The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

74. Using Tech to Scale the Human Touch and Build Community w/ Stef Caldwell


Everyone tracks some form of data. (We track quite a lot of it if we’re rolling with the times.) But amassing data isn’t meaningful unless we can create a narrative out of the facts.


For example, if you just looked at the cold data of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’d start to feel pretty hopeless, but if the data started to produce fact-based stories, we humans would start to be able to understand it and use it to make decisions.


Even greater than comprehending data using narrative is creating community with data. Our guest today is an expert at both, a person who spends most of her time analyzing not just what the data is saying but how it can serve people by connecting customers not just to her company, but to each other. 


In this episode, I interview Stef Caldwell, the Senior Customer Success Leader and Community Architect at Narrative Science, about customer experience and customer success. 


What we talked about:


- What your data can and can’t tell you about your customers


- What the relationship is between CS and CX


- Why we must scale the human touch in Customer Success


- Why to create community around your core beliefs


- How Stef founded Manifest to address the missing rung — the first step that carries women into management


Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:


- Manifest


- Lululemon 


- Goal setting with Michael Hyatt


- James Clear’s Atomic Habits


- Charles Duhigg’s Power of Habit


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.

When I think of how you kindof scale that human touch scale that really really carry the customer experience. Somuch of it is reliant on making the product a to a straight the singlemost important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experiencefor your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internalalignment, 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.Leveraging language as the interface between humans and technology, making analytics accessible to anyoneand everyone, connecting your customers not just to your company but to one another. These are just a few themes in today's conversation. Our guests passion isbringing humanity back to technology. Over the past several years she served in productmanagement, business intelligence, business development, sales and customer success roles. She'scurrently the senior customer success leader and community architect at Narrative Science, a companyI've really enjoyed getting to know over the past several months. Steph called well, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank you, what an intro.Good I'm glad you're glad you like that why you feel welcome and I reallylove the work that you're up to. And what do you call that?A passion or would you call that your mission? I would say it's mymission. I think my mission in life is to bring humanity back to technology. Technology and fuses so much of our lives, in our day to dayand the more personal we can make it and the more for us we canmake it, I think the better off will all be. I love it. It's treating it as the tool that it is and means to an end, not the end in itself, and that it isn't service of us,which is his proper role. I think. So, before we get going properly, you are in what I regard as the greatest city in America,Chicago, and so the coronavirus pandemic is obviously affected all of us. What'sthe scene where you are? How's it affecting you or your team or yourcustomers? kind of what's set the scene for us there? It's a greatquestion. In Chicago specifically, I think right now we're, you know,under a shelter order, so everybody is working from home. The biggest impact, you know, I'm saying in my day to day is just Internet stability, having a lot of calls similar to you know these. Sometimes things comecrashing down. I would also say that from Narrative Sciences perspective, we arestill operating business as usual or really fortunate, and that our leadership team and,you know, everybody at the company was able to adapt really quickly.Our customers come from a variety of industries and so when I look at thebook of business that I run and the book of business that other people onmy team run, everybody is really being impacted differently. We have our healthcarecustomers who are, you know, I don't want to say thriving, becausethat's absolutely not the right word, but their business is really booming right now. And then we have people in auto and manufacturing and and their businesses arestronger. Their businesses are being tested and I am hopeful that everybody kind ofcomes out the end of this much stronger. A lot of that, you know, is just going to be in flux for the next foreseeable future.Yeah, good observation. Like you, we serve people in a wide varietyof businesses and roles and industries. In the end, the effects of course, or are very uneven, and so I mean, as bombomb were fortunateto be on the more on the healthcare side of things, where people areunderstanding more acutely than ever that time and distance are keeping them apart from peoplewho matter most of their businesses. So when you can't do like a livezoom call like we're doing now, that rerecording and sending messages is kind ofa nice human substitute, to use your language. So let's get into customerexperience and all of the things that you've that you've been in. I lovethe variety of roles you've been and I'm...

