What changed and what did not change in CX with Rick Denton – E80

Episode released on: June 26th, 2022

What changed and what did not change in CX with Rick Denton Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Rick Denton

LinkedIn Headline: Customer Experience Transformation | 🎤Podcast Host – CX Passport🎧 | Keynote Speaker | I believe the best meals are served outside & require a passport

Highlights:

  • 00:00 Game Start
  • 00:30 Rick’s introduction
  • 03:00 Rick’s Values
  • 05:40 What is changing and what is not changing in CX
  • 08:25 Total Voice of Customers
  • 17:40 Your Frontline knows your customers better than you
  • 21:25 The COVID excuse
  • 24:20 The Future of CX in 10 years
  • 28:14 Book Suggestion
  • 29:40 Contact details
  • 30:40 Rick Golden Nugget

Selected quotes:

  • The best meals are served outside and require a passport
  • No customer is an average customer
  • You are not fixing issues, you are restoring relationships

… and much more

Rick’s Contact Details:

His book suggestion:

  • Outside-In by Kerry Bodine
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Rick’s Golden Nuggets:

  • “Stop, survey and score. Start, listen and act. Do that you have the foundation for a total voice of the customer program, which will then unlock greatness in your customer experience approach.”

“Stop, survey and score. Start, listen and act. Do that you have the foundation for a total voice of the customer program, which will then unlock greatness in your customer experience approach.” @globaldenton on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast

Transcription:

Gregorio Uglioni 0:00
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the CX goalkeeper podcast, your host, Gregorio Uglioni, will have small discussion with experts, thought leaders, and friends on customer experience, transformation, innovation and leadership. I hope, will enjoy the next episode.

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight. It’s really a big, big pleasure I have Rick Denton together with me. Hi Rick, how are you?

Rick Denton 0:28
Doing Well, Greg, how are you doing?

Gregorio Uglioni 0:30
I’m very well, because I know that I will spend the next half an hour speaking to you. And therefore I’m looking forward to get a lot of insight on what is changing in customer experience and what is not changing in customer experience. But before we start this game, let’s start with the standard question. Could you please introduce yourself.

Rick Denton 0:51
I would love to introduce myself, Greg. And I just want to say thank you too, for being on CX passport before that was such a fun episode, I learned so much about your approach to customer experience and how you have tied it to the great the beautiful game of you know, in the US, we call it soccer but of course globally called football. What a great, great thing you have going there. So Greg, shout out to you and all that you have going on here with the CX goalkeeper podcast, it is brilliant and fantastic. And I am just honored to be a guest on it today. So thank you so much for that. I simply put, I am a customer experience advisor. I’m also I do speaking and of course, have my podcast here CX passport, and have had some fun doing that. But what I really love to focus on is helping companies create great customer experience. And I tend to do that focusing heavily on voice of the customer. And helping them create what I call a total Voice of the Customer approach. And that goes well beyond survey and score and into truly listen and act. I’ve been at this for about five years as an independent before that had corporate jobs both in the customer experience world, and then came out of a more project management and process improvement space. Heck, I even have a Six Sigma black belt, but it’s gray from lack of use. And it is just a career that has gone on for decades now. But it is some of that’s a whole lot of fun to be focused on customer experience. Now you will when I’m not working, you will find me just as easily find me here in Texas, or in Thailand with my family trying to travel the world, because travel is such an important part of us. And as you may have heard, I do believe that the best meals are served outside and require a passport. I love eating and I love traveling.

Gregorio Uglioni 2:30
Thank you very much, Rick, for your introduction. And I think this is something that the community or we should always learn, because you could you could see me as a competitors, I could see you as a competitor. But that’s not what we are thinking about each other. I really like and I really enjoy being on fee on your outstanding podcasts, they see expense. But you have some episodes that are so amazing and so interesting. And therefore I really suggest to my audience to ever look at C Express. But because there it’s really a great podcast. And I am really pleased that we can have this discussion about what is changing and what it’s not changing in customer experience. But before we deep dive, also, for me extremely important to understand is, which are the values that drives you in life. Sorry, he’s traveling value.

Unknown Speaker 3:23
Oh, well, I sure hope it’s a value. And you know why I just It’s funny, I just had this discussion with somebody the other day why travel is so important to me. And a lot of it stems from of course, there’s the kind of travel, let’s go sit on the beach, have a cocktail, watch the right waves roll in, right, that’s good travel to everybody needs to recharge and revitalize. But there’s also the travel you go out and experience other cultures. And the depth of how you can experience those cultures shoot all the way back when I was a high school student back when it was still the Soviet Union that shows you how old I am. And I remember traveling over there in the height of the Cold War or and sitting down and having a meal with a family in the Soviet Union. And realizing then as I felt really dumb as a senior in high school, I thought oh my gosh, they’re not the enemy. They’re just another human group of humans who wants to sit down and laugh and love with their families enjoy a meal, enjoy a nice work and a nice fulfilled life. And that travel and travel that exposure to other people, other cultures really has helped kind of breed who I am. And that is realizing that you know my way isn’t necessarily only way and I sure love getting exposure to other. So yes, travel is one of those values that motivate me family is another one. I mentioned my family love traveling with them. And I’ve tried to get my kids along my wife and my kids, we always try to do things together, that my kids are older now. I’ve got one in university and one is about to be in university. And so those areas are so vital to me from a corporate perspective. It’s all about the customer. You want to have a value that I care about. I’m going to talk way too much about the customer and how much I care about the cost. Merck. And why I enjoy talking to Chief Customer officers, perhaps even more than Chief Revenue officers of time. But I like the Chief Revenue officers to care about the customer as well.

Gregorio Uglioni 5:09
I think it’s totally makes sense. And back to traveling, I learned yesterday in an older podcasts that somebody was explaining that traveling is extremely important to people. Now, after COVID the pandemic, people can travel again, because it’s one extremely easy way to create memories. Yes, I think this is also an important topic that we will touch tonight.

Unknown Speaker 5:33
I would imagine, I could talk about that for the entire trip. And you know, that’s probably why it’s impossible for you to find seats on planes these days. My goodness, it’s so crowded out there in the travel world. But I’m glad to see that we’re all finally able to get out there and do that and experience the world again.

Gregorio Uglioni 5:47
Exactly. And now I think it’s really time to start the game. We are warm enough to start playing. And and perhaps really starting from from the basic, what is changing in customer experience and what is not changing?

Unknown Speaker 6:02
Yeah, so I love talking about that latter one, and I’m gonna get there here in a little bit. But you know, what I what I see changing a lot. And I it’s it’s kind of bifurcated, that I see some people doing this, and others not. But it’s this sense of okay, customer experience is no longer this novelty. That’s what’s really changing, I think in this idea that customer experience is just that’s what you have to do the realization that experience is a differentiator is becoming more and more normalized. I think what also is changing, and it’s it’s changed, but continues to change. And we hear about it so much as the digital aspect of customer experience, and why and how a customer wants to interact with a brand digitally, certainly influenced by the pandemic, as we found ways and needs to be separate from each other. But even as we’ve now have found ourselves able to be connected again, that digital aspect of life is weaving itself very strongly through the customer experience world, I think, to say it’s changing maybe the wrong word. But to just say that it’s a continuing evolution of how do we unify a customer’s experience across all of its various journeys, so that it is no longer just the sales journey, or the onboarding journey, or the recurring journey, or whether it’s an airline or what that might look like, when it comes to what a customer’s journey is it’s companies are getting better at unifying those worlds. And instead of having to separate channels of customer experience, but rather having one unified approach to customer trends, we’re not there yet. So to say that it’s changed is perhaps the wrong word. But there’s more energy moving towards that.

Gregorio Uglioni 7:40
Yes. And I think we have a joke in our community that customer journeys are perfect, as long as they are on PowerPoint. As the customer starts going to them, we are facing the first issues. And this is the reality.

Unknown Speaker 7:56
Yeah, there was, oh my gosh, I’m pretty sure it was Joe Boswell. She’s another really, really smart person out there in the the customer experience world. And you know, that’s not the right name, I’m sorry, it’s the wrong name. But regardless of that, there was a great point that was shared with me. And it is the idea of Elaine Lee. That’s who it was, it was Elaine Lee, and she’s shared this concept of there is no such thing as an average customer. And so that idea of the journey is great when it’s sitting in the conference room on paper, but then it breaks down as soon as you walk out of that conference room. So important. And the same thing is there is no such thing as an average customer. There are just a bunch of customers that perhaps we choose to lump together. But that’s not what that one individual customer is experiencing. No one is the average.

Gregorio Uglioni 8:40
Exactly, it totally makes sense. And I think you are extremely focused on the customer. And one topic is the voice of the customer. Now I know that you are speaking about total voice of the customer, could you please explain to us this concept?

Unknown Speaker 8:56
Yeah, let me I’m glad you’re talking about total voice of the customer right off the bat there. Because when I think about what isn’t changing, what’s not changing is we need to listen to our customers, we need to have a total Voice of the Customer approach is one of three kind of areas that I really think about that isn’t changing. But when I think of total voice, the customer, it’s that idea of moving from survey and score, to listen and act. And I tell the story a lot that there’s too many companies that they think that voice of the customer means a survey, send out a survey, get a score back, and then they sit in their boardroom. And it’s really nice, and it’s panel and there’s great glass and some there’s a nice little cup of water there. And then they put the NPS score up on the screen. And if it went up this month, oh they clap it up and they cheer about that. And then if it went down, they shed a little tear and get sad about it and then they move straight on. And never think about it again. That’s worthless, that’s not voiced the customer and that’s one thing that’s not changing and in the world of customer experience is the need to listen to your customer and act listen and act. And total was the customer is one of those so you can see I’m getting kind of animated. I’m actually having to strap myself into my chair right now. So that jump out of your screen here. But it is imagine it across kind of nine main dimensions. I won’t go into great detail here because it, but just trust me go to total wboc.com. And you’ll see kind of greater explanation of it. But the first is collect, how do you collect the customers voice across these listening posts that exists, it’s not just a survey, it’s not just your calls that come in, it’s your emails at your chats. It’s the social media that exists out there. It’s your front line. We’ll talk about frontline here in a little bit if we get there. And then what do you do? How do you analyze that it’s great that you have all this data coming in. But data is not information. Information is not analysis and analysis is not action. So how do you do something with that? How do you analyze that into important themes? That’s kind of what I think of as making up the the Listen side of it. Now there’s one portion to it too, that I talked about, that’s global. When I’m talking to global companies, it’s important to recognize that your customer may not communicate in the way that you individually do work with a brand. Before that it was in they were smart about it, they knew that just because we’re a Western brand does not mean that our Asian customers want to speak to us in the same way that we might want to speak now not just about language, but is it email, or is it WeChat? Is it WhatsApp? How do we communicate with our customers matters across cultures. So being global in your approach to that is important. When I talk about act, and that total voice, the customer piece of act, I start with closed loop feedback. But I talked about an external closed loop feedback. That’s the idea of restoring the relationship of one customer, not an average customer, that one customer that has an issue that external closed loop feedback. And then the internal closed loop feedback is okay, we have all these themes. Now let’s do something about it. Let’s amplify what’s working really well in the company. But let’s also improve the things that are a challenge and our customers are telling us they’re not happy with. I do want to stop down on something that I said there. And that’s the idea of restore relationships, stole it from Disney, all of anybody who’s in the customer experience world has probably heard that phrase. But if you haven’t, it’s a very Disney approach to things and you’re not fixing issues. But you’re restoring relationships, then I have, we don’t have time, I doubt we have time today to go into the story. But there’s a story of I experienced that at Disney when the log ride broke. And they went out of their way not to just fix my issue with a disappointed daughter, but absolutely deeply restored her relationship and my relationship with the Disney brand. Beautiful way about going about that. But it’s those closed loop feedback elements that are so important, soothing, and then the an area if I stop right there, people go, that’s listen. And that’s act Great. That’s not total voice the customer because so often we forget about the employee, part of voice the customer and in that time a voice of the employee, that’s important, but that’s not what I mean here. I mean, how do you inspire? How do you celebrate? And how do you coach in your employee world, using voice the customer nothing is more motivating to accompany than hearing from the actual customer, celebrating the elements of what really has gone? Well, somebody that did something delightful for the customer, the customer said something great about celebrate them. The Inspire part, oh my gosh, there’s some beautiful stories that companies have out there, I worked for a company that was in the home equity space. And they did a great job of taking the voice of the customer listening for the beautiful story. And then really amplifying, they sent a video crews to interview customers from a home equity here, right? Nobody thinks that that’s emotional. But when you listen to a woman say that I was able to give birth to a 14 year old girl when she was describing adopting a 14 year old girl into her family. And the tears coming down her face all because of a home equity product suddenly realized, oh my gosh, this means something I’m inspired as an employee or you hear about a cancer treatment that was affordable because of their somebody’s got to stay in their home because of this. So using that voice of the customer to inspire to celebrate and coach, especially Greg, we’re talking here on the CX goalkeeper podcast, Coach gets such a negative tone in business, unfortunately, I’m going to coach you. But that’s not what a real coach is. That’s not what the coach the football team is doing. They’re amplifying what’s really good in that player trying to find it and strengthen that. And then yes, of course correcting on the areas that aren’t great that need development. That’s the coach and using the customer’s voice to do that is so vital. And then the last thing is the idea. I think I’ve hit on nine here. But the last one is this idea of customer across the organization, the voice the customer across the organization. And yeah, Amazon has the cliched Empty Chair of the customer, but whether it’s your empty chair, or it is just simply bringing the customer into all of your decisions bringing the voice of the customer in to all of your decisions. So are you starting your operational meetings with a customer story? Or are you starting it with just another wall of operational metrics, those kinds of things so that idea of going beyond survey and score into listen and acts such a key part of total voice the customer and hopefully I did not glaze your eyes over there but my gosh, I could talk about this for hours because I love talking about voice of the customer.

Gregorio Uglioni 14:53
No, you are really inspirational because I’m I was thinking about the coach the role of the coach. And if for him, it’s clear, he needs to double down on on the strength of the player and not trying to work on the weaknesses, but really doing that. And on the other side, what you were saying and I simplified extremely for, for football or for soccer, it’s the feedback from the fans, these are the customer in football, they are giving direct, unfiltered feedback to the team, and everybody gets the feedback, individual feedback. But then the players, the teammates, have also the opportunity to react or to act on this fake feedback. And it totally makes sense. And then, and also to introduce the next topic is the employees. Again, the teammates are giving feedback themselves, you did well, you did not well pay attention, and this and that. And therefore it’s it’s really magic, what you’re saying, because you’re used also the Disney example. And it’s really fits also in what I’m trying to explain. And it’s and it’s really extremely important. And to conclude also, when you have the feedback from the from the fans from the customer, when you have the feedback from the employees, the team players, then perhaps you could get also feedback from the match itself. If you’re trying to score a goal going on the left and you are not able to go through, then you change it and try it for you act on your feedback. Totally makes sense.

Unknown Speaker 16:29
That’s right. Absolutely. And you heard me kind of grinning, and maybe even chuckling a bit when he talked about feedback from the fans, my son is a ref and he has been increasing his levels of being a ref to where he’s almost to the US league MLS. So he’s knocking on the door of being an MLS ref. And the feedback from the fans is certainly interesting to take as a reference. That’s actually it relates to tone of voice, the customer in the sense of you remember, I talked about collecting customer voice across a bunch of channels, it’s important not to, I’m going to use making up a term here over listen to any particular channel or any one particular customer, because I can assure you, I’ve sat in games, where my son has made the right call, but the fans did not like the call. And so he also takes the feedback of the coaches, he takes the feedback of the ref assessors, he takes the feedback to the rules of the game to know what is the right thing to act upon. And so companies also shouldn’t overreact to the loudest customer, or the unhappiest customer because they’ve got this total Voice of the Customer approach that allows them to know what the full suite of the actual experience is, to know that, okay, that one experience, let’s restore that relationship. But that’s not really an important thing for us to change as a company. So that feedback is a great example of how you’ve got to listen, listen to the fans, but make sure that you’re taking the whole suite of feedback in place as well.

Gregorio Uglioni 17:51
Exactly. And first of all, congratulations to your son. great achievement. And we were speaking speaking about the teammates, the employees. And I think you are explaining also quite a lot around the role of the frontline. And who does, who does frontline? Frontline knows better than you mean? What does it mean, really?

Unknown Speaker 18:12
So I mentioned that there’s things that have not changed, and a lot of it, here’s, here’s where that whole origin came around. How often have we heard the pandemic changed everything 2020, the year that everything changed, I submit to you the 2020s of the year that not everything changed. And that total was the customer didn’t change the need for that didn’t change. And the second thing that didn’t change is your frontline those your customers better than you do. And it amazes me how many companies who even attempt or desire or have the ambition to have a great customer experience failed to do so because they fail to understand the people who are at the frontlines of delivering and creating that experience. And think that they can sit back in a conference room somewhere and just understand, at a high level what the customer’s experience might be. That phrase we’re talking about, there are no average customers, right? The frontline knows that because they’re interacting, they’re interacting on the phone, they’re standing at the retail counter, they’re at the boarding gate, they’re on the plane, they’re at the hospital that will actually actually at the hospital triage right patient experience is valuable, too. And so how do we set up a system to take in that input from the frontline, how are we engaging with the frontline? How are we living out there with the frontline? Are we are we as leaders? Are we going out and experiencing the frontline with our frontline? are we experiencing what the customers experience out there? And if we can’t physically be there or what you can’t be in every place every time? How do we enable our frontline to be able to communicate information back into that proverbial headquarters so that we can know exactly what is taking place at the customer to airlines here in the DFW area area that are headquartered here. One I’ve had flown a bunch so I’ve had experiences of both right. And I’ve had to call in and get things fixed at times. And I’ve asked, I’m a CX guy. Of course I do this. Hey, do you have a place to capture my feedback? Airline one Absolutely, I can hear them clickety clacking and hitting it in their keys and told me exactly what was going to happen. That company had a system to take that input back from the frontline. Other other airline, at least I admire the agents, honestly, this is true story. She goes, No, there’s really no way for us to take that information. But if you want to send an email off to customer service, yada, yada, yeah. Okay, well, great. So at least he was honest. But that tells me they didn’t have that in place. They aren’t listening to their frontline. But there’s a piece of that that I want to amplify as well. Great that you’ve took it back the information from the frontline. How are you feeding your insights back to the frontline? How are you involving them in the solution design of what you’ve learned from them? How are you not just pulling from the frontline, but how are you sharing, working with and sharing insights back into them so that they can help deliver a great customer experience as well. So we talked about what isn’t changing. The first one is that total voice the customer second is the frontline knows better than you do. Absolutely knows better than you do what the actual experience is.

Gregorio Uglioni 20:59
And but what you’re saying it’s totally makes sense. And I already see also on in Europe on our side, and that the first agile teams are trying to get also frontlines. Yeah, employees into the team’s to drive innovation to drive continuous improvement, because they know they realize what customer issues are and what customer customer requests are. And it totally makes sense. And I really appreciate that. Now it started thanks to this agile way of thinking creates these Scrum teams. Were also worse. We’re also frontline employees are there. And you mentioned two things that are not changing total voice of the customer, the role of the frontline. And I think one thing that I am, I feel it’s still not changing. Is company using the COVID excuse.

Unknown Speaker 21:51
I’m not allowed to cuss on this show. Right? So I’m not going to do any cussing, but trust me, they’re rolling through my heads right now. Yeah, how frustrating is that that absolutely has not changed. And I’m gonna say it a little differently. I’m going to tell you that the customer does not care about your COVID excuse. Now, let me amplify that. Because eventually, God willing, companies will stop using COVID as an excuse. But the customer does not care about your excuse. They don’t, they don’t care that you’re struggling to hire people. It’s real. That is a real issue, certainly here in the US. And I think in many places in the world, hiring employees is a big challenge right now, the customer doesn’t care. The customer doesn’t care that you have long hold times the customer that well the customer cares about that. They don’t care about the excuses behind that. And so nothing infuriates a customer more. And I could pick up my phone right now. And I guarantee I could dial in 800 number of particular company and I would still here due to COVID, that sentence needs to go away. But due to anything the customer doesn’t care about, they just want results. And so don’t rub an excuse in their face. And certainly don’t rest on that excuse and not look to improve it. Companies have already solved for this their ways to solve for the pains that they are experiencing. And what those solves are, your competitors are getting ahead of you. They’re already doing it. So every time that you raise an excuse to the customer, all you’re doing to that customer is saying we’re not all that good. So go with that other company. Now, you may not think you’re saying that, but that’s exactly what you’re saying. We’re not that good. Go try that other company out. And so those are the three things that I say, Look, that’s customer experience has not changed, the pandemic has not changed across total voice the customer. The frontline knows your experience better than you do. And the customer does not give a bleep about your excuses.

Gregorio Uglioni 23:43
It’s and it’s it totally makes sense. I think I don’t need to comment or to explain how a match would go if 10 players play against 11 players because one employee is missing?

Unknown Speaker 23:56
Yes. Although it does happen sometimes that somebody goes in studs up. But yes,

Gregorio Uglioni 24:01
no, but usually, it means you would start a match with 10 people and not 11

Unknown Speaker 24:05
know what a crazy thought that that would be exactly. And companies are choosing to do that they’re going into their phone calls. They’re going to their experiences, just basically saying we’ll take a red card, and we’ll send a man off before we even get started.

Gregorio Uglioni 24:18
Exactly. And I think that’s also good because then it does in don’t need your son doesn’t need to do that to give the red card. The company give itself. Joke aside, I think we spoke about what it’s happening now. And what I look like I would like to deep dive with you as a customer experience experts. What do you foresee in the next 10 years in customer experience?

Unknown Speaker 24:44
It’s really I’m thinking about that question. And you can see kind of that I mean, heck, I’m even looking off screen here kind of thinking a bit. You know how I think about that. I want you to think back to May 10 of 2012 and try to think back what To the world was like in 2012. And so to imagine, then what it would look like 10 years from now, it’s almost an exercise in, we’re not, we’re going to suddenly, whatever I say is going to be wrong. Because I guarantee whatever I would have said, 2022 is going to look like if you asked me in 2012, I would have been wrong. But here’s what I do think I do, I sincerely there’s an optimism that I have. And maybe it’s because I’m in the customer experience world. So it’s not so much about what is 10 years from now look like, but what does the journey to 10 years look like? And I really, really believe because of the power that the customer has right now. Because the ease of switching, because of the increase in the realization that by focusing on experience actually creates God proven financial results, that companies are going to continue to migrate that that direction, that is, it is not going to be consultants like me are not going to have to go into boardrooms and say, here’s the proof of why Customer Experience matters. But rather, here’s how we can help you unlock what a customer experience will do for your revenues for your experience for your employee experience for your employee engagement, whatever that looks like. I also think I think you’re gonna see an increase in the unification of is that the right term, basically just breaking down the silos. Let me just not use fancy business words, just breaking down the different channels so that if I initiate a conversation with a brand over chat, and then migrate to the phone, it’s all seamless. And it may be even inside the chat. I clicked and this already exists today. It just doesn’t exist universally. There’s a temptation to want to talk about the metaverse, but one, I’m ignorant of it. I wouldn’t. But I do think that there’s areas to explore in there as well, when we talk about the 10 years. I do. I do think that there’s I think what I would categorize that as it’s just another one of the channels that can exist. And so that unification across those various channels, is how we’ll see customer experience kind of continued to grow. I’m channeling a fellow CX colleague here. Nicholas Eisler, great guy, pretty intelligent insights that I see on LinkedIn. And he was on the podcast last year as well. But one of the things that I really liked about what he said too, is he’s he’s done with the ROI of CX. He says brands shouldn’t be doing that no one asks, Hey, what’s the ROI of human resources? No one asks, what’s the ROI of the finance department, it’s just an expectation that exists. And I’m not quite there with him yet, I think we still need to prove the ROI of CX. But what I think 10 years from now is that he’s going to be right, and I think that then it will no longer be we have to prove CX it’s just going to be customer experience matters. And that’s what we have to do as businesses to be able to drive a business forward, it won’t just be table stakes, it will be table stakes. But those that delight, and really shine in the customer experience space are the ones that are going to have the revolutionary results inside of their companies.

Gregorio Uglioni 28:12
The only thing that I can say is, thank you very much, Rick, the game is coming to a man it was outstanding discussion. But as as a matter of fact that I have you on on the show on this game. I still have three questions for you. And 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 life?

Unknown Speaker 28:40
uhuh… a book a book. Okay, so I’m going to hit a customer experience one real quick, because it’s a classic. almost everybody’s read it but Kerry Bodine. But outside in it is the classic it is the Bible, everything about it is still brilliant. But here’s the thing, I think we all know our Customer Experience Books. So can I give just a couple of can I this is something on every Saturday, every I try on most Saturdays to post a nature post because I think it’s important as business people to unplug, recharge. And for me nature is where that is. And so let me give a book that has nothing to do with customer experience. It’s one that I just finished. And it’s a Gentleman in Moscow by and I don’t know how to pronounce the author’s name, Amor Towles – T O W L E S. It just was a beautiful story. It just was a it’s a story. There’s no world meaning to it. It didn’t change how I approach customer experience. But it allowed me to escape in a different time and a different period, which allowed my mind to just unlock and live in that period for that time, which refreshed me to return back to the business world. So “a Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles is the one that I would want people to hear.

Gregorio Uglioni 29:49
Thank you very much. And we can put the link in the show notes. And also what I would like to add to the show notes is our people can contact you.

Unknown Speaker 29:58
Yeah. Well thanks for that, and so certainly one can go to my website, e x, the number 4 CX, it stands for execution for customer experience, but it’s easier to type e x 4 cx .com. Or more directly go to total voc . com. And there you can see how I approach voice the customer. There’s some free downloads there too, to how you can inspire employees, how you can celebrate employees, how you can build an internal closed loop feedback program or an external closely feedback program. There’s an assessment there, too, if you want to download that to just check where you are on your voice of the customer maturity journey. And then the last thing I’d say is, follow me connect with me on LinkedIn. That’s where I am. That’s my social media. That’s where I love engaging, Greg, that’s how you and I met is through LinkedIn. And that’s where I would love for folks to find me there is on LinkedIn, on LinkedIn. And then lastly, I’d say, go ahead and listen to CX passport. It’s on all the faith podcast sites, but if you need a URL, CX passport.com. Those are all places you can find me.

Gregorio Uglioni 30:57
Thank you very much, Rick. And now we are really coming to the end. The last question is Rick, golden nugget, it’s something that we discussed or something new that you would leave to the audience.

Unknown Speaker 31:09
Yeah, it’s going to be something we’ve already discussed. I believe this in my course: stop, survey and score. Start, listen and act. Do that you have the foundation for a total voice, the customer program, which will then unlock greatness in your customer experience approach.

Gregorio Uglioni 31:28
And I can conclude saying thank you very much, Rick, for your insights. It was really a great discussion. As usual, I prepared my passport on my desk, but somebody, my wife, took it away. I cannot show it. But I prepare that for the discussion.

Unknown Speaker 31:46
I know it’s there. I know. You’re a world traveler, Greg, Fear not.

Gregorio Uglioni 31:51
Thank you very much, Rick. It was really a great, great pleasure.

Unknown Speaker 31:54
Thank you, Greg. I enjoyed every last bit of it. This was so much fun. Thanks.

Gregorio Uglioni 31:58
Thanks. And also to the audience. I hope that you enjoyed the discussion as much as I did, which was really a great one. But at the end a s in a football or soccer match. You are the fans, you are listening to us. Please provide us your feedback because only which are feedbacks we can back can get better. And Rick told us we can act on your feedback and improve what we are doing. Therefore, I wish you a great evening. A great night a great day. Thank you very much. Bye bye, arrivederci

if you enjoyed this episode, please share the word of mouth. Subscribe it, share it until the next episode. Please don’t forget, we are not in a b2b or b2c business. We are in a human to human environment. Thank you

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How To Turn Your Employees Into Lead Magnets & Customer Advocates with Jill Raff – E79

Episode released on: 20. June 2022

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Jill Raff

LinkedIn Headline: Expert Insights Turning Employees Into Advocates and Customer Magnets Consultant, Speaker, Show Host, Author, CEO/Founder of Jill Raff Group, LLC

Highlights:

  • 00:00 Game Start
  • 01:00 Jill’s introduction
  • 05:00 Jill’s values
  • 06:19 EX2CX definition
  • 8:03 the importance of employee experience
  • 10:15 Inside-Out Methodology
  • 18:03 The 3 “Es” plus one E
  • 23:15 Jill’s Definition of Employee Experience
  • 25:10 What are we discussing in Employee Experience in 10 years from now?
  • 27:09 Employees: Partners and not “being depending”
  • 28:15 Jill’s contact details
  • 30:28 Jill’s book suggestion
  • 31.59 Jill’s Golden Nugget
  • 33:25 Game End

… and much more

Jill’s Contact Details:

Her book suggestion:

  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Jill’s Golden Nuggets:

  • It’s about making those genuine connections. It’s about transforming the everyday transaction into an interaction. So that you create that human to human connection,
  • I believe for successful business, you want to create what I call a connection culture. You want to create an environment within your business, where your employees feel like a family, where they feel like true team members playing on the field for the same goal, the same company objective, and having fun while doing it.
  • You are responsible, as a business owner, to provide ways and venues for employees to express themselves and to share time getting to know each other to work together. And in doing so you’re going to create that genuine connection with people. At the end of the day, that’s where you’re going to be most successful and you’re going to find the most happiness within your company.

You want to create “a connection culture”: an environment within your business, where your employees feel like a family, where they feel like true team members playing on the field for the same goal, and having fun while doing it. @ex2cx_expert on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

It’s about making those genuine connections. It’s about transforming the everyday transaction into an interaction. So that you create that human to human connection. @ex2cx_expert on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast #ex2cx

Transcription:

Gregorio Uglioni 0:03
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight it’s really a big, big pleasure I have Jill Raff together with me, she’s a great customer experience and employee experience expert, strategist and specialist. But what I find out, she speaks also perfectly Italian. And therefore I start saying: Buona sera, Jill, how are you?

Jill Raff 0:26
Buona sera, buona sera, tutto bene. grazie

Gregorio Uglioni 0:30
you are really welcome to the CX goalkeeper show, I’m really happy that you accepted my invitation. We already had several chat offline . And now it’s really time to share all the know.how all the energy that you are spreading. And also in the pre discussion we already discussed quite a lot, because it’s really interesting to exchange with you and get your view on on different topics, but also on normal life. But for the people that don’t know you, could you please introduce yourself.

Jill Raff 1:05
Alright, so I’m Jill, Raff, and I professionally, I’m an EX 2 CX expert, which means from employee experience to customer experience. I know with every bit of my being I know from all of my 30 plus years experience, that when you have outstanding employee experience, it leads you to outstanding customer experience. And vice versa. If you have bad customer, bad employee experience, you’re gonna have bad customer experience. We can get into all those details later. But so that’s who I am professionally. I live currently in Austin, Texas. And I have quite a diverse background. And across many cultures across many industries, different countries, and I use all of that all of the strategies, the the knowledge, the experience, the education that I’ve learned across these various markets, and really use them to cross pollinate ideas and strategies for my clients, depending upon what their needs are. So it kind of allows me to look at what’s going on with fresh eyes, fresh ears with a unique perspective.

Gregorio Uglioni 2:23
Thank you very much, Jill. And perhaps also, could you please tell us something about your past career what you did, also in Europe, because I think it’s really interesting, and bring also a different view on what we are doing and what we are discussing.

Jill Raff 2:38
Absolutely. So my first life, as I call it was a fashion designer. And I started out in New York City and realized that it was a great excuse to go live overseas and be able to work and learn Italian and French. And so that’s what I did. And I started in Rome and redid my portfolio, went knocking on doors, I was taking Italian at the same time, and worked as a fashion designer and Roma and also B ologna. And it gave me an opportunity to really experience the same business the same career. But from a different culture from a different perspective. And to really understand the way another culture looks at something that otherwise would be the same. And learning other languages has been so instrumental. And understanding people’s cultures how they think realizing the cool thing is realizing that in some languages, there are words that don’t exist in other languages and how they express themselves and what that means as a result of that. So for example, there’s a little bit of side note, but I think it’s really fascinating. So there’s one language where it’s there’s no word to study in Hebrew, for example, it’s a little mode means to learn. But there’s no word in English we always say, Oh, I’m studying, but you could study all night long you could study the rest of your life it doesn’t mean you’re necessarily learning anything right? It’s kind of like hearing and listening. And so it was interesting because their word for it the only word is to learn and so there’s no option to to not learn and just just waste your time and study. So anyway, it’s those kinds of things and living in Europe was oh gosh, I love it so much as you know that totally lights me up and I look forward and hope to do that again someday soon.

Gregorio Uglioni 4:42
And what I can only say any if people are watching the video, you are smiling and it’s really nice to see our IP you are about that. And I think it’s really interesting and also based on your past it will be also the next question will be quite interesting for for the audience. Which are the values that drives you in life.

