CX Passport

The one with the CX orchestration - Mark Slatin CX Advisor at EmpoweredCX E111

April 04, 2023 Rick Denton Season 2 Episode 111
CX Passport
The one with the CX orchestration - Mark Slatin CX Advisor at EmpoweredCX E111
Show Notes Transcript

🎤🎞️“The one with the CX orchestration” with Mark Slatin, CX Advisor at EmpoweredCX in CX Passport Episode 111🎧What’s in the episode?...


CHAPTERS

0:00 Introduction

2:12 Tangible experience in CX

3:58 What’s the role of a CX leader?

6:48 How to move customer experience initiatives forward…successfully

9:19 Inspiring change using the customer’s story

12:27 We’re still justifying the ROI of Customer Experience?

16:38 1st Class Lounge

20:11 How to get better at being tactical, not so esoteric with CX

22:44 Why is Customer Experience/Service still SO bad?

25:38 What are companies focused on in 2023?

27:45 Contact info and closing


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Hosted by Rick Denton “I believe the best meals are served outside and require a passport”


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Show notes and other helpful CX & Total VOC content at www.cxpassport.com


Episode resources:

Podcast: The Delighted Customer Podcast https://www.empoweredcx.com/podcast

Website & maturity experince assessemnt : empoweredcx.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markslatin/

Mark Slatin:

The one indispensable element of any organization is the customer without customers, you have

Rick Denton:

You're listening to CX Passport, the show about nothing creating great customer experiences with a dash of travel talk. Each episode we’ll talk with our guests about great CX, travel...and just like the best journeys, explore new directions we never anticipated. I'm your host Rick Denton. I believe the best meals are served outside and require a passport. Let's get going. Tangible, practical actions. Yes, there's a place for a need for vision strategy ideas, those are vital. Yet without tangible results practical approaches that create real actions, those visions just float without value drifting into the ether. Today's guest Mark Slatin through his firm EmpoweredCX gets those results for clients, with a tagline of AI empowered leaders to make their customers experience vision become a reality. Mark stakes his ground right from the start. With stats that consistently tell us the companies are thinking, they're providing a great customer experience, compared to stats that consistently tell us that customers know, customers company's customer experience. Maybe polite falls short of what customers seek. Other words come to mind. But this is a PG 13 podcast. Well, that's what Mark solves using the experience he gained through several corporations, including leading customer experience for a healthy sized bank. This isn't theoretical, it's real. There's a lot that goes into creating the change that's required to create great customer experience. That's going to be the theme today. practical results. Well, I mean, as much as we plan things, you know, we'll take unexpected journeys should we find interesting tangent to explore mark? Welcome to CX passport.

Mark Slatin:

Hey, thanks for thanks so much for having me on the show. It is an honor and a pleasure.

Rick Denton:

Well, the honor and pleasure is mine. Sir. I'm glad you're here. Now, I mentioned that in the intro, I talked about that experience that you had in financial services, it was for a bank that had $11 billion in assets. So we're not talking about something tiny here. That's real practical experience. How would you say that practical experience influences how you approach customer experience today?

Mark Slatin:

Yeah, Rick, I think it's one thing to put on a piece of paper, what something should look like and a plan. And it's a whole nother thing to actually live it. You, you run into the obstacles, you run into the barriers that have to do with all sorts of things. And until you've actually gone through that, you know, it's really like anything else until you've gone through it and walked in those shoes. You don't know what it's like, there, there is so many people in our industry now that have the title of CX customer experience client experience. And they haven't spent a day really in those shoes. So and it's kind of frustrating for those of us who have, you know, worked hard, have CC XPS or other designations, have years of experience having, you know, fought the good fight and learn the hard lessons to hear but that that's one area when you go through, especially in the financial world, and I know, insurance and and other industries are the same, where there's a lot of consolidation and market compression, we went through two acquisitions in three years. So that's a whole nother and not to mention a pandemic. That's all in there. Just throw it all in there. I mean, if there's some wrench that can be thrown in, but until you try to go through and negotiate and navigate those things, you really are just theoretical.

Rick Denton:

I want to I want to come back to some of that practical, like, maybe dive deeper in there. But you said something that kind of inspires me. And it's this idea of there's a lot of folks that have CX in their title. And there's plenty of discussion that I've seen on LinkedIn around, you know, go just go out there and look at the job descriptions for a customer experience role. And you'll see that there's a wide spectrum of understanding of what that role is. So you can't use job descriptions as a way to know what a customer's experience leader should do with your practical experience with your perspective. Now, what would you say is the function of a customer experience leader?

