Humanity in business, employee engagement and metrics with Stacy Sherman – E12

CX Goalkeeper with Stacy Sherman – S1E12 is about humanity in business, employee engagement and metrics Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had a smart discussion with Stacy Sherman

Stacy Sherman is a mom of two fabulous kids and a Schnoodle dog. Fan of Simon Sinek. She is applying Simon’s WHY principles every day & mentoring others to do the same. Stacy is passionate about inclusion & thought diversity (as happy employees lead to happy customers.) She doesn’t just talk. She is a doer such as: launching “Women Leaders Making A Difference” community because she knows that small actions lead to big impacts. Stacy is the founder of DoingCXRight and at the same time she is Head of Customer Experience & Employee Engagement at a big corporate.

Key learnings:

  • It is important to bringing people, i.e., humans, to the table as we are designing, implementing and deploying new experiences
  • Technology is not the solution. It helps to e.g., to lower the effort
  • Do the basics right and start from the employees
  • Diversity and inclusion are a key success factor
  • As part of humanizing businesses: ask customers not just the NPS but also get information on their sentiments and feelings
  • Level of Effort (LOE) is an important metric
  • Reinforce empathy and listening to nurture relationships

How to contact Stacy:

Stacy’s gold nugget:

“Make sure you are not just talking about CX and humanizing business but really doing it. And, while doing it, lead with your heart.” @stacysherman on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

Thank you, Stacy.

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Gregorio Uglioni 0:00
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the CX Goalkeeper Podcast. Today I will have a really smart discussion together with Stacy Sherman. Hi Stacy, how are you?

Stacy Sherman 0:00
Hi there. Nice to see you.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:00
Thank you very much. Before I started speaking about your career and what you did, I think it’s always better that you explain what you did. Because it’s, it’s really great to understand from your point of view, and then you touch base on the most important topics of of your career with Stacy.

Stacy Sherman 0:00
Yes, so I am, I wear a lot of hats. I am a leader in a global corporation, leading customer experience and employee engagement at a global company, Schindler elevator Corporation. And I also do a lot of side passion projects, called doing CX right. And that’s also really helping other people to apply CX best practices and humanizing their business for so many reasons. And I’m a mom, a wife, wearing a lot of hats, balancing it all.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:00
And I think you are doing really very well, because we came in to in contact through LinkedIn, we have roughly 150 connections in common. And I think we all have the same passion about customer experience. And thank you very much for for being here. today. The topic, it’s really about the human touch of customer experience. What do you understand, with these words, being human having a human touch, having relations with customers.

Stacy Sherman 1:57
So a couple of things. One is bringing people to the table humans, as we develop digital experiences and processes. So as we’re deploying all these neat technologies, AI and IoT, there’s still a human at the end of the day at the end of the good journey. And so what I’m doing is helping to drive transformation, leverage technology to make it easier, a lower level of effort. But also remember that there’s a human and designing for the human experience. So there’s satisfaction and better, better engagement with brands, too much frustration out there. time wasted. A lot of pain points. And so that’s what CX practitioners and strategist like me and you focus on because it doesn’t have to be that difficult.

Gregorio Uglioni 3:14
Let’s elaborate a bit a bit more on this topic. I like it very much. Also you phrase that I think technology is the mean, it’s the way we are delivering experience to the customer. But these experiences are really for the customer and based on their needs. And you mentioned several times the word humanity. How is it possible for a company to integrate this value for me it’s a value this value in the business?

Stacy Sherman 3:44
Well, it starts on the inside. So your employees, I’ve been in organizations where I have not felt valued. I had not had a seat at the table where decisions were made get deserved to based on the projects and initiatives that I was very tied to. I’ve been in places where I’ve seen diversity inclusion, not applied and and just the opposite. So that’s where I say do the basics first. Because when you have employees who feel cared for and that their views matter, and they’re part of the experience, they’re going to deliver a better experience and excellence for the customer just goes hand in hand.

