The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 1 month ago

171. Why Better CX Is The Goal, Not Disruption w/ Michelle Lisowski


The word “disruption” can make us feel irritation or even angst. What we need is to recognize that disruption on an industry scale means changing how we operate to create better experiences for our customers.

In this episode, I interview Michelle Lisowski, Global Director, B2B Marketing at Uber, about how she's leading a well-known B2C brand into better B2B customer experience.

Join us as we discuss:

  • What Michelle means when she says CX is everything
  • How Uber for Business is redefining transportation
  • Why disruption should be recognized as serving customers
  • How Michelle manages multiple lines of business with trust in people
  • When customer-centricity became a practice for Michelle     

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.

And I don't know that like anyonesays like I want something I'm doing today to be disrupted. I think youhave to show them a better experience. The single most important thing you cando today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learnhow sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomesand exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customerexperience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. You probably recognize the nameUber. You've probably used the service and if you have, you've probably usedit dozens, if not hundreds of times. Uber provides a relatively frictionless B Tocexperience in getting you from here to there, but they've also got threeseparate lines of business and be tob business, freight and health. Today we're talkingwith ubers global director of be Tob marketing about taking a widely known BToc brand and taking it into the B Toc Space and about balancing these threeseparate lines of business. Prior to joining Uber, she served as head ofbrand and growth at cabbage and spent more than a dozen years at Google,where she last served as head of global acquisition for Google Cloud Growth Marketing,Michelle Asowski, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank you, I'm excitedto be here. Yeah, I'm really looking for to the conversation. It'sso interesting just this be TOC to be to be transition, and there arealso some pandemic consequences that will certainly get into a little bit with the youknow, the shutdown and business travel. But we're going to start, Michelle, where we always start, which is customer experience. When I say that, what does it mean to you? Yeah, that's a great question.What it means to me is definitely evolved over my career, but today Ithink I could sum it up in one word, which is everything. Thinkthe customer experiences every interaction your customers have with your product, with your brand, with the humans that work at your company, and so it's using yourproduct or service, it's talking to the sales wrap a customer service engagement,but it's also kind of employees. Like I think back years ago when Ifirst started at Google and got my first corporate credit card, which was kindof branded Google and it had some of the primary colors on it, andso it was very obvious when I was traveling for work when I handed thatthat credit card to someone that I worked with Google, and I always wasvery conscious of that and and was conscious of the fact that I was representingGoogle, even if I was out at a restaurant or someplace else, becauseI think all of that adds up to what someone thinks of your brand andwhat they think of your product. And so, in a nutshell, customerexperiences everything so good. When you first said everything, I was wondering whetheryou're going to go down that route, that it's like kind of all thetouch points and interactions and experience points and kind of the the emotional resonance thatthat's left through each of those experiences, or if you're going to say it'slike everything, it's our business to pends on it, and I think youkind of said both. The one thing that I really enjoyed about what youshared there is this idea of employees essentially as deliverers of the experience, evenwhen they're not in a formal position of doing so, this idea that eachof us has the opportunity to be an ambassador for the brand into affect perceptionsof the brand. And then it makes me think about leadership and management andhow we're equipping people perhaps to take that responsibility on in some of the casesthat you're talking to. I'm sure you presented that credit carded a variety oflocations. What was it like? I want to get into Uber be tobe, but what was that like at Google in terms of you know,is that something that was frequently spoken about, like this idea that you are abrand ambassador or brand representative, or was this just a personal responsibility youtook on yourself? Yeah, I mean, not trying to give too much creditto myself, I feel like it was more of a personal responsibility.A lot of it was just, you know, the Google name right,everyone knows it and I think because of...

