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.
CX Automation, Change Management and Career Development with Dutta Satadip
with Alex McBratney and Aarde Cosseboom
Don't have time to listen? Read the full transcription.
Alex McBratney (Host) 00:02
Glad you could join us for another edition of Another Cloud Podcast. Today's guest is Dutta Satadip, Chief Customer Officer at Active Campaign. He's a frequent speaker at major conferences covering topics around customer experience, operations, change management, and leadership. Looking forward to the conversation, and hope you will too. Let's get to it. Alright, Dutta, we're on we're live now. So, you are the Chief Customer Officer over at Active Campaign, which Aarde and I know being in the contact center space, you guys are doing a lot of cool stuff over there. What I want to have you explain a little bit of just like where you came from, how you got to Active Campaign, your journey through, you know, customer experience in operations.
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 00:48
Well, thank you for having me. I would like to call my journey, an interesting journey, because I find it interesting that I am even here talking to all of you. When I started my career, I was in, you know, I was a technical person in engineering. And over the years, I gravitated towards what I would call complex problem solving. And I learned a lot in my engineering days, but I felt like that skill set was more useful in solving real customer issues. And I spent some time at Google building their customer success organization, which is all the departments end to end that touch customers and eventually end up at Pinterest. And what really attracted me to Active Campaign was, where they were in their maturity and their growth journey, and the potential impact I could have. And that's my call, the journey. But interesting, it's not a direction that I had planned or anything like that. However, when I learned more about Active Campaign, one thing that really struck me was how global and diverse the customer base was, you know, 130,000 plus customers, over 170 countries. And with a stellar growth rate with about 40,000 customers added since COVID. So, what was telling me at that point in time, and I've been here since late last year, was like, even at such times, this company is doing something. And what caught my eye was this term called customer experience automation. And I was like, I want to know more about this. So here I am, as the chief customer officer, in a category that is being defined as we speak, in an area that is very close to my heart, which is customer experience, and delivering, creating outcomes for our customers.
Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 03:02
Yeah, let's go ahead and go into that a little bit. So, your role is very unique. Not every company has a similar role. Maybe they have a customer experience manager or an officer. What, what would you recommend to the viewers who don't have a lot of time and energy resources budget in that area? Should they start small? Should they look to outsource and maybe use a company to help them with that? Tell us a little bit about what you recommend.
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 03:36
I think that's a great question and you're so right. So many companies have different approaches to experience as suits of talking about customer experience customer service. I will say, if I take a quick step back 10,15 years ago, when people thought about customer service, it was typically an afterthought. And the answer would probably be some version of, Hey, we need somebody to man the phones and answer some questions. Right? I mean, we were talking about textile fabrics, right? Like I needed return a return process, somebody needs to process that return. Right. And that's as long as that happens super quickly. We're golden. You know, unfortunately, this thing called the internet and mobile and social kind of blew up, right? Or Luckily, I might say, which has given us as customers choices like there was never ever before. Secondly, with this wide variety of choices. There's a fundamental shift in how almost every customer is approaching companies. Things like subscriptions, which we're not even, you know, conceived as something real, and money worthy, you know, 10 years back thinking of Netflix then and Netflix now, people are just much more used to it. And with these things like subscriptions, the cost of acquisition and how much time you spend, as a customer, all of a sudden starts to become really important pipeline financial metrics. So, for folks who, you know, maybe just starting a band, like don't have any sense, you know, maybe you can think of something super simple, and maybe put it on the sideline for a little bit. But sooner or later, you will