The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 121 · 11 months ago

121. 3 Ways to Elevate EX from the World's Best Workplace w/ Kristie Ornelas & Steve Cox


Employee experience and internal culture are not just a “nice-to-have,” but they bring material influence to bear on measurable business results.

In this episode, I interview 2 guests about CX through EX: Kristie Ornelas, Head of CX Marketing & Communications, and Steve Cox, Vice President of Digital Lifecycle Journeys, both at Cisco (named #1 on the World's Best Workplaces list two years in a row by Great Places to Work and Fortune Magazine).

Kristie, Steve, and I talked about:

- The focus on retaining employees and helping them to advance like customers

- To hire diverse people, create a diverse interview panel

- Enabling employees to serve their local communities

- The creation of role communities inside of their CX function

- Why your workplace should be a community, not a family

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Cisco

- Cisco CX on Twitter

- Cisco CX blog

- Nordstrom

- Yanni’s Bar & Grill

- Love Knows No Boundaries

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.

How are we ensuring that we areretaining employees and helping them to advance their careers, just as we would wantto retain a customer and advance them, you know, extend their footprint insideof our company? The single most important thing you can do today is tocreate and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketingand customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectationsin a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here'syour host, Ethan Butte, three ways to elevate CX, empathy and outcomes. That's where we're headed today, and we're doing it in a way thatwe've not done since way back on episode thirty nine, with two guests onthe same episode. Another similarity with episode thirty nine is that we're looking atCX today by turning our attention inward, toward employee experience and internal culture.The two people with us today are joining us from the company ranked number oneon fortunes world's best workplaces for the second year in a row. She heldcommunication positions like senior director of strategy and communications at sales force and chief ofstaff and director of business strategy for the America's enterprise at juniper networks. Todayshe's head of customer experience, marketing and communications at Cisco. He built atwenty plus year career inside Cisco, taking on a series of marketing management positionsbefore evolving to senior director of digital experience and data science. Today he's VicePresident of digital life cycle journeys at Cisco. Christy or Ellis and Steve Cox,welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thanks for having us. Happy tobe here. Yeah, I'm excited to to kind of work this back andforth. I love what brought the two of you together inside the Cisco CXorganization. But before we get into the details of that, let's start kindof high level. Christie, when I say customer experience, what does thatmean to you? So I think getting simplest form, CS is the customersperception of the brand across the entire life cycle and at every interaction with thecompany. I think that perception word is really critical. Steve, what wouldyou add to that or how would you alter that? I would not alterit, I would build upon it because I think when you take those perceptionsI think CX has. Other important role is to take those insights, internalizethem and look at based on what is working and what's not working across thecompany, to figure out where do we need to improve, optimize or maintainwhat we're doing well. So playing that role of orchestration within in interpretting thoseperceptions, I think are key. Yeah, and for either of you talk aboutthat perception lay or like. How can we capture and understand that perceptionso that we can manage the experience more effectively? I guess Christ'll start withyou. Okay. Well, Steve will do this even more justice I cansay on the marketing front, right, that perception begins at the very beginning. So sometimes people talk about we know, what's the difference between customer success versuscustomer experience? Right, customer success, I see, is a very specificpoint on this life cycle. Or we're really trying to drive value andadoption for the customer. Cs is that brand across the entire engagement. Soit started the very beginning, before the customers even bought anything. So thefirst experience they have with you, whether it's on the website or the tradeshow floor or call like this, and it's a company wide motion that youneed to drive. So you need a very deliberate process to drive that perception, that value across the entire life cycle with the customer. And that's whatSteve Does in his day job with customer journey, so he might want toadd to that. Yeah, please. Yeah, so, the that isthe definition of what we call the journeys... in case also digital journeys wherewe look at ways that we can use automation to respond to it. Butwe have a very explicit steps of going through and looking at and identifying whatare the moments that matter throughout entire journey, because the moments that matter are theinflection points that, at the end of the day, you need tomake sure you get right for the customer. And we do benchmarking that both listento them, use the data and compare it to what we think theexperience and should be. I think that's important because a lot of times theinternal people think, Ay, we're doing something really well and oftentimes you'll findthe customer has a different perception of it. Mapping those out from the customers perspectiveand then turning that into okay, what are the initiatives and projects thatwe want to organize our efforts to go and emphasize is that translation layer thatI was referencing a little bit of a few minutes ago. Yeah, Ithink that the customer gets to decide. I think that's a really important keyin all of this. is their perception matters and they get to decide what'sgood or bad. Can you go one layer deeper, Steve on moments thatmatter? It's something that's come up, as you might expect, pretty consistentlyover the course of a hundred plus episodes. A comes up regularly. But froma practical standpoint, how would you guide someone that's like, you know, we think we've been doing pretty well. We want to get a little bitmore serious about all of this. How do you guide people to startmapping? And then the key here is to prioritizing the matter part of themoments. I think we can all identify the moments of decision, in themoments of perhaps transition, but how do you guide someone to recommend to someoneto add that matters layer to the moments? So I think there's a little bit, in my personal opinion on this, some art and some science, andI would look at it that some of them through the art side orin the conversational topics as you go through and in, you know, inthe focus groups or in the surveys, to talk about where either the stallpoints are or what is it they ultimately their define their own criteria of successon. We also use data and data science a lot because you can startto predict where the the you know, the the moment inflection points are,where people stall out, and so we use all the data steps as well. And, for example, you know, you find that the first sixty daysof an experience with the product have a massively disproportionate impact on the entireway they perceive, you know, ongoing even if you do great a yearfrom now. And so I think the other part I would say is momentsare not just the actions that are taken or the experiences, but also,in context of time, of when that actually takes place. The only thingI would add to that, seve is right, that we know that successis very personal and unique to every customer. Right. So that requires us togive very proximate, very intimate with our customers to know what success lookslike in their eyes then what they will be delivering that sentiment back to uson right. We know it's not cookie cutter and so we need to deliverunique experience to the extent that we can. Yeah, I think that's the holygrail that has become very obvious over the past couple of years in particular, is moving past persona or segment to the individual person and how can wecreate these truly personal experiences at scale? And it's something that so many peopleare approaching from so many different angles. And I just want to double backon something. You observe their Steve About this idea of the first sixty days. I think it's a lot easier year to go from a seven to anine than it is from a seven to a too. So if someone feelspretty good out of the gate, you know it's going to be really hardto make them feel like you have to really fall on your face completely toturn it bad. Likewise, it's very difficult to take a three and turnit into an eight. It's more likely to go to a too or afour. So this this initial impression, which is something you offer to Christie'slike from the first moment that we really have to make sure that we're leadingthe right way. I Guess Christie Star with start, give us context aboutCX WITHIN CISCO. CISCO, of course, is a world class organization, agiant organization. When did the CX...