Mark Slatin:

I think the simplest way to think about it for me is we are the customer advocate inside the organization. Right? Because if you think about it, there's all these different departments and they have different purposes marketing, audit, sales, you know, finance, you name it, they're all doing something but in many of them will intention or trying to serve the The customer, but usually from their own vantage point. And using thinking about the priorities they have within their department and somebody some, I think a good analogy is a conductor of an orchestra. Right? So if they if they're on their own, the winds may overpower the flutes, the drums, maybe a half beat ahead of everyone else. Yeah. And and the conductor pulls a whole orchestra and turns a bunch of disparate noises into music that the audience really enjoys hearing. Like that

Rick Denton:

I I like the idea of the orcas. And I joke about this in episodes, where some of the guest gives me what the title is going to be. I think that maybe the title of this episode is the the orchestration of customer experience, or something like that. But I liked that approach to it. And the idea of you've got these different. And it's not that there, I think that's one thing that sometimes we can be guilty of in the CX space that we vilify the other groups, oh, well, you're not doing the way customer experience I think it should be. But they have their own objectives, their own initiatives, their own goals that they're attempting to achieve. And so that idea, just like, hey, the timpani wants to make sure that you get the Russian the drum really going loud. Well, it's the orchestra. It's the conductor that helps bring that back. I like that a lot.

Your CX Passport Captain:

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Rick Denton:

You said something else to me when we were talking before the show and you'd called the customer experience leader, not a conductor, but you called them a change agent. And I know I've always kind of felt that in my core. I just have never really verbalized it as such, we often talk about it near it with phrases like customer culture development, or creating a customer centric approach. There's I like that there's something about that idea, that change agent that gets at all of that, and has a flavor around moving specific initiatives forward. So someone's listened to this show, and they've got customer experience they want to move customer experience initiatives for and they want success for their ideas. How would you advise them?

Mark Slatin:

Yeah, I think I think what what we really do at its core is cultural transformation, right? Transforming the culture, to deliver outstanding superior, whatever adjective you want to use experiences, and doing so on a consistent basis. And the only way to do that is develop frameworks and systems that are common to the best, you know, the best of the best, every company is going to have its unique architecture of those systems. But the principles are still the same. And everybody needs to be marching to the same drum beat going back to another music analogy. So part of our job if we're doing cultural transformation, transformation in its in its essence is change, you know, is we are the change agents, the other people in the organization may be involved in change. But everything we do is taking something from its current state, assessing it, and then deciding what the future desired future state is. And that future state is not ours, but really what the customer experience, future state is going to look like and should look like. And then what is the gap in between? And what are the strategies we're going to develop? So there are there there needs to be somebody responsible for developing that CX strategy. And that's another big to me a big part of if you don't have that person in place, then you're hoping that a lot of different people who have different job responsibilities and titles will come up with something that's orchestrated around the customer. And it's, it's possible, but the larger you grow, the more the more difficult it is.

Rick Denton:

Most certainly, and that goes back to what we talked about earlier in the show, right? The practical experience that you had, because if you're trying to get an $11 billion dollar entity to move forward, or to change, they're not there's a lot of inertia in there or there can be competing goals. There can be elements around that, that sort of block the change. And some of this is just classic change management. How did you find either in that experience or in other experiences where you were able to use the customer, to inspire people to move forward with that change? What was it that's particularly unique about being in the customer space that can help move things forward for us?

Mark Slatin:

Yeah, I think I think, you know, the idea of walking in their shoes is one way to think about it. And that means that means storytelling, right? That's one way to do it is you get the data back, you get, you know, feedback, if you're, if you're in the customer experience role, you're getting these things called verbatims, which are comments that come from customers. And you're trying to develop the themes that come out of those comments and tie them to the numbers that you're getting, and both internal operational metrics and other to be able to tell stories based on the quantitative and the qualitative. So that's one, but perhaps, arguably, even more effective thing to do is to have your people walk in each other's shoes. And, and an example of that was we I wrote a blog on this called executive listening. And the idea was, you know, before we start changing things, we heard some feedback from employees about pain points, let's, let's have the executives go and spend a day just a day with the headphones sitting next to the people in the customer in the contact center. Right. And it wasn't just the fact that customers were having this issue or that issue, and they got to see the themes around that. That's one clear benefit of it. But to see how the employees had to then serve those customers, dealing with 678 different systems, and one of them was a guaranteed, you're not going to get an answer now. Pipe, right? And so that, you could just imagine you're someone on the on the customer service side trying to please the customer, right? You already know, when they ask that question, it's going to have to be sorry, I'm gonna have to call you back. So when they saw this, this happening, and that, you know, because, you know, the folks in customer service management, we're sending signals up the smokestack for years saying, we need a better way to serve our customers. And it wasn't until after that, that we got, you know, over a million dollar budget approved a CRM system that ultimately aggregated all these different created a single sign on solution, and did all these other things. But there's nothing quite like walking in the shoes.

