Another Cloud Podcast

A podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in IT, operations and business, and learn how they're using Cloud Technology to improve business and the customer experience.

Getting to the Heart of Customer Experience with Nate Brown

with Alex McBratney and Aarde Cosseboom

Don't have time to listen? Read the full transcription.

Alex McBratney (Host) 00:01

Hello and welcome to Another Cloud Podcast, a podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in IT, operations and business and learn how they're using cloud technology to improve business and customer experience. Well, Nate Brown, I have to say it is an absolute pleasure to have you on this podcast. I've been looking forward to this since time Aarde And I actually dreamed up this brainchild of starting a podcast. And I've seen your red beard all over LinkedIn. And I just couldn't wait to get you on. And so thanks for joining us today.

Nate Brown (Guest) 00:37

Oh, so my pleasure, Alex, I love what you all are doing what you're starting here, I think is fantastic. And just an honor to be involved. Thank you.

Alex McBratney (Host) 00:44

So you are with Officium Labs, you're the CEO, which is even more important than the executive officer some cases is the Chief Experience Officer because if the customers don't have a good experience, the CEO is not going to have a job for very long.

Nate Brown (Guest) 01:00

That's a good way to say it, I've definitely not more important, but Jonathan, really, in true CEO, and the Co-founder of Officium Lab, what he has created is just remarkable inside of this company is just a really neat place to work. And the ways that we're getting to serve our customers and think creatively about cx challenges. It has been an absolute pleasure being here this past year and a half.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 01:24

Yeah, and Nate, we've been, we've been on a lot of webinars together, we've been on podcast, we've been at trade shows together, you're not afraid to jump up there, ask the hard questions be a little silly as well, too. But also engage the audience around customer experience. I love the topic of customer experience, because it's one of those that it's hard to challenge because it truly is empathy, you have to be in the customer shoes to truly understand what their experience is. So talk to us a little bit about, you know, what you're doing on social media, your podcasts, like, what what are the topics that come up? Let's let's just start there.

Nate Brown (Guest) 02:03

Yeah, well, so I've got a cool role in that I get to do a lot of marketing as well. And it's neat, because I dreamed of doing marketing back in college. And I just never really got the chance. But I mean, as I've been more and more into CX, it's it's so exciting the overlap between marketing and customer experience. And it was really Denise Leone and her brilliant book fusion, that made the light bulb click for me in terms of this overlap. So I mean, you've got an organization who does something unique and compelling. And the in a brand promise is born, when that organization is born, I'm promising you customer and world that we're going to do this thing. And marketing is typically forming that brand promise and the voice around that, and putting that message out into the world. But it then is the customer experience that has the ability to make that promise of reality. And without those two things together, they're both very empty. And so I really get to do both, I get to do a lot of the marketing for officiant as well as the CX delivery. And it's just, it's just a great marriage there. So I have loved creating a podcast through fishing labs called the experience matters podcast, I have an incredible team, including Sidney Nelson, who does a lot of unique and engaging things with our social media. And and we do clubhouse chats every Tuesday at 11 Central. So we're being creative, we're trying to get great material out there to equip and edify the CX professionals of the world. Because as most of you know, this is tough work, and it should not be done alone. And so we exist to help to to equip you, and to resource you up to make this work more fun and more possible.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 03:45

I love that. And I love the marriage between marketing and customer service and customer experience. The way that I think about it, I'm going to use a little bit of a analogy here, but it's, you go to a nice steak house and they put that steak on the the warm plate. So it's got that sizzle, you could hear the sizzle, you can smell the butter that they put on top and you know you got everything go on You got it, that's the marketing piece. But if you cut into that steak and it's not cooked the way that you like it, and it's gonna fall short, like what's leaving point of eating and enjoying it. So that customer experience is the meat and potatoes on that plate. It's got to be cooked perfectly. It's got to carry through through the marketing. I love that. That's that's a great way to think about it.

Nate Brown (Guest) 04:25

That's a good analogy. I like that if it doesn't taste good, all that presentation is gonna fall flat.

Alex McBratney (Host) 04:31

And just to go deeper than the waiter is going to be the person that's gonna be the customer support, right? Okay, this steak didn't turn out the way it was then what do you do? You say, Oh, sorry, that's wagyu we're not going to give you a new one. Or, you know, they just come out and they're all sassy and not helping you out. I mean, experience there right there.