...that everyone's kind of thinking about itand gets excited. And this is another area that's really evolved for me overmy career. I will say like in the early days I was always kindof very tightliffed about like a where I work. So even when someone wouldcomment on my credit card and be like yeah, I work at Google andI'm kind of shut down the conversation pretty quickly and probably for a variety ofreasons. Today I take much more accountability to be that ambassador and not shookdown the conversation but actually talk about it and talk about my experience and alsohave a lot of pride for where I work, because I do, andso it's I've definitely taken a different tact, I'd say, in the last fewyears. Cool. Another follow up on customer experience being everything, whicha I agree with be it represents how challenging it is to get our armsaround it as a team or as an organization. But do you feel likethroughout your career, are we talking about customer experience differently now? Is thissomething that's always is it just new language for things that we've already known,or do you feel like there's actually a legit legitimate movement or or practice emergingaround this? Is it something that we've already always done, or is itsomething that is slightly new in a way? I'm going to go with a hybridanswer because I think it's a little book. I don't think it's new. Customer experiences has always been there and when we've always thought about it.I think we do have different language around it. I think that there isa lot more focus on that holistic experience kind of what we're talking about herethat it is everything, but I don't think this is brand new. Certainlythere are factors, even before the pandemic, with kind of social media, justhow we operate these days, that makes switching easy, that make iteasy to see kind of who else is in the market and there tends tobe a lot more kind of competitive threats emerging in in adjacent industries even,and so I think it's probably more top of mind and we're investing more init, but I don't think it's a new challenge. Cool with you onthat. Let's go to Uber. For be to be like for people whoaren't familiar and didn't know that this even existed, tell us a little bitabout Uber from a B Tob Perspective. Maybe talk about this three lines ofbusiness, like who are your ideal customers that you're thinking about from your seatin marketing? Sure, and I'm actually going to expand a little bit thosebusinesses. So we have, and I really think of them as kind ofhow integrated they are onto our core services to rides and eats. On oneside we have we were free and there you know, we have a twoside. It's a separate market place on top of Uber Technology and we havekind of to be to be customers. We have because it's a market place. We have all the carriers and truck drivers that we're getting onto our marketplace, and then we have our shippers, and those run kind of a varietyof verticals, but it's really kind of focus on shippers that are managing kindof logistics for their company. I'd say kind of other side of the spectrum, we have merchants, for for Uber Eats, and so that is ourconsumer experience set. Is the market place, and we're building out of BTB teamto really make sure that we are building relationships and trusts and bringing onthe right restaurants, but also other merchant partners as we expand into new verticalslike grocery and convenience. And then kind of in the middle we have uberfor business, which I would think of as an enterprise platform that sits ontop of our core services so that organizations can offer rides and mails to theircustomers, to their employees and other people that they care about and they wereactually talking to a variety of decisionmakers. I'd say kind of the flexibility thatuberfer business platform. That's where we see kind of engagement across an organization,from travel managers to hr to even sales and marketing managers, and so Ithink across those at some point we probably touch every department of an organization insome way. Wow, so many things I could do here. So interesting. Let's go into Uber for business. So give me an example of anideal type of a company that you all have engaged with and ending maybe youcan speak a little bit more to those range of services that you know,a business that you're engaged with could take... up on. I mean youmentioned a variety of people in a variety of things that need to get fromhere to there. So like what is what is the business that you maybe engaging with and maybe three or four of the services that you're taking thatthey're taking you up on. Sure, and I'm going to tell you alittle bit about our journey and how that journey kind of pivoted with the pandemicto because that that really highlights the flexibility of our platform and some of thosetop use cases. So historically, you know, Uber for business at thispoint is over six years old and you know, we really started focus ontravel managers and Uber being kind of a mobility solution when your employees are travelingon the road. And kind of fun fact, Uber's typically, will say, pre pantemic days, the number one most frequently expensed flying item. Peopleare using Uber when they are traveling, and so we started to engage companiesto give them kind of the controls in the policies they needed to create thesetravel programs. Now, overnight, business travel stop when the pandemic hit andthat was you know, I think the silver lining for our business is theforcing function this. We really started going out and marketing the flexibility of ourplatform and actually learning from our customers new ways to use our platform. Andso HR is one of our top audiences today and we're working with them ina variety of ways from them thinking about how to how do you return tothe office, whether it's kind of an hr or workplace role, and thatcould be developing commute programs, it could be developing late night meal program sosomeone's at the office late, they have a safe right home. But thenit's also kind of person employee morale were, I think all companies are experiencing burnoutand all of kind of the the mental health tools that covid has takenand employee retention is very top of mine for all organizations and just employee wellnessoverall, and there's a lot that you can do from a benefits perspective toreally start to address kind of the whole employee and so we're talking a lotto hr about that and had at some of the perks and ways that youcould use. Super Cocacola when the when the pandemic first hit, used ubercredits and offered them to all their employees who were eats credits so that theycould have a meal on the weekend with their family. So not work related, just a way to invest in kind of their wellbeing. And then,you know, outside the kind of certainly travel managers's business travel emerges. We'realso talking a lot to sales and marketing manager. So we have Samsung whouse uber credits to incentivize people to buy a phone, and and that marketinguse case is really strong, as well as kind of offering a out yourfor, you know, a sales meeting. So we're seeing a lot of salesteams using that as a way talking about customer experience to really elevate thatexperience so they're not on the road during the pandemic. They're not meeting facetoface, but they are having virtual meetings and they could send someone and it greetsvoucher and say, you know, get a meal while we chat over lunch, and that's just a way to engage with them in a way that's hardwhen we're sitting at home. Okay, my mind is spitting with ideas andI can't imagine being in your seat with your responsibility around this. Talk aboutthis dynamic. Like you know, day to day, week to week,month to month, quarter to quarter. How much of your time is spentaround because there's so many different services you could package and present both to existingcustomers and to new customers in this business space? How much of your timeis dedicated to perhaps learning from your existing customers in this business line what they'rereally taking advantage of? You already mentioned in that last response that you're talkingwith them and learning from them. How much of your time is devoted tothat learning feedback loop and perhaps developing and packaging different things for existing or newcustomers? And is this all happening in marketing or you doing it, youknow, in conjunction with other teams? Just take this a little bit operationalfor us to degree that that question makes sense. Yeah, I think Igot it. I will first answer your question at is this just happening inyour marketing and the easy answers definitely not. I mean this is something that ourorganization overall is looking at. We...