Gregorio Uglioni 4:39
Yes, I think this you’re mentioning something that that’s it’s extremely important for my point of view, I phrase it like like that, that we are not in in b2c or b2b business to consumer or business to business but we are in human to human. And you mentioned one topic that for me and it It’s really irrelevant. It’s about inclusion and diversity. And there I’m not speaking about and always, I don’t want to be unpolite to have more women at the table or to have more women in the decisions room, when we are speaking about diversity, and inclusion is also the diversity of what people are thinking, getting some the different cultural flavors from from them from the different people, culture, human. And and what’s your view on that? And let’s start with that. What’s your view on that?

Stacy Sherman 5:36
clarify the question for me.

Gregorio Uglioni 5:39
So for me, it’s really about inclusion and getting diversity. If you want to really create immersive experiences, to have a diversity of views when you are running a business, then it’s important to drive also this topic, we are also seeing an integration but also in Switzerland, that we are always getting more people responsible to drive forward. Diversity and inclusion. And my question is, what is your understanding under this topic?

Stacy Sherman 6:12
Yes. So it requires top down. Leadership and bottoms up both right? Not one person owns diversity inclusion, not one person owns the customer experience. Everybody has that job, and that responsibility. So the top leadership can hire the right people integrate into HR best practices, have the leaders across the business, make sure that it’s on the agenda, that they’re that there’s that empathy, and it’s not checking a box, it’s part of daily conversation, and, and gratitude and appreciation of their people. Especially when customers are mentioning employees by name we, we have that so often in our customer surveys, and social media feedback and ratings and reviews, where employees are mentioned, like they did really well, at serving the customer. Well, that’s an opportunity to take that that wonderful human being who did the right thing, even when their boss was the look, King, and bring that to the forefront, bring that to the conversations. And and everybody owns that. So it’s training its team champions at the top at the low at the working level. And it’s measurement over time to benchmark where the company is and where the improvements can be made.

Gregorio Uglioni 8:06
On purpose, to deep dive a bit on your answer that I really like, Could you please explain also with why it’s so important to drive this topic forward?

Stacy Sherman 8:20
Because it’s human nature, when we feel valued and appreciated. When when we feel that as humans, we pay it forward. There’s no science behind it, it’s just human behavior. And, and so that’s where not only is it a nice thing to do in companies to really cherish your employees, and build them and coach them and help them succeed. As people as individuals, as a family, as a business and as a family. But again, it they will naturally, organically, authentically do what’s right, for others, and the others is also the customer who pays for them to be in the company. So it’s all interconnected.

Gregorio Uglioni 9:16
And I think I can use and leverage one example to elaborate what what you said, I have one one good colleagues that is working for a big corporate and not going to mention the name of the company. And he is always saying I feel like a number that I am number one to three. And if they need me, then I am here. If they don’t need me, they will fire me. And and I think this is the key of what what and the essential point of what you’re saying that we are humans we have feelings, and therefore we need to be treated like humans. And exactly the same is on the customer sides. If I have an interaction with the customer It’s not about a transaction or an account number or an ID, but it’s in this case is Stacey in that is interacting with me.

Stacy Sherman 10:10
Yeah, and I want to say one more thing. Sorry to interrupt. But you said something really good, which is feelings. And, and so part of humanizing business is when we’re talking to customers and getting feedback, whether it’s to inform product development, market messaging, pricing strategies, etc. asking customers not just NPS not just would you recommend, but it’s really getting to the sentiments, and really getting to the feelings behind that. And that’s a CX best practice that isn’t hard to do, you just need a team rallied behind that.

Gregorio Uglioni 11:05
I fully agree, and I can share that you cannot reduce the the relationship with the customer. Only with a number, if it’s zero is one, or is it 10. It’s not about the number, but it’s about the interaction, and what was really feeling the customer. And I think also, Fred Reichheld, is mentioning that only putting everything on increasing this number, it’s not the target. And it was not the idea of the Net Promoter Score. But they are really, the idea really behind this topic was to get an understanding from the customer, if they would recommend them a company why, and if they wouldn’t recommend the company why and trying to find finds way in order to get this recommendation. And and I think this is key water, from your point of view, order relevant KPIs that that we should measure, we can measure in an in the interaction with the customers.