Rick Denton:

But obviously, I chuckled there. And it is amazing, I've seen that same sort of experience, it can be customer call listening or something like that. But I like how you've taken it to that next level. And that is not just customer commissioning, but go there and experience it with the employee and watch the employee. So not only are they getting the customers insight, they're getting the employees insight and the frustration the customer, the employee is feeling as they toggle through all the screens, I actually have a similar memory from a particular experience at a prior employer before I went independent consulting, that exact thing happened, it was probably six, seven systems. And somebody saw I was like, ah, that that doesn't work. And you know, you've got to imagine not only is it so frustrating for the customer, but the disappointing because people don't go into customer support roles, customer service roles, hoping to disappoint the customer that wasn't their objective. And so it's got to hit their heart and gotta hit it another day that I can't deliver something to the customer, because they asked that one black hole question that I have no way to answer. Mark, you mentioned the million dollars, and the ROI, just what came immediately, right. It was an almost an ROI statement of you know, I don't care, it was so frustrating. We're just going to get it done. And I feel like that's that's what we you and I in the customer experience world want to believe we know that customer experience actually creates tangible business results. And yet, we're still called upon so often to to make that ROI argument to still justify ROI. Why do you think that, that we haven't evolved past just the basics of proving ROI, around customer experience that we're still having to almost justify the customer experience? Existence?

Mark Slatin:

In new question, that's very true, Rick. And, you know, I'm currently one of the reasons I'm serving now on the board. It's my third year of cxpa is for that very reason is because, you know, I feel like it shouldn't be nice to have, it should be a must have in every organization. And it should be at the sea level. If you're serious about the one indispensable element of any organization is the customer without customers, you have nothing, right? Right. So you need you need that you're not serving anyone. And so you've got to start there. Why are we still having that? You know, it's interesting, I speak to people on my podcast, different CX thought leaders, and there's a lot of varied opinions of that some people even think It's a mute question. We shouldn't even be having that conversation. And it is sad that we're having that conversation. I think the why behind that is number one, you got you have to look at how did, how did it originate? Like, how did you have a CX movement within that organization? Was it based was a top down leadership support? Like, that's really the first question was, is the CEO behind this? And are they willing to support it through the good times and the bad? This is change management, we just talked about it being cultural transformation, I worked in a bank, I don't know a profession that likes change less than bankers. Right. So people in general don't like change. So wherever you wherever you work, you may experience the same thing. So you're going to need support because everybody's got a job to do. And we talked about this, before you mentioned it, I think it's a really good job of saying we're not trying to vilify anyone, but there are competing interests, you know, this was trying to grow deposit this was trying to grow loans. This was trying to keep our expenses down. This was trying to make sure we're regulatory compliance, this was trying to get people off the phones as quickly as possible. So many of these things can flick with what is going to deliver these outstanding experiences. So as a CX leader, our job is to point these things out our job is to link you know, by way as you described it earlier, both in the head but also in the heart.

Rick Denton:

Mark, that sounds exhausting, right. And it is in the customer experience world, it can be exhausting. Actually, all joking aside, I love the storytelling part of it. I really enjoy and thrive off of that and get some energy. It can be fun to watch, the eyes get really wide in the middle of a story sometimes because it can be a disturbing one. But you know, sometimes it's nice to take a little rest after all that work just like on a long journey. So that's what I'm going to ask you to do here. I'm gonna ask you to take a little rest here. Join me here in the first class lounge. We'll move kind of quickly here and have a little bit of fun. What is a dream travel location from your past?

Mark Slatin:

You know, I would say from my past as a Aruba, that was one of the best vacations, they just don't get rain there. So you can always count on sunny skies.

Rick Denton:

Nice. I didn't know that about Aruba. Now that you make me want to go there. That does sound delightful, especially as we're recording this in February. And while I know some places are warm, some places are cold. It's still February and I think a lot of us would like to find the beach. What is a dream travel occasion you've not been to yet.

Mark Slatin:

There's so many one that keeps coming up. And I don't know if I'll go there next, but it's a tie between like Paris and London in that part of Europe. And Hawaii. I've never been

Rick Denton:

one that way. Once that way. Okay. I gotcha. All right. No, all would be wonderful places to be what is a favorite thing of yours to eat?