...have a sales team which is reallyon the front lines talking to these customers. We also see, you know,we get a lot of insights to from just like our inbound organic traffic. You know what people are asking for when they say they want to talkto someone on our team. And I'd say in terms of learning, Idefinitely don't think we invest enough. I think we constantly have to be talkingto our customers and learning more. I think that in marketing we have tobe a lot more intentional about it, because we're not on the front linesand so we have to find ways to continually learn. I do think,though, if I just take a step back to what I was talking aboutearlier, I think that learning cycle was much more rapid and much more frequentwhen covid first hit, because you certainly everything was dynamic. It's probably mybiggest takeaway from covid just how quickly things can change even now we're we're tryingto predict recovery curves. It's hard to know, and so I think again, that's that feedback loop was a lot more frequent and rapid. We gota good sense, you know, by the end of the year, I'dsay, what some of these primary use cases were and what was resonating withthe market, and then we really leaned into those coming into this year.Now we are continuing to learn those. So, like one example is weknow that there is a very strong rule for vouchers to play and enhancing theevent experience. And the great thing with Ubers, because we're rides and meals, it could be a physical event where you're offering people a ride to theevent, or could be a virtual event that where you offer eates eats bouchersso that they can get food while while they're sitting and their home. Butwhat we didn't know that we learned this year is that sales kickoffs is actuallykind of a season and it became a top use case. You know,those are typically internal events, but it became one of the top UITS cases. We also started to find again this year that kind of tax season.So accountants were really late. No, surprise, like in the lead upto April, and so things like late night meals and rice programs was actuallyreally attractive for a county agencies. So, like again, I think more rapidin the beginning, but we're constantly seeing kind of some of these newsnew use cases in even with return to the office, which, I'll behonest, feels like it's been ed and flowing. We thought it was happeningearlier this year than in the middle of the year. Now it seems likea lot of companies are pushing to jai right, but we continually kind oflearn how our company is thinking about return to the office. Do they wantto do commute programs and so it's if I've answer your question, I guessit's just it's ongoing. Yeah, how much of that feedback loop? Thisis just kind of a qualitative versus quantitative feedback question. I guess how muchof this kind of iterative approach and learning and repackaging, how much of thatis coming through conversations, through sales, marketing and maybe other people that areinteracting directly with customers, and how much of it is based on, youknow, data. Obviously you can see kind of WHO's doing what, howoften, at what quantities, etcetera, etc. Like. How do youblend qualitative and quantitative data in making decisions, in iterating on things? What Ihave seen in the last year and a half, which I don't thinkit's a bad way to operate, is that we tend to kind of qualitativelylearn about something and then quantitatively validate it. So a lot of those use casesthat I was talking about that we started hearing from our customers, wethen started validating with data. Do we see that people are writing more inthe mornings in the evenings and we can assume that that's probably kind of morea commute oriented ride? Do we see that people are taking more trips tothe airport, which is one of our biggest signals for business travel? Andthen couple on top of that is just research, foundational research, whether it's, you know, survey surveying travel managers understand how they're thinking about business travelrecovery to doing the same for HR. So I think it's a combination.I think a lot of it, you know, not surprising when we startwith hypothesies from what we're seeing with customers and the way validate smart let's goback a little bit to freight. I'm just curious what your responsibility is asa marketing organization, as a leader in that marketing organization, the two sidesof freight this idea of bringing you know,... need to be attractive and youneed to be communicating with and you need to keep engage and create agreat experience for both sides of that freight market place. You have responsibility forboth sides of that? Or is they're like a service provider team versus ayou know, service neaterer, meeter is not a word word, but youknow people that need freight services. You know, are are you working bothsides of that and engaging both sides of that and running communication for both sidesof that? Are Like, how does that how are you organized operationally aroundthe two sides of a market place like that? Yeah, so we areorganized against each we have definitely focus more on the shipper side for kind ofvariety of kind of business reasons, I'd say, over the last year anda half. But it's not that marketing doesn't have a role to play inboth sides and in fact I think one of the big areas we need toinvest in more is the carrier side going into next year on freight and theneeds are quite different. You know, I think on the carrier side weneed to invest more our kind of community engagement and really kind of building therelationship with our carriers. We have a pretty healthy market place and regards tovolume, but we need to look more at how are we really helping andsupporting carriers. I think for shippers, kind of our role is quite different. You know, we definitely play a kind of the traditional be to bemarketing role in terms of driving demand engaging with shippers. I think we needto do a lot more in helping them with kind of change management and kindof helping them understand everything we have to offer. I mean we are weare disrupting the freight industry in an entirely new way. You know, Iwhen I talked to a lot of people about the freight business, I thinkabout how we were disruptive kind of just transportation broadly. You know, we'restarting the freight industry, but that that's also a vision that we have topaint for shippers and kind of bring them along and what that can look like. Gosh, I it wasn't intending to ask about disruption, but it's obviouslyone of those things. I'm sure you've read it, you've heard it,you've seen it. A lot of people say, you know, where theUber of x right like, and I think what they're trying to say is, you know, we're disrupting this industry by removing some friction and giving peoplemore choice and changing the dynamics of the experience and the old way of doingthings. Like I think all that is wrapped up when someone says, Oh, yeah, where the Uber of this thing? How do you personally thinkabout disruption? I mean, obviously some people speak about an extremely exceedingly positiveterms. There's also some you know, you're threatening some people in some businesses, like from a marketing and branding standpoint. Do you have any thoughts about disruption, or you just doing your thing and like that's all for other peopleto talk about? Well, I'm I'm going to pivot disruption from a marketingsteer pointing, okay, and I think maybe the way I think about itright now, which is ultimately disruption is doing providing a better experience for yourcustomer. All right, so I don't know that today I disruption is isas top of mine as much as how can we change how our customers operatethat's going to lead to a better experience for them, because kind of towhat you'll allude to like disruption, I think like almost gives me a littlebit of things and I don't know that like anyone says like I want somethingI'm doing today to be disrupted. I think you have to show them abet our experience. I mean just one simple example around business travel, becauseit's very top of mine because certainly we were for business places at a verybig role in business travel and well, we've had some start stops. Wedo see recovery coming and we expect, you know, that curved to bestrong next year. Is Thinking about not how do we disrupt business travel,but how do we redefine it? How do we show you know, eveninternally, but certainly externally, people think business travel and they think about planerides, they think about how am I getting to my hotel, how amI getting to the airport? But what Uber can kind of redefine is thatexperience with food too. Right, I need to go somewhere, I landat an airport, I get into my uper, but then I also needto get food, and so I'm going to order food so that it's atmy hotel when I get there. You know, the business traveler cares aLott about reliability and just kind of convenience...