...function within CX kind of how didit emerge? Where did it emerge from? Like? What does the origin storyof CX INSIDE CISCO? Yeah, it started about two and a halfyears ago when our box ree Martinez, came to the company to head upthis box of this function in particular. Right. So this was built fromsomething that Chuck in the board had decided long before, right as we movedmore to a software and serves this company and we knew that the portfolio whichshift that way too. So we knew that was fundamentally going to change witha customer expectation of us was no longer could we sell them a bunch ofrouters and go away until those routers were end of life. We need thecustomer. We would have to work to earn the customers business every single dayin this subscription model. So Maria came on board to unite several functions,one of which was services, renewals, customer success under the umbrella of theX, which happens to be the the name of our organization, but alsothe motion inside the company, both financially and you know how we recognize revenue, how we engaged with our customers and the kinds of programs and products thatwe build and services as well. Steve, how did you are you formally inthe CX organization yourself and obviously you represent I'm going to go deeper intothis shore lags. Want for context before we get into this initiative that youand Chris you're working on together inside the organization. You know, marketing,background, Data Science, digital journeys that obviously tease up CX. For example, Matt Sweezy at Sales Force was one of my previous guests and in hisbook and in our conversation said you know, marketing needs to own all of experience, and so it seems like you are on that trajectory. At thesame time it's drawn a bit in Cisco out of services and and CS atsome level. So how do you get brought into this and how cross functionalwas this kind of founding group? Yeah, so before Maria came in. Somy function set in sales and in that function we're talking about the abilityto go and drive digital acceleration. At that point for some of the sales, but all of the adoption and redual pieces. And so when Maria camein, one of the first things would actually take my team and a fewother functions around that company and bring them together. And so there was verymuch a you know, we talked about the business model shift and I thinkcrispy did a great jobs, you know, explaining that of moving to recline andrevenue to cloud products, and I think as the market demanded those thingsMaria came in, it became the point of gave. We now need toallowing the align the way our organ is set up to bring the core piecestogether to deliver on that market need. And so I vary, you know, specifically. You know felt that, as I they literally took my teamand moved it into maraise organization. Awesome. So one of the things that's goingon in the organization is that I think there are nine initiatives. Oneof them is people in culture and that is part of why the two ofyou are together with me today. So maybe share a little bit about wheredoes this people and culture initiative fit within within the organization, and how diddid you, Christie, get involved in it? Directly. Yeah, sowe have prioritized this as our number one, I would say, horizontal priority acrossthe company. So it's about differentiated talent and engaged culture. You know, we know we often Amin. Only know that you cannot build amazing customerexperiences, which is our ultimate charter he don't first start with those employee ones. And we know that we have a very deliberate approach to how we sex, so why not have that same delivered approach to how we es with ouremployees? So this having this stewardship under Steve and I and of course wehave an amazing tiger team of people underneath us that own very specific initiatives andmetrics to ensure that we are ultimately driving the experience. Mean you talked abetter earlier. We are lucky enough to... for a company who has rankednumber one as the greatest place to work right. So that's fantastic foundation.But how do you make that meaningful? Two Employees? How are we ensuringthat we are retaining employees and helping them to advance their careers, just aswe would want to retain a customer and advance them, you know, extendtheir footprint inside of our company. I love it and it's a it's anecessary step to make sure that you can free Pete. That's Steve. Beforewe get into kind of the the three main ways that you're approaching people inculture, I'd love for you to share your thoughts or observations about the relationshipbetween ex and CX. I mean, it's Christie said and I think ismost listeners to the podcast would agree, it's difficult to impossible to have agreat customer experience without a great employee experience first. But what would you whatkind of contacts, context or nuance or color would you add to that relationship? So I think one of the things that I think it's different in theway that we've approached this is in and Christie spoke to it, but thisis what this is not just a one of the nine initiatives and a niceto have. It is actually treated in this same way that we treat someof our business results, at the same level as how we measure redules,we measure customer success, how we measure engineering in development, to the pointthat we have very specific accountability in targets that every month the leaders have tocome in and have a score card to read power report out on their progresson areas like diversity, community engagement, but they're doing around a conscious cultureand things like that. So I think it's important that, while we wantto go in and create norms and a cultural shift, we've put in itvery explicit accountability, like it's a business target to ensure that, as weget greeted the plan in the instate we want to get to that, thatwe ultimately tie that in as the number one priority of our business plan.So good. Can you go one layer deeper on the score card? Likeagain, I'm and on behalf of a listener who knows that X is criticalto sex and absolute necessary precursor, and they're like, well, you know, we do an annual survey, you know, of our employees and wedo, you know, weekly or monthly one on ones and everything feels okay. If people want to take one more step to kind of formalize the process, maybe share a couple insights on your score card or the formation of ascore card or how the measurement, internal measurement in an accountability around it,got implemented. I pick just one of the categories please. You know thatthere's a threaded through one like, for example, in the our focus ondiversity. So, to give you an idea on the diverse city metrics,what we're doing is we actually have agreed that in this fiscal year eighty fivepercent of all people in the CX will have social justice train or attend toan event. Hundred percent will take consscious culture training. Next layer for ourleaders, one hundred percent of them will have a proximity meetings, which wemay go into later, which is how you start to engage and have askip level meetings with people that are different from you, and we've had aninitiative around. At the end of the day, it's not just the peopleyou have but the people you bring in. So Christie and I've been working onhow do we partner with recruitment, and I've brought in three new hiringsources and a require that as a means to feed new talent into the organization. And so all of those are specific targets, then, are that eachof the leaders are required to report against on a monthly basis. I'll addjust one more thing, which is turning that lends outward right about community impactand giving back. We are a big, big company and with that kind ofgreat responsibility to serve the communities around us, and so we encourage ouremployees, of course, to give back, to, you know, volunteer whereit matters to them. And this year in Covid and pleased to say, we added it's so norm standards five days. We added another five daysbecause we know there are so many places...