Jill Raff 5:04
That drives my life, I think integrity is my number one value, no matter what I do, no matter who I’m doing work with, no matter who I have a personal relationship with that integrity is the thing that needs to go through and through. It’s the honesty, it’s the trust. Those are all kind of subsets of integrity. It’s about genuine, authentic connection. And that follows through with my brand. To me, life is about connecting with other people who are not only similar, similar to you, but more importantly, who are different from you that we can learn from and appreciate those differences. And so we connect on all those levels. And to me, that’s something that really, I find carries me through in my life. And so I really, you know, you I can’t think of other words, but though, you know that the integrity is the really the biggest one, which includes respect and trust, and those things no matter what you’re doing.

Gregorio Uglioni 6:12
Thank you very much for this introduction. And I think now the game can start, we are on the employee experience, pitch, and we will start the discussion about about this this important topic. You mentioned that at the beginning. But I would really like to understand that the employee experience to customer experience, it’s what is clearly stated on on your webpage, what does it mean to you?

Jill Raff 6:39
Now, what it means is summer, I’m probably gave away too much at the beginning. But it’s, it’s really that in order to get to great customer experience, you need to start in the inside, you need to start with your employees. And when you have that experience, it’s you know, I’m playing off of the the b2b or b2c. So with for me, it’s the employee experience to customer experience, because they are they are integrated, you cannot separate one without the other end, there are professionals who are only six professionals or only edX. But for me, you can’t have one without the other. And so I think it’s really important that we look at both and recognize that the connection cannot be denied. And if you want great CX you have to really think about your effects. First,

Gregorio Uglioni 7:29
what you’re saying it’s makes totally sense and leveraging my soccer example, let’s think about what soccer teams are doing for the players that are on the field, how much they’re investing, to be sure that they’re LT that they’re getting the right training, they’re getting the right support from all the different levels from the psychological, physical, and so on. And therefore, it totally makes sense, because only these super engaged teammates can then win the match. And I think that’s that’s totally make sense. But to your customer, really understand our employee experience is important.

Jill Raff 8:14
Well, think about, I want everyone first second to think about experiences they’ve had as customers. And when you walk into a store, is there an employee there to greet you? Is there an employee at the cash register, when you’re ready to check out? Is there employee around when you have a question about something? And quite often? The answer to that is no. And I know there’s a problem with staffing. But this isn’t a current problem. This is a problem that has existed for forever. And they are not having employees be trained to interact with their customers not have it be a transaction. But to really transform transactions into interactions is one of my mottos. And when you connect with your customers personally, that come in, and that’s what makes the difference. And I think that’s the really important part of that is to really have your employees when they are engaged, your customer is going to feel that so yes, your customer is very much aware of it. If they get snotty attitude from an employee, when they ask a question or when they’re checking out. You better believe they’re not coming back and guess who’s responsible for that your employees just lost your customers for you. Because you didn’t you can’t blame the customer. You can’t blame your employee. It’s because you have not given them the tools that they need. Or if you have you’re not holding them accountable. And accountability is really important, but you cannot hold them accountable until you’ve established the expectations. I call that expectations management. And so many don’t have that and that’s something that I work with companies to try to help them with their expectations management. so that they can hold their people accountable.

Gregorio Uglioni 10:03
But it totally makes sense. And I would have not 200,000 questions, but I respect your time, and also a soccer match, it’s 90 minutes, and therefore trying to understand and researching a bit, you’re speaking about the Inside Out methodology, could you please share that with us?

Jill Raff 10:26
Absolutely. So it’s called the Inside Out methodology. Because I, as I mentioned, I believe it starts in the inside, it starts with your people with your employees. And it’s a cycle. And it’s a never ending cycle. Because it starts with actually your core values that we talked about, right, your core value your, your recruitment, according to your core values. And when you’re looking to hire to interview, speak to, you know, recruiters, it’s about having them only look for people who are are in alignment with those core values that you have. And that you hire according to that. And so when you do, at the top of of this, the cycle, you can rely on good quality people who from the get go, you know, are going to be living your values, because they’re in alignment with your values. And then you can teach them their daily tasks or responsibilities or whatever it is. But if if, if they’re really great at have a resume that they’re amazing at what they do, but they have a bad attitude, it doesn’t matter if they’re not aligned with your values, you cannot hire them unless you want to start doing a lot of pickup afterwards. Because it you know that one bad apple there that’s expression, it’s really true. It’s contagious, it affects the people around them if there’s bad attitude, and so, so even you, you interview, and you hire according to your core values, and then you continue that on into your onboarding. Your onboarding starts with educating your people, not just training them. And so many people bring people in for onboarding, and they focus immediately on training, training, training, well, I say, don’t train your people, you need to start by educating your people. And that means making sure they understand what these core values mean. That means they understand how you want them to express and communicate what those core values are to your outer and your end customers. Provide fun, different ways of of learning videos, interactive, you know, questionnaires, interactive events with each other, all kinds of things, because people are different learners. And some are very analytical. And they’ll they’ll love that that questionnaire. And others are going to be like, Oh, my God, I have to fill out another survey, right? Like, just talk to me. And let’s do a game, let’s have a conversation. And so have something that’s going to speak to all different types of learners. And, and then next, it incorporates the, the three keys, that kind of E three recipe plus one as it’s the recipe for success is really using these three E’s, which we can go into later. But it’s engage, I’m sorry, it’s educate, as I mentioned, initially, engage and interest those the three E’s, and that’s your, the core of your recipe. But the plus one is like that extra seasoning, it’s the it’s the salt that helps bring out all the other wonderful ingredients, the core ingredients, the salt just concentrates what that is and makes it more powerful. And so that extra E is empathy. And that is showing kindness, showing the human side, we all make mistakes, we all don’t understand everything immediately, like really show empathy with your people, and you will go so far with that. And then lastly, is your ongoing education. It’s not a bootcamp, it’s not something you can say I gave them a quick two week training, let’s throw them out there. And then they never hear anything about it. And they’re never given any sort of training 62% of of employees will leave their companies because they’re not getting the proper training. And so you have to continue the onboarding, training and and not just about things that are important for your company, but what’s important to them to the employees, maybe they’re things that could perhaps overlap with the work that they’re doing for you on the job, but it’s going to better them as a human being it’s going to better them as a professional and give them skill sets that they can take on with them later on or they could use their and so again, it’s about investing in your people. And when you do that you’re creating and again my my tagline is turning employees into advocates, and customer magnets. And so when you do that your employees are going to be your biggest advocates. They’re going to be Your megaphone out there, and telling people what a great company you are to work for the you will become the employer of choice. And so they’re going to be bringing in referrals on the back end. And the top of that cycle that I’m wrapping up,

I mentioned is the first part is getting those internal referrals. And then at the backside, once you’ve done this, you’re giving great experience to your end customers, you’re paying customers, and then they are in turn are gonna give you great reviews, great ratings. So you’re getting great internal referrals on the front end, and you’re gonna get great external referrals on the back end. And so it’s just this beautiful cycle that keeps going. It was a little long winded, sorry.

Gregorio Uglioni 15:46
No, it’s perfect, because I was speaking about the match together with you, but it’s not a match because I am learning a lot for me, it’s a training. But I’m always saying that it’s it’s my masterclass is where I’m learning a lot, and then getting different views on topics where I’m not the expert, and therefore I’m inviting experts like you to understand that and to share that with with the audience. And I think Ian can speak on about Europe, because I know a lot of people here and employee experience is not where it should be. And we are starting learning and understanding how important it is because we are seeing a lot of people, employees moving to other companies. And we start now understanding how much it costs also to a company to hire people find the right people, I don’t say train, I say educate them, and bring them up to speed. And if they leave after six months, then it starts again. And again. And again. And I think this will be one extremely important trends in future, how to retain the talents that you have in your company for longer than six months. And this will will be quite quite the big issues. You mentioned the three E’s plus one. And I think I would like to understand it a bit better. You mentioned them the different what its mean. But you could you please deep dive a bit also on this on this on the on this recipe.

Jill Raff 17:17
Yeah, sure. So for anyone who cooks or doesn’t, if you just love food, you’ll you’ll notice that there’s generally the the core the foundational ingredients that have to go in. And then you can add in whatever other things you want. But that gives you that core every time. And so those three key ingredients are educate, engage and interest. So we’ll start with that. And then we’ll get to the to the pinch of salt. So educate. As you’ve heard me say, right, I don’t believe that we should just train people, we have to educate them. And there’s a real difference, it actually ties back into what I was talking about before with learning a language with the language, right, that doesn’t have the word to study, but it has only the word to learn. So this is the same way that we don’t want to just train them, which would be maybe equivalent to the studying. But we want to when you educate someone, it’s like the expression, you know, when you teach someone, when you give someone a fish, right, they eat for a day, when you teach them how to fish, they’ll eat for life. And I believe the same way with educate, if you train someone, okay, they’ll be able to perform that specific task. But if you educate them on the broader principles of what it is that your company is about, and what you’re what you’re trying to achieve, and what’s important, then you’re you’re providing someone with value for life, something that they can grow into, that they can understand beyond just performing a task, like a monkey, you know, no, no, right? Anyone can can do that. And so you’re educating them, you’re giving them more, you’re showing them that you value them more, you’re showing them that you’re invested in them. And you’re educating them on who you are as a company, what your brand promise is, what your culture is, what are your core values. And so that just goes deeper. It’s a whole other level from training. So that’s educate you have to do that from the beginning, I believe and we work with companies to help them create an educational manual. So again, the difference everyone has their training manual. Well, I believe that you must first have an educational manual and they work together. Just like E X and CX are together with these two Rs well and so you first need to on your in your onboarding. Part of your you know hiring when you bring people in your onboarding The first thing you should do before you get to your training manual is really work on your go through the educational manual with them. So that’s educate. And each one builds on its own on its on itself. The next one, the next one is engaged. So now you’ve got people who are all on the same playing field playing field. And they know what right what what their goal is. And they know that they’re a part of the same team, they’re all teammates now. And what do we have to do, we have to play together? Well, we have to engage with each other, we have to have management and coaches leaders there shoulder to shoulder not telling us what to do, but showing us how to do it. And never be a leader and expect someone to do something that you’re not willing to do it yourself. And so when you engage with them side by side, then you’re gonna get a very different result than if you hand them a manual, or you send instructions and tell them we this is what we want you to do. Or this is, you know, even how to do it, let them think, let them problem solve on your own. Let them come up with ideas that you didn’t think about, like, really listen, ask for and hear and listen to ideas that everyone’s coming up with, regardless of the position, whether they’re the janitor or the dishwasher, it doesn’t matter, right, everyone adds value, and will broaden the value of your company. So let’s educate. And that’s engage. Next is interest. So once you’ve properly educated and engaged with your people, now you can interest them. And that is the core value of any relationship is strong trust. And when you do that, you relinquish so many hours and responsibilities as a leader, to your team, to your staff. Because now you can trust that they’re going to do what’s right for the company, because they’re an alignment, they’ve bought in you’ve, you’ve invested in them, you know that? Yes, we all make mistakes, but you know, let them go do what we’ve trained them to do, what we’ve educated them right, and, and so now you have time free to go do something else, maybe even get some time off, like what, you know, everyone works like crazy. And so when you can trust that you really trust them to be independent thinkers, and represent your company as it should be. So those are the three key really important ingredients. And when I mentioned about the plus one,

it really is that that seasoning that’s so important, that brings out all those three, because it’s about the human behavior, the human element, and that has to do with empathy. And when you have empathy, it means you’re stepping in their shoes, it means you’re stepping in really understanding how they feel not not sympathizing, but really understand where they’re coming from. And so when you do that, and you see people, you have the kindness there, you have the caring, the compassion. And that’s something that at the end of the day, when you when you pair it with those other three, you’ve got a total winning recipe,

Gregorio Uglioni 22:59
or a winning team,

Jill Raff 23:02
and a winning team.

Gregorio Uglioni 23:04
It totally makes sense. And you shared with us only two framework, the Inside Out methodology. And now this eatery plus plus one, but with your words, how do you define a great employee experience?

Jill Raff 23:23
I think a great employee experience is one where you have shown respect for all the people that are there. Where You Are, are showing them appreciation and acknowledgement you’re involving them, you’re listening to what they’re saying you’re implementing ideas from what they have. And when all of these things happen, then you can count on your employees to feel like they’re part of something that matters that they can have a difference, and that they’re not a cog in the wheel. And they’re not transactional, but they are there. And they’re important, and they’re responsible for the success or failure of your company. When you give them that kind of responsibility. It’s like child rearing. Children will rise to the occasion when you say I believe you can do this. Show me what you can do. They’re going to and it’s the same thing with employees. If you say I know you got this, we’ve we’ve educated you. We’ve engaged with you side by side, we’ve seen you do it, we know what you’re doing. And we trust you. Now you’ve got this, we trust that you’re going to do it. And so when you do that, you really see your people fly and when they do, they’re going to feel good about what they do. They’re not going to be looking for jobs elsewhere. That in a nutshell is really a great customer employee experience.

Gregorio Uglioni 24:46
Thank you very much. It totally makes sense. And I really like and enjoy what you’re saying because you are really focused focusing on the human being because we should never forget that we are all human beings and we We are employees are we and we are customer. And we are part of family, and and all these important roles that we have, and we need to cover throughout our life. Now, perhaps looking forward, let’s close our eyes for a few seconds and think about what are we discussing in 10 years about employee experience?

Jill Raff 25:26
I hope I envision that we will be in a situation where it is just a given that the employees are an integral part of the system of whatever it is that from the very beginning, they are looking for people to contribute to their business, not just perform a task, that they’re looking for people to be partners in their business, and they really look at their people, as partners in their success and recognize what that is. We’ve got a long way to go. But I think, sadly, the pandemic I think really crystallized for us, and many large companies, without their people, they’re nothing. And no matter how great their product is, no matter how great how great, you know, their service is whatever they’re doing, whether you’re a product or service based company. At the end of the day, if the people who are interfacing with your customers are not representing you in the way that you want in a very respectful, professional, intelligent way, then the experience is going to be bad. And so I really hope that we come far enough in 10 years, to know that and at that point be investing in our people right from the beginning.

Gregorio Uglioni 27:02
It totally makes sense. And I really think that what you’re saying being a partner, it’s the key in future, we discussed in our first chat, I think I’m quite sure we will remember that and we spoke about the different languages to what you mentioned also at the beginning of the of this discussion, and the one to one translation in Italian of working for a company being an employee, often we use the word dependent, it means I am depending from the company, and you explained perfectly that if I am depending from this company, they we are not at the same level. And therefore it totally makes sense. And I hope that we will change also this this strange word to be partner and not being dependent from from from a company.

Jill Raff 27:59
That’s very astute point. Absolutely. That That says it all right there, doesn’t it?

Gregorio Uglioni 28:06
Exactly. Yes, it’s totally makes sense. And we are also coming to an end from this match. But before you leave, I would like to learn a bit more about you and to ask you three additional question. And the first one is that perhaps could you share your contact details if somebody would like to speak with you to chat with you?

Jill Raff 28:26
Absolutely, you can reach me directly. Just my name Jill J I L L at jill raff . com. And my last name is R like Ronald, A, like apple pie. And double F two F’s like french fries. So I don’t think I mentioned that I grew up in the McDonald’s industry. So it just happens to work out perfectly with my last name, too. So it’s Jill at Jill raf.com. and my website is My name is well, jill raff .com. So you know, please check out my website, go there. And actually I want to learn about you. And I have a really fun way at the top fold of my website. It says I think it says Hi, Jill. You know, I want to I want to tell you about my business. And there’s a button at the top click that and there’s a really fun interactive way that you can do that with me. So reach out to me in either of those two ways. Or LinkedIn and LinkedIn. I’m very I’m on LinkedIn as as EX 2 CX expert.

Gregorio Uglioni 29:35
Perfect. I will all add all this information also in the show notes, but I would like also to that you mentioned your show because this is an outstanding show. I was I had the great opportunity also to participate. But please share also your YouTube channel.

Jill Raff 29:52
Yeah, so you know unfortunately right now I don’t have a vanity name for my YouTube channel but you can find it under Jill Raff, I think you can just find it under Jill rap. And the my show that I host is called celebrity customer experience. So if you if you put in Jill Raff and celebrity customer experience, you can find it on the YouTube channel. It also airs to LinkedIn and my Facebook page, which are both under EX 2 CX expert. But if you Google that, I’m sure that would come up as well. Thank you for mentioning that.

Gregorio Uglioni 30:26
Thank you, Jude, and Easter, perhaps a book that you would like to share with the audience that helped you during your career or during your life?

Jill Raff 30:37
Oh, gosh, I have so many. Um, gosh, I can’t think of just one that’s professional book, even though honestly, most of what I’m reading is always related to self growth and business. But there’s one book that I always fall back to that, interestingly ties into what we’re talking about with language and how we speak and how we view life and, and I think at the end of the day, exe X business. All this is about human behavior, and how we interact with each other and how we think our mindsets. So actually, this might be a good one. That’s not a business book, but it’s called The Phantom Tollbooth. And it is so fun to read. It’s a quick short read. I’m sure it’s in many languages. So look for it, The Phantom Tollbooth. And it really will make you think about how we express ourselves about how we communicate the words we use the power they have, what we even buy into when we use certain words over others. So that’s a fun one. It’s probably different from anyone else who’s offered book suggestions to you.

Gregorio Uglioni 31:55
Thank you very much, Jill. And we will read that. The last question is JIll’s golden nugget. It’s something that we discussed or something new that you would like to leave to the audience.

Jill Raff 32:07
Yeah, yes, I think at the end of the day, it’s about making those genuine connections. It’s about transforming the transaction, everyday transaction into an interaction. So that you create that that connection, that human to human connection, being authentic, people feel it every time and they feel when it’s inauthentic. They feel when people are fake when they just put on a smile, and they turn away from them. And then suddenly the smile is gone. Right like and I believe for successful business, you want to create what I call a connection culture. You want to create an environment within your business, where your work, family feels like a family where they feel like team members true team members playing on that for the same goal, the same company objective, and having fun while doing it. And in order to do that you you’re responsible as a business owner, to provide ways and venues for them to express themselves and to share times getting to know each other to work on projects together. And in doing so you’re going to create that genuine connection with people. And I think at the end of the day, that’s where you’re going to be most successful and you’re going to find the most happiness within your company.

Gregorio Uglioni 33:24
What I can say is only thank you very much Jill, it was an outstanding discussion. And for my point of view, we want to gather three zero, a great Hetrick from from GE but also to the audience. I think that’s up to you to decide if we want or if last, what we would like is to get your feedback. If you are happy or if you’re unhappy, let us know. And please please connect with Jill because you can have a great discussion. Thank you very much, Julie.

Jill Raff 33:54
Thank you so much. I absolutely would love to speak to anyone about what’s going on in their business any questions they have about anything I have. As you can tell this stuff lights me up. I love speaking about E X 2 CX so happy to speak to any of your your listeners, your viewers, anytime.

Gregorio Uglioni 34:13
Thank you very much and also to the audience. I hope that you enjoyed this discussion as much as I enjoyed that. And I wish you a great evening a great day. Thank you very much. Bye bye grazie mille, arrivederci.

if you enjoyed this episode, please share it with word of mouth, subscribe it, share it until the next episode. Please don’t forget, we are not in a b2b or b2c business. We are in a human to human environment. Thank you

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(REPLAY) Outstanding experiences in Dubai, the center of excellence with Faran Niaz – E24

Episode released on: 31. May 2021

CX Goalkeeper with Faran Niaz – S1E24 is about outstanding experiences in Dubai, the center of excellence Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Faran Niaz

LinkedIn Headline: Customer Experience Practitioner & Consultant | Top 100 Global CX Thought Leader 2021 | Helping Companies Enhance CX to Maximize ROI & 7 STAR Ratings | CEO & Founder – CX FUTURE | Int’l CX Awards Judge | Keynote Speaker

Faran Niaz brilliantly explains the development from hospitality to happiness and then to customers experience in Dubai and United Arab Emirates. A symphony of outstanding experiences.

My learnings:
• In Dubai and in the United Arab Emirates, CX is driven by the government.
• The priority is happiness and focus on people (tourists and citizens) needs.
• All is so smooth as there is an immense respect and love for the government.
• There is a clear focus on continuously improving experiences. Expectations are extremely high – overdeliver is a must.
• A star model (as the well known for hotels) was developed for other industries (e.g., for government offices, restaurants, malls, …) too.
• Employees are trained to give you moments. It is a matter of fact, that Dubai creates benchmarks for other countries
• A positive competition, the passion and the curiosity of people ensure that there is a run to get always better and better
• It is all about the mindset: you get recognized for the good work. People are proud of being the best and getting to the best.

Selected quotes:

  • Would you like to live in the Happiness Street? Do you have a minister of happiness in your company, in your government?

His book suggestion:
• The ultimate question 2.0, Fred Reichheld
• Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh

How to contact Faran:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/farann/
https://twitter.com/farann
https://cx-future.com/

Faran’s golden nugget:

Become a good leader, be proud of the achievement of your teams. Highlight your people, and nurture them. Share your experience, by sharing you learn, and others will learn too. It is our duty to give as much as we can.

Become a good leader, be proud of the achievement of your teams. Highlight your people, and nurture them. Share your experience, by sharing you learn, and others will learn too. It is our duty to give as much as we can. @farann on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast

Transcription:

Gregorio Uglioni 0:03
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a great pleasure to have Faran Niaz with me. Hi Faran!

Faran Niaz 0:08
Hi How are you? My pleasure to be here. Good evening. Good afternoon, everyone. Good morning, wherever you are.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:14
Thank you very much Faran, it’s really a great pleasure to have with me for this CX goalkeepers smart discussion, you are in Dubai. But before we start discussing about all the experience that we can ever we could have in Dubai, I think it’s the best way is to start the short introduction, I think in the CX word, everybody knows you. But perhaps there are two or three people there that don’t know you, and therefore it would be great to get a short introduction from your side.

Faran Niaz 0:43
First of all, I would like to thank you for this opportunity. I think you’re you’re you become a phenomenon as a CX goalkeeper is, is a very well known. And I think it’s my honor to be on this on this, I would call it a show. So for me, it would be. Hello, everyone. My name is Faran and I originally am from Pakistan. I started my career with Citibank out, you know, 2025 years ago. And that’s how much my career in customer experiences always passionate about people serving customers. And I was first 11 years with Citibank, I worked in many parts of the world, including three years in Russia. So I was stationed in Moscow as the head of customer experience. At that point of time, it used to be customer service. So I’ve seen the transition from customer service to customer experience. I was then brought into UAE, about 15 years ago, joined one of the large banks here mushrik, which is also a big name. You know, I worked with the entire call center and what many channels and then I was headhunted by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. I was with them for 10 years. And very proudly, as everybody know, I think I’ve told this story multiple times, very proudly, that I brought this thing from 23rd position to number one bank and customer experience in UAE in four years time period. And we stayed there for seven consecutive years, which is to date. So even if today you go on, on the website of the auction website, you will see Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank as the number one bank. So I feel very proud, along with the team that I had with of Islamic Bank,

Gregorio Uglioni 2:20
I am honored to have you on this show. Because as you are saying you have a really a great experience, a great career, and and also now what you’re doing for the CX community, it’s outstanding, I was able to follow you on several discussion webinars. And I think what you are bringing to the CX community, it’s outstanding, and I am really keen to start a discussion.

Faran Niaz 2:47
One more thing before I because recently, I’ve started my own consultancy, by the name of CX future. So I thought with the experience that I have, maybe I would be better off like helping organizations and you know, others, help them with customer experience improving the customer experience. I will leave my details at the end and if somebody’s interested in.

Gregorio Uglioni 3:09
Sure. And I will talk farewell to them in the show notes. I think for quite a lot of people, it will be a pleasure to have a chat with you or discussion with you. Because at the end, we came also in contact like that. We shared some thoughts we met sometimes. And now I said, let’s have a discussion. And now we are

Faran Niaz 3:28
really excited.

Gregorio Uglioni 3:29
Thank you very much. I think the best way to start it’s really only saying Dubai, it’s really the place where all the outstanding experiences take place. We you mentioned also in the preparation of this discussion about a new rating model, the seven star rating model. And perhaps I think with you it’s really it will be really interesting to if you could share your own experience that you had with companies. And perhaps you can start with with the best experience that that you are that you had in Dubai?

Faran Niaz 4:04
Sure. I think one thing I always say in many of my conversations, I’m very proud and very privileged to be in a part of the world where customer experience is driven by the government. And here, the comment is so clear about what customer explained how customer experience needs to be that they’re very, very serious. And I’ll give you some examples. Maybe some of them have previously heard it from me as well. One fine evening, we read a tweet from the leader of this great country, and by Sheikh Mohammed designer, Sheikh Mohammed. He has a habit of going and sitting in places and experiencing different kinds of places himself. So he went to one of the government offices. This was the by post and he sat in the queue took a cue number and he sat and waited for his turn. This is the owner of the leader of the country. So After 10 15 20 minutes, and he’s sent a tweet, and I say, this is not the service that this country was meant to be, these people are not from here. I don’t own them. This is not the service that we have the whole country moved. Next day, it goes to Ministry of Interior says, I want you to do a full survey. And after three to one months, I want to publish the top five, government offices of UAE 10, the bottom five. And guess what happens? You open the newspaper, right in front of the newspaper, the front page, there is a list of the names of the top five, and the list of the bottom five, and why they are good, and why they are titled full, transparent, full list, the the top organizations are this late, they were rewarded, they got promotions. In the bottom ones, the top management lost the jokes. Simple as that, as that’s clear. Digital transformation techniques, customer experience, everything here is driven. Very quickly, if I may tell you, this is the only country probably where there is a Minister of Happiness. There’s only country where there are roads, when you go on the street, you see happiness street, there is a happiness area, there are happiness. And all the government offices are called happiness centers. They’re not called offices, but happiness centers. And you mentioned the seven star. They said, why if a hotel can have a rating, and customers had the choice of making a choice of reading, going on the websites and saying, I want to stay in a five star hotel, you know, you choose five star, why can’t I choose High Five Star center. So you go and search for five, South Central and you go there. Now, if you go around UAE, from Dubai, you will see blanks already outside the government offices, where you will see three stars or four stars and five stars and the criteria. I’m very privileged. From the banking side from the financial world, I was very deeply part of this canister this whole initiative before the corona hit. And it was stalled. But I think it’s gonna start again, and they will gradually move it into a different parts of sectors as well.

Gregorio Uglioni 7:21
Thank you for Faran, for the introduction. And I think what you mentioned, a leader of a country goes to an office and experience like all the other people, what happens, I think this is an outstanding example of leadership and trying to leave what the life that older peoples are leaving, as you mentioned, you already mentioned that the Minister of Happiness coming back to this topic, Could you perhaps share a bit of ideas? What is the role of Minister of Happiness?

Faran Niaz 7:55
I think it’s revolves around the priority is the people. They want to ensure the variable customer good, they get excellent experience. The idea is not just to put a plank outside, it relates to an I’ve been, you know, be curious about as customer experience professionals, we’re curious. So I wanted to go into a five rated or a seven rated, I believe there is only one that I saw, which has six, six rating, you go inside, it’s a one stop shop, everything is Pitch Perfect, I went inside, and you feel as if you are in a five star hotel, everything is taken care of the people, the processes, everything is so smooth, anything I walked into a three star center as well. And I realized that there are some things missing and you can you know, you can relate what the Minister of Happiness, the role is to highlight the position of UAE as the leader of experience throughout the world, not just you. So they have open lines with the people. So as a as a resident of UAE, I have the exposure for I have the possibility to talk to the government and and register my grievances. I can write on on my good experiences, I can talk about my bad experiences. And they immediately work on it. Not only it’s a forum where they work on people grievances, or whatever it happens. They’re innovative. So they have a sector where the minister has a has a team where they would go around talking to people trying to figure out what’s happening in the world. What is the new thing that’s happening in customer experience? You he needs to help first. That is why there’s so many technologies that this country has, which the other countries are now still, you know, looking for. I can go into the details, but I think you know, we’ll have short time. But the purpose of ministry is to ensure just like any other ministry, make sure that the people of this country are happiness and by the way, you can see it from the happiness meeting, which is published globally. As you can see, the UAE rating is very, very high. And every year it’s increasing. I’m not wrong. It’s amongst the top 25. Now.

Gregorio Uglioni 10:08
And and I think that was my short experience also in Dubai, it was an outstanding experience. And as you mentioned, I think 1 topic that I think it’s, it’s also relevant, even if Dubai is the leading country, it even that they are looking outside and trying to benchmark themselves against what it’s even better. I think for quite a lot of topics, it’s not possible to benchmark because let’s say you are already the best, perhaps we have some experience that you add, that you can share in order to really explain this care, caring about people attention to details.

Faran Niaz 10:48
I think I would go slightly step above. It’s not just they’re following benchmarks globally. But I think that creating benchmarks, the way they have handled COVID I feel so privileged that I’m part of the world where I can go out, I can do whatever I want. Yesterday, I was in the summer watching a movie, I’ve been to do theater, watching Oprah, I can go on the beach, I can be in a hotel, I can be in a park, I can do what my life is normally, when rest of the world is struggling. Even if I don’t want to go into the numbers, the numbers are so controlled. But for me, this pandemic is this. That’s it. But the beauty about this part of the world is when the government says everybody wears a mask, believe me, brother, you will not find a single person who does not wear it. Everyone follows it because they love it, because they respect. And that’s how we’ve been able to control it. There are a lot of examples I can give you. And probably the best way to do it to look at is maybe if you start looking at what Dubai offers. It’s a pure it’s becoming one of the hub. As far as tourism is concerned. The only seven star hotel in the world is not just a seven star. It’s it’s a wonder of the world. And I’ve had the privilege of going there multiple times. The biggest waterparks the fastest roller coaster in the world, the biggest aquarium, largest mall in the world, the tallest building, of course in the world. It’s it’s bigger and better and largest now we have a Dubai which is probably much larger than the London Eye itself as well. So it’s the experiences. It’s not about what Gus one day I was studying with one of my friends and we were standing and say, we looked around 180 degrees and say, this is iconic. This is iconic. Here’s another iconic thing, here’s another iconic, everything is iconic. It’s not just the structures, but when you walk into and jokingly we always talk amongst our friends to buy actually spoils you know the the living standards that mashallah provides you and the kind of luxury that it provides you. I must not drive a car when I can afford it, which probably I can’t afford that call the hotel, I can simply say it without you know, hurting anybody’s feeling of three star hotel here is probably better than a five star hotel in some part of the world. And the pro star hotel or so you will have the luxury I mean, the space that the luxury the attention to detail is that’s why it brings people back. It brings the care and attention that it gives you. I shared with you I think I shot shoot the pictures. I was again, very proud. I was one of the passengers on this all COVID all vaccinated flight that went when there’s a few days ago, it went around UAE and I wrote it on my LinkedIn profile. I’m trying to lower. So we were in the air for three hours. And the experience was unbelievable. I mean, right now, when you go through the immigration, there is no passport, there is no ID you just go through is through your retina. The system just reads your eye. You stand there for a second and you go through what experiences are you talking about what level of experience? You know, this is in line with L airlines itself? Amazing. I mean, I’ve flown many airlines and anybody who’s flown at the heart or Emirates itself. What a phenomenal experience and somebody was saying a lot of issues obviously, you know, there are two different experience you get when you’re all playing on board. What an amazing experience. You get at the HUD announced few few maybe right before COVID The first way you have a cabin where you can sleep, there was a bed. I mean, ever thought about a bed inside an aeroplane. I was talking about the seven star hotel, when you go there, everything’s so beautiful. It’s like gold plated and luxurious in the views is split stick. And people are taken care of.

If I have any issue, it’s immediately I remember when I was working for the last the bank with of Islamic Bank, I got a call I was I was at in the evening, I was at home. And the CEO called he said follow on, I’m in a plane, right. But I mean, coming back from London, I want you to immediately go and find out who does the training of Emirates airline, I want my big people to be trained on hospitality. Because I love it the way they’re taking care of me. He said, I asked for something, I got not only got this, but I got something else as well. And that listening to me at the end, I actually went to, you know, Emirates Training Institute. And I got my people trained through there. So, so replicated. It’s just so many stories that I can tell you which are which create experiences, people are trained to give you moments. There are moments that you so when you visit somewhere when you go somewhere, it’s it leaves a mark of experience, not it’s not about the money. It’s not about the luxury. It’s about the hospitality. It’s about how the country takes takes care of you. And it’s how you go back smiling. And I have seen people crying on the output somewhere else they would have been, can I help you something wrong, you lost your passport, I don’t want to go my passport, my resigned, I have to go back. But I’ll be back soon. This place attracts you.

