The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 weeks ago

212. Making Happiness A Habit to Improve CX and EX w/ Adrian Brady-Cesana

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

When you’ve been in the business of customer experience for nearly two decades, you’ve seen every interaction of what CX can mean at the individual and corporate level.  

The “why” behind CX and the importance of is as simple as making happiness a habit. Keeping your team running smoothly so they’re happy and keeping your clients in the know so they’re happy.  

Easier said than done.  

Hear our conversation with Adrian Brady-Cesana, Founder and Chief Experience Officer at CXChronicles:

  • What the four pillars of customer experience are according to Adrian
  • Why companies need a dedicated Customer Experience team member
  • What the challenges are around successful Customer Experience 
  • How the differences between Customer Success and Customer Experience set themselves apart  

More information about Adrian Brady-Cesana and today’s topics:

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

The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Team tools, process and feedback. These are the four customer experience pillars. Team tools, process and feedback. You'll learn about them today with a guest who's held c x Rolls and titles longer than most, going back more than fifteen years, including several years leading customer experience at a few VC back startups in New York City. Today he's the founder and chief experience officer at C X Chronicles, he's host of the C X Chronicles podcast and he's the author of the four C X pillars to grow your business now that customer experience manager playbook. Adrian Brady Chosana. Welcome to the customer experience podcast, Ethan. Thank you so much for having me today. Man, I'm super pumped to get into the conversation with you. Yeah, me too. We've had a number of conversations in the past that we haven't recorded and released. It's always fun. I love your energy and, most importantly, as I kind of referred to in that Uh Intro, I love your depth of commitment and expertise in this zone. So I've got a bunch of questions that I haven't asked anyone or haven't asked them in a long time, and we'll get to those. But we'll start with one that I asked everybody, which is, when I say customer experience, what does that mean to you? So number one, Um, customer experience. One of the reasons why I think this is one of the most fun parts to be in any business. Ethan, it can be incredibly expansive. I think when I typically tell people Um, when they asked me or what's this whole customer experience game about, I often refer to the journey ethan. I immediately get them to visualize and put a story in their head around. Think about your cust stomer journey. Think about all of the intricacies that goes into making a customer aware that that you even exist. You've got products, you've got services, you've got a team. Um, how do they consider what the options are, what the market options are what your competitors look like. Um, how do you there's the fun party thing. How do you convert them? How do you actually make them living, breathing, paying customers who you've you've betted the fact that you've got potential possibilities to help their business, help their team, help whatever they're trying to trying to resolve, and the conversion parts always a fun part. Then we get into on boarding right, thinking about how do you actually bring them into your sphere, bring them into your ecosystem. Um, show them your world, show them your product, show them all that your company or your team can bring to the table. Then we get into fun stuff of account management and customer success, which is obviously a big part of what I think we'll we'll we'll get into today Ethan, a lot of the work that we do at c exceed and the last part of the retention man the loyalty and retention. What are the different things that you need to think about to keep people around for the long haul? Focus on increasing your retention, focus on Increa, seeing your LTV and making sure that, instead of maybe going out and finding the next one fifty brand new shiny logos and badges you get exceptional at ripping up your LTV. Maybe a smaller number of people that are fit for your product, your service, love the different angle that you're taking to market and they view you as a trusted strategic advisor partner. So like customer experience. For me, man, it's really getting into the weeds and getting into the bells and the whistles across that entire customer journey in all of those specific phases within it. Yeah, I love it. So there's obviously a very human side and a very emotional side to it and for for folks that are listening, of course we put up video highlights on social and in every blog post at bombomb dot com slash podcast. So you want to check that out and get links and see video highlights of this episode. Um, if you do that for this episode, which I think is going to be episode to twelve, you can see behind Adrian that he has a really cool looking banner that says C XC Chronicle. SARRY C X chronicles. Make happy is a habit. So you kind of covered kind of the mechanics of it. Speak to that human emotional side and specifically, I guess, speak to that make happiness a habit like, how do you like? How do we bake that in? How do what's the relationship between the touch points and the feelings from your perspective? So number one, I I just think that you know, as you mentioned Ethan earlier, like all of these different businesses that I was a part of, different leadership teams, different markets, different industries, totally different types of builds and make some models of what we're trying to bring to market. I think the thing that I started to realize early was, um, you know, to build world class incredible customer experience, you've got to have world crass incredible employee experience. Right. So I'm constantly talking about the triangulation or the balancing of sound c x being literally built, curated and delivered by sound e X. It's gonna be the guys and the gals that are showing up your business every single day. They're thinking about your team management, they're thinking about the tools, they're thinking about process, they're thinking...