Nate Brown (Guest) 04:51

I was just hired to put plates on a table. What this is crazy. I can't even help these customers. Oh yeah, that's real.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 04:58

So Nate when you're talking to people when you're helping them through this process, helping them learn from, you know, beginning of marketing to all the way through the end of the customer lifecycle. even beyond that, I'm assuming, who are the people who you're engaging with at companies? Is it really truly everybody is it, it's not a vertical, it's really horizontal across the company. Tell us a little bit about how you engage with companies.

Nate Brown (Guest) 05:22

Yeah, we love talking about a cx change coalition. If either of you is familiar with the brilliant work of John Kotor, we believe it's essential to unite the organization organization around a common language of change. And so having a simple changement methodology in place, or leveraging an existing change methodology inside of the organization. Lean Six Sigma, Agile, Adkar, these are great models. But if one of those doesn't exist, then applying some principles around leading change by john Kotor, which includes the introduction of a change coalition. And so this is a cross functional group of individuals who can help drive cx in a meaningful way. It you've got to have that executive sponsor, somebody's got to pave the way for you, and have an appetite of a two to three year runway if you're just beginning this journey. Because otherwise, the idea of understanding and starting to measure the customer experience, understanding where those friction points are making the right changes to experience engineer those, and then being able to come back and show the ROI of what those changes bid to improve the lives of your customers. That's gonna take some time. So this is not a quarterly initiative, and it's going to require some energy and some investment. So that executive stakeholder is critical. But right under that your cx change coalition that has different people representing the key facets, the key functions inside of the organization that can take this strategy that you formed together, and bring it out to the teams do some accountability, some performance management around this stuff, and unify the business around that language of change. If you don't do that, it's gonna happen in a vacuum. And it's gonna die, like 90% of change initiatives do.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 07:10

Yeah, and I love the phrase, die on the vine. And it's totally true, because you'll have all this energy that you put in to make this perfectly, you know, beautiful fruit or flower, or whatever it is, putting all of your budget into it, you've got your SVP of customer service, let's say just focusing all their energy, but if you don't have executive buy in, it's really gonna go nowhere. It's gonna die on the vine. So what are some tricks of the trade? I've heard things like, you know, have your, your C level answer calls and emails, like directly from customers? Or have them Secret Shop, you know, go under an alias and buy something and see what the experience is? What are the some, like, secret sauces to get your sea level or even just your executives engaged in the conversation?

Nate Brown (Guest) 07:55

Yeah, I think what you're talking about there is that first stage of the john Kotor model, which is wake up, you got to establish a sense of urgency around this change. Because it because if the business doesn't really want it, if they're just doing it, because they feel like they have to check the CX box, because they read it in some Harvard Business Review article, you're not going anywhere. So applying some of those techniques that you just described our day around, waking people up and showing the reality of the customer. Hey, guys, I want I was in an audience of like, 130 people recently in Philadelphia, and just put out the question, somebody tell me what your brand promises for your business. Not a single person either knew and or had the courage to articulate what that brand promise was. So a lot of times, it just it comes back to that first question of what are we doing? What if What if we committed to the world and to our customers that we are doing? And once you get people reminded of that? It's like, okay, here's what here's what's really going on? Here's what we've said, we are, here's what we actually are. And as Kate Zabriskie says so well, the customer's perception is our reality. You don't get to hide anymore. Around the little box that we made for ourselves, the excuses the ways that we justify the things that we've done as an organization, you don't get to do that anymore. Because your brand promise is what one customer says to another. It's no longer what you slap up on a website last night. People don't believe that junk. They believe what they hear from one another. So so we got to honor that reality, this evolution that has taken place. When it comes customer experience is the way we grow the business. It's the way we sell it is the acquisition engine, hence the rise of customer success. It's the customer centric way to sell this stuff works or the incredible revolution around our sales practices wouldn't have happened and so it's it's cool the awakening that's going on but you've got to light that fire first and get people wanting it is sited about it. This is how we change the business. This is how we grow, then you get to talk about Okay, so how do we do it?

