely jumping to the wrong conclusion, as a way, as a result of the way they are measuring the experience right now. And much of that is very reflective of what has already been said. But it is this obsession with numbers, obsession with schools that is completely the wrong behavior. And as a result has led to far too many organizations completely missing the point. This is not primarily about a score, capturing feedback, measuring what we do is all about determining the small number of things we need to focus on to have the greatest impact on improving customer perception. And as a result, financial performance. That’s why we should be measuring the experience not to get a number to massage egos. And you know, I’ve been very fortunate in recent times to interview Fred Reichheld twice. And it’s fascinating to interview the man who really created the obsession with numbers by creating NPS. But the man himself is he’s really quite saddened, by the way, NPS has been turned into this score that people obsess about, but that’s not the primary reason he created it. And there are still so many people that don’t realize that he stopped calling in net promoter score years ago. He calls it Net Promoter system for that very reason. But unfortunately, the damage has already been done. So I think there is a lot of work that this profession needs to do to further education. There’s just one final point I’ll make and then I’ll shut up. And Laura Lorraine, who I know very well, she’s a brilliant CX professional in her own right. And has asked a brilliant question in the chat, on average, on an average day, how much time does a sickly to spend with sea level on education to make details relevant to corporate goals? You know, I think if we did a poll that everyone that is listening to this right now, I would imagine that that is not a lot, which is not a very scientific response to the question. But you know, far too little time is spent doing that. And I think far too little time has been spent by the C suite, getting an understanding of what we really need, in terms of measuring the experience effectively. Preach over,

Nick Glimsdahl 38:18

You can’t stop now I have a follow up question. So what do the CX profession professionals do about it?

Ian Golding 38:25

So what I think we do need, whether leaders feel that they need to be educated or not, we need to find a way of bringing to life, what customer experience measurement really means. And it brings us back to the science of CX actually, and it brings us back to the competencies defined by the CXPA. Because there are many members of the C suite who do think that customer experience measurement is a net promoter score. And, you know, well, that is a metric. But you know, there is a competency all of its own called metrics, measurement and ROI, you know, what on earth is that it’s not just an NPS score. And it’s this lack of understanding of the marriage, as I call it, between what we do our processes, and the way the customer feels about it in the journey. And it’s giving them a real understanding that getting control a measurable control of what we do every day that enables the customer to interact with us. That’s where we unlock the real magic. But, you know, if I were to tell you I’ve shared knowledge with 20,000 people over the last nine years, and less than 2% of them have represented the C suite that helps substantiate what Lorraine’s question is really getting.

Nick Glimsdahl 39:47

Now you get to stop for and take a take a quick drink and then I’ll come back. Lewis, how do you align CX metrics with that driven or with the direct revenue impact? I mean, when it comes to customer effort, CSAT, NPS and more.

Lewis Taylor  40:06

Yeah, so I agree holistically on everything, instead about metrics. And I think we have to be careful about over rotating on the metrics themselves. That’s it. And that’s where a lot of CX professionals live in that medium ground of success. And don’t reach that, like euphoria of success with CX because they rely too much on the metrics. And I’ll get to how this ties in in a second. So when we think about NPS and CES and C stat, and you know those things, they all have a place, don’t get me wrong, they just need to be used effectively. But how can you tie that in with revenue is all about the moments that matter with a customer? And how you recover from that will be key to what that looks like for future state in revenue from a customer? So should we focus on a customer gave us an NPS of 10, six months ago? Or should we focus on the moments that matters today, for customers, for me is more about the moments that matter today, because we all know, NPS trailing indicator anyway. So if you’re not careful, by the time you catch up, your customers gone anyway. So it is all about focusing on the moments that matter today. Now, do I use metrics to help kind of tie that in? Absolutely. But the key focus for me is still about voice of the customer. And the moments that matter for the customer at that time. And how do I make those moments that matter? Better for those customers? Yeah,

Nick Glimsdahl  41:47

Well said, Jeb, back to you, man. Do you? Do we need to not preach so much about customer experience, but maybe focus on those business outcomes? Which you’re so passionate about? Yeah. Maybe not as the end, but you’re pretty passionate?