...about feedback. But here's the other thing. Simply putting this is obviously not my my, my wisdom. That's been said for for for everything, but people oftentimes by from other people right, and people oftentimes when they find a brand or they find a business or they find a product or they find a service, there's still a person, or there's still a set of people, whether it was the salesperson that found them and introduced them to this possibility, whether it's the customer success manager who owns their day to day and their week to week and their month to month. Um, you know account management. But there's people are the essence of building an incredible C X and C and e x. The reason why we we we always talk about making happiness to have it on on the podcast and with our customers at C X C is. It's simple, ethan, it's really simple. It's is complex as you think you can get or as deep and as wide as you want to get with the way that you're going to manage or optimize or scale your four six pillars. You've got to keep this one principle very simple, which is make happiness to habit. Obviously it's a ton of fun to make customer happiness to have it, because if you're doing that, let's call it what, it is probably easier to create sales, probably easier to uh to to to be able to offer new products, new services. You've got an abundance of happy customers that are willing to listen to that. But then on the employee side, I mean call it what it is. Most of US spend more times with our coworkers than we do with our families and our best friends. Right. So making that X and making your employee happiness just like a pivotal part of your goals and your trajectory and your your ongoing evolution growth. It typically resonates with people man and I think the other thing too, is it's just it keeps a simple it keeps a simple way of putting a framework around how expansive and how complex our wonderful world of customer experience and customer success can actually get, depending on the different businesses and teams that that folks are sitting on today. I love it. It reminds me of several recent conversations. One that comes to mind is Elizabeth Dixon. I don't remember what episode that is, but I anchored episode two D of this show is dedicated to employee experience and it was twelve different clips from twelve different people, including Elizabeth Dixon, who said, uh, this is my favorite way that I've heard this idea phrases. Your customer experience will never be better than your employee experience, Um, which is kind of in writing the zone you talking about. And then it reminds me of more recent one with Niata Chokin, who said, Um, do I think I need to be likable to be a good salesperson? No, but it doesn't hurt. You know why not? We're only doing this whole life experience once and we're only building this business once. Why not make it a happy experience for everyone around us? Um. So we're right at the doorstep. We've mentioned see x chronicles a few times now. For folks that aren't familiar, tell us about the work you're doing it see x chronicles. Who's your ideal customer and what are some of the problems that you're solving for them? So number one, the bulk of the work that we do with sex for our clients today, Ethan. We provide a number of different fractional c xo based managed services. Um. I think the big thing that I saw early on in my career. So often these growth focused companies there, there, there, the minute they get their first ten or their first twenty five or maybe the as fifty customers, wrangled up in the pen. They start to think about customer experience or customer success or customer support, right, and oftentimes, you know, they kind of jump right into that higher right, let me go find my first customer success manager. I'll go find my first director of C X, or whatever they're calling all these different terms for, for really the same types of things that that people are doing to keep your customers happy. Make sure that your portfolio is healthy, make sure that people are engaged, they're utilizing your products, your services. Let's let's talk about the important part, even the dollar dollar bills, to making sure that they're paying for this stiff right, they're paying for it. There's a opportunity for upsell, Opportunity for cross sell Um and, more important, I think some of some some of the best companies out there that are really killing it on the c x side part of where they're like evolution of products, services and tomorrow's possible revenue accelerators. They come from these incredible relationships, right. They come from understanding everything about a customer, understanding what what drives the point of contact, understanding how they can, as I said earlier, embed themselves and really truly become a strategic partner, not just the person who's kind of managing the Willie thereware for your software, your product or your service, but like get to the point where you understand who customers are who start you understand who your customers customers are and you actually start making an impact. Um and driving and all the different calls to action are all the different possibilities that can make their relationship deeper and more expansive and obviously the money comes after this Um. So we work with a number of different growth focused companies today, Ethan Um. Most of our companies are between fifty and a hundred people today Um and usually what what we've kind of hit our our sweet spot on the six Ethan is we try to intercept some of these companies that think that they're ready to start hiring for a director of customer experience or they think that they're ready to start going out and finding whomever their vp of C X or CSU or client services is, and we make sure that they actually have a sound understanding and foundation on a couple of things. Number One, selfishly, we absolutely introduce our our four C X pillar framework. I think all of...

...are super comfortable and familiar with the old adage of people process product. I added that extra piece of feedback based on I think it was probably the third or the fourth vetro capital back started ethan where I started realizing, wait a minute, it's not just people process product. Where are we adding the fourth element or the fourth major foundational piece for how you're gonna get customer feedback and how you're gonna get employee feedback and how you're gonna triangulate, normalize and typically man oftentimes you're finding the mirroring trends, themes, opportunities, consternation of friction points and man, it made it's so much easier to really start to think about how you're going to prioritize the different things that you're able to go out and tackle, whether you're using okay ours or whether you have your strategic quarterly goals or whatever your company or your leadership team is doing. And really we we we we leverage Um our our connectivity with the C X nations. So, similar to Ethan guys, we've had the privilege of meeting with so many incredible customer focused business leaders from all of the world. We've highlighted a ton of their stories and a ton of their their backgrounds on the C X C podcast. But then we begin to leverage that network Ethan too. So there's there's a ton of the work that we're doing is helping people understand. There already are guiding principles and themes around how to think about team construction. There's already a ton of work that's been done by wildly intelligent people around how to think about your toolkit, not only your tool kit construction but your toolkit optimization and then your ongoing toolkit management. A couple of different things there on the process side. You know, Ethan, you never were just joking, joking around over the last three years, this idea of having incredibly curated, um tight updated living playbooks, knowledge bases, F A Q bases or confluences of knowledge. It's it's, it's it's paramount right. We've got most of us have moved into minimally a hybrid if many of us are in a remote working environment, probably as long as we care for and obviously some of our friends are obviously happy to get back to the office and get away from, uh, you know, their spouses and their children at least what? What? What? Or two days a week just to kind of get some peace and some quiet and it's a focus time. But that process pieces become huge, Ethan, because now companies have to have a place that customers and employees can go digging answers to get updates, to get quick links, to get different types of tips and ideas for how they're going to actually have an incredible experience working with a given product or a brand. Um. And then the last one on the feedback side, and I know that this is an awesome audience for this today, but there are so many different ways that you can measure and manage and collect an assess and potentially act upon feedback. So we spend a ton of time working with their clients to think about how are they leveraging surveys? How are they leveraging customer listening tours? How are they leveraging online sentiments? So so Ethan. I mean you were talking about last week, but for some of our our SASS listeners, people that are building tomorrow SASS leading companies, there's so much there's such an abundance of social sentiment um on different sites like g two and Captara and Gardner and Google and all these different public places where it's literally where most new customers or new I C P S or new potential opportunities that are gonna work with Your Business. It's where they're gonna start their church. So constantly thinking about how you can really leverage all of these different things, and and and and always thinking about and bringing it back to that simple idea of how can you use all of these different learnings and fightings to make customer happiness to have it and to make your employee happy to have it? Man, so much good stuff in there and there's so many places I could pick up. I guess I'M gonna go back, probably nineties seconds or so, to this idea of they often think they're ready for, or aren't sure if they're ready for, a c x manager or a C X leader. And so what are a couple of things that someone listening like Gosh, you know, I've been I've heard a bunch of episodes of this or I listened to see x chronicles right. You know, this has been kind of it's been steering up and now we need to act on it and we don't have anyone with a c x Roller a title. Um, I don't know if we should. What are a few key considerations? There and take that anywhere you want. Like, Um, should we start fractional? Um? What is the right role? Where do they like plug again? Right is this? Do they plug into the C X or to the C S Organ report to a chief customer officer, if there's one? They're like, Um, talk about that, like how do I assess where I am relative to truly operationalizing and committing to a customer experience, Um aspect to our business from not having one? Okay, so awesome question, Ethan. I think you're like four questions there. So asking set of questions. I love it. We're gonna we're both gonna be answering each other with multiple, multiple sets of questions back. But no, let me let me pack the first part, which is number one. Let's talk brass acts. If you were in a major American city, US city, and you're in New York City, you're San Francisco. Um, a lot of startup founders they're they're kind of blown away once they get to that point and they go wait a minute, I'm sorry, did you just say that my director of vp of c x or CS is going to be a hundred and fifty thousand dollar year base base salary, investment minimum. Then I'm going to add thenies on top. Then I'm probably gonna if they're the right a player, they're the right...

