Making Customer Feedback Matter: Nate Brown

Making Customer Feedback Matter: Nate Brown


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About Nate Brown

Nate Brown is the Co-founder of CX Accelerator. While Customer Service is his primary expertise, Nate is able to leverage experience in professional services, marketing, and sales to connect dots and solve the big problems.  From authoring and leading a Customer Experience program, to journey mapping, to managing a complex contact center, Nate is always learning new things and sharing with the CX community.

Visit Nate Brown’s project, CX Accelerator 

Join CX Accelerator’s Slack Channel 

Follow Nate Brown on LinkedIn 
Follow Nate Brown on Twitter@CustomerIsFirst

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Follow Mary Drumond on Twitter@drumondmary


[00:06Mary Drumond: You’re listening to Voices of Customer Experience. I’m your host Mary Drumond, and on this podcast we shine the spotlight on individuals who are making a difference in customer experience. We also proudly bring you the very best of customer experience, behavior economics, data analytics, and design. Make sure to subscribe or follow us on social for updates. Voices of Customer Experience is brought to you by Worthix. Discover your worth at

[00:35MD: Today, I’m excited to bring one of my favorite people in CX to the show, Nate Brown. Nate is the co founder of CX Accelerator. While customer service is his primary expertise, Nate is able to leverage experience in professional services, marketing and sales to connect the dots and solve big problems. From authoring and leading a customer experience program to journey mapping and managing a complex context center, Nate is always learning new things first and sharing with the CX community. Follow him on twitter using the handle @customerisfirst. Nate, I’m so glad to have you on today.

[01:10] Nate Brown: Me as well. My pleasure, and thank you.

[01:13MD: Awesome. Well, you know what, I think that at this point you’ve become kind of a legend in the CX sphere with all of the projects and work that you’ve done. I know people love you and love what you’re doing, but for those who are totally out of the loop and don’t know about you, would you mind giving just like an intro, telling people who you are, what your passion is, what your mission is for customer experience?

[01:44] NB: I am Nate, and I manage a context and a customer service background and over the past few years have really been delving into this concept of customer experience and ultimately making that evolution, that transition from customer service into a true CX strategy type of role and doing that not only my quote on quote day job, but also on the thought leadership level and going from managing customer centric support as a blog to now CX Accelerator and really trying to learn and fuel and equip CX professionals across the world.

[02:19MD: So tell me about CX Accelerator since you brought it up.

[02:22] Sure. So it is a passion project. It is a slack, a virtual community on slack and it’s got about 450 folks in there, so it’s small, but it’s feisty and it’s got a great dialogue in there. We’ve had some wonderful stories that have already started coming out of it. It’s our first few months here. A couple partnerships have formed, had a frontline employee use the techniques learned in that community and just last week he was promoted into a managerial role. We’ve had people from Africa and Australia just asked for help on some CX fundamentals and within minutes people from five or six different countries just jumping onto help these individuals. It has been thrilling to watch that happen. So very excited to see that virtual community grow. And then two, we have just a set of unique resources that are really geared towards helping new CX professionals get into the game and find a solid foothold to get started well.

[03:19MD: Nice. And tell me what was your inspiration for creating CX Accelerator?

[03:25] NB: I just love, love, love this work. And I came into customer service with just such a tornado of passion and just loving the idea of serving these customers and working through their problems, but then with an even greater tenacity was able to dive into customer experience realizing, wait, so I don’t have to sit on the phone and wait for people to call me. I can actually help solve problems upstream and design better experiences so they don’t even have an issue. And it was just like a tidal wave of thought of this is the most exciting thing in my career. So I feel like customer experience was custom made for me, just in terms of what I enjoy doing. And it has been thrilling these past couple of years to fail hard and succeed well and just everything in between.

[04:14MD: Absolutely. You know, I heard someone say, I think it was yesterday, somebody told me my favorite part about customer experience and Voice of Customer platforms is that the customer talks back. So it’s that one place where you get back from the customer what you’re putting out, hear their perceptions. It stuck with me. It was pretty brilliant. Other than CX Accelerator. Tell me about the other projects that you’re developing. Actually, let’s go onto the CX Accelerator website, which is kind of, I guess, the evolution of the slack channel and kind of where that went.

