How to Create a Better Customer Experience through Employee Focus


The first thing you should do when a customer complains — Thank them. They’re pinpointing issues that the team can now fix.

But if you want the kind of team that embraces complaints and goes to work with enthusiasm, there must be a focus on the employee experience.

Nick Glimsdahl, Director of Contact Center Solutions at VDS, joins me today to discuss his new book and all the reasons why the employee experience should be your main area of focus for a better customer experience.

Join us as we discuss:

  • 138 pages of nothing & the digital transformation
  • Lessons learned about customer experience & service
  • Moving a contact center to the cloud
  • How to do employee retention right
  • Tip of the week for listeners

Ready to rethink what’s possible in CX? Subscribe to every episode of Dare to Reimagine on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or your favorite podcast player.

You don't want to be the person that just hawks technology, because I think you need to solve the need of the customer. You need to understand the need of the customer. What's the pain points? What's that journey like from both the employee and the customer experience? You're listening to Dare to Reimagine, a podcast for CX innovators brought you by Five9. Each episode will bring you bold new ideas from the innovators who are transforming customer experience and changing the way business is connect with customers. We dream big. We don't hold back and we dare to reimagine the customer experience. Ready, let's get started. Hello everyone, and welcome to the Dare to Reimagine podcast. My name is Genefa Murphy, Chief Marketing Officer at Five9, cloud contact center leader and Innovator, and on today's podcast I am very pleased to be joined by Nick Glimsdaal, director contact center solutions at VDS and podcast host for Press One for Nick. Now, why do we have nick on today? Well, it's not just because he is an awesome guy and we actually had some great times getting prepared for this podcast. He has some pretty interesting stuff to share, but also because Nick has a new book out and this is no ordinary book. For those of you listing in. This book is special because it's essentially a hundred and thirty eight pages of nothink. Yes, you heard me write a hundred and thirty eight pages of not think. Nick, welcome and you have to tell us more. Thank you so much. Enough, I am fired up about this episode. So people kept talking and they said, Hey, you wrote your you were a podcast house and you got a bunch of episodes. You should write a book. I was like, I'm not writing a book. Everybody's got a book. I'm not writing a book. So the title of the book is reasons not to focus on...

...the employee experience, because I was thinking, well, what are all of the reasons why you shouldn't? I kept thinking of all the reasons why I should and I came to nothing. I came to no reasons why I shouldn't focus on the employe experience. So here's what I did. I created chapters, you know, marketing and sales and customer lifetime value and contact center and, like you know, fill on the blank right, there's more and more and more, and then there's questions, two or three questions at every single chapter of things that you should think about per chapter. But then the rest of the book is lyned to paper because there are no reasons why you should shouldn't focus on the employe experience. Nice. I like it. I like it smart. That's a bit of Smart Marketing Net. So you're going to have to give us some of the questions. Give us a couple of the your favorite questions that you think everyone should be asking when they're thinking about this topic. Yeah, I mean you think of digital transformation, right, so that was one. That's chapter three. So I have a quote off by Peter Drucker and that one. And then the question is how will your customers have have input in the digital transformation? It's a great question, right. The second one is how can you prioritize digital transformation? And then the third one is how do you measure if the transformation was successful? So those are all questions and there's there's ten chapters, and so they're all things that you should be thinking about, that you're bringing to the table and the whole goal for the book is obviously I'm having fun with the book. It's a little provocative but I want people to go into meetings and have bring this into a meeting and start taking notes and somebody's like, wait, what are the reasons why you shouldn't focus on the employee and the like? It's just a notebook. There are no reasons, right, and so it's a good way. You think of the Amazon how they have a chair in every room that's empty because there it's the it's the most important person in the room, which is the customer. The same is true with this book. Oh, I love that. I love that and I love on the digital transformation part, the part about measuring how you going to sort of determine how your transformation was successful and measuring it, because that is one of the trickiest parts. And so often, you know, we come up with these great initiatives. Oh,...

