The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years 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 kind of scale that human touch scale that really really carry the customer experience. So much of it is reliant on making the product a to a straight the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Leveraging language as the interface between humans and technology, making analytics accessible to anyone and 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 is bringing humanity back to technology. Over the past several years she served in product management, business intelligence, business development, sales and customer success roles. She's currently the senior customer success leader and community architect at Narrative Science, a company I'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 really love 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 my mission. 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 day and the more personal we can make it and the more for us we can make 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's the scene where you are? How's it affecting you or your team or your customers? kind of what's set the scene for us there? It's a great question. 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 come crashing down. I would also say that from Narrative Sciences perspective, we are still 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 the book of business that I run and the book of business that other people on my team run, everybody is really being impacted differently. We have our healthcare customers who are, you know, I don't want to say thriving, because that'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 are stronger. Their businesses are being tested and I am hopeful that everybody kind of comes 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 variety of businesses and roles and industries. In the end, the effects of course, or are very uneven, and so I mean, as bombomb were fortunate to be on the more on the healthcare side of things, where people are understanding more acutely than ever that time and distance are keeping them apart from people who matter most of their businesses. So when you can't do like a live zoom call like we're doing now, that rerecording and sending messages is kind of a nice human substitute, to use your language. So let's get into customer experience and all of the things that you've that you've been in. I love the variety of roles you've been and I'm...

...looking forward to this conversation. But let's start with customer experience. When I say that, what does it mean to you? So I'm one of those people that I have to go back to the definitions of things often and I had to pull it for this conversation because 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 that buys goods and services from store business and experiences practical content, tact and observation of facts or events. And so my definition, when I put those things back together in my own way. Is it's how a person who buys goods or services from a business or thinking about it, honestly interprets the events of those interactions with that business. So it's subjective, it's their perception, but ultimately it's the interpretation of the events or the interactions are having with the people that are in your company. Really Great. I love that you went to some literal definitions and then put them back together in a practical way and I think the consequence of that is, you know, the thoughts and the feelings that were left with interaction by interaction. So because of your experience and customer success and some people you know what I want. I've spoken with some people about customer experience. They see it as likes this evolution or functionally, from an organizational standpoint and arm of what was for still is a CS or a customer success organization. How do you think about customer success in particular, which I you know, I think of that as a highly organizational term, where's customer experience may or may not be. How do you think about customer success and 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 my perspective doesn't actually matter. On customer experience versus customer success, it's their experience that 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 again buys 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 an outcome when interacting with and that, you know, this external party and customer experience 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 to deliver is outcome. So the two are are very much aligned, even though they're not synonymous. Yeah, and you can't, you really can't, pull them 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 in a in a predictable or quick or enjoyable journey. Yeah, yeah, it's just the journey to the outcome. I like to think of it again from the 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, is having, or will continue to have on my business. Yeah, so similar but different. Yeah, or I can't wait to brag to my peers or superior about this outcome that we were able to achieve. exactify this, this relationship that I enjoy with this brander, this company. So, for people who aren't familiar, tell us a little bit about narrative science, like who are your customer as? You already did a little bit of that, but tell 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 to help other companies realize their potential. So we do that through data, storytelling software. But essentially the premise of our business is data is hard. Interpreting that data is time consuming and oftentimes the result of that is more confusion than answers. So we have software that translates that data into objective, fact based data, 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 well as commercial markets get on the same page and stay on the same page. That pertains to their businesses most critical... More importantly, I think it helps them actually use that data to make critical business decisions just in time on any device and then keep moving forward. Ultimately, it's how do we help people push their missions forward? That's our mission, and so, you know, I think a lot of people. I think what separates a lot of effective business leaders from others is that you know, if they all have the same data, that some of them do a better job of making meaning out of it and making decisions out of it. So you assist in that process. Yeah, I oftentimes say, you know, we produce data literacy at scale. As long as you can read and understand information presented to you in language, which can happen audibly, by the way, then you can actually leverage data to make decisions when you use our software. Awesome. Let's go a step deep. You have two main products right now. One of them is called quill and that was the one that existed earlier and lexio is the newer of the to the customers are different, the experiences different and and you've served in CS in support of customers of both products. So maybe just draw that line a little bit and how you, as a CS practitioner, experience them differently as well. Great questions. So quill is, what I will say, is an analytics tool, the data storytelling tool that is designed to retrofit existing business intelligence solutions. So if you have a tableau or a clique or a power Bi and you, like many organizations, kind of hovering at about thirty percent adoption of those tools and you want to get maximum return on 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 those systems. 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 intelligence solutions. 