OneTAKE with Ian Barkin
OneTAKE Live: The Power of Effortlessness in Digital CX

OneTAKE Live: The Power of Effortlessness in Digital CX

January 13, 2021

 “Customers are like, ‘yeah, you had better make it easy, and if it’s not easy, there’s other people that make it easier, so I’m out,’ even if your product is great — it’s the battle of experiences.” 

– Tracy Robertson, Global Vice President of Customer Experience & Marketing at Kimberly-Clark Professional 

 

Welcome to OneTAKE Live! In this episode, all about both digital transformation and exceeding customer expectations, join host Ian Barkin as he sits down with Tracy Robertson, the global VP of Customer Experience (CX) & Marketing at Kimberly-Clark Professional!  

 

While hard work can often be rewarding, having to work hard during an experience with a brand can be a real pain for customers. They expect things to be easy — and won’t hesitate to jump ship if you can’t match the speed, efficiency, or outstanding experience that digitally driven legacy brand can offerTo keep up, it’s going to be vital for brands to work toward a fundamental, core-level digital transformation with a focus on convenience, agility, and outstanding CX. 

 

“We all today want what I call, a ‘brainless transaction.’ If we have to think, or it requires more than one click, I’m done. I’m not doing that. I’m going to go for the easiest thing possible; life is too hard.” Tracy states, putting herself in the shoes of the average consumer. “That’s the standard that’s being set for us. Like, good enough and great? That’s not even the standard anymore — it’s exceptional and easy.”  

 

Prior to being named the global vice president of CX and Marketing at Kimberly-Clark Professional, Tracy spent nearly a decade as the VP of Global Digital Transformation at GE, where she closely managed digital transformation efforts for GE business units around the globe. An expert at managing and influencing positive change within organizations, she currently works to help bring the voices of customers to the forefront of CX strategy at Kimberly-Clark Professional.  

 

Join us as we learn how digital transformation can help make your experiences easier (and your customers happier) on OneTAKE Live!  

Episode Resources

SYKES 

Jobs.SYKES.com 

SYKES Quarterly 

Tracy Robertson (LinkedIn) 

Customer Experience — It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle (Article by Tracy Robertson mentioned in the episode) 

The First 90 Days: Getting Your Customer Experience Transformation Right From the Start (Article by Tracy Robertson mentioned in the episode) 

 

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OneTAKE Live: The Transformative Power of the Human Element

OneTAKE Live: The Transformative Power of the Human Element

December 18, 2020

“I’ve always had a passion for customers, and a reoccurring theme in my career is: If you put the customer at the forefront of your strategy, your strategy will be a winning one.” – Alice Sesay Pope  

 

In this episode of OneTAKE Live, join host Ian Barkin as he speaks with Alice Sesay Pope, the senior vice president and global head of contact centers for Visa, about the transformative power of keeping people first. 

 

We all strive for excellence in what we do, but what does “excellence” really look like now that the working world is rapidly digitizing? Plenty of companies are focused on their customer satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and even customer effort scores (CES), but with all the digital change happening everywhere you look, what’s the most valuable metric for companies looking to thrive in the new digital marketplace?  

 

According to Alice, it’s less about the numbers and much more about putting people at the forefront of everything you do“Even though ‘passion for excellence, service from the heart’ was something that was developed years ago, as I look back on this year, and all the challenges that the people around the world have faced … Wow.” Alice continues, “Those interactions that truly demonstrated that people care — that’s a human element. To me, those are the best, and that’s what really distinguishes organizations that deliver a great experience.” 

 

Prior to her incredible work promoting human-centric transformation at Visa, Alice worked with several other major companies, like USAA, Capital One, and Microsoft. Her book, Transformation From the Inside Out, utilizes Six Sigma principles to provide leaders with the tools they need to begin effectively and efficiently transforming toward award-winning customer experiences (CX). 

 

Join us as we rediscover the human element and its impact on CX in the digital age on OneTAKE Live!  

