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

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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.

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