...and people in need, and sojust to be part of a culture that allows for time off for that isis truly amazing. It's we keep an eye on. Awesome let's I promisedoff the top and the introduction in three ways that we can improve empathy andoutcomes in this area. It's obviously built on an excx connection. I'll listthose three and then maybe go back and forth and just share some insights orrecommendations around them. The first is higher diverse talent, which you already reference, Steve. To is elevate your internal giveback programs, which you just referenced, Christie, and then the third is to deliver a powerful employee experience,and I hope to hear more about this skip level, maybe outside your ownteam, because I think that super interesting. Skip level meetings or something we've beendoing in there incredibly valuable. But skip level across teams is really interesting. So I guess Christy speak a little bit about diversity and hiring diverse talent. Yeah, so it's one of actually our core company principles, which takedifference to heart, really meaning that, you know, inclusion will always beexclusion. So we leave with that. That goes as far, as youknow, not only just a higher diverse talent, but to make sure thatthe diverse talent is also interviewing on the interview panels. We have metrics wherewe measure that and also how we are getting Coxima to that town, becauseagain, one thing to hire them, but to to bring them to thetable, right, and all different kinds of diversity, right. So wethink about, you know, gender, neck racial diversity, but I we'reeven in a truleading through a transformation where we need to think about diverse cityand thinking like Eq, you know, versus just Iq, right, andhas res especially as we are the the people on the forefront interacting with ourcustomers who are expecting a different kind of experience. So also important to usis that we get approximate to this diverse talent. So we need talent exposwe do meetups and proximity. We have sponsorship opportunities and so it's making sureeveryone feels invited to the tables so we can create that. You need aunique experience. We're building experiences for customers of all type work global company acrossall industries. We need to be making sure that we have the same peoplethat are building those experiences that are receiving them as well. Really Good Steve. Do you have just from a from a data and data science perspective?I've seen, obviously, a ton of researchs not obvious, but I've seena ton of research about positive correlations between diversity in a variety of forms andpositive outcomes for for businesses. What are you seeing from a data or datascience perspective related to that into related to these initiatives? Are obviously not doingit be just because it's the right thing to do, although that's the wholereason to do it, but I'm sure you can see some of the benefitsof of achieving some of the targets that you're setting. Christy, feel freeto jump in Ife this. I'll be honest. I have not necessarily doneany direct correlation to business growth out of this. Now maybe it's been doneelse elsewhere. I think I'm working off of the research, same research you'retalking about, an anecdotal feedback that we see where we have whether it becustomers, partners or other employees in the way they share their experience back tosay hey, this is something that was very positive for me. I alsowould say that I've seen a number of examples where it's not just the Ithink, effective in the customer and the way they work back, but I'vehad number of people that incredible talent that have come to work at Cisco becauseof the focus on this. And so people that have have taken jobs atthat they may have not even taken the eyes out and say, okay,I want to be a part of something that has a mission like this.And some of the most amazing people that...