...up a guy or gallant's gonna help bring you from, you know, being pre series a to post series C and beyond, and they're gonna be the type of guy or galant's gonna be able to bring you from ten million dollars to twenty five to fifty million dollars. There are you're gonna be looking at a hundred fifty bass salary, you're gonna be looking at the Benny's, you're gonna be looking at their equity and then you're gonna be looking at an individual that has either kind of gone through and done a fair amount of heavy lifting and actually done a bunch of practical real world construction around the four pillars, meaning they've built several teams. They understand the dues and the notes or the INS and the outs. They understand market compensation right like c SMS Ethan, as you and I were joke joking about a little bit earlier. Like the guys, I'm blown away by the future of CSM s. If someone with some when young people that are listening to the C C Pin when they asked me it or what's a role that you'd be focused on for the next five or ten years, they say look at the abundance of Customer Success Manager Roles and then start to look at what some of these C s m rolls are actually paying in major cities. Because, guys, if you're the type of individual that can go to a business and help ten, fifteen customers at one to five, ten million of portfolio value and you're you're good enough at number one retaining revenue, are better yet you're you have the ability of growing that portfolio by ten, you're in a position where you're gonna be able to have an incredible career. You'RE gonna YOU'RE gonna be in an autonomous situation where your real job is managing relationships, managing accounts, bringing sales feedback, bring a marketing feedback, bringing product feedback around the goods, the bads, the dues, the don'ts Um. So that's one big thing, but I think the other thing is, is this even what I started to learn? Kind of why I'll I can't speak for some of the other people out there, but for me, part of why I started see e c what I started realizing by the third of the fourth venture capital Startup and kind of why I started the same way. An I gotta figure out another path for myself. It's super common, even at excellent, well funded startups with, you know, executive leadership team that have supposedly been there and done that before or they've sold companies before. It's a really hard position to be listening to the pulse of the customer, constantly understanding what you do exceptionally well, understanding what you're terrible at, understanding what your customers do want, understanding what your customers don't want. Now flip the flip the camera over to the e x part of the studio. Then you know everything about the guys and the girls that are actually managing your customer relationships every day. You know what they love about the business, love about the mission, love about the Toolkit, maybe they love about the leadership or don't love about the leadership. But when you start to embed yourself in being essentially the flywheel of feedback and the flywheel or the agent change or the change agent that can actually drive innovation and change, that position is only fun when you're actually working at a company where things are changing and improvements are being made and product features and products sets and product fixes are getting wheeled out every damn week and you're in a highly engaged, highly socialized environment where you know the executive leadership teams story, Mail with your extended leadership team story and the troops feel like they're part of understanding where the ship is going and they understand what type of waters they're in, they understand what the climate looks like and they can make sound decisions as to whether or not that's a ship that they want to be on it. They want to continue to figure out how maybe they take more senior positions on that ship over time, or whether or not they're in the wrong the wrong ocean altogether and they gotta figure a completely different line out to sort of go. So I think it's it's I know I threw a lot of different things at you, but here's the last part. I think too, is every business has got its own wild set of challenges and complexities and every industry brings its own set of challenges and complexities and I think what I've seen Ethan especially, and I think you'll appreciate this man especially, I was growing the C X chronicles community. I started realizing all the different cuts or all the different uh, the different slates of customer focused business leaders that are out there, and I think it's really really common for Um, you know, executive leadership teams to think that because the guy or Gal has fifteen years of c x or C s experience, maybe be in financial technology, they think that it will be a natural jump to just bump them over into se x and C as healthcare, right and that's not the case. So I think that there's a number of other Um things that we've really been able to work with our clients and to make sure that there's UM alignment, clarity expectations early on and then, more more importantly, um I talk about hard skills and soft skills allow with our clients because, like there's gonna be certain hard skills that specific companies that are more complex. Maybe they're more mathematical, maybe it's more maybe it's more analytical. Maybe it's all about your ability to drive Um, the way that you're going to be able to use, use and leverage your data to tell a story or to show a set of possibilities, whereas other other other roles in other industries might just be about rolling your sleeves up and being able to bang out the next one customers that you have to onboard, or thinking about maybe your different cuts of your customer segments. Maybe it's like you need folks that your c SMS can manage your mid and your low level accounts, because your directors and your VPS are doing everything to keep your Wales on track and making sure that the parade...