[04:53] NB: Yeah, I mean in a lot of ways it’s kind of my own evolution and I kind of laugh, you know, I have some veterans that are alongside me for this journey. Annette Franz and Sue Duris and Nancy Port that have consulted me and helped me along the way. I’m only three years into this work and so I am, as Paul the apostle would state, I am still drinking milk and not yet ready for red meat. So it’s kind of like as you watch CX Accelerator grow, it’s almost like that’s me. That’s me currently. That’s my capabilities. That’s my understanding. Like I have a long way to go in terms of my capabilities in this and hopefully I hope as you see CX Accelerator mature and just the tone of voice there and the maturity of that site, that also means that I am maturing as well. But we will see.

[05:47MD: Don’t hold your breath to that maturity there. I think in that sense I feel maybe camaraderie with you Nate because I’m also a new arrival to the CX world. And do you think that maybe the reason both you and I, our channels have made such an impact is because there’s a bit of freshness, maybe a little bit of outside perspective. We’re not kind of stuck in the habits of previous generations of customer experience. What do you think?

[06:22] NB: I think there’s some truth to that. I think in your case, you just have a great compelling, refreshing personality and a dynamic voice. So I think that is very much to your credit. And your great methodology around surveys and what you’re doing to help the industry, I think that’s just a win win there, but I think there is this concept within, I guess you could almost call it legacy customer experience. Here’s this set of best practices. Here’s what customer experience was as it gained its foundation in the corporate world. If we look back, I mean CXPA was founded I think in 2011.

[07:01MD: Right.  

[07:02] NB: This is not an old concept and it is holding so fast and I think the reality is the people are confused because the old rules don’t apply anymore. I mean everybody’s now in the wake of digital transformation  and the game has changed. The rules are different, so I mean these legacy players, these veteran people, have so much knowledge to bring to the current state of business, but at the same time you have to have that agility and that flexibility to be able to operate in today’s reality and that’s a hard mix to fly. So I think those that are really excelling in the space are those that have the openness and the flexibility to not cater to the old but to learn from and steal from the old but then interject new creativity into all of it. And I like to think that’s where me and you are hopefully finding our voice.

[08:00MD: Well, you know, for me sometimes it blows me away a little bit, especially when I’m podcasting with these amazing folks that have got so much experience and I’ve got nothing and they’re brilliant. You know, on Tuesday I was talking to Shep Hyken and I’m sitting here at my mic thinking to myself, oh my, I’m talking to Shep Hyken fan girling him in that sense and that’s one thing that we cannot fall into the trap of thinking that people that came from a previous generation know less than us. It’s actually so very much the opposite, and we’ve got so much to learn and it reminds me of when I was reading Phil Klaus’s, book Measuring Customer Experience. The first, I don’t know, maybe 40, 50 pages is CX history, and he goes all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century and he talks about how customer experience has evolved and at the end he says, you can skip this if you want. What he’s trying to promote with that is you don’t have to go back and start from scratch. So many brilliant minds before you brought us up to this point right here. So you need to start from the point where they left off and not from zero. And that for me was an eye opener because we don’t have to try to start from scratch, we have to pick up where others left off, right? And that’s, I think what our mission should be, right?

[09:32NB:That’s well stated. It’s the same as anything. I mean if we can learn from our forefathers and foremothers of this industry, but also be able to interject a new fresh breath into it then we should be successful and, I hope that for everyone.

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[10:09MD: Well, let’s get into the kind of technical aspect of what you do a little bit. I wanted to talk about surveys because surveys is something that you and I have discussed a lot and it’s still as time goes by, the voice of the customer is still as important as ever. But a lot of people have strong opinions about how we should collect the voice of customer. So I wanted to hear your point of view on that, where you feel it’s going and how you propose that we should do that.

[10:40] NB: Yeah. What a great topic. Voice of customer is just awesome. I mean it is how we get smarter so that as we dive in and try to make changes, we can do it intelligently and in a way that’s actually going to impact the customer experience. And I’ve loved this whole philosophy, this methodology around voice of customer. Annette Franz has been so helpful in my journey here. So thank you to her. But I mean in the area of surveys, I feel like I’ve just had a major come about and you’ll probably laugh, Mary, because I know we’ve talked a few times about this before. I was on this war path like a year and a half ago like against surveys.