have to acquire customers, and you will have to keep customers engaged. And for all of those companies, I think it's that direction before even choosing Software or Services, I think it has to come from the top leadership, how important is customer experience in driving retention, in diving, repeat businesses, in having people come over and over again, to grow the business. So, that's how I would like to unpack it before even going down to any kind of like PR solution path. I love it. Yeah, and we've all heard the adage, the phrase, it costs more to acquire a new customer than it is to retain the current customer. And the same is to be said about employees and agents. And especially in the contact center world with call centers, there's a heavy churn of agents, it costs more money to recruit brand new employees than it is to retain an employee. So, what are your thoughts? How do you justify internally I know that you've justified it at your company, but for someone else who doesn't have a team or even a person who focuses on this? How can they justify You know, this, you're going to get an ROI by having someone who's focused on customer experience? I think, first of all, like I said, if you're getting started, and the question is, we're getting started, how do you sort of you and build a case? How do you improve the value? To me, one thing I would always like to say is, you know, how does your business work? And how do people come to your business? If you're a small business, most of us have probably used Yelp, or some site like that, at some point in time, to, you know, to identify what they want, if they should go to a service or not. So, if I'm a business owner, let's say I'm the person who's going to make a case to the business owner, I would probably the simplest thing would be go down to Yelp and see what people say about us. That's a real tangible way to say, do we have a problem or not have a problem? Now, chances are, if you really don't support, and anybody doing this full-time, those comments may be somewhat harsh, right. And that's always a good place to start, because you don't have all the data but you have the stories that customers are telling you. And the first thing would be, hey, how do we serve this kind of case in a better way. And that is probably where I would start as the first point of starting the dialogue, whether you need software, whether you need more investment in people, whether people just need to work a little bit differently together to prevent that from happening. Because sometimes when people start to be in that shoe, in the role of customer service and having to correct situations, they realize, Oh, yeah, this is actually like a full-time job for me to hire somebody for. So those are some of the things I would recommend people do if they're having trouble getting started.
Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 09:01
Absolutely. And yeah, I used to work at a company where we didn't have someone in your role. And it was really, myself as the Senior Director of the tech support team. And I was taking escalations trying to understand our brand integrity, which was like our people posting things. This is before really Yelp, this was like Better Business Bureau, and, you know, our Trustpilot, and all these different review sites. And I felt like I was doing 20 different jobs, because he's doing all that plus hiring people plus the performance reviews and things like that. So, I could, I could see the need for it. And I could see your approach. And I know Alex has a ton of questions. I'll punt it over to you, Alex to ask your questions about customer experience automation.
Alex McBratney (Host) 09:49
Yeah, what's really interesting, you know, you talked about the Yelp right for the SMB world that's in business to B2C is really important, right because we all go to Yelp. Most of us look to see where the four or 5-star reviews, regardless of what you think about Yelp and their business model, but it works. And you're not going to go to the 2-star restaurant that was interesting when you get up into the mid-market space, enterprise space, or B2B sort of G2 crowd. He's using Gartner and the Gartner Magic Quadrant. And how if you're not at that top right leadership, you know, visionary, you're looked down upon, even though you might be a great company or a niche player in a certain market. And you really see it expanding in all, all areas, from SMB, to enterprise. Do what you mentioned earlier, and I was really curious, you mentioned, you know, the customer experience automation. So, the companies that are in that mid-market can probably start to dive into that more definitely the enterprise because they have the resources, he spent a little bit about how customer experience automation works and how you've used it at your different organizations.