...or of your revenue is like having an incredible, you know, lockstop experience with Your Business. So there's a number of different ways that you can really kind of get into the get into the weeds on this even okay, I've got like eight more questions in my head and I'll just speak them out so it'll help me remember them and maybe you will too. Um, I think we'll start with something around Um, which you feel like, because you drew out a really interesting example there, like can you just jump from a Fintech to a healthcare organization? And so you know, there's a question I have there about what do you think is more important in terms of whether it's a C S or a C X leader, Um that you're considering? How important is intimacy with the customer and intimacy with the problem and intra intimacy with the market, in the in the industry, or the vertical versus Um. I've done cs and C x processes before and I know the tools and I know how to connect them and I've and I've hired people into these teams. Like I know it's probably both hand. You're looking for the person who's both, but like the way I set that up, like because you did say like this might not translate to here. And so I mean, obviously the heart of customer success is caring a lot about knowing a lot about the customer and their problem, your customers customer, and being able to help them solve their customers customers problem. Like that is through customer success. But then you also have kind of all these mechanics in this very new field. Generally, those of us that are immediate to it, um it feels like, yeah, we've been talking about this for years, and we have. But I went to an academic event and the whole key this year, the whole keynote, was about customer success and had this emerging field. I was like, Whoa, that's where you know, and I just took a step back and said, oh well, I work in software, so is this? I'm right up against it. So this is a difficult skill set, that the one that I described. But so is intimacy and actually caring and being passionate about the customer and the problem. Yep, you know, I'm glad you brought this up. We were actually just we were invited to a C X forums event in Chicago just a few weeks ago and I'm at an individual who's literally leading up, Um, I think, one of the first programs where you can literally get your masters and customer experience. And the interesting part about it was it was a bunch of Michigan State, Michigan State, by the way, and Ethan. I'll I'll make sure we can add these to the show notes for anyone that's interested. But essentially we're there now, man, we're about to start having some of these major universities that number one, let's let's universities, talk about having to think about rebooting and revamping your customer journey map, because they're about to they're about to go into a whole new world with what types of hard skills and soft skills should they be giving their customers either students to prepare them for the new upcoming world? But anyway, this individual had this incredible thing that he was he was presenting around. How the fact there's a bunch of customer focused business leaders who are looking for additional hard skill, granular, mathematic and scientific based approaches to how they can either go get a bigger C X or C s role or maybe run a run a C X or a C s role at a larger company where you're dealing with an abundance of data and abundance of customer obviously the complexity gets a little bit of harder when you go from managing a hundred account or hundred customers to a hundred thousand. It's a different ball game. It's a very different set of skills Um but there's something else that I just want to call out Ethan to to your questions. I think you know, one of the big things that we talked about all the time on the C X C podcast and I absolutely spend a ton of time talking about with our clients at sex. You know, we believe that C X so customer experience and customer success. It's modern selling in today's world. If you really think about it, it's your ability to retain everyone that you've already brought across the finish line as long as you possibly can create an army of promoters out of that same group. So in effect, your sales and your marketing team can take some of the some of that pressure, some of that stress of constantly going out into the forest and find in the next ten brand new logos, but instead leveraging some of your existing customers who already love the product, love the service, love the team, love the features, Love the support and they go and they can tell ten of their friends, right, and if you can get a hundred people to go tell a ten of their friends and get a thousand new opportunities who are working with but I say all the time that it's modern selling. But here's the other thing. The best see X and C s efforts that we see in some of the privileges that we've had to work with some of the customers that we've been working with. They've viewed C X and CS as a team sport across the organization. Right, it's not just your chief customer officer, your Chief Experience Officer or your chief evangelist or your chief customer evangelists. It's it's being able to leverage the individual that's leading the customer experienced customer success uh initiatives in your business and building bridges, I would argue, blowing silos down or building bridges to the silos and constantly thinking about Um all of the different touchpoints that I mentioned earlier around all of the different facets of the journey. So like, honestly, to answer the question, it's like, until you've been able to map these journeys, until you've been able to Vali dates,...

...some of the internal journeys that you create with actual customers, that's one of my favorite parts, by the way. You thing is like you do a dynamice job with an awesome team building out a phenomenal updated customer journey map. All right, customer, let's have ten of your customers. We'd love to call them and double check some of this with with with the people that are actually experienced it. And then you start to look for differences. You look for areas of breakdown where maybe your internal team says, well, wait a and then your customering goes, yeah, I never had an onboarding. So how did you have an entire section and onboarding when reality is we we, we, we sent in the check and then, you know, we started getting the tool or getting the access to the services. And so, anyway, I think that's another big thing. But the last part is this man I think like just the advice around how up and coming tomorrow, Tomorrow's C X and CS or customer focus business leaders. One of your biggest roles in the C X, in the C S leadership space, it's creating clarity around three big areas accountability, responsibility and authority. Because again, and you can think of take a simple journey map or take a simple organizational chart view of this. But until you've really identified who's accountable for what, who has the responsibility on their teams and within their budgets to manage what, and then who's got the authority to actually go get it done so you're not constantly getting blocked by your own team, it's really, really hard to drive innovation. It's really, really hard to take ten pieces of customer feedback gold and bring the three that are for sales, the three that are for marketing, the three for a product and actually build on and act upon it. And I think a lot of companies, you know, they can be good at the collecting and they can get an assessing because anybody can drive a survey monkey survey and anybody can kind of create simple five buckets on who your promoters, your passives, your detractors are. What most people struggle with is how do we take that information and go create an action plan with it? And best and even better yet, once we've gone through the realistic actionable items, how do you get your customer back on the phone or, in eathans world, right back onto a video and make sure that you're explaining the value that you just drove or or you're showing the return on investment that you've just created right? And I think that that's going to be a major shift from some of the traditional customer success or customer support or even early customer experience thought lagers where they where? They kind of talk about this high level stuff. Man, it's the ability to create that action and then socialize from the action how that customer helped to contribute to not only improving their own experience with your business, but you just leverage that for everyone else in business. Customers love being a part of that type of collaboration and they love knowing that their thoughts, their fingerprints, their ideas literally got tucked into next month's okay ours. That's like one of the best places you can be when you're building out a customer portfolio and leading a customer experience or customer success team. Really good small details to two things. One I'm gonna ask you. What are those three things again? Accountability, responsibility and clarity. Authority. Accountability, responsibility and authority. And guys, it's as simple as think about every one of your teams in your departments today, in Your Business, and I don't care if you're start up, if you've got five thousand people in the business, and just making sure that you understand those three pieces in the cells part of the of the of the ecosystem, in the marketing part, and the Customer Success UH team, in the product team, in the analytics team, certainly on your executive leadership team. I'd argue, many e lt or many extended, many executive leadership teams. I think this is another hard part. Right. It's a difficult it's a set of difficult conversations, it's a set of difficult decisions that needs to be made and nobody likes giving up authority, but the reality is if you want to make huge, huge gains and increased velocity in a short period of time, you've got to let smart people do the things that you brought them into your business or into your company to do better than you can do. Yeah, the other thing I want to highlight is this idea that I think a lot of people often take for granted, the idea of communicating back the value that you've created together with your customer for them. I think we just assumed that, like you know, we did what we said we would do and that they know what the value is. I think being explicit about that, a your ability to know that for charters and be be your commitment to communicate that on some regular basis, I think, is a big thing. So we we've been interchanging a little bit customer success and customer experience and in my mind, but you're deeper in this every day than I am, I'm just talking to smart people like you about it. Um Customer Experience, where that where those two separate, is that customer experience is more likely, no matter where they're housed in the organization to be the one that builds that bridge into marketing and into sales and helps facilitate that feedback. And the CS leader is managing all posts sale, driving a lot of those actions, revenue and service and support and otherwise, and C x is the one that kind of builds that bridge across the organizations. Is that how you think about it? Like just for for for those of us that aren't like just break down the difference between the two from your perspective. I think that the way that I typically answer the ether. There's like three ways of breaking this down. So...

