Episode released: 14. June 2021
CX Goalkeeper with Bjoern Kaelin – S1E26 is about leadership, empathy and the ART of collaboration – Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper
The CX Goalkeeper had a smart discussion with Björn Kälin
– His definition of empathy: feeling into something.
– The target is to understand customers’ feelings and acting on feelings (including what to do next)
– We are all humans, and we are not the same every day.
– Anthrolytics is the solution. By sensing and predicting emotions, it gives advice on how to react on them.
– This is the solution to biased surveys. Which one is not biased? 😁
– Behind every interaction there is a human. By leveraging each interaction and collecting data from all the touchpoints, it is possible to understand how an interaction was influenced.
– Anthrolytics gives you the emotional state of a customer.
The ART of collaboration, an outstanding article written by Björn. Collaboration is linked to feelings and emotions, which are defined with 3 main pillars:
– A as ACCEPT and ACKNOWLEDGE: Every person is different, UNIQUE. A happy person is not the same as the same unhappy person.
– R as RESPECT that there are different ideas, thoughts and feelings.
– T as TOLERATE
– The ART of collaboration helps to work together with people you don’t like
We are continuously in meetings, therefore use these hints
– Always assume good intention
– Leaders speak last
– Be there in the moment
His book suggestion
– Eleven Rings, Phil Jackson
Björn’s golden nugget:
“Don’t forget we are humans, we all have feelings, we all have emotions, we all expect something. The company, a business is more humans together, but it is important that we understand that and we are aware of that. It’s not rocket science. “
Thank you, Björn and Anthrolytics Ltd
“We are biological and not logical”
Gregorio Uglioni 0:03
Ladies and gentlemen, a big pleasure to have Björn Kaelin on with me for us more discussion about customer experience, innovation transformation, Hi Björn how are you?
Björn Kaelin 0:14
Hi, Gregorio, very well, I hope you are doing well as too,
Gregorio Uglioni 0:18
I am very happy to have you on this show for this smart discussion. And therefore, let’s really start. Bjoern, could you please introduce yourself, for the audience?
Björn Kaelin 0:29
Sure. And with a big pleasure, Gregorio, and also everyone listening, and Lauren, first and foremost, I’m a husband and a father to two great girls that are my treasure here. And I’m one of the co founders of a company called analytics, we are specializing in digital empathy. And we’ll bring that to the next level. And personally, myself, I’m a customer experience enthusiast, and also leadership advisor, help you shake these strategies in their gut, more than 20 years experience in that area, was able to lead projects in one or two countries, total 35 countries so far and counting. And what’s also not unimportant I’m a customer myself are some great companies, and not so great companies there.
Gregorio Uglioni 1:17
I think this is the usual issue or topic that we all have, we are in the business, but we are also customers. And we are also family fathers, or we are partners, and we are playing quite a lot of different roles. And I think empathy plays always an important role. Could you please elaborate a bit? What really do you mean speaking about digital empathy.
Björn Kaelin 1:42
Empathy is very important element that actually, it’s interesting translation, it’s the translation of a German word. And it can be used actually three different different formats. What basically people understand by empathy these days is what we call in German, and feudal Sturmovik and field into somebody. Digital empathy, as such, is really trying to understand a customer’s feelings. And not only trying to understand, but also understand what he’s about to do next, he or she are about to next with that feeling. You know a lot about demographic segmentation, or if you’re an advanced can’t be psychographic segmentation. So we do need space segmentation, and then we fall into a category. But we all are humans, we are not the same every day. Sometimes we’re feeling happy, but it can be used that we’re all up for it to do this with that company. Other times if you’ve just received this strange email or had this strange interaction somewhere, and nothing that that’s strong mode, so I’m more hesitant. Maybe you think about switching and digital empathy, important really kicks does it’s really sensing not only sensing does emotion, but actions are predicting those emotions, and also giving advice and how to react to those becoming more human in business.