Mark Slatin:

I love so many things. I guess. Gosh, you know, I'm gonna keep it simple. I love chocolate chip cookies.

Rick Denton:

Oh, well chosen sir. Oh, there is nothing quite like a home baked chocolate chip cookie. I like a few toffee chips thrown in there as well. Yeah. Can we just stop the episode now? I'm getting all right.

Mark Slatin:

I have to go for a walk in burkburnett

Rick Denton:

Let's go the other direction. Maybe this will help. What is the thing your parents forced you to eat but you hated as a kid.

Mark Slatin:

You know, the thing was that we had my mother didn't have a big variety. And that was it. We have big chicken we had salad and broccoli. And we had that at least five days a week. And you know it sounds it sounds good. It sounds like a nice meal. But it was a same thing. You know, so I just got tired of it.

Rick Denton:

I gotta say I liked that meal. Actually, I like what you're describing but you're right. The eat my favorites. I wouldn't want multiple times a day. But at least if that's what you had to hate as a kid that's a pretty good hate. I'm glad that you had that. What is one travel item not including your phone that you will not leave home without

Mark Slatin:

I think you know what I think I've got to have like sweatpants. i It's like the equivalent of pajamas but my feet get cold and I sleep with my socks on and the sweatpants just, you know grandpa above the sock and I know the first thing my wife does is kick off the Kurvers and take her socks off. You know so we're opposites in that but i i get cold so I I'm bringing a comfortable pair of sweat pants

Rick Denton:

so Mark, it's kind of the ROI vein but not exactly. You know, 2023, to me is starting to feel like it's the year where people are finally getting real nuts and bolts about customer experience. And I feel like we in the CS community have often been accused of being too theoretical, too esoteric, just kind of great that I've got a strategy, but I'm still disappointing customers, and they're angry at me. So how did how did we get that reputation? What do we need to change to do a better job of tangible tactical delivery of customer experience improvement?

Mark Slatin:

Yeah, I think it kind of goes back to getting away from the just the data, the movement in the data, its data is important, don't get me wrong. Sure. But it has to be the right kind of data, it has to be data that now isn't just CX data or data that we understand. But data that speaks in the language of those people that we're talking to. So, you know, tell the story of let's go back to the call center since we started there. So if those people are spending, I'll make it up two thirds of their time, with password resets, and they're taking calls, that block calls, it could be value added that could be that could be improving the share of wallet for the organism, that's something that the CFO is going to understand that the CEO, you know, these people are going to understand if there's something connected to risk, you know, we've we've shifted, so if your NPS, you know, number of detractors goes up by 10%, those people are much more likely to defect. And if they defect, that's X, millions of dollars at risk that just went up, that's going to grab people's attention. And then you're telling stories of quick wins. So we did this thing a over here, and it affected us in this positive way. This many fewer and you go back to measurement, this fewer calls that are coming in for this reason, that reason being just a time suck. So it's being able to going back I think, really get away from, you know, the 3% movement and satisfaction or, or ease or some of those are all important, but they're just drivers, then they don't really connect emotionally and head wise, with the people we're speaking to.

Rick Denton:

Gives me that, that makes me want to ask another thing, kind of. I alluded to it earlier. But first, I just want to stop down and say absolutely right. Yeah. Yay, that the score went up. Yeah, Boo that the score went down. That doesn't do any good. And I'm encouraged to hear you say that? No, it's not that we're throwing out the data. But let's focus on some data that matters so that we can unlock time and our agents day to be able to handle the complex, the difficult the emotional, rather than clickety. Click to get your password reset. So, but okay, you and I just said that sounds real simple sounds make sense. And we hear so many companies say things like that. Yeah. And so the customer gets the focus, we're here for you, the customer is at the heart of what we do. You know, there's airlines that will tell you that they're doing it for you and good gravy, we know that the airlines is one of the worst customer experiences customer services that exist out there. Well, depending on the airline, let me not throw everybody on the bus. So if that's the case, if we there's so much lip service towards customer experience, customer service, why are we still seeing such bad, atrocious examples of bad customer service?