...we're going to do digital transformation, we could do business transformation, but you need to take that step back and you need to really think, and I think that's a nice thing about this book is it makes you think. So I love that. A hundred and thirty eight pages, not of nothing, of thought provoking questions and thinking time. We all need a bit more thinking time. Okay, so tell us a little bit. You mentioned about your podcast. Now you have done over a hundred and forty different podcasts. What are some of the lessons that you've learned about customer experience customer service that you've had on the podcast? What are some of the ones that stand out to you? Yeah, I would. I mean there's so many because I've interviewed a huge swath of people, anybody who were hostage negotiators to people who ran magic kingdom to people who own a Semipro baseball team called the Savanna Bananas. Wow, that's a Nie, that's a nine. Yeah, and I think some of the best quotes that I came up with just recently and all and then from from there I'll kind of bring it back to themes is, you know, we think of who was it? Mark Havevercroft. He said to light your customers and be the subject at their dinner table. He's like, you know what it's sometimes inside customer service is not the easiest conversations do you have. But how do you be the best part of their day? So at the end of the day they're having dinner with the FAM and you come up because you're the best part. And I just love that one. You know, I think of you, you chef hike, and he joined you guys, and I don't know if he was the one of the first, if not the first, right. Yeah, he was. Yeah, yeah, so he says a customer who complain should be thanked because they're providing the opportunity to fix it in a problem identified as a blessing. Another one, a guy named Tim Kite. He has an equation called e plus. Our equals out which is the event plus has plus the response equals the outcome. And he said, you know, it's not that you have to focus, that you have to be in customer service, that you have to serve the customer, that you have to show up to work, but you get to... he his quote there was I get to work with purpose, sir, people saw problems and bring energy. Man, I love my job. So just think if every single customer service representative had that same perspective when they shut up to work and jump down that interaction. You know some of the themes that I have inside the podcast. So you know it's all about employee experience. It's customer experience, you know, be better than average, but it's also having empathy. How do you actually talk less and listen more. How do you take feedback and then from that feedback, take action? And then what we talked about with the digital transformation, how do you focus on the business outcomes aligning with that technology? So those are just the handful and there's so many more I could I could talk for the next five hours about the excitement in the and the insight that I got from my guess. No, I love it and I especially like that that thank the customer right. You know, thank the customer when they complained, because that is so true. The fact that a customer is willing to take the time to give you feedback and give you an opportunity to solve the problem, that is something that you should be thankful and the same goes I think. You know, when you think about customers service leaders internally, you know if agents are speaking up and saying hi, here's a problem that I'm seeing, here's something that's impacting me, thank the agent for their feedback, because you know that means you've got an opportunity to make a change, to do something different, to make it better. It'd be really bad if your customer didn't want to give you the opportunity and walked away or if you know your agent, and we all know that contact center churn is a massive problem, your agent decided to take a role somewhere else. So I really like that. You know, thank the complaining customer, so to speak. It's a little bit easier said than done often because you do bear the brunt of some of those things and then delight the customer. You can't go wrong with that. I love that. I mean how many great customer experiences? It's still how many great customer experiences can... count, you know, on one hand, two hands? It's always one hand, it's never two hands. We need to get to that day when the great customer experiences are not the one off, they're not the anomaly, they're the norm. Yeah, when you talk to people and you say tell me about the best experiences that you've ever had, everybody starts thinking about it. They look and up into the right and they're like, Oh, let me think past my history of my life experiences and what are the top five best experiences? And they just keep thinking. But you ask him, what are the worst experiences you ever have, and immediately goes to they're from their head and they're saying, Oh, you should go talk to this company. You should go down to this company, you should go deliver that better experience, because they are awful. Yeah, let me let me tell you. Let me tell you so in addition to the podcast. So you are a pretty foot podcaster. You are fantastic. You've had some great people on your show. You have a day job as well. As we mentioned before. You are the director of contact center solutions at vds. That means that you spend a lot of time with customers, advising companies on contact center solutions in the cloud, talking to them about what to do what not to do. So tell us a little bit about that. What are some of the biggest challenges for companies moving their contact center to the cloud, because there are still, you know, many millions of seats that are on premise, still using a more traditional contact center. So what are some of the things that you speak to with customers about when you're talking about moving to the cloud? Yeah, I would say the biggest thing is the misconception of Oh, it's not secure enough, right, it's not stable enough. It's it's educating that consumer and it's the fear of the unknown. Right, it's the status quo. Oh, I know what I know and I'd rather deal with this then focus on what that potential effort could be, because you could just Bambooz on... on what this technology is. But how do you guide them and understand what they're specific needs are and what we talked about at the very beginning, how do you alliant to business outcomes and then bring in the right technology? You don't want to be the person that just hawks technology, because I think you need to solve the need of the customer. You need to understand the need of the customer. What's the pain points? What's that journey like from both the employee and the customer experience? And you don't you know, I don't want to be the guy. I always joke around and say I don't want to be the guy that unzipped my let, my black leather jacket, opens it up and says, Hey, what's service and in a products do you want? You know, it's it's all aligns back to the customer and solving for those specific needs and I think it goes back to, you know, what we talked about a little bit with your Book Day. It's about having a conversation, asking a question, right. I mean I assume you know that that comes up a lot and it's interesting that you said about security, you know, still being one of those key areas that people are concerned with. That definitely, you know, I think it was a big area when people were first moving to the cloud. I hope that we've done a little bit more to sort of Assuay US those fig years, but I think there's probably, based on what you're saying, there still a little bit more to do. Yeah, I don't think it stops. There's always going to be this pendulum of people saying I'm ready to jump in five years ago and there's other ones going to say I'm gonna wait another five years before I jump in in. It's just it's all about providing that peace of mind and helping them on that journey. And if I can be the guide to that, to that journey, then it's going to create a better experience. And then it's up to you to bring in the right technology and the right process and then, obviously, I was obviously with the people side of the business. Like I guess it's up to the company to bring in the right people. Yeah, and it always comes down to that, right. It's always about the technology, the process, people having the right change management, I'm sure as well, is something that you focus on a lot. So let's go back for a minute to the sort of the CX ex right, because people,...