Gregorio Uglioni 3:11
And I think this is really a key topic. If I try to use an example, the happy CX goalkeeper would buy something but an unhappy CX goalkeeper, even if it’s exactly the same person have exactly the same demographics or I hope so at least I would not buy something. And I think you mentioned something that I think it’s really relevant and to kickstart also the discussion, you spoke about segmentation. I think the most of the companies are doing segmentation, 2 – 3 – 4 segments, perhaps could you be to explain where you come from segments to this digital empathy?
Björn Kaelin 3:50
Well, the segments, deep deep in my heart and the marktier. And let’s be honest, there have been 235 Different visions have it but I’ve been educated Kellogg in the US. So it’s Kotter, Kotter, it’s four Ps and the four Ps are still out there. And four Ps are really the consequence of my strategic work that I do. It’s segmentation, targeting and positioning. So any marketing strategy, any business starts with segmentation. And we see now more and more companies going towards segments of one. So ideally, if I look at the big you and me live in Switzerland. So if I look at the big retailers, they try to really segment me into my very one purine segment or into the CX goalkeeper segment, trying to understand me better through my buying behavior. So had hence the segmentation is very important because it allows them to hyper target or hyper personalize it. And what we’re adding to that is not only we’re looking at your buying behavior, but we’re also looking at your emotions. state of the art really understanding how we how can we predict, predict with assert with with some certainty, whether you’re happy sCX goalkeeper or whether you’re not so happy CX goalkeeper. And what to do in each case, at that moment, even though you’ve bought the very same things before.
Gregorio Uglioni 5:20
I think you did quite an interesting example. And that’s what also we are facing now, due to COVID, we started buying to retailers online, and these retailers are offering us always exactly the same products, which we already bought. And at the end, I can understand it because they think, okay, they will buy them again. But I would like also to get different offers, as you said, perhaps based, it’s difficult for them based on my emotions, but at least based on the different seasons that we have. And not always this the same tomatoes or the same salad. But but something different. And now you’re saying that emotions is one additional step in order to understand or to steer the buying behavior of people? Is this correct?
Björn Kaelin 6:08
That’s, that’s correct. And in that sense, also more data relationship that you’re keeping with with someone. as probably many, many of your viewers My background is also in customer insights. So you do a lot of surveys, what to find out where where customers are and whether they are about to recommend you to a friend or colleague on a scale from zero to 10. Yes or no? What’s what’s more important there than achieving a certain number. And I understand NPS numbers are great. But what you actually really try to find out is who sits where is somebody sitting on the fence? Is somebody clearly one of your promoters? Can you engage that person more? Or is somebody a detractor and extra jumps and talks about about? But what do you actually read, what you also want to do there is trying to understand what makes them do that. And you me, we know, we’ve done probably, I don’t know how many surveys you’ve run at your career in CX, but service always have a biased aftertaste taste. And you need to have this lens in front of you to understand, alright, that’s this lens that you need to bring in. What if you now actually could do the same thing without a biased questionnaire, but actually with by observing a certain behavior?
Gregorio Uglioni 7:27
What you’re saying it’s, I think it’s something that people are we should think about, because as long as we are creating always the same service, and perhaps we already know what we wanted to achieve, and this is the good enpass number, and it’s all about getting this number better and better and better, then perhaps you can try to find out ways which question to ask, or even, let’s say better or worse, depending on which side you’re looking at, you can ask at a specific point in time, and the customer doesn’t know for example, is issues was already fixed. And you ask him, is it fixed? The customer look at them as it should be fixed? It’s fine. Yes. First context resolution. Yes. And this is, I think it’s something that we need to think about. And and going back to this empathy topic, perhaps it’s already difficult to understand this empathy and to empathize with people through this digital channel, like we are discussing now. How can you create something that it’s really working in a b2c world?
Björn Kaelin 8:35
It’s based on data. That’s one thing, but it’s based on data that enables people humans to act more human, all the interactions behind every interaction, there are humans. There’s there’s tons of AI around. But AI is nothing else than also had some human input at one stage. And it was become aware of that to humanize that piece. This this perfect interaction of analytics from available data and recommendation, but then still having a human interface interacting. That’s the that’s the key there also on large scale B to C. Operations.