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 10:53
It's a great question. And I will say, you're absolutely right, I give the Yelp example, because I think all of us have used Yelp, but trust radius, g two would be probably sites, where a lot of folks within the mid scale kind of look to go and evaluate software, evaluate services, evaluate a whole bunch of takes, I would say, you know, depends on what kind of business you are. But there are a few things that I feel like companies always focus on. And there's a big opportunity, which I think is left behind. Let's say you're some sort of services provider, you know, midsize business, accounting, sharp CPA, something like that. Right. And you have a bunch of accountants you give like this bookkeeping services, right? People, you probably have a website people inquire, probably have a phone, probably have a chat. What most companies will do is, can I talk to them? Are they going to convert? Because they're going to convert? Life is good. don't convert, you move on. But let's pause and think about that. You have two choices at that point in time, you can spend a lot of money in advertising, right? Or you can personalize your communication and nurture that person you did not convert at that point in time. Maybe the timing wasn't right. Maybe the price wasn't right. Maybe they wanted more information about an area of practice that you're developing that you're quite not there yet. Right? How do you systematically take inventory of all of those folks, apply some sort of a tag, some sort of a marker, and say, I'm going to follow up with them. Once I have this, or I'm really busy right now, which I've heard from some of my friends like we are swamped right now, anybody who is in the taxes world, right? Like we are swamped. Right now, we have no time to do anything else. But in five months, I'll have time. And maybe I should engage with you at that point in time and do an assessment and things like that, right? So how do you think about your customers capturing different information, but then using that information, to personalize the communication and reach out at different points in time with different messages. The goal being very simple, not just letting who you like cotton, go to the people who did not convert with on the wayside and restart the process from scratch, but engage them and potentially convert a year later, six months later, so on and so forth. The second thing, I think a lot of times what happens is, you have great engaged customers. How many people have politely asked, you seem to really like us, would you leave a nice survey for us. I see this, I see the car dealership version, which is please give me 5-stars. Or I may not be able to make my bonus, and my children will not be able to go on a vacation. This is an actually true story. Somebody told me it's like, please give me 5-stars. My wife has been asking me to take her to take her to Cancun, and without the 5-stars, I cannot make it. I just felt guilty and I gave 5-stars. I'm not talking about that type of engagement. I'm talking about one where, you know, they genuinely have a good experience, but not one because after one, it seems kind of funny to ask for a recommendation, right? But they've engaged with you for a certain time. There's customer age involved. They've given you two or three great interactions. But you can automate that and ask them at an appropriate time, reminding them of the great experience if they will be comfortable leaving a review. So when we talk about it In my experience automation, it's more than acquisition. It's engaging people along the way. Once they're really engaged, it's converting them into advocates.
Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 15:13
I had once jumped to this quick fun story, I jumped in on Uber. And the first thing that Uber says before the pandemic did was hand me a $5 Starbucks gift card. The first thing before I mean, I already knew the person's name because I was in the Uber car. And I asked what was this gift card for? And he said, Well, with Uber, if I don't get a 5-star rating with my first 100 riders, then I won't be an Uber driver. I won't be like, I won't get past the initial. So I'm, I bought, you know, $5 Starbucks gift cards. $500 worth. Yeah, you're one of the first and I would love a 5-star rating. And of course, I gave him a 5-star rating one because it was awesome to get a gift card, but I wanted to help him, you know, get us through his training wheels and get him out on the streets doing Ober. But, but yeah, that whole experience of it feels a little forced, like I still gave it to him, but I still felt, should I give it to him now. Now I was actually critiquing him more throughout the whole thing like, oh, maybe I should be more attentive to what's going on, because I know that this person needs a very high review. So um, quick, quick question around because you touched on a lot of really important pieces here. You talked a little bit about customer journey and keeping that engagement throughout the lifecycle of the customer, which doesn't necessarily have to have a clear beginning and end the customer can you can really stoke the fire by reselling them, while they're currently a customer upsell resell. And you also talked a lot about customer kind of segmentation and looking at personalizing that experience. What's your thought process around creating segmentation around personas? So trying to figure out like, here's maybe 25% of my customers, they're like, you know, john doe, or they're like, Sally Hill, hell? Do you like the idea of personas? Do you not like it? Do you think it's more it's, it's a manual way to get towards that data driven decision making?