[11:18] NB: Customers have evolved beyond them. Surveys are out of date. They’re not helpful. People aren’t filling them out. And those that are the quality of data represented there is not good. It’s not helpful. So I mean, how do we just kill this? And so I went to downtown Nashville with a friend to film a little video for CX Accelerator in which the question, just a man on the street type of video, the question was how likely are you to fill out a survey? And we were sure that we would get the definitive and overwhelming response that I never fill out surveys and they’re dumb.

[11:52MD: Yeah.

[11:52] NB: It was almost like trying to lead it that way. I was on an agenda to have that be the response. Did not happen. It’s still a very valuable and viable channel. And the shocking thing was as we were asking really young people like millennials and younger, like how likely are you to fill out a survey? A significant percentage of them were saying, oh, every time. Of course I fill out the survey. My voice is important.

[12:23MD: It’s the empowered customer.

[12:25] NB: It really is. I mean, and I like to think that maybe one thing that has happened is that our ability as an industry of CX professionals to solicit feedback through surveys has improved versus what it was 10 years ago with these long formatted, laborious surveys that were not accessible, not a good UI experience at all. The survey experience itself was very poor. And so I think in an outcome of the fact that these younger brands, these generational brands that are really catering to these people, they have great CX professionals, great voice of customer programs. They’re soliciting feedback in a way that’s more meaningful and this generation of customers is responding well to that. So it made me realize, you know, it’s time to reevaluate my viewpoint on this and not be on a warpath against surveys, but rather to be on a warpath against bad surveys.

[13:23MD: Yeah, that’s what I was going to say. There is still a chance that we may still ruin the next generation. It is still a possibility. There was  some research done about that, about how older people were less likely to dedicate time to answering surveys and refresh. Help me refresh my mind on this?  It was something like boomers and older generations have less faith in change, so they have less faith that the feedback they give is going to have any impact whatsoever on the quality of the product or service. So they don’t answer surveys because they don’t have any faith in surveys. And I think that this is because the old way of doing surveys, not only was it horribly boring and it involved a huge amount of effort on behalf of the customer, but very little sprung as a result for all the effort that they were putting into answering it. And to your point, maybe the younger generations, it comes more organically and more naturally because we have evolved so much in actually taking action on the results of a survey and big data and natural language processing and text analysis that is able to now condense and actually generate reports and insight from voice of customer surveys.

[14:51] NB: Yeah, no, I think you’re think you’re nailing it. That’s exactly right. And that is I think the hope for all of us as far as where this whole ship is sailing. I feel like we need to become less dependent on surveys one as far as our approach to managing customer feedback and voc. I just, I see such an opportunity within the unstructured data area in terms of this feedback that is coming to us that does not fit the channel of the survey. It is equally as important, and it cannot be disregarding and we have to put in the effort to capture that. And then also, I mean there’s these other structured channels too. I mean I definitely would consider surveys to be a structured channel. Like we’ve created a place for customers to speak to us, so we made that channel. It’s structured, I mean, another structured channel that’s just surging right now is automated data collection. I mean, it’s amazing what we can see and find out about our customers through that AI and through that automation. I mean that’s another structure channel there. So, I mean if we become overly dependent on surveys for our customer feedback management, then we miss these other huge components.

[16:03MD: Right. And do you think that this mentality of yours came from your experience with call centers?

[16:08] NB: No, I think that it’s because I’m in a high tech space. My customers do not fill out surveys very often and it has forced me to evolve and adapt to get the valuable customer feedback that I crave.

[16:25MD: So how do you do it?

[16:26] NB: So as far as the unstructured data that’s coming in just verbatim or over email or other things, what I have conveniently coined the CX magic button. It is just a button that goes to a link

[16:41MD: It is just a web key, right?

[16:43] NB: It is, it’s a USB web key. But it’s been really, really successful in terms of employees recognizing that little physical device on their desk and associating that with their responsibility to be the voice of the customer because our customers love to talk to us. We’re on the phone with them a lot within sales, within support, within finance, all the touchpoints. We’re talking to our customers on a regular basis and they’re providing us feedback verbatim and over email. And that is where we’re getting the highest quality and quantity of feedback in our space. So these little USB web key buttons, they just simply take you to an ultra simplified voice of customer feedback form. And you plug it right in. It’s just asking where’s the customer in their journey, what are they trying to do, what do they need right now? And what happened?