Gregorio Uglioni 9:20
I understand but perhaps to deep dive into really understanding that you’re saying yes, we can do that, because there there is enough data available. How much data do you really need to understand if Now be honest, happy or unhappy? Because let’s say from the speaking and what we are discussing, I feel that you are interested in the discussion, but I am not really feeling if you are happy or unhappy, if I would now try to sell you the subscription to my podcast if you would say yes, I will do that or no. Perhaps Can you elaborate on that?
Björn Kaelin 9:55
Yeah. What there I would recommend you in order to find out more and This is where we’re going to really to understand what are the decisive events you’ve have interacted with me? How? How did I react to those? And what have you done, you ate yourself Gregorio. While you’re in my interactions, you had so much data about myself that and we see that most companies, they are not interconnected. The know how that you have. And the knowledge that you have in house is not actually connected. In order to understand how a customer interaction or customer experience really was influenced. We have almost most cases we have lots of call center data, which is then really almost walled from other data that you have. And that’s that are that are interesting things. And if we talk in our in an omni channel environment these days, it’s, on one hand, people have more interactions with you, they are in touch more and more with your brand. But they’re not always at the same spot interacting with you or with the same person. Now you’re under mute.
Gregorio Uglioni 11:19
Sorry, this is to this. The issue of, of these these tools. Now, what I what you’re saying, I think it’s really key and understand that why well, and perhaps to challenge a bit to discussion or to bring out another point of view on the topic, Dr. explained, because for me, it’s it’s really key, what you’re saying it’s at the end, it’s not b2b or b2c, but it’s human to human. And this is always about interactions. And there, my question is, let’s think now, one step more outside in an holistic and holistic way, an interaction with a brand is all sometimes it’s only one piece of a bigger customer experience or a big, a bigger journey. I want to buy something, therefore, I need to select the product, but I need to pay, I need to checkout. And at the end also, let’s say the post need needs to deliver what I bought. And I think if it would be possible even to have a bit broader view on this topic, then it would be even better able to steer these decisions.
Björn Kaelin 12:25
That that’s perfectly true. And you mentioned interesting field where as you say, you say b2b and b2c or h2h, I usually say b2b and b2c are to people to people, but human to human, I like I like it as well, because it’s, it’s more it’s also very humanistic. And what you also mentioned, and it has a question, who owns the brand? And to what extent can you actually manage the brand? If I order a pair of very nice sneakers that got three stripes on it? I usually go to solando. And that’s a Lando, it’s an aggregator they just they, they they stock my stuff, then I start to order it from solando here in Switzerland, and some warehouse in Amsterdam, is shipping me the stuff. But is it actually okay, the warehouse might not even belong to salaam might be operated by third party? So how do we ensure that I still got the same experience? More so if I buy those those very nice sneakers with those nice three stripes on it? I get them delivered by my local postman or by some UPS guy or by somebody who’s delivering the DPD or Federal Express package. Somebody have become really almost dehumanized at this stage. So where’s the brand relationship? Who do I have a relationship with? And how can I increase that? So in that sense, Salonga would be very interested in keep that running. And keep that very strongly under control. In that sense. They are selling you meet their stuff. So I technically buy from from from Zalando, even though I could switch to Amazon, if even if I could switch to anybody else. But they want to keep me on their platform. And but they also have tons of data about what they’ve done. I don’t need any other data, really to understand how much I’m going to buy not what but how I feel in money.