...and can I get there and dowhat I need to do as quickly as possible? And so if we canstart kind of redefining that experience, I'd maybe pivot destruction more to like anexample like that. I think that's what we're thinking about every day. Reallygood. It reminds me of a conversation we've had on this podcast with agentleman named Dennis Geelan who wrote a book about I think his language around thisis customer centric innovation, and I essentially think that's what you're describing, islike how do we innovate on what exists now in service of the customer tomake things better, faster, more convenient, whatever, all these things that peoplewant for themselves? So good, great take there. I mentioned healthin the beginning. Give anything you'd like to share about Uber Health, likewhat are you doing in that space? What's going on there? Yeah,I mean I think we're going to see, you know, certainly internally, youknow, we have a fantastic new GM on health caitlin and she's reallyreally helping pain a vision for where we're going to go with the the healthbusiness and I think we're going to see US explaining a lot, especially goinginto next year, but also kind of, I will say, in it andnot ready to to fully articulate exactly where we're going to take it,but really making your health more than just transportation and how do we partner withorganizations across the healthcare industry and at different kind of tears of the healthcare industryto really provide a better patient experience? And that can include rides, thatcan also include delivery, and it's going to be much more kind of holisticway to support the healthcare industry but really support in a patients who need help. Super Let's take a half a step back a little bit. How doyou personally manage like with your time and your attention, how do you managethese multiple lines of business and perhaps even how have you organized your team oryour team's around these multiple lines of business? Like it's a lot. How doyou know? How do you how do you consciously invest your time andattention to make it all work? Yeah, well, I just want to startby saying that I and my time management are a work in progress everyday. So I'm not going to profess to have kneeled it, but Ican tell you some of the things that, philosophically, I think are extremely importantto doing this. One is I have always been a big believer ina strong leadership team. You have to hire very good people and you haveto trust them to do what you hire them for. So Er quickly,hire well and then empower them. And that is first and foremost, becausethese are three separate lines of business and and certainly I as an individual,I'm not going to go across them or have be embedded enough to have therelationships with stakeholders or being all of the meetings. You know, one ofthe things I first learned when I took on on all these businesses, andwe are still building the team, is that even if one we're willing towork twenty four hours a day, which I have no no one is doing, and I'm certain later, but even if one were, meetings conflict allthe time, there's mbrs, there's all hands like it's it is impossible toactually be across all of them because there's too much overlap. So it's strongleadership, teams, people, people that you can trust. But then it'salso how we structure the team. So one thing I did early on,and look, we are still building here, but I structured the team against eachof those businesses. And so even internally, kind of my my mottois always like when I go into meetings, is like we say be, tobe and we think of it is one thing, but it's not onething. It's like these three lines of business, and that's so important becausewe have three teams, three marketing teams, structured against those lines of business,because it takes me to my next kind of philosophy, which is mappingto your go to market teams and mapping to your stakeholders. I believe verymuch in that when you structure a team, so that naturally leads to US havingkind of three separate teams and then within those teams, then kind ofmapping to often the sale structure or the business structure, and that's ultimately kindof what helps us scale and what helps me manage my time. You know, the other piece of it, which I am not as good at timemanagement but believe a lot in, is kind of having this open door policyand it's what I tell like whenever I have a new hire or if I'mdoing skip levels, is like I'm not...

