The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 months ago

165. 3 Steps to Building a Collaborative Culture w/ Mark Rosenthal


In one of his interviews at his current company, our guest said this to the CEO:

“If we're going to build an organization that truly earns the love of the customer by providing a consistent experience, we need to put the entire customer journey under one umbrella. We also need to train the team to be maniacally focused on the customer — to understand the market, the industry, and the players’ wants, needs, and wins — by training as a whole, not in silos.”

In this episode, I interview Mark Rosenthal, COO at HqO, about executing his vision to create a culture of collaboration. 

  • Why workers need to return to the city
  • How Mark transitioned from VP to CRO to COO
  • How an argument helped shape his defining moment as a leader
  • What Mark does to stay engaged with the customer team
  • What the three keys to a collaborative culture are at HqO

Check out these resources we mentioned:

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for the Customer Experience Podcast in your favorite podcast player.

If we're going to build an organizationthat's really focused on the customer and we're going to truly earn the love ofthe customer providing consistent experience, we really need to put the entire commercial operation, entire customer journey, under one umbrella. The single most important thing you cando today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers.Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desiredoutcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is thecustomer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte, creating a culture ofcollaboration. It's something today's guest is done throughout his career to create success ina variety of roles. His role progression at HQ over the past few yearshas been vice president of sales, marketing and customer success to Chief Revenue Officerto chief operating officers, so we'll be talking about that. He also spenta decade as a senior AE, a local sales manager and a general salesmanager with CBS radio, before bridging into the digitization of the broadcasting space asa VP of sales he spent eight years at Google as an account executive instrategic projects, heading up the Health Services Industry and leading programmatic advertising. MarkRosenthal, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thanks, you excid it to behere. Yeah, I'm really excited to get into this and I havea lot of places I want to go, specifically kind of your philosophy around collaboration. I think that's obviously baked into the work that you've been doing overthe past few years at HQ Oh. We'll talk about how you help yourcustomers and your customers customers, and I would be remiss if I didn't asksomebody like you about the evolution of the advertising space in general over the pastseveral years, even though that's not what exactly what you're focused on today.But we're going to start, mark, where we always start here, whichis customer experience. When I say that, what does it mean to you?What is it conjure? Yeah, so for me, customer experiences aboutkeeping the customer at the center of every decision you make as an individual contributor, as a leader or as a company right and for for us here atHqoh, one of the things that we focus on is making sure that thatjourney that the customer has with us, from their first touch all the waythrough the life cycle that they stay with us, is very consistent and verypositive. Right. So we're really focused on making sure that we help ourcustomers achieve their business outcomes. That's a successful partnership in our eyes, andcertainly in my eyes, and the way we do that is through great,great alignment internally and organizationally and then externally with the customer. Man. Youcheck so many boxes there that excite me about asking this question to so manydifferent people. First as kind of positive and consistent is really good. Theidea that successful outcomes are part of the experience. There's been a little debateabout that, like how comes matter. The must like you, I don'tknow that you can separate outcomes from the experience. It's just part of it, although it's probably one of the most critical elements. But a key thingI want to double back on here is the idea that a, it's theresponsibility of individuals, teams and the entire organization be there's some things we cando in terms of alignment to support that. And then see it's all about decisionmakingwith the customer in mind every time at all of those levels. Man, there's so much there that we can go deeper and like higher level.Though, from your perspective, I don't know if you feel like the languageof customer experience has become more common, kind of the same way as therole of CRO has become more common. I see those as related. Like, what do you think about the state of the term relative to what's actuallyhappening inside businesses every day, like any thoughts on that? At a highlevel, I think that most businesses want to think of themselves is very customercentric and very focused on the customer experience. But what it takes to actually deliverthat versus what a lot of companies...

