Jeanne Bliss

How Leadership Impacts Customer Service and Experience at Samsung Electronics America

How Leadership Impacts Customer Service and Experience at Samsung Electronics America

“Brands need to do things that build trust and reliance, just like you would in interpersonal relationships,” says Josh Ives, the VP of Customer Experience Management and Strategy at Samsung Electronics America. Josh has always been interested in the relationship between marketing and services.

Josh’s passion for understanding what brands mean to people steered him into a career where he was able to impact how customer service and customer experience affects the relationship with the end consumer. In this episode, I talk to Josh about what customer experience leadership looks like in a large, multi-service organization like Samsung.

Assess the Work to be Done and Focus

Josh previously worked at tech-related companies like Apple and Electronic Arts, and was excited about the opportunity to work at Samsung, a tech company that provides multiple services to consumers. Upon starting his new role at Samsung, like all CX and high-level leaders, Josh had to assess the work that needed to be done. Here’s what assessing the work to be done looked like in his first year:

In thinking about the customer journey and how to appeal to his customer base, Josh started by painting a big-picture journey of a consumer who starts with Samsung at various touch points. Whether you’re talking about a phone, a TV, a refrigerator, or a washing machine, it’s critical to understand where are the experiences that make them want to stick with the brand or not stick with the brand. Then, it’s important to try to identify data sources to understand what consumer behaviors are and whether or not the consumer feels better about Samsung after some of these experiences.

Present the Customer Experience Story to Leadership

Since Josh’s position was new and he was recruited by the CEO of the US region at the time, he already had some support behind his team’s CX implementation. The CEO and the C-Suite had a vision that enabled this work to be done. Once in the role, Josh spent a lot of energy finding ways to put more of the decision-makers across the organization in front of real customer experiences.

Josh put together a program that was called Care Academy internally at Samsung. The goal of this program is to have the top execs spend a day in the shoes of a customer service agent in a call center, and to also ride along with someone who’s doing repairs in the field. This immediately reminded me of my conversation with Christine Corbett, the CCO of Australia’s Postal Service. Christine and her team successfully created a similar internal program in order to assess pain points in the delivery service for Australia’s postal customers; it’s always helpful when the C-Suite can connect to the frontline and get closer to the customer experience. Similar to Christine, Josh found that the Care Academy was helpful in driving quicker decision-making and change among leadership.

Develop a Recovery Service Model and Seek Solutions

HOW LEADERSHIP IMPACTS CUSTOMER SERVICE AND EXPERIENCE AT SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICASamsung was under heavy pressure after recalls of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 last summer, when the phones would unexpectedly catch fire. Josh claims that this was a successful recall for Samsung because they recalled 100% of the product. They relied a lot on partners, marketing, PR, and other departments involved with the recall in order to develop and disseminate clear messaging around how to provide the best experience for customers a part of this recall.

When it comes to service recovery and crisis management, ensure that all teams involved with the customer experience are aware of the solutions and messages to communicate. To Josh, it was important that the customer service team was clear on how to solve this problem with customers. “We will always seek to provide a solution, not an answer,” says Josh. Often, leaders get caught up in reputation management and dealing with the problem on a high level, but you can’t forget about the frontline as they’re the team who engages with your actual asset, the customers!

What do You Know NOW That You Wish You Knew THEN

  • Learn the organization, seek out the people on your team and on other teams that have been there for a long time, and glean from them what are the ways that gets the work done at that company because every company has a slightly different way of getting things done.
  • Spend more time understanding the organization and why things are the way they are. Learn the different way things are done, which may be differently than what you’re used to.
  • Don’t come into places with a mindset that, “Well, I was brought in here to make all this change.” Yes, you may have been, but you really need to learn first.

About Josh Ives

How Leadership Impacts Customer Service and Experience at Samsung Electronics AmericaOnce described as ‘the marketing guy who thinks he’s a service guy,” Josh Ives is bringing a fresh perspective to the nature of customer care at Samsung Electronics in North America where he serves as the Vice President, Customer Experience Management overseeing the team responsible for the majority of the company’s interactions with consumers.

Since joining Samsung, Josh has been instrumental in changing the way consumers across North America not only interact with the electronics maker on a daily basis, but how they view the brand. His primary goal is one of ensuring the company takes care of customers in a way that lives up to its brand promise.

Josh spent the early part of his career serving as a customer experience consultant, working with a variety of brands and organizations, including Apple Inc., Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, MMC, TIME Inc., National Geographic and Rodale Publications.


Note from Jeanne: I want to let you know that we’ve now welcomed a sponsor for our show, Customerville. Until now, I have been paying for all of the expenses of the show myself. I love doing these for you – but they cost quite a bundle. This partnership ensures that I can continue these shows that you’ve shared such positive feedback on.  Thanks so much to Customervillle! Enjoy the show!

