559: Who Should Own Customer Experience? w/ Tiffani Bova

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Tiffani Bova, Global Customer Growth & Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce.

Are you struggling to come up with original content weekend and week out? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most and never run out of content ideas again. Learn more at sweetfish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the Bob Growth Show, a podcast dedicated to helping betb executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with Tiffany Bova. She is the Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at sales force. Tiffany, how you doing today? I'm doing great. I am excited to chat with you today, tiffany. We're going to be talking about this idea of who owns the customer experience. You've got some really interesting thoughts around this idea. It's something that you talk about often. But before we get into that, I'd love to give a little bit of context to our listeners, is to this, to who you are, a little bit of your background. So can you tell us a little bit about what you're doing on a day to day basis at sales worth. Yeah, it's so. I've been here almost two years now. It's crazy. March will be two years after I spent a decade at Gartner as a distinguished analyst and research fellow covering sales transformation, the impact us for a digital market on the way companies grow, as well as their go to market models, both direct and indirect. So I spent a good ten years talking with thousands of customers around the globe about sort of what challenges they were facing. And before that I ran sales organizations for startups and fortune five hundred, as well as marketing and customer service. So I was kind of a practitioning analyst, if you will. Yeah, I had to learn how to be an academic, that's for sure, but you know, I sort of wear a badge of pride on my sleeve that I'm a I call myself a recovering seller, so I sort of still I'm still out there fighting the fight for...

...the salespeople. So that's how I kind of got here. But on a day to day basis for sales force I almost do exactly the same thing, except now I'm much closer to following this entire talk track around customer success and experience being the new product and the new battleground and really how that impacts both the sales marketing but, more importantly, how to pull service into that conversation as well. HMM, I love it so, tiffany that being said, I am really excited for you to dive into this idea of you know, as we're talking offline, you said that a lot of folks are seeing the buyers journey now being owned by marketing. That's being talked about at ideas being advocated for more and more. But you've got a bit of an interesting you've got a different take on it. Can you expand on and who you think should own customer experience? Yeah, I'll start at the short answer, which is everyone. That's the shore. That's the short answer, right. The longer answer gets but that sounds great on a powerpoint slide, it's really hard to execute, you know, in in reality. But I'd say everyone. But then below that, I think as digital marketing really started to take off to five years ago or so, I was part of the team one of my colleagues came up with the prediction out of Gardner that the CMO was going to spend more than the CIO. And with that one prediction, all kinds of crazy things happened to the market. Right, oracle went on a buying spree. Sales Force bought a number of digital marketing companies. Do be pivoted. You got agencies that have now playing different roles. I mean, all kinds of things happened, and not just because of that prediction, but I think it was just the timing of the temperature of the chief marketing officer now starting to get more involved in things beyond just search engine optimization and the website sort of leads and driving leads, yeah, and figuring out how do we use all of these omni channels that are in the market place today. And...

...when that happened, I saw this shift where the chasm between sales and marketing, unfortunately, I feel like, has gotten bigger and it was I believe it had a lot to do with this marketing taking over, quote unquote, control of more and more of the buyer journey because of all the digital tools in their in their toolbox. Right. I mean it was a natural response, reaction to the things that they now had at their disposal, but in doing so it's sort of pulled sales and marketing even further away, especially in the BETOB space, and I think a lot of that has come from not having set expectations between the two groups. And I don't mean at the executive level, like the chief marketing and chief revenue officer get along very well and understand their roles. I mean when you get down to an individual quota bearing sales rep and potentially, you know, a marketing manager or product marketing manager for a product or a brand. Right, that's where I think the disconnect has happened, not necessarily all the way at the top. Okay. And so how are you seeing organizations of solve for that disconnect at that level? Yeah, I'd say two things. One, I'd say that the silos are being caused, and I think in the disconnect between the metrics and the measurements that are put in place. So, for example, you know marketing, and I'm over simplifying here, obviously marketing. How many leads did you drive? Good or bad? Like? How many leads? Well, now marketing is scoring leads. Okay, Great. Well, how are you scoring them? And then once you're scoring them and then you pass them to somebody. You know, could be a sales development rep, could be a field wrap and inside wrap, right, could be a multitude of other roles. Once they pass it, are you telling them what to do with those leads based on all this intelligence, or are you just passing the leads over and going well, here's a hot lead, right, we've scored or it. It's scored above an eighty, you know, out of us one to a hundred, and so this requires immediate action. And then you move on. HMM,...