[17:35] NB: And none of that’s even required, you know, we’re just enabling our employees to whatever they can capture around that meaningful customer feedback. And that’s the guide rail that we’ve given to our employees is anytime you get meaningful customer feedback, good or bad, that’s where this belongs. And then we have them captured just a form of sentiment, anything from very happy to very frustrated in regards to that specific experience that they’re having. It has been a treasure trove of data that has been coming in from all over the org and driving a far more robust dialogue and our voice of customer meetings and our journey maps have come alive with this information. It’s a very compelling, it’s not as formatted, it’s not as easy to take it and throw it into a perfect dashboard as you would have with survey data, but it brings a whole other piece of the pie in terms of the customer perception. And it has fueled these dialogues in a way where the surveys were missing. They were missing a part of the picture. The surveys are still very valuable. It’s almost like they hold one another accountable in some ways, like you have the survey data that’s coming in. Then you can compare that to all of your unstructured data, and also in many ways you can bring it both together and get that full picture. It’s been very powerful.

[18:57MD: Right, and let me ask you something, how do you process this raw data since you can’t fit in the same dashboards that you do with a survey where you’d have these structured questions and everything, how do you process that? Because I can see that working maybe on a manual level with a couple hundred, maybe even a couple of thousand responses even though it starts getting challenging, but once you get higher than that in bigger organizations and enterprises, etc. How can people process all this information, all this data?

[19:30] NB: Yep, that’s fair. So for us we’ve maintained a level of flexibility with it that might not work for some very large enterprise level organizations that really need the clear consistent output. For us, we tag it and bag it. We’re able to to manually review. I mean some of it’s automated. We know where they are in the journey because we asked for that information, we know how happy they are, so then it’s just a matter of, okay, well let’s put it here under this touchpoint. We’ve captured the heart of the statements the customer is saying, and we now have that sentiment variable. That right there plugs into a journey map, at least our journey maps. I mean that’s one very valuable output right there, but the biggest thing is we’re just taking the trends and the heart of it. We’re curating that in advance of what we call our customer first meeting and we’re just talking through the feedback that is coming in. I mean at the end of the day, isn’t that what we’re all trying to do with our dashboards and reports and other things is generate a robust dialogue?

[20:30MD: Absolutely.

[20:32] NB: So in many ways we’re just short cutting right to there in terms of here’s the feedback that’s come in, here’s where we’re identifying the trends. We’ve got to talk through this and we’ve got accountability built right into that voice of customer meeting, that format to where, all right, here’s what’s going on. You will miss one by next week, please have an update ready to go. Let’s keep serving customers better and better over time and it has helped.

[20:58MD: Right. And let me ask you something, how does that, how do you relay this information to the decision makers in the company, the c suite, the people who actually have the power to create structural changes in the company? 

[21:10] NB: So we have a change coalition to steal from John Calder leading change. We have our change coalition of this area that it meets weekly for that customer first meeting, so we’ve got a critical mass right in there consuming this information on a regular basis, and then as far as the c suite, they’re included on all the action items that are coming out of there

[21:33MD: Mhm.

[21:33] NB: So they know what we’re working on and what’s going on. And then we have created some dashboards that effectively marry our survey data in conjunction with our unstructured data. They’re very simplistic, but there are maps that show here’s where the sentiment is and these different touchpoint areas. Here’s a lot of the verbatims. I mean people want to know what is the customer actually saying. So we’re associating those touchpoint statements with the different areas. And so we’recollecting that and offering that not just to the c suite because they like to consume and ask some questions and some things, but the game changer for us, and I stole this shamelessly from Eventbrite, a software company in Nashville, Tennessee. Thank you to Allison, the VOC manager over there. She does these fantastic voice of customer forums with her entire employee population. It’s just an open forum and you get to hear recorded customer calls. You see all the data that’s coming in to the listening channels and through the surveys. You have that that you’re reviewing together. You’re seeing where if the customer’s getting stuck, the calls coming in and any other compelling opportunities to ultimately bridge the gap between a developer, an IT professional, an accounts payable person, bridge the gap between that employee and the life of the customer. That’s where stuff happens. [22:56MD: In your customer first meeting, is that almost like a board meeting where you have like a representative of different departments within the organization?