Gregorio Uglioni 16:55
And I think what you’re saying I can confirm that because that was also my personal experience. It was only a few days, but it was our honeymoon. And and in every restaurant where we went to, they asked us in advance. Why are you here. And everybody was caring about creating a special moment because it was our honeymoon. And they wanted exactly as you said, not only create an experience, but create a moment that I can remember for life. And it was really an outstanding setup. And I think this is also based on on the mindset. It’s really a planning, but this is really a mindset that all the people, the government, the government, but all the industry also around that are creating that. In order to be the best in offering these these experiences.

Faran Niaz 17:47
I’ll tell you one, one of the reasons why it has when you know that you will be recognized for the good work. It’s not just that you’re doing some good work, and it goes. And I always say customer experience. People are the unsung heroes. You do so many amazing things. I started my career in the call center, I used to take calls for a while as well. And I I’ve been in the front end as well. So I’m really proud that I’ve gone through different ranks. And I’ve seen when I become the call center manager, I had so much respect for these people. For example, you taking 100 calls a day to take 99 Great calls one bad call, and it becomes an issue. This is how tough this job is. You see 100 Customers front end you smile you give them great experience, one angry customer one bad experience and you’re questioned here. You do do a good job. You recognize the government recognizes you there are multiple awards here that multiple ceremonies have they recognize that people people feel proud. I, you know, I’m I’m very proudly judged off. Customer experience multiple forms, you know, I would like to call this, which awards international gave me very recently, one of the jobs was done maximum number of hours. I don’t know words and a lot of parts of the word depression that I see when it’s in Gulf region. They fight for it, because they want to show to their compatriots. I’ve achieved something for them. It’s not an award. It’s more of fronting. They like to show this is where they want to show off. And I’ve done a great job and helping people are great and serving people. My organization serves people better than you know, one of the reason why a lot of people asked me how did you improve from 23 to number one. It’s not an easy thing to add 30 Plus banks, you are at the bottom out of 27 banks and we very quickly one thing that I I read the psychology of the people of this part of the world and this is why you need to understand the culture. And I realized that they like to compete positively amongst each other. So the branches who were very good, I was complimenting them and the ones who were at the When I sat with them, I said, Listen, I want you to be at the top, would you like to be amongst your name to be highlighted amongst the ones who are, and they say, we are, we will do anything to be, you know, amongst them. So that passion to do something and to create us is remarkable.

Gregorio Uglioni 20:19
But I think from what you’re saying, it’s extremely important. And it’s, it’s a key mindset. Because at the end, in the morning, when I wake up, it’s not that I say, I don’t want to do anything. If I wake up in the morning, I am happy I am here, I want to create value added, I want to create something, and therefore I give my best. And I think in your region, what your experience, it’s even one step further. Because you want to create this experience, because there is this positive competition to show to the others that you can do that. And then everybody’s improving at the same time.

Faran Niaz 20:58
Absolutely. Yeah, and I tell you, but there is different sides to it. When there is this kind of competition and customer experience becomes such a. Well, I said that I’ve seen the transition, I tell you the different stages of customer experience that I saw in customer experience, the recent, it’s about five, six years old, only, it’s a new baby. So customer service used to be part of it. But when I came to this part of the world, the first word I used to hear was hospitality. So they don’t use it, they never used to call it customer service. They used to call it hospitality. And then from hospitality, it became happiness. And from happiness, it became customer experience. And I remember looking at the mentality of the organization’s. So one day, my CEO calls me and says, What is this word, customer experience? I’m hearing it. What is it? So that’s why I introduced when I introduced the customer experience, NPS and everything. And he was sitting with me and he said, I want you to tell me, who do you think is the best in customer experience in the world right now. So off my head, I said, I think Disney is very good. And guess what? Next week, he sent me to Disney, I was in Disney. And I got my certification from Mickey Mouse. I mean, I have a certificate from Mickey Mouse as well. I did my course. And then from there, I went to Zappos. For me that process is amazing. And Tony, I met Tony as well, was a great leader. And I learned so much so many traits of that. But what I’m trying to tell you what was new in the world, this part of the world was curious. They wanted to but the point that I wanted to make one, it’s this kind of competition, the expectations go high. So now look at the other side, which is the customer site, the expectation of the customer is twofold. So you need to overdeliver not on par, but you need to over deliver. So expectations. Something which probably would be one factor for ordinary customer that’s why people get oh, when they come here for us to people who live in this part of the world. It’s not because our expectations are are higher.

Gregorio Uglioni 23:16
And I think this is exactly the point that at the end nowadays it’s you’re not comparing a restaurant with a restaurant but you’re comparing a restaurant with Zappos, Disney and these top companies in customer experience. And therefore it’s also difficult to improve and what you’re saying it’s always to overachieve what what are the expectation, I think one of the most important colleagues in customer experience ship I can say in creating amazing experiences and this is always a bit more than normal and then average and at the end in Dubai, the average is so high that it difficult to go one step further.

Faran Niaz 24:01
I also tell you one thing as I said before, this country is step ahead. So whatever happens in the world is here. So digitalization or transformation is a huge thing here. But you know what the beauty and which is I’m a big advocate of of, I am not in the favor of 100% digitalization of any, because the human touch is so important. And that’s what I like about this part of the world that you go you find the best technology in the world. Very soon you will see cars which are driverless you will see taxis which will go which are going to be in the air by the way, they’re already ready. So the helicopter taxis are already ready, which will be you know, human contact contactless, but at the same time, the human the empathy, the sympathy the the people touch is so because this is the culture and that’s what I what I love. There are still like when I came new, I don’t know. I’m just going back to my initial day. is what fascinated me when I came to wall I’ve been in so many parts of the world, why this culture is so different. I used to be super surprised that I used to see a lot of people coming to the branches, customer, old customers, they sitting, you know what, how they bring their food and the newspaper. They sit, they feel the data at home, not in an organization, they feel that they belong to the organization. And during this time period, I observed this, they’re chatting with everyone they know everyone by name, everybody knows every customer, they’re sitting every now and that they’re drinking their coffee, half an hour, he’s reading his newspaper, he’ll get up we’ll go to the contract to do something is work, he’ll come back start chatting to the branch manager. I have never seen this kind of cohesion, this kind of friendliness and this kind of in any part of the world. And this is why I’m a big advocate that technology along with human factor is so important. Three days ago, as I told you, I went for I was going with my friend for for movie. And I was very full of everything, I’d like to have a good experience. And when I say thank God, there is a human being obvious, obviously, it was a great digital experience. I got my ticket online, and you have this QR code. But there is a guy who wants to read your QR code. So there is still a human being not a robot. So when he read the QR code, and he said, oops, we have a problem. I said, What happened, he said this ticket is for tomorrow. For him by mistake. I bought a ticket for the day later, no problem. Give me one minute, just please just give me a second went on the computer here. So new ticket, please go and enjoy. That’s the beauty of a human being. This is why humans are so important. And I was giving this example to somebody and I think I don’t know if I this related or not. I’m very passionate about the human part. No matter if you order your food on and this is what COVID did. You know COVID has changed our lives. And by the way, I’ll talk about the experience on the corporate side as well. That you order your food, for example, order, but in the end, but it’s the guy who you know, comes on that scooter or on this vehicle on time with your one pizza or your sandwich or burger or whatever you want it. And when the bell rings, and he gives you that that’s the moment those are the moments those are human being. Now, in this part of the world also, the experience changed a little bit because of the COVID. Obviously, I’m not going to go into the digital part of the world but more practical part of it. Dynamics changed from more perks and what the product offers me rather than how safe it is and what kind of environment it offers me. And I’ll give you the example why am I quoting it. Before it the heart or Emirates used to boost we have the best cables we have the maximum number of movies or entertainment entertainment is best in the world. We are the biggest cabins. Now they say we have the safest plane is the cleanest one. All our our cabin crew is 100% vaccinated, this is the now the selling selling point. And this is where this part of the world takes a lead. And this is what because why? Because the customers expect it. There’s an expectation, because majority of the people here and you know, like other parts of the world here, there is a very high profile, there is a high number of high profile customers. The high profile customer and it’s a part of the world where you behave, you can see that there is a competition amongst people as well, you know who has a word tenant and and that’s why the expectations are accordingly and they expect

Gregorio Uglioni 29:00
I think what you what you’re saying it’s extremely important and coming back to to the human part of the experience. This is still key because the machine is not able to replicate, as you said, the empathy or also understanding of Iran as the wrong ticket. I change that so that they can enjoy the movie this evening with with his friends, and he doesn’t need to wait for tomorrow to to watch the movie. And I think this is this is really key. And it will take quite a lot of time until a machine can or will be able to replicate this human interaction. And then and I fully agree with that. Perhaps also speaking about human relationship, what I’m always saying is that we are not in the b2b business or b2c, but we are in a human to human and entities is all the time I’m to get a bit more about yourself foreign. And therefore I would ask, as you said, you were, you know, 10 times or more times judge at the International in the end customer experience awards, you are really the animated a worldwide about your skills around customer experience, how can you ensure to have a proper life work balance?

Faran Niaz 30:25
If you would have asked me this question a year ago, I would have had a different answer. But now because of the COVID life, there are a lot of negative but there are a lot of positives that this this pandemic brought. I think it brought people closer, it brought families together, people who were spending majority of the time outside fathers, husbands, brothers, mothers, you know, sisters, now the spending time is there are odd, I mean, I’m scared, my door might open and somebody might walk in. And that can happen. And it happened to many of people, but at least the families that maybe the kid will start crying and you will who care if your kid is sleeping, you never know might might wake up because of something we might have to say. But that’s the beauty of this world. So we’ve come closer however, I tell you, I was talking to the CEO of a bank in Pakistan, is it for all I realized one thing, why was I traveling every day, stuck in traffic for hours. When I can do everything, I get up on time, I said, I do everything. If I need to sign some particular document, this the CEO who’s talking, somebody brings those papers, I signed them, I’m fine. I’m just thinking maybe even if this pandemic goes away, I think this will become my norm. Look at what happened to the call centers, concentrate environment is very difficult. Now remote call centers, all the accesses are there. So people can now take calls at the luxury of wherever they are. The same is the case with other people, there are some jobs where there it’s necessary, there are some jobs, which people can now do from from home. So work life balance has automatically taken it’s, it’s I don’t know when inshallah when this pandemic ends, my estimate is and I feel this balance will remain. I’m sure. Tell me yourself, if I may ask you this question. Do you spend more time with your family now than you used to before?

Gregorio Uglioni 32:28
Sure. I

Faran Niaz 32:31
And we have become more closer. I mean, I have done all my work. If I may take the name, zoom, I can talk to my entire team, I can motivate them through to this. I can do. But I do miss you know, obviously you miss that a lot of other things. But at the same time, you realize that a lot of things can be done remotely and work life balance is, to me is now taking taking shape. And I think the balance is pretty much doing well.

Gregorio Uglioni 33:03
And what you’re saying I can confirm that because quite a lot of people are speaking about the new normal. But first we need to understand what is normal because afterwards, it we don’t know what what really normal will be. As you’re saying we see that working from home. It’s really working well. Remote qualified,

Faran Niaz 33:21
financial. Imagine that if I have a large team, and I realize that I can give them accesses. It’s not there is no compliance issues there. So the accesses, I can Why do I need to have expensive, you know, premises, and all the equipment. Organizations can save a lot of money and have things we talking about digital I mean, I’m so fascinated by this AI world, the augmented augmented technology. I’m a big fan of virtual reality. I actually went into one shop where it goes virtual reality where you can walk inside the shop and you can feel those things. And there is a video going on. Maybe I’ll share it with you. There is a restaurant where it’s an augmented technology. The menu is a 3d menu that appears on your on your you can actually see the real burger or your menu with flaming caught flames coming out of it and smoke coming out of it is as the real as it can get. Now sitting in my in my home, I might before I used to just go online and I used to choose a hotel based on the reduce. No, I can walk through the rooms. Virtually I can choose which room I want which view which view I want. I can sit in a car I can open the door without actually being in the car. I can open the door sit in the car, look around at the interior and I can feel when the car is technology has really really moved to the front. And that would that would probably be the next door

Gregorio Uglioni 35:00
I think so. And as we are speaking about experiences, technology’s only a mean to create new new experiences and, and therefore fully agree with you, perhaps then the next question, and I see quite a lot of books behind you. And also this question, is there a book that you would suggest to the audience that you say, this is a book that I really liked, or that helped you in your career?

Faran Niaz 35:27
I have read quite a few, quite a few books. I like to read the books, which are more closer to the truth. And one of the books I think everybody has read Freud wretched, which is the big question and the NPS came out. And that’s where I read the book, which Tony also also wrote, and I would recommend that one, I can come up with the name. And this is the Zappos, Zappos story. It gives you a lot of insight into into your three. Now, I’m very keen on reading the books, which are my colleagues, right? I mean, I’m very proud that I’m part of this facility, which is called the customer experience facility. And recently, there was the third customer experience book published. So I will recommend those and you have a chapter there as

Gregorio Uglioni 36:16
well, if I’m not wrong, Yes, correct. You know, I’m

Faran Niaz 36:19
very proud tonight, the quality audit, I think it’s on the way, I will hold it in my hand, and I would, I would read that, and I think I find not wrong, Inshallah, I will, I will be featured in the next one. Next one as well. When you talk about the books instead of, you know, I can give names and there are a lot of names that people people, I love to talk about something else have a concept of a book that I want to write, you know, this is something which is missing, in my, I wish I can write a book of my experiences of my day to day which people can meet in illustration. So you read it as a comic book, for example, the experience that I have different experiences, I will create a comic book so people can read it as an illustration, and watch it. But not, you know, I’ve always been, I want to create something which is unique and which is different. So hopefully one day I will be able to offer this to the public.

Gregorio Uglioni 37:20
I also and I would I will be the first buyer of your book, because you are explaining such a great example you have so many so many experiences that you can share. And

Faran Niaz 37:32
I have a habit whenever I go somewhere and I experience something I write it down immediately. Do we have time I can give you a couple of very good experiences. Sure. People will, will learn from this and good and bad experiences. But I give you a good. So I went to this restaurant with my friend. And I invited her for for a drink. So we went to this restaurant and we already it’s a busy restaurant just like TGIF TGIF, this here. It’s called Chili’s. So I don’t have a problem taking the name to Chili’s is very famous, but it’s just like TGIF and you can order it. So you want to be nice dish. And then I said what would you like to think she said I want to try something new, goes through and looks at a drink, which looks beautiful blue color. Never I’ve seen this kind of a collared shirt. I will order this. Let’s see how this anyways, she ordered two concepts. And she said I don’t like and put it on the site. Who didn’t say anything? Would you believe the guy who was waiting us? He came and said, Man, I’m observing you’re not drinking it? What happened? To know do we find we know the ones who complain? said no. Why are you not drinking it? You don’t like it? She said yes. It’s very bitter. You know, I would like something more sweet. It’s a no problem. Go to the menu. Tell me which one do you like? So he chose about any product. And when the bill came, they did not charge us for any trick. Now this is a guy who’s waiting so many. This is a busy place. It’s not a five star hotel I’m talking about. It’s not a top line. I’m talking about a place where so many it’s a crowded place. But look at this guy, this is an experience. These are the kinds of things that leave a mark on you. Look at his empowerment, look how he he took care of at the same time. You know, we have all different kinds of experience. And so I I can write a lot of things. I have hundreds of these experiences that I always mow down. I was in a hotel and there were kids with us. Pretty expensive. So we took a staycation. Very fivestar. I prefer great, lovely view excellent stuff. No the kid we ever had a family. So one of the kids said that. I want to go to the slides. The slides are there is a special kind of slides which are in the sea so people can go and jump and it’s a jumping kind of thing. So the place was There was a certain price for it. So the mom came running to me one of the moms and said, You know, I’m very inclusive. Everything is fine. She said, You know what? This guy refused to let my son go to the slide. So the way he said he said, that slides are 120 drums. I have only 100 I do not have 20 said, No, I will not go unless you give me 20. So listen, I’m staying here, please charge it to, to my room said no, I need cash. Say listen, my son is here, I’m staying here, let him go. I’ll bring this 20 said no, if you don’t give it to me right now, I will lose my job, I don’t want to be without my manager would be very angry. And people are so satisfied. What an amazing place, everything was so good. And this one experience where the person did not want to go in buy the book, there is a policy. And I just want to follow it. Listen, see what’s how much you can do what you can do for the people. So they’re always good and bad experience at the same place as well, you can have experience.

Gregorio Uglioni 41:05
At now I also learning a lot. And I understand why, for example, Ian Doyle, Golding is inviting you to his master class, because you have so many good examples to explain what it’s better and what it’s not so good. And also why I’m making this example of following the policy or empowerment, you

Faran Niaz 41:28
took my secrets. But I said that I’m gonna write an illustration book of examples. That’s exactly what those examples would be. Because every illustration would actually tell a story and say, what went right, and what went wrong? And what could have been done better. So that’s my work. So now the secret is, what my whole plan of the book, thank

Gregorio Uglioni 41:45
you. For and if somebody would like to contact you, they could for additional questions, what is the best way to connect with you?

Faran Niaz 41:54
I am I’m very approachable. I mean, I come from a Citibank background where we believed in open door policy. And anybody could have walked into our and we love this. I absolutely, I really respected him for this culture. And I brought this culture everywhere and people loved it. And especially I went to some organization where it was there was a closed door policy, and I’m one of them, where the door is open. And everybody could walk in have a good discussion. It really, really works and brings people people across a very simple formula budget. So I have my LinkedIn so I can I can get my LinkedIn. And that’s where I’m always I’m on WhatsApp. Anybody who wants to WhatsApp me. I’m very, very fond of WhatsApp, WhatsApp as well. My mobile is there. I’m on Twitter as well. I’m on Instagram as well. By the way, one more thing that I want to add. If somebody wants to talk to me about some other stuff, look behind me, you can see Lego. So I’m a big fan of Lego, I just completed my Lamborghini, which is outside. So I completed my big Lamborghini. So I am a award winning photographer as well. I was rated I was nominated as the I was awarded the best photographer a few in 2010. I was in the newspapers and I my work has been exhibited in Italy and Thailand and some other places, places as well. So if people want to connect me for photography, I’d be very, very happy. So what I do is you have all my links, I would appreciate if you could, you know, just put them at the end maybe? Sure, that’d be the link of my, my, my website has been for my CX future.

Gregorio Uglioni 43:35
I know if I phrase that correctly, but this is your expectation and it will be my duty to provide all the information.

Faran Niaz 43:42
Thank you for this. you’re doing me a favor.

Gregorio Uglioni 43:46
Thank you. And the very last question for us. It’s your golden nugget. It’s something that we discussed or something new that you would share with the audience.

Faran Niaz 43:57
What would that be?

Gregorio Uglioni 43:58
Golden Nugget.

Faran Niaz 44:01
I, I believe if you want to manager, for me a very important part of what I’ve learned in this journey. You can be a best worker, you can be an amazing you know, expert of your field. But if you’re not a good leader, become a good leader become a person who is proud of the achievement of their team. Somebody would ask me for on what is your success of an organization? I would say my success is the organization winning the awards, not me. Not anyone, highlight your people. I’ll give you an example. One team leader just team leader that I chose in in Citibank today is the retail head of Citibank. In one of the countries identify people, nurture them, if you have some quality if you have some Experience, give it to people share it, by sharing, you learn, I learn my experiences by sharing with others, by giving your experiences if you have, I think it’s our duty. So my my request for everyone, all these experts, CX experts, give as much as you can to the new ones. And I’m very proud. And I’m very happy that lots of new entrants into customer experience, they contact me and say, we just want to, you know, learn from your experience, what you how you’ve, so I love sharing my stories, and I sit with them and I share my maybe in the future, they will be able to explain something. So there is no nugget is just a request, if with all the experience that people have, please share with it make sure that people aren’t probably won’t become.

Gregorio Uglioni 45:48
That’s perfect, and I will join your request. And at the end, the only thing that I can say nice to thank you very much for on it was a great pleasure to have you on my show. Thank you.

Faran Niaz 45:59
Your show is amazing. And I I waited to be to be there. So I’m finally this is an achievement for me as well.

Gregorio Uglioni 46:07
Thank you very much. And also to the audience. Thank you very much. It was a pleasure. And I hope that you enjoyed this discussion as much as I did

Faran Niaz 46:15
questions please feel free. And I’ll just write to me, or we can have discussion even if something that we’ve not discussed any other topic related to it covers customer experience. I’ll be very happy to answer.

Gregorio Uglioni 46:25
Sure. Thank you very much.

Faran Niaz 46:27
Pleasure.

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Digital Customer Service with Rick DeLisi – E78

Episode released on: 13. June 2022

Digital Customer Service with Rick DeLisi Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Rick DeLisi

LinkedIn Headline: Co-Author of “Digital Customer Service: Transforming Customer Experience for an On-Screen World” and “The Effortless Experience”

Highlights:

  • 00:00 Game Start
  • 00:56 Rick’s Introduction
  • 02:13 The Effortless Experience & experience engineering
  • 06:40 Rick’s Values
  • 08:10 The weakness of book “the effortless experience”
  • 11:40 Automation, Collaboration & Communication
  • 16:05 The importance of talking to a customer service agent
  • 20:40 The combination of technology and psychology
  • 21:42: The evolution of customer service
  • 23:40 what we are going to discuss in 10 years time about CX
  • 25:19 Is the effortless experience the perfect one?
  • 27:57 The Digital Customer Service Book
  • 28:40 Rick’s Contact Details
  • 29:27 Rick’s Book Suggestion
  • 31:20 Rick’s Golden Nugget

… and much more

Selected Quotes:

To me, loyalty isn’t really about you. Loyalty isn’t really about your company. Loyalty isn’t really about your product. And to some extent, loyalty isn’t really about the experience, people have. Really, I thought that’s everything loyalty was all about. Well, what I’ve been learning is that loyalty is much more of a reflection of that individual person, and how they feel about themselves.

Guest’s Contact Details:

The Digital Customer Service:

His book suggestion:

  • The Ultimate Question, Fred Reichheld

Rick’s Golden Nuggets:

  • “When a person encounters a product, a service, a brand, or an experience, that makes them feel smarter and better about themselves, that’s where loyalty comes from.”
  • “stop trying so hard to get people to say how great you are, and instead create every opportunity to enable and reinforce a person’s sense of self worth, and self value based on their decision to do business with you.”

“When a person encounters a product, a service, a brand, or an experience, that makes them feel smarter and better about themselves, that’s where loyalty comes from.” @rickdelisi on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

“stop trying so hard to get people to say how great you are, and instead create every opportunity to enable and reinforce a person’s sense of self worth, and self value based on their decision to do business with you.” @rickdelisi on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast

Transcription:

Gregorio Uglioni 0:02
Ladies and gentleman tonight, it’s really a big, big pleasure. I have Rick DeLisi with me on the podcast, Hi Rick, how are you?

Rick DeLisi 0:12
hello there greetings from the US.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:15
Everything fine on your side?

Rick DeLisi 0:18
Yeah, it’s been a great year. And it only seems to keep getting better. So thank you for that.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:23
And for the people watching the CX Goalkeeper podcast, we are seeing your nice, nice background and you are already introducing what we are going to this to discuss digital customer service, you are co author of an outstanding book that we want to discuss today. But before we deep dive in the book and everything what it’s offering this book, because this is really a playbook that everybody could leverage and can leverage in business. I would like also to learn a bit about you, Rick, could you please introduce yourself?

Rick DeLisi 0:58
Sure. Well, I’ve been studying the science and the psychology of customer service, and customer experience for the last two decades, working for a number of years as the head of advisory for Gartner’s CX and customer service practices, and had previously written a book called the effortless experience, which perhaps we’ll get into a little a little while from now. And now I’m working as the lead research analyst for glia, the leading DCS or digital customer service provider for financial services companies. So my career has come full circle, but always focused on try to create excellent customer experiences, which of course, is your passion to

Gregorio Uglioni 1:40
exactly, but I am a bit disappointed, because you mentioned “a” book, therefore less experience. Sorry, this is not “a” book, this is the book. This is really one of the key books. For every customer experience professional, this is a must read. And it’s me telling that it’s not rich telling me to tell that or to say that to you. But it’s really one of the most important book in customer experience. And I would say it’s one of the first book really speaking about customer service. But perhaps you can elaborate a bit on that.

Rick DeLisi 2:15
It’s an always always an honor to hear how meaningful that book has been to so many people, both people who study customer experience as you do, and certainly those who practice it at companies all around the world. It’s a book that started with a really simple premise. We did a research project some number of years ago to try to determine what is the single best question you could ever ask a customer, right after a service interaction to predict their future behavior, specifically their future loyalty behavior. Now, we all know that the standard questions in customer service and CX have been the CSAT question, how satisfied were you with that experience? And then, of course, the NPS question, net promoter score, which is based on willingness to recommend, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague, here’s what we learned. Those are both fine questions. And those are both fine outcomes, you would want a customer to be satisfied, you’d want a customer to be willing to recommend you. But what we learned is, right after a service interaction, a person’s answer to either of those two questions isn’t very predictive of their future loyalty behaviors. So we experimented with dozens of different words and combinations and iterations of questions and hit upon this realization, a person’s answer to the question, how much effort was required for you to get your issue resolved? Their answer to that question, is a nearly perfect predictor of their future loyalty behaviors. So we began a whole research project into the art and science of reducing customer effort. Once we learned that effort is the thing that companies should focus on. We began to study what is effort? How is it experienced by customers? what can organizations do differently to impact effort? And then came the biggest surprise of all we had imagined at the outset? Again, just linking this question how much effort was required with the person’s future behaviors? We assumed at first and maybe it’s only logical to assume that effort is based on what a customer has to do, right? So when a service interaction that might be how many things they had to do, how hard it was to do those things, how long it took to do those things? Well, guess what we learned how a customer experiences effort isn’t just based on what they do. In fact, it’s based twice as much on how that person feels about the whole experience. The field side of effort is in fact twice as powerful as the do side. And once we discovered that, again, a follow on discovery to the initial understanding of link between effort and loyalty. Once we learned that, it’s so much about how a person feels, we began to realize there’s any number of things that organizations can do to change the way experiences feel. And we call that the science of experience engineering. I’ll just give you the simplest example. Let’s say you’re calling some company on the phone. And the IVR, the voice robot always asks you please put in your 15 digit account number. So you put in your numbers. And then eventually a live person comes on the line. And what’s the first question they always ask you? What was your account number? It’s like, I just put it on the system. Why are you asking me again. But if that, that rep, that person on the other end of the phone says, hey, look, I know you just put your number in the system, but for your own security, would you mind repeating it? That’s the same exact do the customers to do the same exact thing. But it feels completely different. And so understanding the due side and more importantly, the feel side of effort, opened up this whole fertile field of exploration and discovery around experience engineering. So that really struck home with me. And so that’s a big part of what I’ve been studying for all these years.

Gregorio Uglioni 6:18
It’s it’s really outstanding to listen from you what you’re saying and how you are explained that it’s really outstanding. This is really fantastic. But I thinking about the effortless experience in our digital customer service, another outstanding book, but how is it possible to create sites such a great books, and therefore my question is, which are the values that drive you in life?

Rick DeLisi 6:46
I am passionate about experiences. And and maybe if I’m being completely transparent, it’s that I get disproportionately frustrated when I have a poor experience. If I’m standing in a line, if I’m going through some process, if I’m in the middle of some whole rigmarole with some company, I’m always thinking, What could these people have been doing differently? How could they explain it differently? How could they present it differently? How could they structure it differently, so it feels more effortless? Once I came to understand how important customer effort is now, it’s like I measure every experience of my life against that criteria. And you can see, there’s a vast array of opportunities for organizations to make things less effortless, not just easier, that’s part of it. But also to make experiences feel more effortless.

Gregorio Uglioni 7:42
I think this is really, really a great view on on your life and on your values. And and it totally makes sense because you are explaining that we don’t need to call each other because nowadays there are different tools, different ways to connect and to interact with friends, but also with customers. And I think now we should kick off the discussion about the digital customer service, transforming customer experience for on screen word. And it’s something that you mentioned, you mentioned, I would never allow myself to speak about about weaknesses of the book, the effortless experiences. But you mentioned that one of the weaknesses of the of the first book you published is that you didn’t spoke about digital customer service. Could you please elaborate a bit on that?

Rick DeLisi 8:36
I’d say we at least paid lip service to it in the effortless book. But again, that was research that was done in 2012 2013 2014. And the digital customer experience was still very nascent at that point. So we shared what we knew and what we were learning up until that point. But man, have I learned so much since and Haven’t we all? Haven’t all of us become so much more digital first, so much more digital centric. And just to put a pin in the calendar from March of 2020, the onset of the pandemic, each of us have become exponentially more digitally oriented. We live in an onscreen world. You know, if you ask a person, where do you live, they’ll mention some city I live outside of Washington, DC. But in reality, here’s where we live. We all live on this thing. We all live on our screens. And the experiences that we have with companies have to align with the lifestyle that we’ve all chosen to adopt to live on our own screens. And so the central premise of the new book digital customer service, really still goes back to the theme of unnecessary customer effort. But what we’ve learned is that the single biggest source of unnecessary effort in the day digital world is when a customer has an issue or a problem. They go first to that organization’s web properties, website, Portal mobile app, get as far as they can get down the process of resolving their issue. And by the way, if they can do so entirely in self service, without any additional help, that’s always great. But there are always going to be moments of truth, as we’ve described them, issues that are emotionally important issues where a customer is not sure they know what all their options are issues where some degree of diagnosis is required. And in those situations, life, human contact is still critical. But where the effort comes in is, and I think we can all relate to this. If you’re on a company’s web property, and you need to speak to a live human being not just chat, but a voice conversation with a live human being, what are you stuck doing, stopping everything that you were doing in the digital realm, throwing that whole part of the experience away, only to have to start all over again, by dialing a phone number, and then going through that whole process, listening to the IVR menu, hoping you’ve made the right selection, finally waiting to speak to a person then re explaining your whole issue, getting re authenticated in the system. That is the biggest source of unnecessary effort for customers in the digital first onscreen world. And so what we write about in the new book is how can companies solve for that exact problem?

Gregorio Uglioni 11:35
Yes, and it’s really, really, really a great book, I have 1000s of questions, I would like to ask, but I try to stay in the 20 to 30 minutes discussion. I mentioned three words, and I think you can relate to them. But we can discuss on it, automation, collaboration and communication. These are three topics that you are sharing in your book. And I think the best way, it’s really if I have you on the podcast, not speaking too much, but giving back the words to you to explain that.

Rick DeLisi 12:07
Sure. So in the book, we describe a specific strategy called DCS. Now, the book is called digital customer service. But right away early in the book, we describe how those three words put together have a lot of variable interpretation, they can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Typically, what they have meant in the past is adding more digital features and functions and extras on top of a customer service platform that was based in telephony, starting with a telephone based system and then adding these digital features. But what we’re describing is a platform in which all of the elements of the entire experience are all integrated into one platform. And what you mentioned are the three pillars of DCs communication, collaboration, and automation. So just to give you a brief description of each, when it comes to communication, a customer should be able to contact a company any way they choose through any of what we used to call channels. So if you want to start on the website, if you want to start in SMS, even if you want to start in the phone, no matter where you start, that’s where the journey should flow from there without forcing you to do a whole separate thing. So all the elements, all the elements of communication, are tied together. When it comes to collaboration. Now it is very possible for a customer and an agent to be looking at the same thing at the same time. This is what we call co browsing. Imagine if you’re having trouble accessing some function or some information on a company’s website, you press a button, now you’re speaking to a live representative through your own screen through your own computer, who then is with your permission, able to look at your screen and show you look at this little button here, go ahead and press that or did you know if you scroll up here, all of that functionality, or all of that information is available to you think about how that changes the whole experience of customer service. You know, it’s very hard to describe to someone or as the customer to take instruction from someone who’s looking at something that’s different than you are even if you’re looking at more or less the same screen without being able to see where I’m looking or for me to be able to see where you’re looking. That’s a communications nightmare. And that creates unnecessary effort. But with co-browsing, it’s possible for the agent and the customer to both be looking at the customer screen in real time. So that’s collaboration. And then when it comes to automation, there’s really two flavors. Automation that makes the agents job easier, like bringing up account information. and making suggestions about next steps, pre filling out a forms for the customer, guiding the agent to the appropriate resource to solve this customer’s issue, or automation that benefits the customer, automatically navigating them to a place where they need to go next, populating forms with information from the customer themselves without them having to do all the extra work, providing particular as potential steps or tips or tricks to guide that customer through their own experience. So automation works, both for the agent and for the customer. So again, all elements of communication, collaboration, and automation all tied together into one platform. And that’s what it takes to create an effortless, seamless five star experience for today’s digital first customers, which by the way, are pretty much all of us.

Gregorio Uglioni 15:54
Exactly, and harmonized throughout all these processes exactly what you were saying, perhaps because I am following you, I know what you’re discussing. And often people says, But you know, Rick, during the pandemic, people want to talk to contact center agents to employees, what you are offering, what’s your view on that?