...are doing today don't necessarily marry upright. So there's a lot of lip service being paid. My opinion,there's a lot of lip service being paid to customer experience and focus on thecustomer and customer outcomes and Revenue Operations and customer operations in these big broader,these sort of big broader terms and groups, but when it comes to actually changemanagement that's required to deliver that for an organization, it feels a littlebit further behind than the than the vocabulary. Yeah, interesting. Do you feellike you're an advantage now in a relatively younger company compared to something likea CBS radio or a Google? Do you feel like you're an at anadvantage there? Specifically, what I'm keying on here's your idea of change management, because obviously the bigger or older or more pardoned a company is in itsculture, in its way of doing things, and less perhaps innovation or that typeof a thing. Process Improvement is a critical part of the culture.Do you feel like there's an advantage for younger companies here, or does itreally just depend on the company culture and it doesn't matter about maturity or age? I don't think it matters about maturity or age so much as it doesthe constraints that a company puts on itself. Right and look, I've had,I've learned a ton from my experiences at CBS and at Google. Thatshaped where I am today and what my view is on customer experience. SoI wouldn't have the if I wouldn't have the view without those, you know, without those experiences at those at those companies, at Google, there's there'sa heightened focus on on the customer experience for sure. What I observed overmy time at the company, which was a wonderful eight years, was thatearly on when I was there, there was a different leadership team and adifferent ethos at the company was still largely sort of founder ish led right.It was ree alphabet, it was, you know, Eric Schmidt was stillthe CEO and the and the chairman of the Board, Larry and Sarah A, were still very involved in the company and the companies were really hard tomaintain that sort of start up mentality, that customer focus, the you know, the the statement about we don't care. Essentially we don't care what Wall Streetthinks. We're just focused on doing right by our come, by ouremployees, by our customers and what we think is the right thing for thebusiness. Contrast to when I left, where the entire leadership team had reallychanged out and the company just had put additional constraints on growing and building thebusiness. And Look, the outcomes have been phenomenal. I mean, ifyou look at the Google share price, it's you know, it's at anall time high. So I certainly don't want to want to criticize. That'snot that's not my point, but Google has put more constraints on on thebusiness and on people's ability to put the customer at the center, versus whatwe have here, which is total green field. Right, we can makechange very quickly. We can focus on the customer all the time, youknow, obsessively, without having to think about constraints like the stock price or, you know, analysts or lots of you know, lots of big fish, you know, who were swimming around our pond. Right. Yeah,totally fair, which kind of tease up for context. Before we go toomuch farther, tell us a little bit about hqo. Who is your idealcustom simmer? What problems do you solve for them? Just give us somecontexts on what you're up to now. Yeah, absolutely. So. Hcosa commercial real estate technology company and our primary customers are commercial office landlords orowners who own office buildings that have people coming in and out of them everyday, at least in in typical times, you know, at the exception thelast few months, the problem that we solve is helping landlords understand howpeople are using their products. So, if you think about commercial real estate, historically, landlords really haven't had any...

...relationship to the people who are usingthe product that the tenants and their employees who are coming in and out ofthe building every day. They know the tenant representative, they know the CEOor the CFO who signs the lease. That's about it. They talk tothem when they negotiate the lease. They maybe have a once a year checkin and then they talk to them a lot when the lease is up forrenewal. Right, and what we believe is that there's a lot of valuefor landlords in having dated to better understand how people are using their spaces tomake more informed strategic decisions about their assets. How do they provide a better tenantexperience? How they provide a better user experience? How do they usethat to drive their capital, their capital strategy, their asset value strategy?Right, there's this huge shift in employee empowerment today and I can tell Ican tell you a couple of stories about about that from my time at Googleor otherwise. But you know, I think about as like the democratization ofreal estate. Right, real estate decisions are no longer being made by oneor two people within the organization. They're being made with input from lots ofemployees about where they where they want to work, what type of environment,what services, what amenities and so on, which gives landlords an opportunity to differentiateby being a service partner, not just a space provider, to theirtenant companies. So most companies spent, is a study from from jll Joneslanglessal being real estate services organization. But most companies spend three dollars a squarefoot on utilities, thirty dollars a square foot on rent and three hundred dollarsa square foot on people. Right. So again, we believe that landlordscan be a better partner to their ten companies in solving the problem they caremost about, which is their people. So, you know, we're hereto talk about customer experience. The best customer experience that an owner or landlordcan provide to their tenant company is to focus on the experience for their employees. Love it so many like I feel like, and correct me if I'moverstating this, because this is you know, I don't focus on this space orthis industry or or this transformation that you're leaving. I feel like oneof the things I'm hearing is that if you were successful in your mission andpurpose, which is to use data information, probably modeling, etc. To helpcreate more value for your customers. Customers, you're essentially leading a transformationof the way that business sees its customer and interacts with its customer. Yeah, I think that's I think that's right. I mean, if you go backto if you back to sort of the dawn of time, right,cities are the the driver of economic and human progress. Right, collections ofpeople, whether it's, you know, finance in New York with Wall Street, or entertainment in Hollywood with you know, or technology and Silicon Valley, right, Automo, you know, automotive, and in Detroit. These collections andconcentrations of people drive great innovation and progress and it's incumbent upon the folkswho provide the space to create not just the the space, but the environmentto drive and foster that that innovation for human and economic progress. Right.That's number one. Number two is that, like, I know we've talked aboutour kids earlier. My kids spend their whole lives like just staring attheir phones, right. It's it's brutal for me to watch and there's somuch in the physical world around them that they can engage with and we atour company anyway, are helping to use this device to get people to picktheir heads up and engage with the physical space, engage with the world aroundthem, create small micro communities in the in the buildings that are based onreal human interaction, and I think that's a really exciting sort of by productof what were of what we're doing for landlords love it. Something it earlierreminded me of our own experience here. When we moved in at bombomb wewere in the small, you know,...