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 turns it into written stories that seem as if they were written by a human or your best analyst. A lot of our customers like to say that lexio is is kind of the salesops person that they didn't need to hire or, you know, the business ops person they didn't need to hire. Those two delivery models, enterprise versus commercial market, are very different. Right with enterprise it is is very white glove approach and with commercial market you have to think about scale. You have to think about how do you take this customer experience that used to be very, very human when you're delivering with a white glove model and scale that so that you can touch thousands of companies but make them feel special 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 lessons you'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'm definitely 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 cut my cs teeth, if you will, was with this white glove enterprise experience where you can know, and you have to know, every detail and every nuance to a person's business. You pull in resources, you get ahead of issues because you can lean on those personal relationships. You understand the outcomes that they're seeking, what that means for their business and what that means for them personally. You have to just always be listening, always be iterating and always be 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 I guess when I think of how you kind of scale that human touch skill that really really carry the customer experience, so much of it is reliant on making the product a tow a street and that means you have to be far more collaborative. That means that you have to... in lock step with marketing and sales and CS and product and constantly thinking about how you can infuse some of those things that you would be doing if you had that one to one personal touch with every customer into the product itself and in addition to that, I'm again the person that is bringing humanity back to technology. I don't think that there is ever going to be a replacement for facetoface, for literally showing the faces of your brand to the people that are interacting with it so they know that, even if they are getting a more scaled product, something that is a little bit more tech touch and automated, that there's actual humans who actually care behind all of those touch points. So I think ultimately it takes a lot of collaboration, it takes a lot of advocacy to the product team to ensure 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 the system and allow your customers to really play a key roll in iterating with you, even at scale. Love it. I think that the to a street language, you know, obviously for me implies consistent feedback loop and then touching 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 before we do go, is there anything in particular that you all do at narrative science to make sure that sales perspective is understood by marketing, is understood by CS, is understood by product and all vice versa. Yeah, so we actually 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 every function, that meets on a weekly basis that's focused on the next three months for customers. So it's very tactical problem solving and the Voice of the customers extremely present at that table. Then we have we call that our h one teams. Then we have our ht team, which is kind of one level up from their people, that are thinking a little bit more strategically, thinking about, 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 ball forward there. And then there's cross collaboration between those two groups. And then finally, 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 to continue moving our mission forward? How can we have relationships at the analysts and the you know, the press, so that we can get the word out at 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, one year, 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 conversation of like cross function. Different people have different will just generically call them data input. Some of it as qualitative data, because some of these roles are very customer facing. Sales and see us in particular tend to be very customer facing. There might be some marketing rules, product marketing that's doing a lot of customer conversation. And then also in those same seats, but especially in product and debt, tons of this product data, product heat, product usage data. Of course you can append tons of additional third party data on top of any other data. How do you think about the blend of kind of 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 measurable and quantifiable pieces. I think about this every single day. Literally every single day 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 a business is, you know, weekly active, monthly active, and then we want to see within those weekly active and monthly active users, how they're navigating our platform. Are they engaging with... features or existing features? And all of that is is translated, luckily for us, into Lexio reports that are so easy to read and understand that I constantly get questions from executives from market in from product I don't understand why haven't these customers use this new feature yet. And so, to your point, you have to have the qualitative and the quantitative and I think covid is actually a really interesting angle to respond to this question because, look, we've got customers in pretty much every industry and we know that their businesses are challenged and being tested and they have to adapt. And what that means to the product data that I can see is their 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 in our company or somebody in marketing or somebody in product, you would say, I don't understand it. Looks like things are changing here. If you didn't know, if you lived in a vacuum and had no idea that covid was a thing that the entire world was responding to you right now, you would 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 company A. I know that this actually has been tabled for company B, and I know this because we have these outreach we have, you know, these bidirectional kind of communication mechanisms that allow us to couple the qualitative, the narrative about 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 every week I'm producing reports based on how the customers are using the software. Every month I do a thirty day look back looking at kind of my calendar as well 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 that responds to both the data but then also supports why the data is the way that it is, so people can have that whole or understanding of what our customers are doing and how, how anything is really impacting their business and where our product fits in and all that really good. I love the look back in 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 use your own product as part of your own business flow out. How does Lexio Plug into that for you? HMM, I'm excited into this. So for me, 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, you know, what is happening in the narrative science pipeline as well as in our bookings, so that I understand, you know, what capacity is going to be for on boarding customers and making sure that they get the experience that they are so deserving of. And then, from a mixed panel perspective, we've got that hooked into our products so we can see kind of step by step how any individual or company is really using our platform on. Obviously that informs our business in so many ways. One, you know, is this customer getting value out of the system? Does that mean that they are, you know, 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, and how do we decide not to innovate for those customers that we know are actually what we'd consider healthy churn? And I think you know healthy churn is is important for product and cus to really be aligned on, because you can't you can't be everything to everyone. You'll be nothing to know one if you if you take that approach. So we have to really be in lockstep. They're looking at the the usage through mix panel, through Lexio, so that we can be really smart about where we innovate. Love it in of course you obviously need to push that back up to...