...have come to work in CX havecome here because that's the reason. They want to be a part of somethingbigger than just going and, you know, delivering business results that are that we'retalking about every day really good. We will add that we have somethingthat we call the people deal right, and it's really kind of the coreframework for, you know, how we kind of approach our talent and arewhat we call conscious culture and that we're deal is because the people, thatthe people of the deal, the most important deal that the company. Whileour strike and a a deal implies two ways, right in agreement between theemployee and the company, because you no longer are employees just coming to workfor a paycheck. We spend a discreport in an amount of time, especiallynow, at our employer and we have a different expectation of what that experienceis and and perhaps our employers of us. And so there's always this, youknow, this balance of a trade that's happening, and so that's kindof what we called the people deal. That's so I really appreciate that languageand I think the observation typically you see it attached to you know, millennialsseem to prefer purpose over like everyone prefers purpose. We all want to feellike what we're doing matters. We all want to be proud of the workthat we're doing, want to be proud of the way that we're doing itand we want to be proud of our team members and outcomes, and Ireally like that people deal language. Christie already mentioned Steve The the a littlebit about it. GIVEBACK programs. But if you want to take the firstgo at the second of those three areas, I'd love for any insights you haveto share their yeah, I think one of the Christie and I wofwe looked at this kind of look at it from two Lens, which is, I think, the most important one. That we want to provide is aplatform for people that are passionate about her individual cause and give them themeans to go do that. I think you know, oftentimes you know thatin mind about why the major organizational initiatives by all you know, when wehave a rapid response, when there's a catastrophy around the world, Cisco isall indigo and help amongst these things, and we're we have an entire processbehind that to respond on. And you know, I think what we've reallyfocused on addition to that is that second part, which is how we givepeople the means for what they're in their local communities, in particular now withcovid how can they go in and help the people that are struggling at alocal business, the locals homeless shelter and do those in in that we givesometimes ability to matching resources. We give them, you know, pairing peopleup through our communities. We got ways to share ideas so that you cango hey, who else is in there? Want to do this together? Soyou're not going at it alone. Give visibility to what they have goingon, and I think it becomes that around swell from below. That,I think, why I personally, Chris, you may have other things that Ithink. I'm really proud of. That I think we've been able inthe last year, in addition to the big headline things that we try todo. Yeah, absolutely, in a time where you didn't quite know howpeople were going to reactor it, because we all kind of help her downand got into fun protective mode, it was really amazing to see that peoplestill have the capacity and the need to reach out and help others. Andyou know, we all realize that, certainly here in the silk and valuewe are most often at an advantage already. So I loved to see that.You know, we had a culture that, you know, we kindof say, in fact, one of our last checkends that theme was risingup and we have in fact risen up, and so that makes you feel proud, right. You talked about that purpose. Even consumers don't necessarily expectpurpose from a product, but you expect it from from an IMP layer,from a job, and is it just one other way to give us purpose? I appreciate I appreciate that that constant lens shift between the the the largeobvious moments, and what I what I'm imagining here is like this kind ofconstant presence, like we are community members, our team members are members of thiscommunity and we're going to participate in constructive ways in the company is goingto support and enable that. And it's...