C X is typically focusing on Um, as they mentioned at the start of the show. It's the vast and expansive journey map, Um buckets and areas of concentration. Because again, I I give it, I'm giving an updated uh ador Bridigeo version of this. I think that you're gonna see way more chief chief customer officers and chief experience officers taking on traditional chief marketing officer roles. For sure. I think that there's number one. There's so much. Sorry, historically there's been so much hypothetical Um brand related imagery, related all of these things that don't necessarily talk back to the existing customers that you've already got, whether it's establishing definitions on who your customer segments are, what the different user personas look like, what's your I C P s are? We spend a ton of time talking about ideal customer profile definitions. Right, not every company has it's either either. It's amazing how many companies can get north of a million or even up to five million dollars of the annual recurring revenue and they don't have these definitions. It's incredible. It proves to you that you know, Um, sound work and a great team and just that that, that, that that relentlessness and not stopping, you can absolutely get any business in any team off the ground. There's no question about it. But but C X, it's really about the customer touchpoints. Ethan, it's about understanding the different customer touch points. It's about understanding those areas of accountability, responsibility and authority. And then really it's about when you think about strategy and brand and some of the different ways that you storyteller or position to your business, that's still absolutely a part of a modern customer experience. Um, I think when you get to customer success you're absolutely correct, man. Now we've typically already on board in the customer most companies today are obviously investing. Actually there's a ton of companies out there that are are really doubling down on this customer success notion. They're thinking about wait a minute, if we're already if we already know that of our sales team continues to have to be performance improvement planned out of the organization. But we can effectively take some of that money and expand our customer success operations or expand our customer success management or just expand our customer success bandwidth and capacity in general. There's a lot of we could have a whole other episode just around portfolio capacity. We could have like six episodes, and I've I've we're gonna have to we're gonna have to dive into some of the separately, but but basically that customer success pieces really where you get into people stuff. Ethan Right. It's like making sure that accounts are being managed, making sure the points of contact you're feeling loved and feeling felt and feeling heard, making sure that support matters are getting done, because this is the other thing I've spent so much time even on this on the serious chronicles podcasts, Ethan, we have people talking about how they double down on support. But if nobody's there to make sure that some of the tickets, sitting and support are actually getting done, and if nobody's there thinking about some of the strategic account based opportunities on those tickets, you're missing an opportunity for upselling and cross selling. You're definitely falling behind the retention. You're probably starting to get some of your first yellow and red customer health accounts without even maybe even knowing it yet, right, because that's the type of stuff that leads to an eventual churn or leads to our customers eventually thinking about what are the market opportunities are out there? Um on on on on the on the last part, though, too, it's Um. I think it's just this idea of the support I think really is Um, a third piece to this. So like if customer experiences about customer journey mapping, ownership, definitions, socialization and just General Management, customer success is about your people and your customers. I think that the support part is is often another really overlooked one, Ethan. It's really common for some of these small, smaller, scrappier startups that have these awesome ideas maybe have their initial boltpend of customers. They'll say, well, we'll just have our C SMS do all of it and and that can work. It can. It can at least show you the paths or it can show you what will or what won't work. But that's not possible because, frankly, they're all these things are different. So then the support side is another part where to have excellent, sound customer experience management, Customer Success Management Support. Oftentimes it's going to be your resolution arm, it's your ability to get back to customers say hey, the three last three things that you told us we're maybe not great or not perfect or needed adjustment or needed to be evolved. Here you go, here they're done. They're done. Are Support Teams Disabled? So, like it's a matter of really kind of understanding some of the different tranches. Here's the last thing I'll say is this. I do believe that with different businesses and with different industries, as we've worked with more and more and more different types of clients, I do still think there's some customizations some of this. I do think certain executive leadership teams, inside of their growth plans, their scale plants. There's gonna be some of these ideas that fit inside of those molds and there's gonna be some that don't. Or they're already gonna know where they're more comfortable, doubling down certain debts or hedging certain beats. So I think it's important to call that out. The last thing is this people that are privileged enough to work in a product that truly does sell itself. So when we hear all this talk about customer leg growth or product leg growth, folks that are working at a product company that it's an incredible product. It works on the first time, it requires very little onboarding or national supporter guardrails. USABILITY, stickiness and engagement is...