...sales and marketing so that they have a very clear view of who they should maybe. You know, how did we attract these these healthy churn events in the first place and how did we sell into them? And, you know, how can we prevent that in the future? So really good. Let's transition to community. Obviously, at some point in the age three, H two, reach one team or all of them. This, the value of community, probably came up. You either self selected or were hand selected to lead the charge. How did that conversation come up at narrative science just around community, and then how did you jump at it? Yeah, so I like to think that narrative sciences is again this next generation business intelligence company, and you know, I mentioned this early. 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 of innovation is that not everybody's ready for it and traditional methods of marketing just don't necessarily work, because we're not selling a commodity, we're selling something that most people have not ever heard of. So I like to think about this is, you know, when Uber first came to market, people thought that I was crazy because I wanted to get in a stranger's car and have them drive around the city. And when air BNB came to market, people thought I was crazy because I was so eager to sleep in a stranger's bed and in their 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 locals by staying and people's homes. But when those things first came to market you didn't have community. And so you look around now, though, and there are all these people that are really evangelists for it, and that's how those companies move their missions forward. It takes time to transition an entire industry from the old world to the new and it takes time to garner enough of a following 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 everybody is kind of clutched to and and define in their own way. So you have to find these people, literally, individuals who are willing to stick it out with you, people that want to see you be successful because it means their success. It means something that they meet in their lives now and they are willing to then build it with you. So that's really what was the impetus to building a community at narrative science. Is there are people surrounding our brand ecosystem. Who are these evangelists for us, and how do we curate and have meaningful conversations with them so that they can help us push our mission forward? 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 companies like 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 that with things like really exciting events, both virtually and then, hopefully post covid in person, offline events. We actually have one coming up at the end of April for anybody that is interested in joining. Will have thought leaders from the analytic space, people like Donald Farmer. Farmer CPO at Click keynoting the event, as well as a lot of other innovators. Again, that the goal of those types of conversations being bring people to the table and talk about how 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 the way you set up the response there. I find it difficult to pull kind of cat agory or category design away from community and community building. The common thread there is, you know, this bidirectional conversation, not just company or brand to customer, but customer to customer as well, that it's not really 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, and so 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 of all right, we're doing community. Someone needs to lead this charge where you like, we need to build community and I need to leave this charge. Or did you know how did this come up internally. I know, and I'm asking really on behalf of the listener, who, you know, like customer experience and like so many other things, it's happening whether or not you're intentional about it. The you know you're either missing the opportunity or someone is unwittingly creating some degree of community, or you're very intentional about it. So you all are obviously very intentional about it at this point. But what was that kind of awakening internally? I would say the awakening for me was actually work that I do on the side of narrative science. So I've built a company called manifest that we can we can talk further about, but what manifest was was a community for ambitious women in Chicago to necked and share their experiences to collectively move forward. And as we started building that community, we started having those individuals request products from manifest, and so then we started building products to address those needs. And when I realized that you could do that same process but the inverse, at Narrative Science, I started advocating for it. I was like, we have people that are infatuated with our brand but don't have 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 want to spread the word. How do we give them opportunities to do that? So, to your point, when our topic is a category, it's ever more important that we bring all the people that are interested in that from all the different angles, whether they are user or their inn ai kind of visionary, to have those conversations, because conversations result in ideas. IDEAS result in products. 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 of why I raised my hand for community, started advocating for it, got other people on board with this idea that this could really bring people together and help us move our mission forward, and so now we are being very intentional about how we roll that out. Yeah, I imagine in a culture. Again, I have some exposure to several of your team members. I have visited before and spend some time with some of your folks in person, and so I can't imagine that it was a difficult lift. I don't imagine you're like rolling a boulder up the hill to get this thing going, but I can imagine 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 and what is it about? I'm getting answer that one thing that I just want to share your listeners because I think this tactical advice could be really helpful for anybody 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 very visionary 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 to really, really tact elements and start having just many evidence of traction to start building towards something that's much broader, which is, you know, community. Now at narrative science, where we started, was just social media. How do we 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 minded people right, super tangible and get them to start co creating by having conversation. And now we're looking