Jeb Dasteel 42:03

No, I am. I like very much what Lewis said. And I love every single thing that Ian said, and may take it to the extreme in terms of bluntness, actually, I even think that the terminology, CX or customer experience can actually be limiting. For all the reasons that we’ve just talked about over the last 10 minutes. I think we tend to come across too often as very metrics oriented, as we’ve said very well. And I also think we can come across as being too process oriented. And I think both of those things need to be really focused on. I do think that if we focus on customer outcomes on his customer business outcomes, actually measurable, demonstrable results, you really can’t go wrong. I mean, really, if you think about it this way, what what’s the point of tracking NPS and celebrating NPS scores, if you can’t relate it to how you’re actually engaging with customers, how you’re helping them to achieve their desired business outcomes, and how intense how, in turn, you turn that into real results for your own organization. I do think that NPS and similar measures can give you a bit of runway but really, honestly, just a bit of runway. I think for really, for sustained improvements and real competitive change or competitive advantage, you do need to focus on outcomes. And it’s those outcomes that will then be, you know, meaningful to your chief financial officer, Chief Operating Officer and the chief or CEO.

Nick Glimsdahl 43:35

Yeah, when you’re not aligning those business outcomes, you’re kind of pushing the rope uphill, it’s you’re getting those incremental wins, but it’s not aligning with business outcomes. So it’s not strategic at all. At least that’s what it sounds like to me. So based off of that, how do you prioritize what you fix and when, to me, it’s, it’s

Jeb Dasteel 43:54

some what I sort of touched on a little earlier, it’s about having a framework in place that helps you make decisions about where to invest because at the end of the day, it’s entirely about what you’re investing on, and how and if you’re not figuring out the right priorities, you probably don’t have the right kind of framework in place that helps you think through things about how we acquire customers, how we retain customers, how we help customers, and measure their adoption of our products and services, how we encourage and see results in terms of customers being brand advocates for us on how we minimize the amount of effort or the or maximize the ease of doing business with us. I mean, those are the kinds of things that you need to be focused on. You can measure every one of those things and take it to the extreme beyond the extreme. But really, every one of those things has to come into play when you think about what the framework needs to be for how you operate day to day, how you present yourself to the rest of the organization and as we said, especially for representing yourself to products or engineering to sales to marketing And you can’t, if you can do all of those things, then you’ve got a real shot at defining what the priorities are in terms of what you do for a second. And third.

Nick Glimsdahl 45:11

Yeah, Lewis, it sounds like you are doing this really? Well. Anything else you want to add to that?

Lewis Taylor 45:16

Yeah, it is. I take it back to the customer feedback loop moments that matter, of course, and then, you know, brand where you are in the market space. And how do you get there, and the ultimate thing is, making sure that you are getting outcomes for customers, when they have those. And when I say moments that matter, these are critical touch points, meaning customers were confused about something or I didn’t understand something about your product, or the pricing or, or I’m just not sure about this, those to me are all moments that matter. And from a customer student’s perspective, that’s where we’ve got to get in. And those are truly places where we can then go back and communicate to the C suite and our cross functional partners that here are some key moments that matter. Here’s what the business outcome would look like if we saw or touched on those moments that matter. And then here’s the roadmap for what that looks like if we go tackle those.

Nick Glimsdahl 46:27

And then when it comes to having these customer experience goals, having business outcomes, where’s the line is the line you know, I’ll throw it to Anton, is it? It? Is the job done if you just beat your competition and the best in your industry, or when is that job done?

Anton de Wet 46:47

Well, that’s a great question. And actually, while I was listening to do a speak there, another example that we had recently about getting the job done and what is the job to be done is the real live example of dealing with a pandemic and dealing with COVID-19 impact of lockdown. So what that means for us, is we were closing down branches, we had experienced, you know, had some of the initial phases, phases of infection rates. We were monitoring every day, almost by the hour, the social media sentiment that was coming from people’s frustration and really frustration, clients frustration out of, on the one hand, their own anxiety in terms of their personal safety, and how do they carry on doing this banking but more securely. And on the other hand, the financial outcomes is very many people suffered the impact of downsizing and the likes. So we had to communicate, and debt relief programs across different products across different channels. We had people rocking up at one particular branch, I need to find that at a close because overnight, that there was an infection that had been discovered. And I think this stress tested our whole ability to be able to say, well, how do we empathize for what we want these customers to experience, and bring the whole machinery to work together? That was everything from the social listening center, and that real time live sentiment analysis of what people were feeding and saying, How can we translate that into how we could operationalize and communicate back to the markets are the in terms of our public relations and media statements, on the one hand, and on the other hand, into our own branch networks and our contact centers, preparing scripts overnight, updating the websites, said became a very holistic piece around the whole organization rallying around, doing the right thing, and not chasing, you know, to follow the thread of the conversation early on, not chasing just a single metric, as the desired outcome, or in that moment, not necessarily looking at how this beats the competition. And the job’s not done. When you’ve when you’ve when you beat the competition by any of these measures. I think the job’s done when you’ve when you’ve become as good as you can. And I don’t know if you ever get there, but you strive to get better and better and better being more meaningful in resonating with what this market is looking to have accomplished through in our instance, through financial services.

