Episode released on: 22. May 2023
Unleashing Creativity and Innovation: Exploring the Power of Lego Serious Play with Sirte Pihlaja – Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper
The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Neha Dutta
LinkedIn Headline: Award Winning Transformation Executive I Digital Client Success I Customer Experience I CHIEF Member
00:00 Game Start
00:35 Neha’s Introduction
02:09 Neha’s Values
04:19 Employee Experience
05:49 Key Components
09:18 Employee enablement
11:47 Keeping employees engaged
15:40 Best Practices
18:20 Generations Integration
20:52 Artificial Intelligence for employees
24:42 The Future
26.05 Book Suggestion
28:01 Contact Details
28:33 Neha’s Golden Nugget
and much more
Neha’s Contact Details:
Her book suggestion:
- The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Neha’s Golden Nuggets:
- Stay ahead of the game. Always know what is happening right now. But keep your eyes on what’s about to follow. It will help you embrace change, it will help you upskill (…) if you’re ahead of the game, it will compel you to try new things and it will compel you to change yourself.
“Stay ahead of the game. Always know what is happening right now. But keep your eyes on what’s about to follow. It will help you embrace change, it will help you upskill” Neha Dutta on the CX Goalkeeper PodcastTweet
#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast
What did we discuss?
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the CX goalkeeper podcast your host, Greg will have smart discussions with friends, experts and thought leaders on customer experience transformation and leadership. Please follow this podcast on your preferred platform. I am sure you will enjoy the next episode with the guest I selected for you,
Ladies and gentlement. Tonight, it’s really a big pleasure because I have Neha Dutta together with me. Hi Neha, how are you?
I’m good, Greg, how are you?
very Well, I am really thrilled to start the discussion to kick off the discussion because I know that you are high energy and you have a lot of information to share with us today. And we are going to discuss about employee experience. But before we start discussing and deep diving this important topic, we would like to learn a bit more about you. And therefore you are today’s top player. And we would like to learn more about you. Could you please introduce yourself?
Sure. Thank you, Greg, thank you for having me on the CX goalkeeper. I’m very excited to be on this a little bit about myself. I’ve been in the industry for more than two decades. Now, I would like to consider myself as a customer value champion, I think that will be my elevator pitch. Because I’ve been at various stages front end back end. And I’ve always believed in driving value to the customers through whatever roles I’ve done through innovation in technology. And I currently work with Excel. And I’m doing the role of a digital sales engineering, what it means is I take everything that Excel has to offer in our digital offering and take it to our clients and solve their problems and help them in their transformation roadmap. Mother have a 10 year old, and I just heard something on LinkedIn, which I just resonated is that nobody taught us a lot of things we learn in our in our roles, but nobody taught us how you know, as mothers, we go from mommy to mama to Brah, right. So I think I’m in that stage when my daughter refers to me as Dre, and you don’t, that’s where I am.
That’s, that’s, that’s great. And I think these these are also why we are we are working, that’s for our families to create something with our families, and the best experiences that we can have, or at least for me, with my family, and therefore super happy that that you share that. And I when when you started speaking about your daughter, you started smiling. It’s quite easy to ask them the next question, the next question and expecting the answer. And perhaps which values drive you in life?
So that’s an interesting one. And honestly, they’ve not changed much over the last, you know, decade or so. But some of the values which have, I think, rather amplified with me are, you know, other values of collaboration. So I completely believe in working with others, I think in the power of team, right, because everybody brings something additional, something unique and something valuable. And I think we just need to nurture that we need to nourish that and work as a team and shine as a team. I think that collaboration is one of the bay key values that I believe in. And second is, you know how to embrace change. I think we are in this time and age where before we can think about it the way we are consuming knowledge, the way we are doing our you know, day to day things, everything is changing around us. And everything is changing in the work environment as well. I think how well can you embrace change and become a change agent and Evangelist, I think it’s really going to take you to places. And the third value which is very, very, you know, personal to me is passion. I believe in driving passion. And I believe in whatever that I am get to, you know, I am entrusted to do to give you a small story on that I was once asked to build a team from scratch, which was completely 100% technical. And you know, I’m I consider myself a pseudo technical person. But I believed in it and I put my heart and soul into it passionately and I was able to, you know, do a decent job at it. So passion, collaboration and embracing change are three values that come to my mind.
Thank you very much. And I think these are also very important in the in the employee experience. And now let’s really start the game after we know a bit more about you. We were discussing about the importance of employee experience in customer experience, or let’s say also in businesses and all there is always this discussion employees customer or shareholders who is forced. Let’s start from there where we should focus first.