Stacy Sherman 12:09
Yes, so obviously, NPs Net Promoter Score is the most commonly used, and I’m a fan of it. But to get dig deeper into the why I also highly, highly recommend level of effort LOA. Because if it is really difficult to get help, for example, I mean, you could go through the whole customer journey. But if it’s really difficult to buy and pay your bill, and get help when you need it, the customer is not going to stay. And even worse, they’re going to tell others. So level of effort must be incorporated into your measurements, along with the common CSAT sentiments, and your other data metrics about buying behavior and website where they go where they abandon I mean, that’s all very valuable. Even unstructured data like social media and review sites. So there’s a whole method many ways you can get feedback, but to your question, I highly recommend adding level of effort as it tells you so much to be able to fix pain points.

Gregorio Uglioni 13:30
And you are getting to one of my preferred books, the effortless experience. And metrics on is not speaking about level of effort, but is speaking about customer effort score, I think this this is a similar similar measurement. And we are already touching the two main points. One is creating effortless experiences or reducing the issues that the customer have in an interaction, reducing the effort. But on the other side, also, to move customer emotions because you have to you can have the most effortless process in place. But if you have no emotion, no human touch, no human feeling you can quickly go through but the next time you don’t remember, okay, I could do that. Therefore, I think it’s I fully agree. Now I am I what I sold on your LinkedIn profile? And it’s a question that I really would love to ask you is that how do you create engaged, loyal, committed employees?

Stacy Sherman 14:35
So a couple of ways. One is, as I mentioned previously, that you get customer feedback, and you give it to that information. It’s like gold. You give it to the people that can use it to make business decisions, and you have to close the loop. So there’s a information exchange communication of what the customer says, giving it to the right people and the right people doing something about it, and then letting the customer know what you did from their feedback. So the customer will want to give you more feedback, the employee will want more information, because it’s variable to make decisions not based on gut, you know, and thinking, but it’s real. So that’s one two, is, as I mentioned, about celebrating employees, when they’re doing really good customer centric activities, and communication. So taking time to acknowledge that drives more of that. It’s also tying their incentives to customer metrics. Now, there’s a lot of debate on that, which we could spend a whole nother hour on. But I have been in organizations where I was the only one with the executives who had customer set satisfaction and other metrics tied to their pay. And I’ve been in organizations where everybody owns the number and and shouldn’t have to be paid to do the right thing. But unfortunately, that is what I learned in the process, that you that people behave based on what they’re compensated in the workplace. It’s just a reality, whether I like it or not. So that also drives the engagement. But you certainly have your superstars that would have done it any way and go up and beyond, because they want to service their customers. So I can go on and on. But those are just some examples.

Gregorio Uglioni 16:53
And I think these are a great example. And then they are also linked to my next question, what you’re describing this everything is part of culture, a company culture. And let’s say we have the culture of 2019, before COVID. And now with this shift in direction to working from home, and new setup, having much more interaction via video, digital interaction, we are going through a shift. What’s your view? And basically, I rephrase also my question, in this direction. On one side, what are the good things that we can leverage after, after this COVID crisis? And what are the let’s say, the bad thing or things that we should improve in future if you are working in a more digital world?

Stacy Sherman 17:45
So I believe that this whole experience human experience that we I mean, look, you’re in Switzerland, right? I’m in I’m in America, we’re going through the same experience at the same time. I mean, that is so powerful. And so we need to remember that it reinforces that we’re all going through the same thing. Empathy is really what drives relationships, and nurtures relationships, which never go away, we, we must continue empathy, and listening, listening for the point of listening, not listening for the point of responding something responding in, I think that that’s an opportunity. And that has improved, including video communication. I don’t think people turned on their camera half as much as they do now. And I think that that does bring the human connection, and we should not lose that whether we’re adding in office or virtual. That’s been really good.

Gregorio Uglioni 18:59
I think this is a great answer. And also my last comment on your answer, we are also shifting from the mindset of presence management, I see that you are here and therefore you are working to results management, because yes, we have the interactions but at the end, based on the fact we are working remote, I see you a bit less. And therefore I see what are the results. And this is this is the key.