WHERE TO FIND THIS PODCAST

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Remembering Diana Helfinstine and Her Commitment to Customer-Driven Growth at Essilor

Remembering Diana Helfinstine and Her Commitment to Customer-Driven Growth at Essilor

We recently learned that a good friend of ours and member of the Customer Experience Professionals AssociationDiana Helfinstine, VP of Customer Experience at Essilor, the world’s largest manufacturer of eyeglasses has passed away. In tribute to Diana, who has been a pillar in the CX community, we’re revisiting this podcast episode. Diana shared how she implemented customer experience strategies that fueled Essilor’s customer-driven growth, and created greater value for their customers and patients.

Align Business Visions and Assess Work to Be Done

Since Diana’s role at the time was newly created, she was able to essentially create her own job and figure out how to define the role. This can be fun and innovating, when you think about it. When Diana was first hired, she actually had 17 interviews! It turns out these multiple interviews were helpful, as they gave her more insight into the company.

During the interview process with the various executives, Diana learned about their goals and visions for both CX and the company as a whole. In many cases, leaders shared the same visions, and Diana realized she would have some alignment when starting this work. As we know, having support and unification from the C-Suite is a key factor in driving the customer experience implementation.

When it comes to defining CX at Essilor, Diana said, “it’s anything we do that it makes it easier for customers to do business with us.”

Customer experience at @essilorusa is anything we do that it makes it easier for customers to do business with us. #CX #CustExp Click To Tweet

Diane’s first steps as a new CX Leader :

  • Understand what your role is. Know your strengths and weaknesses so you can learn what you can realistically do for the organization.
  • Realize who has a job of influence on the teams. Diana learned to listen to all of the different staff to hone in on what the opportunities and issues were. When you’re in a position of influence, you may not necessarily be a “leader.” You may find that it’s someone else, the “go-to” person on the team. Diana helped these influencers get more support and hop on the bandwagon for the CX work they were trying to accomplish.
  • Gather your data and touch points around the customer journey and condense this information in a way so executives will look at it and understand it. Diana specified that you’ll need to walk the leaders through the customer journey so they can know what their customer is experiencing. Often times, executives want to do the right thing but are unaware of what’s actually happening at the customer interaction level.

Form a Partnership with the C-Suite

Remembering Diana Helfinstine and Her Commitment to Customer-Driven Growth at EssilorOftentimes, especially as the leader in customer experience is taking on a new role, the C-Suite will view the CCO as a service provider and not a partner. That’s not a beneficial approach to take, as alignment is necessary to make strides in the implementation. Diana mentioned that learning how to package your communications becomes essential because the attention spans are “pretty low.” For instance, she created “one-pagers” with easy-to-digest data from the customer journey for the C-Suite to grasp quickly. The one pagers also served as record-keeping tools and was a good support resource when new technologies or enhancements were needed to help customers and employees.

Diana approached her interactions with the C-Suite by showcasing how they’d benefit from the customer experience work. Essentially, her presentations allowed them to see how the work would affect their specific bottom line. This is a logical way to get the attention of C-Suite leaders, have them think about their compensation!

Take the lead when it comes to keeping the C-Suite partners involved. Diana mentioned that she needed to “stay on top” of other C-Suiters, because with a million plates spinning and competing priorities, it’s easy to be dropped from their list of priorities. “I am a pest,” she admits.

Diana’s Words of Wisdom

About Diana Helfinstine

Remembering Diana Helfinstine and Her Commitment to Customer-Driven Growth at EssilorEssilor is the world’s leading manufacturer of eyeglass lenses, recognized as one of the top 25 Most Innovative Companies in the World by Forbes for the past two years. (While predominantly B2B, Diana notes that B2C is always in the back of her mind.) A global company, Essilor provides corrective vision across 54 countries, driven by the mission to “Help The World See Better” for over 160 years.

As the VP, Customer Experience, Diana’s role was to compliment Essilor’s award-winning products by creating and implementing customer experience strategies that further differentiate their services, creating greater value for Essilor customers and their patients.

Diana was passionate about delivering the “voice of the customer” to provide actionable insights, enabling organizations to make better business decisions and meet/exceed corporate goals and objectives.

May Diana Helfinstine rest in peace; she will most certainly be missed. If you knew Diana and would like to share any of your thoughts about her and her contributions, please comment below.


Note from Jeanne: I want to let you know that we’ve now welcomed a sponsor for our show, Customerville. Until now, I have been paying for all of the expenses of the show myself. I love doing these for you – but they cost quite a bundle. This new partnership ensures that I can continue these shows that you’ve shared such positive feedback on.  Thanks so much to Customervillle! Enjoy the show!