at bigger skill things like our data storytelling some at that's coming up. So to anybody listening kind of considering, how do we start? Start Small, start really tactical, get people on board, start showing that early traction and then ultimately,... know, kind of grow of all evolved and graduate to figure community efforts. We don't have to like implement a community software system right away today. You don't need the eighty point plan exactly as some momentum and and your point, there are a lot of different ways to go about it, a lot of models you could probably look at. I would guess that there are tons of videos and blog posts available about building community. Actually brings to mind a number of people and I can think about a bunch of people on Linkedin that are consistently talking about some of the practical things here. My only follow up to that, and then we'll go to manifest sure, is when you brought those ten people together, was it simply for conversation sake? And and I'm asking this kind of from a personal point of view, like my tendency in a lot of situations is not to give myself permission in a work context. I'm air quoting to simply go into something for discovery's sake. Where you looking to produce anything out of it or document anything out of it? Or was it let's just bring people together and have a conversation? Yeah, again, for us it's all about solving the customers problems. So at the executive round table we did, it was industry leaders who have questions and they want to share their knowledge and collect other people's knowledge that they can problem solve in their businesses. And obviously, when you 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 intention of 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 position that, that they could have gotten together on their own, but it makes so much more sense for you to bring them together because you are the common point of connection, even though it's going to go in a variety of directions. So Chicago, ambitious women, yeah, and manifest that's a good tea up. So manifest really came about as a result of me hitting a really low point in my career. After graduating college, I poured myself into my work, as a lot of ambitious women do. I had no identity other than who I was at the office. And a few years ago I was going through a career transition and I had raised my hand for a role that was definitely a reach. It would have been my first step into a managerial role, and by that I mean it would have given me experience in managing people, and I mean I thought for sure I can do this. Right, I manage a household, I can lead a team, I do public 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 get the job. And in that moment my world came crashing down because I had agency up until that, I gotten every job I ever wanted, and so I wallowed and self pity for a few months. I'm an opolized dinner table conversations one limited time, and and then I realized in in having those conversations that I wasn't the only one. There was ambitious women all around me and they had experienced very similar to letdowns. And I think for women as a gender, there's this narrative that everyone has to be a boss or be a boss Babe and or killing ourselves at work, and statistically it's just not getting us very far. So wele me and dot org says that women hold thirty eight percent of middle management positions, thirty percent of VP positions, twenty one percent of executive positions, and the numbers are on the rise. But conventional wisdom would tell you that women hit a glass ceiling and in reality, the biggest obstacle that women face is the first step up. That step that I missed is what they call the broken wrong, and this broken wrong results in more women getting stuck at entry level, fewer women becoming managers and as a result, 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, was two things. Women need more space to... each other and swap ideas and best practices of cross industries. We have women in tech, we have women in manufacturing, but we don't have women, ambitious women. And then the second is, as a gender. We need to diversify what makes us feel successful. We can't be just defined by our work. And so what is manifest 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 your investments, and we believe that success can be realized in any end or all of those domains. You can be a Badass at work, you can have a side hustle, you can be a great mom, you can write a book, 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 what makes you feel personally successful. It doesn't have to be defined by who you are at the office. So so we exist to provide a space for ambitious women to connect, not compete, to share, not compare, and to move forward together. We believe in leveraging the collective knowledge and networks of our community to help propel women forward in any area of their life. Love it. I love the diversity, or, I guess, the the whole ism of the view of a successful life, as well as the whole ism of women from any industry or any background. I think there's probably a lot more interesting learning and a lot more interesting conversations as a consequence of that. You know, it is, it is. I've had a lot of conversations with people. Women in tech is obviously a thing and that's really helpful because there's plenty of diversity within tech, as you well know. I'm just talking about the you know, the six or seven kind of disciplines you've been in in your career already within it, within a tech and business context, but I think opening that up even wider probably is interesting. To this start primarily digitally or facetoface. So it started facetoface, very similar to the community work that we're doing at narrative science. My theory was if we could pull ten women together and a facetof face setting and give them vegas roles. What happens here stays here, then we could authentically facilitate conversation around topics that are otherwise taboo to talk about with strangers. What are you most proud of, you know? What do you most excited about in your life? What are you struggling with the most? What are you missing in your life? And allowing them to 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 women that lean into their challenges and their relationships or their marriages or the running households and 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 really good for folks who have enjoyed this conversation so far, and I assume that if you're with us at this point, you have found this really interesting and valuable. You know, we've touched on a lot of themes that are consistent on the show