...always going to be super responsive inthe moment right, like I'm usually in a meeting or doing something else,but I feel very strongly that if someone who's to talk to me, Iwill make time, whether it's a fifteen minute meeting the morning, at theend of the day, the next day and moving things around, to justmake myself available, because I'm not going to always be in that meeting andyou're always be there right when they need me, but I'm going to I'mgoing to try to do a follow up with them, and I think that'sreally important to just kind of stealing across the eat of the businesses really good. And on that last point, I mean I think we would probably bothagree, in many people who I've been in conversation with how the show wouldagree, that an exceptional customer experience has a necessary precursor and that is anexceptional employee experience. And so this ability to help people where they need tobe helped, to provide perspective and to just be available, even if it'snot in the moment. It's just so, so important, so I really appreciatethat addition. Let's go another layer up and you know you've built ina really impressive career in marketing generally speaking. How, maybe have your thoughts aboutmarketing in general evolved over time and where did it start to overlap withany thoughts you've had about customer experience to the degree that that influences your lineof thought, like given guiding philosophy on around marketing in general, and perhapshow is that evolved over your career? Sure, I mean I it wasfor, you know, a minute, but I started on the sale sideand add words. When I first started Google was for about a year ofmy tenure there, so it wasn't that long, but that was on thesale side. So I was kind of frontline, and when you're front lineis top of mine, it's every single day. It was funny as likelooking back, you know that was a that that was an entry level job. You know, it was my first like real job out of college.There's so much that I still think back to you at that time that kindof stays with me today, a lot of which circles around kind of customerexperience, whether it's like picking up the phone and having someone who's really upsetor learning. You know how much you have to really kind of walk someone, walk a customer through something and bring them along. I mean, especiallyback then there's a lot of questions on kind of the black box of addwords and and there wasn't as much available as there is today and it waskind of demonised to find that. It was a lot of conversations around explainhow the product work, and so I feel like I have kind of alot of foundations there that served me well later, you know, in termsof throughout my career. I think, if I reflect, I do thinkthat kind of set me up to be kind of more more customer first,but I learned a lot also kind of in I I divide my career upat Google kind of into two halves. There was kind of everything I didfrom kind of add words to to media and within the brand team, andthen the second half is kind of my my career within Google cloud. Andthat first half I was not a brand person, but my role sat withinthe brand team and I learned a ton from kind of the the early creativedirectors of Google, purely through US Moses, just about brand and thinking about customerinteractions with brand and how you build that and the power of the writtenword and deal with creative agencies and all of the stuff that. That wasvery much kind of customer centric, like what is their experience when they actuallyhave an interaction with us? And I think that kind of became my foundationthereafter. So I guess to try to kind of some of the answer toyour questions. Like, frankly, I think by just like happenstance, Igot good experience kind of in the beginning of my career that gave me kindof a mark of customer centric perspective as I evolved. Yeah, there isno substitute for that direct interaction with someone who doesn't understand or WHO's confused,frustrated, perhaps even angry. Just the empathy that we develop for people totruly understand where people are relative to us and the product. What a greatstart for you. So, for folks who are listening, I'm just goingto read Michelle's career progression. Will see...