...interesting. It's this might sound alittle bit tripe, but you know when you when you read packaging from likeyou know maybe some food companies that you like in respect, and they saythings like baked with love, I think it makes a difference. I thinkthis, this this the sense of purpose in the in the motivation to showup, I think comes through in the work that we do. Obviously fora customer facing people, because the customers can feel that coming off others.But I think, I think what you're doing has so many to the degreethat it's immeasurable, it still has measurable benefits to it and I appreciate thescope and range of what you're doing there. Christy, maybe kick us off onthe third one, around powerful employee experience, you know, supporting teammembers, equipping them, supporting thriving. These are just some phrases that I'mmaybe just creating here to set you up. But talk about how this, thiswork that you and Steve are doing together, comes together in an experientialway. Yeah, well, we talked about, you know, creating thesevery deliberate customer experiences from day one. So we know that we need todo that for employees from day one and every day from there on out.One of the things that we've recently done is created, we what we callrole communities inside of our CX function. So I believe there's twenty one rolespecific communities, and that's a platform for these birds of a feather to connect, to share best practices, to ask questions and share documents and just helpto make their job a little bit easier. One thing that I particularly love abouthow we constructed these communities is that they are all open to anyone,so nothing is private and it also allows for, you know, as weevolved as organizations, you know, so rapidly, especially in tech, thejobs that many of us have today, we're not jobs that we could havestudied for in college. So you need to always have, you know,a beginner's mindset in this learning modality inside of a company. And you know, so people need to remain personally curious and it's always be exploring their nextjob opportunity. So these forms allow people to jump on calls with these forumsto observe the feed that's happening so that if they want to be a customersuccess executive at some point, even if they're not ready right now, theycan almost shadow that. And so it's just another way for us to bringthat just community but inclusivity to what we do. Of course we also dothat with our customers. We have communities as roll up understive as well else. Try, I don't think, jump and see if there's anything that youhave top of my I know there's more. Want to come back to you.The only part I way to add in is we talked in the beginningabout the moments that matter and I would I'll tell you a story that justwe went through the Christie and I so I had an employee in my organizationthat had our wedding plan and then covid hit and all of a sudden,obviously none of the attendees could get to Chicago to go to her wedding andwhen I found out about it, I called Christie. I'm like because youknow, obviously she's devastated. This is talking about a moment that matters right, and Christie and I were able to go and find a film crew thatwas local in Chicago all the production. OBVIOUSLY CISCO MAKES Webex Technology, sowe were able to bring conferencing in and we actually were able, within inunder nine days, suddenly reset and move her wedding to be virtual so thatall the people that suddenly couldn't fly in could actually now attender wedding. Andyou know, we just did it because we wanted to help her. Well, this this week that we actually took the production of a short clips fromthat in chuck played it in front of the entire company me to talk aboutlook, this is some of the happiness that we can create in times ofneed. And I think the part that I think Chris an were most proudof was not the production of the video,...