Alex McBratney (Host) 10:08

That's the tricky part, right? And is having this true Northstar, right, this brand promise that you're going to put the stake in the ground and say, This is who we are, this is what we are. And what does it stand for? Now? How do we go out and execute and you brought up a great point about how it takes two to three years, maybe even more, maybe five years to really execute this? I great quote from Jeff Bezos one time I was listening one of the podcasts with him speaking. And he said that he's asked about how what do you think about the great quarter that you had last year last quarter of q1? He's like, it's what we plan for five years ago. Like he's expected that to happen. Yes, he's like, I'm not thinking about the next quarter. The next year. He's like, my, his thought process is five and 10 years out on how to grow Amazon to make them an exceptional organization. And you can see it and that's why they're growing leaps and bounds over their competition and gobbling up everybody in their in their path as tornado.

Nate Brown (Guest) 11:01

That's amazing.

Alex McBratney (Host) 11:03

If you're not leading that change, if you're not waking up, you're dying.

Nate Brown (Guest) 11:08

Yeah, a similar minded person to Jeff Bezos is Ed shearing, who I distinctly recall an interview where he had just come on the scene because of the duet that he did with Taylor Swift. And everybody's like, Oh, you must be just amazed at your own success because of your affiliation to Taylor Swift. And Ed's like, I've worked 15 years for this moment. Just because you didn't know my name yesterday, doesn't mean I didn't take 12 years of guitar lessons. Become a foenum on the guitar. And, and and develop the vote vocal capabilities I have, I have positioned myself for this moment. This is exactly what I've expected for the past 15 years. It's like, that's what yeah, that's what great businesses do. It does take time to get there. But having that vision and that clarity around your brand promise, and how you're going to make a difference in the space that you play in. You can't be stopped.

Alex McBratney (Host) 12:01

So really quick. All right. Sorry. So john, coder, this is really interesting to me to see leading changes. First thing is wake up, right? Yeah. Yeah. The challenges, I guess, as a cx leader, and someone that's not an executive as almost How do you get them to wake up? If you're the one that's woken? And they're not hit the thing that woke term into the podcast?

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 12:27

We got to stay relevant. So it's good. Let's put it in there. That's right. Yeah.

Nate Brown (Guest) 12:31

I mean, so I had a boss once telling me, you got to put your put yourself in the mentality of this executive team. What is it that keeps them up at night, if they're being held accountable to their stakeholders, and then maybe their victim of this quarterly shareholder model, you know, maybe maybe that's what's going on. Or maybe there's some NPS metric that is just killing them right now. Because it's gone down 20 points, and whatever, whatever that thing is, that's keeping them up at night, I guarantee you that doing customer experience well, is how you transform. It's how you achieve success towards that end. And nobody writes better on this topic than Jeanne bliss. Her brilliant work chief customer, Officer 2.0 lays out the process of collecting cx allies, and how to earn the right to bring them into the work. So if you don't understand what they need, and what they desire, and what they're being held accountable to, you can't transform them into an ally. So it starts with you learning and listening and asking good questions. And then positioning cx as the true authentic solution, which it is, though it's not going to be an overnight solution. But if you're serious about growing the business, if you're serious about serving customers, well, then then this is how we do it.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 13:56

There's this this term brand ambassador, which can be easily applied the membership base models where you know, you've got a membership, whether whether it's insurance, or whatever it is. But people are applying it to one off situations as well, where you just buy one product from one, you know, one, one company, and then you move on, but they've got this high level of loyalty and they go back to that company or they refer that company. So what's your How would you define what is a brand ambassador to you? And how important is it to foster the relationship with those brand ambassadors?

Nate Brown (Guest) 14:34

That's a great thing to call out. There's several things that pop in my mind when you use that word ambassador. And it starts to me with the employees inside of your company. If they aren't ambassadors yet for you, where they're excited to work there, and then they're putting out authentically their excitement into the world about how cool it is to serve inside your company. You have no business trying to create customer ambassadors yet You've got a totally backwards. So it starts on glass door. Have you created ambassadors inside of the company? I think Simon Sinek was the one who says customers will never love your business until your employees love it first. So I mean, it really starts there when we talk about ambassadorship. But when they when we think about, okay, how can we generate customer loyalty? I mean, there's a lot of like, mission driven cx overlap here. And I'd love for you to check out the blog on Officium mission driven CX is where we think about what what am I, what am I to this world, who who am I, what matters to me. And so I have this identity. And then the companies that I choose to do business with, they form a part of this identity, there's a part of me inside of who I select, to go get my groceries, to do my online shopping with to provide my streaming services, the food that I consume the type of drinks that I get the pickleball paddle that I ordered last night, these form a big part of who I am as a person. So when I see a compelling company, that's that speaking boldly, in terms of this is who we are, they're attracting me like a moth to the flame of all that's me, that's me. That's the type of difference I want to make in the world too. And so that's, that's where you start to create ambassadors, and then and then you connect those customers with each other. And that's why we've seen so many customer communities become boring, because customers are so excited when they get to be like, Oh, you you too. Oh, you know, I love this company for that. And oh, man, we both really feel the same way about sustainability in the world. And I can't wait for Earth Day on April 22. And ah, you know, Patagonia you know which bold stances right and and they you light people I see your background, Alex, I notice it summit, a company like Rei or Patagonia, they are putting themselves out there in a bold and unique and compelling way. No fear, no apologies. And they are generating ambassadors for those brands in a way that these non courageous companies will never be able to do.