Gregorio Uglioni 14:30
I think as you’re saying there are quite quite a lot of data. And more than enough data and and the next big frontier next to digital empathy. It’s also how these different companies can collaborate, as you assume you already mentioned this topic, platform. And basically, I think this will be the key to have an end to end experience that is working well. And as you’re saying, also linked and base Based on the different emotions and steer, also, this is experience based on them. And you spoke about collaboration between companies. And perhaps let’s go back to people to people or human to human. I read I read and really interesting article you wrote, it’s about the art of collaboration. And it’s about how to collaborate also, with people we don’t like. And I think we are back in the feelings and the emotions, the emotion side, they think we know what are the main topics that are driving you, could you please elaborate a bit on this article,
Björn Kaelin 15:34
I come back, I can go into that, like I like I like the topic of emotions, because I grew up in a company that was full of engineers. If you have engineers combined with with finance people, you basically then come back and say, No, emotions only come in in the way if you want to take a decision, are careful. If you don’t have any emotions, you cannot, you will not be able to take decisions. So that’s emotions are really key to taking decisions, positive emotions help you to go in the article you’re referring to as this is a concept I’m using in my leadership practice, as well, what I want to make a very important point, what we do with digital empathy is not empathy training, as you usually would do it with, with customer experience people to say, alright, you have to listen more, you have to acknowledge what people are saying, or that we’re actually really in the business of analyzing data. And in the business of digital empathy, what you will get from us is really the emotional state of your, of your, of your clients. So having said that, I’ll come back to the to the art of the art of I call it the art of collaboration, it’s something I’ve had the luxury of really working in projects on 3540 different countries. And, for instance, it took me about 10 years to learn how to collaborate with people from Spain. And I was nothing against them. It was just, I was little bit hesitant. But it’s really because I didn’t realize one thing, and that’s the first aid, you have to accept and acknowledge people are not people unique. People are not the same. Every person is different. Gregorio is different, and happy, very curious, different from scientific or as well here. But already, just knowing and being aware that people are different. That’s a very important thing. Coming back to what we said about segmentation before, we try to make buckets as big as possible. Because that makes it simpler. It’s one size fits all for everybody. But people are not like that. There’s not not an average person. There is Gregorio, their spirit, there’s other people out there. And we’re different. But realizing that and we think different our brains are magical machines. And the great thing is we’re not logical, we’re biological, that’s an important difference. So one thing is really to acknowledge and accept. But almost more important is the second element, the our respect. And that also goes for customer respect that there’s differences. That’s okay. We all we also say when we were when we were developing stuff, the more diverse of the more diversity in thinking you have, the better usually gal comes because you look at one thing from different angles, and you can go ahead with with a better solution, when you have an environment that allows you for discussion. And that’s often the case that not many environments allow that discussion. There is one simple rule that I give when I work together with leaders, leaders speak last. This is how you can learn more from your team, engage your team, that’s when you can learn from, that’s when you can also understand where they’re coming from, they might have a completely different and strange view on things. Let them speak, you get to get to a better outcome. And the third element to T in this art of collaboration is really also tolerate differences. That is great. The more the merrier. I’m always trying to say that that’s an English, saying that makes really bringing more people together. So it’s the art of collaboration helps really to work together also with people that you don’t like. And too often we feel threatened by people we don’t like and if we’re threatened. We’re actually not open to think creatively not only to come to a great conclusion, but we’re put into the things that we always know. And this openness, understanding helps us becoming safer. Helps us also to find better solutions in
Gregorio Uglioni 19:55
if I understand well and A is accept, R is respect and T is tolerate. And perhaps now that you explain that, do you have some technique techniques that you can or are willing to share with us in order really to risk to work based on this role? As you said, for example, leaders speak last, do you have older techniques that we could leverage in meetings, because at the end, we are always in meetings,
Björn Kaelin 20:29
we’re always in meetings, and one of maybe one advice that I can give is always assume good intentions. It’s no, not many people get up in the morning and say, hey, now I’m going to break that meeting, or now and I’m gonna really do some stupid remarks. We’re all focused on finding solutions. We’re all focused on getting ahead. And that’s I think that’s, that’s, that’s a good point to start always assume good intentions when collaborating.
Gregorio Uglioni 21:01
And what’s about motivation of people, because I fully understand I fully agree, and I fully respect what you’re saying, meaning that people are woke up in the morning, and they are not saying, I want to create issues, or I want to deliberately kill a project or something like that. But you see often that people perhaps are not so motivated to what’s your view on that?