WHERE TO FIND THIS PODCAST

If you've been getting value from this podcast, please help more people find it by leaving a brief review on iTunes, here's how.


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Pioneering Customer Experience in Healthcare at Cleveland Clinic

Pioneering Customer Experience in Healthcare at Cleveland Clinic

Being empathetic and engaged are core parts of the patient and caregiver experience at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Adrienne Boissy, a neurologist and the leader of the patient, caregiver, and family experience at Cleveland Clinic, shares the path to embedding customer experience into a healthcare organization. We talk about the importance of putting patients first, and what it takes to sustain the philosophy, mindset, and operational priorities to keep this work going.

Improving The Patient Experience is An Ongoing Commitment

When Dr. Boissy became the Chief Experience Officer at Cleveland Clinic Health System, the organization had already been committed to developing the patient journey for about a decade. But, as she goes on to tell me, there’s always work that needs to be done when it comes to improving the patient experience. When Dr. Boissy took on this role, the first thing she did was assess the work that needed to be done and how she could make it her own. 

After assessing the work, Dr. Boissy made the following improvements to the patient experience:

  • Roll out online ratings for physicians. This initiative had to be discussed internally to be sure all physicians were informed. Internally, Dr. Boissy and her team crafted supportive messaging, making the case for why online ratings were important to the patient experience. 
  • Understand your team and build bridges to make them a functional unit. In order for teams to be fully functional, they need to feel valued and cared for. Spend time watering and fostering their growth.
  • Get your team aligned around a singular vision. For Dr. Boissy, the teams needed to be aligned around their roles to reduce suffering and enhance relationships.

Strategize Around Sustaining Your CX Work

Pioneering Customer Experience in Healthcare at Cleveland ClinicDr. Boissy and her Cleveland Clinic team have rolled out great programs around service and communications that are impactful for patients and caregivers, but strategy around sustainment was a huge opportunity for increasing change. She did not want to fall into the trap of believing their program was the best and that there wouldn’t be a need to change it in 5 years. Dr. Boissy and her team had to build a strategy around sustaining the work that they were doing. 

Sustainment Strategy:

  • Think about driving new innovation every day.
  • Reinforce accountability to the individual level. Communication skill behavior change happens when you recognize there’s a blind spot which has been brought to the forefront because of transparency. Drive transparency around peer performance and develop customized programs to improve your staff’s skills.
  • Drive transparency. For Dr. Boissy, this meant translating the patient satisfaction score feedback to the front desk, which never happened before. When people realize they’re perceived differently than they think, you’re able to drive change.
  • Sustain good patient service. Dr. Boissy and her team thought a lot about how to get more creative around patient storytelling. They had many conversations about training and ongoing service, how could they be sure they were being empathetic?
  • Use a service recovery model. It’s extremely important to put things back together after something was done to make the patient uncomfortable. Dr. Boissy and her team decided that they would need to respond with heart: hear the concern, empathize with the concern, apologize, respond (what are you going to do about it), thanking the patient. Service recovery acknowledges that we’re all human beings and sometimes things go wrong. What’s the most important is how we take care of it.

Operationalize the Patient Experience

When it comes to the patient and caregiver experience, Dr. Boissy works with the C-Suite so that they’re united in their understanding of the work, allowing them to be unified in their decision making. This is important for making the work successful as patient experience becomes operationalized.

Dr. Boissy shares how she’s been able to improve the caregiver experience in three different areas: 

  • “The Pause.” This was such a touching implementation to hear about. Dr. Boissy described how the end of life is a powerful moment in someone’s journey and is an occurrence they deal with often. “The Pause” is a literal pause with some scripted language to use when someone passes. She explains how everyone gathers around the patient to deliver the words so they can honor their life and honor the caregivers of those who touched the patient. 
  • Access. Patients should be able to self-schedule and have same-day access. Patients should be able to have lab results as soon as it’s ready, and access to walk-in mammography clinics. The healthcare culture needs to continue to push for more patient access. 
  • Communication skills and training. Dr. Boissy didn’t want caregivers to walk away feeling bad. She wanted to design training to address complex and intricate conversations that the staff was having with caregivers, enabling them to feel more equipped to have them. Dr. Boissy stressed that the way we communicate has to be an ongoing process of improvement, not just something you check off a list.
    The way we communicate has to be an ongoing process of improvement, not just something you check off a list, says @boissyad #CX #Healthcare Click To Tweet

What Do You Know NOW that You Wish You Knew THEN?