Rick DeLisi 16:22
Yes, there will always be situations in which talking to a live human being are either absolutely necessary or greatly preferred. But those live conversations no longer have to happen as a completely separate phone call. So one of the key elements of this DCS platform is what we call on screen voice. So you as the customer at any time in the middle of your interaction, if you want to speak to a live human being, you press one button on your screen. And now you’re speaking through your screen to a person on the other end, who’s representing a company who can take care of your issue, just like you would if you had to make a phone call. But without that whole unnecessary step of stopping what you were doing, and then starting all over in a phone call. So let’s discuss both for the customer and the agent, how this idea of onscreen voice is so much better for them. For the customer, the entire life, part of the interaction occurs within context. So I’m already in the middle of some digital journey. I’m in the middle of some process, if I need help, I press a button. And now I’m speaking to a person who can help me right where I already was, you know, we talked about the idea of meeting the customer where they are. And that’s almost always interpreted as meeting them in the channel where they began the interaction. And certainly that’s important. But what about meeting the customer where they are in the midst of the journey that they were already on. So being able to speak to a live person who can pick up the conversation in context, where I am at this point in the journey creates a much lower effort experience. Think about it now from the agent standpoint, in a situation where the customer has already been authenticated in the system, their account has already been pulled up. Because they logged in on the website or the app, the agent can then greet the customer by name. Hi, Mr. De Lacy, great to talk to you. And by the way, based on that person’s browsing history, or what we call their digital footprint, where are they on the site or the app at the moment that they needed help a conversation instead of starting with Hi, how may I help you not knowing who that person is or what they need could begin with? Hey, Mr. Delisi, looks like you’re trying to apply for an auto loan, I could totally help you with that. Think of how much different that is for both the customer and the agent. It really feels to the customer. Much more like a VIP experience. This person already knows me. This person is anticipating my needs. This person is joining me in the middle of my journey. For the agent, it creates many more of what are called a rock star moments where you can truly connect with a person where you don’t have to ask a million annoying authentication questions. You don’t have to try to identify the issue this person is dealing with because you already have a strong idea based on what they’ve been doing. So being able to jump into the middle of that person’s conversation is not only more efficient, it’s typically a much shorter conversation, which is better for everybody. But it also allows you to truly serve that person instead of having to start from square one every single time. So it creates one of these impacts where everyone comes out ahead. It really is best for all and it’s so cool to think that this technology which He didn’t exist before, not only exists today, but is available to virtually any company.

Gregorio Uglioni 20:07
And it totally makes sense because I am preaching about adding the human to human experiences. But these are their value, add that human to human experiences. Because if I know you, Rick, then I use your name. And I know why you’re calling me. And it means I care about you. And I can start in a completely different way our our discussion, and it’s totally makes sense. And as you’re saying, the technology is there. Technology is the mean to achieve something, and does something it’s exactly creating value. And as you’re explaining perfectly in the first book, and also in this book, to reduce the effort, it totally makes sense.

Rick DeLisi 20:50
And that is the hallmark of this new book is that it is based on the combined learnings of everything that I’ve been studying, which is around the psychology of customer interactions with my co author Dan McKelvey, who’s the CEO of glia. He’s been studying how can we use technology to create more effortless experiences. And so we believe this is the first time that technology and psychology have been combined to create one product, one book and one strategy. So it’s equal parts, both there’s the human side and the technological side, they’ve now merged into one central idea, which is, why are we still doing so much of customer service on the telephone? It doesn’t make sense anymore. In today’s digital first world,

Gregorio Uglioni 21:40
yes. And it totally makes sense. Perhaps, how are you seeing the evolution of customer service in the past, and nowadays,

Rick DeLisi 21:49
what we’re seeing is that it hasn’t evolved nearly as quickly as the behaviors of customers themselves. That’s a really unfortunate and uncomfortable situation for companies to be in recognizing, we haven’t come as far as our own customers. You know, 84% of customers, according to research by Forrester start any service interaction on their own screen. And yet, companies around the world are still taking over 8 billion phone calls for customer service. That’s a mismatch that represents a lack of evolution by companies forcing their customers to do a thing that, frankly, feels out of date. We just don’t use the telephone for information or first service anymore. You know, think about all the things that we used to do by dialing a phone number that we don’t do any more even common things like reservations, when’s the last time you made an airline, or a hotel reservation or even a dinner reservation? Simply by picking up a phone and calling know when we need help when we want information? When we need service? We go here we go to our screens. So again, why is so much of customer service still happening on the phone? That’s a mismatch. It’s an opportunity moment. And it represents the chance for companies to evolve as quickly as their customers already have.

Gregorio Uglioni 23:15
Exactly. And I think in the book, and in your presentation, you are preaching about digital first. And it totally makes sense because we are living on our foods. It’s not a playing, as my wife is often saying that I play with the phone, it’s really working with the phone, and and doing everything but what we are doing in our daily daily lives. Perhaps my question is also, I really like to speak about the future try to predict what will happen in future. What’s your view, Rick, what we are speaking about in 10 years from now about customer service,

Rick DeLisi 23:53
in 10 years, we will look back at today and ask the same question I just asked before. Why did we do so much of the most important interactions we’ll ever have with customers on the telephone. It doesn’t make we’ll laugh about that, in the way that we laugh about all the things that we used to do on the phone. In the US, for example, you tell me if you’re familiar with a concept called Movie phone, we used to call a telephone number to find out what time movies were playing at the local theater that now seems so archaic, that seems so old fashioned. That would be like, you know, making your own clothes off of a loom or churning your own butter or building your own wagon. I suppose you could do those things. But we don’t do those things anymore. We don’t use the phone for information for service anymore, except when we have to when we’re forced to end customer service. So I think 10 years from now, we’ll be looking back and maybe almost sheepishly or embarrassingly laughing about the fact that we even in 2000 22 We’re still making people call us on the phone when they wanted or needed human contact.

Gregorio Uglioni 25:07
Thank you very much, it totally makes sense. And I couldn’t agree more. Because at the end, we want to create effortless experiences for our customer, but perhaps also, not always to agree on everything. Some people, some customer experience professional are preaching about to add some effort to some experiences in order to make that more desert desirable for customers that they need to do something in order to achieve something. What’s your view, the perfect experience is really the effortless one or with a small effort?

Rick DeLisi 25:48
Well, let’s make sure that we’re drawing a clear distinction between two groups of people, people who aren’t your customers yet. So prospect are people who you’re trying to sell to, and your existing customers, the psychology of those two experiences is often very different. If a person in the process of becoming a customer feels like they achieved something, or they had to put in a little extra work to get what they want. Maybe there’s a more rewarding experience about that maybe it feels like I did something, and I got something. So maybe in the process of becoming a customer, that might be a desirable outcome. But once a person is already a customer, if they have a problem, if they have an issue, if they need help, anything that you’re doing that makes that experience more of an effort for the customer means you’re losing, you’re losing in loyalty, you’re losing potential future revenue, you’re losing in terms of potential negative word of mouth. So anything that involves treating an existing customer, particularly in solving a problem should always be done, in the most effortless way possible. Here’s another way to think about it. For people who work in marketing, one of the primary objectives is mindshare. How can we get people to be thinking about us more often? How can we be more front of mind among our prospects? Service? Isn’t it exactly the opposite? Haven’t we really succeeded in service at the exact moment that the customer completely forgets that there was ever a problem in the first place? So rather than try to create dazzlingly memorable experiences in service, the ultimate outcome is to create an experience that’s so easy that the problem goes away, and is never thought of again.

Gregorio Uglioni 27:54
It totally makes sense. Thank you very much. And now the question that it comes to my mind is where can the audience find the book?

Rick DeLisi 28:03
Yeah, so we’re really happy that the book has been published by Wiley, a major publisher, it’s available on Amazon. It’s available on Barnes and Noble. And certainly, it’s available for global distribution. We also have an audio book version narrated by a very cool and inexpensive narrator, me. And there’s also a digital version as well, if you prefer to read it on your Kindle or your ebook reader.

Gregorio Uglioni 28:30
Thank you very much. And now it’s really time to come to the end of the game, and understand a bit more about you. But before deep diving into that, if somebody would like to contact you, what’s the best way to contact you?

Rick DeLisi 28:46
Sure. It’s always easy through LinkedIn, it’s just my name Rick DeLisi on LinkedIn, or my email address at glia is rick.delisi at glia.

Gregorio Uglioni 28:59
And is it possible to contact also then?

Unknown Speaker 29:01
Yes. Dan is available through LinkedIn as well. And it’s Dan Michaeli looks like thename Michael with an “I” on the end, Dan Michaeli. And he’s on LinkedIn as well.

Gregorio Uglioni 29:13
Thank you very much. And is there perhaps, in addition to the effortless, effortless experience and the digital customer experience? Sorry, digital customer service? Is there a book that you would like to suggest to the audience that help you during your career or throughout your life?

Rick DeLisi 29:33
Yeah, I am always amazed how many people who follow the NPS methodology, the Net Promoter Score methodology, or who have even been measuring it at their companies for years, haven’t read the seminal book that introduced the world to NPS which is called the ultimate question written by Fred Reichheld. I’m amazed shocked even to discover that a lot of people who’ve been Tracking NPS for years, don’t even fully understand it. And the book explains it very thoroughly. How it’s less, even though the question is, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague, it’s less about recommendation, and more about getting a more truthful reaction from an individual about how they feel about their interactions with a company. So the idea is, if we just simply ask you, how likely are you to be loyal to our company, your answer may or may not be indicative of your future behavior. But if we ask you, and again, this represents the totality of your entire experience with the company, if we ask you, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague, what we’re really doing is putting you in the mind frame of influencing other people. And for most of us, when we’re asked a question about our influence of over other people, we’re more likely to be transparent, more likely to be fully honest about our feelings than if you just asked me about how I feel. So that’s where NPS first began the whole idea of putting a person in the mindset of recommending or influencing another person and using that as a lens through which to understand exactly how do I feel about my overall loyalty to your company.

Gregorio Uglioni 31:17
Thank you very much. And now I asked you to score the last goal is Rick golden nugget, it’s something that we discussed or something new, that you would like to leave to the audience.

Rick DeLisi 31:30
Yeah, this for anybody who lives and breathes CX, this has been just a fundamental lesson that I’ve learned. And if you haven’t heard it expressed exactly in this way, I hope it becomes as meaningful to you as it does. To me, loyalty isn’t really about you. Loyalty isn’t really about your company. Loyalty isn’t really about your product. And to some extent, loyalty isn’t really about the experience, people have. Really, I thought that’s everything loyalty was all about. Well, what I’ve been learning is that loyalty is much more of a reflection of that individual person, and how they feel about themselves. So when a person encounters a product, a service, a brand, or an experience, that makes them feel smarter and better about themselves, that’s where loyalty comes from. And so, everything in the CX world, instead of being about trying to get people to say how great we are, should be about enabling people to feel even smarter and better about the decision they made to become your customer in the first place. So again, loyalty comes from how I feel about myself, based on my choices, so much more so than how I feel about you. So stop trying so hard to get people to say how great you are, and instead create every opportunity to enable and reinforce a person’s sense of self worth, and self value based on their decision to do business with you.

Gregorio Uglioni 33:11
Thank you very much. We are concluding this discussion with Rick golden nugget. I’m not commenting that because that’s your golden nugget. It was an outstanding discussion. Thank you very much for your time.

Rick DeLisi 33:25
Thank you for having me. And for anybody who would like to continue the conversation. Let’s do so thanks.

Gregorio Uglioni 33:30
I am super happy. And please, Rick, stay on the line because I need to ask you your 15 digit account number.

Rick DeLisi 33:39
I just put it in the system.

Gregorio Uglioni 33:41
I don’t have it, I need to write it.

And for the audience. I hope that you enjoyed the discussion as much as I did. Really, please stop post this podcast, download your copy of digital customer service because it’s really worthwhile to buy it. It’s a great book. And please stay on the line. We will meet next time. It was a great pleasure to have you on Thank you very much. Bye Bye. Cheers.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share that word of mouth. Subscribe it, share it until the next episode. Please don’t forget, we are not in a b2b or b2c business. We are in a human to human environment. Thank you

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(Replay) Platforms and their implications on business with Anna Noakes Schulze – E23

Episode released on: 24. May 2021

CX Goalkeeper with Anna Noakes Schulze S1E23 is about Platforms and their implications on business and CX Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Anna Noakes Schulze

LinkedIn Headline: UX/CX Strategist | Keynote Speaker | Bestselling CX Author | Top CX Influencer for 2022 | Digital Platform & Ecosystem CX

My learnings:

Platforms will change how business works as it is a different way of doing business.

  • The comparison between pipeline businesses and platform businesses makes it quite clear.
  • A pipeline business has a linear value chain (i.e., one flow from the company to the customers)
  • Platform businesses offer the infrastructure as they control the access to the value creation chain.
  • The value itself is created by the participants (sellers and buyers). Both are contributing to the value creation. Increasing the traffic creates more value for the participants (e.g., the Amazon flywheel clearly shows the network effect)
  • The telephone is a good example. If only 2-3 people would be connected via phone the value of the platform “phone” would be really low, however, if the whole world would be connected the value would be immense (as it is).
  • Investors value platform businesses with higher multiples then pipeline businesses.

Three key implications on CX: value, usability and trust

  • Value: It is created by the interactions within the community and by the power of involved community.
  • BlaBlaCar in France which matches riders and drivers, is a great example. During the pandemic they created a new App within 10 days to help people who were not able to leave their houses. The community volunteered to pick up grocery, medicines etc. for the community and bringing them the to the houses of other community members in need.
  • Usability is important also in platform businesses: Finding partners easily, ensuring frictionless experiences and making possible to quickly interact.
  • Trust is the third key component. All the participants need to trust themselves in the ecosystem.

Her book suggestion:

  • Convenience revolution by S. Hyken
  • Outside In by K. Bodine and H. Manning
  • The Platform Revolution by G. Parker, M. Van Alstyne and S. Choudary

Anna’s Golden Nugget:

Start thinking about platform businesses and try to find out more about them. Find out how to improve platforms for the better from a customer and a partner experience perspective.

Start thinking about platform businesses and try to find out more about them. Find out how to improve platforms for the better from a customer and a partner experience perspective. Anna Noakes Schulze on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

How to contact Anna:

Thank you, Anna!

#customerexperience #leadership #platforms #cxgoalkeeper

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast

Transcription:

Gregorio Uglioni 0:02
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the next session of the CX goalkeeper Podcast. Today. I have Anna with me. Hi Anna.

Anna Noakes Schulze 0:12
Hi, how are you?

Gregorio Uglioni 0:13
Good. Thank you. And thank you very much Anna to be here for this discussion. I am really thrilled because I was able to follow your presentation at a CX summit 2021. And for me, it was really mind blowing what you discuss what you presented. But before we go into the topic, let’s perform a short introduction. Anna, could you introduce please yourself?

Anna Noakes Schulze 0:36
My pleasure. I’m originally from Canada, and ended up moving to the United States for my master’s degree, specializing in user experience design. So I a CXer with a UX background. I ended up getting married to a man in the car industry, and we moved all around the world. So first, we went to England where two sons were born, then it was back to the US for a year, then Thailand for three years than Ireland for two years. And now we’ve been in Germany for 12 years. And I’ve worked mainly with UX design agencies in London, first with the agencies and then as an independent consultant. And I found as the world grew more digital, that it made sense to me to focus more on customer experience rather than user experience. And people often ask me, Well, you know, what’s what’s, what’s the big difference and user experience is about digital artifacts. And a lot of customer experience is happening through digital interfaces now. So what’s what’s the difference, really. And what I tell them and why CX is, for me, a more interesting problem is that UX is concerned with optimizing digital artifacts in themselves. But with customer experience, you’re actually popping up a level. And you’re interested in optimizing the way that these digital artifacts mediate the relationship with the customer. So customer experience is more about people and processes, and mediating relationships. And it’s not the the the pure design elements in for their own sake. So for me, CX simply became a more interesting problem for me as I went through my career. And an important thing to note is that if you are a UX designer, within a few short years, nothing that you’ve ever created, still exists, it simply doesn’t. websites get replaced, apps get updated, personas change, and then you don’t really have any, you know, lasting artifacts from what you’ve done. But I always felt with CX every time that we’re influencing people, and how things are done. And influencing colleagues and peers and customers, were creating ripples in this world that spread out, and may have a long lasting impact, even if we don’t see it right in front of us. So for me, CX is the most wonderful area to be working in. And, and I find that CXOs in general, are really kind of warm hearted and cooperative people very connection friendly, very supportive. And it’s very, very rare to find someone who isn’t like that in CX. And so I just, I just love the people who are involved in CX, and I love being part of this kind of work. So really, this is like the best possible career I can imagine. You know. And finally, I think, what I love about it, as well as the diversity, there’s such an interesting range of backgrounds, from people who are involved in CX, whether it’s marketing, or UX, or operations, or some people are purely from customer service. They come from all kinds of different backgrounds. And in every environment that I’ve been, whether it was school, or work, it was the diversity of people’s backgrounds that led to peak creativity. And so I’m really, I’m always excited about what we can accomplish together with our different backgrounds.

Gregorio Uglioni 4:20
Thank you, Anna, for the great introduction. It’s really interesting. And I think it’s what I want also to mention, you were my first chair of judges at the international customer experience last year.

Anna Noakes Schulze 4:33
That’s why right,

Gregorio Uglioni 4:35
And now I’m really happy to have you on my podcast. As I said, for me what’s really, really interesting to follow you during the CX summit because you were speaking about the difference between pipeline business and platform businesses and you were explaining and deep down deep down a deep diving in in the in the platform business. I would like to start this discussion and for for the audience. So could you please explain the difference between these two types of businesses?

Anna Noakes Schulze 5:05
Well, well, first, I’m going to have to almost go back a little bit and finish my introduction, because I didn’t quite make it up to the present in my enthusiasm. But um, about a year and a half ago, I met a local entrepreneur in Dusseldorf, working in that building right there in Dusseldorf. And he was the CEO of a digital business and platform consultancy, called Eco dynamics. And we met and ended up speaking for something like four hours the first time we met. And we had so many interests in common in terms of digital business, and the customer, and digital transformation. And all of the interesting issues that business face now in the in the digital business world. And we shared a lot of concerns about how, in some ways, because the German culture is more careful and conservative that we in some ways we’re falling behind, you know, and so we both found that we had a great interest in platforms, and that we felt that it was the future of business. And also, very importantly, in terms of you and me and things that we care about, it’s all about value creation for the customer. And that’s something that comes out in your chapter, as well as mine, even though they’re in completely different areas, you’re talking about customer service, and finding ways to leverage customer service for value creation. And I’m talking about different business models and how these new and strange business models can be leveraged for value creation, for all sides on the platform, the customer side, the partner side, everyone who’s involved in that. So for me, this was tremendously exciting. And I could see for myself that platforms had kind of taken over our world over the last 20 years. And it’s I can, I can remember the exact day, when for the first time, I ordered my textbooks on Amazon, instead of standing in line for hours at the campus bookstore, which is the way it was done before, you know, and that was this life changing moment that Amazon came on, came online, provided our textbooks and pretty soon started providing everything else. And so so this phenomenon has been creeping up on us, we’re using TripAdvisor and Uber, and we’re on YouTube, and we’re ordering stuff on Amazon. And all of this is going on. And it’s so much like the the oxygen in the air we breathe, we almost don’t even notice it. And that’s that’s what I feel is happening in CX is that we’re so used to platforms as consumers, that we don’t even realize this is fundamentally changing how business works. So in terms of pipelines versus platforms, you asked me to differentiate those two a little bit. And a pipeline is a classic linear value chain business, which is the, you know, it’s been around forever and dominated the 20th century, the whole industrial area era and post industrial era was dominated byvalue creation, within a company structure where employees deliver products and services along a linear value chain. So it’s all one way flow from the company through the employees, sales, marketing, distribution. And finally, to be the end consumer or customer, if it’s b2b. It’s always one way. And everything we know about customer experience has been about optimizing that linear value chain. That’s why marketing is so important, for example, in terms of mediating the customer relationship. But then these platforms come around long, and they do something completely different. Where instead of, instead of owning and controlling resources, you’re controlling access to resources. And the value creation isn’t just what your company is doing. It’s what the participants on the platform are doing. So if you imagine there’s a there’s a platform, and there’s customers and partners, if it’s a two sided platform, for example. So think about Amazon, our classic example. Amazon started out as just an online marketplace for their own products. So Amazon was selling we were buying, then they started bringing in partners and competitors who also sell their products. So now it’s you’ve got a selling side and you have a buying side. This is two sided, and both sides are contributing to the value that exists there in Amazon. It’s not just Amazon in their products, and it’s not just Amazon and their partners in their products. It’s the fact that all of those products there brings traffic and all of those customers who are creating traffic on that website. attract more buyers. And then or sorry, more sellers. And then the sellers have more goods that attract more buyers. So the partner sides benefiting from all the traffic, and the customer sides benefiting from all of these products that are available on Amazon. And that’s called the Amazon flywheel it like it builds and builds and builds. And in platform terms, we talk about network effects. So each new when each new user to the platform increases the value to the others that are already there. That is, that is a positive network effect. So for example, LinkedIn wasn’t very important, when only the first 1000 people were on it. But when millions of people are on it, then it has high value for everybody. And the same with a telephone system. It’s one of the earliest networks that we had, you know, if it was just two or three people in your town who were connected, it wasn’t nearly as valuable as when the whole world is connected. So that’s, that’s the important thing. And the with these platform businesses, they’re able to grow exponentially without exponential increase in cost, because each new user adds negligible marginal costs to it. So it’s quite a, you know, it’s quite a different way of doing business. And in a traditional pipeline business, if you want to increase the volume of business you do, you have to add employees, you have to add more resources and material. And so you get more of a linear monotone growth, not the kind of wild exponential growth that you sometimes see in platforms. And believe me, investors notice that too. So the way that they value platforms is that a much higher multiple than a traditional pipeline business, because they see that potential for exponential growth. So that’s sort of a basic description of the difference between them. It’s sort of the Amazon flywheel versus, you know, a regular online store.

Gregorio Uglioni 11:58
I think this is a great explanation. And it’s really, really understandable. And if you start thinking about it, then you’ll see really big shifts from platform business, to this to this story from pipeline businesses to this platform businesses. And I think you should also one slide that was really, really interesting. And it was, how are growing this platform businesses in us, in Asia and in Europe? Can you please comment a bit on that?

Anna Noakes Schulze 12:29
Oh, in terms of volume of platform businesses, yes. Yeah, this is really interesting. They’re basically two big centers of platform innovation in the world right now. And one of them is centered on the US. And the other one is centered on Asia, primarily China. And here in Europe, we have, you know, we have platform startups, we have, you know, established platform businesses, but in much, much smaller volumes than the US or China. And I think people have to realize it’s not necessarily that we lack innovation in Europe. It’s that in part, because we have, let me say, somewhat more robust regulatory frameworks. And we tend to expect our platforms to perform in a way that’s going to be consistent with our social democratic values. You know, and that’s an important thing that people have to realize is that platforms are not free of ideology. They have an ideology built right into them in terms of how they work and what kind of behavior they allow, and what kind of functions they allow. So I think here in Europe, were a simply a little bit more careful

about exploring this space. But I think it is important that we do have a platform business culture here in Europe that’s, you know, consistent with our goals and values, and also consistent with public good as well, because that’s a side of it that has really, I can’t speak too much for China, because I’m not as you know, I don’t have boots on the ground there to see how they’re working. We know that China has more of an authoritarian framework, which might have some pluses or minuses. I think in the United States, you see more of a neoliberal framework behind the platforms. But then comes a certain criticism about platforms abusing their powers, because they’re maybe not as regulated as they should be, or that the regulatory framework needs to, to catch up. And you know, that’s why we find situations like Uber being sued to recognize that that drivers are employees and it was a lot of concern. I think a great question somebody asked me at the CX Summit is are they abusing their power? And you know, I I didn’t want to get too into that, because I know there are people who specialize in exactly that subject. But it is a question that you have to ask. And you do have to be aware that whoever is the platform owner has all the power because they have all the data. So look at the example of Amazon, for example, selling their goods, but also selling their customers goods, and they have all the sales data on all of that, you could argue that that’s a situation of unfair competition, when Amazon markets, their own products against the competitors on their own website, you know, and then maybe the partners have to accept, well, I’m a little bit at a disadvantage when I sell on Amazon’s platform. But look at this, look at the size of this, this market that I have access to, you know, so there are trade offs there. But I think when I, the thing that I’m especially interested in is actually not so much to e commerce platforms, but the sharing economy platforms and online networks that have been established, because I’m very, very interested in digital trust. And trust is one of trust greases the wheels in the platform environment, because that’s what allows people to interact, and exchange value with confidence. So there has to be certain amount of trust between the participants. And there also has to be a certain amount of trust between the participants and the platform itself. So look at a social media platform like Twitter, and you’ll notice it’s about 70%. Male. And that is not an accident. That’s that’s an issue of governance on the platform. And the it reflects the extent to which many women, certainly minorities, or other marginalized groups feel that they are poorly treated and not protected from, from hostile behavior, on Twitter, and so it skews the gender ratio. So that’s a direct consequence of governance, and even Twitter have admitted they didn’t get proper rules in place at the beginning. And now it’s so big, it’s, it’s quite difficult for them to, to manage. So that’s something I’m very, very interested in. Because the key thing that you need to know about platforms is that everything, everything about the health of the platform is keyed to interactions and exchange of value, whatever that value unit is. So Uber needs drivers and riders, and they need to be able to connect and they be need to be able to transact together. And and so that’s, that’s a trust issue. But the Trust has come up in so many other different environments, even on Amazon, if you buy goods from a third party seller, and they turn out not to be as described, or the quality’s not as described, or they’re fake reviews, that erodes your trust in the platform overall. You know, so I’ve always kind of wondered, because that issue has come up so many times over so many years, whether Amazon finds that unacceptable, unacceptable. I don’t know, external negative externality, or whether they’re simply deciding that if third party sellers are unreliable in some way, does that make Amazon’s own products look a bit better? So I’ve never really figured out what their strategy is there. But the long and the short of it is trust greases, the wheels, and everything to do with platform health depends on the interactions. And then you know, that gets into a whole other topic. I don’t know, if you want to get into metrics. There are different metrics for platform businesses as well.

Gregorio Uglioni 18:40
Not yet I think, I really liked this explanation. And it was a longer explanation. But it really adds to understand the difference is because most of the people are really focused on let’s say, I name that now old fashioned business. It’s the pipeline business. And now this is this mind shift in direction of platforms, that you have different actors and different interaction. You mentioned relationship. You mentioned trust, you mentioned differences. Perhaps Could you elaborate on a bit more on what are the implication for customer experience? Because it’s a complete different business business setup? And therefore there are for sure implications on customer experience.

Anna Noakes Schulze 19:24
Yeah, I think the the main issue for me is what are we going to what are we going to take from traditional customer experience that can add value in a platform environment? And and when I reviewed the literature of platforms, you know, looking for any clues, anything anytime they discussed, the customer or the two sides of a two sided platform, or how the interactions work, I looked for clues and hints about what makes CX work in that environment. And that’s how I developed my three keys to customer experience for platform businesses as you as you know, from from the talk, and also from my book chapter, and they were value usability and trust and trust, we’ve talked on talked about a little bit already. Usability, I think it just goes without saying in any digital environment, how important usability is a customers and partners in case of a two sided platform, they have to be able to, to exchange value in a way that is relatively easy, friction free, it has to be convenient, it has to be easy to get around the site, all of these sort of traditional usability heuristics are applicable in a digital platform environment. And then that brings us to the third issue, which was value. And, you know, and I know that you’re just as interested in that as I am, because I remember from your chapter in CX three, you were talking about the value irritant matrix, which I thought was really cool, because that was a VP of Amazon, Bob price, wasn’t it? Yeah, who had come up with that.

And it was a way of prioritizing customer experience issues that were as either high or low value for either the company itself or for, for the customer. And you gave some fantastic examples of using customer service to leverage more value for the customer. So that was an issue and, and in the platform environment, it’s the interactions that allow that exchange of value that are so crucial. And generally, platforms start with one simple core interaction, there’s one thing that it wants to achieve. So take ride sharing platform, blah, blah, car from France, which is a really nice example of good governance, really good digital trust, and doing public good as well. So blahblah car originally started with just matching up riders and drivers for for some kind of ride sharing function, I think it was city to city at first. But eventually, they found that because they had emphasized good governance on the platform, and strong pillars of digital trust, there was enough of a community feel on this platform that it went beyond just transactions. And so when COVID hit, they were able to ingest things in like 10 days or something, they were able to launch a new app called blah, blah, help. And that was us, tapping their community to help others in need people who were either quarantined or stuck at home because of health issues, or were vulnerable and couldn’t leave. And members of the blahblah community actually volunteered to drive around picking up their groceries and bringing to them bringing, picking up prescriptions, and bringing prescription medicine to people. And I thought it was such a great example of the power of platforms done right to actually build community and build bonds between people and then leverage that for social good as well. Yeah, I this, this is a great example of why I’m excited by platforms, I know that a lot of people have concerns about how much power they have. Because of that, that exponential growth they become often it’s winner take all or winner take most is a reasonable way to put that. So we worry about concentrating too much power in the hands of platforms. But then you look at example like blahblah car, tremendous power to to mobilize a whole community and to build bonds with people. And the riders and drivers say I I’ve met such interesting people I’ve gotten to know people. Now, obviously not as much of that going on right now in COVID times. But I looked at I looked at the founders TEDx talk about using platforms to build communities. I read every article I could find about them. And I really started to feel that there are many examples in the sharing economy, especially that really leveraged trust and digital communities and doing public good. And it’s all on the backbone of good governance. So just just the fact that we see platforms now. And then maybe some of the American examples we see we think all they’re really successful as a business, but I don’t necessarily like what they’re doing to communities or how they’re they’re, they’re treating people who are de facto workers. And those are those are governance and regulation issues. And they’re wrestling that with that in the US just like here, believe me. And often platforms actually get ahead of the regulation. So it’s a bit of a wild west in that respect. And there’ll be And then examples I’ve cited in presentations, where people came to me later and said, Do you realize that platform is kind of exploiting a lock, in effect, making it difficult for them to change to another platform? You know, and I do realize that but I, I, what I choose to focus on is the potential for good that I see there because it is it is tremendous, and it’s world changing. And to me, that’s something to really get excited about.

Gregorio Uglioni 25:27
And I think this is really an important thing that you’re seeing that content potential for good. And you spoke quite a lot of community about communities, and the nowadays, CX community would like to learn a bit more about Anna, because you are author of the CX three book, you are working quite a lot, you are an expert in this topic, you were the chair of judge at the international customer experience, what? How can you ensure to have a proper life work balance?

Anna Noakes Schulze 25:57
Well, you know, I’m a, I’m a really interesting case study in that regard, because for a long time, I didn’t find it possible at all, to have any kind of reasonable work life balance. And part of the reason was that I have two boys with special needs in the area of what we call invisible disabilities, where there’s ADHD, and there’s autism spectrum on the scene. And and, you know, I didn’t I didn’t have any other children besides these two. So for me, however, they were was just normal. And then you start getting into the school system. And suddenly, you’re getting all kinds of feedback that this isn’t right. And that isn’t right. And could you talk to your son about this, he’s doing this thing that he’s not supposed to do. And for me, it was really complicated by the fact that we were doing all of this in a foreign country, in a foreign language, far from home, I didn’t even know any German when we came to Germany. So there was all of in addition to all of this having to settle into a new culture and learn a new language that was compounded by all these concerns about my boys. And in this country, a child’s fate in terms of their eligibility to go to university is pretty much decided in the fourth class. So while they’re still very young, not even 10 years old, their future is being decided. And we felt tremendous pressure when we came here to try somehow to get them as ready as possible that they could get that recommendation for give nauseum, which is academic high school starting in the fifth class, so that they would have the option to go to university later. And we did that. But there were many, many bumps in the road, there were extremely challenging times where there were issues. So pressing, that I once had 90 Child related appointments in a six month period. And every one of these, of course, is in German has to be researched. And I have to plan out that they’re gonna go off script anyway. And it was just so hard, so relentlessly hard for 10 years, I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel now, because my older son is studying at university and my younger son is almost finished secondary school. But when, if you want to have a family with two careers, you really need children, whose lives run like the Swiss rail system, basically, everything needs to be on track. And if it’s not working like that, then something has to give. And in my case, I had to change any idea that I had about having a conventional career and be more of an independent consultant because I had to fit whatever I do into the framework of this, this family life, it’s inescapable mean, you have to make it all work together. And in the end, I feel like I was able to do that, but only because I have the freedom to work as and when works for me. And I love the fact that in CX, you can do that, you know, maybe it’s harder if you’re in a if you’re in a big company, and you have fixed hours. And you know, before COVID We had to be at the office as well, you couldn’t just leave because some emergency meeting has been called or something. But you could also be part of a consulting firm, you can be a freelancer, you could be an influencer of some sort. There’s so many different ways to contribute to CX that are non traditional paths. And for myself, and I think for all for a lot of women, especially women with young children. It is they need that kind of flexibility. And so I hope I know you You’re with a big company, you’re you have been with big companies, and many people are and I hope people will think about, are there ways that we can make working conditions more flexible, so that people with different circumstances can continue to participate, because, you know, we all have contributions to make. But we can’t necessarily all do them in a standard 40 or 60 hour week package.