...sales goes well, I don't know what to do with that lead. And and my metric is pretty black and white. Did you sell something? Did you not sell something? And we're simple creatures, right. And then service. I'm just going to pull in customer service because I think it's one that gets off and ignored, and even by marketing, because in marketing not only has to enable sales, now they have to enable customer service. Yeah, so in the customer service side it's how quickly did you get off the phone or, you know, first call resolution, right. And so if you line those up as our first you know, goal. I'm a product marketing managers. How many leads did I drive sales? It's how much stuff did I sell services? How many customers did I get off in the first those three things run people in very different directions. So the unintentional consequence of the disconnection between the metrics and the measurements and the goals and the understanding, the unintended consequence is that it manifests itself in a really poor customer experience. Yeah, between the groups. Right, that makes perfect sense. So if the goals of those three groups are ultimately causing a rift in that the totality of the customer experience is it is we're talking off line. You mentioned this idea of you can't fake team and and that was a really fascinating idea to me. Can You unpack that force of it? Yeah, I think if you if you sit there and go well, of course I get along with marketing and you know my colleagues and I like. Yeah, I support what they do and we do it in we our intention is not to be I mean I hope that our intention is not to sabotage someone other team member and another group. And now I don't think that that's what people show up to every to do every day. Nor do I think that if you're in customer service that because you're being measured on a minute and a half or two minute call time or something like that, that you choose to just upset a customer. I mean, I think everyone's intention is to do their best work and to put the customer first, and that's the intention, but you can't fake it in the eyes of the customer. So if we're all sitting in a room and, you know, we break bread together and we have team meetings...

...together and we have calls together and everyone is sort of marching to the same drum, but then the metric at the in the back end is not aligned, you can't fake it in the eyes of the customer because they feel the fact that you're not connected. Right. So marketing goes, you know, they pump out a promo and then customer calls in and goes. I just saw this promo and sales rep goes. I've no idea what you're talking about. Right, for the customer calls in and goes. I just saw an ad or, I read an ad or, I saw a tweet that said if I'm a current customer of yours, I get two months free if I upgraded customer service goes. I don't know what you're talking about. So you know the you can't fake it at that moment of truth when a customer is engaging with a brand in some way, could be online, offline, human, digital, whatever it might be. Yeah, that's what I meant by the fact that you can't fake the team. Yeah, and so that being said, is the answer to this? At least in the examples you gave, it seemed like communication internally was was a big component of kind of making sure that those three teams are are on the same page. But I'm sure there's more to it than that. Can you elaborate their tiffany yeah, I'm going to go back to what I was just saying. I think that it is absolutely about the metrics. So I'm going to use just a really basic example. I was at a customers account maybe a year ago now, and I had marketing and sales in the room and you know, once again being a salesperson, I sort of sometimes poke at marketer. So I'm going to poke a little bit, but I'd said, okay, who in the room is marketing? Is maybe like a half a dozen eight marketers in the room and there's probably sixty sales people in the room and so I said okay, great, as the marketer to come up and I asked the salesperson to come up and I said, okay, marketer, I would like you to define for me your definition of a marketing qualified lad and then they gave it. And then I said okay, sales you define what a sales qualified lady is.

And they were totally different and they worked in the same company and we were in an all hands meeting. Everyone was in the room, we were breaking bread, executives were there, individual contributors were there, everybody was there. Right, yeah, and marketing was like, well, well, we have all the relevant contact information, we have how they found us, we have all that. Right, that's a marketing qualified lead to the sales goes well, we you know, like, I want it to be ready to close. And of course I joked back at the salesperson and said, well, that, if that's the case, we don't really need you. I was kidding, but it can't. It's somewhere between there. But if you just start with, start with, if you're a marketer and you're listening, like what is your definition of a marketing qualified lead, and go walk the floor and ask them what their definition of a sales qualified lead is. It might surprise you, and you know I literally mean getting down to the basic so you have to start with what are the definitions? What are the expectations? What does marketing expect from sales? What a sales expect from marketing? And if anything changes in those expectations, you got to go back and you got to do it again, HMM, and you have to keep reinforcing those expectations. And, like I said, just something as simple as a definition. Or you've passed me a qualified lead and marketing says, well, sales never follows up and sales says, well, that's because the leads are junk right. Yeah, and you have that happening. So now there's no trust between the two groups and so they don't they they may not make an effort to sort of bridge, start to breache that gap. So I will go back to talk, as fantastic and powerpoint slides are fantastic, but it has to come down to an agreement, you know, at the field level, at the individual contributor level, of what it means to get us a marketing qualified lead. And if sales believes that that's what it is. They're going to have a much higher probability of working them. HMM, yeah, that makes sense. That I would imagine. If if sales has an active role and really in that Calabor you know, obviously both both parties would have an active role in the collaboration of coming up with that shared terminology, but it...