Alex McBratney (Host) 17:07

Absolutely. I mean, you see it with the products that you love, like my skis, right small ski manufacturer based out of Vermont, you know, but they hand make their skis and it's like when you see a set of those out on the slopes, like, Oh, you got some j skis to man, I love these things. And then you bro out on it for that because you both you know, it's not like the K twos. It's not the atomics like the ones that are Yeah, everyone has those. Right. But absolutely makes sense. So when you have those, that branding, it's like we all naturally create these communities of what we're attracted to. Right. And that's where it's like, oh, you know, I love the Patagonia one, they're all about the environment. And they are not using, you know, child labor and like all those different things that like people can get, they can get their hearts around.

Nate Brown (Guest) 17:53

You can you can't that's what great brands do. And it's gonna look different for different organizations. I'm sure somebody who's listening to this right now. They're like, I'm a utilities business. Right into them, I give them right into them. I give them Schneider Electric. Like if you look at Schneider Electric, and their brand promise around turning a life on because they're an electrical company, they do so much in the community, to keep people safe to educate them to turn life on in ways that go way beyond electricity. And so they've gone from a utility company to now like you're a community service provider. And now someday when there's this huge competitor that's knocking on the door. Oh, no way. I love Schneider they did this for me, they did this for my kids, they got this program, you get out of here, you know, whoever you are, because I don't want you displacing the impact that they've made on me and my identity.

Alex McBratney (Host) 18:48

Yeah, we have we have a local dumpster company out here and those are contracted routes right there's no competition coming in for these these dumpster providers right. And talking to the to the CX leader over there is running the contact center whatnot, he was saying when he brought in the new tool, the new new cloud provider to run their platform the executives and understand the reason behind it, but then now all of a sudden they're getting into the community. There's all these sell opportunities they sell those you know the bags that picks up up, you know, one offs or like their size containers or so there's a lot more than just Oh, they already own the route it doesn't matter. We're gonna get the business anyway. But he really transformed it to getting into the community, their own organization because they own the route it's like the cable company should be out there making their impact. So I cable company cable. Is it a beat up on a cable company? I know.

Nate Brown (Guest) 19:43

It I will say my cable company that I pick on often is doing some really unique and innovative things in the space of employee experience and overlapping it into their customer experience. I'm rooting for them but holy cow has it been a long and exhausting journey.

Alex McBratney (Host) 19:57

How did you so going like this is Take us back. But how did you become passionate about the customer experience? How did you end up to where you're at now in this in this world.

Nate Brown (Guest) 20:07

I appreciate that. Yeah, I was I was serving in a, in a very strange role inside of the Tennessee farmers Co Op, through an outsource vendor doing customer service. I wasn't supposed to be doing customer service, I was actually supposed to be doing marketing. But people kept getting fired off the help desk. And they put me into this customer service role. And I came alive in it in terms of, oh, wow, that this person that they can't, they can't do what they need to do today. They're super frustrated right now, because they can't do their job. It's like I can help them like I can get them over this hump, I can, I wouldn't use the term at that time, I can reduce stress and friction for them. Which is why the effortless experience wall I mean, it just changed the game for so many of us because that right there is why this work is such a privilege. Because if you look at anger and worry and stress, just as a trend line in America and the world, it's nuts. And the true pandemic, in many ways is loneliness and mental health issues and other things. That's as devastating to our society right now as COVID. So when when we get to bring solutions to that, and reduce the stress and friction in people's lives through great cx delivery, I mean that right, there is a calling. And I feel like we should consider it to be a calling work that we have a lot of pride in. Because when I did that customer service work for 15 years. And I developed this animosity towards the perception that people had towards customer service workers. And in many cases, it was like viewing them as second class citizens of you're there to clean up my mess. When I screw up. That's why we have this cost center over here called customer service to make it okay for us. And by the way, when we have this manual, weird task that needs done, oh, just email customer service, they'll take it...