I would say there’s no you know, there’s no right or no or wrong answer to it. Right. I think it’s an analogy and it’s about the the the pace or the condition of the organization. This Up to that you are in the industry that you are in, and the value that you want to bring in, in my opinion, today, day and age, a customer is an is very, very enlightened, he’s full of choices, right. And everything that we do today is driven by what they need. So I will put the customer in the first category, I will put employees in the second category, because unhappy employee can deliver to a happy customer. And I will put in my shareholder into the last category, not in terms of priority, but if I put my first and second, if they are doing what they are supposed to do 100%, I don’t think I need to worry about my shareholder, happy employee will lead to a happy customer and will lead to happy EPS, and my shareholder will be very happy. So that’s how I will take it.
And this was a really smart question, because you skipped them avoided saying the priorities, priority customer employees and shareholders. But what you’re saying it’s exactly what what makes sense, because you need to have happy employees or engaged employees to create epic customer. And if the customer is happy, coming back or buying more, they’re referring and therefore then you have also epi shareholders. And therefore it totally makes sense today focusing on on the employees, from your point of view from your experience. And you shared already that you created those a team from scratch, what are the key components of employee experience?
So I would say that, you know, from my vast experience in employee experience, and I’ve also handled for a brief stint of time, talent as well, when I was hiring people as well, I would think that I would say maybe we used it once is that, you know, they are the three E’s of employee experience, right? How can we empower them. And we can empower them through a variety of things, right, we can empower them with tools, AIDS processes, but largely technology, right? We believe technology is only to empower customers, right? But that’s not really the case. First, first, the technology has to empower your employees, he needs to feel the ease to be able to manage all the work that he’s doing right. And then he will be able to transfer the same ease to the customers. So they need to fail. So I think in CX when we work with clients, we really put a lot of importance of how are your employees adopting to this technology more than your customers? So I would say empower them through technology. Second, I will say is how are you engaging them, the second E, adding, it’s a very important nugget. And there are various ways in which you can look at it right, you can look at engagement, or in the first six months, because it will be very different for employees between six months to two years, because they are like almost settled and they are on their you know, stream and then completely tenured employees more than three years. Right. So an engaged employee, I think, is a walking marketing material. Right? If you have an engaged employee, you cannot imagine how much you can talk good about you in terms of like you said referrals. So you don’t need to really spend on marketing if you have an engaged employee, right? I think, looking at a study that I read, before, you know, an employee decides to try it and leave the company, I think spotty five days before that he begins to disengage. So I think they give clear signals. And this can help us in a lot of way, even if you want to move towards EX, or we want to, you know, really spend time on attrition on both ends, I think employee engagement is very important. Third is how are we enabling them? Have we given them an environment in which they can nourish in which they can be transparent about how they feel in which they can talk about in which they know that? How’s my company doing? Do I know the stocks? Do I know the where’s my company, you know, going in AI? Where’s my company investing. So I think they need to be enabled there to be engaged and they need to be empowered. And I think if you do all of these three, even if 50% I think you will be in a Gold Trust with most of your employees.
And I would say an employee for life, even if there is a lot of change what what what you are saying Are they are really important key components. And you said empowering, engaging, and enabling employees. Let’s start and double click on the first one, empowering and you shared this example of technology. And I think it’s something that also we discussed in earlier episodes. Sometimes you offer to the customer, the best possible interface, one app with all the interfaces, and then you think about your contact center agents that they have seven different systems that they need to run through them and try to find out the solution and I think are what I would like to learn from you is sometimes perhaps we could test some technology also first with employees, and then going out to the customer, what what’s your view on that?
So I think that’s terrific. And that’s a very important part of change management. So we are seeing when we are employing, or when, you know, when we are deploying technology to a lot of our clients. And typically also we see that change management is very, very important, you need to first A simplify the life or the ease of your employees. Right? You have to keep that as a, you know, as a very important metric, right? Not only able to think that, okay, my, my customer should be able to, you know, reach, you know us in seven different channels right through the app and everything, you can absolutely give them an omni channel experience. But what about the calls, which hit the agent, like you said, if they have to navigate through seven screens, right? The quality is telling him, the quality department is telling him think about the script, the churn department is telling him, absolutely make sure that you know, the customers don’t leave us right. So I think we have to, we have to think internally, like I said, we like I said, customer, employees and stakeholders. So you have to first think about how is this ecosystem going to be? And I think we should definitely take this time to simplify the user experience from the lens of an employee, I think the voice of the customer, if we take from an employee, I think they’ll be able to give us valuable information of what do the customers want? Why do they struggle? Why don’t they have the means to give them the right information? And I think we should definitely look at this, even if we are deploying some technology for the customer, we should understand from the employee that does he have the ease to adapt it? Does he have the buy in to use it or not?