...looking forward to this conversation. Butlet's start with customer experience. When I say that, what does it meanto you? So I'm one of those people that I have to go backto the definitions of things often and I had to pull it for this conversationbecause I think it's really important that it's articulated well. So a customer,right, let's break it down into its parts, is a person organization thatbuys goods and services from store business and experiences practical content, tact and observationof facts or events. And so my definition, when I put those thingsback together in my own way. Is it's how a person who buys goodsor services from a business or thinking about it, honestly interprets the events ofthose interactions with that business. So it's subjective, it's their perception, butultimately it's the interpretation of the events or the interactions are having with the peoplethat are in your company. Really Great. I love that you went to someliteral definitions and then put them back together in a practical way and Ithink the consequence of that is, you know, the thoughts and the feelingsthat were left with interaction by interaction. So because of your experience and customersuccess and some people you know what I want. I've spoken with some peopleabout customer experience. They see it as likes this evolution or functionally, froman organizational standpoint and arm of what was for still is a CS or acustomer success organization. How do you think about customer success in particular, whichI you know, I think of that as a highly organizational term, where'scustomer experience may or may not be. How do you think about customer successand maybe customer success relative to Cx? Yeah, so I think always,always, I'm trying to put the hat of the customer on and write myperspective doesn't actually matter. On customer experience versus customer success, it's their experiencethat matters. And so going back again to the definitions, my you know, definition of success from the dictionary is the accomplishment of a NAM or purpose, and so my definition and of customers success is how a person who againbuys goods or services from a business, perceives the outcomes of those interactions.So to me, customer success is outcome based. It's the perception of anoutcome when interacting with and that, you know, this external party and customerexperience is really the journey and the to go hand in hand, right,because you can't have an outcome without a journey and ultimately what we want todeliver is outcome. So the two are are very much aligned, even thoughthey're not synonymous. Yeah, and you can't, you really can't, pullthem apart. And what I heard when you started into that was essentially,I'm going to really dumb it down, but like the customer doesn't care.Right. Yeah, you want their outcome and they want to achieve it ina in a predictable or quick or enjoyable journey. Yeah, yeah, it'sjust the journey to the outcome. I like to think of it again fromthe customer angle, is customer experiences. Wow, that was a great conversation. I really enjoyed my time with that company and and success is wow,that was a great conversation. I understand the impact this will have, ishaving, or will continue to have on my business. Yeah, so similarbut different. Yeah, or I can't wait to brag to my peers orsuperior about this outcome that we were able to achieve. exactify this, thisrelationship that I enjoy with this brander, this company. So, for peoplewho aren't familiar, tell us a little bit about narrative science, like whoare your customer as? You already did a little bit of that, buttell us you know who are your customers and what are you solving for them? Yeah, I like to say that we're a company that that exists tohelp other companies realize their potential. So we do that through data, storytellingsoftware. But essentially the premise of our business is data is hard. Interpretingthat data is time consuming and oftentimes the result of that is more confusion thananswers. So we have software that translates that data into objective, fact baseddata, stories which can be read and understood by anyone and are you know, I call them new age analytics tools. Help companies in both enterprise as wellas commercial markets get on the same page and stay on the same page. That pertains to their businesses most critical... More importantly, I thinkit helps them actually use that data to make critical business decisions just in timeon any device and then keep moving forward. Ultimately, it's how do we helppeople push their missions forward? That's our mission, and so, youknow, I think a lot of people. I think what separates a lot ofeffective business leaders from others is that you know, if they all havethe same data, that some of them do a better job of making meaningout of it and making decisions out of it. So you assist in thatprocess. Yeah, I oftentimes say, you know, we produce data literacyat scale. As long as you can read and understand information presented to youin language, which can happen audibly, by the way, then you canactually leverage data to make decisions when you use our software. Awesome. Let'sgo a step deep. You have two main products right now. One ofthem is called quill and that was the one that existed earlier and lexio isthe newer of the to the customers are different, the experiences different and andyou've served in CS in support of customers of both products. So maybe justdraw that line a little bit and how you, as a CS practitioner,experience them differently as well. Great questions. So quill is, what I willsay, is an analytics tool, the data storytelling tool that is designedto retrofit existing business intelligence solutions. So if you have a tableau or aclique or a power Bi and you, like many organizations, kind of hoveringat about thirty percent adoption of those tools and you want to get maximum returnon investment for your investment in those tools, that's where our solution comes in.So we can kind of scale the insight through language across all of thosesystems. And we do that a lot of times in the enterprise with quill, because those those large companies have made these big bets on these business intelligencesolutions. Where Lexeo fits in is it's the smart alternative to traditional business intelligence. It is a new age business intelligence platform that takes your data automatically turnsit into written stories that seem as if they were written by a human oryour best analyst. A lot of our customers like to say that lexio isis kind of the salesops person that they didn't need to hire or, youknow, the business ops person they didn't need to hire. Those two deliverymodels, enterprise versus commercial market, are very different. Right with enterprise itis is very white glove approach and with commercial market you have to think aboutscale. You have to think about how do you take this customer experience thatused to be very, very human when you're delivering with a white glove modeland scale that so that you can touch thousands of companies but make them feelspecial in every touch point. So what have you especially in a CS role? What are some things that you took care to do or some hard lessonsyou've learned along the way of creating a more scaled experienced it still feels,you know, relatively personal and relatively human. I would like to say that I'mdefinitely still on the journey. Lexio is still fairly new in market,but I'm really fortunate in that where I got my cs and CX or cutmy cs teeth, if you will, was with this white glove enterprise experiencewhere you can know, and you have to know, every detail and everynuance to a person's business. You pull in resources, you get ahead ofissues because you can lean on those personal relationships. You understand the outcomes thatthey're seeking, what that means for their business and what that means for thempersonally. You have to just always be listening, always be iterating and alwaysbe in lockstep with your executive stakeholders as well as your team and project people. So then I'm fortunate in that I get to adapt what I learned,where I could be very personal, into a more scalable model. So Iguess when I think of how you kind of scale that human touch skill thatreally really carry the customer experience, so much of it is reliant on makingthe product a tow a street and that means you