Episode Resources 

SYKES 

Jobs.SYKES.com 

SYKES Quarterly 

Alice Sesay Pope’s Website 

Transformation From the Inside Out (Amazon) 

 

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OneTAKE Live: Digitalizing & Augmenting Customer Experiences

OneTAKE Live: Digitalizing & Augmenting Customer Experiences

December 16, 2020

 “Be scrappy. Just try something — see if it works. If you can try two things at the same time so you can compare, that’s even better.” – Gabriele “G” Masili  

 

In this digitally focused episode of OneTAKE Live, host Ian Barkin discusses artificial intelligence (AI)augmented customer experiences (CX), and the complex world of digital transformation with Gabriele “G” Masili, vice president and chief technology officer (CTO) of the Customer Experience and Success organization at Microsoft. 

 

Starting down the path toward true digital transformation can be daunting. There’s a lot you have to consider when you bring CX to the digital realm. Should you start with an app? Focus on self-service options? Or should you begin the process of implementing chatbots or support options enhanced by AI? 

 

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where you begin, according to G, so long as you get started: “Start small — don’t wait. Don’t try to figure everything out; don’t try and boil the ocean. Just identify one or two small opportunities that can be attacked in an agile manner, thengo after them.” G elaborates, noting the power of experimentation in the process of crafting next-level CX: “Throw away the things that are not working and double down on the things that are indeed working.”  

 

Formerly having worked with big names like GE and Amazon, G has plenty of experience strategically augmenting enterprise-level CX digitally. Now the VP and CTO of Microsoft’s Customer Experience and Success organization, G leads both the digital and data teams in their efforts to create and enable intelligent CX solutions companywide. 

 

Join us to find out how you can begin charting a path toward real, impactful digital CX on OneTAKE Live! 

 Episode Resources

SYKES 

Jobs.SYKES.com 

SYKES Quarterly 

OneTAKE Live Past Episodes (Mentioned at the open of the show) 

Microsoft LinkedIn 

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OneTAKE Live: 50th Episode Celebration

OneTAKE Live: 50th Episode Celebration

December 14, 2020

“What I do is, I try and make Ian be the best that he can be — and in doing that, we’ve worked with a really great team.” – Shay Washington 

 

Welcome our special 50th episode of OneTAKE Live! In this celebratory show-about-our-show, host Ian Barkin thinks back on the first 50 episodes with the help of two of the incredibly talented SYKES employees that help bring the show to life: Shay Washington, the podcast producer, and Jim Ramer, the senior manager of creative solutions!  

 

Making an episode of OneTAKE Live is no easy feat. There are guests to schedule, plenty of research to prepare, and a myriad of technical marvels necessary just to get the show on the air — and it’s all done live! So, to help us all at home learn a little more about all the work that goes into each episode of OneTAKE live, and to discuss memorable moments from the last 50 episodes, we’ve invited two of our show’s producers to give us an inside look. According to Shay and Jim, there was certainly a learning curve, but also plenty of great things on the horizon.  

 

“I definitely learn a lot with all the different formats and platforms, and we’re definitely way further than we were — and we know much more.” Shay explains, taking a moment to consider all of the amazing guests and improvements that OneTAKE has experienced since its inception. “I’m excited to see where we will continue to go.”  

 

“Now, we’re very happy with the platform we’re on right now and they’re constantly making upgrades — so far, it’s been pretty smooth.” Jim adds, recounting many of the technical upgrades that the show has received since the premiere of OneTAKE nearly a year ago. 

 

In addition to speaking with Jim and Shay, we’ll also be naming our first ever OneTAKE Live “superfan” — a fan we’ve identified who’s been watching, enjoying, and supporting the show since episode one.  

 

Join us and learn more about all the work and creative efforts it’s taken to get to our 50th show on this special episode of OneTAKE Live! 

 

Episode Resources

SYKES 

Jobs.SYKES.com 

SYKES Quarterly 

OneTAKE Live Past Episodes 

OnBrand Apple Podcasts (Mentioned) 

OnBrand Podbean (Mentioned) 

OnBrand Spotify (Mentioned) 

ChillinInTheShade.com (Shay’s Website) 

 

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OneTAKE Live: The Science Behind Great CX

OneTAKE Live: The Science Behind Great CX

December 7, 2020

“The reality is, you’re in the last 1/10 of a mile in the marathon — and that’s where all the money is made.” – Luke Williams 

 

Welcome to OneTAKE Live! In this episode, host Ian Barkin speaks with Luke Williams, the senior vice president and distinguished principal of the XM Institute at Qualtrics, about what it takes to deliver experiences that rise above the fold and keep customers coming back. 