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 17:18
I think personas are a good start to aggregate things. The place where I feel, it starts to break down a little bit is, you know, if I'm Sally, the persona, I sort of getting similar messages, regardless of what I do with you. You know, and I feel, personally, my senses in today's world, there are so many data points available, why not use them to make the could make the email or the chat message, or whatever communications you're having? Much more, much more personal, that talks about that, that talks about? How do you know, that that makes the person really understand that you are doing this? By understanding what they have engaged with you how they have, you know, what I'm saying? Right, like how they have interacted with you in different ways, if that makes sense? Like, I'll give an example. Right? Like, we have, we have a customer, right? The founder includes handwritten thank you notes in packages, right? And has like the founders email address if you need anything. And, you know, if you email it, if you email the guy, he's like, hey, how can you? How can I help you, etc. But the moment they do that, like it's a physical goods, right, let's ship stuff. But the moment they give their email, they get a welcome email that asks for some more information. And then every year, on that day, they send out a little special offer. But that is customized because it says some version of this was the first day we met. Celebrating the time you reached out with me, here's an offer for you. Think about that, versus it's black Friday 50% off for everybody. You know, you see the difference, but I'm trying to sort of put forward right. I think personalization matters in today's world, because there's so much information coming at you in so many ways. Those little touches, actually is what makes the difference.
Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 19:56
Exactly. And I love those brands that really personalize, like, one 800 flowers is a great example. They know that you ordered flowers. So they asked you why, you know, it's your anniversary, or it's your significant others, you know, birthday. So, three weeks before that time I get an email or little icon on my app that says, hey, it's coming up in three weeks, don't forget, and I'm like, you just saved my relationship by sending me an email. Thank you so much. Yeah,
Alex McBratney (Host) 20:27
I think I think what you see a lot too is like customers are getting more sophisticated. So, they're going to know when they go online, there's a chatbot, or if they get a letter or an email, if it's canned, and everyone got the same exact one. And like you're saying, if there, if you have the data there, it's just a matter of how you want to mine it and use, you know, bi, just say, I can make a scaled message based off these different factors and you know, in your field, in your CRM, to where it feels 99% there have been customized, and just like this, you know, the CEO, you know, he's able to take that and make it custom, you know, make it feel customized, make it feel personal. But you can do it all at scale, if you do it right, and take that data that's out there.
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 21:10
Yeah. And, you know, one of the things that we have learned as sort of an Active Campaign, you know, everything like that, what 850 plus integrations or something like that, like a humongous number of integrations. And the reason we have so many integrations is because this information actually lives in many places. It's not necessarily all in one place, and you necessarily don't want to go back and enter everything into your CRM one by one, right. So, we provide this integration so that you have that richness of data in one place for you to be able to say, hey, do this wait for this amount of time. But if you do this, you go into this path, if you do this other thing, you're going to this other path, and you can create a logic as sophisticated or as simple as you choose to. And ultimately, you know, even if you're a mid sized business, your resources are always on the constraint side. Like there's always more things one has to do, then there is time for following up. engaging people is something that can be automated, then why not? And if that experience can be personalized, that's even better. So I think that's what we are at least trying to help our customers accomplish along the way. And to tie it back to when I heard about all of this, right. I was like, Oh, my god, this is good. It's a company that's like growing. And it's like things I believe in. And it has technology behind it. I want to be part of it. Absolutely. And that's the key thing is technology. And you coming from Pinterest coming from Google, you know, you're on their side, like working for the company to try to provide a customer experience that was excellent. Now you're at a company where you can provide the tools that other companies can use to provide that same experience. You were trying to accomplish that at Google and Pinterest. So just to plug Active Campaign and just in I don't know, as much as probably Aarde does about the company. But why don't you explain a little bit about how Active Campaign does that for people, and how these businesses are taking advantage of the different offerings you have? So, it's a great question, because I think it's such a versatile tool. Our basic value proposition is very, very simple. If you're trying to acquire a customer, we can make it happen. If you're trying to engage a customer, we can make it happen. If you're trying to convert a customer from you know, somebody who's repeat customer summaries, a pure advocate who talks about your raves about it, we can make it happen. But what makes us really unique is we automate all of these sequences. And we help you create this very personalized journey, depending on how you have engaged with them. And we are, you know, we're doing this because customers deserve personalized attention. and business owners and it's a lot of people than small and business medium owners. The revenue may be small, but the business is not simple. The business logic is not medium. It's as complex as anybody else's business. I mean, you know, a small business is not a simple business, I think small and medium businesses are equally complicated business. So we want to recognize this, celebrate that and help in that automation journey. So that's what we're really trying to get done through our products.
Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 25:07
So, quick question around that. And I love your I love having experts on this because I get to throw the curveballs, a little harder questions, but we're selling to the audience where they're thinking about chatbots, and AI and machine learning. But they're still on, they're still in the mindset of what you said earlier, which was amazing, which was, yeah, if I didn't have to support people, I wouldn't have to have a team. You know, if I just had a phone that rang and someone picked it up, like, that'd be fine. But they're getting to a scale where that doesn't make sense. And they need to automate, they need to have campaigns where they're fostering and retaining and making sure that their customers' experience is good. So I, the curveball question here is, when people are thinking about automation versus personalization, sometimes they think of it as a spectrum where personalized support is like a live human talking and walking them through that's as personalized as you can get. Versus automation can feel very unpersonalized, if not done correctly. So how does your company bridge the gap? And then what's your What's your impression of that spectrum? Is it a spectrum? Or is it more dimensional?
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 26:28
I think it is a spectrum, personally speaking. Let me talk about easy and expensive, hard and cheap. Okay? The easy and expensive solution is populated with people. Right. But even if you are populated with people, that doesn't guarantee a personalized experience, you get a personalized feel. But you do not get a personalized experience. If your agent does not have customer history. If the agent does not know, imagine if you call somebody and I'm sure we've all had that experience where it's like, please reboot the computer. Right? It's like, dude, it has nothing to do with my computer. I'm talking about my keyboard. Right? And that's the experience you get when people think about like, I just need some warm bodies, because I heard personalized, and like it's easy, and I'm going to throw some bodies at people, right? You can get some version of personalized, but are you going to get the outcome? So if the outcome is better retention, better engagement, better, ongoing relationship with the business. On the other side, I say it is hard and cheap. And was the hardest and cheap. I don't mean Nestle. Nothing is like, for free. Everything you have to pay for but hard and cheap isn't you every business is different. Now we'll put that as a caveat. Customers are different and have different expectations. But you can think about a chatbot situation where you ask certain questions. And you are able to classify that. Right. And based on that classification, you can choose to either bring a human on board at that point in time to answer that question. Or you can provide them that information in an automated way. There are many chatbots that do that these days, right. But what happens when that person comes in again? Right. Do you want to start from the exact same point? Or do you want to sort of acknowledge Hey, last time, Dara happened, we have an integration with Zendesk the boundaries we have an integration with Zendesk is so that we can communicate between each other and construct two sequences. What happens after that? What is personalization, it's not just like I was able to solve the issue. It's able to go back and say, you know, this customer has had five issues. They all seem to be for whatever reason. I mean, it happens to every business. Somebody just got a bad luck of the draw and had like five consecutively bad experiences, right? It just, it's not like somebody designed it, the company was evil. What our software can help you do if you're collecting and if you have those connections in Zendesk, we can go back, take a list and then say, Hey, you know what, I know you've been having some trouble with us. You can give them a discount. Right for the next purchase proactively. I know you have not had the best experience with us, we want to make it right proactively not after they've called for a refund, because at that point, they're kind of like blackmailing you for some credit, right? But if you proactively offered that, that's the level of personalization I'm talking about. Right. So, I hope that gives you a little bit of color, I don't think it means like, you can always get out of the business of like never having anybody do this. I wish it was that. I hope that that technology gets us to that point, at some point in time, I don't believe the technology is mature to be there yet. So, there's always going to be some human component. But the personalization is in these additional realms that will hopefully bridge that gap.
Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 30:44
I think you hit it right on the head. And, you know, Alex, you talk to a lot of customers who are thinking about migrating and starting to automate, we talked about migrating to the cloud so that they have technologies and tools that have open API's that can work with companies like Active Campaign, and other tools like Zendesk and, and help with that. But Alex, you, you hear this a lot as well. When they go to you. They usually say, I want to do automation, I want to do a chatbot, what's an easy button? And what, how do you respond to that? Do you say yeah, here's your easy button, or do you say, you know, pump the brakes? Let's figure out exactly what you want? How does that work?