Nick Glimsdahl 49:10

Yeah, customer experience is constantly evolving, and it’s constantly trying to competition is always going to try to find a way to improve and get better to and customers’ expectations are constantly increasing. But Ian, what are your thoughts on that?

Ian Golding 49:27

Again, I am nodding away vigorously it everything hands on saying and I love the expression that Anton used actually which I think is an expression that more of us should be using with leaders and that is operationalizing customer experience. You know that that it this does never and again, for all of the reasons that we’ve just heard, customer needs, wants and expectations are changing all the time. The environment that we live in is changing all the time. We means that we’ve got to constantly be adapting the experience to better meet the needs and expectations of customers. And, you know, the one thing I want to just add to this is that when we talk about when we’ve beaten the competition, have we done it? What we must do as a profession, and I’m talking to the professionals now, is empathize with the C suite. We talk a lot about empathizing with customers and empathizing with employees and colleagues. But do us as professionals empathize with the C suite enough, because it’s too easy for us to sit there and throw rocks at the C suite for what we might consider to be decisions that are just not the right thing to do. But the C suite themselves are under a huge amount of pressure from their bosses, shareholders. And you know, the shareholders are demanding financial returns in the short term. And the C suite is doing what they’ve been told. And we’ve got to empathize with that it takes a huge amount of courage for a member of C suite to fight against the shareholder. And when you look at some of the best examples of customer centric organizations, they were created that way. But transforming legacy businesses to become sustainably customer centric, takes a huge amount of courage when you’re at that top level. And that’s why it’s more and more important for us to show the suite that we’re not there to humiliate them, we’re not there to make their lives difficult. We’re there to help them. We’re there to enable them to achieve what they’ve been asked to do by the shareholder. And so I think it’s really important as a CX community globally, that we become empathetic not just to the customer and the employee, but to the C suite and the shareholder as well.

Nick Glimsdahl 51:58

Yeah, that’s, that’s a lot of pressure. And I think empathy is definitely important to the customer, and everyone else, but it’s a good point to bringing it back to the C suite and providing them an empathy. But just as important, what we’ve talked about throughout this entire time is bringing data and ways to fix their problems along with giving them empathy. So Jeff, what doesn’t the C suite wants to talk about when it comes to customer experience?

Jeb Dasteel 52:28

Quite a lot, actually, as it turns out, and I think that it’s pretty clear that they don’t want to hear about emotions or feelings. And I think you can also say that they don’t want to hear about process. And we’ve kind of covered a lot of this. And honestly, they don’t want to talk about metrics that don’t clearly relate to the business results that they need to have and see as sustaining the business. And on the process side of that I think and maybe this is heresy for many people on this call. But I think that while journey mapping and generally promoting customer experience is great, I could argue that that there maybe should be some sort of a broader term that that transcends what a lot of us think about as customer experience. But it has to be seen as a means to an end. It’s not all about the process, the process is a means to an end. And that means to an end kind of goes back to what I was saying before. And that is it’s about measurable business results for your customer and then finding the way or putting the strategy in place to capitalize on that customer success for your own business.

Nick Glimsdahl 53:38

Yeah, I feel like there’s, there’s been a big theme throughout this entire talk, and we still got a little bit of time to go but what it’s all about, you know, delivering on the facts versus the feelings and in business outcomes. So I’m going to push it over to Ian now. How important is it to have the chief customer officer kind of filter the emotion because there’s a lot of passion and customer experience, but filter it back to the actionable insights.

Ian Golding 54:09

I think it is a vital role of a CCO. But to a degree, it’s a vital role of everyone. But filtering. The emotion is very important because what we mustn’t allow is for the conversation around emotion to veer towards the negative. You know, ultimately, this needs to be done in a balanced way. And I think one of the challenges that I’ve observed over the last couple of years is that coming back to this point about our obsession with metrics, we’ve become so reliant on big quantitative studies, big quantitative surveys where we are pushing surveys to customers to get feedback. We’ve forgotten. And I’m using the generalization of we, we’ve forgotten that our organizations are receiving valuable insight every single second of every day, through our contact centers, through day to day contact with other functions through social media. And it’s the distillation of all of that information that should be being used to demonstrate how customers feel about the organization. And we’ve probably all been in a scenario where a CEO has seen one negative tweet. And I totally overreacted to one thing that they’ve seen. Happens when they’re not receiving good collated information that allows them to understand how customers are feeling across the board, there are always going to be outliers of emotion. But we must combine all sources of customer feedback, not just those big quantitative surveys. And we need to make sure that we don’t just hear about the ugly, but we hear about the good as well. And it’s that balanced understanding that allows us to draw a conclusion.