...but immediately rebecca a wait in andsaid, you know, this is why I work at Cisco, becausewhen I needed help all these people jumped in, help me take in areally a moment that mattered and make it wonderful. We can share that withyou two and you can link it if you want it. That's on Youtubenow. Yeah, please, absolutely. Yeah, so, froak folks whoare listening. Of course we do short right ups on all of these episodes. I trim out some short video clips. We embed the full audio if youwant to listen to it in a in a post. We put allof this up at Bombombcom podcast. I will absolutely take that link and Iwill include a heck, I'll probably just embed the video straight into the post. I think it's just such a great story and you know, I thinkat the end of the day, we've been talking around these just kind ofhuman values in general and what all of us, what each of us wantsmost, is to be seen and appreciated, to feel like we matter. Inthis idea of supporting team members outside the bounds of the work that isassigned is just just creates a it's a just a lot more fun be,it's more satisfying and see, it does build a lot of that relationship andtrust and like there's she knows the team is behind her. She knows thatshe's going to get help. If she needs to ask for her wants toask for, it will be there, and sometimes it'll be there even ifshe doesn't ask, which is awesome. So I really appreciate you sharing thatstory and I have yet please. I Love I'm sure we probably all up. He said something last week that just really resonated with me, around thatemployers should be careful to not call their companies families but rather communities, becausefamilies don't furlow their their children when times get tough, right, and orand have to make some of those tough decisions, right that a company would. But it's better to call yourself a community because it's a place where peoplefeel sense of belonging and care about one another. And so I think whenyou're doing culture right, that's what it feels like, that's that's what communityis. Yeah, I like that. I think the original it came outof, like I think that Netflix slide deck, was this like you're nota family, I think you're a team or something like that. But Ithink community is this nice middle way through those two things that are you know, you can't get rid of that uncle even though you might like to likeit's just like so so. The family isn't always paralleled. I think communityis great language for it, just from a practical standpoint and not a personalcuriosity, and for the benefit of Listener, Steve, tell me a little bitabout these skip level meetings. I think for folks who aren't familiar,of course, this is when a leader doesn't just meet directly with her hisdirect reports, but rather the direct reports of those people. But I thinkI feel like I heard in there this idea that it might be happening acrossteams and even outside the bounds of, you know, second layer reporting.Yeah, it is not exclusive to people in your organization. But I thinkthere's an important new wants, which is the goal in these is to uncoverand recognize where we have unconscious by us. We are all at a product ofwho we are, to make up of the experiences we've had, andso every quarter we have these proximity meetings. Now the key is you have tobe meeting with people that are different from you, and so sometimes Iwill be meeting with African American blacks, sometimes I'm meeting with women, sometimesI'm meeting with people from different countries and all of it. I think theHEA thing here is not to talk just about business, but if we openthe conversation with look, I knowed I have unconscious by us in the goalin this is for you to help me see that so that I can takeactions that help you know you in a way and understand what you need,whether it be the localization that's needed or the experience that certainly women have differentfrom men in the workplace. And so it's not just about the business.It's in fact not about the business.

It's about the actual experience they're havingand trying to become more aware of all the different ways that people are engaged. Excellent. Who is just again from a practical standpoint, so the peoplecan put it into play. Who are executing these and maybe how do youlike is it? Is this like thinking of some of the tools that havepopped up since since covid broke us all apart physically. You know, someof these things that will do, like random matching in these types of things, like how, functionally, how are you creating these opportunities? Say wemeasure it, so we require feels like a strong word when you're doing somethingthat is with the intent of building good culture, right. But this isthis happens to become easy to us. We ask all directors class, whichis a huge population inside of this go to have to proximity meetups a quarter. We do through we have inclusion of collaboration leads for each organization. Sowith them there is some matching that takes place organically. We are just networking, right. It talked about we have talent EXOS. This past our lastquarter we did went around African, American and blacks, right. So wedid round tables and mentoring sessions where you could sign up to be a coachor to a listener or be a listener, and also participants could sign up.So we do those across different kinds of diverse groups to allow to getthat proximity and match people up really good. I would love to ask each ofyou just kind of a person like, just a direct question about your roleand maybe how you got there, and I'll start with you, Steve. This this move into data science, obviously data, making data useful ratherthan simply using it for reporting, is a step we all need to take. For you, is this just like a natural arc of your own experiencein your own career, or was this something that, you know, youput your head down and decided it was a direction you were going in andstudied it directly for a couple of years? Like, how did this move gofor you? I think more of US need more at this intersect ofmarketing and data science in some of the other work that you're doing. Howdid that go for you? So I think it would. I put itin to think the two areas one. I think there's a lot of,you know, information and focus on data science out there. So being justan interest level, but I think where I really got into it is,you know, I have an accountability to deliver a personalized experience for, youknow, in the hundreds of thousands of people and customers, and so therewas a you can there's only so much you can do with the processes inplatforms and the content at some point. If you want to deliver that,you you fundamentally goes back to a conversation around data and then I think therebecomes a you know, there's an entire podcast around the evolution of how yougo through from hey, how do I get clean and usable data to actuallyhow do I, you know, go along the journey to make that personalizeand fundamentally and personalization is, you know, a derivative out of a data scienceorientation, and so I it's a commendation of an interest and to succeedmy job at requirement so interesting and you in of course, you're right thatit is a demand of the role. If you're going to be doing this, especially across that volume of of stakeholders, it requires clean Datas your reference andthat is a completely that would be another hour long conversation that I'd behappy to have some time and I shot your time here with us. SteveChristy, a little bit about your role. You know you've had these these highlevel communication roles at a few different organizations, all very well respected.I would love you just your thoughts on the communication function in particular. Imean it's one thing to be doing all of this work, but obviously theorganization, the sex organization, is Cisco for example, or some of theother teams and groups you've represented as a communication professional. Talk about that communicationlayer and how valuable it is and perhaps...