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 21:56

Just give it to them, they'll do it. Yeah, there's huge back office teams that get created because of that. And it's the I don't know what to do with this, I'll just throw it over to the customer service team.

Nate Brown (Guest) 22:07

I'd become very excited about reversing that perception and showing customer service and customer experience to be the strategic asset that it is in this new environment that we're in, because CX is how we grow the business. It's how we acquire new customers. If we don't get this right, we don't exist in the very near future, because this is how market share is gained. So we just went from this little peripheral group over here that we occasionally have to walk through on the way to the break room to now like this is the strategic driver in the business if we don't get experience, right, none of the other stuff matters.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 22:43

Absolutely. I back you 100%. It's it's traditionally not sought after as an amazing role or position. You don't go to college to be in customer service. There's no like degree, other than maybe Business, Business admin, but there's there's no end you don't go home for Christmas. And when grandma asks you, what do you do for a living? You say, You know what? I talk to customers, I save them, I make them happy. It's not how that conversation goes. Usually it's, oh, I get paid hourly and take calls. Or sometimes I write emails. Yeah. It's not this amazing, at least perception wise in the US in other countries. It is there are there are countries out there where that is like if you work in a call center, you are the breadwinner, and you bring the money home. So yeah, you know, it's highly, highly respected, I have to...

Nate Brown (Guest) 23:34

I'd like to make one comment in there. And I just, that's one of the other reasons I love working for Officium. Because as I was coming on, they were telling me about the opportunities that we'd have to equip the next generation of cx professionals. And we've awarded tons of 1000s of dollars in scholarships, in disadvantaged communities, to students who are on a trajectory and on a path towards great customer service jobs. We're equipping them, we're training them, we're giving them scholarships. And so I mean, that right there, what you're describing our day, I want to do everything that we can as an organization to help reverse that perception, and give these students a great opportunity to enter into exciting and compelling cx jobs.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 24:16

I love it. And what what I was gonna ask is because I love your background, your background literally looks like one of those virtual backgrounds where you'd select on the internet, and it's literally it's, it's perfect, it's awesome. You have a beautiful bookshelf. My question to you for the viewers is with regards to customer experience, what is the maybe one or two, maybe three if you want to throw it in their books that you would recommend for someone who's who doesn't know a lot about customer experience. They want to get their toes a little wet, which ones?

Nate Brown (Guest) 24:46

You asked a dangerous question. So I love I love these books back here, but they're somewhere I put them on the shelf and then I end up going back and grabbing them almost every day. And so these these are sitting up here by me and one of these is probably To perform, if you want to think about why people work, and the motivators that feel the employee experience, absolutely no better book than that one. Of course, the Bible of customer service work

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 25:14

That is, you got to have that within arm's reach, you have to.

Nate Brown (Guest) 25:18

If you haven't read it, you have to read it. And I've been through it multiple times, I'm doing a book club right now, with some of our newer people coming into Officium. Just to give them this context and feel them with this, this new knowledge of how we generate customer loyalty. A new winner, just came out last week, Jeff hoister guarantee customer experience. If you if you feel a disharmony between the brand promise and your cx delivery. This This to me is how you get back to center. And in a very practical, very clear way. I mean, Jeff has a gift for making things very simple, as do you are day with with your awesome contribution to this world.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 26:00

Don't worry, I've got mine here. So shameless plug.

Nate Brown (Guest) 26:05

I mean, there's there's just a special thing that you have done in the Jeff has the ability to do, let's take difficult concepts and make them simple. And I think that that's just a great service that you provide. One more, I'm going to do one more.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 26:19

And try to make it fun, too. I think as a as an author, it can be so dry and boring. You know, you got to do examples and make it fun.