...traditional kind of startup e type spacefor the first I don't know, three years I was with the company.You know, old brick walls, drafty windows, creaky floors. Is Awesome. It was charming. But then it was time. We outgrew the space. We take it down. Everything we couldn't that building, and so wedid what you were suggesting, which is suggesting is happening. This is somethingwe did several years ago, which was engaged all the employees in it.We got sticky notes and, you know, we created some themes and people couldwrite down what they really wanted in the next space and they were allkind of color coded so we could visually see like what, who, whatis this team of at the time like thirty or thirty five people care aboutmost and it absolutely impacted the spaces that we looked at. We brought ourcommercial real estate agent into that conversation. That was part of the mission ofwhat we were going to look at and what we weren't and and here weare today, several years later. I'd be remiss before we move on tosomething that I'm really excited to talk about, which is these titles and rolls andwhat they mean in the context of the work that you're doing. Theyall have collaboration written all over them, of course, so that I'll bethat'll kind of tie them together, but I'd be remiss if I didn't ask, like, what are the trends right now? Obviously, at some pointwe had headlines where it's like everyone's going to work from home, and thenwe had, you know, the counterheadline minds of this company is now demandingall employees back into the office by this date, and then there's kind ofthe big fat middle which is where we're at with bombomb right now. IsWe record this, which is the office is open, a lot of peopleare still at home, some people come in once a week, some peoplecome in four days a week, I come in five days a week.Some people come in, you know, three days a week and you canpick your desk and it's just the space is being used differently. What doyou think the next I don't I don't mean to ask you like speculated andthat I guess I am. Actually I am actually just specularly, what areyou seeing and hearing in your conversations with your customers and in the kinds ofindustry specific stuff that most of us don't access every day? What do yousee over the next eighteen to, say, thirty six or even forty eight monthsin terms of how these spaces will be used differently than they were,say, twenty four or thirty six months ago? Where are some of theseowners making some of their capital investments in anticipation of this different usage? Like, because this is generally a business show and a lot of us have someengagement with these types of commercial spaces, I feel like it's a really interestingthing. Well, I have you to take a moment on that. Yeah, for sure. So I think the next sort of twelve to twenty fourmonths will be really interesting in terms of this period of transition and vacillation betweenwork from home or remote work and in office work. I do think thatin forty eight months everybody's back in the office almost full time. Right,companies want their employees back for well, first of all, as I saidbefore, cities are the engines of human and economic progress. So we haveto get people back because the dry cleaner downstairs and the cafe across the streetdepend on people coming to the city to work and those people are are sufferingmightily right now. Right, and so we want to get people back intoour our cities. Landlords need to get back people back into their buildings,because buildings are only valuable with people in them. And companies want their employeesback because productivity has suffered a lot. And it's interesting because they are allthese studies out there. You know, you asked me with the what thetrends are. I read something from Google actually that Google engineers are at thirtypercent less code last year than the year prior. Thirty percent less code.That's a huge drop in productivity. Right. Colliers did a study of their fourhundred fifty five issue of their tenant companies on average reported twenty two percentdecline in productivity. There was another study,...