Dr. Boissy:

  • This work is ultimately about easing suffering. There’s so much suffering, it’s what makes us human. We shouldn’t frame it as something else. It’s not about HCAPS or metrics. It’s about making sure that patient walk out feeling cared for and secure.
  • I should’ve trusted my gut from the beginning
  • I Wish I took more time to take a breath and step back. Really, to understand what reduction of suffering in health care could look like.

And lastly, I want to leave you with this quote from Dr. Boissy that I think is a great reminder for healthcare practitioners:

Design moments that are exquisitely human, just that. If we don’t need it, we’ll design a high-touch experience. But we have to preserve and protect these human moments.”

Design moments that are exquisitely human, just that. If we don’t need it, we’ll design a high-touch experience. But we have to preserve and protect these human moments, says @boissyad #CX #healthcare Click To Tweet

About Dr. Adrienne Boissy

Pioneering Customer Experience in Healthcare at Cleveland ClinicAdrienne Boissy, MD, MA, is Chief Experience Officer of Cleveland Clinic Health System and a staff neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis. Dr. Boissy leads the Office of Patient Experience and its initiatives to address and improve every aspect of a patient’s encounter with the Cleveland Clinic Health System—from their physical comfort to their educational, emotional and spiritual needs.

Dr. Boissy’s team created a comprehensive program to strengthen physician and clinician communication skills and has trained thousands of staff physicians and clinicians to date. The experience was captured in her recent book, Communication the Cleveland Clinic Way: How to Drive a Relationship-Centered Strategy for Superior Patient Experience.


Note from Jeanne: I want to let you know that we’ve now welcomed a sponsor for our show, Customerville. Until now, I have been paying for all of the expenses of the show myself. I love doing these for you – but they cost quite a bundle. This new partnership ensures that I can continue these shows that you’ve shared such positive feedback on.  Thanks so much to Customervillle! Enjoy the show!

WHERE TO FIND THIS PODCAST

If you've been getting value from this podcast, please help more people find it by leaving a brief review on iTunes, here's how.


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Lead with Purpose; IKEA Founder Ingvar Kamprad Leaves Behind a CX Legacy

Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA, recently passed away in Sweden, leaving quite a legend behind him. IKEA, the beloved furniture store not just for Americans, but for people all over the world, first came to the United States in the 1980s, slowly r...

Your Live Chat Should Create Customer Convenience Not Dissatisfaction

“More and more customers are willing to use live chat when contacting brands, but their general satisfaction rate has gone down slightly.” This is a finding from the recently released LiveChat Customer Service Report 2018, comparing results from 2017 t...

Whats the Key to a Strong CX Foundation? Be Obsessed with Your Customers

Is your company customer obsessed? If not, it should be! Tamar Cohen, Head of US Customer Experience for Zoetis, a leader in animal health services, shares how she led the leadership team in building the company’s CX platform and organization from the grounds up.

Tamar and I chat about how she’s been able to define Zoetis as a truly customer obsessed company, where every decision is led by how it will benefit the customer base. When you lead with customer obsession as your CX foundation, remember that “first and foremost, listen to the customer and be consistent and clear,” says Tamar.

Clarifying the Customer Experience to be Customer Obsessed

Lead with Customer Obsession as Your CX FoundationWith a background in art history, public relations and community service, operations, and digital strategy in finance, Tamar’s diverse experiences paved the way for her to become a customer experience leader. Her work in all of these fields showed her the value of understanding customers across different segments and ways to provide value to them. After 15 years leading digital and CX design for CitiBank, Tamar learned the importance of being customer obsessed, which includes: connecting dots for customers, servicing them properly, communicating in a consistent language internally and externally, and building relationships with the frontline and leadership.

Tamar’s role hadn’t existed before she came to Zoetis, and there were a few things she had to accomplish within her first few weeks on the job. As many past CX leaders on the podcast have mentioned, this initial step includes clarifying and communicating what customer experience is, what it’s not, and how it will manifest across the organization.

Tactics to clarify the why and the how:

  • Start articulating what the teams are going to do and how.
  • Learn the industry. Talk with internal teams to learn about their customers, their mentality, and challenges across different silos. Listen to phone calls: What are customers complaining about, what positive things are customers saying?
  • Look at what’s already in place structurally to evaluate and understand the baseline.

For her first year implementing a CX program, in addition to clarifying what CX meant, Tamar wanted to challenge herself and the B2B industry of animal pharmaceuticals. “How can we do better for our customer?” was the question that continuously guided her.

Tactics to Transform and Build Customer Experience

Tamar listed 3 different phases that were instituted internally to unite the teams and leadership in navigating this work.