Yes, I think that’s that’s extremely important. And also covering the second point that you shared about engagement you spoke about in the first six months, and after three years, a lot of experts are doing also example with honeymoon, can we do it the employees in the first six months everything is going well. But afterwards, it comes some difficulties and so on, perhaps do you have some examples, some best practices that you that you are faring or as a leader that you are leveraging, in order to keep to keep the customer and power engaged during these, these these timeframes.
So I would say for the sake of simplicity, we can divide it, you know, the honeymooners, or the early birds can be you know, less than six months, I think in less than six months, it’s very, very important to maintain a bond of trust, right, with the direct line of people that they work with, right, and especially right now it is become important because we are in a remote scenario, right? Maybe the person is sitting in Czechoslovakia working for somebody in Germany, right, he would not even go to office and meet his peers, I think it’s very important that we use technology. And we develop a bond of trust, we develop some kind of synergy where employees feel that you know, they have an avenue to talk to people. Right? I think it’s very important. I think second, the clarity of role is very important. Because again, we are in a remote working scenario, we expect that people are available, and they can do an A and they can do a B and they can do a C as well, depending on their bandwidth. So I think clarity of role is very, very important. Third, I think that as a team, whoever is in a team scenario, or meeting up as a team, even virtually right, I have heard of many things, many best practices, virtual volumes, and you know, what’s cool pizza days, and, you know, trivia days, and all of that I think people have, you know, really, really explored innovation. And, you know, I don’t think we need to meet up as a team, you need to, you know, really be in person, I think there are a lot of things that you can do remotely, right. So I think we need to develop that bond of trust and that transparency in the first six months so that the person starts to feel a part of that ecosystem. After the six months to two years. I think they are very, very, in this market. I think they are very, very interested to know what will happen to them. Right? How does that how does the roadmap look like? So I think we need to transcend the relationship between the direct line of supervisor and the employees to how does this role shape for them right on their performance? And on their roadmap as well? I think that’s really, really important. And I think more than two years of employees were absolutely to note, we’ve seen when we are deploying technology that they become sometimes the hardest to adopt technology, right? Because they are already set in their ways, right? They know I do this, even if it will take them five minutes, they will be absolutely comfortable with it. And if you tell them that this can really reduce your time to two minutes, they will figure it out 100 ways not adopted, because they are setting their terms. I would say that we should make them champions and we should make them red hats and we should make them the pioneers of change. Right, and say that, you know, you guys have this knowledge and domain and SME, and give them that elevated experience role that they should be doing. Right. And again, the roadmap with a little bit of, you know, added responsibility, and we will change depending on how they have done. So I think you need to engage them. And I don’t think having entertainment is the only way that you can engage them, I need to, I think they all need to feel a part of that organization, they all need to feel like a little stakeholder, or, you know, or a stockholder, and they need to feel that I, I exactly, you know, contribute to the success of my organization, I think that’s how they need to feel.
And what you’re saying it totally makes sense, because there are a lot of studies showing that the tenure of employees, how long they stay with the company is directly impacting also the quality of the services that are that are providing the impact directly impacting NPS and therefore acquisition retention, and, and share share of wallet, therefore, it’s, I think it’s key. And the last thing that you shared, it’s enablement, enabling employees do you have also share some best practices that you would like to share?