I think by McKenzie, that lookedat individual employees. Individual employees reported working thirty percent more hours. Theircompanies reported no meaningful impact on productivity, which I don't know what the mathis, but the the the headline on the study with twenty percent decline inproductivity. Right. So all of these companies are seeing declines in productivity andthey want to get their eployees back and they're trying to figure out the rightway to do that. Is At the carrot? Is at the stick?Is it a little of both? And again, we think that by creatinga great experience in a great environment that people want to come back to andby having the right the right communication tools in place that they're going to havemore success in bringing people back, and landlords can be a great partner inthat, in that equation. I mean imagine, imagine this in your exampleabout bombomb right, think about when you guys were looking at the space.If, instead of your employer coming to you as an employee and saying,hey, tell us what you think, right on all these post it's,let's put it on the wall, let's engage a broker to go find newspace, what if your landlord came to you and said, Hey, we'vegot all this day or came to your came to your your exacting and said, Hey, we've got all this data about your employees and how they useyour space. These are the services that they engage with, these are theamenities that they like, these are the cafes that they buy lunch at andthe specific items they order. We know from your access control data that you'reoutgrowing that you're outgrowing your space. It looks like at the rate that you'vebeen hiring, you're going to need x percent more square footage over the nextthree years. We've got some new space coming online in one of our otherbuildings right down the street. We love to talk to you about how wecan move you in there, because it has all of these things that youthat your employees are are focused on. Right. What a different what adifferent conversation in terms of value, customer experience, right, and we're tensionfor that for that landlord, exactly right. I like this so much and forfolks who are listening, I mean just think about that. Is YourBusiness, the type of business that you know, works to get the contractsign gets the commitment and you don't hear from them again unless the your primarypoint of contact as a problem or a question, and then they resurfaced whenit's time to sign the contract renewal. Or is it this new layer ofadditional value added? I am your strategic partner, I am a professional consultant. I am constantly adding value in teaching you more about this product or servicethen simply delivering the product or serves. So, so smart. I reallyappreciate what you're up to and that was great. Thank you for that.Talk to me a little bit about you know, I think when most peoplelook at cro you know for the ones that are doing it as like aproper C ro roll, it is this. It's perfectly parallel to vice president ofsales marketing and customer success. It is the blend of the revenue functions. You obviously came in as vp of all three of those teams were madeCro. I might make an assumption that it was like, let's get markin here and if mark loves what he's doing and we love what marks doing, will give him the sea title, you know, at proper do time, because that's the sent I've never heard VP sales marketing customer success so youdon't need to address that necessarily unless you feel like it's part of the story. But talk about what the C ro roll means in the context of hqo. And then, and perhaps unless it'll be on follow up, talk aboutthe transition to coo and how did that fit the needs of the organization relativeto the Cro Roll and what became of that roll? That to someone elseoccupy it, or did coo kind of take additional functions and elevate the crowrole to CEO? Like just talk about that from a little bit from afunctional and progression standpoint. Yeah, sure. So one of the things that wasimportant to me when I was joining the company was to make sure thatwe had that consistent user journey across the entire customer life cycle. And sowhen I first started talking to to our...