Alex McBratney (Host) 31:24
The easy buttons at Staples, that's about the only place you'll find it. But really, I think it starts with a good foundation, but it's all about, you know, a lot about change management, right? Because you can have this great idea and it on paper, it looks great. But now it's like, well, how are we going to get buy in from other departments? Because you're talking about marketing, you're talking about sales? operations? I guess it's not just like you're, you know, it's very complicated, right? And that's actually the question I was going to ask you. How do you get through the change management on implementing a new technology or implementing a new idea that you hope is going to, you know, improve churn or improve customer experience.
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 32:08
All of these projects need a cross functional collaboration, one of the first things and, you know, Jeanne Bliss, who is like a lot, I would like to call her Libby, the godmother of customer experience. You know, she's one of the things she advises anybody who has an executive role is you have to be a top collaborator, you have to be able to connect the dots across the business organizations, because without that customer experience is never going to be successful, because customer experience is everyone's business. And your question, just like a sore spot on. And I just want to say that because every time I've had to do something like this, I've had to have the support of other people. My approach personally, has been not to sell a grand vision about how this is going to change the world. But as you know, every organization is different, some people are more moonshot oriented, and some people are more sort of like, okay, should we really do this? But for both of them, what really works is, can you iterate with a small concept, prove value? With if, let's say, the concept requires buying from five organizations? Can you find one organization that you have the closest synergies with, and prove some level of value, and then use that to build enough trust and momentum and then add the third organization and the fourth organization, so that you're creating a little bit of, you know, a snowball of trust, right? It starts small, but less people start to see, okay, this is working, this is working, this is working, it sort of grows bigger and bigger in size. And that becomes kind of like the moment of change. So that's personally what I find. It tends to work the best because it's not the issue about intent. Everybody also has their own priorities. It's not like the leaders in the other organizations don't have tough goals to meet challenges with their own organizations they need to solve so one more thing is always hard to pull off, but that's how I recommend it. I personally do it. And I always recommend finding one person, make it successful, then keep expanding it. And in addition to sort of that iterating I have found more often than not, I realize the idea is good, but it needs to pivot. I thought it was going to have this impact. It's having this much in here, but we should probably try these other things before we go to that other organization. So it helps in the refinement of the idea because execution is hard. The devil is always in the details. And regardless of the greatness of the idea, that's where the rubber meets the road.
Alex McBratney (Host) 35:18
Absolutely, and like you're saying, it ultimately boils down to leadership, right. And the more you get that one collaborator that you can work together, and you start snowballing, and it starts building, then everyone sees, hey, like this team over here, they're making some good progress towards different initiatives. Next time do two brings another idea, we should jump on because what he's doing is working. So that's where you just started, then you're seen as a leader, thought leader within the organization. And you just build upon that, right. And it kind of brings me to one of the things when I was watching your TEDTalk was a lot about, you know, mentorship, leadership and mentorship, and even mentioned on your LinkedIn as well. So I want to dive in a little bit, how do you, what's your approach on mentoring, I guess, you know, colleagues, and even you know, the people that work under you as well, to get them to perform.
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 36:10
I think I'm personally a big believer in goals, and setting goals, and calibrating and really trying to accomplish those goals. I've always, personally believed in setting bolder goals for organizations, because I feel, you know, 5% 10%, you can sort of eke out just by, you know, moving a little bit harder, right, or changing your process a little bit here. But if you really want transformational change, 20% 40% improvements, you kind of have to put that out there. A couple of things I find. And I've evolved my thinking around this, and learn from my mistakes several times. One thing I will say is, it's very important to not only set a big goal, but it's also equally important to be comfortable in failure. And really encourage people to seek out the learnings from why it didn't work. I feel that that's, that's something that I try to do a lot, sometimes with success sometimes, but not that much success. But making failure, okay, is an integral part of accomplishing goals, especially big goals, because if you're going to try something big and audacious, chances are some of it is not going to work. Right. But it also helps you question the assumptions of why it didn't work. Second thing I like to say is celebrating the rewards process. How are you celebrating the small wins meaningfully along the way? A lot of times when you set the goals, if there's no midpoint, no, kind of like acknowledgment in the process. It may feel deflating, it's like why are we going through all of this process for what I think it's important to sort of celebrate those smaller wins, but also tie them back very aggressively where we were, and how this is actually progress and how much more that needs to be accomplished to get there. So this is one of the things I can think off top of my mind, if that makes sense.