Mark Slatin:

Well, I think that that is, you know, that is at the core of it is it's lip service. We know that there's a framework, you know, whether there's a framework, and there's a leader, we talked about this just earlier today about the importance of having someone to conduct someone to orchestrate someone to truly advocate and maybe a department to advocate on behalf of the customer. If you don't have that. That's one thing. And two is if you're not truly committed to that, and that comes from the top down. So you could have you could even have a CX leader or department and if you don't have the support of leadership, you know, we're going to put that on hold for a while we're going to Yeah, we hear you, Mark, we need to go fix that. But first, we've got to do this acquisition, Are We All right, all right, we've got this new computer thing that's happening and it becomes a political war. And, you know, unless the CX person has the supportive leadership, they're going to not end up and so end up their their projects and their priorities are not going to be the same. They're not going to get done. So it's it's there's no simple To answer that question, but it gets, you've got to have this systematic engine in place that listens that that that number one you have, you have an idea of what the ideal customer experience for your organization should look like. Where are they? Where are the gaps? What are the strategies? And then what gets prioritized? And then do you have leadership support, and what's incumbent upon the CX leader is to keep beating the drum and saying, here's what we're doing, here's what we've done, here's what we're doing, here's what we've done. Don't assume that, you know, the last thing you did a few even a few weeks ago, or a few months ago, right? Something they're going to remember, you have to keep beating that drum.

Rick Denton:

You're making me you mentioned that CX leader in place, I wonder if his customers, what we should do is just not do business with a company that doesn't have a customer representative sitting at the C level or something like that, whether it's Chief Customer Officer, something like that, but maybe you and I need to create a database of do business with these companies don't do business with this company. If the chief customer officer is reporting to a different organization inside the airline, maybe you need to choose a different airline. Because they do need to have that champion there. As you're describing. Well, let's hope that we can see some improvement on that in the future. Because I'm seeing more and more talk in that direction. I'm just ready for it to get from talk to action. And in that vein, we're out of time here, Mark, I could talk to you for a lot longer. But I would love to know what you think is coming down the pipe. So what is it that you see in 2023? Or just in the future in general, that you're hearing your clients describe as the pain points and the focus areas that they're targeting? Now?

Mark Slatin:

It's a great question. So a lot of industries are struggling with staffing, still getting the right employees getting enough employees in place. And so that affects the customer experience. So that's something both both getting them and keeping them. Right, we've had the great resignation and so forth. So ideas around how do you engage employees? How do you deliver an outstanding employee experience? And I think I think that's going to be forefront. I think, obviously, we're starting to hear more and more about artificial intelligence, machine learning, neuro linguistic programming, and how we can use those to better to better get information and data. So then ultimately, we can deliver a better customer experience. Those are probably some of the forerunners are innovators are thinking about this the ladder, but the employee experience is a very broad scale, and near and dear to a lot of people's hearts, and still a big challenge for companies

Rick Denton:

is absolutely Well, let's hope that as we look forward to that, those are areas that can be solved by combining what you're describing the employee experience, the AI all those could went wine together, Mark, if folks want to know a little bit more about you your philosophy around customer experience, or to understand what how empowered CX might be able to help them advance their customer experience journey. What's the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Mark Slatin:

The best way is number one, I have a podcast as well. And I can't wait to have you on Rick as a guest. Yeah, I

Rick Denton:

can't wait to be on it. Oh, that's awesome. Good. Yeah, that'll be fun. I

Mark Slatin:

can turn the tables on you and you'll be in the hot seat. Great. It's called The Delighted Customers podcast. My company's called empowered CX and that's the name of the website. I offer if they want to learn more about their own company. I've developed a an assessment experience maturity assessment that's free that I did. You would take you get a score and I'd walk through it no charge the results of that. And on LinkedIn, Mark Slatin on LinkedIn SLA ti n.

Rick Denton:

Well, I will get all of that in the show notes. So everything there from how to listen to the great podcast how to make sure that you don't listen to Rick's episode, because it's good. Why on earth would you have the right guy on there, but listen to podcast, get connected on LinkedIn and then head over to empowered CX for that free assessment mark. It's been wonderful talking with you. I always enjoy talking to others in the profession. I love the practical approach that you bring to this. And I love that you introduced Aruba and one day hope to get to Hawaii and Paris, London. Why don't you just hit all of them just go all those destinations mark. It was wonderful talking with you today. Thanks for being on CX passport.

Mark Slatin:

Same here. Rick great being on the show. Thank you so much. It was an honor.

Rick Denton:

Thanks for joining us this week on CX Passport. If you liked today’s episode I have 3 quick next steps for you Click subscribe on the CX Passport youtube channel or your favorite podcast app Next leave a comment below the video or a review in your favorite podcast app so others can find and and enjoy CX Passport too Then, head over to cxpassport.com website for show notes and resources that can help you create tangible business results by delivering great customer experience. Until next time, I’m Rick Denton and I believe the best meals are served outside and require a passport.