Nick Glimsdahl 56:16

Yeah. And I’ll stick with you on the next question, too. So I think everybody, every organization, at least should have a customer experience strategy. But do you believe that every department should also have a CX strategy that kind of pushes down?

Ian Golding 56:31

It’s a very good question. And regrettably, far too few organizations still, to this day, have a strategy at all? I think it is, I often have to reference the ideal world, which we know doesn’t exist. But in an ideal world, the organization should have defined its strategy at the top. But what I call an overarching customer experience strategy that cascades down. The danger of strategy being developed, Depart mentally, or by business unit is that they’re created in isolation, in isolation of other departments, other functions, and it doesn’t align to the overarching objectives of the organization. And most businesses, however, many departments or business units that happen to be customers can interact across all of them. And if they can interact across all of them, but you’ve got all of these into independent strategies, it’s no wonder that customers end up having so many random experiences. And it is absolutely right, if there is no strategy at all, for a department to potentially champion it. But what they mustn’t do is champion it just for their own little bubble. And forget about the rest of the organization.

Nick Glimsdahl 57:52

Yeah, you’re totally right. When there’s different departments, the challenge in different goals, the challenges is that the customer only sees you as one company. And kind of going back to the customer experience strategy, though, is where where would there be resistance is? When there is that that push down of that strategy? You said there’s their separate departments. But anything else you want to add to that? On the resistance side?

Ian Golding 58:18

I think resistance comes largely from the general lack of understanding in the first place as to what a customer experience strategy actually is. And because of that lack of understanding of what it is, very often, there is an unspoken view that Well, what do we need one for? You know, we’ve got a business strategy, what do we need a customer experience strategy for? And that, to a degree, again, comes back to this lack of education, of understanding what I call the strategic balance between what the business wants and what the customer wants, that the other interesting source of resistance is a lack of insight, a lack of understanding as to what the fundamental needs, wants and expectations of the customer are in the first place. And so defining what we want the experience to be what will people just don’t know how to define it. So this is less about resistance. It’s more about a lack of information, and lack of knowledge. And that comes back to why very often senior leaders members of the C suite don’t talk about this stuff, because they don’t have the information. And if they don’t have the information, well, it’s not a problem. And you know, I talk about phases of customer experience readiness, the first phase being the acknowledge phase, which not politically correctly, I call the alcoholic face, because this is where leaders don’t want to admit there’s a problem. And far too often, there are organizations and members of the C suite who are thinking what do we need to learn about customer experience for? We’re doing already? We’ve been doing it for years, we got CRM, and what are we worrying about this fall? You know, I’m sure the C suite at Toys R Us was saying that for many years before they cease to exist, but you know that these that this is why I know I keep banging on about the need for continuing education. But you know, just because you sit on the C suite doesn’t mean you know it all.

Nick Glimsdahl 1:00:26

Well said, another passionate rant from Ian and I love it. I knew I had you on the on the panel. So Lewis, how do you make that case? He talks about communication. We talked about a bunch of stuff, but what else do you want to add to that?

Lewis Taylor 1:00:46

Yeah, so it starts at the top. And he mentioned also, you know, being aligned on the goal. So it starts at the very top of when you’re building your strategy for the company. Customer smears needs to be in that core strategy. And then as you’re trickling down, each particular piece or organization, as it aligns to that strategy also needs to represent their piece of the customer experience as it ties into the overall larger strategy. So as long as they’re tied into the overall larger strategy, then you don’t have to worry about someone growing, going rogue and doing something totally different in another direction. And I think this is where the customer experience organization does come in. Because as you find your pieces in the overall company strategy, then it’s up to you to go work with those different organizations, and get them bought into how they influenced that overall customer strategy at a company level, and how their piece influences what they’re doing. How does their piece give them better outcomes? And then how does that influence or how does that transition into a better experience, or offer the company from a financial perspective and to the customer from a use case perspective, as I’m using your company for products and services. So it starts at the top, every organization needs to be bought into that, but they also have to have a tie in. And you as the customer experience leader, you have to own that piece and make sure that they’re tie into the overall customer experience strategy as it ties into the company strategy. And I don’t mean your customer experience strategy. I mean, the company’s strategy, because if you’re unified on one front, at the company level, it’s a lot easier to get all of the different organizations I into those pieces.