  1. Clean up: Unite the company and all of the splinters that occurred naturally to have a comprehensive view. Look at the projects that have to be done immediately to fix the holes of the foundations. Spend time connecting data, different services and business units, and customer management tools.
    Unite the company and all of the splinters that occurred naturally to have a comprehensive view. Look at the projects that have to be done immediately to fix the holes of the foundation. #CX Click To Tweet
  2. Catch up: Move out of reactivity and unite the multiple sources of data to drive continuous improvement. Understand what are some foundational issues that are being experienced across the silos so that you’re not running to put out fires. Create listening tools and get a closed loop communications with customers in place. Embed a series of competencies into running of the services and develop a VOC program to collect feedback. Track, trend, and programmatically address where the key issues are. Put in a continuous improvement program with the governance team.
    When it comes to #CX, move out of reactivity and unite the multiple sources of data to drive continuous improvement. Click To Tweet
  3. Move upHow can we take this to the next level? What can we do to be there for customers when it comes to ordering, buying, and fulfilling. How can we take some steps out of the system? What can be automated? We want to be a solution and service based organization, not just a pharmaceutical company.

Of course, we can’t forget about the importance of uniting the leadership team in this process. Tamar shares that leadership has to be viewed as partners in this process. She worked with the C-Suite to write a mission, an outline of the work needed to be done and clarified what Zoetis would and wouldn’t be.  She shared the foundations of what they’re working with to set expectations at the leadership level. At every leadership meeting, Tamar started with the mission statement and walked leadership through some of the current challenges and how CX will help resolve it.

What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Then?

  • You can come in with a preconceived idea and plan with all the quick wins that you’re going to have and sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.
  • Understanding the culture of the relationship between the sales rep and customer was a huge eye opener for me. Bringing everyone in as a part of the story. I realized, these are my partners and they’ll tell me more than I can ever get from reading surveys and analytics. This is where the true enhancements and go-forward strategies come from.
  • Having the ability to sit down, shut up and listen is critical. Ask, “What else can we do for you?” to help drive a cultural change.
    Having the ability to sit down, shut up and listen is critical. Ask, “What else can we do for you?” to help drive a cultural change. #CX Click To Tweet

About Tamar Cohen

Tamar CohenTamar Cohen is the Head of US Customer Experience, leading the Customer and Colleague Experience team for Zoetis, a leader in animal health services.

Coming to Zoetis after over 15 years leading digital and CX design in Financial services, she is building the organization to develop new CX strategies and methodologies to reimagine how Zoetis can create exceptional experiences for their customers. Tamar holds a BA from New York University in Art Administration.


Note from Jeanne: I want to let you know that we’ve now welcomed a sponsor for our show, Customerville. Until now, I have been paying for all of the expenses of the show myself. I love doing these for you – but they cost quite a bundle. This new partnership ensures that I can continue these shows that you’ve shared such positive feedback on.  Thanks so much to Customervillle! Enjoy the show!

WHERE TO FIND THIS PODCAST

If you've been getting value from this podcast, please help more people find it by leaving a brief review on iTunes, here's how.


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CVS Decides to “Keep it Real” with Customers By Banning Photoshopped Images From Beauty...

CVS DECIDES TO “KEEP IT REAL” WITH CUSTOMERS BY BANNING PHOTOSHOPPED IMAGES FROM BEAUTY PRODUCTS

My mission throughout my career has been to highlight companies that choose to grow by honoring the lives of customers and employees. It’s been the basis behind my book, “I Love You More Than My Dog,” in which I highlight companies that base their culture on decision making that shows their humanity, and in turn, drives extreme customer loyalty in both the good times and the bad.

And now, over the past three years, I’ve been working on a new book that embodies an idea that has been taking shape, and with it, a shorthand for how to identify these companies. That shorthand is: companies that “make mom proud” in how they choose to run their businesses. I find extreme joy in coming across companies that decide to be real, decide with a clarity of purpose, and become a part of their customers lives.

Today, I want to talk about an act of bravery by CVS, which has chosen to walk away from photoshopped images on its store-brand makeup products and marketing, so that women can truly see what the makeup products will look like for real — sans the digital glow. CVS is encouraging other brands in its stores to do so by 2020, or else be slapped with a label indicating the image has been digitally enhanced.

“As a woman, mother and president of a retail business whose customers predominantly are women, I realize we have a responsibility to think about the messages we send to the customers we reach each day,” said Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President, CVS Health, in a statement to the press.

“The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established. As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”

Now THIS is deciding to be real. CVS is connecting with the customers to make a positive impact in their lives. Let’s think about it, in 2014, CVS decided not to sell tobacco products because doing so conflicted with their value system to help people on a path to better their health. They weren’t worried about what this decision would do to their bottom line, they stuck to their clarity of purpose. Apparently, this decision had a positive impact on some of the lives of CVS consumers. In 2017, Reuters shared findings from a study stating that “smokers who purchased cigarettes exclusively at CVS stores were 38 percent less likely to buy tobacco after the national chain stopped selling cigarettes.”