Nate Brown (Guest) 26:27

Absolutely. Radical candor by Kim Scott. She is brilliant. I've been doing a lot of team building activities in this role of just enhancing customer service teams. And this book right here, if when you want to get down to just real talk of why people are at work, how we can develop them, how can we reach into their lives, add value to their lives, and make them those employee ambassadors through excellent leadership, there are a few contributions as compelling as what Kim Scott has written there. So man, just there's so many great books, and I've been challenging myself to I'm not reading just cx books, tribal leadership, the power of moments, I'm trying to reach into these other areas of business practice and academia even and just leadership, and now applying them into the customer experience world, which which I feel like is really important to be able to do.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 27:19

And I love I love that term tribe too. Because if you think about customer experience, what you want to do for your customers is bring him in, bring them into your tribe, you know, this is a brand, this is like a fenced off area, you're safe. When you're with us, you're one of us, you're a part of the team, even though you're not a part of the company, you're part of the tribe. And that's that's huge.


Nate Brown (Guest) 27:40

Oh, that just rips that just tanked it tinkles everything in our in our brains when you say things like that, and Simon Sinek is the voice in this area when he talks about creating that circle of safety. And we don't win with the sharpness of our of our Spears, we win with the strength of our shield, when we're back to back protecting one another. I mean, that's how we embed a state of mind into a worker to where they can go out and deliver exceptional experiences. So you're tapping into something very powerful there.

Alex McBratney (Host) 28:15

How does it play out with the you know, the voice of the customer programs, right? Where you're kind of like, let give the customer the voice essentially like how do you how does that play into like how you manage with your clients. And he just even internally at Officium.

Nate Brown (Guest) 28:29

Well, I have this piece of paper courtesy of Justin Robins, we were on a Clubhouse chat this morning. And we did the topic of voice of customer and and Justin Robins, the chief customer evangelist at cx effect, blue all of us away with it with a very simple way but a very powerful way to think about voice of customer, you should be answering these these three questions. What are the customers telling us directly? In other words, your structured channels? What are they telling others? out into the world? These are your unstructured channels? And then what are they actually doing? Because it's clear must get brought up on the clubhouse chat to a lot of times what customers are saying, Do not actually give us true insight into their real behaviors. Yeah, so when we think about these three areas, structure feedback, unstructured feedback, and actual customer behaviors that lead to loyalty. That gives us the ability to listen well to our customers to decipher the truth as a cx professional because what we're trying to isolate is what are the friction points that have the biggest ROI? If we do this in the customer journey, we can have this level of impact on the customer life and on the business, the outcomes that the business needs to be able to generate until we have that clarity on what those friction points are those moments of truth that we have the biggest opportunity to impact, we have no business coming in and starting to make changes. And people shortcut this all the time. Because they're doing voice of customer and little little silos. Your marketing team is doing an NPS survey over here. And in lala land, your customer service team through the CRM is asking, Are you satisfied with your resolution. And then you've got the product team out here doing something completely different in Survey Monkey, because they don't know. And they just google the survey tool. And they're sending out surveys about the product experience to 10s of 1000s of people. And at no point, does this data actually come together to show what the customer journey looks like? This is an integrity piece that we as cx professionals can bring to the business and say, You don't get to solicit customer feedback in a vacuum. It's, it's dishonouring, the customer, and it's ruining our ability to understand them inside of this organization. And a lot of businesses will do customer feedback just to justify, and basically do a cypa effort for the decisions that they're already making, to power their own agendas inside of a group inside of the business, which is the biggest abuse you could ever do around customer feedback. But that but they control it, they they manipulate it to further the agenda that has to break that has to break in the CX function needs to be able to come in and do real voice of customer in a centralized way, and be able to generate accountability and excitement. It's not just accountability. But it's Wow, we really know the customer. Now, if we do this together, the impact that we can have is tremendous. And that should unify people if it's done correctly.


Alex McBratney (Host) 31:43

And your role, I think is great, because you're a Chief Experience Officer, right? Like you're the king, you're the king pin to be that source of truth to all of the other delight that Yeah, right. We didn't even mention like sales to right over promising under all those types of things. But I wonder like, how do you consult clients that are smaller that they don't have like that one person that is the champion, essentially, that is in charge of at all? Like, how do they? How do they typically do that? How do you tell companies manage that when they're 100 employees to you know, or don't have that Chief Experience Officer?