Gregorio Uglioni 30:26
Exactly. And I think this is this is really in an important point, to make possible to people to work and to give their input insights on the different on the different topics. And I always, I’m always delighted to see how much power mothers F in order to support the children to grow up in a proper way to have all the opportunities open, and additionally to work and additionally to ensure this and that, and that, and therefore my my full respect for what you said, Thank you for sharing the story. It’s really, really, really interesting. Thank you very much. It’s really a nice story. And it’s the reality because if you watch television, then you always see the perfect family, father, mother and two children. But the reality it’s a bit different. And I think thank you for for sharing this story. It’s my pleasure. And then this the next question, I would like to ask you, and it’s do you have a book that you would suggest to the audience that you say this book is, it’s really a great one you can have a look at, for sure. We are both authors of customer experience three, therefore, this is our first to test. And then let’s go to the second suggestion that you would have,

Anna Noakes Schulze 31:51
oh, you know, there’s so many, so many good books, you know, on the CX side. I absolutely love convenience Revolution by Shep Hyken, because that’s the one that made it absolutely clear to me. And it’s still crystal clear now, post COVID, especially so that what customers really want is for you to make things easy. And I found that to be equally true in in b2c as b2b. In fact, I gave a talk to DB Schenker earlier this week. It was their internal getting inspired event for 72,000 employees. And I talked to them about the importance of customer centricity in the logistics business. And that was really interesting, because I was able to give them the example of DHL freights CX redesign a few years ago, which was widely recorded in my customer and a few other places, and how they had felt that road freight and had become a commodities business, which in commodities are brutal to be in, if the only thing that matters is getting the lowest price. But when they actually got closer to their customers, and surveyed them to understand better what they needed and wanted, the number one thing on their wish list was just be easier to work with. And so it made them realize that even though road freight was behaving like a commodities business, it actually wasn’t. And they had multiple they, they dove down deeper, of course, into what they meant by be easier to work with. But the idea was, the only reason it was a commodities business in the eyes of the customer is that the providers hadn’t done enough to differentiate themselves on experience, and the offerings and the the survey and the work that they did revealed all of these different ways that they could set themselves apart from competition. So I always feel like being in a commodities business or even, you know, at the very low end of a business, like the ultra low cost carriers, we talk about that sometimes. That’s a very tough business to be in. But it doesn’t necessarily mean experience doesn’t matter. And actually, I think there’s a case to be made in the case of ultra low cost carriers like Ryanair, that it’s because the normal middle of the road carriers didn’t differentiate themselves that it created an opening for low cost, because people thought, well, I’m going to have a terrible experience flying, I might as well pay the lowest price.

Gregorio Uglioni 34:20
I think we already have a topic for one of the next discussion. But let’s let’s go back to this one. And the second last question is if somebody would contact you to deep dive about this, this platform business, what’s the worries? What is the best way to contact you?

Anna Noakes Schulze 34:38
Oh, well, yeah, contact me on LinkedIn for sure. I have I respond to my messages there. I have email there. And just on a final note, because we were talking about book recommendations as well, I talked about inside it outside in and I also talked about convenience revolution. So Look outside. And I think that was Karry Bodine. And

Gregorio Uglioni 35:03
yes, correct Harley Manning,

Anna Noakes Schulze 35:05
right. And then convenience revolution was Shep Hyken. But if you were interested in platforms, if you want a really readable book that conveys just how significant this is, then definitely pick up a copy of the platform revolution, because that is the gold standard, I think, in this space. And so full of amazing examples that tell you how platforms work and why they’re so important. I think that’s, that’s a great piece of work. And I think there’s even there might even be an updated edition coming, I think it was 2016. And there’s like a five year anniversary updated edition of that. But I would really, I really want to encourage all CX people, to learn more about platforms and start thinking about what we can do to be to contribute more in that space. I mean, I don’t want to be the only one. It’s a lonely one is a lonely number. So so please, please join me find out about platforms. And let’s start talking about what we can do to improve platforms for the better from a customer or partner experience perspective.

Gregorio Uglioni 36:16
Thank you very much. And you already picked up my last question, even if I didn’t ask that. Because my last question, it’s always about your golden nugget, Anna’s Golden nugget, something that you already mentioned, or something new. But you already answered this question greatly. Thank you very much. And the last thing to say is thank you very much for your time, and it was a great pleasure.

Anna Noakes Schulze 36:38
Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s a real pleasure talking to you today.

Gregorio Uglioni 36:42
And also to the audience. Thank you very much for being here for listening to the podcast to watching the video. It was a great pleasure and I hope that you enjoyed the discussion as much as I enjoyed it. Thank you very much. Bye bye Arrivederci, grazie mille.

Anna Noakes Schulze 36:57
Bye, everybody.

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The Customer Experience Landscape – Ozkan Demir, CEO Pisano – E77

Episode released on: June 6th, 2022

The Customer Experience Landscape with Ozkan Demir Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Ozkan Demir.

LinkedIn Headline: Chief Executive Officer – Pisano

Highlights:

  • 00:00 Game Start
  • 00:50 Ozkan’s Introduction
  • 02:20 Ozkan’s Values
  • 04:30 His view of the CX landscape “The Total Experience”
  • 06:49 Key ingredients for such a great success story
  • 13:03 What are customers asking to Pisano?
  • 15:11 The role of the team and some insights to nurture it
  • 20:20 Coach or teammate?
  • 20:50 What we are discussing in 10 years about Customer Experience?
  • 25:33 Ozkan’s contact details
  • 28:28 Ozkan’s “non” book suggestion
  • 30:25 Ozkan’s Golden Nugget

Selected quotes:

  • “Being better than yesterday”
  • “Every day, every employee, at 1.30 PM Istanbul Time employees get together to discuss every customer feedback”
  • “Customer are looking for the best product and the best team in the most affordable way”

… and much more

Guest’s Contact Details:

His book suggestion:

  • Reading a lot will help you!

Guest’s Golden Nuggets:

  • “The best products, the best processes are always developed with customers. So, listening, and understanding them is the basis. And if you act on that properly and you make the change happen, customers will feel that.”

“The best products, the best processes, the best companies are always developed by listening” @ozkandemir on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

PICTURE

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast

Transcription:

Gregorio Uglioni 0:03
Ladies and gentlemen, today’s really a big, big pleasure I have Ozkan with me, Ozkan is a thought leader in customer experience, but not only it’s also big friend of mine, and therefore I’m really, really happy to have him on the CX goalkeeper show. Hi Ozkan, how are you?

Ozkan Demir 0:19
I agree Greg doing great. And thank you very much for all the kind words that you’ve used. It’s my pleasure actually being on the call with you today.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:27
Thank you very much, I am quite sure we will have an brilliant discussion, because you are always bringing value when I’m listening to your podcast to your show, or when I’m looking at Pisano Academy, I learn every time something new and therefore I’m really keen to kick off the discussion. But before we deep dive into any specific topic, let’s can Could you please introduce yourself?

Ozkan Demir 0:53
Absolutely. Just before getting back to there, I actually have you I mentioned on LinkedIn. You know, on the last healthcare report that we published, you asked for that, you know, a few months ago, I’m just right after this call. I’ll go back and mention you saying that this is ready now. You can go and download it. So that’s that’s one of the newest things that we’re doing at Pisano credit. Going back to myself, my name is Oscar Mayer. I’m one of the founders and CEO of Pisano. At Pisano, we provide an experience management platform that enables businesses to implement voice of customer and voice of employee initiatives in their businesses we’re moving towards with all the capabilities that we have into the total experience area. Before Pisano I have relatively like I still don’t have gray hairs. But you know, I mean to business for more than 20 years, I started to work when I was 11. Since then, I’ve always worked in the in different works and at different capacities. I worked in Italy for quite a lot. And right before as he as we were discussing, my Italian used to be better than my English even. And I worked in us just before starting starting Pisano for about one and a half years. And and then I came back to Turkey and started started Pisano adventure.

Gregorio Uglioni 2:19
Thank you very much, Ozkan. In this discussion. I always like to learn a bit more about you. And therefore the usual question, which are the values that drives you in life?

Ozkan Demir 2:34
thought question, so it is it is always it’s always a difficult question, honestly speaking. You know, personally, I do feel like you know, every day is a new opportunity, you start your day as like a battery, you start with 100, by the end of the day, you’re actually almost zero or close to zero, you go to bed and charge yourself and start a new day. So at this new day, we do see that like or, or I do see that as an opportunity to become better. So you either you know live your day, to being more developed person or better that person for for the next day. Otherwise, all the other, you know, all the other motivations that you may have, has, you know, has an end. So, whenever you reach out to there, and which I’ve had earlier in my career I needed, I said I want to move to a country, I want to visit you know, 30 countries, which I’ve done maybe like when I was 25 I wanted to earn that much amount of money, I’ve done that, or I’ve done all of them when you reach out to those targets, and then you find yourself in a plateau where you know, you need the next thing. So when the next things are actually comfortable. I find I find my motivation to continue today being literally better than yesterday, every single day. So that’s, that’s a continuous goal and continuous target to keep up in the life.

Gregorio Uglioni 4:09
Being better than yesterday, this is really an outstanding sentence, I think we have the first tweetable moment with with this sentence. Really, really nice. And you mentioned something that that I think it’s really important and we can also start deep diving in customer experience and what you are doing, you spoke about total experience and as a CEO of Pisano, you are speaking with a lot of companies in the different regions, and what’s your view on the actual customer experience landscape?

Ozkan Demir 4:42
So there’s as I said, and as you said, total experience so it’s all about human so when when we use these words just because you know some analysts or you know some market drivers mentioned that those those keywords, but actually it’s about the human experience. Like, you know, be there, it’s been a customer experience. It is an employee experience experience of a partner. So you know, wherever there is that surrounding around the business or an individual, we really care about all the human experience around. That’s why That’s why we call it as a total experience concept. So with that total experience, we really would like to, you know, still talking about the commercial world, we really would like to take this experience the total experience to a level where people are really talking about the our kindness, or experience of the whole trade. We’re still at the very early days of this. But again, the future I see it coming like we will be talking about the total experience, the kindness of the full full trade environment.

Gregorio Uglioni 5:55
Think what what you’re saying it’s totally makes sense. And it’s really interesting, because it’s what I’m also facing, in my as Knoll Ward, there are quite a lot of people that goes to work in their companies and are completely different people than they are at home, or they’re outside of work. And I think this is not possible, that will not be possible in future anymore. Because we are always connected, we are always in exchange with people. And therefore I think this is really an really interesting idea, and something that we would like to follow. And I think at the end, it’s really the vision of every customer experience professional. It’s not only about improving the revenues, but it’s the return on the on the experience, what brings these experiences to us as human beings. And as, as you’re working for for piano and piano is really a fast growing company, you are everywhere and sponsoring a lot of different events, you are growing. I think later we will speak also about Pisano friends. And what’s the key ingredients for having such success story?

Ozkan Demir 7:09
Usually, I wasn’t expecting this question. I’ll be I’ve shared this in in different, different mediums. I’ll say very basic things. But you know, it’s very hard to do, I believe, because I’ve never heard anyone else doing. You know, sometimes really, those basic and simple things are easy and easy to say. But you know how to do so Pisano is actually a platform developed by the customers developed by the businesses and developed for those same people, same businesses and same enterprises or same customers. So what do I mean? So this is not a space that we have invented, we need to make peace with that, like we need to agree that this is not the same in the space that we meant. So there were analysts that they were writing about customer experience 30 years ago. So 30 years ago, in the world, it was defined what is voice of customer, but voice of employee, those people were talking about the concepts that we’re talking about now 30 years ago. And imagine yourself, you’re putting a small stone, I was keeping one at my hand, but due to my background, you could have your what you will see that you will you will be putting a stone every single day for 30 years, you would literally make a skyscraper every single day, you’re putting a small stone, you would make the skyscraper in 30 years. And then Pisano is just six years old business. So when you just born, you look at the world. And you realize that there is a world around you which all the market and you know competitors, expectations of the customers, partners, all that environment, trade environment, then there are skyscrapers around you. So, you know, you got to start from somewhere, but you don’t know. And you have resources, which are, you know, let’s say which are limited or you know, again, there are boundaries of those. Those resources. We found the key ingredient ingredient by actually what we wanted to bring to our customers. So we did implement piece on a platform first inside the piano. So we always use our own platform. So we implemented voice of the customer within Pisano first since 2016 When the company was established every single day, every Pisano employee at any office at 1.30 pm Istambul time, they get together to discuss every customer feedback.

That is how we defined our customer intimacy. That’s how Pisano is developed with those businesses that trust in Pisano. And that is developed for them at the same time. So that’s and as you know, that is the state. That’s the story that we sell to our customers. That’s how Voice of Customer programs work, then we implement that within Pisano so that we, you know, go tested and those skyscrapers, and we reach out to them. So maybe persona provides today 120% of what’s available in the market, maybe 90%. But that is always understood and appreciated by the customers, we have, in average 1000 users with all our customer portfolio using Pisano platform every single day, because that platform is developed for them and developed by them. And then, you know, when we, when we implemented that infrastructure, also, within the within the Pisano platform, you know, we also felt like we also made those, our businesses feel that, you know, they really cared their experiences and their expectations. So in such a way, we actually managed our resources efficiently and effectively, so that, you know, everything that we do has a meaning in the market. And we also, you know, save ourselves, put yourself in my shoes. Six years ago, you started a business, you have no idea. How would you know, it’s a very tough situation, you didn’t know those brilliant ideas that you may have cost you billions dollars, let’s say million dollars, because you’re in at a small scale. And then in three years, you’re out of business, or people don’t like what you’ve developed. That’s that that’s not an easy job. That’s what keeps you keeps you awake in the in the night. But when you listen to customers, they’re there. You know, again, it doesn’t doesn’t mean that everything that customer feedback says is correct. But the experience or the talent you have in the company, needs to filter them down, analyze them, and then put them in a format that even exceeds the expectation of the customer. But that’s the talent. And that talent in those six years made an amazing job. That’s what made Pisano you know, attractive for all those businesses that trusted in Pisano for the past two years, and even you know, some of the competitors that try to you know, somehow have the experience of the Pisan about we said no.

Gregorio Uglioni 12:46
It’s really outstanding, listening to the to the customer and acting also to what they’re saying and requesting and for sure, always having in mind that we are in business, you are making us extremely curious because you are saying you listen to the customer. And before you tell us how you solve the issues of the customer. What are your customer asking you?

Ozkan Demir 13:11
So, factually, like factually speaking, when we talk to our own customers, about 80% of our customers choose Pisano for its analytic capabilities. And about add again, exactly the numbers should be about 80 to 81% are also choosing Pisano for its talent, the competency of the people that they’re going to work with. So considering again, the technology speed of technology and the framework that we’ve implemented in the past and you know, today venture capitals are their money is very cheap money is everywhere. As soon as you know you’re doing the things on the right way. So besides a big platform today, like we have a lot of capabilities like starting from the very early engagement or customer pool lifecycle stage, we manage the experience of direct customer or an employee starting from the candidate period up to you know, being being an alumni. So throughout the process, there are a lot of those functionalities readily available within the Pisano platform. But you’re, you know, if you’re asking me now you know what they’re asking more like Currently, our you know, employee experience solutions are very trending for various reasons, like great resignation, working from our middle cetera, et cetera. But honestly, there is one request all the ways which will never change. Our customers want the best products from Pisano combined with the most competent team and in the most affordable way. That’s what our customers are asking us every single day.

Gregorio Uglioni 15:00
And I think the product you can copy, but the experiences that you are offering to your customer, this is something that it’s not possible to copy, you mentioned several times, and they really like like it and enjoy, enjoy listening to you. It’s the team because they are making the difference. It’s like a football team or soccer team playing the game and trying to win the game. Are you there are some Could you share with us your thoughts or best practices what you are doing at pizano? In order to nurture this this talent? You mentioned something at 1:30pm? You discuss customer feedback? Are there any other insights you can share with us?

Ozkan Demir 15:45
Yeah, absolutely. So for the team, it’s, today, I believe, that’s the biggest challenge for almost every business. So if you’re, you know, if you’re a niche, if you’re a small business, you may find your niche, and you may attract, you know, up to, let’s say, 10 people, you know, in a way that, you know, you can keep them also happy and you know, motivated, satisfied. But, you know, when you go to scale, when we’re talking about 50 people, from 100 people to you know, 1000s, then the real challenge come so it’s very difficult, even, you know, in the talent market today, you know, talents are much more powerful compared to the businesses. So even from the early day, we really, you know, cared about the experience of the people. For some people, we wouldn’t tell them, Look, the sun is not the right place for you. The other offers that you received from Company A, B, and C are better for you, we believe that you’re going to be much more successful there, and you will have a better future. So when we talk to, you know, for example, let’s let’s talk about the recruitment process, let’s say that we’re receiving a potential team member for the company. Again, I’ll say very simple things, but I’m not sure again, if the companies will be able to implement. If, if nothing major happens, I need every single person that’s going to join the company. I’m never the decision maker. Never, ever, even for the people that I will work with directly. I’m never the decision maker. And they’re always to make a final handshake. So I never asked any questions. I always listen and respond all the questions coming from the talent first, just to make sure that everything is understood. And then their questions are answered, before they make the decision. Because that moment in life is very important company is a powerful entity. Company has resources priorities, you know, you can sweep some things under the carpet, you can change priorities, you know, you can say that I made a mistake, you can like, you know, company is a different entity, but for a person in the life of a person, changing the job changing the life changing and environment, it’s a big decision. And we want to make sure that they have the necessary and required information before they make the decision. So the honest conversation, at that point, usually results in a long term relationship. Because we start there, it starts there, it starts even before people getting into that company. So we would like to make sure that we give all the information available within the Pisano before, so that people make the right decision for them. And then that’s one thing that we find usually work. And then I have usually have about like one question that I asked throughout those into, let’s say, engagements, and I asked like how was your experience with us so far throughout the process, and usually the words that I hear is, you know, great culture, very friendly, open, I’ve never, you know, felt this comfortable in, in, you know, job interviews and orders. So that’s, that’s the image that we want to create. And that’s actually the culture inside the piano too. So, you know, that, you know, that differs from organization to organization. We are, as you said, we’re a fast growing business. You know, even today, we had five new team members, just start imagine, you imagine the speed of the company, the growth the company is going through. So we really care about all this experience from even before they get into the company from the first moment that we touch with them. And I would like to get that feedback individually from every one of them. If there is anything wrong, we are there to fix. But, you know, we also would like to start that relationship in In a, you know, in a way that it’s a long term sustainable relationship.

Gregorio Uglioni 20:05
Ladies and gentlemen, first of all, you have a competitive advantage if you listen to this podcast because you know which question Ozkan is going to ask you during the recruiting process, Joke aside what you are seeing and what you’re doing, and also your role, it really looks like football coach at the end, you know, that the people, the players are on the game, and they are playing, and you are empowering them out in them to get the best and to be the best in order to achieve this, this result? That does it fit in, in my explanation, what I’m saying and what you said,

Ozkan Demir 20:40
I’m not sure if I’m the cause, you know, where we’re stuck, we’re still you know, I would say my i We’re still a small company, and we will always be a small company, the company doesn’t need a coach. So they they they need a team member, they need a team member that they can depend on they need someone that they can call everyone at Pisano has my phone number directly my email address my I’m the Microsoft Teams every time 724 They can reach reach me out without any doubt. So that’s that’s what I am. I wouldn’t say I’m a coach or something. No, I’m just I’m I’m a team member that will be there to support them at every challenge at every, you know, crossroad that every, you know, every struggle that they’re going to have throughout their journey at Pisano. And even for some of the people that we’ve met, and we couldn’t agree to work together, we will still be there for them to be

Gregorio Uglioni 21:39
understood. And I think it’s this explanation shows how the your humanity, how you really are and how you wanted all the people around you are successful, perhaps, if we close our eyes for two seconds, and we jump in 10 years time from now, what we’re discussing about customer experience. Yeah. And easy,

Ozkan Demir 22:07
isn’t not an easy question. Because you know, people know me know that I’m a full ops guy. So, you know, I’m in every detail. So future questions are usually not for me, either. I like again, I don’t, let’s say I wouldn’t be, you know, talking to highly about, you know, future as I’ve talked about what we’re doing today. We’re passionate to doing everything that we’re doing today, but for future. So at least what I think, come back to the question. So for today, think about all the you know, non people in the experience management, state space, and collect all the number of customers that they have. Company 1234, y’all being of all of them Pisano and some others, let’s say that we have, you know, in our competitive list, we have about 112 companies, even you know, maybe some of them at it, and let and then collect, sum up all the numbers of customers that they have, it’s too small. So it’s still niche. Although we’re pretending like everyone is talking about customer experience, everyone is investing in customer, that’s not true. It’s still too niche. I know how many companies really care and invest in the business in the markets that we are operating. And then when you think about this one, but going back five years, five years ago, it wasn’t here, it wasn’t even 10% of what we are seeing today. So the growth is there. And as you know, you know, by the research and analysis, so this, this market is growing about, you know, 25% every single year, so it’s a huge growth. So when going back to future, I believe it’s become a commodity in 10 years. So when you know we’re talking about, yeah, we work with the biggest banks in country I and, you know, we’ve worked with with this retailer in 10 countries, you know, those are the shining stories that we’re telling, by, you know, from 10 years now, hopefully, when a company registered themselves to the trade registry, as they are investing in accounting today, you know, you can’t you can’t do it without accounting, right? You won’t be able to do it without experience management. So as soon as you start a company, you register yourself to the trade registry, and you’ll say, I need I need the must I need to think about the experience that I provide to my partners, my suppliers, my team and employees and also you know, my customers, of course, so hopefully we will reach out to them in 10 years, maybe even early

Gregorio Uglioni 24:57
death. That’s That’s the hope. Yes, I think It’s a great answer. And even if you said that you are an operator, I think this is really important what you are saying, because nowadays customer experience is still something fluffy for a lot of companies. And it’s important that we understand that customer experiences in sport. It’s important because without customer, there is no business. We are coming to an end of this game, it was really an outstanding game together with you always can. But before you leave my three questions, the first one if somebody would like to contact you, what’s the best way?

Ozkan Demir 25:39
The best way to reach out to me always. LinkedIn, I use LinkedIn a lot I used to throw out. We’d love to actually have everyone listening this podcast that Pisano friends. You know, Pisano academy is a noncommercial nonprofit initiative at Pisano where we would like to reach out to that 10 years goal faster than actually it’s going to happen by itself. So the Summer Academy is a place where we share everything that we love, and everything that we learn, and on the persona of friends, and which is going very nice. And Greg, thank you very much. You’re also Pisano friend. That, you know, we have about 100 people already at Pisano friends that we’re creating content together, we are working together, and we’re planning to turn that into a community. And going back to the conversations that we really had at the beginning about the kindness around trade. And the full experience around trade, I believe the people talking about the experience that we can, we can you know, we can get together and also, you know, define the future of the mic together. So besonderer friends, also a great medium to connect. And we would like to welcome everyone to get here, share their ideas, share their experiences, and shine them together. So Pisano friends could be another area of light for people to connect me. But I’m not hesitant. So whenever I see someone at least customer experience, like word in the title, employee experience, just an experience, I just click on Connect. So if I’m connected to people, and they don’t know me, know, I’m not a salesperson. I don’t connect to you know, send out these, you know, messages of yeah, we’re a beautiful tool would you like to invest in? No, no, I’m there just to learn and share. That’s

Gregorio Uglioni 27:42
what I liked most from the older people, the sales people is do you have 10 minutes for me? Yes, I have a lot of 10 minutes, but for real stuff and not to listen to say strange sales calls. Back to the reality, I think presenter friend friends and in prison Academy, really great, great setups in order to share knowledge to get to know each other, and to grow together and customer experience, as you said, and as you told me some years ago, it’s it’s important to make the cake bigger, and then there is enough for for everybody and customer experience. Make two totally sense. And please connect with with both Ken because it’s outstanding to talk with him, Is there perhaps a book that you would suggest to the audience that you say this book helped me during my career or also for your personal life?

Ozkan Demir 28:40
So that will be that would be one naming one, naming one would be difficult. So I’ll be very honest here. Before pandemic, I was traveling, I was spending a lot of time on the on the road. And due to the time zones that we were managing, you know, starting from Singapore to Canada. It wasn’t it wasn’t easy to you know, really focus on things. And, you know, I wasn’t also having, you know, an efficient way of living. Let’s say, although I was very efficient in traveling, I could be ready in three minutes to fly to anywhere in the world. But you know, back then I didn’t have time. So pandemic helped me a lot. So I started to read a lot before pandemic Honestly speaking, I wasn’t reading that much. Currently I’m reading everything. For example, just you know, last week, customer of ours, his wife wrote a new book. And he shared that with me I’m just expecting that one in 30 minutes to arrive home and I’m going to read that most probably tonight or tomorrow. As soon as as soon as I receive it. And you know I read a lot about a lot classics. I like Russian literature a lot. Although Russian word It’s a little bit dangerous in this point, the reasons that we know. So I like that a lot. You know, but I wouldn’t really say that the one book changed, changed my life now everything just adds up.

Gregorio Uglioni 30:18
Thank you very much. And perhaps the last question and this old scan golden nugget, if something were discussed or something new, that you would leave to the audience.

Ozkan Demir 30:33
Golden Nugget. Yeah, so. So I believe again, let me let me get to one. Let me let me get to one. So, again, we talked about a lot of nice things, we really talk about the golden nugget. So if we talk about the story of Pisano in the history of what we’ve done, as a, you know, I was about 25 years old when I started Pisano and reaching out today. So, I would always say, the best products, the best processes are always developed with the customers. So you know, listening, and understanding them is the basis. And if you act on them properly, it will make the change happen for the customer in the eye of the customer, you they will do it, they will really feel that. So I would say, again, you know, the best products, the best processes, the best companies are always always developed by listening. So I believe that’s also, you know, at the core of the Zen philosophy, so you always start with listening. So what we’ve done in the past were successfully we listened very well. So I would still recommend people, you know, listening while what’s happening around them.

Gregorio Uglioni 32:06
Thank you very much. And I think oats can score the last goal on this CX goalkeeper podcast. It was really outstanding to have you on my podcast. Thank you very much.

Ozkan Demir 32:18
Thanks, Greg. Thanks for having and again, our relationship started with the Pisano Academy back then we didn’t name it as Kitano friends. And hopefully we’re gonna have you back in Pisano Friends soon.

Gregorio Uglioni 32:30
sure. It was a great pleasure. And I hope that the audience enjoyed this discussion as much as I did. Thank you very much.

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(Replay) Customer Understanding with Annette Franz – E22

Episode released on: May 17th, 2021

CX Goalkeeper with Annette Franz – S1E22 is about her book "Customer understanding" Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Annette Franz

LinkedIn Headline: Coach | Keynote Speaker | Author | Putting the “Customer” in Customer Experience

My learnings discussing about the book “Customer Understanding”, while we went through the three chapters:

1) Listening

  • Start with the customers and design / develop products for them. (and don’t try to find customers for the products).
  • Starting with “listening” and continuing by capturing all the relevant data and consolidating them: these steps help to really understand the customers.

2) Characterize:

  • Segments are like the continents on our planet. They are too high level to design experiences.
  • A “Buyer Persona” is also too high level for customer journey mapping. It shows preferences, what customer buys and how he/she buys.
  • The details required for a Persona to map journey are e.g., needs, pain points, JTBD, …… it makes companies one steps closer to being able to personalize experiences.

3) Empathize:

  • It is important to understand the experience customers have today and redesign it (how it will be tomorrow)
  • You can’t transform something you don’t understand therefore, you need the “as-is” situation first.
  • “Current state”, “service blueprint” and “future state” are the three most important steps in the CJM process.
  • With the AS-IS situation you can perform tactical fixes. Indeed, it takes time to implement the desired “future state” and customers are maybe already gone.
  • Fixing what is happening inside a company (using the service blueprint) is important to empower employees to deliver the desired experiences.
  • The experiences are human and emotional, technology helps to facilitate the experiences.
  • If you want to be successful you should appeal to both sides of CEO brain. The analytical side with the ROI and emotional side by making them feel the experiences and bringing stories to them. Additionally, make them understand what legacy they want to leave to the organization. How they want to be remembered…

Her book suggestion:

  • The Customer Comes Second: Put Your People First and Watch ‘Em Kick Butt; Hal F. Rosenbluth

Annette’s golden nuggets:

  • “Culture really is the foundation of everything that you’re doing”.
  • “Take care of your employees, and they will take care of the customers. And ultimately, that means they will take care of the business as well”

How to contact Annette:

Thank you, Annette!

#customerexperience #leadership #customerunderstanding #cxgoalkeeper

“Culture really is the foundation of everything that you’re doing”. @annettefranz on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast (replay)

“Take care of your employees, and they will take care of the customers. And ultimately, that means they will take care of the business as well” @annettefranz on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast (replay)

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast

Transcription:

Gregorio Uglioni 0:03
Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to have with me Annette Franz Hi Annette.

Annette Franz 0:08
Hello, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it, there’s going to be a great conversation.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:13
Thank you very much. Am I really thrilled to start the discussion with you. But perhaps for let’s say the last two or three people on the water that don’t know you, could you please introduce yourself?

Yes, of course,

Annette Franz 0:26
of course. Yeah. So I have, you know, I’m founder and CEO of CX journey, Inc, which is my own consulting firm, I’ve been out on my own consulting. For the last four years, I’ve actually been in this customer experience space for almost 30 years, I started my career back in 1992, at JD Power and Associates, and you know, really sort of watched the evolution of customer experience. You know, back in the day, it wasn’t even called customer experience, it was called customer satisfaction. We talked about customer loyalty, CRM, customer relationship management, those kinds of things. But so I spent over the last 30 years, I’ve spent probably 20 of those years on the vendor side running consulting services organizations, I’ve also had three stents on the client side. Yeah. And so and here I am, for last four years running my own consulting business. So it’s been, it’s been probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Gregorio Uglioni 1:19
Thank you very much for your introduction. And what I would like also to point out is that you are cxpa board member, the customer experience professional associations, board member, I am a CCXP, and therefore, even more to be

Annette Franz 1:36
yes, I am just you know, last year, I was the board chair, I’ve been a board member, this is now my sixth year, this will be my last year, I am the immediate past chair this year, and you know, serving the serving the association has been, it’s been an honor for me, really to help to, you know, advance this profession and to help other folks. It’s, it’s been very cool. It’s been very cool.

Gregorio Uglioni 2:02
Thank you very much. And let’s start the discussion. And as usual, I would like to discuss about this book.

Annette Franz 2:09
Thank you. I see, I saw a bunch of post it notes there too. So

Gregorio Uglioni 2:13
yes, I really use it on a daily basis. And, and I really enjoy it because it’s full of insights. But it’s not me to explain the book. Now it’s your turn to turn on your book. And I know you spoke about your book, quite often, we know that you are also going to publish a new version. But let’s stay on this on this book. And the structure is extremely simple and understandable. You have three main topics. After the introduction. You start with the Listen character’s eyes. And then and the last part empathize. And perhaps I start with some question, I know that quite a lot of the questions came directly from from the book. But we I think you wrote this book, and quite a lot of people are still discussing about it. What I’m seeing is businesses are still organized in products. Every business has one silos for one product. And it’s quite difficult to find out this matrix in where the customer are, what’s your view on that?

Annette Franz 3:17
Yeah, you know, that happens quite often. I’m working with a couple of clients right now, where that is the situation and you know, like to say, these companies are finding customers for their products and not products for their customers. And that’s really frustrating, right? Because if you spend time designing a product, who are you designing it for? So you really need to bring the customer into the organization. And you know, you since you read the book, you know what the last chapter of the book is all about, right? It’s that open letter to the CEO to say, Why is this so hard? Why is it so hard to a why do we have to show ROI for customer experience initiatives? And those kinds of things? Why is it so hard to understand that you are in business because of an for that customer? And and so yeah, so I’m I’m all about, you know what if we listen to our customers, then we will design and develop products for them to meet their needs, and help them do whatever it is that they’re trying to do not the other way around. Because I think if you focus on the product, then what ends up happening is it’s ultimately going to fail at some point, I think just because it’s not necessarily meeting the needs, and so you’re constantly iterating and trying to figure out what your customers are saying and doing and why it’s not working for them. And if you started with the customer, I think you’d be a lot more successful a lot quicker.