...natural because it's such a good tool that, like you, immediately see why you would never want to not have the tool. Different ballgame. That's where some of the things that we're talking about on the customer experience, Customer Success Management Side, they might not be as relevant. It could be truly more about support because your product or your tool is doing such a phenomenal job it keeps people engaged for you. So there's a number of different ways that you can kind of kind of think about it. The one that we didn't talk about, but I don't want to muddy these waters. There's the other piece of the UX and the UI ethen right, there's a ton of confusion around how to S X and CS and U X and user and how do all these things come together, and the reality is I think some of the companies and some of the customer focused business leaders that I've had the privilege of chatting with that are doing the best job. They unite all of those camps. So C X, C S U X, it's it is a it's a well unified front, it's highly collaborative, it's highly socializing, all of the different sets that they're working on in their in their own retrospective spaces, and they are combining essentially people and the product and the process from day one to think about all of their evolutionary work and all of their um their optimization pass forward as they grow or as they scale their business. So good, Um. So we were primarily talking with marketing, sales and customer success leaders on this show, but I've definitely had multiple, I can think of a handful of them right now, Ui UX conversations in there and it's interesting because one of the background questions I've had that I haven't asked yet because there's so many questions I have for you. Um is is Um, the feedback loop, uh, from CS back into marketing Um, and I would also extend that to say the best place to start with a, with an I C P development process is in CS. Who Do you already have? Because it's a lifetime value conversation at some level. I think a lot of people undertake that from an aspirational perspective of who do we want to go chase or attract, whereas the better question is who's already getting massive value from this and how, you know, how can we develop a persona from there? Um? But then this other layer of you know, I feel like for us at Bom bomb there's a great feedback loop between Um Product and cs because of the support side, right, and it's really around bugs or confusion or people seem to be getting hung up here. They're confused about this or you know, someone that we're plugged into and reliant on from an integration perspective changed something but we didn't know about like so that. So that loop is there, but I think this you like bringing in the product piece into it now you're talking about the whole company at some level. Well, I think the other thing is this man. I think that, like honestly, so many companies, they focus on that collection piece. So to your point, Ethan around, how do you impack this feedback part? And think about it, and everybody listening has an has example of this. But maybe you're excellent at managing or deploying surveys, whether it's your MPs or your C sat. Maybe you're doing customer effort scoring, maybe you're doing products satisfaction scoring. There's all these different ways that you can count measure. Maybe you're doing focus groups. Maybe you're the type of business where you're still early stage, you're trying to figure out how to even get to that first million dollars of air are. Maybe you're probably you're literally maybe you're even hanging out with your customer and you're sitting at the desk with them and you're seeing how the products being used, you're seeing it's how it's being driven. You're getting the good in the bad and the ugly. Obviously, think most of us and many, many, many, many growth focused UM companies, they have to rely on phone calls and emails. Let's just call it what it is. It's typically or video. It's the other thing I love about being on your show. You think, like what you guys are doing at bomb bomb is incredible. You're giving this other incredible natural medium to have meaningful, human based relationships. And number one, can easily make both party happy in the process because, like, you're getting to the bottom of things. You're not stewing over having to write, like, you know, a three page essay on what you're trying to to display to someone. But then the other thing too, is just making it more casual. There's more, something more about casual, of being able to have a five minute face to face or a sixty twod hey, ethan, here's three things I thought about from today's Qbr and then just dropping that and leaving it for someone to be able to digest that stuff is huge. Obviously in person is always going to be a major one, but I think that, um, just understanding the different mediums is a huge first part. The second big thing, though, is, Ethan, making sure that you and your team are actually understanding what the differences between your relationship based feedback and then some of your transaction transactional based feedback, because they're definitely different things, right. So, like when you're trying to unearth how your point of contact is feeling. How are they doing? is they're going to be changes? What are their product usability Um expectations versus? Hey, how did you like the last three buttons that we just changed it last week's spread? How did you like the color changes? Where the views better? Was the was was the was the checkout process better? So, like the transactional stuff where you're you're asking more pointed. It's not about opinion, your feelings. It's more about what did...