Alex McBratney (Host) 38:33
Yeah, absolutely. And you mentioned even in that TedTalk, too, about how you're tying back the emotion to that goal. So, it's not just you don't hit that Roadblock, as you mentioned, like, there wasn't emotion tied to it. But the second we had the emotion tied to it, you really want to get really close to that big, audacious goal that you're trying to hit. So, for someone that isn't as lucky as you and they're not, you know, on the sea level, at an organization that's growing very rapidly, what would you say like, you know, Director level manager level that people want to, like, you know, work their way up in their career, like, what, what took you to the level that you're at? And how, what do you advise others that want to get up to those higher levels?
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 39:12
I, so I've been, I always like to say, I've been very lucky to have friends, mentors, advise me, give me great pieces of advice along the way. And they have come from a variety of a variety of places, some folks who have worked with me and some people I've met along the way. But I can say, as I look back, one thing, I felt that really somebody advised me a long time ago, which I feel is so true. Don't say no to any opportunity, without understanding and it strikes me how many people include me. When I started to once that was told to me and I started observing myself, I was just dismissing things without even actually considering. What would that mean? And when it comes to career, I think about career opportunities projects, when somebody says something in a meeting, and nobody wants to do it. What's happening is we're saying no, before we can say Yes, why not say yes, and see if that can be solved. Right? It will, in somebody's career, or in a work situation, it may be that problem that nobody really wants to touch. But if you really take deep interest in it, it may be maybe a solvable problem. So, give it a shot. Right. And it also goes a little bit in many other ways, I found a translated to risk taking, if that makes sense, you know, like, are you willing to take a risk on your career and try something new. So that's, I think, that's the thing, like one thing that I've always like, I heard that from one of my mentors, and I've always sort of like, the second thing I have always liked to learn, and learning has been a very important part of my personal career, I like to read books, I try to sort of like do the best that I can, you know, try to keep myself abreast of, you know, what's going on? What is the latest? What's the best? I think like investing in your own education, and not just reading, because it's going to give you a better sense for career just reading because it's an interesting topic, and goes a long way.
Alex McBratney (Host) 41:46
Yeah, that's so true. And, and one of the things I try to teach my kids is, you know, your values up in here, right, as they're, you know, they're my oldest is 10 years old, 11 years old. But I'm trying to, like, instill those things where it's like, that's, none of my kids are going to be professional athletes. So, you know, it's like, Where's your value going to be as you go to college, as you get into a career, it really comes down to what you know, and a lot of that is being open to risk in taking note, you know, control your risk, right, and the downside, and so you're not, you know, falling off the edge there. But you absolutely nailed it on the head, you know, networking, having mentors and advisors, is so important. And that's helped me through my life, I know Aarde you're the same way with your boss, and how you know, the relationship between the two of us, is very tight and very close knit.
Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 42:36
Yeah, and let me piggyback off then I think those questions, very similar, but maybe a little bit different, especially. Because it's advice for the people who may be listening. So, when we're talking about customer experience automation, you're taking something that is very technical, analytical, you're thinking something that also needs a level of creativity, you're creating these experiences, you're creating these flows. When you're building a team underneath you, or when someone that you're advising is building a team to work with Active Campaign or work through this customer experience, customer journey modeling, how do you build that team? Do you want like this person who's super analytical and knows all the data points and where to pull and this other person who's very creative and has no idea about technology other than they know exactly what the experience should be? And you do put them in a room and lock the door? And hopefully something comes from it? Or do you want people who are a little bit of a blend of both?