[23:03] NB: Correct. Absolutely.

[23:05MD: That’s great for breaking down silos, I would imagine.

[23:09] NB: Yes. And it’s that peer to peer accountability too. You’ve got to look each other in the face and be like, hey, this is not going well. There’s an opportunity here and we have got to work together to get this solved.

[23:21MD: Well and also rallying everyone together against a common enemy. Right? And getting everybody on board to fight bad service. We talk about that on this podcast all the time with gamification and other things that you can do where you just get everybody involved so that there’s that sense of accountability, right? Where it’s not like, oh, well that’s not my department. When you have everyone working together, it creates a greater good sense in people where then they champion for the customer, right?

[23:51] NB: You have to have that. If that culture does not exist in the organization, it is almost meaningless for you at that point to be soliciting customer feedback because you will be paralyzed to do anything with it. So, I mean, you’ve first, you got to lay the foundation of helping people to care. The customers exist and that we all have the responsibility of serving them better. And one of the things that we did when we took our buttons system, instead of just sending out an email and saying, you have this weird box on your desk, we went department by department, small group by small group, and we met with the employees individually to build that groundswell and to educate them specifically, here’s your job, here’s you, here’s why customer feedback matters. Here’s why this is important, here’s the touchpoint that you influence and here’s where it is on a journey map. You have impact here. You can serve our customers well and we’re here to serve you. And I mean, and that was what tipped the momentum in our favor in terms of people actually using the buttons and taking the time to put meaningful customer feedback. And you have to make it relevant to the individual.

[25:03MD: If you want to understand more about the science behind customer decisions, follow our blog at, or find Worthix on your favorite social media. Getting your CX project off the ground? Start with the right foot by downloading our CX guides, ebooks, and playbooks on today. 

[25:26MD: I’m going to take a step back into the data that you collect through this unstructured channel. How difficult is it to apply or create KPIs like, okay, you can say, you know, KPIs might not be relevant, but for people who are used to working with them, you no longer have those specific answers to those specific questions like NPS, like customer effort score, like c-sat, like all of these other things. You no longer have that data.

[26:01] NB: Yeah.

[26:02MD: Uh, do you miss it?

[26:04] NB: Well, we do have that data, and I should’ve made it more clear originally. I apologize. So the unstructured aspect in no way cannibalizes from your traditional structure channels.

[26:15MD: Mmm.

[26:16] NB: So you have everything that we used to have in terms of those data points. The surveys are still going out, they’re still coming back as many as we can get, and we’re establishing those key fundamental points of NPS, customer effort score, customer satisfaction. But where the opportunity is, I mean this feedback is already coming in. Customers are telling us every day, here’s how I feel about you. Here’s my perception of your brand and historically this just wasn’t being captured or considered at all because the channel didn’t exist to capture it, so it’s just adding this whole next level component where we extend the value of the voice of customer program beyond those static KPIs.

[27:02MD: Right. Well that’s getting me thinking here. Here I am in my mind, you know, processing everything you’re saying and so all of this information that customers have been dying to tell us, but they, because the channel that we provide them to speak to us is structured in this way where they’re only allowed to either give a number or max they have one open end, you know, one comment section where they try to basically vomit out everything they feel and then that doesn’t relate to a KPI or a metric at all.

[27:36] NB: Exactly.

[27:37MD: So in that case, how important is it for us to still have kpis if what we’re getting is basically the customer telling us exactly what he or she wants in a very direct, straightforward manner. Is it still necessary to have all the other KPIs?

[27:54] NB: We should have all that we can have. There are still, I mean you just got to think about, I mean you as a consumer, Mary, I mean when you’re out there in the world and all of a sudden you’ve had an event occur where you would just darn well love to give feedback to a brand. What are the odds that you’ve got a survey sitting in front of you in an accessible enough way, so where are you going to be able to go in there and then too, that survey is going to be flexible enough and dynamic enough where it really captures the heart and emotion that you’re having? So there’s a lot of variables that have to fall into place there. Does it happen? Yes it does and we should maximize the number of times that that does happen for everything else. When that customer does not have that survey sitting in front of them and they’re giving us that feedback in another way, or if that channel is too structured to where we can’t just get the heart and mind of that customer, that’s where we need the freedom of this unstructured approach.