 

Have you ever stopped to wonder what makes your customers loyal to your brand over your competitors? Is it your product? The price? Or is it something else entirely? 

 

According to Luke Williams, it’s a little bit of all of the above — but you should never underestimate the power of intentionally considering customer experience (CX) as a crucial part of the product suite or services you offer. While good service might not have a price tag or visibly add to your bottom line, it is how your company builds long-term loyalty. “When the product is highly fungible, the service becomes the differentiation, Luke explains, highlighting how even the small differences between brands can mean a leg up over the competition. “The person picking up the phone is the product — they’re the problem solver.” 

 

In addition to Luke’s work creating next-level experiences with Qualtrics, he is also a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author for his book The Wallet Allocation Rule, and a BookScan bestseller for his co-authored book Why Loyalty Matters. Beyond his successful books, Luke also writes periodically for several academic and trade publications, including the Harvard Business Review.  

  

Join us as we find out what it takes to create helpful, memorable experiences for customers that can set your company apart on OneTAKE Live! 

Episode Resources

SYKES 

Jobs.SYKES.com 

SYKES Quarterly 

Qualtrics 

The Wallet Allocation Rule: Winning the Battle for Share (Amazon) 

Why Loyalty Matters 

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OneTAKE Live: The Power of Learning From Your Customers

OneTAKE Live: The Power of Learning From Your Customers

December 4, 2020

 “If I had a hundred dollars to spend on my business, I would put $90 of it into making things easy — making sure things work.” – Michelle Buretta 

 

In this episode of OneTAKE Live, join host Ian Barkin as he chats with Michelle Buretta, senior manager of CX analytics and customer improvements at Lenovo, about carefully studying consumer interactions to vastly improve customer experience (CX) outcomes.  

 

Great customer experiences can appear effortless, but the process of improving and refining your CX strategy can be a complex task with many variables to consider. You have to figure out how to best price your product or service, how to support customers beyond the point of sale, and how to plan for the problems consumers aren’t even facing yet. If you can’t find a balance, it can all fall apart.  

 

But many companies are overthinking it, according to Michelle. To her, it’s less about creating something complex, or priced effectively for the marketplace, and more about creating an experience for customers that is simple, effective, and most important — easy.  

 

“Ease of use is, to me, the most important thing,” Michelle explains, contrasting fast, simple, or easy experiences against the concept of “wowing” or “delighting” your customers with flashy gimmicks or door-buster sales. “Price matters, but if you’re clicking and clacking and having to reset your password a bunch of times, or you can’t get a hold of someone, at the end of the day, I think people by and large would pay a little bit more just to know that they’re going to get their things by Christmas, or that if there’s an issue, someone is going to help them.”  

 

Currently the senior manager of CX Analytics and Customer Improvement with Lenovo, Michelle got her start in the world of academia — and now applies many of the principles she’s learned in her study of sociology and educational theory to radically improve the way brands interact with customers.  

 

Join us as we find out how creating ease for customers can revolutionize customer relationships on OneTAKE Live! 

 

Episode Resources

SYKES 

Jobs.SYKES.com 

SYKES Quarterly 

Michelle’s LinkedIn 

Lenovo 

 

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OneTAKE Live: The Digital Transformation Revolution

OneTAKE Live: The Digital Transformation Revolution

November 18, 2020

“We’re in the midst of an industrial revolution, which means, essentially, the change that is going to be necessary is going to be much bigger — and is therefore going to need much more help — than traditional change.” – Tony Saldanha 

 

In this episode of OneTAKE Live, host Ian Barkin speaks with Tony Saldanha, President of Tranformant and Co-Founder of Inixia Inc. about what digital transformation actually means, why so few companies seem to be able to achieve it, and how businesses can prepare for the tech-revolution ahead! 

 

The fourth industrial revolution is here — and this one has all the world-changing potential of the first three. To keep up, companies will not only need to transform their processes digitally, but also their mindsets and strategies as well.  