...that is something that the company owns, right, that's on that's on them. But why for you? You know, do you think that that intersection between x and X is so important and needs to be front and center when customers are thinking about making, you know, this transition and move to the cloud? Yeah, well, you think of you think of the employee experience, right, you think of the how hard it is to find the right people. How do you train them on? How do you retain them? Because when you actually have a competent resource, a competent employee WHO's engaged, who understands their why in that journey in of the customer, then they're going to act different. And if you provide them with the right technology to drive those efficiencies, so they're actually focused a hundred percent on the customer and they're not asking about the weather because they're hoping that they can deter them and say, Oh, I got to look at my next sixteen tabs while I try to solve your problem. So please fill that white space so it's not awkward for both of us and I think at the end of the day it's the employee experience equals customer experience, because you know, one of the one of the big stats sets out there is eighty eighty six percent of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. So what's the if somebody's coming in? It's no longer that when it comes to the customer experience side, I no longer buy a specific soap because my grandparents bought a specific soap. I have one bad experience with one bad representative, even though I stayed at that, you know, that phone company for fifteen years. I'm now fed up and somebody's going to deliver that experience for me. And so you talked there about, you know, retaining and we know again in the contact center Churney's, it is an issue and it's been proven time and time again that the cost, you know, often the cost it takes to hire someone and the effort and the time right, you'd actually be better off putting that into employee retention. Right. I think there was a report. It was a couple of years ago now, so I'm sure the numbers of change.