CEO, chase, about joining thecompany, we were talking about a role that was primarily focused on sales andthe company was really small at the time. I think when I joined there weremaybe fifteen or eighteen people here and the entire the entire customer team,marketing, sales, customer success was you know, it was only a fewpeople and I said to look, if we're going to if we're going tobuild an organization that's really focused on the customer and we're going to truly earnthe love of the customer provide a consistent experience, we really need to putthe entire commercial operation, the entire customer journey, under one umbrella and weneed to train the team to be focused, maniacally focused, on the customer.We need to train the team to understand the in the market, theindustry, you know, the players, their wants, their needs, theirwins, and we need to do that. We need to do that as awhole, not in individual silos, and I had a lot of exburience over over my career with seeing siload organizations breakdown. I remember vividly sittingin a meeting with a customer when I was a google. It was ahealthcare company and we were sitting in a meeting and the the head of marketing, the Vice President Marketing and the vice president of sales got into an argument, the standard marketing and sales argument, but I'd never, like, actuallywitnessed it in real life. I'd only kind of like I've seen it onTV or I've heard about it, I've never seen they literally get into anargument about, you know, whether about sales not following up on the leadsthat marketing was generating and the sales team saying to them, to the marketingfolks, well, the leads are lousy you guys are generating, you guysaren't getting us good leads, so there's nothing worth following up on. Andthey get into this, they get this this big argument and we all justsort of like slid back from the table and we're like you, why don'tyou guys just once you guys just resolve, resolve this for yourself right. Andit was a really defiant, defining it was defining moment for for meand thinking about the customer journey how important it is to put all that inone place. So when I joined, I think it's similar what you said. Chase brought me in at the at the VP level. We didn't havereally have sea level employees other than the CEO at that point. We didn'thave layers of you know, we didn't have directors and VPS and C Crosand cteos and all this stuff. And as the company has grown over timewe've brought in those layers and and yes, the elevation into Cro was definitely apromotion. It wasn't given to me. I definitely had to earn it,but it enabled us to bring in that that really important management layer atthe next level, which is the crew that's really building and driving the companyright. And so the scope expanded a little bit with Cro I had marketingand sales and customer success. We added a couple of other teams underneath theumbrella. One team called tenant experience, which is focused on just making surethat our customers and their customers have what they need and that we're delivering forthem, because devn partnerships rolled up, rolled up there as well. Sothat was the that was the cro roll and it was more. It wasjust more acceleration on the same theme of Consistent Customer Journey or in the loveof the customer. Right. Well, we made the decision on COO.There were there were two parts to that. Right. One is we've made itvery deliberate, a very deliberate shift in the way that we do thingsacross the company. So now thinking outside of the customer side and into likethe product and Engineering Organization to focus on customer there as well. So makingsure that things like are okay, ours or planned around customer needs, thatour product road map is planned from from the outside in. Right. Soare we taking customer feedback and are we taking customer requests in are we lookingat the market from the customers point of view to plan the most important thingsthat we build rather than doing some of the things that we had had beendoing previously, which we're saying this would be a cool feature, let's spendlet's expend resources to build that. And...

...part of that turnaround has been drivenby our very talented cteo and are very talented vice president as senior vice presidentof Engineering, Jim Butler and mark the Antonio. Those guys are are awesome, their rock stars and they are definitely customer, customer minded. So thethe CEO, the COE shift was about creating more horizontal alignment across the organization, Number One, and then, number two, trying to get a littlebit more leverage for chase, our CEO, so that he can focus on thethings that are that that he's really excellent at. He's really excellent fun, he's really excellent a lot of things, but but he's really excellent fundraising.He's really excellent with with vision and strategy and thinking about the product andwhere we want to be five years from now. And my skill set isis really rooted in execution right. So that's one of the reasons we workso well together and have over the last over the the last three years.And so this is a more deliberate, more deliberate effort to align skill setsand get the right lift and leverage across the organization as well. So smartand just to make sure that that customer advocacy is present everywhere, but ina similar way. I think that's one of the premises of the show andone of the reasons I was so excited to have this conversation with you.Is that even in a healthy culture we can be a bit silod and differentteams are tasked with engaging the customer, typically at different points on the journey, which means they see the customer a little bit differently. They they measuretheir success relative to the customer a little bit differently, and so this ideaof I love your challenge on the way in which is like hey, Isee what you're trying to do here with the sales roll and I could definitelyget that tongue, but let's do this, let's do this other thing that thatincorporate incorporates everybody. So let's go back there just a little bit.I think for me when I talk with people, because we do not havea cro function here, we are our executive team has been together. We'vebeen together for years. I mean the youngest by ten year. The youngestmember that team, I think, is three or four years, and someof us have been together, like there are five of us that have beentogether for almost a decade. And so just the shared understanding, common language, just the way that you know things work by Osmosis sometimes to like,not that now that we shouldn't be doing things intentionally, not that we don't, but there's some things that just happen you can't plan. So there's alot of that there. But so when he talked to people who have thecrow function, I definitely understand it, I appreciate it, but functionally,I wonder, how often do you get all of the revenue team together inone meeting, like, do you even do that, or is it justlike what is he alignment like? Functionally? I mean I get it that there'ssomeone that oversees the whole revenue function and that can create more consistent,the consistency than not. And then, separately, as a follow up,when do you ever bring, say, CS or sales or marketing directly incontact with product and Dev again from kind of like the frontline, midlevel frontlinerolls? Yeah, so we get the we get the entire customer team togethera few times a year for for all hands, right. We get theleadership team together every week to make sure that we're all sort of connected andin touch and that everybody knows what what everybody else is doing, that we'reshare and we've got a we've got a very get a very specific and tightagenda that we that we run through. We do around the horns, wedo ups and downs, we do asks for help. So there's so we're, you know, making sure that everybody's informed on on every on everything theyneed to be informed on to drive the to drive the business. I sendout a weekly a weekly communication to the entire customer team. I send itout every Monday morning. It's the first thing I send out every every Mondayto the team. It's got updates from across the team. So a lotof the things that we talked about in our in our customer team staff meetingare in there. It's got it's got...