I can’t wait to see how CVS’s use of unaltered beauty portraits affects the beauty industry as a whole, and the effect that it has on the beauty standards that women set for themselves. So kudos to CVS for this transparency! Your decision to give women the real look versus one they’ll never emulate, no matter how much glop they put on their faces is an act that will surely “make mom proud.”

I’d love to hear what you think about CVS’s decision, or even, what other companies you think are taking actions to “make mom proud.” Share your thoughts in the comments!

In the next few months I’m going to be building upon this “make mom proud content” in anticipation of my forthcoming book, “Would You Do That To Your Mother?” to be released this spring.

Do you make decisions like beloved & prosperous companies?

Adapted from the five decisions made by beloved and prosperous companies in I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad.

These questions enable your leaders and organization to evaluate how far or close you are in making the decisions that the most loved companies make to earn customer and employee love and growth through passionate customer advocates. To evaluate your culture, please take the audit.


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Leadership and Crafting the Customer Experience in Consumer Goods with Kathy Tobiasen

LEADERSHIP AND CRAFTING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN CONSUMER GOODS WITH KATHY TOBIASEN

Overview

“I have a passion for customer service and customer care, and I know that I have high expectations.” says Kathy Tobiasen, VP of Customer Experience at The Nature’s Bounty Company. “When I give a company my money. I expect to be treated a certain way when I’m buying their products and services, and that’s my goal as I approach this work.”

In this episode, Kathy talks to me about her path to the role of leader of customer experience. We chat about the interesting application of “CX” inside both the packaged goods business operation, and the customer experience delivered.

Be Deliberate About Crafting the Customer Experience

LEADERSHIP AND CRAFTING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN CONSUMER GOODS WITH KATHY TOBIASENKathy is responsible for managing and creating good customer experiences from end to end for The Nature’s Bounty Company, which is a global manufacturer of vitamins and supplements. During Kathy’s CX implementation process, she realized that as an organization, they were allowing the customer experience to happen versus being deliberate in facilitating the overall experience; it was time to change that.

Their customer experience was happening in silos, so the journey was broken. To begin the process, Kathy and her team aligned silos across functional groups, which included understanding inventory and supply levels, distribution and warehouse teams, marketing, merchandising, customer care, and tech and operations.

How Kathy and her team assessed the work to be done:

Know Your Customer Growth, Loss, and Retention

Leadership and Crafting the Customer Experience in Consumer Goods with Kathy Tobiasen

Kathy mentioned that a major takeaway she got from my book, Chief Customer Officer 2.0, is the importance of understanding your customer growth. You need to know: is it going up, is it going down? Where are you losing/gaining customers? Kathy was able to compile this data and create a customer health dashboard. It’s critical for her to know which customers are new, lost, lapsed, reactivated.

Once this information has been gathered, Kathy had to get all of the right people in the room to define who these different customers are. She had to unite leadership and teams in understanding the term definitions, the source of the information, and implications of the data. 

Define the Customer Journeys and Their Business Impact

Leadership and Crafting the Customer Experience in Consumer Goods with Kathy TobiasenDuring the first year of implementation, Kathy had to translate the customer experience into the language of business. This is where you leverage the data so you can learn how to manage customers as assets. She and her team had to explain to executive leadership what was happening from a customer point of view and have them care about it. Once they got past this stage, they were able to set clear KPIs for customer growth to be measured across the organization.

Of course, there were some first year challenges. This included gaining alignment around what the CX role is and what they actually do. Her team got a few wins under their belt in the beginning by solving some organizational problems as a cross-functional team to help define their position.

Kathy and her team positioned themselves as a group that’s there to help the functional groups create great customer and employee experiences. In efforts to unite all teams and improve CX, they’re there to help with heavy lifting on driving decisions, research, and documentation.

During this implementation process, they were able to define 3 primary journeys and their business impact:

  1. Retain new customers and look at the challenges faced here.
  2. Launch a loyalty program – Recognize their purchase behavior and automatically reward them for it. Our way of saying thank you for being a customer without them having to do work. I expect the company I’m buying from consistently to know me. That’s the key. We need to know our customers and treat them appropriately.
    I expect the company I’m buying from consistently to know me. That's the key. We need to know our customers and treat them appropriately. #CX Click To Tweet
  3. Apology win-back journey – When vitamins and supplements aren’t available, customers lose trust and they go someplace else to get them. Start developing consumer insights: why did you leave and how can we earn their trust back?

What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Then?