...that's that first half, second halfand I'll follow it up with a really simple question for you. So again, Michelle started at Google as an ad words rep then was a b TobMedia Strategist to partner marketing manager to product marketing manager and SMB to global SMBmarketing lead for g suite, which I think is the transition to cloud,and then head of global global acquisition for the Google Cloud Growth Marketing team.And that was like, I think, a dozen years or so. Whatdoes it take to learn and grow and transition in an organization like Google?Or perhaps even you could lean on what you know about friends of yours whomaybe went off and started their own careers and and grew in there's but soyou can kind of take this any way that you want. But what kindof what I'm wondering is, you know, how much of it is a relationshiporientation? How much of it is, you know, a high level ofperformance? How much of it is lock like it just reflecting back onit, you know, what thoughts do you have about that, that progressionthrough to really a world class organization like Google? Yeah, you kind oftook the words right out of my mouth, because I think it's two things.I well, I think it's all three of those, but I'd sayfor me what's most salient. It was it was definitely a lot of hardwork and it was is certainly kind of performing and doing my job well,but it was also a lot of luck, and I will take a luck anyday, by the way. And it was luck in the sense thatI was fortunate enough, especially once I got to cloud, to have managersand leaders who invested in me and believed in me and took time to kindof mentor me and help me grow. It was luck in that I goton a rocket ship pretty early on and I will say when I first movedto cloud, it was it was not what it is today. It wasnot this like obvious, like this thing is going to the moon and back, and we were definitely kind of not the star child, will say,within Google. We didn't have a ton of investment and you know, Igot to be there through the transition to the point, you know, wherewe did become that, but we were not that in the early days,and so I just kind of happened to get on the right rocket ship thatwent all the way and then, you know, contrary to what kind ofmy tenure at Google might imply, it was never my intense to be alifer at Google. I thought it was an amazing company. It gave mea good start and multiple times I was like hey, I want to jumpout and do something else and in this is where luck will come in.Just you know, every year I had the opportunity to grow my scope tacklea new challenge. You know what, I think the titles probably don't fullylike showcases like what that scope and and the different kind of segments I startedto be across or functions I started to manage, like what that gave me, and that meant that every year was almost like I had a different joband that kept me engaged and motivated and certainly over time to the relationships didbecome pretty paramount. Right, you understand how to navigate an organization, whatmakes you successful, but then you also know people. Like I think,you need processes and you need structure, but at the end of the dayyou can also get a lot done through relationships and and the people that youknow, and the longer I was there, obviously kind of the more I buildout that net work. It's really good. I like your observation about, you know, my job, my my title might have stayed the samefor some period of time, but the job didn't. It's interesting. Ijust hit my tenure anniversary full time here at bombomb and when I reflect back, similarly, I had I've only had two titles here, but the jobwas never the same for more than like six to twelve months at a time, and the three words that I always associate with it are fun and interestingand challenging. And I've thought about doing other things too in this time,but it just kept staying fun and interesting and challenging and I think when we'reprivileged enough to have that opportunity in the context of doing work that we careabout with people that we care about, you know that that really starts tooutweigh, I think, the romantic attachment to how green the grass might looksomewhere else a hundred percent. And and...