...things like, you know, goodreads, articles and other ways to learn and stay current on the industry.I always put in. Actually, I don't know why people care about thisso much, but it's it's the point. It's the part I get the mostfeedback on. I always have like a little thought, thought for theweek. So I'll take something that something from my usually from my personal life, like, you know, an interaction I had with another with another salesperson, or something that happened with my kids or or with my wife, andI'll just, you know, tell the story and then relate it to something, you know, work wise that affects the customer, the customer experience,and I was get a lot of feedback on that. So I was ofthat sort of thought for the weeks. We find a lots of opportunities alongthe way to engage as a full customer team, whether it's through through written, video or in person meetings at the at the leadership level or, youknow, across the board. We also often get together with products, notso much with not not as much with engineering, but definitely the product teamand customer success and implementation in particular are very closely tied the tenant experienced team, to we've built some good systems for for sharing. This is a gapand something that we're working on. This is like on my if I showedyou my my project list, this is this is one of them, butsort of the the customer to products communications back and forth is is something thatwe're still trying to solve for. But there is a lot of engagement therebetween those teams. It's fantastic. So many good points there, but Iwant to start at the beginning of your response there, which is you calledit the customer team, not the revenue team, which I like and I'mgoing to adapt henceforth. By the way, says one of the reasons I lovethese conversations. Like I'm revenue is about us, customers, about customer. It's customer team. But then this idea that you know there are multiplebole channels we can use. It's about consistency. I want to observe andmaybe get your own thoughts about this. I think one of the reasons probablythat personal moment that you share and then translate into a business teaching or abusiness parallel. It's you, it's personal, it's a real story. It's somethingthat people can relate to more easily and it draws them closer to you. I like, I love that nugget a. What was the inspiration forand beat you think that my speculation is correct? I think your speculation isprobably correct. The inspiration for actually I start it was something I started doingat at Google. I don't know what made me start with like the thoughtfor the week. I got feedback from the team though that, and Ihad a big team at Google and I was running the programmatic business and Igot feedback that I was sending like a high volume of emails and it wouldbe in people would appreciate if I could consolidate it down. So I said, okay, great, I'll take the feedback and I can solidate it itdown to the weekly email. And then one day I just had this likeI'm like, I'm putting this, I'm going to tell this story, andI just sort of put it at the bottom of the email and I gotso much feedback from the team and I said, all right, that's interesting. So I did it the next week and same thing. So I doit just became this this part of the of the weekly. The weekly updateand the way that I close it every week. And so when I broughtthat here, as the team got bigger, I just introduced in and did thesame and did the same thing. And it's funny because I think aboutI was talking to I was talking to one of our of our VP's aboutthis, or maybe one of our directors not too long ago. But Iremember when I started like my first job out of college, CBS radio,right and I looked at our I looked at our our sales manager, ourgeneral sales manager, who was probably, I don't know, thirty six orthirty seven at the time, and I thought he was old and experienced andknew everything and I was really intimidated by him. Right. And I'm definitelyolder than I'm definitely older now than he, than he was then, but Idon't see myself that way right. I see myself stike. I sayto my wife all the time, if you drop me back in high schoolright now, I'd be totally fine.