Kathy says:

About Kathy Tobiasen

Leadership and Crafting the Customer Experience in Consumer Goods with Kathy TobiasenKathy Tobiasen has spent her career serving customers in both B2B and B2C organizations including Computer Associates, Kaplan Inc., and The Nature’s Bounty Co. Her career started on the frontlines working on helpdesks, customer service, inside sales and has grown into leading customer-facing organizations. She has a passion for delivering thoughtful, caring experiences and building teams with the same focus. Kathy earned a bachelors in business administration from Concordia College in Bronxville, New York. 

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Problem Solving and Customer Experience Transformation in the Australian Postal System with CCO Christine...

PROBLEM SOLVING AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE TRANSFORMATION IN THE AUSTRALIAN POSTAL SYSTEM WITH CCO CHRISTINE CORBETT

Overview

How do you transform customer experience within the postal service – an industry that affects the whole nation? In this episode, Christine Corbett, a hybrid CCO of Australia Post, shares how she’s using her background in operations and communications to unite the organization and reinvent the Australia Post customer and employee experience.

Solve Problems and Go Beyond Customer Expectations

Problem Solving and Customer Experience Transformation in the Australian Postal System with CCO Christine CorbettA critical part of Christine’s role as CCO is to ask, “how do we make sure we can empower our front line to deliver great customer experiences?” To answer this question, start by understanding the customer experience journey, then develop products and services from there. Christine solves for how services and experiences can improve customers’ lives, and how the Australia Post can not only anticipate – but deliver and go further than customer expectations.

A big CX undertaking for Christine was a “Deliveries That Make you Smile” project. This internal project was birthed out of the knowledge that the delivery experience was a major pain point for customers. Customers would get frustrated when packages couldn’t be delivered if they weren’t home, and with the growth of online shopping, that was only a problem that would get bigger.

Christine and her team decided to reimagine what parcel delivery service could look like. They put together a small team and gave them 13 weeks to work on this transformation. From seeing how parcel was delivered, to listening on customer contact calls, speaking to postal staff and drivers – Christine and this cross-function team were able to better understand and decide priorities based on observation and customer feedback. 

Bind Your Team Together

PROBLEM SOLVING AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE TRANSFORMATION IN THE AUSTRALIAN POSTAL SYSTEM WITH CCO CHRISTINE CORBETTOf course, with a transformation this big, it’s critical to unite the C-Suite and get executive buy-in. With support of the C-Suite, Christine was also able to have a finance team be a part of the process. She explains that this was such an important part of the journey because the finance team was able to help them prove different solutions that would positively impact the bottom line.

With all of the various parts of CX transformation, you’ve got to focus on a big initiative that you can rally your whole team behind. Christine and her team assessed ideas based on the following customer priorities:

  • Create a seamless customer experience, especially when it comes to parcel delivery.
  • Listen to customers and take action. Learn how to leverage insights to make better decisions.
  • KNOW your customers – gather as much data and contact information as possible to create a personalized experience.
  • Develop a customer commitment statement to be placed in every post office, on the website, and back of employee identity cards.
  • Empower people on the front line. Provide tools that allow your employees to be an advocate for the customer. They introduced an app, SnapIt, which offers support and sales tools for postal employees.
    • Additionally, the team developed “Toolbox talks” in which employees start the day with a meeting in which they share customer moments and stories of success, or stories where events didn’t turn out as well as they’d hoped.

What Do You Know NOW That You Wish You Knew THEN?

Christine says:

And lastly, Christine has this to say: “If you’re on this journey, it might be hard, but goodness it’s worth it! It’s a wonderful journey to be a part of.”

About Christine Corbett

Christine CorbettChristine is an accomplished and highly versatile business leader and Non-Executive Director, with extensive experience in delivering strong financial and people outcomes in the retail, eCommerce, consumer services and logistics sectors. As Group Chief Customer Officer of Australia Post, Christine is responsible for creating the experiences that customers love and advocating for customers across the enterprise.

Christine is accountable for all the key customer touch points including the largest retail network in the country with over 4,000 post offices, the customer contact centre, digital channels and over 10 million customer interactions each day. She is also responsible for brand, marketing, customer insights, community and corporate social responsibility teams as well as the consumer and small business segment.


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Take Action Against These 4 Culprits That Hinder Customer Experience Growth

TAKE ACTION AGAINST THESE 4 CULPRITS THAT HINDER CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE GROWTH

As we start off 2018 with the focus of continuously improving customer experience work, talking about the role of the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) is a great place to start. According to an AdAge article from 2016, this position has been on the rise since the early 2000s – and as of 2014, nearly a quarter of Fortune 100 companies had a CCO (or something akin to it). Why is the CCO role so important? Because the CCO leads customer experience and is tasked with improving the business engine through customer-driven growth – they are always thinking through a customer first lens.