...look, I think that fun comesfrom the people you work with. Like when I, you know, goingback to what I said before, when I started in cloud, which wasoriginally called Google Enterprise, like it wasn't the sexy thing to be working onby any means. We Google has an APMM program where their first year associatesrotate into their second year and all hiring managers are encouraged to take an associateand I remember they'd have like these these internal kind of hiring fairs. Ifyou will, and I'd go there to try to recur people into cloud andlike no one wanted to come. It's like either if it was one whereit was optional, no one would show up. And then there were yours, where it's like everyone had to be there, but like no one islistening to me. But over the course of a few years, not justdid the business to start to kind of grow and show like meaningful revenue,but we built a reputation for the culture that it was like a work hard, play hard culture. We had strong people, we had a lot offun. You know, I still remember used to play pictionary every Thursday andwe changed our reputation to the point where, like people would proactively seek me outand you know, when I reflect back, some stuff like that ismy barometer success. That is what I look at more than the campaigns Ilaunched or the revenue we drove, is kind of what did we build froma team perspective, in a culture perspective, and you know, that's what likemakes me most proud of my time. They're that's awesome night. I wouldimagine that like a few years removed now, what I think, maybefour or five years removed. I forget exactly. I don't have your linkedinprofile memorized. I'm just fed out of here with it. You know,I can only imagine, you know, some of the people perhaps that youdid wind up successfully recruiting into that team and engaging. I'm sure some ofthem are still there, but I'm sure that some of them have gone offand done really amazing things elsewhere too, and that's got to be a pointof joy or pride for you, a hundred percent. I mean I'd saylike at least once a week, between kind of Google and cabbage, Iget a text from someone on my old team, either just like saying hello, asking me for a job reference, which I'm always happy to do,and a hundred percent like the that's like that's my goal, like I wantand you know that's my goal Uber. You know, some point I willleave Uber, and that's what I hope will happen, is that I getTexas at least once a week from someone on my team here. Awesome.Quick Question. You did your psychology under grand a UCSB. You did anMBA and marketing management at Santa Clara. Any thoughts on you know, Ialways feel like I'm a big confession to you and to everyone listening. I'mI am a big fan of higher education. I think it's important, I thinkit's valuable. It played important role in my life. But for you, how do you think that set you up for any of the things thatyou've been challenged with or any things you've accomplished over the years? And perhapswhat was your motivation for the Mba and what do you feel like you gotout of it? Sir, you know, my motivation might not have been kindof the typical motivation. I actually got my MBA really early in mycareer. I was only a year out of school. I actually, atthe same time that I applied to Santa Clair Form My Mba, I appliedto Santa Clara to get my marriage family therapist license, because I was kindof at this cross roads coming out of college, is as a psych major, where like I actually really wanted to stay in psychology and go into therapy, but I also knew I wanted to do marketing and kind of going tothe business world. So I applied for both that I got it to boththat clearly we know our path from there. But my point is like for meit came at a time where I was kind of figuring out what Iwanted to do and more education, and I actually got my Mba at thesame time that I first started a google, so I was doing my mba atnight, so it was a parttime program it took me about three anda half years and it was what I needed at the time because it waskind of helping solidify for me that I did have this love for marketing andthat is where I wanted to go. I met some great people, soplayed a role. I also think in hindsight, and I won't revealed myage, but when it was a very,...

...very long time ago that I startedat Google and I was getting my Mba, in hindsight I think itwas one of the things that probably differentiated me when I was applying to Googleand got that job and seen as that was kind of the launching pad formy curt if that's what my Mba did for me, was like help mevalidate my love from marketing and help me stand out to get my foot inthe door Google, then to me that was success. I think Mbas canplay very different roles for different people, but that was my journey. Yeah, absolutely, in my MBA experience I would say at least, and Iwent to a different type of school. It's like it's the is the ColoradoSprings portion of the U see or caught Universe Colorado system, based out ofBoulder, and so a lot of the students that I was in class with, I'd see, maybe even half to two thirds, were working for likeLockheed Martin or some of these other large companies that have a strong presence inthe area. So they weren't paying for it out of pocket like I was. They knew that they were moving to like, you know, paid tiersix, one beer or whatever the case. We like did a very specific outcome. So I was I was a bit more like you, where Ijust thought it'd be fun to do, an interesting to do, and Ilove that you mentioned the word the relationships that you build. They're used theword relationships, and you know what, I reflect back on mine, it'sjust is constructive. Is like a good in way to spend time and tolike exercise my mind and expose myself to new ideas, but then also exposedmyself to New People. So I had no plan for it. I don'tknow how it specifically helped me, but but I but I found a valueof. Do you? Thank you so much for sharing that. Hey,as a listener to this episode with Michelle, you might enjoy episode seventy two whereI talked with Shanie Benzor of crunch base. She's the tree chief marketingand growth officer there. I think she was head of marketing, media andgrowth at the time. It is since ascended to a chief position at crunchbase. We call that one. Better marketing through product sales and customer conversations. That was a little bit woven into our conversation here, Michelle, where, you know, Shannie and I talked a bit about having more direct conversationswith all of the people involved to create shared understanding and how to integrate someof that qualitative feedback in order to improve experiences for customers. So that's episodeseventy two with Chanie from crunch base and then more recently on episode one hundredand Twenty Eight, with John Miller, who's built a very impressive career himselfand is currently chief marketing and product officer at demand base after cofounding and then, I think, being acquired. He was cofounded engage, you know,and which was inquired by a demand base that one was shifting your focus toaccount based experience and in that conversation, the reason it came to mind basedon what we were some of what we were talking about here. Or wasit he talked a lot about his time at Marquetto and in marketing automation,how was very lead based, in individual based, and then this move toan account basis, which is what they were doing and engage you, andthen this idea of account based experience that they're pioneering at demand base. Andit really is this kind of like the fluidity between kind of a be Tocto be, to be motion, but really from a technology angle with JohnMiller, who's a very accomplished person that space. So, Michelle, thishas been a pleasure. But before I let you go, I always becauserelationships are our number one core value here at Bomba, would love to giveyou the opportunity to thank or mention someone who's had a positive impact on yourlife or your career and then, for fun, to put you more inthe customer seat instead of the head of marketing seat, that maybe name acompany or brand that you really appreciate for the experience that they deliver for youas a customer. Sure thinker mentioned, I will mention my sisters. I'mI'm the middle of three girls. I think my sisters bring very different perspectives, each of them that are very they're both different, they're different than myown, and I think they keep me grounded and ways that are very importantfor me in terms of I think the other one was companies and customer service. There's a few that come to mine...