have to be far morecollaborative. That means that you have to... in lock step with marketing andsales and CS and product and constantly thinking about how you can infuse some ofthose things that you would be doing if you had that one to one personaltouch with every customer into the product itself and in addition to that, I'magain the person that is bringing humanity back to technology. I don't think thatthere is ever going to be a replacement for facetoface, for literally showing thefaces of your brand to the people that are interacting with it so they knowthat, even if they are getting a more scaled product, something that isa little bit more tech touch and automated, that there's actual humans who actually carebehind all of those touch points. So I think ultimately it takes alot of collaboration, it takes a lot of advocacy to the product team toensure that they're implementing those bidirectional communication functions in the in the tool itself,and ultimately it's just a lot more collaboration. You need to put it in thesystem and allow your customers to really play a key roll in iterating withyou, even at scale. Love it. I think that the to a streetlanguage, you know, obviously for me implies consistent feedback loop and thentouching all of the multiple teams who all understand the customers a little bit differently, which kind of teas up where I want to go next. But beforewe do go, is there anything in particular that you all do at narrativescience to make sure that sales perspective is understood by marketing, is understood byCS, is understood by product and all vice versa. Yeah, so weactually just recently implemented a new framework that's working really, really well for us. So we have our boots on the ground team, representative of every everyfunction, that meets on a weekly basis that's focused on the next three monthsfor customers. So it's very tactical problem solving and the Voice of the customersextremely present at that table. Then we have we call that our h oneteams. Then we have our ht team, which is kind of one level upfrom their people, that are thinking a little bit more strategically, thinkingabout, you know, where the product is going over the next one year, and they're meeting on a weekly basis to continue kind of moving the ballforward there. And then there's cross collaboration between those two groups. And thenfinally, we have our h three team, which is really our executive team.They're thinking about things like how do we hire to make these things possible? What kind of financing do we need to take on as a company tocontinue moving our mission forward? How can we have relationships at the analysts andthe you know, the press, so that we can get the word outat scale? So across these different buckets you have different levels of decisionmaking,but all are moving in lockstep towards this greater mission which is, you know, pushing narrative science forward in the next three months, six months, oneyear, five years and beyond. Nice. I'm glad I ask that follow up. There where I wanted to go, which is also in the same conversationof like cross function. Different people have different will just generically call themdata input. Some of it as qualitative data, because some of these rolesare very customer facing. Sales and see us in particular tend to be verycustomer facing. There might be some marketing rules, product marketing that's doing alot of customer conversation. And then also in those same seats, but especiallyin product and debt, tons of this product data, product heat, productusage data. Of course you can append tons of additional third party data ontop of any other data. How do you think about the blend of kindof that, the the quantitative stuff, in the qualitative stuff like that,the real customer words and thoughts and experiences and behaviors against all the easily measurableand quantifiable pieces. I think about this every single day. Literally every singleday I look at the data behind how my customers are using our platforms,and so does the rest of the organization. One of our key metrics as abusiness is, you know, weekly active, monthly active, and thenwe want to see within those weekly active and monthly active users, how they'renavigating our platform. Are they engaging with... features or existing features? Andall of that is is translated, luckily for us, into Lexio reports thatare so easy to read and understand that I constantly get questions from executives frommarket in from product I don't understand why haven't these customers use this new featureyet. And so, to your point, you have to have the qualitative andthe quantitative and I think covid is actually a really interesting angle to respondto this question because, look, we've got customers in pretty much every industryand we know that their businesses are challenged and being tested and they have toadapt. And what that means to the product data that I can see istheir usage right now is volatile, extremely volatile, more than it's ever been, and if you just looked at that, as you know, senior leader inour company or somebody in marketing or somebody in product, you would say, I don't understand it. Looks like things are changing here. If youdidn't know, if you lived in a vacuum and had no idea that covidwas a thing that the entire world was responding to you right now, youwould be alarmed right looking at that data. But that's where the anecdote comes in, right. I know that this is still a strategic comparative for companyA. I know that this actually has been tabled for company B, andI know this because we have these outreach we have, you know, thesebidirectional kind of communication mechanisms that allow us to couple the qualitative, the narrativeabout how their industry is responding or how this company is responding to Covid,and the quantitative, what that means in terms of their interaction with our product. And so what I do specifically to bridge this gap for my team,because it's it's all about communication at the end of the day, is everyweek I'm producing reports based on how the customers are using the software. Everymonth I do a thirty day look back looking at kind of my calendar aswell as other kind of strategic conversations we had across the board with those customers, and we tie all that together in an anecdotal kind of look back thatresponds to both the data but then also supports why the data is the waythat it is, so people can have that whole or understanding of what ourcustomers are doing and how, how anything is really impacting their business and whereour product fits in and all that really good. I love the look backin particular just to provide that context that's missing from the raw material itself.Obviously you're in a position that that we are at bombomb and that you useyour own product as part of your own business flow out. How does LexioPlug into that for you? HMM, I'm excited into this. So forme, the data that I exist in is both sales force and mix panel. So from a sales force perspective, I'm using Lexio to understand, youknow, what is happening in the narrative science pipeline as well as in ourbookings, so that I understand, you know, what capacity is going tobe for on boarding customers and making sure that they get the experience that theyare so deserving of. And then, from a mixed panel perspective, we'vegot that hooked into our products so we can see kind of step by stephow any individual or company is really using our platform on. Obviously that informsour business in so many ways. One, you know, is this customer gettingvalue out of the system? Does that mean that they are, youknow, likely to renew or unlikely to renew? But, more importantly,when we look at that usage, how can we innovate in the direction?They need us too if they are going to be that great customer, andhow do we decide not to innovate for those customers that we know are actuallywhat we'd consider healthy churn? And I think you know healthy churn is isimportant for product and cus to really be aligned on, because you can't youcan't be everything to everyone. You'll be nothing to know one if you ifyou take that approach. So we have to really be in lockstep. They'relooking at the the usage through mix panel, through Lexio, so that we canbe really smart about where we innovate. Love it in of course you obviouslyneed to push that back up to...