Nick Glimsdahl 1:02:47

Yeah, absolutely. So Anton, are our meeting customer experiences driven by people process and technology? Or, or is there more than that?

Anton de Wet 1:02:58

There’s definitely more I mean, it’s a great place to start those three are really, really critical. But when you think of, you know, I try and think of a brand and a brand promise, and their brand promises got to be something that initially, you know, appeals to somebody in terms of what you stand for, and what it is that you’re promising to experience. And then over a period of time, it’s going to be, you know, how that brand promises somebody actually experiences it. And that is more than just those three, as important as those three are, it really becomes how everything comes together. So certainly, I think I will see it is people technology process are critical, in terms of this piece. But in the absence of that cohesive strategy, in the absence of a culture that actually has everybody aligned to doing the right thing, understanding how their little piece pulls in the same direction of achieving this beautiful brand love, which in its own right then ultimately results in the in the in those business outcomes. So I think it’s I think it’s a lot more. And I really love the thread of conversation just before this one because it’s, it’s exactly how we’ve got to build upon that. It’s how you make sense of what you stand for. It’s our any customer experiences you across all the touch points in every instance, what that translates to in the feelings, and then the behaviors as a result, and you can’t just rely on, you know, the tech program or the hiring strategy, or some other process to fix that. It’s really how that all fits together in a real client centered culture to do the right thing in the market and to get better and better and better at being able to do that more effectively.

Nick Glimsdahl 1:04:38

Yeah, yeah. I love that. You talked about beautiful brands, you could talk about beautiful brand love. The book focused on business outcomes. I see that in the future of Anton. So, Lewis, let me focus on the employees for a minute because I can’t talk about customer experience with I’m not talking about employee experience. So how companies should be asking employees to help improve that customer experience?

Lewis Taylor 1:05:07

Yeah. So it starts with Anton hit a piece of it. It starts with every employee, knowing where they fit in the company. Where do they tie you into the strategy? And the goals? And? And then how does your piece our customer journey on a smooth process? So it is clearly defining like, what your role is? How does it tie in? Where does it fit in with the strategy and the company direction, and then it’s all about hiring. And this is controversial in a way, but hiring people that are truly passionate about customer outcomes, and customers having great experiences along the way. And those are like key things. And then the other piece is making sure your folks don’t get wrapped around the metrics. Because you can come in and say, Well, my impact NPS is 60. I’m happy with that it’s okay. And folks will rest on those laurels. Right, but let’s face it, like the numbers are just telling a piece of the story. So what we need to get people bought in is seeing the rest of that story, which is reading the customer comments, understanding the customer pain points, taking a look at some of the moments that matter for customers. Being open and candid when they see something, say something

Nick Glimsdahl 1:06:43

You touched about, you touched a little bit about the passion in working away through that of finding the right people that are on the bus. So do you believe that? That should be one of the conversations or questions when you’re interviewing in the HR department? Around? How excited are you about customer experience?

Lewis Taylor 1:07:08

Absolutely, absolutely. It should be at if it’s not. Now this I can be slightly biased. But if it’s not one of the most important questions, it should definitely be in the top three. I mean, after all, you’re bringing someone into your company, and you’re now trusting them with your valued customers that costs you money to get in the first place and cost you even more money if you had to go replace them. So you really want someone who wants to be in your company and wants to make sure that your customer is having a good experience as they’re engaged with you.

Nick Glimsdahl 1:07:42

I love that. Jeb, anything you want to add to that?

Jeb Dasteel 1:07:46

A couple things and maybe even it goes back to the prior conversation. I think there’s a question I think I think there’s two really critical things that it’s our job to help the company see clearly and execute on one is that, that you if you talk about your customers as you’re as maybe you’re the most critical asset The company has, and you think about customers as an asset. I think that helps overcome some of the resistance. We talked about resistance earlier. I think the other thing that is maybe even arguably the most critical capability that we as customer strategy or customer experience, leaders need to have in our in our toolkit is the ability to lead by influence by think oftentimes, I mean, I see many times people who, in this in this profession, get frustrated, stop making progress, you know, really come to come to some sort of realization that they’re just not going to get from here to there yet. And that’s because they’re there waiting for the organization to give them organizational authority. And that will honestly likely never happen. What you need to do instead is have the right sort of tools that you can bring to bear that give you influence and leadership through influence. And you have to hire to that. I guess the other thing I’d like to say in terms of employees, I would say the voice of the employee is almost or maybe I should actually say is just as important as the voice of the customer. And I mean it’s your employees, whether you call them front office employees or back office employees is meaningless your employees who are engaging or maybe not engaging with your customers that will actually make the difference for you. I would also say that it’s often times the employees experience as the mirror image of your customer’s experience. I’ve seen that time and time again. Case in point when your employees are feeling the pain of the organization, not being easy to do business with it’s almost always the same exact reasons why your customers are suffering and why those customers may ultimately defect. And I think the last thing I’ll say on this is that your, your employees should be even from, I mean, certainly for large scale businesses at the enterprise level, but certainly for mid-market as well. Your employees at the end of the day are the best echo chamber that your organization can have in terms of advocating for your brand.