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 43:35
Oh, I think it is it’s…, I wish you could put two great people in a room and it would work. Right? Like it only would be that easy. They would like to make my life and everybody's life so much easier. I'm personally always looking. If I had to build a team myself, right? I would look, I would definitely look for some level of data proficiency. I'm not saying they need to be, you know, like, writing sequels to like, kind of figure stuff out. But they need to understand what is data? What can we collect? what's available? Where is it coming from? Right? Many times, we find at least I have found talking to colleagues and now it's not like we don't collect the data, the data is and collect the data. It just happens to be like 45 different places, right? It's not in one place. And because it's not in one place, you really can act on it. So, I do think some level of data proficiency in any team that anyone is building is almost a must have skill. If you want to future proof your organization. I do believe creativity is equally important and it's hard to find Both of those elements in one person, so there's likely you're going to have more of one less of the other. But at the end of the day, what I feel really moves the needle is not just putting a team with these types of people underneath you or underneath in different teams, is to really double down and give the direction you want improved, right. And it goes back to like top line business metrics. If the problem is when we start this conversation, we have terrible reviews on Trustradius, G2. This is not good. Go read the reviews and say, we want this category of problems to literally disappear. They should never come back again. Now both of you go and work together and figure that out. You have the data, you have the creativity, the outcome is this should not happen. And I'm maybe making it obviously super simple. But you can have a different problem, which is a more B2B problem. We provide services, and we end up giving refunds all the time. Right, nobody's leaving bad reviews, why are we giving refunds? Who are we giving refunds to go investigate that and fix that? If you're fixing a refund problem. Almost every CFO will love that solution. And we'll find out for it, the first person to collaborate with the first person to collaborate with, think about it. Almost every business if something is going wrong, is providing a refund of some sort. So, looking for a quick win, that's a surefire way to kind of, you know, build that initial collaboration, trust that yes, this is not some interesting, oh, my God, let's send an interesting campaign. Hey, we can live real value. And the moment you understand that real value is we're going to decrease refund rates. Now you can go upstream and say, Hey, am I engaging them correctly? Do these people miss appointments, and then get crazy, ask us last minute, and then we don't have the right people to send to their site? And then the stuff is not done? Exactly. Because there was a little bit of a skill mismatch. Okay, then how do we go back and send them a reminder? Right, and get them to schedule something with us? Or give them an option to reschedule online? You know, all of that kind of good stuff?
Alex McBratney (Host) 47:34
Yeah, absolutely. And like you said, it comes down to some of those top line business metrics that you're tracking, right. And its revenue, you know, its loss revenue, it's, you know, profit and loss and expenses. And so, a lot of that can all boil down to, you know, trickles up to revenue. And that's where either the CIO or the CFO is really going to want to fix those things. And you know, that's where the project starts. And you start taking that data, figuring out where, where those problems are rising and what and the why behind it all. But Dutta it's been an absolute pleasure to have you on this podcast today. And at the end was the best I think everyone can grab that mentoring, the leadership, how to advance their career, I think is so important. It doesn't matter what line of work you're in. It's all it's good information to always remind us of, you know, what it takes to succeed in business and how to level up your skills. So absolute pleasure having you on today.
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 48:31
Well, thank you, Alex. And thank you Aarde. This was a very, very lovely conversation. And it's always fun to talk about this stuff. So thank you for having me.
Alex McBratney (Host) 48:42
Absolutely. And also, we're, I'm going to put at least a link to your TEDtalk on the podcast website as well, too, to make sure that everyone has a link to that. And kids can watch it on their own time. Thank you so much for joining us today. I really, really love the conversation. It felt like it was like, we could have been talking for another three or four hours. So
Dutta Satadip (Guest) 49:05
Yeah, same here.
Alex McBratney (Host) 49:07
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 adleradvisors.com, LinkedIn, or your favorite podcast platform. We'll see you next week on Another Cloud Podcast.