...maybe even the divide between internal andexternal, how much you're communicating managing communication internally versus managing it externally, youknow, for for people outside the organization. Yeah, thank you. I wouldsay, for you know, this role that I have right now,which is both communications and marketing, is the perfect marriage of both internal andexternals. So really, obviously we're communicating out to our customers through our marketingmotion, our partners, as well our entire ecosystem, and then it internally, which is, you know, very important, certainly that we lead thetransformation all these stakeholders. You know, communication becomes that connected tissue across acrosswhatever we do, and it, you know, is really enables how rapidlywe can transform. And I think there's something the reason why I'm drawing tocommunications, I know many others are, is that there's just something about languagethat matters right. So for us, when we talk to our customers oran amounter, who it is? It is our employees speaking to them,you know, with words and language that resonates with them, that is meaningful. One of my mentors told me the other day that this function that Ihave right is the soul of our organizations. I really love to write how,you know, kind of thought about you know, we're the heart andthe soul. We bring it to life because we know that stories matter andthat's one of the most powerful tools that we have as human beings. Sothat's why I love communication. That's why I want you know, I tookthis opportunity to marry you know, marketing and communications, we can continue totell those meaningful stories about our customers, for our customers, put our customersin that hero spot so others can continue to see themselves to it. There'sa lot in there that I would love to pick up on, but Ifeel like you've already been so generous with your time. Specifically, the powerof storytelling, I think, is in the emotional resonance of it, inmemory, of course, is is a function of emotion. Without an emotionalcomponent, there's very little to to internalize and take in, and I agreethat language matters and there's a lot there. I appreciate that for either of you. Is there anything about ex or CX that that obviously, with ourlimited time we couldn't cover everything is there? Is there any more? Is thereany note that you would like to add related to ex or cx thatyou think listeners should keep in mind or take away from this? I thinkthere's a overlooked opportunity. I will tell you that the part that I personallystruggle with is you have to have a blend of creating accountability and also apart of it as creating norms and culture, and trying to figure out when youapply which tactic, whether you be talking about your employee experience or customerexperience, is, I think, where I find myself. Trying to navigatebetween the two all times. So you can create explicit targets and get peopleto do things, but then they may just check the box and actually whatthe true and experience is when it becomes norms and am part of how youoperate. Yeah, I think you really identified the crux of it. Itreminded me a little bit of your reference to art and science, and thatreally is a delicate balance and and I appreciate that. For for people whoare listening, I mentioned off the top episode thirty nine. That was withLance risser and Levi Iris of Dutch Bros Coffee. They're both VP's of fieldoperations, and so we brought but those two gentlemen together to talk about companyculture as your competitive edge. That was certainly a theme here today, thisidea of people joining Cisco or staying at Cisco, specifically because of a lotof the themes that you were talking about in the not just the work thatyou do but, more importantly, the way that you do it and whyyou do it really matters and creates a competitive edge, and that so Iwas episode thirty nine and then on episode seventy three, with Chris Wallace.He's the CO founder and president of an organization called interview group. I nneour interview group, and we call that marketing to your employees, not justto your customers, and so reminded me, Christi, of Your your inside outsidecommunications marketing piece. It's this idea that what we talked about with Chriswas, you know, it's one thing...