I probably I'd probably fit in morein high school or college than I do in the in the professional world,right. And that's like, mentally, that's how I feel. I don'tfeel like I'm old enough for mature enough to have to be a parent orto do some of the other stuff that I do. So when I hear, you know, what I hear from like our directors are VPS that someof the like some of our junior team members, some our entry level levelemployees or like, are intimidated by me or whatever, I'm like what,come on, I'm just a regular guy, I'm just a cool guy, youknow, and so I'm interesting how title and roll will create that.Like I wouldn't take that personally because I've heard similar about myself and some otherpeople. I think it's title more than anything else. Maybe so I so, you know, when I when I write these things, I'm sort oflike, I don't know, like who cares about my story with my kids? But people like people do, because I think it's a way for meto authentically share a little bit about myself and and for people to authentically connectwith me, and it's a way for me to show some vulnerability and hopefullythat makes people feel like I'm more approachable, because I want people to be ableto, you know, come to me with not just issues and problemsbut with ideas, right. I mean our entry level employees have great ideasfor how we can drive engagement and how we can power the business and ifthey're afraid to come over to me and share that idea, like, that'sno good. So I don't want to be I'm trying to find all theseways that I can break down that that perception that apparently some people have thathopefully isn't isn't earned or or deserved. Right. Yeah, so being approachable, making yourself available not just for problems but also for ideas, which Ithink is enlivening or enriching for an employees experience. Give me one or twoother kind of practical tips or recommendations related to creating a culture of collaboration,whether it's, you know, things that you've learned along the way that you'reso glad that you're implementing now, or whether it's things that people maybe whoaren't necessarily in a healthy culture but have some opportunity to lead it or manageit directly. Like, give me a couple other ideas related to helping peoplework together more effectively in service of the customer. Yeah, so I thinkI think number one sort of bucket a couple things into this group. Butlike vulnerability right. Trust and vulnerability are are really important because it promotes itpromotes sharing, and so part of part of why I send that email everyweek and or do sort of like mourning rounds. I try to walk aroundand say Good Morning to people when I get here, when I get herein the morning or I get here early, so maybe like a little bit laterwhen there's more people here, but you know, do those sort ofmorning rounds and say hello to people and and talk them not just not aboutwork, but just about their weekend or their night the night before, what'swhat's coming up for the day or, you know, what's going on withtheir families or or whatever. Right, and I try really how this isgetting harder as we're getting bigger, but I try really hard to remember thatstuff as well and to be present in the conversation. So vulnerability and andtrust and being sort of present for those conversations, I think, is kindof one bucket. Number two is communication. have to find the right methods andand ways of communicating and sharing information so that people feel in the know. And I'll be the first to admit this is this is a place thatI fall down a lot and I apologize for it. When I when Ido, you know, I'm like, I'm human. I Miss I missthings and I don't always communicate well. I communicate it much better here thanI do at home, but I'm working on it in both. I'm workingon in both places. And then three is a lining around a set ofobjectives or goals and making sure that those...