Nate Brown (Guest) 32:20

It's crawl, walk, run. And a lot of companies, they are ready to do this themselves. And that's why great companies like Officium exists, to help you to crawl and to start to think in this way. And to do a workshop with you a cx maturity assessment workshop, we're going to give you a transformation strategy, we're going to put you on the path. And then we're going to help you as much as you would like to execute on that path. And what we do is we equip the people in the business to be self sufficient to know how to think in these ways and to generate real sex change that lasts, we don't want to create a dependency. What we want to create is an empowered cx leader who has the confidence and capability, the skills and knowledge to push this through. That's what we're about is creating those individuals. So if you're a startup company, who's like voice of customer what, you know, I did some market research. And now I have this product, and my customers don't like it, and I'm confused. Well, yeah, you need to have you need to have a partner right now. Somebody needs to come in and help you for at least for a while and get this set up. And then you can start to walk and then eventually you can start to run on this journey where everything you do is through that customer centric lens.

Alex McBratney (Host) 33:41

Yeah, absolutely. I think having that outside consultant, sometimes people will look at that and go, Oh, it's just another cost. But if they haven't been through the process, dozens hundreds of times, like you have, like we do on our consulting side, we've seen these implementations go 100 times we've seen where these projects fail, we see all the pitfalls, that maybe they only they only do it once every five years on IT project, right. But for you in the consulting side is like they have to have someone like you because they're gonna mess it up. They're gonna have to read all the books, you're gonna have to watch all the webinars, listen to the podcasts, and guests get a super high level of what to do. But to dive in as deep as you guys do, I think consulting ciders absolutely makes sense.

Nate Brown (Guest) 34:25

There's just no sense in spinning your wheels, on challenges where you can get an injection of creativity and knowledge and capability. I mean, it's going to accelerate your path so much. So I mean, if for whatever reason, you can't hire a group to come in which I totally respect that sometimes that money's just not there. But get a mentor. Join a community and find somebody who can who can be a Yoda for you in this area. And and quit beating your head on challenges that you might start to feel like these are impossible things That will happen to you as a lonely cx leader, you will start to become a victim of different political situations and different realities inside of your business. But there are ways for you to be able to create cx allies and overcome those challenges. But it's going to require you to be out there beyond the brick walls of your business interfacing with other great creative cx leaders.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 35:23

Yep, can agree with you more, you know, find the allies and, and work together. And now we're getting close to the end of time. But I always love asking one last question about customer experience to every one of our guests or as many as they possibly can. So it's a lot easier to remember the bad customer experiences. I think it's like eight to 10 times easier to recall those as a customer, but as a customer of multiple different brands, exactly. multiple different brands. When was the last great experience that you had? You could say the company if you want or you don't have to, but also, you know, tell us a little bit about that experience. What made it so great.

Nate Brown (Guest) 36:04

Yeah, goodness, hold on. Let me let me ponder on this for just a second. It's a great question. I love being able to to celebrate brands that are that are doing a great job in this area. You know, I'm going to go with with maple bend B supply and murphysboro Tennessee. So first I love I love their brand promise. So their cool tagline is something to the effect of, we're big enough to help. And we're small enough to care. It's just like...

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 36:35

I love that.

Nate Brown (Guest) 36:36

Yeah, I mean, it's so cool, because you have these big businesses that have endless resources and boundless capabilities to help you and do not give a shit. Yeah, and then, and then you have small businesses that want they care so much, and yet they have no ability to impact change. Well, they're like, Hey, we're right here, we have put ourselves in the sweet spot to where we have the resources to help you. And yet we care enough to to actually do it. Soon as I walked in the first time, Courtney Brown is the person in there had a wonderful, exciting deal dialogue with her around Hey, you're starting your beekeeping journey. How great for you. In $900 later I had I had my medium sized eight frame hives and you know, all the things I needed. I've actually bought it up sold me out a couple things, which you know, good a good job, you know, you got me. But, but it's just such a fun and exciting doll and I walked out of there spending way more money than I intended to spend and felt great about it. Because she heard she had ordained to me into her community of beekeepers. We all want to feel like we belong to something. And I'm vulnerable right now because I am putting myself out there I'm receiving a shipment of 6000 bees, and I have no idea how to keep them alive. But when I feel like Courtney is going to support me in this journey, then then that that exists that anxiety goes away. So last night I got my bs from Maple Bambi supply I had everything set up you know, through their guidance through their help. And by the way, the reason I knew about them good friend of mine Josh Davis beekeeper for like five years. He's like, Oh, you need to get all your stuff for Maple then be supply. So that's how I arrived there was a customer referral directly. Otherwise, I would have gone online and use the first Google search that showed up because I didn't know any better. But now but now see, I wouldn't had a community that wouldn't have that wouldn't help my anxiety. But now I have a local provider who's guiding me through the process be show up last night, one of my two colonies is dead spent $300 on these two colonies so I Italian queen bees one of them's doing great they're out there buzzing around happy as larks. The other one there's a problem with the food. And and I lost them. You know, they didn't make it through the night. So I have emailed them. And now I'm waiting for them to make their brand promise real chain and we will see what happens so far. I feel very supported. And like I'm a part of this beekeeping community. And they have special terms that they send out when they email you. They're like, what's up bouquets? You know, like, like I feel included, but now you know, balls in their court for them to deliver on that brand promise, and I believe that they will.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 39:23