...sales and marketing so that they havea very clear view of who they should maybe. You know, how didwe attract these these healthy churn events in the first place and how did wesell into them? And, you know, how can we prevent that in thefuture? So really good. Let's transition to community. Obviously, atsome point in the age three, H two, reach one team or allof them. This, the value of community, probably came up. Youeither self selected or were hand selected to lead the charge. How did thatconversation come up at narrative science just around community, and then how did youjump at it? Yeah, so I like to think that narrative sciences isagain this next generation business intelligence company, and you know, I mentioned thisearly. We have tools that retrofit existing business intelligence that we have lexio,which is kind of the smart alternative. It is this next gend business intelligence. But what that means when you're doing something that's on the bleeding edge ofinnovation is that not everybody's ready for it and traditional methods of marketing just don'tnecessarily work, because we're not selling a commodity, we're selling something that mostpeople have not ever heard of. So I like to think about this is, you know, when Uber first came to market, people thought that Iwas crazy because I wanted to get in a stranger's car and have them drivearound the city. And when air BNB came to market, people thought Iwas crazy because I was so eager to sleep in a stranger's bed and intheir home. And you look around now and and these are just commonplace right. Everybody takes an new birds. It's likely the preference for most people.Same thing with AIRBNB. We love to travel and love to travel like localsby staying and people's homes. But when those things first came to market youdidn't have community. And so you look around now, though, and thereare all these people that are really evangelists for it, and that's how thosecompanies move their missions forward. It takes time to transition an entire industry fromthe old world to the new and it takes time to garner enough of afollowing of evangelist who are willing to build with you and iterate with you,because it's not going to be perfect when you're trying to redefine something that everybodyis kind of clutched to and and define in their own way. So youhave to find these people, literally, individuals who are willing to stick itout with you, people that want to see you be successful because it meanstheir success. It means something that they meet in their lives now and theyare willing to then build it with you. So that's really what was the impetusto building a community at narrative science. Is there are people surrounding our brandecosystem. Who are these evangelists for us, and how do we curateand have meaningful conversations with them so that they can help us push our missionforward? So that's what we're doing. We're building up our community of advocates. These are people that want to rewrite tomorrow and do that with us,people that believe in this new way and this future that's possible because of companieslike narrative science, and so we're again very early on in our journey here. We're starting to lay the bricks for our community, but we're doing thatwith things like really exciting events, both virtually and then, hopefully post covidin person, offline events. We actually have one coming up at the endof April for anybody that is interested in joining. Will have thought leaders fromthe analytic space, people like Donald Farmer. Farmer CPO at Click keynoting the event, as well as a lot of other innovators. Again, that thegoal of those types of conversations being bring people to the table and talk abouthow we're innovating and how we're rewriting the tomorrows of each of our respective industries. As so many important themes in there, I find it difficult, especially theway you set up the response there. I find it difficult to pull kindof cat agory or category design away from community and community building. Thecommon thread there is, you know, this bidirectional conversation, not just companyor brand to customer, but customer to customer as well, that it's notreally a sales conversation or a product conversation or a price point contract terms conversation. It's a you know what are,...