So I think we can enable them through technology like we spoke about, we can enable them through the right kind of culture, I think it’s a very, very loosely used term. So I will not bring it to that. But what I would like to say is, I think they need to be enabled, that you know, depending on what loyalty they have, with the organization, six months, two years, or whatever, right, they need to be enable that, you know, you are qualified to become a mentor. Now, you’re right, you have the right kind of skills and everything, I think they need to be enabled to get upskill, right, which is very, very important in this time and age, right, so that people don’t become so that tomorrow, your role does not get done by a bot, and you don’t know what to do, and you don’t start hating the bot because it’s it’s killing your job and you don’t adopt it at all. So I think upskilling is very important, they need to be you know, they need to be enabled by that. And they need to be enabled by the right kind of culture that we grow around them, of transparency, ringing up your voice, and then additional responsibilities or value adds that they can get to a system, a lot of places. And a quick idea to that is a lot of ideation helps in all of these. So I think all the organizations, even at startup, or enterprises have an ideation engine, right, where new ideas can keep stepping up and everything, I think, enablement will also mean that, you know, you give them this kind of hope that you know, whatever you are, you know, even if you are in that ideation scheme, if you come up with something, it will definitely, you know, have an impact. So this, they just need to feel valued, I think, and that’s how enable they need to be, if I know that my organization has a, you know, three day work policy three day coming to office, and I feel that something around it, there should be avenues and forums where people can actually voice their concerns, and you know, work around it, and not make every process as an exception. But they need to feel enable that I can do it, not get bothered by it and start looking for the next role, which allows only two day work policy.
I think what you’re seeing is, it’s extremely interesting, because what a lot of people are facing and we are always reading about it’s also this new generation and I’m not speaking about the to the 10 years old as your daughter, but as I speak also about new generation working in the working environment, and they have different needs. And I think you’ve touched one extremely important topic in the employee experience. It’s also about culture, and perhaps what’s your view our How can we integrate all these different generation in one culture in the company?
I don’t think we can. But and I don’t think we need to, what we need to do is every organization has some values, right? That they go by, and they are you know, they are they come from the top, I think we just need to have enough respect for those values, but give people flexibility, and give people you know, agility in terms of you know, if you want anything else or if you’re looking for anything else, or if you believe in doing something in a different way. We are open to hear it. Right. So we work in a you know, I can talk for myself, we work in a totally diverse environment and with people across the globe with people across the age, right. I think as long as we believe in the value of respect. We end you know, respecting people’s opinions, cultures and celebrating each other’s festivals. As much as we celebrate Eid, we celebrate Hanukkah. I think if we do that, then people get the idea that you know, I have done this in a different place and it works. Can we try it or not? Right? I think it is seen this work brilliantly with, you know, people who are, you know, millennials and Gen Z’s and people who have been working for more than 20 years. One comes with experience and one comes with a lot of thought process, right? One is tried and tested. And one is, I’m just trying to try, right. So I think you need to find the right balance, but give both of them an equal voice so that, you know, you don’t shut one down, and you don’t give the newer employees an idea that, you know, we only want to go with something that’s already worked and tested. Right. And see, this is what we’re trying to do for our clients and for our businesses as well, right, we are wanting to do newer things with them. So I think we need to be open about it, anything, if we respect anything, leave the ideation, you know, bulb on, I think we should be good, we don’t need to color them. Same with the same culture, flavor,
I think what what you’re saying it’s can can can be also related to customer experience and employee experience. Absolutely. And every customer is different. They want to be treated as human beings. And it’s the same for employees. There are some rules, some boundaries, but everybody’s different is acting differently. And also myself, or I think, also you in the different phases of life, I have different needs, I have for me something different important, but I still live my value. And that’s what you share those at the beginning. Throughout your career, your value state is the same, perhaps change a bit, but they were the same. And therefore it it totally makes sense. Let’s go back to the topic tech technology, because uh, you know, I really, you really liked that. And also following you on LinkedIn, seeing your post about artificial intelligence and technology. And you already shared a lot of insights about the importance of technology in the employee experience. But really, let’s speak about artificial intelligence, what can how can be used to empower, engage and support employees?
I think there are a lot of ways in which we can do that in terms of you know, how we hire employees, right? How we train employees, right? I think gamification is a it’s a terrific example. There are tons of paperwork in terms of trainings, which people have to do when they you know, become a part of an organization. And I think when the customer like, and now we are touching the point that, you know, what are some of the key milestones when the employee is only six months old, right, in which he is like, check, check, check on an organization that, oh, I’ve made the right call, I think we need to make, you know, every employees experience, very, very unique, and you know, like a unicorn experience, right? So there is Ai plus what you can do from a human touch is well, right? How do we make it special and all of that, but I think in terms of AI, we can use hyper personalization to know a little bit about the employee, right, and then, you know, to some things on his first day, we can ensure there is enough gamification on his during his onboarding or his training, that you know, those somewhat boring or mundane tasks do not, you know, are not so much on his head. Second, I think, because efficiency is very, very important in these days, right. And the amount of time we take to write from the time the person gets elected, to the time the person comes to could be enough gap in that, I think to in terms of efficiency, we can help we can help you, we can take the help of technology and AI and ensure that you know, right alerts are going to the employee, he knows exactly what he needs to do. He knows what who’s his mentor, or there are enough chat bots, even if we don’t have enough HR people to ensure that, you know, there is somebody who will be able to, you know, look at all your needs and everything on your day, one day two queries and all of that, I think AI can do a lot of stuff. And AI does a lot of stuff in that. And I think this is by these by these occurrences, you can make the you can make the employee also enough adaptable, that when he goes to the seat in a contact center and takes the headset and starts taking a call, he wishes to give the customer the same kind of experience that he’s had. Right? If he’s absolutely averse to technology, he will only understand that a customer feels the need to call any calls a call center right he will not understand that a conversational IVR can also deflect calls, he will not understand that we should try that, you know, this call should not come over, we should be able to get enough give enough proactive outreach to the customers that you know their queries answered. Right. So I think if we give them enough ease, they will start thinking like that, and they will also keep the user at the center.