Yeah, it is fun. Oh, go ahead. 

Alex McBratney (Host) 39:26

The short sightedness would be no he can't. But the long term focus a CEO or President that has a long term knows that. Okay, they're gonna maybe lose some money by giving you a new colony, but you're gonna be a beekeeper for life and continuing to grow and buy more product from them. I mean, that's ultimately what you're keeping that brand support.

Nate Brown (Guest) 39:46

Think about I mean, beekeeping is interesting for those that aren't into it. So people are coming up they're asking me questions all you got some bs cool. What Where did you do that? How did you get started in that? And so I have an opportunity now to brag. Maple bendy supply as right now I'm going to do because I love them because I'm a promoter.

Alex McBratney (Host) 40:04


Nate Brown (Guest) 40:04

But you know, depending on how this goes, I could end up being in that detractor category. And you know, I'm going to be looking for opportunities to tell that story. never buy B's never buy, find a wild swarm because if you bought it from there, they're gonna be dead. They're not gonna make it. They're not even from Tennessee, they get them up from Georgia. You know, like, right? I could be a detractor it the the reality hinges on this one interaction. And that is the life of the CX professional right there. You know.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 40:33

We've heard the story. And we've heard stories similar to this of the best experiences from almost every one of our guests. And every single one of those stories, has a little hiccup in it, and it recovers. And that turns into the best story which is actually pretty amazing. So you know, we never hear the story is like our Cinderella stories that go perfect all the way from beginning to end. So I love the story. I love that. I feel like we talked about tribes but also we talked about hives as well too. So we're gonna gather so I'm trying to bring it all together.

Alex McBratney (Host) 41:06

I knew you're smart Aarde. But I didn't know you're that smart.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 41:09

Tribes knives

Alex McBratney (Host) 41:12

One last thing you mentioned about communities. Cx accelerator. Give a quick plug for what you guys are doing there for those that want to...

Nate Brown (Guest) 41:20

I appreciate that. There's some that are out there that are great. I got to give props to support driven for work from home customer service, professional support driven is just awesome. For those that are doing cx work more more holistic cx word, cx accelerators, awesome, awesome. I mean that the people that we have in there, the edifying nature of that community is just raw struggles. I'm struggling with this, I need help with this. And then celebrating, you know, this is great, this is going well I want to share this with you all. We have a channel for inclusive cx. We have channels for technology and CX, you know, it's all about guided dialogue to help in to encourage and admonish the CX professionals that are out there. It's been a true pleasure being a part of cx accelerator and a huge thanks to all the channel leaders that are out there making it possible to be such a cool place. 

Alex McBratney (Host) 42:06

That is great. Yeah, so anyone that needs to connect with you and hit you up on LinkedIn, you're they're. Putting out great content Nate so, so good to have you on the on the show here. And we're gonna definitely have to do this again. And let us one just to find out what's gonna happen with the Bs, right?

Nate Brown (Guest) 42:26

I just hooked in now you gotta follow up with me with a great story.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 42:30

But we appreciate it. And we'll definitely catch up again soon my brother.

Nate Brown (Guest) 42:33

Thanks, Alex. Yes. All right. Thanks. Hey, buddy.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 42:35

Thank you, Nate. Thank you so much. Well, that wraps up the show for today. Thanks for joining. And don't forget to join us next week as we bring another guest in to talk about the trends around cloud contact center and customer experience. Also, you can find us at, LinkedIn, or your favorite podcast platform. We'll see you next week on Another Cloud Podcast.