[28:52MD: Hmm, do you get data like “I feel frustrated” or “I feel annoyed”? Do you get that expression of sentiment? 

[29:01] NB: Absolutely.

[29:02MD: Like I’m here thinking if I’m answering a customer satisfaction thing and I’m not satisfied. If the company asked me right after I, you know, I gave them a low score. If they asked me how did this make you feel? You know, like what caused this event and how did this make you feel?

[29:17] NB: Uh huh.

[29:19MD: Is there anyone asking that question? Do people ask that question? Is the sentiment last when it comes to these KPIs?

[29:26] NB: I don’t. I darn well hope so. I mean I have the hilarious incident that I had sitting in a chicken restaurant. I won’t reveal the brand because I absolutely adore them and I don’t want to be doing any brand bashing here, but I’m sitting there like I had a receipt that I had filled out to get a free sandwich. I took a survey. So there we go. I did it, and so I got a free sandwich. Well, I happen to know because I have spent way too much money in this restaurant that if I spent like twenty seven cents that I could upgrade my free sandwich to a deluxe version which is required to get that cheese, lettuce and tomato gotta have that. So I went up to the register to follow this workflow. And I was told no that I could only have the free basic sandwich and that there was no upgrade capability. Okay. Yeah. I wasn’t going to throw a fit or a full tantrum right then. So I took my basic sandwich and went back and started eating it. My wife and my kiddos, they’re having to use the restroom as is. So somehow having two daughters is always the case, but they come out and my wife goes through the line with the exact same scenario of having a feedback receipt  for a free chicken sandwich. She asked the same question of can I upgrade this for x amount of cents and she’s given a deluxe sandwich.

[30:51MD: What?

[30:52] NB: And I’m just like what the heck? Like, I mean, she’s just a much better person than I am. So the universe gives her a better response. It’s also not fair. So I’m sitting here eating my insufficient sandwich and then as luck would have it, a person comes out of the corner wearing a shirt of this restaurant holding an iPad ready to solicit my feedback. Oh, I mean, what are the odds? Right. And she is reading these questions of “was the restaurant clean?” “Do you like your food today?” And I went through. So then the moment comes where I don’t even think she prompted it, but I’m like, hey. So this just happened and I’m a little peeved right now. I really like a deluxe sandwich. I mean just fully assured that she was going to do the right thing and go fix it. I mean for $2 she can go back there and fix the problem and it’s over. She goes completely white having no ability or way to put this unstructured feedback into her little iPad format. She literally just walks away back into her corner and that’s the end of it. 

[32:06MD: So she lost the most valuable information and not her fault at all. But I mean exactly. The company will never know.

[32:13] NB: Right? They don’t know. They don’t care because it wasn’t on their  formatted survey and she didn’t have the ability to think outside of that structure that had been created for. So look what we’ve done to ourselves. The idea around voice of customer is that we hear, that we listen to what’s happening and we make it better, and we lose track of that in favor of our KPIs, which is not right.

[32:40MD: Yeah. Oh well there’s so much to get into in that. I’m going to talk about one last thing that I saw on the CX Accelerator website, which is your three steps for customer experience. I mean I understand that three step seems very, very simple and I’m pretty sure there are a lot more steps to that, but it’s basically three concepts, right? Tell me about those three steps, and where you came up with that concept because I think it’s really valuable and I think it’s a great place to start.

[33:09] NB: Yeah, I mean it came from research looking at Gartner and Forrester and trying to take out the core of these different models and what people are saying so that somebody can just have a clear starting point. Does that mean we think in threes whether we like it or not. Three is just a very pleasing number to the human mind. It’s something we can retain and digest, and I do coincidentally I feel as though the heart of customer experience, at least the starting point falls into three areas. Number one being that employee experience. We are going to mirror the experience that we’re having as an employee to the customers. It cannot be faked, and it has to be there and as Simon Sinek says, employees, if they love a company, customers will love that company. It cannot be faked. So I mean that is the foundation.