Thank you very much. I think that’s totally makes sense. And now that we discussed about technology and artificial intelligence, let’s think in the future in 10 years from now, we are back you are back on the CX goalkeeper podcast, perhaps in virtual reality or something Now, we are discussing about customer experience or employee experience, what are we discussing about?
I think we will be discussing that, you know, how does, how does the hybrid of, of the tech and the human look like? Right? I think by the time they will be there, they will be yours when tech will overshadow, they will be yours when people will talk about the human quotient, right. I think we will still be in that debate. But we would have had far more use cases where we know how does Metaverse work? How does Changi PT work? Right? But there are there are things that you know, a customer will still want to feel, you know, what, you know, actually talking to a person. So I think we will be talking on how technology has, you know, really taken care of the non value ads, but how can we, how can we make our you know, our agent, or our people read interactions, very, very unique. I think we will be talking about that, because the scales would have completely changed.
I am looking forward to the discussion with you in 10 years, and I’m looking forward to leverage this technology to make every task that is not value added for me so that I free, I can free up my time. Because if you’re speaking about experiences, it’s also about time and how much time we have or we still have for for something. I’m sorry, we are coming to the end of this game. But in the extra time, I still have three questions for you. The first one is, is there a book that you would like to suggest to the audience that helped you during your career or during your personal life,
I would say a book that has really helped me shape both my personal and professional life will be the power of now. It’s by it’s by, you know, a very spiritual leader called Eckhart Tolle. It’s the power of now, if it makes you believe in the present in the present moment, right. And whatever you are doing, and whatever is happening to you, you can take a lot of connotations out of it. I will give maybe two that had struck to me in the personal sense, I think we need to value the present, not think about past regrets, not think about the future so much. But think about what does this moment hold for us. And, second, I think, professionally, we all believe that, you know, multitasking helps us and everything. But I think there are various theories, you know, tags to it, that if you I feel it if you give your energy. And if you give all your passion to that one thing that you’re doing, I think you will do a great job at it. And you know, the power of now believes you makes you believe in the in what you’re doing right now, right there. And it’s very, very simple. You just need to see and feel what’s happening with you right now. And believe and be in the moment. And I think you’ll read great results. So that’s my book, suggestion.
Perfect. Thank you very much. And what’s the best way to contact you.
So I can be contacted through LinkedIn, and through Twitter, I believe my handles on this and we can DM I am forever in search of our mentor or a mentee. So if I can be of any help to people. I’m a big believer of women in technology, women and CX. So anybody who wants to, you know, get in touch and talk about anything. I’m more than happy to
thank you very much. And as you share the Power of Now, therefore, please, dear audience now follow me Nia, and get in touch with her because it totally makes sense. You see her you feel and see the passion that she’s spreading and all the knowledge that that she has. But before we leave, and we conclude this game, I still have one question is near as Golden Nugget. It’s something that we discussed or something new, that you would leave to the audience.
I would say that, stay ahead of the game. Right. Always know what is happening right now. But keep your eyes on what’s about to follow. I think it will help you embrace change, it will help you upskill it will. I know I said Believe in now. But I think that’s really in the moment. But I think we need to always keep your eyes on what’s there to follow. So I think if you’re ahead of the game, it’ll it’ll compel you to try new things. And it will compel you to change yourself. And I think that’s really important. And I think that’s what I would leave
Neha. Thank you very much for your time. Please stay with me and to the audience. I hope that you enjoyed this discussion as much as I did. If you have any question, feel free to contact me or to contact me. It was a great, great pleasure. Thank you very much. Bye bye.
Thank you. Bye.
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