...why are we all doing this together? What problem are we solving? How is this unique, etcetera, andso that's great. I think my curiosity is, I mean, obviously,I mean I understand why, but I'd love to hear like the process ofall right, we're doing community. Someone needs to lead this charge where youlike, we need to build community and I need to leave this charge.Or did you know how did this come up internally. I know, andI'm asking really on behalf of the listener, who, you know, like customerexperience and like so many other things, it's happening whether or not you're intentionalabout it. The you know you're either missing the opportunity or someone isunwittingly creating some degree of community, or you're very intentional about it. Soyou all are obviously very intentional about it at this point. But what wasthat kind of awakening internally? I would say the awakening for me was actuallywork that I do on the side of narrative science. So I've built acompany called manifest that we can we can talk further about, but what manifestwas was a community for ambitious women in Chicago to necked and share their experiencesto collectively move forward. And as we started building that community, we startedhaving those individuals request products from manifest, and so then we started building productsto address those needs. And when I realized that you could do that sameprocess but the inverse, at Narrative Science, I started advocating for it. Iwas like, we have people that are infatuated with our brand but don'thave a buying use case right now. How do we stay connected with them? We've people that are purchasing this and are infatuated with it and they wantto spread the word. How do we give them opportunities to do that?So, to your point, when our topic is a category, it's evermore important that we bring all the people that are interested in that from allthe different angles, whether they are user or their inn ai kind of visionary, to have those conversations, because conversations result in ideas. IDEAS result inproducts. Products result in revenue, and when narrative science can make more revenue, we can bring our mission to more people. So that's that's kind ofwhy I raised my hand for community, started advocating for it, got otherpeople on board with this idea that this could really bring people together and helpus move our mission forward, and so now we are being very intentional abouthow we roll that out. Yeah, I imagine in a culture. Again, I have some exposure to several of your team members. I have visitedbefore and spend some time with some of your folks in person, and soI can't imagine that it was a difficult lift. I don't imagine you're likerolling a boulder up the hill to get this thing going, but I canimagine that some people listening are probably an organizations where it's probably a greater challenge. Let's talk about manifest for a few minutes. So what was the spark? They're like, you founded it, what were you trying to solve andwhat is it about? I'm getting answer that one thing that I just wantto share your listeners because I think this tactical advice could be really helpful foranybody trying to build community or grow community. To respond to what you'd said,it was pretty easy at narrative science, I think everybody we have a veryvisionary leadership team. They recognized how valuable community could be to us.But community is so big and broad that you have to break it down toreally, really tact elements and start having just many evidence of traction to startbuilding towards something that's much broader, which is, you know, community.Now at narrative science, where we started, was just social media. How dowe get our community at narrative science together to help share our mission?And then it turned into executive round tables. How do we gather tend like mindedpeople right, super tangible and get them to start co creating by havingconversation. And now we're looking at bigger skill things like our data storytelling someat that's coming up. So to anybody listening kind of considering, how dowe start? Start Small, start really tactical, get people on board,start showing that early traction and then ultimately,... know, kind of grow ofall evolved and graduate to figure community efforts. We don't have to likeimplement a community software system right away today. You don't need the eighty point planexactly as some momentum and and your point, there are a lot ofdifferent ways to go about it, a lot of models you could probably lookat. I would guess that there are tons of videos and blog posts availableabout building community. Actually brings to mind a number of people and I canthink about a bunch of people on Linkedin that are consistently talking about some ofthe practical things here. My only follow up to that, and then we'llgo to manifest sure, is when you brought those ten people together, wasit simply for conversation sake? And and I'm asking this kind of from apersonal point of view, like my tendency in a lot of situations is notto give myself permission in a work context. I'm air quoting to simply go intosomething for discovery's sake. Where you looking to produce anything out of itor document anything out of it? Or was it let's just bring people togetherand have a conversation? Yeah, again, for us it's all about solving thecustomers problems. So at the executive round table we did, it wasindustry leaders who have questions and they want to share their knowledge and collect otherpeople's knowledge that they can problem solve in their businesses. And obviously, whenyou are the magnet for that conversation, when you were central to that conversation, people problem solve around the thing that you exist to be and to create. So I would say it was more conversational, but definitely with the intentionof helping people problem solve and and move their companies forward as a result,as an outcome of the conversation. Yeah, I really like the way you positionthat, that they could have gotten together on their own, but itmakes so much more sense for you to bring them together because you are thecommon point of connection, even though it's going to go in a variety ofdirections. So Chicago, ambitious women, yeah, and manifest that's a goodtea up. So manifest really came about as a result of me hitting