[34:02] NB: And then you move into your voice of customer engine as Jeanne Bliss would say. I love Chief Customer Officer 2.0 and I mean she has this concept of creating these listening paths and developing a true voice of customer engine. That’s how you get smart. That’s how you be able to view every problem and situation and new product and service from the lens of the customer. It’s impossible to operate without that perspective and every change you make, every new service you introduce, it has to be tested and validated through that voice of customer channel, so I mean that is such a critical component of this and then you have the experience engineering which is hopping back into another testament book of CX, which is The Effortless Experience by The Corporate Executive Board, now Gartner and that is using best practices to ultimately make the changes that will maximize ROI and serve customers the very best.

[34:57] NB: Now that you’ve gotten smarter through your voice of customer engine, now that your employees are very happy and can deliver on an experience that makes sense and that will be helpful, now it’s time to design and create that experience and there’s a whole bunch of methodologies and tools and practices within that. So I mean Mary, that’s how I feel like, at least in my mind, again, I’ve been doing this work for a couple of years. There’s a lot I don’t know, but so far those are the buckets in my mind. And that’s where you start.

[35:27MD: And the last one where you were talking about experience engineering, I mean, I guess it’s, that’s where the designing journey maps comes in. Is that where you could add some peak end rule, concepts of surprise and delight? Is that what we’re talking about when you’re talking about experience engineering?

[35:46] NB: I would say so. Journey maps is going to be an extension of your voice of customer stage. That’s an output of the information that you’re getting through your customer feedback program. Your experience engineering stage, I mean this is where you have, and I’m a lean six sigma green belt, so I default to DMIAC – define, measure, implement, analyze, control. So now that I’ve learned, we have this problem, everyone, we’ve learned it through our customer feedback. How can we design now a better experience that’s going to be frictionless, that’s going to result in a great journey touchpoint across the board for these customers and what’s the methodologies that we can use together to make that happen? I love DMIAC. I love lean six sigma principles because I believe that results in a very frictionless experience and just an intelligent experience at the end of the line, but there are so many other methodologies that could be applied within that stage depending on what it is. You know, a phrase that is brilliant is “just do it.” You know, if there’s a trend that comes out of your VOC program that is just so compelling and obvious and easy, just go solve it. Don’t projectize it, don’t operationalize it over the course of months. Just go fix it and then see if that touch point through your VOC program improves. But for most other things, you’re going to have to take a step back. You’re going to have to form some type of a project team of some kind and go through whatever it is, dev ops, agile, value stream mapping, cause and effect diagrams, lean six sigma principle, whatever it is that makes sense in your organization, you got to apply those practices and those methodologies to design a better experience.

[37:32MD: Awesome. I loved it. It was everything I was hoping for. Before we wrap up, how can our listeners be apart of what you’re doing?

[37:45] NB: Yeah. Come and find me on twitter. I’m @customerisfirst. And then please, please, please go to cx We finally just got to the point where if you misspell cx accelerator, it will still pop up on Google.

[37:58] NB: So huge milestone for us. SEO works.

[38:03MD: Amazing. Okay. So cx, is it that simple?

[38:06] NB: Yep. And then please jump in our community. There’s a community page right on the top and we’d love to see you in Slack. I mean, that’s how we continue this dialog. That’s how we get smarter together is by just asking questions and being transparent with each other and wrestling through this stuff. And as CX continues to evolve as it will, it will be different next week. Let’s do it together.

[38:27MD: Absolutely. And if you go on there and you start talking about NPS, Mary will probably come and argue with you. Thank you so much Nate. I appreciate you coming on. I hope we get to talk to you several more times and then in the near future. [38:48] NB: Indeed. It’s my pleasure, Mary, and thank you for putting on this great show.

[38:56MD: Thank you for listening to Voices of Customer Experience. If you’d like to hear more or get a full podcast summary, visit the episode details page or go to This episode of Voices of Customer Experience was hosted and produced by Mary Drumond cohosted by James Conrad and edited by Nic Gomes.

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Mary Drumond

Mary Drumond

Mary Drumond is Chief Marketing Officer at Worthix, the world's first cognitive dialogue technology, and host of the Voices of Customer Experience Podcast. Originally a passion project, the podcast runs weekly and features some of the most influential CX thought-leaders, practitioners and academia on challenges, development and the evolution of CX.



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