...makes perfect sense that sales speaking into know, this is this is what I want it to be. How can the folks in leadership that are listening to this right now, tiffany, what would be a tangible next step for them to take as soon as they know, shut off the podcast this morning and and stop listening to this? You know, is it having an an all hands? Is it having somebody from their marketing team and somebody from their sales team, you know, get in the same room and talk? What? What would be a tangible next step for the for the leader listening to this? Yeah, I think that if you're going to really start to pivot towards customer experience and go down the path that we started this conversation out, it has to come from the top and so decisions that get made going forward, and so I'm going I'll give another example so I was traveling months ago and I was going internationally and someone had booked my hotels for me and it was at a major brand and I'm a you know, I'm a frequent stare at the brand. So I'm at the top tier level and their loyalty program and they couldn't enter my loyalty number because they didn't know it. So I said that's okay, I'll just call and, you know, just send me the confirmation number. So I called in with the confirmation numbers and the customer service Rep said, Oh, I'm sorry, I must be international. You're going to have to hang up with me and call the properties. So I'm like, hold on a second, right, like I got it, and I'm guessing that that customer service agent did not wake up and go I'm just going to really upset my customers today, and my best customers, right, our most loyal and and you know, high lifetime value, high recency, like the guy you want. Right. And so somebody made a decision. Somebody made a decision that either one that the field in their crm system could not accept letters in the confirmation number, right, because international had a letter, apparently, right. So that decision was made or you they could not dial out, maybe that was a decision that was made. Or they could dial up but they couldn't dial out long distance, or he had to get off the phone, you know, in two minutes or something because of his metric and if he had called out, maybe it would have been ten minutes. HMM. Whatever the reason, someone made a decision at some point in time...

...that manifested itself with that customer service agent dissatisfying me as a top tier, high lifetime value, high highly loyal customer. Yeah, so if you're going to say we're going to pivot that way, it has to come from the top down and and decisions like that now have to be made not from what's easiest from the inside out, but what does the customer expect from the outside in. Even if it was just the only time we let an agent call out is when it's that tier customer. Let's just say you know, so let's at least have a work around, but then let's go back. No one, you know, no one followed up with me. HMM. You know, I said, Hey, can you make a note? Like to let someone know, just because I do this for a living. Right now, let someone know that like you got to come up with a solution for it. Yeah, I've not heard from anybody right. So the even the feedback loop of that at that customer service agent feeling and power to go back to the marketing or go back to sales or go back to their boss and say look, this has happened to me like four or five times and they action it right away, but instead it ends up on some will get to it when we get to it list because they're managing to the metric. Yeah, so I'd say first and foremost, Monday morning would be if you're really going to go after this, you need to have a leadership meeting that says, if we're going to do this, like we need to understand what our customers are experiencing today. So we need to listen in and customer service calls, we need to go on sales calls, we need to you know, we need to get sort of state of the state what's happening, and not backward looking like sea sat surveys or right. It has to be forward looking, so like in real time. And you'd be surprised. I have had executive sit in on my customer service floor before and I could not get even like refunds happening same day to happen for like six months. They sat on that floor one day, it got changed immediately because they're like the amount of time that person, call center rep had to spend on the phone explaining to the customer why they working to get their money back. We could have given them of the money back. Yeah, and saved money, and saved money...

...right and then, and also not had to hire more customer service reps because now we could handle the volume because we're getting people off the phone, and I mean right yeah, and so I could not get anybody to move until they experienced it. It's sort of the undercover boss reality of of not understanding what's really happening day to day in your business. Yep, until you see it. I love it, tiffany, this has been fantastic. If there's somebody that wants to dig deeper with this with you or just stay connected with you and follow what you're putting out on social and you know all the all the things that you've got going on at sales force, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Well, I you can follow me on twitter. It's at Tiffany tiff an, I underscore Bova, which I'm pretty fairly active on twitter. Do a lot there. I just launched my own podcast called what's next. It happens every other Thursday. You can find that on Itunes, and I blog a lot on hugh post and I also blog a lot for for sales forcecom. But if you're going to dream force in the next couple of weeks, you know I'll see you there too. Love it wonderful. Tiffany will thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it. Thanks for having me. If you'RE A B Tob Marketer, we want to feature you on sites like the Huffington post social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send that a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish Mediacom slash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening. Until next done.

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