Gregorio Uglioni 4:33
And I think it starts everything with the customer because with without customer it’s quite difficult to to have a business. In your first chapter chapter, you’re really discussing and explaining this part of the listening. What’s the most important insight that you have in the book that you would like to share with the audience?

Annette Franz 4:55
With regards to listening, I would say that it’s not just about listening. So listening is I put three components in that. So it’s not just about surveys, I think that’s the important point to the listening aspect of this. So listening is about asking, which is surveys, any, you know, feedback, any way that you’re asking your customers for feedback, it’s also listening, which is any way that they prefer to give feedback. So it’s, you know, it’s online reviews, or social media or those kinds of things. And then the third component of it, which I think is really important, is what I call capture. So ask, listen, and capture and capture is all about the breadcrumbs of data that customers leave behind, when they interact and transact with the business and then taking all that both what you know, from the attitudinal to the behavioral and combining it bringing all together, you will have such a great understanding of your customers experience and the expectations and be able to design product services and in the experience that really it meets their needs. So So I think that’s the key is that listening is really about not just the the feedback, but also the other data and combining it.

Gregorio Uglioni 6:05
I think nowadays, it’s everything about data. And and it’s important to, to leverage this data and this information. And now we are already going into the second chapter is it’s all about characterize it means you are speaking and describing personas, perhaps also for the audience. Could it Could you could you please do step back and make for us understandable the difference between segments, buyer persona, and then the personas that we are using in customer experience? Or we should use in customer experience to create this journey map?

Annette Franz 6:43
Yeah, yeah, this is, this is a great topic to talk about. Because I often hear people talking about segments when they’re talking about designing, you know, even when they’re going to do their journey mapping workshops, segments are really, really high level, right? It’s, it’s Imagine taking a look at the world and saying, Okay, we’re going to split up the world into five regions. And that’s those are our segments, or we’re going to look at our you know, customer population, and we’re going to split them up by, you know, by age or by some demographic, right, and that’s going to be the segment that we’re going to focus on. And the one that I like to use is because they do this a lot to talk about this a lot here in the States is around, you know, a prime demographic is men 18 to 49 years old, well, I have a 19 year old son, and I have a boyfriend who’s 52. They, there’s not a lot that they have in common for a lot of different things, and especially not in terms of you know, the problems they’re trying to solve and the their needs and expectations and those kinds of things. So, so to look at look at and try to design an experience at such a high level is really not not useful at all, then buyer personas are what typically what you know, your marketing folks develop to get folks through the through the buyer funnel, right. And that’s really, you know, when when they do the research to develop those personas, it’s pretty high level too. It’s, you know, demographics, its its preferences, it’s why they buy what they buy, you know those kinds of things, right. And it’s very high level as well, it’s not the level of detail that we need for the what I just call it like the CX design personas, no. And those CX personas are probably more in line with what your UX teams do in terms of developing personas, which is you can take those buyer personas, but then you want to add more detail to them. And they’ll probably break apart into into more personas by taking a look at you know, what are your what are their pain points? What are their needs? What are their expectations? What are their preferences? What jobs are they trying to do those kinds of things, and really getting to that level of detail, to get to the persona that you want to use them to design the experience in the beauty of starting with the persona at that level to design the experiences, it’s takes us one step closer to then the next step is personalizing the experience for the individual in front of you. So So yeah, so you want to get down into the, you know, the the what are they doing thinking and feeling, you know, in terms of the persona that we want to develop for designing the experience?

Gregorio Uglioni 9:19
Thank you. And I think this is really key. And also trying to start with with one example that it’s a super easy one. But every company is saying we need an app. And we push out that as quick as possible. And then we have one app with some features that should fit for everybody. And it’s extremely difficult to make understandable for these C levels. That to tell them yes, you have now one app, but now you need to personalize that and to create different journeys for the different personas. Right. What’s your view on that?

Annette Franz 9:58
Yeah, no, absolutely. I agree. You know, I’m thinking in the back of my mind, I just about a week or so ago, did a presentation for some of the executives of, of health clubs gyms around the globe, right. And one of the things that we talked about, obviously, because a lot of the gyms have been closed for last year, a lot of them have been closed for it last year. And so again, same kind of thing, you know, developing an app and it, which is great, that’s, that’s what they’ve had to do. And a lot of them have been able to succeed stay alive because of that. But again, to your point, you know, they’re the needs of, for example, somebody who’s a bodybuilder, are very different from somebody who’s, you know, 55 plus, or they’re, I think that that group is often referred to as a Silver Sneakers or something like that. So they have very different needs. So they have, when they go to use the app, they have different information that they want to see they have different workouts that they want to do, you know, that kind of things. So you really do have to understand your user and put them on a path, even in an app, put them on a path that’s going to meet their needs.

Gregorio Uglioni 11:02
Clear. And I think we are also coming to the to the third chapter of your book, it’s about empathize. And dare, you’re speaking quite a lot about walk in the customer shoes. And I try always to move that on read or rephrase that it’s not only walk in the customer shoes, but it’s feel smell. And and like like the customer. And and they’re then you when you really feel as a customer, the pain that you have going through some journeys or waiting 20 minutes at the phone, or requiring to get a signal to or getting back some requests, because you didn’t feel correct properly. A form it’s extremely important suggestion there. Yeah,

Annette Franz 11:49
you know, it’s, I’ve, this is, this is one of my favorite topics, right? Because I think that journey mapping is probably one of the most powerful tools that you can use when it comes to understanding your customers. And then especially understanding the experience that they’re having today and then redesigning the experience for tomorrow. I always say that they they do so much in terms of informing your customer experience strategy. So powerful tool, powerful process to to do just that I agree with you. It’s it really is about getting into their heads into their hearts really feeling and seeing and smelling and doing what it is that they are doing, right. And that’s why it’s so important when we mount the customer journey that we actually do it with customers. So I’m having, I’m having those conversations with clients every day, no, we’re not going to nap with employees, we’ve got to bring customers in the room because we want to hear what they’re experiencing what they’re seeing and doing and feeling and thinking.

Gregorio Uglioni 12:45
And in the book, you are explaining the process really in a structured way, with all the step all the relevant step, perhaps what I am also seeing in different discussion and different workshops, quite a lot of people are saying, let’s directly go to the to be journey. And then we work on the Tubi journey, because we don’t want to lose time creating the SS journey, improving that and then defining their their roadmap to get to the to be journey, perhaps do you have also there some support that we can use? As seeks professional to explain why it’s so important?

Annette Franz 13:22
Yeah, you know, and I always like to say, you know, you can’t transform something you don’t understand. So first of all, there are you know, in my journey mapping process, there are six steps. And the three key steps are the other three are sort of supporting and really important as well. But the three key workshops that we have are the current state first thing is current state, then the service blueprint, then the future state, and the current state, what really ends up happening when we map the current state first is it allows us to fix you sort of do these tactical fixes today. Because when we go and design the future state, that takes time, that takes a lot of time, right. So it might actually be a year before the experience that you design today as the ultimate or the ideal experience of the future. You’re going to revamp the systems and the processes and the whole, you’re gonna append everything right to design that new experience, most likely. And so if we can take a look at the current state today, and fix what’s going wrong today. And not just tactically but that which is why we need to create the service blueprint so we can fix what’s happening on inside as well. But making changes making those improvements today to technically hold us over until we’re able to design and implement the future state experience. So that’s really why it’s so important to start with the current state because the future state it takes time and your customers may be gone. By the time you get that when implemented. So, so it’s it really is sort of a step by step process there.

Gregorio Uglioni 14:56
The next topic that I would like to discuss Do it’s also quite a lot of people are saying, Okay, let’s work on the on the to be journey, everything designed or you get a mandate to work on the to be journey. And then people start on the interface to the customer. And and then as you mentioned that, but I would like you to take that bit on that it’s, you need also the service blueprint, and also the technological technological piece because if you fix first, the piece, that it’s the interface to the customer, then you don’t get the budgets to fix all the steps that you should really fix. And also there are speaking discussing this topic with the C suite that it’s important to start, for example, digitalising processes from the core to the customer, and not backwards.

Annette Franz 15:42
Yeah, and I think, you know, I’ll answer that question. First, you know, I have, oftentimes have the CEO or, or the some of the executives sitting in on the on the workshops. And if you’re a human being with a heart, and you see what your brand is putting your customers through, there have been so many times where having the CEO in the room has really been so eye opening that the CEO has said right away, yeah, I can’t believe we make our customers go through all of those steps, or we caused so much pain for our customers, we need to fix this. So So I think that’s a, that’s a really important thing to do is to keep those executives involved in the process, so that they can really understand, I think some of them are so high level and so far away from the customer most of the time, right? That they don’t even realize how painful the experiences is for customers. So

Gregorio Uglioni 16:38
I think you’re touching two extremely important topics. And I think these are key success factors. One is the cultural aspect of the customer journey mapping. And the second one is on the leadership, perhaps one step after the other, discussing about the cultural aspect of this, of this process. And of what what we are doing. Also there, what I often see is executive outside that they identify our technology, I want to do something with AI, this is do a project create something for me, and and delight the customer. And, and I think these are also an issue that you’re facing often.

Annette Franz 17:22
Yeah, you know, here’s, here’s what I say to the latter point about technology, right? You can’t just throw technology at this and say we did CX, right, but it just doesn’t work that way. You know, technology really is a tool that enables and facilitates the experience that the customer is having the experience is very much human. And the experience is very much emotional, you know, and technology and saying that, okay, well, we just threw some technology at it. So the experience is fine, is not the right way to go about it. Absolutely not. It’s, you know, again, it will help to facilitate the experience, but it is not the experience, because the experience, like I said, is very much human. You’re your point about culture is really important, too. Because when people come to me and want to do these journey mapping workshops, I often ask well, do you even have the foundation in place to go and do something with what you’ve learned, right? Because if you don’t, then you’ll probably be spinning your wheels, and you will absolutely 110% need to get your CEO into those workshops so that he or she can understand the experience that the customer is having today. And to understand why this culture is so important. So culture is really the foundation of all of it, right? Because if you have this customer centric culture in place, the things that you’ve learned from whether it’s Listen, characterize and empathize are automatically going to be used and incorporated into everything that the business does all the discussions, all the decisions, all the designs, like I like to say, and it’ll be incorporated into that, and the customer will be at the center of all of that. And, you know, it just makes everything easier when, when the that culture is already in place.

Gregorio Uglioni 19:03
Sure. And I think what you’re mentioning, and you mentioned that several times, it’s about having the CEO sitting in this discussion being part of this discussion. And I think this is something that for us six professionals, it’s always difficult to get the involvement of the top management, perhaps do we have some secret ingredients or secret hints that that we can leverage?

Annette Franz 19:28
Well, you know, here’s, here’s the thing with the with the CEO and the executives, right, so first of all, we have to appeal to both sides of their brains, right? So we have to appeal to the analytical side, and we have to appeal to the emotional side. And with the analytical side, it’s all about numbers. It is all about the ROI and building the business case and showing. If we do this, here’s how it will impact the business you know. So that side is all about the data and having that data in place. The other side the emotional side is you know, the Like I just said, having them in the journey mapping workshops and allowing them to see, you know, like I said, anybody with a heart is gonna, is gonna say, Wow, I don’t believe I don’t believe we put our customers through so much pain, you know, telling customer stories, bringing customer stories in, and really helping them understand the customer emotion that goes into this experience having a you know, an immersion program where the executives go out and they sit with customers as they are using the products or experiencing the services or whatever. Then another thing that I like to do too, is to tie the experience work to perhaps some project or passion project that the executive might have. So what legacy do they want to leave with the organization? How did they want to? How do they how do they want to be remembered, you know, as they leave the organization or leave this world, you know, is, is what do you what do you want that to be? And so if you can make that connection with your employer, with your executives as well, I think that’s an important way to get that that commitment and involvement from them.

Gregorio Uglioni 21:05
Thank you very much. I think these are these are really key topics. And perhaps, based on the fact that I have you on the show, I need to ask also this question. We spoke about processes, we spoke about customer, and I would like to spend the next five minutes also on the employees, I was already participating to several workshops to several webinars where we were discussing about employee experience. And you have really a nice pyramid where you’re explaining the importance of the inputs, perhaps also some insights why it’s important to involve also employees in this journey metric.

Annette Franz 21:44
Yeah, to involve them in the journey mapping is is key, right? Because and one of the things that I say when when I two things, I’ll come back to the service blueprint, but the other thing that I say about when they’re involved in the journey maps is to not just involve the people who are so for example, if you’re I always like to use this example, if you’re mapping the customer experience as they’re trying to get support, you know, call calling in or emailing whatever with with your contact center. You don’t want to just have in that workshop, you don’t want to just have folks from the customer service department, right? You want to have people from marketing from sales from the product, you know, product design from Product Marketing, because sale sold the dream marketing’s messaging was off the product design was faulty, the you know, documentation or the information about the product was inaccurate or whatever it was, you know, something caused the customer to ultimately get in touch with your service department and customer service department to get help with something or they have to answer a question. So if we bring in employees from other departments that are sort of tangentially involved in that, in that journey, they get to hear the pain that the customer is having. And then things get fixed upstream. And what ends up happening is if marketing, sales, product, product marketing, get everything right, then that ultimately should reduce the volume on your contact center as well. So that’s pretty key there. So so there’s that. So I think that’s important. The second thing that I want to mention about employees is that a lot of times you know that a lot of people think that the employee, the employee experience, customer experience, connection happens on the frontline. And it doesn’t just happen at the frontline. Yes, frontline are critical because they’re face to face, or they’re on the phones speaking directly with your customers. But your back office employees are also really important to the customer experience. And what one of the best ways that we can make that connection for them is to do that service blueprint. Because the service blueprint, you know, shows, you know, the people, the tools, the systems, the processes, the policies, the things that are behind the scenes that are again, supporting and facilitating the experience that the customer is having. And what gets you know, from that map from that blueprint, what employees can see is how they’re connected to the customer’s experience. And they get to call out where their experiences broken down as well. Because if the policies are outdated, or if the processes are broken, or if they don’t have the tools or the right tools or outdated tools, then of course, they can’t deliver the experience that that customers deserve. And their experience is pretty rough too. Because they don’t have the things that they need to do their jobs and to do them well.

Gregorio Uglioni 24:28
I think this is an outstanding answer and what you’re saying it’s what customer deserve. And this is really the key. And I would like to close this first part of the discussion with one sentence out of your book. It’s not pre aligned, but you mentioned then the letter to the CEO. And at the end, it’s the letter to the CEO, it’s an ad writing to the CEO. And it said, if you need a little reality check, pause for a moment and imagine your business with no customers and I think this is, this is really key. And it’s a sentence that I remember. And I also try to give to the older people, because this is really the essence of customer experience

Annette Franz 25:12
It is the essence. Absolutely, absolutely great point.

Gregorio Uglioni 25:15
This second part, it’s a shorter one. But for me, it’s extremely important because at the end, we are in a human to human business. And therefore, we would like to learn a bit more about you. And you’re really successful. You wrote the book, you have your own consulting firm, and how can you ensure to have a satisfactory life work balance?

Annette Franz 25:35
Well, I’m gonna ask you the same thing, because I would like to know, you know what, here’s the interesting thing. I think with with everything that happened in the last year with the pandemic, and the lockdown and everything, I think it really forced, I would say us, but it really forced me to have a better work life balance, you know, I have, I have two kids, I have a 16 year old and a 19 year old, two boys. And, you know, they’re everything to me. And, you know, I can’t just sit here and work all day long, you know, I need to, I need to step away and take care of them and their needs and feed them and you know, but, you know, they really do help help to bring that balance into my life, because I want to spend time with them. Right. So, you know, I, but I always start my day with working out, I think, for me, that’s a good way to really, you know, clear your head, think about what the day is going to look like. And just, it’s, it’s my sanity is what I say. So, you know, and, and, you know, a new thing that I’ve incorporated into my life is about once a month is just to take some time off, take a long, long weekend, whether it’s three days or four days, and just step away from it all. And when I come back, I’m a lot more refreshed and ready to go. So because it’s, you know, a it’s been unpredictable, it’s been a little crazy. So. So that’s those are some of the things that I’ve incorporated into my life just to try to have a little bit more work life balance.

Gregorio Uglioni 27:06
I’m not going to answer the question that you asked me because it’s 10pm. And exactly. This was the question, too. And the next question is for sure. I will publish also the link to your book, is there a book that that you are reading, or that you say this book, it’s it’s what’s really important in my career?

Annette Franz 27:32
You know, there’s a book that I and it’s I don’t know that it’s necessarily my career, but it certainly reinforces a lot of the things that I believe in, it’s a book by how Rosenthal is called the customer comes second. And that’s not that’s not intuitive to people. But basically, what he says is that the employee comes the customer, the customer comes first, really, but the employee comes more first, right? So really, it’s the employee. So it’s that whole connection between the employee experience and customer experience. And it’s such a powerful book, because he gives examples that are just, and he tells you how to do it. I mean, the company wrote Rosenbluth International. I mean, they’re a huge travel, travel business, right? They’ve been around for many, many, many, many, many years. He wrote the book in 1990, I believe it was. And it’s funny, because the way that he talks about technology and how they use technology, of course, it was different. It was IBM mainframes. It was fax machines, it was different technology. But it’s it’s basically the same conversation and how we talk about technology today, 30 years later, you know, so it’s pretty crazy, but great book, because like I said, it’s so true, the employee, customer connection is real. And he gives some really great examples and tells you how to do it to make sure that the employee really is more first.

Gregorio Uglioni 28:53
Thank you very much. And the second last question, it’s the usual one, if somebody would like to contact you, what’s the best way to contact you?

Annette Franz 29:02
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for that through my website, CX – journey.com Or on LinkedIn, I’m always happy to connect with folks on LinkedIn.

Gregorio Uglioni 29:11
And you have an outstanding newsletter. This is really great insights. And therefore, please also apply to get the newsletter. And this is my very last question. And this is about the your golden nugget. It’s something that we discussed or something that we didn’t discuss, but you would leave to the to the audience.

Annette Franz 29:32
Yeah, I think I think I’ll say two things. The first one is, is that culture really is the foundation of everything that you’re doing, right. So make sure that you do the things that you need to do to ensure that your business is you know, it is a customer centric culture. And really what that means is that it starts from the top right, the CEO, it’s deliberately designed to be that way that culture is deliberately designed to be that way and the CEO has committed to putting the customers best interests into everything that the business does, so that I think that’s the first thing. The second thing really is about the employee customer connection. Take care of your employees, and they will take care of the customers. And ultimately, that means they’ll take be taken care of the business as well. So

Gregorio Uglioni 30:16
thank you for this two golden nuggets. I’m not commenting them because these are Annette gold nuggets. The last thing that I wanted to say is Annette, thank you very much. It was really a big pleasure to have you on on my show. Yeah, absolutely. Thank

Annette Franz 30:29
you so much for having me. You know, it’s, this is a conversation, like I said, you and I can have for a long, long time, many many days, but thanks for wrapping it up in a nice little nugget in 30 or 35 minutes.

Gregorio Uglioni 30:44
And also to the audience. Thank you very much. It was a great pleasure. I hope that you enjoyed this conversation as much as I enjoyed it. Thank you very much. Bye bye. Arrivederci Grazie mille.

 ⚽️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The CX Goalkeeper Podcast ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⚽️ 

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Leadership with Neil Skehel – CEO and Founder of Awards International E76

Episode released on: May 30, 2022

Leadership with Neil Skehel – CEO & Founder Awards International Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Neil Skehel

LinkedIn Headline: MBA, CEO and founder of Awards International in the UK, Serbia and UAE. Owner of CXM, (Customer Experience Magazine). NED The Future Shaper Media Company.

Highlights:

  • 0:00 Game Start
  • 1:30 Neil’s Introduction
  • 2:30 Neils’ values
  • 6:35 Key success ingredients of Awards International
  • 13:30 The definition of success
  • 16:30 The role of Neil
  • 20:16 The role of a coach in football
  • 21:00 Governance
  • 22:25 Neil’s key learnings in leadership
  • 28:02 Neil’s contact details
  • 28:35 Book’s Suggestion
  • 31:33 Neil’s Golden Nugget

… and much more

Neil’s Contact Details:

His book suggestion:

  • The Unblocked Manager, Mike Woodcock 
  • War and Peace, Tolstoy

Neil’s Golden Nuggets:

“So I’m trying to say people, focus on something, make it a priority, once you decided your priorities, focus, and finish it, and then move on. That’s the only way to make progress.”

“I’m trying to say people, focus on something, make it a priority, once you decided your priorities, focus, and finish it, and then move on. That’s the only way to make progress.” @neilskehel, CEO @awardsinter on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast

PODCHASER
click here to subscribe
my YouTube channel

Transcription:

Gregorio Uglioni 0:03
Ladies and gentlemen, today is a big, big pleasure. I have Neil Skehel together with me. Hi, Neil, how are you?

Neil Skehel 0:10
Hi, Gregorio. I’m, I’m fantastic. Thanks. Yep, very well. COVID free. Not me. Never had it. Not yet.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:19
Or perhaps you don’t know it?

Neil Skehel 0:22
Well, I have been, you know, very, I’ve been very remote. In terms of where I work. And I haven’t been. I’ve done a bit of traveling, though. I have to say I’ve been I went to a wedding in Serbia in August last year, there was 100. A few more more than 100 people there. We were dancing a couple of hours. Very close up and had a great time. But now I know, I don’t know if it’s Gregorio right.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:45
And I am sure that we will have great time now together with this podcast with the CX goalkeeper podcast, I think it’s something that we need to share. We discussed the last time Episode 21, that we would discuss about leadership together with you. We promised that and now we are here because we take care of what we are saying and what we promised. And today, the topic will be leadership, and then really, really happy to discuss this topic with you. Because you are always speaking about the Dream Team, that your team and now it’s a day, it’s time to really understand how this dream team was created. But before we deep dive in all this discussion, perhaps could you please introduce yourself Self quite quickly for the people that don’t know you.

Neil Skehel 1:38
Well, thank you, first of all, Gregorio for inviting me to join the podcast, I’m really looking forward to discussing leadership with you. Yes, well, I am at Neil Skehel, as you rightly pointed out, I’m the CEO of awards International, and also the founder and owner of customer experience magazine. We have awards, we specialize in b2b Business Awards, most notably the UK customer experience awards and seven international customer service awards now in different continents, including Turkey, US, Asia, ICXA, the international customers awards, European customers, awards, and more to come. And yeah, we have businesses all around the world, literally. And yeah, that’s me.

Gregorio Uglioni 2:27
That’s great. Thank you very much for the short introduction, and perhaps also to understand you a bit better, which values drive you in life.

Neil Skehel 2:37
Cool. That’s an interesting question. Gregorio. And it’s a really interesting thing to think about. I think, I think there’s a lot going on, there’s what drives you, what makes you tick, and there’s what you think drives you and what you think makes you tick. So I’ve been giving some thought to that. And I suppose in life, I think one of the most important things to me is hope. Yeah. You have to think back a long time to understand, you know, when you’re 58, like I am, what your values are, you got a lot of reference material. But one of the one of the things that rings eternal, for me, is hope, hope, really, for mankind, hope for the planet hope for the world, hope for everybody hopeful peace, you know, and that’s a that drives us, that one that drives me, that really does, it really is something that hope springs eternal, it does for me. And I think it gets that hope that optimism gets gets us through, you know, that for our children, they will have a better life. And I think if you look at history, the history of our my country, the history of our culture, life is life has over time it changes. The curve is not always up up, but the general trajectory is up. And I’d like to think the general trajectory for people and for the planet is up. So hope is one of those. And I think, you know, I wanted to say, people, but I think I was talking to temperature from cancer about this the other day, and I think, love, I think I was thinking about the value. How do we, how do we exchange value? You know, because we’re in business, aren’t we? And so money is really good. It’s really important. It’s a very tangible meter of value of exchange of value. But let’s thinking that’s not that’s not good enough. That doesn’t talk about Do what you really need to do to make a difference, and I think the word isn’t money, I think the word is love. And when we look at some of the greatest characters in history, you know, Mahatma Gandhi, probably the queen of the United Kingdom. A, you know, love is a very important value. And I think it’s something that we can only begin to even imagine the power of love, but love conquers all. Isn’t that the phrase, and if you can remember that thing, and if you can try to understand what love means. And I think if we all did, that, no matter how it sounds, you know, the world would be a better place. And in my life, the most important people to me, are my family, and my, you know, my circle outside my family. So when I talked about the family, my children, my wife, my parents were brothers and sisters, and then, of course, people that I’ve got to know over the last 10 years or 20 years or so. So yeah, that’s the second thing that drives me. So hope, and love, I think, is enough.

Gregorio Uglioni 6:17
It’s more than enough. And I think these are two extremely important topics, speaking about hope, nowadays, hope for peace. I think this is something that that it’s key. And I think love, it’s really important, because you can do a lot of money. But if you are not happy in life, then it doesn’t bring you further. And and exactly starting and kicking off the discussion about leadership, I know that you would never state that, but I state that for you. You created really a successful company, it’s really fast growing, is growing in a way and thinking on the long term, creating always new awards, the customer experience magazine, it’s really an outstanding source for knowledge, wisdom around customer experience, all the people are speaking about that. And it’s really something something cool, what you did. And the big question is, how was possible to achieve that? What are the key ingredients that you mixed up in order to achieve such a successful position or a successful level?

Neil Skehel 7:24
Well, okay, first of all, well, thank you for your kind words. If it wasn’t for the last couple of years, I think we would be even bigger and more successful, but obviously, actually, we we learned a lot about ourselves and about business and about the world what was possible in the last few years. But in terms of the mix, I think, you know, as someone I always look with interest, what makes people successful, and, you know, leaders or businesses, and, you know, when you do your MBA, you know, which I did at Cranfield, you know, your, your, it’s all about success, it’s all about how did this person succeed? How did this business succeed? What did they do, and, you know, I have read, even authoritative treatises on business, that one of the things is serendipity, it’s a bit of good fortune. And one of the other ones is being in the right time at the right place, I can tell you now, being in the right time at the right place in the right place, at the right time, has was a feature of my career. But sensing was also an important part of that. So you could put yourself in the right place at the right time. And I think for Worlds International, I think we were able to put ourselves in the right place at the right time. And so when we launched the UK customer experience awards, it was just the right place at the right time. And, you know, a long sequence of events led up to the formation, the foundation of the UK customer experience awards. It started for me in the 90s. And I worked for a great company, I worked for McDonald’s Corporation. Now, not everybody loves McDonald’s. You know, it’s really quite fashionable to throw rocks at brands like McDonald’s and turn your nose up. But McDonald’s employs over a million people in the world. They’re a force for good. They’re a force for good. They employ some of the most the brightest brains in the world. They always have. And they’re a force for good. They’re a force for change. And for many people, they do so much for their career there and they did that for me. I started on checkout in the doors. But what I did was I actually visited 30 Different countries when I worked at McDonald’s I got into a head office management position. And I had quite a broad set of responsibilities. I had, I did some amazing things. So that experience was very important to me. And it is to this very day, and I worked on the dance for 20 years. And I did some amazing things. Which were just just will be to just well beating things from and you could do that in McDonald’s. Anyone in that company could change that company, anyone, they just had to work hard, work hard and do what they believe was right. I don’t think everyone would say I always did what I believe was right. But I did, and I achieved some amazing things. And that has carried me forward. So that experience is really important. And in 2010, that experience, you know, I worked on a customer experience project and McDonald’s from 2004. Three. And that led me to coming up with the word customer experience awards. And the customer experience awards be got the customer experience magazine. And so since then, the most, the single most important factor has been the people who have worked in awards International. And as you rightly pointed out, the Dream Team and we’ve got Chief Operations Officer Ivana. Ivana is Brilliant. She is just knockout. She’s sensational. Anybody would love to have her but she’s mine. So hands off. And you know her brother Boris, he’s the managing director of a company in Serbia, he founded the company in Serbia. We have Vuk who is just dynamite. And he’s going to be the regional manager and is the regional manager in North America. And on and on, we have Vanessa who’s the new editor of customer experience magazine, with the biggest staff we’ve ever had on customer experience magazine and the whole team there. It’s great. So those and Alexandra in UAE a he really has transformed CxM customers magazine, and obviously, you know, he were doing was investing in his MBA. He’s doing a part time MBA at Manchester Business School. First of all, Cranfield will be furious with me. Since I did my MBA at Cranfield and I’m now paying for him to do is to Manchester, there’ll be furious. Sorry, Joe. But if you’re listening.

But yeah, he’s doing a two year part time MBA. And he is now discovering what I told him, which is that it’s like drinking from a fire hydrant. It’s just a huge volume of work. And added which is the guy who runs six, regional manager in the UAE. But so them and many, many others Marco L., you know, he’s a young guy, he never had a job before we sent him to school to learn about web programming, web site development, but coding or whatever. And he’s still with us, and just so many others as to where there’s, you know, we’ve got,

Gregorio Uglioni 13:06
yeah, it’s great. And I had the pleasure to work with a lot of your team, a lot of people from your team. And it’s really great. They’re all the same mindset, they’re really focused on creating value for the company, for the customer for the Proceed participant into into into the awards. But now because you were mentioning something, and it’s not prepared, and therefore, hey, I’m really happy to listen to your answer. How do you define success?

Neil Skehel 13:35
Ah, good question. So it’s whatever you want. It’s whatever you want. For me, okay. I feel good. Because we give people jobs. I realize that’s important to me. I mean, I could work with less people and make more money. I can promise you that. But I don’t I want to and you know, something, one of the things I think about is, as I said, you know, I’m not as young as I used to be, you know, so maybe I gotta retire. Maybe I’ve got to think about, you know, other people. And I told you the last session, I told you that this is all about other people running the company taking over the company. So the success I think, for me will come from the company going on to bigger and better things without me and making and I want to, we’re looking at three things at the moment. So employee ownership, investment, and growth. So, one of the I think those three things go hand in hand. So without employee ownership, getting invested is focusing on growth isn’t going to work. So. So that’s so that’s how I would define our success, our success will be defined over the next 10 years in how that unfolds. And that’s why on investing in the management team, that’s why, you know, we have plenty of members of the Dream Team. Or a lot of young people growing learning. So for me, creating a business, which will have a future or not, my son isn’t going to run the company, my daughter is not going to run a company, my wife’s not going to run a company, it’s about the people who are in the company now. So my son, my success, for me will be that I am able to look at the company when I’m 6162. And I can see that it’s going to go on the bigger, better provide careers opportunities, in a really good space, because people like working on awards, because it’s a really good space. And in customer experience, and we’re in a really good space for them, and into infinity and beyond.

Gregorio Uglioni 16:20
Wherever inspiring, and I think this is extremely interesting. And you mentioned that you want it would like to see the company growing and growing. But what is your role nowadays? What is the role of great leader as you are? I know, I’m saying that but a great leader as you are in your company?

Neil Skehel 16:44
Well, first of all, I don’t accept the moniker that I’m a great leader, I can think of many, many great leaders, but so you’re very kind. I have worked with some great leaders, and met them personally known them. And I’m not a patch on them. And that that I told you last time, you know, I identified that I don’t think I was the guy to make awards International, what I dreamed, I think the important thing is to put together the people who maybe they will bring that about. And I still think that. So I think if you want to know, what I finally sort of acknowledged and accepted, you know, that I’m not a Superman, that I can’t do everything, and that other people are better than me, you know. And so, if that’s a great thing to recognize them, I, I think I’ve done that, in terms of my role. Now then, having said that, I was with someone really important to me yesterday, and that person who shall remain nameless, is working very hard, and working too hard. And he’s getting burned out. So I said, Look, you know, you’re important in terms of the people you work with, you’re in charge of your time, no one else you. So if you choose to let other people own your time, that’s your that’s your choice, not. So you need to be a leader, you’re important. Your health is important to your family, to you for your satisfaction of your job. And it’s important to the company and the Dream Team. For stability, for good decisions for that so on so forth, you need to have a fresh mind and so on. And this can apply to about any five or six, seven people in the team, you know. So we came up with a it’s a I do solemnly swear, it’s a bit of fun. But we we’ve made up this I do solemnly swear that I’m going to finish work at this time. I’m not going to work at weekends and and Latins, and I’m not going to have back to back meetings and some other things and focus on some of the things so I think that’s my role. I think my role is to I’ve learned a lot I don’t know how to do all of it, but I can certainly share it and I think that’s fair enough. I’ve learned a lot in my career. I’ve learned a lot a lot a lot a lot I’ve learned a lot you know MBA, Candidate School of Management, really good career in a multinational very successful Corporation. consulted for many consultants and loose word for many big blue chip companies. Shell BP, some big British companies. And I’ve learned a lot, and I got to share that. So maybe that’s the answer to share what I’ve learned to guide and to and to help people explode, grow in that talent,

Gregorio Uglioni 20:20
what you’re saying it remembers me to the role of the coach in football, it’s something like a player that played well. And then he learned a lot. And he grew up and then developed himself into the role of a coach, and the coach is there to enable and empower the players to teammate to win the match. And I think, based on your explanation, you could be a coach, I’m not making names, because I don’t know, which for which team you are, and therefore I don’t want to be unpolite. But it really remember me and the role of a football coach.