and if you visit bombombcom slash podcast, of course you can search the customer experience and Itunes or wherever you prefer, apple podcasts or Google podcasts, Google play, spotify or if you prefer to listen and find a lot more conversations that are about this balance of human and tech. A lot of 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 of touching a lot of those different lines. What what are maybe one or two things that have surprised you to your in your journey to date, having been in sales and Biz, devl rolls and, you know, obviously interfacing with product in building kind of CS functions that didn't exist and now pioneering community like what are one or two things that maybe surprised you along the way, or maybe something you picked up in a manifest conversation or maybe a question you were asked in a manifest setting that you provided an answer and you just discovered something about yourself. I think the biggest surprise for me in my professional career has been that there's just not a playbook, that everything is just adapting to your environment 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 me a playbook and say this is how you do see us, or this is how you do sales, or this is how you do marketing, whatever it was. And and there are playbooks, right, but but everybody is responsible for adapting all the playbooks into something that works for them and works for their business. And so at manifest we're kind of building playbooks for life or pulling from 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 perfect playbook 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 new playbooks to help you kind of move your your company's mission forward or you're on mission forward. I love it really blends kind of where we were several minutes ago 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 of guidelines or a set of like written things, but you know it when it intersects with the real world and real situations, that they need to be flexed and adapted and you keep what works and and ditch what doesn't. It's love it. Really good response there. Before I let you go stuff, I'm going to ask you for a couple things want. This is just your opportunity to show some appreciation for a person and a company, so a person that's had a positive impact on your life or career, and then give a shout out to a company or a brand that you really respect for the experience they deliver for you as a customer. I have to go out of my way to shout out a woman named Cathie Slunsky. She is, I think, chief product officer now at Neighborhoodscom, and the reason why I want to shout her out is I didn't know that product management was a career path for women in tech when I was I was coming up and she showed me how applicable product management was, a skill set that could be adapted in the future to any role, marketing, sales, customer success otherwise, and she really gave me, you know, and my my mind, an elevator ride to upleveling my career in a way that I wouldn't have if she hadn't pulled me into product I think there's there's people in your life that they see you for the unique and talented individual you are and they say you do this, do more of this, lean into that, because that's what makes you special and she was the first person that did that for me in my career and I wouldn't be here, I wouldn't have the career that I have, I wouldn't have the confidence or the gumption that I have without her. So major shout out to Cathy. And then also I would be I would be sad if I didn't have the opportunity to shout out the leadership team at narrative science. I worked for tremendous managers there and and you know, Narrative Sciences is where I'm making my career and so I'm really, really grateful for the folks on that team as well. Awesome. How about a besides narrative science? Then another company, your brand that you really appreciate? Oh yeah, sweet green. My colleagues are all going to laugh. They know how much I love sweet green, but to me, going back to customer success customer experience, Sweet Green has the ultimate customer journey. You can be I'm a person that orders it a lot for lunch. You can order directly through their APP, you walk into the store, you grab your salad, you can leave the office and be back to the Office for a conference call in three minutes. And oftentimes 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, you chat 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 is just 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 on the salads that I love from them. So shout out sweet green. That's awesome. I have enjoyed that experience myself, not the ordering side of it, but I did get with your Cmo, cassidy, I was able to go downstairs, walk next door, pull it off the shelf and enjoy just an 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 inseparable those are, but I really appreciate what you're up to and how you approach in view your work in the world in general. If people want to follow up with you personally or with manifest or with narrative science, we are some places that you might send people. Yeah, I think the most collective places my Linkedin, so you can find me stuff called well. I spell stuff with an F. otherwise follow me on instagram at by stuff called well or manifest hercom. Just a quick kind of drop. We will be announcing our book coming out in July, manifest her, the ambitious woman's guide to getting unstuck, navigating the ambiguity of your post prescribed life and manifesting your biggest dreams. So if anybody listening is kind of feeling like me when I started manifest hopefully it's an incredible resource for you. But definitely open to any conversation with any person that is inspired by this conversation and also thank you so much for the opportunity. Yeah, thank you. I will drop links again at Bombombcom podcast. We do right ups, we grab some video clips, we do embed the full audio and I always make sure to have links to all the things that we talked about. I might even round up some of those books that you pointed to and some of those some of those other resources. So, yeah, I really enjoyed it so much. Again, continued success to you. I hope you have a great rest of your day and I appreciate your time here in the conversation. Thank you so much. This has been awesome. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of 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 official book 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 for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember, the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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