During this CX process, it’s critical that the CCO “earns” the right to people’s engagement in the work across the organization. I’ve learned from former clients and CX leaders I’ve interviewed on my podcast, that in order to earn the engagement from leaders, you have to show how the framework for fueling the growth engine simplifies and improves the processes of running the business.

In order for your customer experience process to be sustainable and drive long-term transformation, it needs to be based on a company-unifying framework.

When the CCO works with a united leadership team to remove reactivity in a very deliberate way, they can engage in proactive decision-making opportunities to tackle four big culprits that cause CX work to stall: silo based prioritization and investment, capacity creation, holding people accountable, and annual planning.

4 Culprits That Hinder Customer-Driven Growth

#1. Silo-based Prioritization and Investment

Current prioritization: Silo-based operations often go separately to the (well-intended) survey dashboard to dissect data question by question, rather than by customer journey. Silos tend to cherry-pick projects they believe will drive the “lift” on survey question scores that can be attributable back to them. Unfortunately, this drives prioritization of multiple projects all coming from different silo-based points of view – giving a false positive that customers’ interests and needs are being focused on when they really aren’t.

Future prioritization: Take a one-company approach as leaders traverse the customer journey on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis to select the few impactful priorities versus the many silo-based priorities.

Take a one-company approach as leaders traverse the customer journey on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis to select the few impactful priorities versus the many silo-based priorities. #CX Click To Tweet

#2. Work is Layered On and Capacity Creation is Not Addressed 

Current prioritization: In most organizations, when new cross-functional teams are assembled to react to squeaky-wheel customer issues, these teams tax already busy people. These reactively assembled projects feel layered onto the “real” work of participants. Fatigue, exhaustion, and feelings of “Why are we doing this?” ensue.

Future prioritization: Line up projects under the stages of the experience. Line up all the projects from the silos and give visibility to duplicate actions and capacity drain. Moving forward, the disciplined process for accountability with leaders that comes out of a customer room process establishes a protocol for making trade-offs in a united manner. Leaders decide together what projects stay and what projects go.

#3. Lack of Rigor in Holding People AccountableTake Action Against These 4 Culprits That Hinder Customer Experience Growth

Current accountability: Squeaky-wheel issues lobbed to operational areas or cross-functional teams to “take a look” are inconsistent in rigor and process. What success looks like is not clearly understood or agreed upon. In general, there’s not a regularly understood set of actions and outcomes when “take a look at it” is requested. And more to the point, the “take a look at it” cycle by its very nature is reactive.

Future accountability: Teams are assembled by the entire leadership team and tasked to deliver a monthly set of predetermined action items until they are implementing a solution. They’re guided to diagnose problems and propose customer-centric solutions by a professional customer experience facilitator. When a solution takes hold and customer complaints on the issue start to decline, the teams can be rewarded – based on improving customers’ lives.

When a solution takes hold and customer complaints on the issue start to decline, the teams can be rewarded - based on improving customers' lives. #CX Click To Tweet

#4. Annual Planning and IT Investment

Current annual planning: Largely a silo-by-silo endeavor. Planning starts with each silo’s budget allocated, existing projects, ad their scorecards. Customer experience priorities are established separately by silo, as a result of the uncoordinated plans built by each. For this reason, annual planning is the Achilles’ heel of delivering a one-company customer experience.

Future annual planning: Should start with the framework of the customer journey. The customer room meeting that is held with all leadership before annual planning trends and accumulates the year’s information to unite and inform leaders of focus and priorities. Leaders debate and agree – and decisions are made which comprehensively connect product, sales, IT, customer experience, service priorities. Then the money is doled back out to the silos to plan.

While the five competencies frame the work to be done in your role as a CCO, it’s the attitudinal shifts in leadership thinking and behaviors along with your engagement to unite leaders, that will determine the successful transformation of your business. You can find more instructions and details to this framework in my book, Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine.

It's the attitudinal shifts in leadership thinking and behaviors along with your engagement to unite leaders, that will determine the successful transformation of your business. Click To Tweet

How far are you in embedding the 5 competencies?

This audit walks your organization through the five competencies to build your customer-driven growth engine; highlighting key actions, tactics and behaviors that should be occurring when they are embedded and functional in driving business operations and customer-driven growth.

You can use this audit in the beginning of your role to engage leaders and your operational silos and to educate them on the five competencies. Using this audit in a workshop setting is very powerful, and something we often do at the beginning of coaching. As you know, what comprises a customer experience transformation needs to be clarified and agreed to, so you can use this as both an audit and communication tool.


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