Nick Glimsdahl 1:10:22

Yeah, no, that’s great. The, the old analogy said that I like us as a married Guys, if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. And I think the same is true with your employees, though, right is if your employees are not happy, they’re a direct reflection to how they’re going to treat your customers. So with that analogy, I’m going to actually flip it over because I could keep asking you guys’ questions all day. But that’s not fair to the great listeners that we have here. So Gabe, do you want to jump back in and maybe throw a few questions on the board and get this thing started?

Gabe Smith 1:10:59

Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been nodding along laughing along to this discussion as well. So really, really enjoyed it. I know the audience has as well, we’ve got a few questions. Here. The first one I’ll bring up is from Munir, who asks, what are some obstacles for CX teams to be aligned with sales and marketing, it seems that sales and marketing is so heads down in lead generation. So I don’t know who wants to tip once to take that one. But we’d love your thoughts on this one.

Ian Golding 1:11:29

I don’t mind taking it if no one else is biting immediately. And the reason why I will take it is just coincidentally, among other things, I do quite a lot of work with the Chartered Institute of marketing in the UK. And marketers are a community who increasingly are recognizing that customer experience. Whilst it has been part of the marketing curriculum so to speak, there is a lack of understanding as to what customer experience really is, then how it aligns to marketing. And I think it comes back to what I said right at the beginning of the conversation about that principle of find win keep. Because traditionally, marketing, sales and marketing functions have been almost entirely focused on determining how to fill the funnel, you know how to find new business and win that business. And they’ve had such a powerful role, because we focused so much on the beginning of that funnel, where the focus has tended to tail away is how to keep it for as long as possible. And part of the problem is that sales and marketing have spent so much time trying to determine a good segmentation strategy to win business, there hasn’t been a clear enough understanding of how they connect to the other parts of the organization that deliver that end to end customer journey. And one of the things that I teach is the importance of getting a business to almost visualize itself as a chain of events, then every single employee, every team, every department, is a link in a metaphorical chain that enables customers to interact with your products and services. And unless those links in the chain are connected, and everyone understands their role, the whole thing breaks down. And unfortunately, too often sales and marketing functions that they’re very clearly a link, but it’s a link that’s not being effectively connected to other parts of the chain. So this once again demonstrates why one of the very important underlying principles of customer experiences, collaboration, you know, everything that we do as a profession needs to be about bringing people together, cross functional collaboration, because we deliver the experience together, not separately. And if we can get functions understanding how they come together, then we should be able to find win and keep

Gabe Smith 1:14:18

Yeah, Ian great insights and I want to be able to turn the spotlight on Nick since he’s done such a great job of answer asking the questions. Nick, any thoughts here on this question around you know, getting buy in from your sales and marketing or anything you want to add to what Ian said,

Nick Glimsdahl 1:14:35

Well, what is the benefit? Why should I care? And when I’m in customer or when I’m in sales and marketing it’s in every department? Its make me care? Why should I care when it comes to customer experience and how do I improve what I’m doing and if you can come back and tell me as a sales and marketing professional, why, what I’m doing is making a difference, or, hey, the way that I’m saying it In sales is maybe I should change it a little bit different have a different perspective, or, or just change the way I do marketing, but it better improve the way that I’m going to meet my objective because it’s the same thing as is doing this with the C suite is, if you’re not going to help me solve my objectives are making me do it faster, easier, or also create a better experience, then I would say that I’m just going to, I don’t, I don’t for all the people that watch football, college football is I call it the Heisman where it’s like, you keep them at arm’s distance. And you’re just, you just say yes. Okay. And then you don’t really do anything about it. And but if you actually show them why they should care, obviously, you have to do you have to have data and you have to do storytelling and have context behind it. But if not, then you’re its going to be a really tough, really tough going the way it my analogy earlier was pushing the rope uphill. So a focus on a lot of those things that are going to make people care instead of just trying to meet your objective.