Neil Skehel 21:01
I think there’s another part of it. That’s an interesting analogy, and Gregorio I think there’s another part of it, which is also, if we don’t, you know, I have you know, I’ve got experience in I’m a non exec director for other companies. So I see how the company is run. So that helping with the governance of the other core of the company, you know, shareholder agreements, and give it a you know, and thinking about the board of directors, and how that then can help to grow the to grow the business, because there’s the other side of it, which isn’t just sales, you know, there’s, there’s this corporate governance piece. So I think that that’s going to become more and more important. So I like to, I mean, my goal is to be, you know, the point myself as chairman, we’re in the not too distant future important another senior executive, someone in my place, and for the management team to report to a board. Not to not to me, a board of directors. That’s my telephone. do apologize, anyway. Yeah. Does that answer your question?

Gregorio Uglioni 22:14
Yes, I think it’s really a great answer. Thank you very much. And perhaps the last few questions. Now, we spoke about leadership and what you are doing, and you are saying that in some times, you will retire and the company should run by by itself? And let’s think we are here in 10 years from now

Neil Skehel 22:37
I don’t remember saying the word retire. Sorry.

Gregorio Uglioni 22:41
I phrased it a bit different. Correct. You are the chairman of the company. And and they and other people around the company. Sorry. Correct. And in 10 years time from now. If we would speak about leadership, what are from your point of view, the key learnings, the important thing to mention.

Neil Skehel 23:12
Goodness gracious. Well, I think when I think back to some great leaders, I think, interestingly, my wife’s father was a engineer. And he’s an entrepreneur, as well, actually, and an engineer. And she has many because she died when she was very young. And she has many, many lovely memories of a father and she keeps keep some of his stuff. And she has a book, which sits in our bookcase. And it’s called the unblocked manager, and it’s from the 1950s. And it’s an English book, can’t remember the author, but it’s called the unblocked manager. And you know how it’s amazing where you get some of your ideas from, you know, a book on a shelf and just read that spine. And you’ll always remember that picture. You know, I did in this case, and I think about some of the people that I’ve known, and in particular, one of them is a guy called Charlie Bell, who is the Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s for a few years, in the early noughties. And when I hear those words, unblocked, unblocked, and Charlie was phenomenal at just getting on just doing just knowing immediately where he was at and what was required. He was just astonishing. And he in 2000, I want to say 2000, maybe 2001 two, so I can’t remember the exact year but the McDonald’s Corporation had a conference in In Orlando every year 30,000 managers and leaders from around the world assemble in on this day, on a Monday morning, we were all supposed to go to the conference. And we were all ready at seven o’clock in the morning. And there was a sort of, we’re all assembled in this Orange County conference center, sort of seven o’clock the morning breakfast, various hotels around Orlando, coached in Boston. And it was always a phenomenal three or four days, and there was this atmosphere of something that wasn’t right. At 7.30, they announced that the CEO died in the morning before that, at 1am. That day, He is CEO of this conference, 30,000 people came from around the world. By two o’clock in the afternoon, Charlie Bell was appointed the CEO, and gave a wonderful obituary speech and assumed the role of CEO of McDonald’s Corporation. And the conference actually start at nine, the chairman Fred Turner, talk to us all through helps us through grieving. It was a wonderful thing. But I know that the whole thing was orchestrated by Charlie Bell. And Charlie was Australian guy. And he had 16 was a dining area host for McDonald’s in Australia. And he led the Australian company to become the number one employer in Australia. And so he was a great leader of people. But Donald reputation as an employee wasn’t always that great around the world. And I then he came, he became the president of McDonald’s Europe. So I knew him. And then he became the CEO of the Corporation. And I knew him, and I worked a bit with him. And he was inspiring. He was so gentle, and yet so hard and focused. And he launched a business plan on a page. And he brought the whole corporation in line behind a single plan. And his vision was incredibly commercial, incredibly successful, incredibly clear, and incredibly well measured. And, yeah, so what can I say? I’ve been touched by greatness, and he was one. He was a great man. Unfortunately, he died of bowel cancer in 2004. I think. So that was a shame, but his legacy, his legacy, sustained the Corporation for a phenomenal amount of time.

Gregorio Uglioni 27:43
outstanding, thank you very much this phenomenal answer, and great inspiration for all of us. Thank you very much. It was really an outstanding game that we add together to closing the game together with Neil’s three questions. The first one is the usual one. If somebody would like to contact you, what’s the best way?

Neil Skehel 28:08
LinkedIn Neil Skehel, If you don’t, if you’re not on LinkedIn, you can email me at Neal dot scale at awards international.com. I think you can see how to spell it there. Sure, I’d love to hear from anyone about any of the things we talked about today. Or if you’re interested in winning a Business Award, and launching your business on a new trajectory.

Gregorio Uglioni 28:34
Thank you very much. And you mentioned already one book, but perhaps you have another one that you would like to share with the audience that helped in business or during your career during your life.

Neil Skehel 28:47
Yeah, I did think about that. There’s a lot of good business books, and I’m tempted to mention Stephen Covey’s book, but, and met named many of the Dream Team. I’ve given copies of that to them. And many people have read it and sort of said, and I think it’s really perennial, but I actually have a different book and one of my favorite books that I read was Warren peace, the English translation of course. And by Tolstoy and it’s obvious, it’s a fun, it’s a fantastic read. It’s a fantastic read. And interestingly, I read it during the early noughties, when a company that I might have mentioned already, but I have to be careful as I was having some difficulties. And it was salutary. It was sanitary. So Warren Piece is about a general could dissolve who led the Russian army against Napoleon, ultimately, the Napoleonic invasion of Russia in 1812, I suppose And, yeah, and details and stories of how badly organized the rationality was. But what ultimately conspired to defeat the Napoleon, Napoleon’s army, and the actions of cortisol, the whole, the whole book is as oppose it’s, it’s quite dark, because it’s not always it’s, it’s, it’s not always about people, it’s also about events, you know, it was it was the snow, it was the winter, that defeated Napoleon just as defeated Hitler in the Second World War. And also, you know, the communication amongst the army, the type of army that they had in so it just there’s a lot of analogies between that story and large and how large corporations operate. And so for me, that was, that was a phenomenal book to read in my career, and it would have been around 2000, because I also alluded to it in my dissertation for my MBA. So if anybody wants a recommendation, that’s easy, and it’s long, I think it’s 2000 pages. It’s good.

Gregorio Uglioni 31:17
Thank you very much. And if I remember what that’s the book that you mentioned already the last time and therefore, that you are consistent. Yes, we discussed that. And I think it’s great. Now we are coming to the highlight of this of this discussion. And this is, Neil’s golden nugget, it’s something that we discussed or something new, that you would leave to the audience.

Neil Skehel 31:42
Okay, so I like to try and people wouldn’t say that. I like I like to try and keep things simple. But so I’ve been talking to the team about focus and finish, focus and finish. And I never, once somebody stood up in front of a group of senior managers at a conference and said, This is our strategy. It may not be the best strategy, but executed well, it will be bad, it will be brilliant. And I thought, well, that’s a bit. It’s a bit weak, isn’t it. But I think I know what you meant. But actually, when I say, prioritize, focus, and fix, so focus, and fix, focus and finish. So focus and finish. So I’m trying to say to say people, focus on something, focus on something, make it a priority, once you decided your priorities, focus, and finish it, and then move on. That’s the only way to make progress. And you know what, it might not be 110% 98% 90%, the number one priority, but you have to get on, you have to get on you can’t sit around spend months trying to decide what the priorities are. If you’re not making any progress, it’s just not business, you have to make decisions based on the best information you have at the time. And decisions need to be made in a timely manner. So focus and finish. So once you’ve made a decision to do that thing, focus on doing that thing, think about is this something that only I know about? Or is this something that everyone knows about, and everyone understands their role in this, and everyone is doing this. So you have to consult, before you instruct, you need to consult. And then when you instruct or request or ask or inform, it will be falling on open ears, because you will have listened first. So focus, and then finish it and finish it by knowing that it’s been done. It’s been adopted. It’s been it’s pervasive. So that’s something that we’ve been talking about quite a bit. And I’m going to carry on talking about because in an environment where we’re trying to encourage lots of ideas as well. You have to be careful that you don’t have everybody going off in different directions and people are not getting things done. So is that another does that constitute a nugget?

Gregorio Uglioni 34:19
Outstanding! Yes, I think it’s really great. And it’s something that every business can use can leverage but also at home, focus on something, finish it and then go to the next thing, one thing after the after the other, and then you can achieve everything. It was really an outstanding discussion. Thank you very much, Neil, for your time. It was really an outstanding pleasure. I need to ask that. I hope that to meet you again on the CX goalkeeper podcast next to you because I would like to have it as a recurring interview. You are providing such a great value. It’s outstanding. Thank you very much.

Neil Skehel 34:56
We’re gonna work on promoting you over the next year or so aren’t we, Gregorio? so you this is probably tell everybody what we’re going to do together could be

Gregorio Uglioni 35:04
sure, it’s a great pleasure to announce that we are going to collaborate the CX goalkeeper together with Awards international. Awards International is going to promote the CX goalkeeper podcast. And this is an outstanding opportunity. For me, I think for Awards International, but in particular for all the customer experience professional that wants to grow, would like to grow because we are here to save your time to provide the best thoughts, the best people on this podcast in order to make your job simpler.

Neil Skehel 35:40
Very good. Thanks. So nice to spend some time with you, Gregorio and thanks for inviting me.

Gregorio Uglioni 35:47
Thank you very much, and I hope that the audience enjoyed as much as I did this discussion. Thank you very much. See you soon. Bye bye.

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REPLAY – Awards International and Leadership with Neil Skehel – E21

Episode released on: May 10, 2021

CX Goalkeeper with Neil Skehel – S1E21 is about Awards International and true Leadership Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Neil Skehel

LinkedIn Headline: 

MBA, CEO and founder of Awards International in the UK, Serbia and UAE. Owner of CXM, (Customer Experience Magazine). NED The Future Shaper Media Company.

Highlights:

By winning an award and by sitting next to Don Hales, Neil started together with Don “Awards International”

Awards International offers outstanding awards in several countries (UK, UAE, Turkey, …)

One of the key success factors of Awards International is the DREAM TEAM

In future there will be several options how to run them. The digitalization (e.g., blockchain, digital platforms) is giving a new dimension to businesses

There is no “new normal” there will be a “new future” with new opportunities, new business models, as the financial flows changed. It is a matter of fact that Moore’s law is forever dead.

The following leadership traits make Neil successful: taking risk, ensuring short decision paths, backing people, always learning if something goes wrong

… and much more

Neil’s Contact Details:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/neilskehel/

https://awardsinternational.com/

His book suggestion:

  • War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

Neil‘s Golden Nuggets:

  • “What you recognize is what you get, in other words, you see what you look for. If you look for positivity, you will have a positive life. It is key that you look for the positive side of life to live a better life.”

“What you recognize is what you get, in other words, you see what you look for. If you look for positivity, you will have a positive life. It is key that you look for the positive side of life to live a better life.” @neilskehel, CEO -@awardinter on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast

PODCHASER
click here to subscribe
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Transcription:

Gregorio Uglioni 0:02
Ladies and gentleman, Welcome to the CX goalkeeper podcast. It is a big pleasure to have Neil with me, Hi Neil, how are you?

Neil Skehel 0:11
Hi, Gregorio, thanks for inviting me to do this with you.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:15
Thank you very much Neil to be here with us. As usual. I don’t begin with a long introduction, because the best way to introduce yourself, it’s that you explain what you’re doing. And you are you who you are. I’m sure everybody knows you. But the short introduction for your side would for sure help the audience. Sure.

Unknown Speaker 0:34
Sure. Sure. That’s great. Gregorio. So, my name is Neil Skehel, and I am the CEO of Awards International. I’m sure some people will know me, I’m not sure many people will know me, awards international specializes in business awards. And we are the one of the only organizations in the world that specializes in Business Awards alone. And because of because of the independence, because we want we are an independent organization. Giving, organizing awards, award ceremonies and other activities related to that.

Gregorio Uglioni 1:16
Thank you Neil, and I can say that I we get get the first time in contact roughly three or four years ago, with the first international customer experience award, I was participate participating as a participant, and now in the mean time, twice with really good results. And last year, I was Judge at the international customer experience award. And really, you are providing an outstanding quality of these awards. And therefore I am really, really happy to have you on on this show. But perhaps let’s really start with a discussion, we can explain a bit to the audience and understand how did you came to this idea to create such a company?

Neil Skehel 1:59
Okay, well, I won an award. In 2006, I won an award from the British Computer Society for innovation, actually. And I was nominated by our head of it at corporations was Donald’s, because I was a sponsor of a program called Online quality service and cleanliness. And we basically rolled out a lot of measurement tools, a lot of stuff to stores, and for consultants, our field services consultants anyway. So I wonder what not the award, I was sitting next to a guy called Don Hales. And Don, our former chairman. He organized this amazing event at the Hilton Park Lane. And I took my wife and I it was in November 2006 year and I won an award. So I sat next to dawn. And I found that he lived about 10 miles away from where I lived. And over the next year or so we played golf, four times, and but I also judge them for the UK Customer Service Awards and the National Sales awards. And they were great. I really enjoyed the judging. And I really, I really enjoyed meeting the other business people. So yeah, Don, and I played a bit more golf got to know each other better. And then he said to me, Look, I think the Chartered Institute of marketing should run an awards event. Do you want to work with me to put it together, Neil? And I’m like, Yeah, sure. So we put together a proposal. And we, you know, uninvited, we pitched to the Chartered Institute of marketing to run their marketing excellence awards. And they wanted to do it. And so we found that awards International, off the back of it. Incidentally, dollar night, I remember the day we met to discuss setting up the business and we both came up with the same name at the same time. So we both had the same idea. So we were kind of really gelled from from the, from the outset. And yeah, so then we set up the company, and we said, well, you know, the marketing, the charges do marketing paid us to do. And we use that to set up the company. That was actually 2009. And I was an independent consultant at the time. And and actually, I went full time in the company in 2013. So it was a few years before we were able to go full time as we built it up. Basically it was a bootstrap. So bootstrap startup, you know, and yeah, me and Don set it up. So the reason why I am done, I mean Don loves awards. Don loves the fun. Don loved the fun that you have on the award ceremonies. He loved working with people and teams and Did it was very nostalgic for him of when he was quest media’s deputy manager, director of quest media. And he ran lots of awards. And I got the bug from Don, actually, from judging. And then when we started running our own events, it was fantastic. But really, it’s the hidden, it’s the hidden content. In awards, actually, people just say a ceremony, sort of glamorous ceremony. And they, you know, they think, oh, it’s all glitz and everything, but the content, the entries, the subject matter, you know, those are the things what you got to watch you learn about business. Those are what’s going on beneath the surface. And of course, you know, we just put together this book thing called CX inspired which is best of 600 case studies, there’s about 70 different case studies analyzed, which are actual evidence, actual practice, actual, actual CX practice, you know, back to actual, not fictional, not theoretical, not. Yeah, not mythological. You know, like, Virgin is a myth. A great big myth. Although Virgin Money is a great company, I have to say, but not mythological. It’s actual real case studies, real life, business examples. And of course, you know, that’s fantastic stuff. Powerful stuff, inspiring stuff off. And yeah. So that’s how we went about how I went about setting up awards international course. You will know, Gregorio, we were supposed to do this session about or five, six weeks ago, and I didn’t feel in great spirits, because unfortunately, we lost Don and Don died recently, which is very sad.

And of course, we’re going to want to Don at the UK business was the UK business awards is called the Don’s. So we’re going to have a eulogy at the UK business awards for Don. And, yeah, there’s a few other things which might happen in the summer to remember Dom, when we can get back together again. But yeah, so sad passing of time, my business partner, our former chairman. Yeah. And our cut my co founder, co founder of always International,

Gregorio Uglioni 7:17
all the due respect to him and his family for sure.. However, going back to with more our discussion, who was better at golf playing you are Don?

Unknown Speaker 7:33
Me, of course. I mean, Don, was 79 when he died, and we, you know, we were playing golf since he was, I’ve known Don since 2006. So 15 years, so. So he would have been 61-62. Goodness gracious. 63. Which, yeah, but I’m still better than him anyway. Now. I mean, even even even overnight, the same he was then. Yeah. Don loves golf, though.

Gregorio Uglioni 8:07
Thank you Neil. And perhaps, to make that understandable, you said you started and then you you run the first award, and I can fully agree with you. This is an experience in the experience itself participating to an award, but then being at a ceremony being the judge. It’s really it’s really great. To to make that under understandable. Which awards are you offering where in which countries are working?

Neil Skehel 8:32
Sure. I mean, we want I think our biggest claim to fame is the customer experience awards, we launched the UK customer experience was in 2010. Or we held the first one in 2010, probably launched in 2009. And we won the Gulf Customer Service Awards. Now we run the international customers views towards the Gulf customers, Spencer was in Dubai, the international customer experience was historically has been in Amsterdam, we now run a turkey customer experience awards that is in theory in in Istanbul. And I think we’ve got another one in there somewhere. So the customer experience awards is a cluster of events that we do around customer experience. The our UK Customer Service Awards is the biggest celebration of customer experience in the world. Every year. We have about 1000 people meeting Wembley, fingers crossed, we’ll be able to do that this year. So we also have another cluster of awards called the UK Awards, which is a UK business awards, employee experience awards, digital experience awards, and we’re going to be launching a new awards in that group soon. And we have the UAE we do the real estate awards. We do the sustainability awards, and we do the International Business Excellence Awards in Dubai. And we’re going to be launching more soon. More awards and in more countries, as well.

Gregorio Uglioni 9:55
Yeah, I think this is also something extremely important to celebrate success. story and to make some publicity advertising about this discouraged, sorry. And these awards really out to get support in the company outside of the company, in order to continue. You mentioned something that you did quite a lot of awards in the last years. And now due to COVID, you were required to change or to the organization you went to from the in person awards, that it’s one thing to the digital one. And it was possible for me to be judged at the digital version, it means I was part of the international customer experience award of last of last year, and you run that digitally, it was outstanding, from the beginning to the end, it was really a great experience, even if we were remote. How did you came to this idea? And how can you ensure you have this extremely high quality of what you’re offering?

Neil Skehel 10:58
Well, you’re very kind to say those things. I’m sure. Lots of other people have done a good job of running their awards online as well. Somebody did actually say to me that they’ve done that the other day that they thought that the international customers museum was the best award ceremony they had ever attended the online one, which was really, really nice of them to say, which was I was proud to hear people say nice things about them. I mean, Gregorio, I am astounded that we actually managed to pull off some of these events, because I am notoriously chaotic. And, but what what makes the difference, and I think what made the difference for the international customer experience awards was the dream team, which is the guys who worked for awards, international girls and boys work for all was International. A lot of people said that the way that the guys and girls supported the judges supported the panels, the finalists at the event. I mean, we had 25 People working that day, all day, supporting the judges, and that was outstanding, and they were all so helpful and also friendly. And of course, our partners as well. I mean, we got Fred Reichheld to do the keynote. And, you know, it was Greg Melia, who’s the CEO that cxpa Who, who suggested that we go for Fred, and Fred was just outstanding, you know, as a guest, the guy who created the Net Promoter system, absolutely perfectly fitting to be a keynote at the international customers rewards. And our host Ian Golding, you know, partner for with awards international for a long time. In the UK, we promote exclusively promote the Golding six framework with which is a training that he delivers. So, our partners, our dream team, and you know, this, the software’s not that fancy, to be honest, the software’s I mean, Zoom is fancy ish, but we integrated it with our own app for security. I suppose our software’s got fancy, actually. But it seems quite simple now, but they enable the judges to judge in real time and as to collect scores in real time as well. So we were able to have the results, soon as the panel is finished on the day, and you know, so does that answer your question?

Gregorio Uglioni 13:28
You answered my question. And you’re really saying that you’re surrounded of great people. And I think the people you mentioned also outside of your organization, these are the best of the best on the market at the moment. And therefore, it’s quite clear. But at the end, I think you have also a vision in your company and values in your company or something that really push to the to get the best result. And to ensure that error, the details is perfect. And

Neil Skehel 13:58
well, that’s very contrary to say that is it’s, it’s again, I can only say that during the pandemic, you know, you know, it was a shock at the beginning for everyone, you know, it’s no, that’s a sort of understatement, isn’t it? But Boris Leupold and Ivana who’s there, they were managing the company. Most of us in the UK were furloughed and Alexander as well. He, they were running the company. So they, you know, what, when did we go into lockdown? I don’t know. 23rd of March or something. We had our first live event on the 29th of May. That was our first by the time we got to the international customer experience. That was that was our eighth our eighth online event. Yeah. And then of course as soon as we could. We then held the Gulf customers awards in February live, actually in Dubai. And I think I went to that No, I didn’t. I wasn’t allowed. I wasn’t allowed to go. That’s why we’re still not allowed to go. But yeah, I mean, they’re good. They’re good. They got the momentum. They planned it, they practiced it, they, you know, they come to me for some ideas. I have a few crazy ideas. And I just sort of go, Yeah, let’s do it. You know, and I’m quite happy to take risks. I don’t have to think about stuff too long before I decide whether to do or not. I mean, the customer has moved towards literally, that when I had the idea of doing the customer service awards. It was a it’s a word that I had heard, and I and I actually developed a customer speech program in 2005, with McDonald’s Corporation. So it was something that had been brewing in the background, I just thought, I don’t want to launch it as a customer service, or was I don’t think it’ll have competitive competitive advantage. I see. I think we call the customers principles. And that’s it. We just watched it. But that was in Yeah. But so I’m quite happy to take risks. And I back and I will back people. I mean, I’ve backed quite a lot of people. And sometimes it goes wrong, you know, sometimes it goes wrong back some people can goes wrong, but, you know, you live and learn, and I love and actually one of the things that I really enjoy, and I thought about this only recently that I sort of reflected and thought about what am I what am I like, you know, I don’t actually think about myself like that very much. But what am I like I like to, I like to nurture people. You know, it sounds a bit, sort of, I hope it doesn’t sound pompous anyway, but I love I love employing people. I love giving people a chance to have a career. And we have got some great people working for us. And I’m thinking today, I’m just thinking today and thinking a lot at the moment. Because I’m not getting any younger, I’m thinking a lot at the moment, how can I? How can I get that more out of them? How can I get them to be more free? How can they think and innovate and and get rid of me? How can they take over and not have to ask me for anything. And in fact, my guy in Dubai, Alexandra Ilitch he’s doing that he moved to Dubai, for us, we moved him to Dubai for like, and he’s now living in Dubai with his wife. And so I mean, what an opportunity we’ve given him, hey, but he’s also helping me, you know, he’s kept the company going into by he’s kept the events going in Dubai, through the pandemic. And he’s, he’s, he’s on fire, he’s on fire. So, you know, it’s, and I haven’t had to train him. You know, I don’t have to train him. He’s a, he’s a, he’s a natural leader. So we’ve got someone good there. But he gets it, he gets it. He kind of loves He loves the events, you know, he gets it. So promote the guy and give him an opportunity. And we’ve got other people like that. So I’m looking forward to seeing those guys, you know, doing this, not me next time, something like that.

Gregorio Uglioni 18:16
Perhaps this is the true leadership, meaning that you really understood what what leadership means. And it’s your role, that not everybody needs to come to you and to ask you questions, because then you would be the bottleneck, but you empower people in order to provide this quality.

Neil Skehel 18:33
Some people would tell you that I’m a control freak. But they’re the ones who needed to be controlled.

Gregorio Uglioni 18:44
At the end, I think, unit, it’s also the role of a leader in to understand outwell people, and were to ever look or ever look into the details or give giving the freedom the freedom

Neil Skehel 18:55
to Yeah, but if you think about some of the people that I’ve given opportunities to Yeah, I mean, I’ve given them I’ve given them empowered them and trusted them. Yeah. And yeah, definitely.

Gregorio Uglioni 19:10
Perfect, and and perhaps also going through the leadership to your digital skills, because you went from remote to digital. And what’s the future of word International, it’s completely digital. It’s hybrid. What’s your view on that?

Neil Skehel 19:27
Well, I think we’re not going back. We won’t be going back to normal. You know, I love it when people say can we get back to normal? I think I think I think there’s gonna be boats I mean the international events, you can get much greater participation if you can bring people into the event from around the world from their from their timezone. So we’re looking obviously at the international customers who’s always in Amsterdam, which will be in November and So it’s a good chance it’ll be in Amsterdam, there’s a good chance we’ll actually do a live event in Amsterdam. But we will do it hybrid, we’ll do it online as well. We’ll do it we’ll we’ll do it like a Toyota hybrid. And we will do so the judging can all be done, live, but are up from around the world. We did it before we did it in 2019, actually, in a Anita S., in Australia, judged at the international customers mentors in 2019, from Melbourne, Australia, and we had two finalists from Melbourne, Australia, from Australia, in the 2019 international customers municipal. So that was that was a that was a headstock so that that that there will be people who will want to go as well. So people from the Middle East love to come to Europe. So they love the fact that the event is in Amsterdam, so they’ll still come people from Europe and Northern Europe, love the Amsterdam thing. But you know, maybe people from Australia, San Francisco, you know, South America, maybe they will will do it online, instead. So I think the viability of the the hybrid brings a great new dimension. I think also we’ll do some events online only. Right. So for example, the small businesses, small business we’re doing the UK business was at the moment, and it was free to enter for SMEs and startups, for micro businesses and startups it was free to enter. The process is the same, the judging process is the same. There is an award ceremony. It’s online only. But because we want to help UK building back better, we want to recognize identify a great initiatives and how people have survived and how they’re going to thrive. And that’s what we want to do. So we’re not going to so that there’s there’s only an award ceremony. So it’ll it’ll only be online. And and it’s also, you know, giving opportunities to business to show that they’re award winning, without all the expense and glamour of a great big venue. So we’ll we’ll do it like that. In future, because, obviously, startups, micro businesses can’t afford three or 4000 pounds per table, you know, and so on, so forth. So it’s given us new opportunities. And it’s interesting, actually, the world of business has changed, the world of business has changed. We are seeing different revenue patterns, different way of purchasing, and people buying different things. So a lot of businesses have been, depending on sponsorship, sponsorships kind of gone out the window, but customers are asking for different things. I’m not going to reveal exactly what but we’re seeing revenue patterns, and what people what businesses have got budgets to spend the money on has changed. So you asked me the vision for the future. It’s going to be about hybrid events. But I think there are new financial opportunities, there are new commercial opportunities. And so I think we’re going through a process at the moment of, you know, re planning, we did so much re planning last year, you know, like we were seeing so many business plans based on this scenario, that scenario. But now we’re actually sort of looking forward to the future and thinking things are changed the old business model, there’s no going back to that. So we need to think about the new business model and a business model going forward. So this is a chance for me, I was thinking about this, I was thinking, you know, let’s make this division of my management team. Let’s make this the vision of the Dream Team, not Neil’s vision. So it’d be interesting to hear what they say. And I mean, and they are, you know, certainly, you know, interested in investing in these commercial opportunities. So, it gives you a flavor of what I’m talking about. You know, business is evolving fast business has changed at the speed of light in the last year. We have progressed, Moore’s law is out the window, you know, Moore’s law is so that every 18 months or something, chips or chips, size doubles, and computers, double their speed or something or half their price that was half the price twice the speed. So, Moore’s law, and it’s done is gone. The Moore’s law is too slow.

Now, Moore’s law is just it’s, it’s in the last year, I don’t think we’ve gone 10 years, I think we’ve moved forward 1520 years, and a lot of people haven’t quite maybe worked that out. And but in certainly in terms of technology, the way the world works, the way money moves has just changed accelerated. And there is this thing called blockchain. You know, and I don’t hear too many CX is talking about blockchain, but I think block chain, the speed of change of technology, I think digital platforms, I think the the world is a different place, I think. And I think business is different business is going to be different. And some people are still sitting there saying, you know, so you know, it’s not not that much different to when I was a kid, you know, or, or three years ago or, you know, Mike, you know, independent consultants have left their careers, and they’re not no longer steeped in businesses anymore. And if you’re in business, and you’re operating a business, you’re seeing that, but if you’re outside looking in, it’s not so easy to see it. So I’ll be I’ll be interested to see where we go, where we go.

Gregorio Uglioni 25:43
And we’re excited to get some news in future looking forward.

Neil Skehel 25:48
Well, you know, we’ve got the judge club, right. So the judge club is an example of, you know, we did it, there’s been a bit slow, we were going to do it before the pandemic, but it’s a different way. It’s a different way of, of building loyalty. And lots of, you know, LinkedIn is a wonderful business tool. But my God, there’s some junk on that thing, you know, and there’s some, and I’m just sick of being spammed, you know, I love LinkedIn, I sort of, you know, the last 10 years, I think I’ve stopped, we’ve been there since the beginning. I think it’s a great tool. But God, you get some spam. And it’s also increasingly nasty, isn’t it? You get some, get some nasty people on there. You know, and business is not about that sort of stuff. You know, you get people complaining about blokes harassing women on LinkedIn. I mean, my goodness, it’s a business environment. So I think I think some I think that the judge club, and I think things like, you know, Claire, musket launched women in CX, which is this network, I think that there’s some, there’s some interesting stuff going on there too. So those kinds of things, but also the technology is technology’s just moving on swiftly. And like I say, Blockchain is going to be interesting. I think there’s a lot of, it’d be interesting to see, you know, the the, I think it’s called article 13, the European Union copyright laws, it’ll be interesting to see what happens because of that. There’s a lot of plagiarism on the internet, I get, I read it people, I mean, I write the content for some of our websites straight out of the top of here, right straight out of the top of here. And I can tell you now that none of that content is come from anybody else’s website. And I go to somebody else’s website, and I read it there. And I think you’re not very original Are you? But stuff like that has to has to has to it has to stop. And it’s not only in it’s not only in like awards, but I think I think CX I think there’s quite a lot of quite a lot of it’s very exciting time in CX To be honest, there’s quite a lot of people having the same ideas at the same time. So we put it like that.

Gregorio Uglioni 28:01
Yeah, I fully understand what what you’re saying. And I also see quite a lot of these new clubs groups popping up. And I joined the Judge Club.

Neil Skehel 28:12
Yes, yes, you posted this morning.

Gregorio Uglioni 28:15
Because I like it very much. And basically, this is the feeling of the community being a judge embracing the opportunity to have exchange with other judges. And I know that there is something like an instance, that’s you that it’s award International, selecting the people because on LinkedIn, everybody can join. Everybody is a CEO, if I look at the connection that I have, every third person is CEO, more than happy to have so many connections to CEOs, but I’m not sure that they are really all the CEOs of what they are doing or of the of their business.

Neil Skehel 28:48
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I’d like to post the other day is some woman in Asia took a baby to work. And she never commented on it. They got 100,000 views. I’m absolutely convinced it’s fake. I’m absolutely convinced it’s fake. You know, and I’ve had lots of job job applications from Pakistan since it’s been a while why people have messaged me, jobs anyway,

Gregorio Uglioni 29:17
that my best example is 25th of December. It’s Christmas. I got a DM if I wanted to buy something. One day later, 26th of December, I already got a reminder. Did you checked my message to you wants to let’s have a call this week and say sorry, but I am on vacation. It’s Christmas time. Why should I reply if you didn’t reply me, delete. Sure. Thank you. Yeah. Thank you very much. Now, I think we had the discussion about our words International. It’s the audience got an idea and for sure, I will share in the in the notes also the link to the website. Now it’s time to learn a bit better About You. And therefore I will ask some some question now we know that you like to play golf, and you’re really good at playing golf.

Neil Skehel 30:07
I didn’t say I’m really good you asked if I was better than dumb

Gregorio Uglioni 30:13
That’s correct. And I’m I’m okay. How can you ensure to have a proper work life balance or life work balance because you’re doing quite a lot of stuffs. You have quite a lot of ideas. You are you are involved in a lot of projects.