areally low point in my career. After graduating college, I poured myself intomy work, as a lot of ambitious women do. I had no identityother than who I was at the office. And a few years ago I wasgoing through a career transition and I had raised my hand for a rolethat was definitely a reach. It would have been my first step into amanagerial role, and by that I mean it would have given me experience inmanaging people, and I mean I thought for sure I can do this.Right, I manage a household, I can lead a team, I dopublic speaking to audiences five thousand or more people. But but technically speaking,you're right, I don't have manager realial experience. And so I didn't getthe job. And in that moment my world came crashing down because I hadagency up until that, I gotten every job I ever wanted, and soI wallowed and self pity for a few months. I'm an opolized dinner tableconversations one limited time, and and then I realized in in having those conversationsthat I wasn't the only one. There was ambitious women all around me andthey had experienced very similar to letdowns. And I think for women as agender, there's this narrative that everyone has to be a boss or be aboss Babe and or killing ourselves at work, and statistically it's just not getting usvery far. So wele me and dot org says that women hold thirtyeight percent of middle management positions, thirty percent of VP positions, twenty onepercent of executive positions, and the numbers are on the rise. But conventionalwisdom would tell you that women hit a glass ceiling and in reality, thebiggest obstacle that women face is the first step up. That step that Imissed is what they call the broken wrong, and this broken wrong results in morewomen getting stuck at entry level, fewer women becoming managers and as aresult, there's a significantly fewer women that ultimately advanced to the higher levels.So what I learned from this experience, kind of the fall out, wastwo things. Women need more space to... each other and swap ideas andbest practices of cross industries. We have women in tech, we have womenin manufacturing, but we don't have women, ambitious women. And then the secondis, as a gender. We need to diversify what makes us feelsuccessful. We can't be just defined by our work. And so what ismanifest doing? We are rewriting the definition of success for ambitious young women.We believe that you should diversify your life in the same way you diversify yourinvestments, and we believe that success can be realized in any end or allof those domains. You can be a Badass at work, you can havea side hustle, you can be a great mom, you can write abook, you can be a Yoga Guru, you can be all of these things, as long as you just follow what lights you up inside and whatmakes you feel personally successful. It doesn't have to be defined by who youare at the office. So so we exist to provide a space for ambitiouswomen to connect, not compete, to share, not compare, and tomove forward together. We believe in leveraging the collective knowledge and networks of ourcommunity to help propel women forward in any area of their life. Love it. I love the diversity, or, I guess, the the whole ismof the view of a successful life, as well as the whole ism ofwomen from any industry or any background. I think there's probably a lot moreinteresting learning and a lot more interesting conversations as a consequence of that. Youknow, it is, it is. I've had a lot of conversations withpeople. Women in tech is obviously a thing and that's really helpful because there'splenty of diversity within tech, as you well know. I'm just talking aboutthe you know, the six or seven kind of disciplines you've been in inyour career already within it, within a tech and business context, but Ithink opening that up even wider probably is interesting. To this start primarily digitallyor facetoface. So it started facetoface, very similar to the community work thatwe're doing at narrative science. My theory was if we could pull ten womentogether and a facetof face setting and give them vegas roles. What happens herestays here, then we could authentically facilitate conversation around topics that are otherwise tabooto talk about with strangers. What are you most proud of, you know? What do you most excited about in your life? What are you strugglingwith the most? What are you missing in your life? And allowing themto answer that question from any dimension of who they are was really really powerful, because you have women that lean into the career conversation, you have womenthat lean into their challenges and their relationships or their marriages or the running householdsand ultimately, you know everybody is kind of dealing with the same things.Despite you know where where those challenges and obstacles are coming from. It's reallygood for folks who have enjoyed this conversation so far, and I assume thatif you're with us at this point, you have found this really interesting andvaluable. You know, we've touched on a lot of themes that are consistenton the show and if you visit bombombcom slash podcast, of course you cansearch the customer experience and Itunes or wherever you prefer, apple podcasts or Googlepodcasts, Google play, spotify or if you prefer to listen and find alot more conversations that are about this balance of human and tech. A lotof CS thought leaders, of course, sales and marketing and leadership as well. And in Steph, you've just had a really cool career to date.I'm excited for where you're going to go over the next decade in kind oftouching a lot of those different lines. What what are maybe one or twothings that have surprised you to your in your journey to date, having beenin sales and Biz, devl rolls and, you know, obviously interfacing with productin building kind of CS functions that didn't exist and now pioneering community likewhat are one or two things that maybe surprised you along the way, ormaybe something you picked up in a manifest conversation or maybe a question you wereasked in a manifest setting that you provided an answer and you just discovered somethingabout yourself. I think the biggest surprise for me in my professional career hasbeen that there's just not a playbook, that everything is just adapting to yourenvironment and taking and pulling from every air...