Gabe Smith 1:16:02

Yeah. Great, great point. We had another question that come in, I think is interesting, because you were talking about getting this, this C level buy in? This person asks, What about scalability? I can get buy in from my direct report. But what about that next level where I have no touch points? How can we get buy in on a long bottom up ladder? So Anton or Jeb? Do you want to take that one?

Nick Glimsdahl 1:16:27

Jebs got it?

Jeb Dasteel 1:16:28

Okay, I’ll take it. Thank you. Um, yeah, I think it’s, it’s entirely about how your job is defined. And that’s, in large part, frankly, up to you or up to me up to us. And I really think that the job of a CX professional CX leader, as I sort of said it before, is it is a change agent is somebody who drives collaboration, somebody who really drives change through exercising influence without necessarily the organizational authority. So I think I think you’ve got a problem if you’re, if you’re stuck at not being able to get around or pastor through your immediate supervisor and that And that, to me is symptomatic of a pretty serious situation that you need to sort of step back and rethink. Is this really what my role is about? How am I going to make change? If it’s if it is that that’s, that’s probably not going to not going to work out for the organization?

Gabe Smith 1:17:28

Yeah, great point. Great points. Jeb. We got a really great question. Here in the chat that I want to bring in from Ravindra. Ravindra says, how does a multi-location multi country organization successfully execute CX initiatives? Especially when initiatives aren’t local, but are decided at a corporate level on local priorities impact execution of such initiatives? Hence this question, really fascinating question or vendor thanks for asking that. So anyone who wants to raise their hand to take this one? And you want to you want to take this? I mean, I’ll

Ian Golding 1:18:02

Respond just as someone who has worked in many environments like this in multiple industries, actually. And this is going to sound a little bit like a consulting answer to the question, because it does depend with injury. It depends on the organization, the industry and its level of maturity. But the work the bigger the organization, the more diversities, the more dispersed it is, the more important it becomes to go step by step. See, many organizations are trying to solve world hunger. And they realize too quickly that it’s just too difficult. And so, there is a risk that it will come to a juddering halt, because nothing seems to happen. It’s very important in my experience in a very large multinational, multi-site organization, to start small, and build. If there is a desire to do this, then start where either the need is greatest, or the desire to transform is greatest, you’ve got the greatest buy in and use that small case study to then start to expand across the organization, starting at the very top and cascading down is actually quite rare and quite unusual. And so I would say that you’ve got to set expectation as to how long this takes. This is a long term strategy. But let’s go step by step at a pace the organization kind of can accommodate start small and work outwards from there.

Gabe Smith 1:19:49

Yeah, I love what you said he and start were either the need or the desire. Our greatest makes a ton of sense.

Nick Glimsdahl 1:19:56

Anybody else want to jump in on that one?

Jeb Dasteel 1:19:57

Yeah, I’ll jump in. If I may. Yeah. I think there’s, I love starting small, and building kind of proof points or case studies, I would also say there’s a bit of a trick to it that I found. And the trick is, it turns out that most organizations, even the ones that are internally competitive with, you know, amongst one another, have a pretty substantial appetite for understanding what the best practices and lessons learned are by those that they may be internally competitive with. So I think the maybe the starting point, this is really, I suppose, where the trick is, is to start to facilitate a dialogue and bring organizations together across the company, whether it’s whether it’s really both cross line of business and cross geography, to facilitate a conversation about who’s doing what, and give everybody a platform for describing what they’re doing, and why it might be a best practice or what some of their painful lessons learned are. And that starts a dialogue, it starts to build credibility, and it starts to create a more collaborative atmosphere.

Gabe Smith 1:21:07

Yeah, Jeb, I love that. And one time to sort of scanning the comments here, I’m seeing a few comments that are generally are broadly focused on the sort of the role of or the intersection between CX and AI. So I want to give our panelists just some, some space to talk about that. I mean, what is the role of the CX professional, you know, is there engaging with the C suite and having conversations about AI?