...you like about some of the things that we just changed the last week sprints? The last thing for people to think about is and every comming. This is why I see some of the stuff. I do believe, as I've seen more and more, as I've been able to have more appats with working with a bunch of these different leadership teams, thinking about what are the optimal times for collecting feedback for your business with your team, because I do think some of these are different. I can give you the generic optimal places right. Obviously after a purchase you want to ask how people do it. Got By the way side. Note, customers are tired of that stuff, guys. So, like, for C X and C S leaders that are listening to this, like, let's be a little bit creative with how we can maybe do something a little bit different from the last twenty years of the post purchase feedback. Maybe it's after customer service, but this is another one that most customers are like, dude, I just spent thirty minutes on the team with your call. I don't want to spend the next fifteen minutes failing out your survey. Um. The last one, though, I think, what, what? What? We spent a ton of time with our clients on Ethan. It's really getting good at like either your annual, quarterly or monthly reviews, because customers, that's an easy thing to sign up. No one's gonna say no one's gonna say yes to spending a bunch of money with Your Business and your team and then note, Hey, man, can I talk with you once a year to maybe give you a bunch of feedback around how we might be able to provide even more value for your business? Um Uh. And I think that we're living in this interesting world right now. You can think would be of people like you, and there's all these incredible thought leaders out there. They're getting awesome smart people to give ideas and tips and tricks for what they've been doing with their businesses and their teams. But modern customer focused businesses need help with this stuff and I think what they also need help with is just knowing that everybody does do some of these things slightly different. The biggest thing that you gotta do is start. You just need to start. You need to stop thinking about it, you need to take action on it. And the other thing is this leverage your a players. I'm always blown away by how many folks out there that are building their C X, are building their C S teams and they've got these incredible C S M S or they've got these incredible uh C X RA C s operations managers or analysts or these these guys and gales that literally can see this stuff and know this stuff better than arguably anybody in the C suite, and they don't ask them for how they would prioritize or construct or utilize or um you know, begin to to to implement some of these different Um feedback mechanisms. So a bunch of opportunity for our listeners to really kind of think about how they can do that with their businesses starting today. Yeah, start acting and start acting with who you have, um, because they're capable and a lot of this is still new. I mean you've been in this space for fifteen years, but it's still knew, you know. Uh. And that that was reflected our exchange on customer success and customer success managers. Um. So I have like a hundred other questions, but for the sake of time, UM, your time and that of the people that are listening. Um. So, your parents told you as you were young you should write books and travel the world. Speaking. How did you know that? I read it in the introduction to your book and UH. And obviously that was not advice that you loved at the time and the feeling I got the way you wrote that. But you did write it. You wrote the four C X pillars. Um. Give me a couple of things on on the book and on the pillars. Um. You already talked about it a little bit at the beginning of our conversation, but how did you settle on for and when? And when did you decide to organize this and do it as a book and why? Yep, so I think I was probably onto my third venture capital back startup. It was the third team that I'm sorry, two things. It was the third executive leadership team that I had been working with and and and Ethan full candor. It was the third Um, C X and C S team that I was building from scratch. So just pure Um. A big part of it was just experienced I've been seeing. I've been taking these notes through every Im likest like most customer focus business leaders, my I take feverish notes for not only uh podcasts like this, prefer like customer calls and for my team calls and just it's it's the easiest way of just capturing what your calls to action will become. You understand what what, what steps in front of you know how to kind of create those calls to action. But for me it was like I wanted to get this stuff out of my head. Number One. It was getting it out of my head and it was getting on paper. Number two. By the third one I started to realize whoa these executives who are incredibly smart, ambitious, driven people right and they're there and they're they're at the point where they're literally going out and figuring out how to convince other people to give them tens of millions of dollars and their money to go build their their dream. By the time I got to the third one, I realized these people do not know anything about the granularities of what actually goes in to building, scaling, leading, managing and then retaining an incredible customer experience or customers sussting fulkander. And if you think about it, most founders are incredible at finance or they're incredible at selling. They either understand the numbers and they understand the math better than anybody in that given niche or, to your point earlier, they're just blessed with the gift of being able to sell and they can sell somebody the shirt off their back if they have to write most and then, and then there's, I should say there's the third. There's the third trontia found technical founder, the technical founder builders. Yeah, they're the guys and the GALS are like they've been looking at the building...

...solution for so damn long and they've just been waiting for they're so sick of someone else not building it that they just go build it themselves and they bring it to market. And I think so it was really just a matter of wanting to have a set of ideas but, more importantly, how to get how to get the ideas used. I knew I needed a framework and and and, I'm gonna be honest, selfishly, it was an easy way to continue to have conversations with other executives. Now today, it's certainly what we hinge, most of our most of our fractional managed services work on. Uh. It's obviously, as you know, Ethan, and you'RE gonna be coming up on the x chronicles podcast uh any day now yourself, my friends. So, as you as you know, it's been a phenomenal way to give other customer focused business leaders of framework or a simple way of thinking about how they can talk about their own team, talk about their own business, their own world, their own complexities of the technology, but give them a simple framework that sits inside of the space that all these other C X and C sum practitioners are gonna they're gonna love it, they're gonna it's gonna give them something they can work with. Um. And then the last part. Why? The four pillars, as I mentioned earlier, man people process product wasn't working for me anymore. I kept I kept feeling like the feedback was wildly underutilized. And we all know, every one of us, as an example of working at a place for a year and you're like, Huh, it's spent twelve months and I was asked me when I think about this company or this leadership team or our product. That's weird that they've been paying me for twelve months and no one cared to ask me what I've learned. So so that was one part. But then the other part was just Ethan. Having spent a ton of time working with so many different types of customers sets at this point in the last fifteen years, started to realize even really excellent, smart practitioners sometimes need help or need a third party look at how to ask customers certain questions or how to measure some of the different things that you're trying to unearth or unpackaged or or really kind of build. So so that was a big part of it. Um, the team part, obviously, just like people, it matches the people's side. Um the tools was really around product and not just thinking about your product but thinking about the other one. Are the products you need to scale your business right. I'm sure you guys have a laundry list of tools. You're using a bomb, bomb that keeps keeps keeps the train on the track. Um. But it was really kind of establishing that framework and making sure that I had a clear, concise way of being able to take all the different things that come up in a typical C X or CES UH dialogue and put them into different buckets so we can compartmentalize that discussion and unpack potential solutions from it from there. So good. I appreciate you committing to organize that into a book. Uh. And for those of you listening again, it's the four C X pillars. U search it an in just a minute we'll get I'll have you share anywhere you want to point that and of course, will include that when we write this up at bombomb dot com. Slash podcast. But for those of you are listening, if you've enjoyed your time with Adrian so far as I have, I've got two more that I know you'll enjoy. Episode One with Howard Tearsky, who wrote winning digital customers, a fellow UH C X Practitioner and uh, that book really is deep on journey mapping in particular, among other things. That's Howard Tearsky UH. And then I already referred to Elizabeth Dixon. She was with me on one seventy nine. Um. She wrote a book called the power of customer experience. She leads strategy, hospitality and service design at Chick Fil a. She does a lot of coaching and mentoring and consulting as well. So that's one seventy nine with Elizabeth Dixon right, kind of in zone here with what we've been talking about today. Adrian, before I let you go, I would love for you to do two things. The first is to think or mentioned someone who's had a positive impact on your life or your career, and the second is to give a not or a shout out to a company or brand that consistently delivers a great experience for you as a customer. Okay, so number one. I was listening. I was listening to the last episode Ethan of Customer Weekly and I you joke. You said you could double down on your mom for me, I have an interest in one. So so, like probably many people, I was very lucky. We're growing up, man, I watched my mom, my dad and my older brother in executive roles and so I really did have Um, I know the family answers a cliche. It's a Cliche, cheesy one, but for me, man, it's the answer because I've been blessed to have man. I've had two D incredible customer focused business leaders on the C X C podcast. I mean some of the some of the CEOS that have been coming on the show. They're running fifty plus million dollars your companies. I'm blessed to be able to talk with him. But for me, man, I got to watch my dad run a really large organization growing up, I got to watch my mom run a really large organization growing up, totally separate organizations. They were in different crafts, and then I got to watch my older brother run some huge organizations. And I'll tell you, man, having the back seat and, as many of our listeners know, when you've got family and friends and some of these roles, you're like you're like a silent player in that play. Man, you're hearing about the cast. You understand the different storylines, you understand the good, you understand that the winds, you understand some of the tricky stuff that happens with you run the business. But for me, man, I learned a ton watching, watching my folks. And then, obviously I've been very lucky man for me for the last several years...