...goals all ladder up to the samevision and strategy. Right. So we do okay ours objectives and key resultshere. We start with what is our vision for the company and what's ourstrategy that we're trying to the were using to drive it, and then wecreate at the at the executive team, a set of okay ours for thecompany that waterfalls down to the to the various departments, so they can allplan and aligned for the company. And we do that so that at theexact team level we can make sure that we're focused on the most important things, one of which is our customers. So good, three, really goodcategories. They are all, by the way, calls back for the mostpart, of things that you shared throughout. So I really appreciate that. Kindof as a little bit of a summary here, as we near theclose of the conversation and I like that you start with essentially an echo onyour theme of being approachable, which is being honest, being yourself, beingavailable, being vulnerable, and I know these words start to sound soft tosome people and because they're being used more often, I feel like a lotof people find them maybe fashionable and therefore I can ignore it because it willgo away at some point, like all fashion does. It comes and goes. But this is about being successful in your work, just as you're beingsuccessful in your life. So I love that bridge about communication, like tryingto be better at home and at work, because it's all about just being abetter person, being more honest, being more available, being more helpfuland trying to make things work better for everyone. This is the point whereI normally talk about episodes that are already released that you might like if you'veenjoyed this one, and I've do have one of those. This episode onehundred and twenty seven, with Darryl Prayle, who is the chief revenue officer atVanilla soft, and we talked about th CX Strategies for crows. ButI'm also going to tease ahead next week. This is the first episode that I'vehosted three guests at the same time. It's coming out next week, episodeone hundred and sixty seven, with brandy star, Raley Keenan and MikeGeller, the COO, Cro and CTO of Tegrida, and they wrote abook together called from CMO to cro and so I think I hope to hearas much approachable, useful stuff as I got from you. I have noreason to doubt that I will and that it has a seemed key of weneed to be cross functionally collaborative, whether we put someone in a crow rollor a CEO role to do that or whether we do it through culture andsome of these other practical tips. And by the way, mark, Idon't feel like you offered those as a coo or a cro you offered thatto anyone working in a team environment and they can be applied that way tonot necessarily so much control over kind of the okrs and how those roll outacross teams. We can certainly influence them, and so I don't want anyone tomiss that opportunity and think one day I'll have that job and I cando those things like those are available to us now. Those are fundamental elementsof being a leader in any environment. Mark before I let you go,I have some of my favorite questions of the day. Are these. Canyou please think or mention someone who's had a passive impact on your life,for your career, and give a not or a shout out to a companyor a brand you appreciate for the experience they deliver for you as a customer? Sure someone who has had an outsized influence on on me is my dad. Absolutely got my work ethic and value system from from him and there weresome there's some good. I don't know how much detail you want on this, but there were some there the positives and the negatives that have helped toshape me right. So, my dad was a dentist, just retired.He built a practice from from the ground up. He worked crazy hours.He was at the Office at seven am. He didn't come home until almost ZevenPM on regular nights. He worked late every Wednesday. He worked halfdays every Saturday. You know, he wasn't in the backyard throwing the baseball, he wasn't at Milecross Games, he...

...wasn't at the you know, hejust was building the practice. He was very present for our family vacations,but otherwise, you know, he was he was busy, he was busyworking. What I took away from that as two things. One, youhave to work hard to get what you want and to that I wanted tobe there for my kids in a way that that my dad wasn't, andmy dad and I are very close today. We spend a lot of time togetherand we do throw the baseball now. But you know, I that thatbalance is is important for me in terms of a brand that provides agreat experience in molar. One of the questions I always ask people in inicebreakers or interviews is tell me what the APP on your phone that you can'tlive without and for me, for me, that's ways. I think it's aphenomenal brand. I love the way that ways built the built the businessand built the customer experience through putting gamification very front and center when they firstlaunched to build the user base, get traction, drive engagement, and asthe platform grew they sort of they pull that back and while it's still there, it's more buried in the experience because the because the experience is so powerfuland valuable for me as a user that I don't need the gamification front andcenter anymore. So smart, great example and I find that insanely useful aswell, although I think probably in your metro area you suffer worse traffic thanI do. But totally agree with you on that one. Mark, Iso appreciate your time. I love what you're up to as a team,but, more importantly, I really appreciate the way you're going about it.For folks who enjoyed this, how could they learn more about you or Hqo? Like we're follow up on this. Yeah, Great. So our websiteis hcocom. So it's HQOCOM and you can reach me at mark at HQUOCOMand mark at HBO dotcom, or on Linkedin or twitter or anywhere, alsoon social media. Awesome. Thank you so much, Mark. Really appreciateit. Love the conversation. I hope you have a great rest of yourday. Thanks. You than you to appreciate it. One of the mostimpactful things you can do to improve customer experience and employee experience is to includesome video messages in your daily digital communication. Explain things more clearly, convey thewriting motion in tone, save time by talking instead of typing, preventthose unnecessary meetings. There are so many benefits to using simple videos and screenrecordings, and bombomb makes it easy. In email, Linkedin or slack messagesfrom Gmail, outlook, sales force, outreach or Zendesk, learn how bombomcan help you and your team with clear communication, human connection and higher conversion. Visit Bombombcom today. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Rememberthe single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver abetter experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribingright now in your favorite podcast player or visit bombombcom. SLASH PODCASTS.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (180)