Björn Kaelin 21:24
I think also there, it’s good to take too often also separate meetings, I would separate operational meetings from meetings where you then also often discuss around Okay, where are you? We’re not talking about tree hugging here, by the way. These are these are really important concepts. Really, how do you feel? What is your intention? Where do you want to go? And particularly right now in in this situation, we’ve been stuck at home for the last 12 months. And we discussed in our pre session that we’ve been here in Switzerland, compared to other countries, we’ve just been in paradise, that sense that we could walk around free, but still, professionally, we’ve been stuck at home connecting. And that’s, that’s quite difficult, and really to stay motivated. But it takes some time and Id one on ones, which trust people on that.
Gregorio Uglioni 22:13
I think what you what you’re saying it’s really key, because at the end, we are speaking with other people, most of the time, through video camera and the microphone. And the and therefore, it’s really important also, to have different relationship and separate different meetings. And perhaps based on the fact that you are mentioning or you mentioned we stuck to at home, but I see that you are extremely active in the market writing articles who created a new company, I would like to to understand a bit better Bjorn and what you are doing, perhaps, how can you ensure to have a proper work life balance or life work balance?
Björn Kaelin 22:55
It’s a it’s a very good question. And I think it’s, it’s very important for what you’re saying. And two things I think I love to bring people together, I think that that’s an amazing thing. And connect with people that it’s really a passion of mine and driving and creating new things. And ensuring proper work life balance, and particularly now when you’re at home, take breaks, get enough sleep and work consciously. So like work during your ideally your regular working hours. I’m, I’m somebody who thinks an eight to five job is great. Because we need time to regenerate. I know you’ve been a goalkeeper when you when you when you’re a sports person. And for sports, it’s very important. You have a lot of pressure on you for a certain time. But then it’s important to let go and relax for that. I think these breaks are important in between. So don’t work 1214 hours. And I think the age of those people came in and said, Hey, I got up at 4am this morning and wrote my first email at 430. And at five I wrote this presentation and this article that might have been impressive in the 90s or during the first.com thing, or Hey guys, it’s not about that anymore. It’s really the more time you get in between. It also allows you to learn about chest so your ideas are getting better. I don’t know how many great ideas you had at your desk. I don’t have any of my dress. I got them while doing other things. And probably many people get their great ideas on the shower.
Gregorio Uglioni 24:46
I fully agree and I am also getting the best ideas while jogging outside. And then it’s time where I regenerate and if time to think about because at the end you’re sitting in front of your computer You get emails, phone calls, meetings, and so on. And you don’t have time to think, and to strategize. And this is something that really needs energy. And therefore, as you’re saying, You need to re regenerate your energy in order to create something. And as you’re saying, I think nowadays, it’s extremely important to focus. And you are not paid for the amount of hours that you are sitting in front of your laptop, but you are paid for what you are creating. And this is, I think, the mind shift that we are trying to follow. And I think the next generation will will generally support
Björn Kaelin 25:40
and and one thing that I think is great also with companies like Google, is this what they call mindfulness. But But really, what do you mean with that to one thing at a time, be there in the moment, don’t think about the next meeting, while you’re sitting in this meeting. Don’t think about oh, oh, I still have to do that stuff from the last meeting. A mistake that I see many people doing is that people plan back to back meetings, schedule at least 50 minutes between meetings, you need to digest what happened and you need to be ready in the next meeting. And when we had to run from meeting to meeting, people were so clever to finish one meeting at four, then run down 10 flights of stairs and start the other meeting at four in the same room. Your brain couldn’t digest anything. And that there’s something there’s there’s still a lot of work to be done here in in how we put ourselves under pressure. But work life balance, I think another important element, you said it chalking fresh air running, take some time for yourself as well.