...with building six chronicles podcast, building the C X Chronicles, Um managed services business, you know, my wife. On top of it. I would not be able to do any of this stuff if I didn't have somebody WHO's completely in my corner letting me take the risk, letting me take the gamble, letting me pontificate about all the goods, the bads and the uglies of all the different clients stories that we've had along our and now the team are starting to grow, our team of fractional sex consultants. But for me it's definitely the family and the friends. One ethanoch similar to you, man. If you want my top one hundred audible books on big, notable, famous global people that everyone knows, I'm happy to share that. But for me I was really lucky. Men were Um. You know, for me, it was the it was the family side that really kind of gave me a strong foundation, an excellent example, but then, more importantly, the confidence and the motivation and this support to just go do the damn thing so good like as Moses, is a thing I'm sure you heard, great stories that were really valuable and impactful. I'm sure you've got good advice whenever you needed or wanted it, but just as most as alone, you're going to be a better practitioner for being around that a company or brand that you appreciate. So this is funny. So I use this one a lot when people ask me, you know, give me a household name that that that you look at, and mine mine for today, Ethan, it's Airbnb, and I'll tell you why AIRBNB. Some people love it, some people hate it. I think most people love it because their MPs is exceptionally high. Um. Also, they've changed how all of us like to do our favorite thing, travel. Go explore the world, go see other places, go eat other foods, go enjoy other parts of the world. Man, that's the that's the best education that anybody can get. Um. But what I think AIRBNB has done is they've mastered the art of understanding what their customer journey map looks like twofold, because they've got one of the most extensive journey maps that I've ever seen on the host experience side, because that's one part of their platform in the game. And then they've done a brilliant job on the guest journey map and the way that they think about all of all of the guests and the travelers. But I think AIRBNB has also done a phenomenal job of that blend of having people involvement having the product truly do the bulk of it, because some people that don't like Airbnb, they typically stopped liking airbnb when they think, Hey, the platform should have got involved. There was an issue with my stay. I feel like I was wrong, whether you're the host, where they're the guest Um, but they stay out of it. But that's that's it's a signal and it's a proof of how incredible their actual technology and their platform was. But then the last part, man, it's the it's the experience based content that they produced. I and mean you were joking about this other day either, but like, I'm constantly blown away by these companies that are doing north the ten million dollars. They don't have a blog, they don't have a podcast, they don't have any type of like thoughtful, almost like focus group based webinars are on a monthly basis. Part of how they go get their next hundred leads. Is like, I don't know, why don't you give a bunch of your cvs a ton of value, a bunch of awesome ideas, a bunch of great people to go connect with, and then that starts the process of maybe they will spend some money with you down the line. But AIRBNB is one that I follow regularly. Again, whether people people love their leadership or they don't, I think that Bryan Chesky does an incredible job on the C X Y X balance side. I think from as far as just modern notable companies, he does a phenomenal job of talking about the triangle. Don't think you hear enough public executives even caring about that, because they don't. They care about let's call it what it is, man. They care about Ebita, they care about their market valuation, they care about what their personal gains are, and that's fine, that's look, that's what businesses at the end of the day. But I love the humanization effect. And lastly, I just I say that because I can't think about a bigger company that does an incredible job of making happiness to have it both in the host side and the guest side. Beautiful. Well done, Adrian Brady Chosana. Thank you so much for spending this time with me and with all of us. If people want to follow up on this conversation, check out your podcast, consider some fractional work or a visories and help. Uh. Where would you send people? Um, start with C X CHRONICLES DOT COM. Check out our website. We've got a bunch of information in our knowledge based there tons of free uh value. First, UM C X and C x Focus plays that you can start running with your team tomorrow. We've obviously got the C X Chronicles podcast, where we have awesome people like Ethan coming on sharing their stories, talking about their version and their experience with the four pillars Um. And then Um ask us about our C X score cards. So one of the first places that we can started with every one of our customers. Ethan, we rank how you're doing today. We literally help you with a performance audit and how your company and how your business stacks up across the four C xpillars Um. And then anybody that wants to get at me from this feel free to reach me at Adrian at sex chronicles dot com. And, just like Ethan, I'm nice and active on Linkedin, so happy to connect there. Awesome. Well done. Really enjoyed it. I appreciate you, I appreciate your expertise and uh, I enjoyed this very much. Thanks so much, Ethan. Is My pleasure. Man. Thank you so much. In the future will be virtually selling and serving more...

...often. But the channels we're trying to connect and communicate through our noisy and polluted and our faceless digital communication is both visually and emotionally impoverished. So how do we stand out? How do we truly connect? How do we make people feel like people and not like numbers? Get answers to these questions and more from more than a dozen experts, including a marketing futurist from salesforce, the first salesperson at Hubspot, two co founders of Ven Gresso and an emotional intelligence expert with seven U s patents in the analysis of facial coding data by the Wall Street Journal Bestseller Human Centered Communication, a business case against digital pollution. Learn more about human centered communication at BOM BOMB DOT COM slash book. That's BOM BOM DOT COM UM slash book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit bomb bomb dot com slash podcast.

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