...for the organization to make strategic decisions, turn them into tactical plans and go execute them, but without the theawareness, of course, of all the front line employees and the understanding ofwhy we're doing this at the front lines. And then, most importantly, andwe do with the three of US talked about this in this conversation,the emotional buy in, like like the I don't just know what the companyis doing, I don't just know why the company's doing it by agree.I understand. I understand in a way that that I believe in and canget behind. And it's when you can create that alignment from what we're doing, why we're doing it, all the way out to the front line,which is where the customer experience is it that that's the bridge between the excxpiecethat that we spend some time on? These are two of my favorite questionsand I get to ask them to two people. So we'll start with you, Christie. Two opportunities for you here, a chance to think or mention someonewho's had a positive impact on your life, for your career, anda chance to give a nod or a mention or a shout out to acompany or brand that you really appreciate for the experience that they deliver for youas a customer. Okay, I'm going to go rentro here. My firstboss is, ever my parents, and because they taught me that personal touchmatters right. So as a kid I couldn't use my presence before I wrotea thank you note and not do anythink you note. I had to saywhat I liked about it, how I was going to use it if itwas money, and so I learned early on that stay with me. I'mthe oldest of three girls as well. When I went off to college Igot a note every single day from my dad. I thought that would stopand my sisters went to college, but it didn't. He did the samefor them. So he taught me, the first one to teach me aboutthe importance of creating a predictable customer experience. So I would say props to myparents. I'm gonna go also a little mainstream on the company right withthe holidays having just passed northstrom. So I've spent more money than I careto admit there this season and I had had a sister who had worked there. And of course they stand for quality. We know that. But what Iappreciate about Nord sterm is that they always start from a point of possible, from a place of yes. So they assume that any problem product thatcustomer brings to them is their responsibility to solve, full accountability, and Ilove that both I appreciate both of those responses very, very much, forvariety of reasons that it's not the first reference to nors from, but thatis the first simple language that people can easily attach to and take away whichis starting from a firm an assumption or a position of Yes, this assumptionof possibility is so good and thank you. Notes are an absolutely lost art.Thank you notes or thank you videos or whatever. I and it's really, really sad. I think you were trained well and I hope that thattraining returns more broadly. I was trade the same way and my dad stillwrites me notes every single week. So it's a joy. Steve, samequestions for you, I had. Am excited to hear what you have toshare here. Yeah, so, coincidentally, sticking with a theme of family forinfluential but I'm going to refer what the talk about my wife, andspecifically she has a life goal of going to eighty countries by age eighty.But it's not the number that matters, it's actually the experiences that we create, in particular for our children, and so what's come out of this,for example, is my kids have seen how you can play with children infour parts of Cambodia and have as much fun in that regard, and experienceslike when we were in Buenas Aires and got on a subway and immediately theadults got up to allow the children to sit and I think starting to seehow these different cultures to form your experience of what life should be like isbeen foundational to you know what I would define as how you apply business forlife overall. And then the second question when to go a different direction,and I'm actually going to reference a local restaurant called Yannis here in San Diego, and the moment that I would call...

...upon was a few months ago.We all know the restaurant business has struggled through this covid situation. They actuallyshut down because a family member of one of the employees was exposed and theysend something out and said look, in service to the local community, thewe don't believe the employee is positive, but we're going to be proactive tomake sure we're doing what's right by the local community, knowing full well thehardship they're going through economically. It fits what I can tell you because it'sour favorite local restaurant where Yanni himself will come and check in on you whenyou're at the tables. It fits a broader thing, but it shows meto the point where he's up against the ropes and put his customers, thecommunity first. That's me is the definition of experience. So good. Whata great story, and I also like the reference to experiencing the different waysthat people live their lives and norms, values approaches in this idea of creatingsomething beyond our own immediate experience by collecting experiences in incorporating all the best pieces. So good. Okay, CISCO, CISCO, C X, Christie,where would you send someone to follow up with you or with CISCO? CISCO, C X? Where someplace you might send folks? All right, CISCO, sex, our twitter Handall, it can go straight there. It'll takeyou everywhere you need to go from there. Cool, and I will include alink to your linkedin profile in the right up at Bombmbcom, slash podcastand Steve, any any other places you like to send folks? They whohave enjoyed this conversation linked it's perfect, like, let's start the conversation.I mean, I think, is this is a continual learning both directions.Awesome. Thank you both so much. Is this really fun? I guessI need to create more opportunities to have more than one list at a time. It's it's been really enjoyable for me. I appreciate your insights. I appreciatethe way you approach the work that you do. So many things inthe conversation that I enjoyed, specifically the way the company reacted organizationally to theshift in demand to subscription basis and, of course, all the things thatyou're doing internally to make sure that humans are supported in the right way sothat they can execute in a way that they are proud of and can enjoy. We agreed time. Thanks for having to sleep them. Yeah, thankyou so much. It's been great. Clear Communication, human connection, higherconversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messagesyou're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance,so pick up the official book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos acceleratesales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book.That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember, the single most important thing you can do today is to create and delivera better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics bysubscribing right now in your favorite podcast player or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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