Stacy Sherman 19:27
Yeah, and there’s one other thing the fact I think before COVID Certainly years back if somebody you know walked in the room, or you hit your hearing child crying or a dog barking. I believe in the past you’d feel like judged or worried. And now what’s wonderful is we’ve let each other get to know our personal sides more And I think that that is so that’s a blessing out of a bad situation that that must not go away because we need to know each other holistically and authentically. And that COVID and video conferencing has brought that

Gregorio Uglioni 20:22
I fully agree. And plus a bit about storytelling. I was speaking with our end of it as an executive board member, my son was a tome and he opened the door. He came here where I was working, I was speaking with him. And he asked me looking may play with my harmonic. And isn’t Yes, but please go out again. And I think he was also laughing. And he said, Okay, don’t tell him to go away. But I want to tell him a low and you’re something and and listened to him. And it was it was really a nice moment where you can really empathize with other people. And he reacted extremely well, my son was happy, I was happy and safe. And and the idea of it was also said,

Stacy Sherman 21:08
Yeah, but look what happens when you know, your team and boss and everybody you work with, if they’re understanding and empathetic. And then you could be less stress and show up, and can you care more, you do more because you appreciate that you can be you and natural. It shows up in your work. It just happens.

Gregorio Uglioni 21:38
I fully agree. And thank you, thank you very much for this discussion, what we would, I would love to discuss with you. And and I’m also too keen to get some insights from your side. It’s, let’s speak about Stacy and we want to learn a bit more about you. And my prefer topic. It’s life work balance, not work life balance, but life work balance. And you mentioned at the beginning, you are working for a big corporate, you are at your own business. You are a mother, you are a wife. When are you going to sleep? Do you have time to sleep?

Stacy Sherman 22:11
Yes, an add in there. I also care about being a really good friend too. So multiple roles. So I’m pretty funny, we just talked about pets, because my dogs trying to get outside my door. So if you hear knocking, that’s what it is. Yes, balancing is everything. And I hope to inspire people that you can do it all. It requires being very intentional with how you use your time, being intentional with what your end game what your why, as one of my favorite authors, Simon Sinek talks about what you know what your why and then living your life that matches that. And when you have that very defined, you can live your professional and your personal life, that that supports that. And for me, I was a digital marketer, I was in sales, and I fell into customer experience. And I love it because it does allow me to help drive more of what I believe in, in my values as a person. And so that’s why I do it by day by night. And I do sleep because when I go to bed, my head head hits the pillow. And I’m like out, like quickly. So I sleep very well.

Gregorio Uglioni 23:29
I think this is also extremely important to get time to rest to get new ideas. And therefore it’s keep normally my next question is about your preferred book. But you mentioned already, it’s a start with why from Simon Sinek. And what I would like also to mention is that you are so writer, you wrote a chapter of the customer experience 2 book, it’s really a great chapter, and therefore I will skip this questions. However, if somebody from the audience would like to come into contact with you, what’s the best way to contact you.

Stacy Sherman 24:19
So through my website, doing CX right .com and you’ll see my blog articles, you’ll see podcasts and the book and resources to really help you increase your skills in CX and transform your brand.

Gregorio Uglioni 24:43
And you will also did some fabulous podcasts, only to mention some of them with Shep Hyken, with Mary Drumond, and therefore you’re really active in in the community. And I’m also really thankful that you joined this CX goalkeeper. The very last question is the question I asked to everybody is, could you please leave to the audience, your last golden nugget? It’s something that you already mentioned or something new. What’s the golden nugget for the for the audience?

Unknown Speaker 25:19
I would say it’s make sure you’re not just talking about customer experience, not just talking about humanizing business, but really doing it. Talking is nothing. It’s doing it. And while you’re doing it, lead with a heart.

Gregorio Uglioni 25:42
Thank you very much, Stacy. It was a great answer. And as usual, I’m not commenting your golden nuggets, because this is your gold nuggets. It was really great. Thank you, Stacy. Stacy, for being here with me.

Stacy Sherman 25:55
Thank you.

Gregorio Uglioni 25:56
And also thank you to the audience. It was great to have you with me for this smart discussion. I hope that you enjoyed it because it was really a great discussion. Thank you very much. Bye bye.

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