...of your life frameworks that work.I definitely thought in my come up that one day somebody's going to hand mea playbook and say this is how you do see us, or this ishow you do sales, or this is how you do marketing, whatever itwas. And and there are playbooks, right, but but everybody is responsiblefor adapting all the playbooks into something that works for them and works for theirbusiness. And so at manifest we're kind of building playbooks for life or pullingfrom different thought leaders like I love Lululemon has this incredible goal setting program.Michael Hiatt also has an incredible goal setting program, James Clear, atomic cabots, Charles Douheg the power of habit, and we're compiling a playbook for life. So biggest surprise was that playbooks did, in our already exist. The perfectplaybook the end, I'll be all for any person trying to do anything. The biggest, most exciting thing is is how you adapt those playbooks,how you have conversations like these and and then those results and ideas and newplaybooks to help you kind of move your your company's mission forward or you're onmission forward. I love it really blends kind of where we were several minutesago with qualitative and quantitative. You know, the playbook is essentially a rule set, you know, a series of if then's kind of a set ofguidelines or a set of like written things, but you know it when it intersectswith the real world and real situations, that they need to be flexed andadapted and you keep what works and and ditch what doesn't. It's loveit. Really good response there. Before I let you go stuff, I'mgoing to ask you for a couple things want. This is just your opportunityto show some appreciation for a person and a company, so a person that'shad a positive impact on your life or career, and then give a shoutout to a company or a brand that you really respect for the experience theydeliver for you as a customer. I have to go out of my wayto shout out a woman named Cathie Slunsky. She is, I think, chiefproduct officer now at Neighborhoodscom, and the reason why I want to shouther out is I didn't know that product management was a career path for womenin tech when I was I was coming up and she showed me how applicableproduct management was, a skill set that could be adapted in the future toany role, marketing, sales, customer success otherwise, and she really gaveme, you know, and my my mind, an elevator ride to uplevelingmy career in a way that I wouldn't have if she hadn't pulled me intoproduct I think there's there's people in your life that they see you for theunique and talented individual you are and they say you do this, do moreof this, lean into that, because that's what makes you special and shewas the first person that did that for me in my career and I wouldn'tbe here, I wouldn't have the career that I have, I wouldn't havethe confidence or the gumption that I have without her. So major shout outto Cathy. And then also I would be I would be sad if Ididn't have the opportunity to shout out the leadership team at narrative science. Iworked for tremendous managers there and and you know, Narrative Sciences is where I'mmaking my career and so I'm really, really grateful for the folks on thatteam as well. Awesome. How about a besides narrative science? Then anothercompany, your brand that you really appreciate? Oh yeah, sweet green. Mycolleagues are all going to laugh. They know how much I love sweetgreen, but to me, going back to customer success customer experience, SweetGreen has the ultimate customer journey. You can be I'm a person that ordersit a lot for lunch. You can order directly through their APP, youwalk into the store, you grab your salad, you can leave the officeand be back to the Office for a conference call in three minutes. Andoftentimes what that means is, you know, they mess up from time to time. You grab the wrong salad or or your salad is not made perfect. But any time you need to you just go in their APP, youchat support and they are one of those companies it's like, you're right,let's fix it. They get it fixed immediately and I think that that isjust the ultimate customer outcome. Is You have an obstacle that you're facing together, the company does the right thing by you and they create this evangelist,this advocate, because now I'm standing on...