That said, thirty three percent of a workers annual salary is what it takes to higher replacement. If that work it leaves, and I'm sure now it's even more so. What are some of your key best practices that you've seen customers do or that you work with customers when they are focused on creating that great employee experience, especially about retention? What are some of the things that matter the most? It's not necessarily jeans on Friday, it's not the cagurator in the corner and everybody gets a Free Cup right. It's what is the need of that specific person, because I think if you are more granular in that experience and you understand why they're there, what's important and where they want to go on the future, and how do you potentially upskill that person and say, okay, well, I know that you're not quite ready to get from point a to point B, but let's help you get there. Let's provide you either internal communication or education. Let's guide it through it a technology, you through some type of training, or let's provide a subsidy so that you can get that elsewhere. You know it's also does that. Does that employee do? I care about that employee? Did they think a care about them? And do I feel known and valued? Because if they don't feel known and valued then they're going to go somewhere else that they can. And so it's not necessarily always about money, like it potentially was in the past. It's all about where am I at and where I'm I going and is this company the right fit for me both now and into the future? No, I love that and you know sort of that. Don't be fooled by the Shawnee objects, because often people do think, Oh yeah, we've got to have the pool table and we've got to have the free food and the free drinks and and, like you say, what those things that they're nice, but at the end of the day I love this. Find out there why and personalize the plan for the employee right. Find out there why? Why? What motivates someone? Is it money, or is it promotion,...

...or is it growing their sell set? Everyone, you know, hey, I love my job, you love your job, but at the end of the day, right, we're all working for a reason because we want to achieve something. And Yeah, that's a really key part. So I really like that. You know, don't be fooled by the shiny objects. Find out the person's why to build on the employee experience. That's great. Okay, so one of the things that we like to do on the debt reimagine podcast is we do like to have a bit of a to put the pot cast, tip of the week, tip of the day. So this is something that you can give our listeners maybe to start, a fact, a resource for how to put some of what we've talked about into action. And why I say, you know, it's not just a resource, which could be a blog or a book, but also a statter of fact, because I'm definitely a believer that stats can be really powerful and just like if you can walk into the meeting, you know, with your notebook and have people ask a question, sometimes, you know, a stat a number can just make people think, think differently. So what would be your tip of the week? A stat a fact or a resource that you think would be useful for our listeners to help turn some of this advice into practical customer experience? I love that. So I give a stat a prior which is adyc eighty six percent of buyers are willing to pay more for a great experience so I'm not going to use that one, but I'll use maybe the inverse of that. Right. So what is the cost of a poor customer service? In the cost of a poor customer services about seventy five billion dollars annually. Seventy five billion with a bee dollars annually in that is the amount that is left in carts on ECOMMERCE that organizations are customers are willing to spend. But they had a bad experience that they left it in the cart and that increased from you know, it's a little bit dated, but increase from in two thousand and eighteen and went from seventy five billion, but just two years prior it...

...was thirteen billion dollars less. And so how do you capitalize on increasing that experience to capture that that Wallet Chair? So continue to focus on the customer. I understand the needs that they are meeting them on the channel of their choice and reducing that effort, because if you're not, you're leaving that wallet share in the court. Like it. That's excellent. That's that's a phenomenal amount of money. A phenomenal amount of money that potentially could be put back in to the business to help businesses to innovate, to retain more employees, to give employees more growth opportunities. So, yeah, just think about it that way as well. That's seventy five billion dollars. Whenever you think about Hey, I would love to do some of these things for my employees, but maybe I don't have the funds to do it. Well, if you focus on getting that great customer experience, you can retain your customers, you can get new customers and you can use some of those dollars to make sure that you can then create that great employee experience. Absolutely love that, Nick. That is great and that is why there are definitely no reasons to not focus on the employee experience. It always comes back to it. Thank you very much rejoining us today. Absolute pleasure to have nick with us. Thank you all for joining us on the debtor reimagine podcast and we will see you around next time. It dare to reimagine customer experience with five nine. For over twenty years, five nine has been helping companies worldwide chart a path to a reimagine CX. Learn more at five ninecom. That's five, the number nine dot com you've been listening to dare to reimagine a podcast for CX elevators, brought to you by five nine. To make sure you never miss an episode, be sure to follow the show in your favorite podcast player. Thanks for listening.

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