Gregorio Uglioni 26:50
And business, it’s not the 100 meter run, but it’s a bit more marathon. Because business is easier, or was it before us will be year after us. And therefore it’s extremely key. Then the last point I want to mention, and I know that’s your interview, but it’s something that I’m really working on now. And it’s what you said, and it brought me directly to my ad. Now, I want to say that it’s live in the moment. And now I decided it’s really stupid, because quite a lot of people are probably already doing that. But if I am with my son, I’m not checking my phone, because the most important human being for me is Iran there. And therefore, there is no distraction that is really more important and more interesting time and then my son, I want to be 100% honest with you, it’s extremely difficult because for me, it was normal, I quickly check the emails, or I check this check thread, or what I write something to my friend, but I am losing time with him. And it’s the most important thing for me or the human most important human being for me, because I want quickly to write to one colleagues or check the email, it’s not possible.
Björn Kaelin 28:00
You can do what another trick just rechecked and the email that you sent, it’s probably full of typos and thermocline. Wasn’t that good. Right email when you write an email, with your son, when you when you it is done. And I think it’s, it’s like it’s like also what we can come back to, to win when we look also at empathy. It’s not about quantity. It’s about quality. Yes, really understanding what it is there. So that’s that’s an important point there. Also, as we’re trying to offer, we’re managing on a on a quantitative basis. And what we also try to do with digital empathy is really bringing this qualitative element in to understand how relationships work. There’s not only numbers, it will express in numbers, because that’s the easiest language everybody understands. And that’s that’s important piece to link it down to numbers. But actually, it’s a quality of behavior that we’re looking at.
Gregorio Uglioni 29:00
I fully agree. And I think let’s go to the next question. The next question is about do you have a book that you read or you’re reading now that you say this is something that other people should read?
Björn Kaelin 29:16
Well, there’s there’s many interesting, I love books. Although although I have to admit Unfortunately, these days I’m more reading on Kindle because it’s simply easier to to read in the dark with on a Kindle. I think one thing, just recommend to Frank the other day is Phil Jackson, 11 Rings. For those who are not so in sports area. Phil Jackson used to be a or he’s still a coach of the Chicago basketball team, Michael Jordan is has been successful with him. He’s got a great team philosophy. Why we’re recommending that too often. We think if you’re a leader, you have to do things best. You have to be the best First, you have to be better than your team. It’s not the case, Phil Jackson wasn’t better than Michael Jordan, or Phil Jackson needed to give to motivate Michael Jordan to go there and to guide him where where it is. If you’re in Switzerland here, Roger Federer has a coach himself for playing tennis. Who plays better? it’s highly likely Roger plays better than than tennis coach. But at the end of the day, it’s this kind of interaction that that that’s why I would also recommend Phil Jackson’s elaborates.
Gregorio Uglioni 30:32
And this is something that I think it’s really important. You are mentioning Federer, and I asked myself several times, what the hell he has a coach? Why does he need the coach, because it’s the best. But this is exactly the same as in business, also the best leaders in the market, they have also coaches because they need to discuss they need to get an overview. And this is this is, I think, extremely important. If somebody would like to contact you, because of what we discussed, or they have additional questions also for your leadership trainings. how is the best way to contact you.
Björn Kaelin 31:07
I think the best way is through our website at anthrolytics dot io. We are always happy to hear from me. And always happy to go into the discussion around that and really get going.
Gregorio Uglioni 31:22
Thank you very much. And now we are coming to the very last question. And it’s always the same. Do you have a golden nugget that you want to share with us? It’s something that we discussed have something new to leave to the audience?
Björn Kaelin 31:38
Yeah, I think you mentioned important thing, Gregorio that was this human to human. I think and don’t forget, we’re all humans. We all have feelings. We all have emotions. We all expect some. And the company or a business is just more humans together. But it’s important that we understand that we are aware of them. It’s not rocket science.
Gregorio Uglioni 32:05
Thank you very much Björn As usual. I am not commenting your golden nugget because it’s Björn golden nugget. I want only to say thank you very much, Björn. It was a great pleasure to have you on for this smart discussion.
Björn Kaelin 32:18
Thank you very much. Always a pleasure.
Gregorio Uglioni 32:21
Thank you very much also to the audience. It was really a pleasure. I enjoyed really very much this discussion. I hope that you enjoyed it. And please stay tuned for the next one. See you soon. Thank you very much. Bye bye, everybody.
Björn Kaelin 32:36
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