...this podcast talking about sweet green onthe salads that I love from them. So shout out sweet green. That'sawesome. I have enjoyed that experience myself, not the ordering side of it,but I did get with your Cmo, cassidy, I was able to godownstairs, walk next door, pull it off the shelf and enjoy justan awesome salad. So good call their stuff. This has been a pleasure. I really appreciate what you're up to. Appreciate what I called Your Passion,but turns out to be your mission. I don't know how separable or inseparablethose are, but I really appreciate what you're up to and how youapproach in view your work in the world in general. If people want tofollow up with you personally or with manifest or with narrative science, we aresome places that you might send people. Yeah, I think the most collectiveplaces my Linkedin, so you can find me stuff called well. I spellstuff with an F. otherwise follow me on instagram at by stuff called wellor manifest hercom. Just a quick kind of drop. We will be announcingour book coming out in July, manifest her, the ambitious woman's guide togetting unstuck, navigating the ambiguity of your post prescribed life and manifesting your biggestdreams. So if anybody listening is kind of feeling like me when I startedmanifest hopefully it's an incredible resource for you. But definitely open to any conversation withany person that is inspired by this conversation and also thank you so muchfor the opportunity. Yeah, thank you. I will drop links again at Bombombcompodcast. We do right ups, we grab some video clips, wedo embed the full audio and I always make sure to have links to allthe things that we talked about. I might even round up some of thosebooks that you pointed to and some of those some of those other resources.So, yeah, I really enjoyed it so much. Again, continued successto you. I hope you have a great rest of your day and Iappreciate your time here in the conversation. Thank you so much. This hasbeen awesome. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just someof the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day.It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the officialbook rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience.Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks forlistening to the customer experience podcast. Remember, the single most important thingyou 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 favoritepodcast player or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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