Lewis Taylor 1:21:42

So I’m happy to start, I think we’ve, we’ve got caught in this wheel of technology has to solve all problems. Now, I do believe there’s a there’s a time and a place. And I believe, AI has a future in CX absolutely. But I think you have to find that balance of what makes sense from human touch, and what makes sense from an AI perspective. And, and, and there needs to be a strategy around that as well. So you should develop a roadmap. So if you’ve done the right things at the C suite, and you have a good strategy that you’re going to go execute on from a CS perspective, now, is it time Now is your time to look at from a CX perspective, in house? What am I going to go saw a forward process? What am I going to go solve for with a human touch? What am I going to go solve for with technology or AI, and you should have a blend or a mix of those. And there’ll be higher and lower at different times, depending on where you’re at on the strategy. But there needs to be a good mix. But one won’t be the all in everything. And neither will the human touch, I think we gone are the days where the human touch solves all problems. Because we’re living in a now generation where customers want it now. And they want it, they want it not just now they wanted it yesterday. In other words, they want you to be ahead of them when they come in to engage with you. They want you to already meet them in the product. They want you to know the problems they’re facing. And they want you to have an insight into what challenges how do you get ahead of those. So some of that can be done with AI and some others still needs to be done with it with a human touch. And it needs to be a good balance of that. And it’ll be different depending on where you’re at in the strategy.

Nick Glimsdahl  1:23:41

Yeah, let me just touch on that. Because I think it’s important. I love what Lewis is saying, I think when it comes to AI, it’s not the end all be all and either as the is the is the employee, I mean, finding ways to automate the routine, and fix a lot of those pain points on the back end. So when you need to have those Crucial Conversations with the with the customer, you can have that person but you need to figure out ways to do password resets when inside the contact center contact center, the employee is the is the largest expense inside the contact center. So find ways to drive efficiencies for those people. And if it’s AI and trying to find ways to create hybrids for those contact center agents, then do that. It’s not all about our one or the other. I think you need to have a healthy blend, like Lewis said.

Gabe Smith 1:24:37

Yeah, that’s Anton Yeah, go for it.

Anton de Wet 1:24:40

So I get very excited by the prospect of AI and how it can actually be used. Ultimately, and I just think of, you know, data analytics on the one hand being, you know, predictive, but more importantly, preventative, you know, so all of those pieces around using AI to be able to intervene Ahead of a problem actually occurring can actually have massive impact in terms of a client experience with a brand over time. And then even just, you know, nudges, notifications, and alerts. There’s an awful lot of AI and the data and the use of data, and being able to land a message at the right time where the right tone on the right platform, and AI has got a huge role to play in being able to help us make better sense of that more effectively. But I’d agree you know, you can’t lose the human touch, you can’t surrender everything, just to technology, these must be tools that help us achieve, you know, a bit of experience with our base, but I can see that the role of AI can play in terms of making the client experience a much better one.

Gabe Smith 1:25:49

Yeah. Anton great thoughts. And I’m just going to sort of scanning the comments and just sort of marveling at the number of comments that we’ve had around, just agreeing. Great discussion. Nick is doing a great, great job as host. A lot of well said and a lot of agreement. You know, I think it’s notable that this has been a 90 minute broadcast. And we’re still having an extremely high viewership. That’s happening right now. So I think it speaks to the interest in the topic, as well as your expertise and sharing your insights. So thank you all for contributing to this discussion. Nick. Fantastic job of hosting. Kudos really well done. I know some folks may have some interest in learning more about you, or as well as about your podcast. So where can Where can they learn more about you?

Nick Glimsdahl 1:26:47

Yeah. So I appreciate that. And I’ve had a blast to just start there. And I want to say thanks to the panelists and to everybody who’s joined. What an opportunity to get together these awesome crew people, these experts to share and talk about something so important. So the press one for next podcast. Yeah, you can go to the press one for And you can also go to LinkedIn and type in press one for Nick. And yeah, we interview customer service and customer experience professionals, like the panelists you have here. Everybody except Anton, I’m going to have to pull his arm and, and get him on the podcast, but and feel free to jump on connect with me. And I highly suggest you to also connect with these experts. Like these guys have a ton of thought leadership, and have a lot to say, in our valuable resources for you. So please connect with these guys, too.

Gabe Smith 1:27:47

Yeah, I believe we’ve had so many comments that sort of aged out of my stream, but we posted the link earlier to your Twitter, into your Twitter as well. Yeah, connect with these great gentlemen and social media. Thank you all for a great discussion today. Really appreciate each of you.

Ian Golding 1:28:04

Thank you so much for hosting it.

Gabe Smith 1:28:09

Absolutely. And so, not to be I’d be remiss if I did not mention, we hope you’ll join us this coming Friday, as we reveal our CXPA Emerging Leader awards are the first inaugural class of Emerging Leader Award winners that’s happening this coming Friday at 2pm. Eastern time. So we really hope that you’ll get a chance to join us. Thanks for sticking around with us hanging out with us. Thanks to all the panelists, all of you for asking great questions. Hope to see you again here next Friday. Have a great week, everyone.