Neil Skehel 30:30
Yeah, I am. It’s a great question. And good Korea, but I would be lying if I said, I have got a great work life happens. So I am not. I think my kids would say, I’m always working seven days a week, even Christmas Day, but because our company is in Serbia and Dubai and UK, you know, we don’t even have the same Christmas as people in Serbia. And there’s not as important by so you know, sometimes you do end up thinking Western. What I would say though, is I like my job. So I don’t think about it like that. And when I do, I just turned it off. But I have also got um, so there’s a tip work for yourself, sadly, our own company and then you can you can turn it off when you when you’ve had enough, but that it’s been really difficult this year. Last year though Gregorian, isn’t it, I mean, you know, I literally Sunday’s a roll out of bed, have my breakfast straight to the computer, you know, and then working in the evening, fall off the computer and roll back into bed, you know, if you have to consciously decide to not to do that. I have got quite a lot of other interests. So I mean, I met my wife aren’t college. So um, I was actually an artist, a student, and she is an artist as well. So we both you know, we like art. We like stuff like that. And I like to watch quite a nice series on telly on amazon prime at the moment actually got a lot of I’ve got the BFI British Film Institute channel. And I love all the art movies and I watched a movie about Egon Shula the other night, so you know, and I really enjoyed seeing his landscape paintings in which he was famous for his finger painting, but it was really nice to use landscape painters. But I’m also I like to watch films as well. I really crazy about films. Favorite film is snatch. Actually, funnily enough, I don’t even know it. He knows next about diamond robbery. It’s really funny, funny film. I like I like classic movies as well like Fellini and people like that Italian black and white movies. But I also play golf pay guitar, I’ve got a lovely garden, spend a lot of time in the garden. I’ve planted probably 1000 Trees since we moved here. I’ve got 2000 plant bulbs arrived this morning, which I got to plant out this weekend. So I spent a bit of time in the garden. But also, we have we my wife and I are encouraging a lot of wildlife into our garden. So it’s really nice to see all the different wildlife in the garden makes you feel great hearing the bird song of hundreds of different types of birds or birds in the garden anytime. So it’s just lovely to open the windows or in the morning. Just hear the bird song. And and you know, we’re relatively far from the town here. So it’s very peaceful place where I live. So I’m very lucky in that respect. So that that all helps. I mean, last year I spent from March through to October, I worked outside nearly every single day, which is just a nice thing to do, sitting in my garden sitting outside with a Wi Fi and so on. So I’m very lucky. I’m very lucky that I do those things. It makes you good. But also I’m you know, got my wife and I got two kids and during my kids are, you know, not not so young. My son is 29 My daughter’s 27 My daughter’s going to Australia for four years to a PhD in August. But we managed to spend she spent three months at home. So that was great. And that was wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for working from home, you know, and she she didn’t have she didn’t there’s no sense renting a place in Norfolk. So she came home for a few months. And my son as well. He got caught here in December. He came for Christmas and then couldn’t go back. He went from December 23 to march 8, he started teaching again, in maths teacher in London, he went back to London. So I mean, really, I was more than I could dream about to have my son and my daughter come home for a number of months, you know, and it was great and it really enabled us to engage in a way we hadn’t really engaged before and catch up and got to know each other. Certainly thing to say but Yeah. So you know, you know, having your families and being in touch with your family and stuff is also good for your work life balance or your mental and your well being, you know, and so I hope that helps answer your question to some extent.

Gregorio Uglioni 35:16
Sure. Thank you. And I think you mentioned two really important things. One is the mental health. Because without that you cannot work. And the second one, it’s the family, we have to say we are sharing the same values. My son is four years old, therefore is always at home. But I really enjoy working from home because if I open the door is here, and then I can join us enjoy

Neil Skehel 35:38
four years old. That’s lovely. That’s so lovely. What’s his name? Gregorio. Edoardo. Edoardo. Lovely. Cool.

Gregorio Uglioni 35:46
It’s not always perfect.

Neil Skehel 35:50
Four years old. Yeah.

Gregorio Uglioni 35:52
This is part of life.

Neil Skehel 35:54
Yeah, no. Are you guys getting locked down in Switzerland?

Gregorio Uglioni 35:58
Yes, we are seeing a lot. Yeah. All right. So

Neil Skehel 36:01
yes, yes, today is the day when hospitality begins to open again in UK. And they can serve pubs and restaurants can serve outside. But it’s a bit cold at the moment. But I think I think in a couple of weeks, they can start serving indoors if the numbers are right. And we’re hoping I think the government believes that by June the 21st. There’ll be no social distancing. That was the aim. So I think we’re all a bit skeptical about that now. You know, I think the government started saying, Well, you know, we’re not so sure about these other variants. And we may still have mask wearing, we may still have to do some social distancing. But Goodness gracious, do I need to get out? We all need to get I want to go, I want an office, I want my office back. Office is something you know, it was it’s been great to work from home so much. And we’ve recruited new employees who have said to them, Well, you know, we’re going to be working from home for the foreseeable future. And that’s been fine. But you know, what, they’ve all worked too many hours, we’ve all worked too many hours. And we need to stop that. And we need to, you know, get back to the office, or we need to get back to some more regular as, and that’s what the office brings. In. So many people have sort of talked, they talked last year about, oh, it’s good, that we’re all working from home, you know, the benefits for all employees are, are wonderful. But you know, it’s like everything, there are unforeseen consequences. And it may be working from home isn’t all it’s, you know, we thought it was going to be there’s, there’s some real issues with working from home, whether it is about your perception of the company, you know, your perception of the profits that the company makes, you know, if a company used to have a massive building in the city of London, you know, and it sells it, and you now work from home? Who’s gonna get a bit? What’s the what’s that about? What how’s that? How’s that work? You know, there’s all sorts of things that identity, you know, health and well being communication, loneliness, empathy, there’s so many things that happen in a workplace, that building that are not happening on in a remote environment. I mean, I’m sure sure. So, you know, maybe people go to the office less often. Yeah, that’s fine. That’s a good thing. Less travel less cars on the road, that will be lovely. But you know, you told me that one of the unforeseen consequences is that nobody’s using public transport in Switzerland, so the roads are even worse than they were before. Right.

Gregorio Uglioni 38:48
Exactly. Yes. That’s, I think, what what you’re saying is correct. And we have enough content for our next podcast, together with you. But let’s finish the first one. First, perhaps is there a book or that you say that you’re saying, I’m reading or you would suggest to the audience? A book?

Neil Skehel 39:11
Yeah, ha, CX 3. I wrote the foreword. You wrote a chapter. Correct, Thomas F., Tom F., our business writer wrote a chapter 24 years old his and loving his job into CX into employee experience. Yeah, I’d recommend that book to start with.

Gregorio Uglioni 39:33
Thank you for the advertising. Yes, I think so!

Neil Skehel 39:38
my favorite book is called War and Peace by Tolstoy. Is that right?

Gregorio Uglioni 39:45
Yes. Tolstoy says it’s correct.

Neil Skehel 39:52
I will. Oh, that’s right. Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings. See, I’m getting old. I read I read I first read it in 2003. And then I read it again. And I just love the story of Napoleon’s march on Moscow. And, and what Kutuzov did, and how could dissolve was treated by the Russian leaders. And it is such a wonderful book about about people about the world. Obviously, Russia, I mean, I read the translation. I didn’t read Russian. But there you go. It’s my book recommendation. It’s a bit of a long one. But it’s a good read.

Gregorio Uglioni 40:39
Thank you Neil. And the very last question is, the golden nuggets, Neil’s golded nugget is something that we discussed or something new that you would leave to the audience.

Neil Skehel 40:50
My golden nugget?

Gregorio Uglioni 40:52
yes. Okay.

Neil Skehel 40:55
So I think it’s something that I find very hard to live up to myself. But I believe in it, I believe it. Yeah. And you have, there’s many different ways of saying it. But I think if what you recognize is what you get, what you recognize is what you get. Another way of saying that might be to say, you see what you look for. If you look for the positive in everything, you will have a more positive life. If you see the glass is half empty, you will have a half empty glass. It’s like people who complain, I read lots of people on LinkedIn complaining, they love to slag off or you know, berate a company delivering bad service. You know, it’s easy. It’s so easy. It’s so easy and sad. Say something positive, you know, do something positive, see something positive? recognize someone for what they did look for the positive, catch people doing something, right. So yeah, that’s my gold nugget for a better life. And for my for me, I want to do that more and more and more and more.

Gregorio Uglioni 42:29
Thank you very much. It was great discussion with you.

Neil Skehel 42:35
Thank you, Gregorio. Lovely to chat. And I look forward to next one.

Gregorio Uglioni 42:39
Sure. More than happy to have that and to have you on the show. And also to the audience. Thank you very much, Have Nice day bye bye

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Blending Feng Shui Principles with Business & Personal needs with Claire Boscq – E75

Episode released on: May 23rd 2022

Blending Feng Shui Principles with Business & Personal needs with Claire Boscq Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Claire Boscq

LinkedIn Headline: Turn People & Places into Prosperity using my BIZSHUI Method, blending Feng Shui Principles with Business & Personal needs

Highlights:

00:00 Game Start
01:15 The Book BIZSHUI 9 keys to Feng Shui your Business For Success
08:20 Employee Experience – the Hiring Circle
16:24 Tangible examples to improve the environment
21:03 The day challenge for me (and for you!)
23:15 Employee Development and Training
28:45 The importance of Listening
31:40 Claire contact details
32:30 Claire book suggestion
34:18 Golden Nugget

… and much more

Claire’s Contact Details:

Claire’s books:

https://claireboscq.com/boutique/

Her book suggestion:

  • Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Claire’s Golden Nuggets:

  • “If you’re genuinely caring for your employees, they will genuinely care for your customers. It just seems so simple, but at the same time, so, so powerful”

“If you’re genuinely caring for your employees, they will genuinely care for your customers. It just seems so simple, but at the same time, so, so powerful” @claireboscq on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast #bizshui

Transcription:

Gregorio Uglioni 0:03
Ladies and gentlemen, today, it’s really a great, great pleasure. I have Claire Bosqu, back to my podcast. Welcome back to the CX goalkeeper podcast, Claire, our you.

Claire Boscq 0:15
I’m very, very good. Thank you very much for having me back. You didn’t get enough last time. So let’s do some more. All right.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:23
You know, if I can have the first women on the global guru list, I think I am extremely happy. And I know this is not the only list on which you are because you are everywhere you are really driving customer experience, employee experience, and also people to develop themselves. And if you publish a new book, then I want to have you back on my podcast, therefore Thank you very much for accepting my invitation, Claire. how is life? please start speaking about your book because the audience already know you, you were already on episode 47 and 48 of this of this podcast. And therefore, let’s really start creating value for the audience. Yeah. 9 key to Feng Shui your business for success. This is the name of the book. It’s an outstanding book. Where does the idea come from?

Claire Boscq 1:23
I know and it’s you know, it’s been, I mean, three decades, I’ve been in the customer service industry. You know, I was born in a restaurant, my dad had a restaurant I was in catering school I did, you know, I went to Disney World, I’ve traveled quite a bit. And I’ve always been in kind of that service industry, hospitality, especially. And the last 13 years, having my own business, very much started with the measurement of the customer service. And that’s how my business really started until you kind of realized the measurement of that customer service or customer experience. It’s very much the last part of that unit, the project and the strategies that you do, because you’re just checking really well, you need to make sure that before you have all those things in place, your customer experience, your employee experience, your training, you know, your standards, your values, your cultures, right, all those kinds of things. And so very much it’s been the last 13 years about developing that customer and employee experience, and helping the organization you know, delivering amazing customer experiences, you know, getting even better at what they do. And sometimes you just need a little nudge to kind of make it even better. And there’s something that I have been hiding for kind of 10 years is a passion of mine, which is a Feng Shui. So feng shui is that ancient principles, Chinese principles, which really looks at how nature work. And nature is the most beautiful place we could have it does, you know, you know, we get up in the morning, we, you know, we breathe, we we live every day, because nature’s are all around us. And what the Chinese wanted to do is bring in what’s outside inside, because they knew they had to keep themselves safe into into a manmade house. But they still needed that nature to come and help them and nurture them, which is what it’s all about. And I’ve never really talked about it, I’ve always thought people would think I’ve got to be woowoo, you know. And really, during the pandemic, it kind of came up to me. And I was thinking with all the changes we’ve had, right? Or everybody had to work from home, everybody had to work in a different environment, all of the, you know, the practices that you use to have been completely deranged and working on the side of the bed or, you know, on the kitchen tables, having the dogs, the family, the children all around you. It’s really has affected people, right. And so I thought now is the time to really kind of come out and help organization and people individuals as well, to really create an enhance their energy around them. Because when you feel good outside, you’re going to feel good inside. And what are you going to do? You’re going to give great service, you’re going to smile, you’re going to be very creative, you’re going to be so productive because you’re feeling good in your environment and you’re feeling good in yourself. And that’s seems very simple, right? However, it’s not done as consciously as what it could be. So you and I know and everybody who’s watching the podcast or listening to the podcast Do you go somewhere? Whether it’s a retail shop or hotel, perhaps, you know, it could be even, you know, corporate office, and you walk in through the doors, and you just go, Oh, you don’t know why, right? But you don’t know why. But it doesn’t feel right. What are you gonna do, you’re gonna go in, you’re gonna do what you have to do, and you’re gonna get out again, right?

If you’re walking in somewhere, oh, oh, it smells nice. It looks beautiful. You want to go and touch everything. It smells beautiful. There’s music around, you know, certainly your five senses are all connected. And you’re certainly connected with the place on that emotional level, which is what we always talk about that human emotional drivers are the drivers that we want to connect with. Because that’s where people really will start really feeling that you genuinely care about them. If you also that there are two sides of our brain that they are not analytical, the left brain, the neural cortex, who just tells us you know what to do. And we’ve got our right brain, which is our limbic brain. And it’s just all about the feelings, the connections, these emotional drivers, that makes us buy what we buy, makes us do what we do. So this is what the book is about, I kind of blended, you know, the feng shui principles, with the personal state of being with really how you deliver that exceptional customer experience, how your teams are delivering great customer service, how are you communicating your messages, and how are you showing up for your customers, and how you caring for your team. So that’s kind of, in a quick way, what the book is all about.

Gregorio Uglioni 6:54
And it’s great. And I think, and I am, we’re speaking in video, and therefore I also see you, I see your yellow closes, I see the flowers behind you. And everything is really put together. And I am getting your energy from from from the discussion, not only from your words that are always motivation and explain quite a lot, but also around the picture. And therefore it’s extremely easier for me to talk with you and to chat with you. And I think it’s really important what you’re saying, moving the emotions, my small example. That’s That’s exactly exactly the same in football or for our American friends in in soccer. If you’re speaking about fence, they are emotionally involved for their team. Think about fans, even if the team is losing losing the match or lost the match, they are spreading, spreading positive word of mouth, I think quite a lot of companies are dreaming of having such customer as emotionally involved SDR. And the same is for for them, the people that are on the field that are playing the teammate. And today I would really like to speak with you about employee experience, because everybody’s speaking about customer experience, we have quite a lot of customer experience expert, but we are finding out that without having a proper employee experience, we cannot deliver the customer experience we want. And perhaps in your book, there are a lot of insights, a lot of great tips on how to structure the business, how to improve the business. And now focusing focusing on the employee experience. Starting from the question, I need a new employee, what’s your way of creating iring new people on a team that they can really deliver?

Claire Boscq 8:52
Yeah, absolutely. And I think we talk about, you know, similarly, when we talk about customer experience, we talk about values, you know, when you’re looking at a culture, your organization, culture, what are your values, and I’ve always felt it was really, it’s kind of it’s a driver, right? And value needs to be put into everything that you do, because writing them on the wall, so they look pretty, and but never doing anything with it, it’s never going to help an organization, you know, moving forward. So if you have very strong values, if you have a vision and a mission, that really everybody sing from the same hymn sheet, then you know that you’re going to have people that are going to be engaged, they’re gonna love, they’ve got passion, they want to follow what you’re doing. So having this in the middle, it’s really important. So then you kind of from that everything that you do on terms of the employee experience strategy, because remember, it is a strategy. It’s not just a tick boxes exercise, you really need to kind of looking at it as a comprehensive and holistic approach to your employees. You know, there’s a figure by Steelcase Who says that 98% of the most highly engaged employees feel that that sense of belonging is what makes them productive. It’s what they they want an organization. If people feel engaged, if people feel part of it, the you know, they feeling that they part of that organization’s bigger vision, and then they’ll be engaged, they will want to be here, they’ll want to show that they care as much as you show them, that you care for them. So having a big, proper strategy is really important. So from the the sourcing and recruiting, and again, it’s we talk about those touch points, and that those emotional level, what are the words that you’re using? When you’re, you know, when you’re sourcing your advert? What are the words that you actually using to, to to advertise for the position? What are the things that what are the questions that you’re asking? The person who is coming for an interview? Are you asking them about their values, so, you know, this aligns you with your values, because if they don’t, that’s never gonna work? You know, so it’s really important to kind of start, you know, from the beginning, using the right word, using them, or a message, using the right colors, and really making them feel this is part of where, who they’re going to be partying, they’re going to be long to this team, right? And so you want them to be engaged. And then also, it’s really important, we talk about personalization. And, you know, in customer experience, this is just the same thing, you know, do a bit of profiling, you know, understand who that person in front of you is, what do they like, what don’t they like, how they’re going to work with other people. And profiling is really, really cool way to really understand yourself, so you can understand others, not only your beer so much more and come in better in communication, you’ll be able to lead, you’ll be able to have teams, which are really kind of mad, you know, not matching, but they’re all working together because they are understanding each other. So prefer profiling, and personalization is really important from the beginning. So you can understand what drives people. And then of course, the next step is your pre boarding and onboarding, you know, welcome them, make them feel that they’re part of a team, make them feel that they’re welcoming here, don’t just shove them in a corner and give them a desk and, and a computer. And here you are, you know, there’s so many things that can be done to really make them people feel, you know, part of it and introducing them, to shadowing them, all those kinds of things, you know, can be done right at the beginning to really, and this was a big thing, you know, when you were employing people during COVID, because there was no face to face, right? So how did people actually feel when they were behind the Zoom Room, and they didn’t know anybody else. And so thinks about those feelings, that their employees are feelings, they already probably were a bit stressed, or probably a bit anxious starting to make everything that you can to actually bring them part of it. Of course, if we start nurturing, you know, our employees, we talk about well being we talked about their state of being we talked about really kind of looking after their mental health, their emotional health, really understanding, you know, what, how can we really, as an organization, make sure that every single one of our employees feel good, because when they feel good, they’re going to be empowered, they’re going to be creative, they’re gonna want to work for you. Those are really rare, very, very rare words. Now, we talk about well being everywhere, don’t we? Sure. But it’s not always sometimes you see it as a tick box, rather than really kind of taking it to that next level and embedding it into your culture, embedding it into that x experience strategy, or your employee experience strategy. And of course, now we come into the environment, of course, now we’re coming to some of the the tips and the tools that you can be as an organization, creating a better environment so your employees can feel good. So your customers walking through your doors are going to be Wow, they can feel that energy. This is aligning with what they have the feeling, and then you’re really creating that experience for your employees and for your customers. How magic is that? Right? It’s really, really cool when you start matching the energy from you know, people to your business, and then you really kind of aligning that energy and people feel good. It’s so, so simple, right?

Gregorio Uglioni 14:48
What you’re saying it’s totally makes sense. And also according what you mentioned, mentioned earlier, I own border to one and one employee, one lady, some weeks ago and before she started I colder it was the evening before. And I told her, I wish you tomorrow a great day in the production day, you are not in the office with us you are with all the other people starting in this month. And she was so happy that the boss colder one day in advance for me it was five minutes investment, but it was a great investment because she was really motivated, she was extremely happy. She told everybody Oh, my boss called me one day in advance is is caring about me. And I only said welcome to your new job. And you can find me there and there. And then some some some some additional information. And she she was so open there for I think it’s not always finding really expensive way of creating this perfect experience with flowers, with dinner with lunch, and all this stuff. I think it is part of it, but also exactly the simple things that can be done this signals, I care about you exactly what you find, I will find time for you. And that’s what I’m always telling to to my team, I have time for you. Because without you, I am not I can I can do anything. And therefore I care about you. And we are a team and together we can we can we can achieve something, perhaps you are working or you’re speaking about environment. And I know that you really likes to topic around environment. Do you have also perhaps some some tangible example of changes that you did for some of your, of your customers in the environment in order to improve that

Claire Boscq 16:43
sure! So do you want some some some tips for a business or so more for an individual?

Gregorio Uglioni 16:51
I would let’s say let’s start for business. But I would like to improve myself? And therefore the next question would be for individuals.

Claire Boscq 16:59
Cool, that’s very simple. One of the things that you know, it’s it’s very, it’s very simple to use, and is I used by nine, so nine is a Feng Shui, it’s, it’s a lucky number. And so that’s why I’ve called my book nine keys to Feng Shui your business, but some of the very simple things that you can be doing as, as an organization, and as an individual as well, you know, some of the things about the position of the desk is really important. If you have people which are not facing that they’ve got you know, to feel safe, you would want to have a wall behind you write and you will want to be able to see who’s coming through the door, because your body’s here to protect you. That’s all it does. Your body protects you all day long, right. And so if you can’t see who’s coming behind you, you buddy all day long is going to worried about somebody who’s going to kill you come and kill you behind you. Right. So having a wall behind you, and being able to see what’s going on will give you that commanding position. So I know it’s often we see desk against the wall, because aesthetically, it’s easier or because it takes less space. Really tell me have you ever seen a CEO of a Fortune 500? Where this space against the wall?

Gregorio Uglioni 18:27
Not really,

Claire Boscq 18:28
no, you’re never so you want to have that kind of view. And you want to make sure that you protect it in your bag, and you can see what’s going on all around. And you know that, you know, that’s a great position. Something else too very simple to do is add plants, right? Plants are beautiful, they’re, you know, alive, they help you breathe, they help the office clean, you know, certain plants are better than other for bringing more oxygen and they take toxins out of the place to bring some plant bring some nature around you and really kind of, you know that growth, you know, the plants are also the grow, right? And so you have want some nice big plants which grow with your business and actually help that growth and expansion in your business. Something else that really like and again, it’s a simple thing that you do. Gregor or your it’s, it starts at the door, right? If you go into a business and you arrive in front of the front door, and there’s cigarette but there’s papers, the windows are dirty, the handle is so murky, you’re not really welcomed by you, that’s not going to make you feel like you want to go in that in that place. Right. So start from the front door, create a beautiful start of your journey with your organization and also in Feng Shui, the door is the entrance of the energy, right, you’re opening the door and you’re letting the energy come in. So you want to have some that good energy coming in through your front door. So really like, start from the outside and look around. And what can you see? And how can you kind of make that wow, first impression, we talk about first impression on customer service, right on that customer experience, this is the same thing, this is exactly the same thing. So start from the outside. And of course, fix and repair everything. There’s nothing worse than having broken bulbs, squeaky doors, office office cabinets, who are not opening or not closing, there’s nothing worse than not having something that isn’t working. So again, that’s not good. She’s not good energy. You know, make sure that you spend time to look around, and actually what is working and what isn’t working. So those are some of the good things that you can do. And Gregory, I’m gonna give you one challenge for today. Do you want one challenge? Just one, okay. Okay, so whether it’s in your office, or whether it is in your home, I would like you to go and move 27 things in your living room or office. So you know, wherever you are 27 items, move it, shake it, replace it, you know, just change it, turn a little cup around, move that painting that is not straight, add a plant from the kitchen to the living room, move and shake 27 items and see how the energy is going to be moving by just doing this.

Gregorio Uglioni 21:49
I cannot believe it? Because this was my last question that I wanted to ask you. I wrote it on my paper, I can show it to you. Why should I move 27 items? It was not prepared this question relates. You are reading my questions. That’s not possible…

Claire Boscq 22:12
so all our energy, right?

Gregorio Uglioni 22:14
So much energy for you.

Claire Boscq 22:16
Yeah, but you know, it’s so powerful, while 27 hours a night. So we talked about nine, right and nine is the you know, so everything that you do try to do it in the nine. So in the threes, three 927 18. So sometimes I give challenges for decluttering. So nine minutes of decluttering for nine days, that’s a really not another one, which is really, really simple to do. But so powerful. And so the 27 items, it really you you’re moving energy, right? You’re shifting something you’re so used to walk past things that you don’t see them anymore, are you seeing something and you don’t like it? Well, you still have it in that place. No shift it, if you don’t like it, get rid of it, you know, change it, move that energy. And that will shift the energy around.

Gregorio Uglioni 23:07
Thank you very much. It’s really incredible. But it’s the reality. And this is what I like having this this discussion. Coming back to the employee experience, we spoke about environment and Feng Shui, and now the employees are eager and are in the proper environment, too. And therefore it’s time to develop them and train them. Could you please explain a bit about it?

Claire Boscq 23:30
Yes, again, you know, sometimes, I mean, I’ve heard it so much so many times before. You know, we don’t have much budget for training. And, you know, we’ve spending all our money is on advertising, well stop spending money on advertising, if you’re not spending any money on training, because what is the point people through your door, if your staff your employees don’t know what they’re doing, right? I mean, this is just so crazily simple. So get your training program in place, not just once a year for three hours, make sure that you’re doing it on a weekly basis on a monthly basis on a daily basis as a manager as a department manager, pick up your employees pick up your team, give them a quick tips, give them a bit of motivation during the day, and then really kind of share that because once you start developing them, not only they be better at what they do, but they feel that you know you generally want them to do well. So they will give you more and they’ll develop and they’ll train even more they will learn more and they’re going to get amazing customer service right there’s no way they wouldn’t give so all that money you’re saving and advertising you’re gonna gain it because you know your your team will know what they’re doing. They’ll know how to sell they’ll know how to get great service, they’ll know how to build rapport, those kinds of those kinds of skills, I hate calling them a soft skills, you know, I really something that annoys me. But it’s essential skills, teach them things like emotional intelligence, teach them things like resilience, teach them how to build rapport, those are very, very important skills that all of your employee needs to have. And the more you give them, the more they will give to your customers. And this is just really kind of very powerful. So you, you’re nurturing your employees, so they can be more engaged, they will want to stay here, you know what happened, then they go and tell all their friends, they’re working for mazing company, they’re working for an exceptional organization come and work with us. And there’ll be so proud to be doing that, they’ll go on social media, they’ll talk about that organization. And that kind of comes back towards retention, referrals, all those things that you know, you’re spending a lot of money in recruitment, right? Recruitment is a big, big cost in an organization. Well, if you really genuinely caring for them, you won’t have that cost, you will keep keep them, they will stay here, no more churn, we are really kind of looking after that. That’s what you want, you want your employee loyalty, just as much as you want your customer loyalty. So reward them recognize what they like, what they don’t like, we’ll come back to that personalization. You know, when you’re doing a reward scheme, or recognization, scheme, part of your strategy, make it individual, like you said, that person you’ve called her, that was just amazing. She really felt very personally touched by what you don’t, you know, somebody may prefer an email somebody did, you know, learning how your employees are, by profiling them, by understanding them by the managers talking to them, this will really make that difference. You really being seen as somebody who genuinely care about their employees. And that takes them to the next level, right? How amazing is it to work for an organization that genuinely care about you?

Gregorio Uglioni 27:19
Yes, it totally makes sense. And I think that that’s really great, because what you were saying it’s also about recognition, yes, it can be an email, it can be a phone call. But also in the remuneration, some people want to have more money, perhaps because they’re at the beginning of their career, they need to pay their mortgage or something like that, or other people want to have more time. And therefore they like more to have more time for the family for for travel for all this, instead of getting more money. And therefore also there we need. If we speak in customer experience about either personalization, or making relevant experience for our customer, then we wish to do exactly the same for our employees. And in this case, they are here together with with us, we don’t need specific CRM tools. Or I don’t know which which machine to understand them and to ask them, because they are sitting next to us. Yes, don’t people are in the still in the digital space. But I’m going into the office. And I see, for example, that somebody eat everyday chocolate, and therefore once I brought him a chocolate, and other one is drinking coffee, I brought him a coffee even if I am the boss or the team lead. No problem at all, because this is shows that I care about them.

Claire Boscq 28:39
Yeah. And Gregorio Oh, you’ve told me one thing, what is the one thing that you your wife loves the best about you? What is the one thing that she said that you know, you do? Amazingly. Let’s hope that you’re gonna say the same thing as me.

Gregorio Uglioni 28:54
I know a few things because she really liked chocolate cake. And for our birthday, I do it always by myself. And I created for her last week again, this this chocolate, but she loved flowers. And she’s getting at least twice a month flowers from it. It’s a signal that I care about her.

Claire Boscq 29:17
But how did you know that? How did you know that? You know, she’s she loves those

Gregorio Uglioni 29:22
how she is smiling after she get them.

Claire Boscq 29:25
Right. But did you ask her as well? Did you you know how you had that conversation? Or did you listen to something that she said before? You may have listened to something that she said in passing? And so I’m going to do that for her.

Gregorio Uglioni 29:38
This is this is clear. This is something that to be honest, I am learning really to listen more to my family to my son to my wife, because sometimes they don’t need the solution. They need only or she need only to be listened to. And and this is something that I’m really learning and This is key because it’s really changing. I bought something for forever as a birthday present. And it’s something that she was asking for years, but really listened to this request was only in the last month. And therefore she got that and she was extremely happy.

Claire Boscq 30:17
So we talked about listening to our customers, right? We talk about doing surveys and this and that. Listen to your employees, listen to your employees, your the voice of your employees is so powerful, you know, they, if they, if you’re attracted the right person, if you nurturing them, if they engage, they want to give you some tools and feedback about what’s working, what’s not working, how do they feel, how this is, you know, help them what all the, you know, training do they need, really, it’s that kind of that final touch, which again, should be all the way through, you know, the listening part of it being part of, of everything that you do, listening to your employees, and listening to your customers, of course, is key to really having a thriving team.

Gregorio Uglioni 31:09
I think we are closing the loop and we went through all the relevant step, the only thing that I can send clear, it was really a big, big pleasure to go through the employee journey together with you from the beginning, not to the end, because there is no end we have that the employees stay with us, as long as they’re happy with it. And I think we are also coming to the end of this discussion. But I still have my three standard questions. The first one is, could you please share your contact details?

Claire Boscq 31:44
Oh, yes. So contact details actually just my name Claire Bosqu. And that’s my website. So claireboscq DOT com. And then on social media, I’m Claire Bosque everywhere as well. So I’ve kind of, you know, yeah, you find me, Google me, you’ll find me somewhere.

Gregorio Uglioni 32:03
Where can where can we find your book.

Claire Boscq 32:06
So Amazon’s got the book, and then also on playbox, got.com, you go on the boutique, I’ve got like a little boutique tab. And then you’ll see my four books in there, and you’ll be able to download it from there. So thank you so much for, you know, having me and being able to share some some Biz Shui experience tips.

Gregorio Uglioni 32:26
Thank you very much. Before we conclude the last few really short questions. The first one is, is there a book that you would like to suggest to deal with and the last time you suggest the one book about Feng Shui and one business book, perhaps in the meantime, you read one interesting book that you would like to share with the audience?

Claire Boscq 32:43
Yeah, you know, there was one book, I mean, it’s quite an old book. But it’s, it’s when it comes back to those values that we talked about. And I was really one of the books that really kind of, I had ha ha moment. And that “start with a why”. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people have read it. But sometimes just going back to it, you know, you’d kind of you know, you’re reminding yourself how important it is reminding yourself that everything is in the why everything is in that connection. And everything is surrounded where you know, how you feel and his values and his mission and why you’re trying to achieve, because then everybody will be attracted to that they will want to be with you, they will want to work for you. And so it’s it’s quite a good, it’s quite a good way. And there’s an old wine from Simon Sinek. But it’s, it’s still quite a powerful one on my list.

Gregorio Uglioni 33:38
It’s really an important one. And before we come to the last highlight of this discussion, please dear your audience pause this podcast, go to Amazon, buy the book, download the book, I check it now it’s 99 cents. If you buy the Kindle version, and it’s worth it, it’s really worth it. It’s worth it more than one pound or $1. Because it’s full of insight, not that you misunderstand what I am saying, but really pause this podcast, buy the book, because it’s really full of insights. And when you’re back, we can conclude the discussion with Claire with the last question. It’s Claire golden nugget. It’s something that we discussed or something new that Claire would like to leave to the audience.

Claire Boscq 34:26
Yeah, I think it’s that that simple thing that it may have been the same thing that I’ve talked about last time. But you know, if you’re genuinely caring for your employees, and you know, looking at all the steps from that employee strategy, really kind of that that we talked about today, if you genuinely care for them, they will genuinely care for your customers and they just seem so simple, but at the same time, so, so powerful.

Gregorio Uglioni 34:51
Claire, thank you very much. It was again an outstanding discussion. I think we can move it to a weekly discussion.

Claire Boscq 35:00
We would have enough to talk about for sure.

Gregorio Uglioni 35:03
Exactly. Joke aside. It was really great. Thank you very much for your time for, again, having a discussion with with us with me and with with the audience. It was outstanding, and I hope that the audience enjoyed as much as I did this discussion. Thank you very much, Claire.

Claire Boscq 35:20
Thank you. Bye. Bye, everybody.

Gregorio Uglioni 35:23
If you enjoyed this episode, please share the word of mouth, subscribe it, share it until the next episode. Please don’t forget, we are not in a b2b or b2c business. We are in a human to human environment. Thank you!

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