...and you're going to ask that.I'm going to go through them quickly, because they have like three attributes thatI think are so important awesome. One is Kad of going in because theystand by their product forever. Another is American Express, which might not betoo surprising, but it's because I have specifically had an experience with them whereI'm canceling a card and I've never had an easier experience in my life.They make it easy to leave and the REP even on my way out,made sure that I utilized on my points and kind of got the benefits fromit and made that so seamless. And then the last one is my favoriteplace to be. It's the only store I actually physically go to, whichis target, and that is because, you know, I don't work fortarget. I've never asked this, but they clearly must empower their employees,like all the way down, to make anything right for the customer, becauserepeatedly I will ask something and they will make it right, they will giveme a discount, they will let me return something, and that experience iskind of paramount. So it's like standing by your products, making it easyfor people to leave and then making things right, and I feel like thatkind of combined gives you an amazing customer experience, really powerful, really welldone. I have heard Patagonia before, but I hadn't heard either of thoseothers at this point in the conversation. I've personally twice taken Patagonia up onyou know, their their lifetime backing in actually three times now. So oncethey did a straight outright replacement for something that I had for like five yearswith a brand new product and frankly, we like I had worn it out, but you know, it's to use, perhaps coming to part in a waythat maybe shouldn't have, but they replaced it out right and two othertimes they've just repay send it to us, will fix it, send it back, and they did that, to which I love the I love therepair and even their worn ware break out now to so really good calls.Quick follow up about your sisters. Would either one of them perhaps have beenmore excited about you continuing to pursue the psychology interest in your career? Like, did they? You just mentioned that they're both different and they've helped youin different ways, and so it just made me think. You know,you had this this this opportunity earlier in your life, in your career,to kind of pursue one path or the other. Do you think either oneof them would have maybe been more excited or more encouraging of that direction?I'm sure there's supportive of you regardless, but no, I think they wouldprobably tell you I psycho, psychoanalyze everything, so in their minds are probably stillhave about path. I don't think so. I think like it.In that regard, they're they're super supportive and yeah, awesome, and Ido think probably, if you do psychoanalyze, if you carry a lot of thatFord it's so helpful for leadership and management, just understanding people and helpingguide people to a better solution. You mean, you said the word marriageearlier and I'm like, it just makes me think about I've often thought aboutparenting and it's kinship to leadership and management, but I'm sure marriage counseling has somedynamics that are very useful as well, I've no doubt, and certainly havingkids has, I think, been a big part of shaping like theleader I am today. Awesome, Michelle. If someone has enjoyed this conversation asmuch as I have and they want to learn more about you or aboutUber for business, where would you send people to follow up on this?We were for desicious. Go to ubercom slash business very easy, and Iaccept requests on Linkedin, so please reach out. Awesome. I am Ethan, but you can also hit me up on Linkedin. She is Michelle Leasowski. I appreciate you listening in. Michelle, I so appreciate your time and whatyou've shared with us our thank you, Ethan. Great chatting. One ofthe most impactful things you can do to improve customer experience and employee experienceis to include some video messages in your daily digital communication. Explain things moreclearly, convey the writ emotion and tone, save time by talking instead of typing, prevent those unnecessary meetings. There are so many benefits to using simplevideos and screen recordings, and bombomb makes it easy. In email, Linkedinor slack messages from Gmail Outlook, sales...

...force, outreach or Zen desk.Learn how Bombom can help you and your team with clear communication, human connectionand higher conversion. Visit Bombombcom today. Thanks for listening to the customer experiencepodcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to createand deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tacticsby subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player or visit bombombcom. PODCASTS.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (180)