 

To get a better idea of what businesses will need to accomplish in order to navigate this revolutionary period, we asked Tony Saldanha; a globally recognized author, speaker, and expert in all things digital transformationAccording to him, companies will need to gain a shared understanding of what digital transformation truly means before they can actually begin the process of changing. “That’s issue number one with digital transformation.” Tony explains. “If you cannot define it precisely, you’re going to fail. Don’t get me wrong, you may have a successful pilot, a successful rollout of technology, but against the goal of transforming yourself to survive and thrive in an industrial revolution, you will fail. 

 

Previously having spent over 27 years with Procter & Gamble in a variety of digitally focused leadership roles, Tony is currently the president of Transformant as well as co-founder of Inixia Inc. As a speaker and author, Tony travels the world providing businesses and leaders the tools and strategies they need to create real, impactful digital change withing their organizations. 

 

Join us as we learn more about this revolutionary period of digital transformation on OneTAKE Live! 

 

Episode Resources

SYKES 

Jobs.SYKES.com 

SYKES Quarterly 

Transformant 

Why Digital Transformations Fail: The Surprising Disciplines of How to Take Off and Stay Ahead (Amazon) 

Inixia Inc. 

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OneTAKE Live: Introducing SYKES Digital Services!

OneTAKE Live: Introducing SYKES Digital Services!

November 16, 2020

“My perspective is that customers are really loyal to an experience more than they are necessarily to a brand.” – David Brain 

 

Welcome to a special two-for-one episode of OneTAKE Live!  

 

In this unique episode of Two — er, OneTAKE Live, host Ian Barkin has invited both David Brain, chief digital officer at SYKES, and Victor van Baal, the Head of Go To Market – SDS, to speak about the launch of SYKES Digital Services and what they see ahead for the future of work.  

 

SYKES Digital Services is a new partnership of SYKES companies dedicated to optimizing customer experiences as well as creating real digital transformation alongside partners. By leveraging all of the tech talent SYKES has accumulated over years of strategic acquisitions and focusing it on specific, customer-first digital goals, SYKES Digital Services hopes to revolutionize the way customers interact with brands. 

 

But how do they plan on doing that? According to Victor, it will be by putting customers first and keeping them as the central focus of each digital effort. “End-user-first has been with us since we started, and it’s probably the most important value that we have. It’s something we recruit on, it’s something we measure ourselves on, it’s something we talk about with customers,” Victor explains, highlighting the need for customer-centricity in the quest for better customer experiences (CX). 

 

“SYKES is a customer experience management company, but it’s always been at that intersection of customer service, digital, and disruption since day one,” David adds. “We’re trying to really take that legacy forward and making sure that as we do that, we are staying true to what we are experts in.” 

 

As the President and Head of Go To Market, respectively, of SYKES Digital Services, David and Victor will be ushering in a new digital age for SYKES and our partners — working exclusively on tech-based initiatives like artificial intelligence (AI), intelligent automation (IA), machine learning (ML), and any other technologies that affect CX. With two veteran tech strategists at the helm like David and Victor, SYKES Digital Services is poised to disrupt CX-as-usual through the creation of innovative, cutting-edge digital services and solutions.  

 

Join us as we learn more about SYKES Digital Services, as well as what it will take to create outstanding experiences for customers in the future of work! 

Episode Resources

SYKES 

Jobs.SYKES.com 

SYKES Digital Services  

About SYKES Digital 

SYKES Quarterly 

Intelligent Automation, co-Written by Ian Barkin (Amazon) 

 

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OneTake Live: Helping Customers Help Themselves With Bernard Slowey

OneTake Live: Helping Customers Help Themselves With Bernard Slowey

November 6, 2020

“That’s probably the most important thing  understanding (customer) personas is where you need to start. It’s not a one-size-fits-all.” – Bernard Slowey 

 

In this episode of OneTAKE Live, host Ian Barkin sits down with Bernard Slowey, the senior director of global support  digital transformation at GitHub, to talk about the future of self-service and customer experiences, and what it really means to meet the needs of a diverse customer base. 

 

Don’t hide your humans! While plenty of people like self-service, helpful user guides, or chatbots, others still want the personal touch of a human agent when they seek out customer service. Is your company making it easy for your customers to find the type of support they’re looking for? 

 

According to Bernard Slowey, very few customer support plans today are taking the time to consider the value of giving customers what they actually want: If you start off thinking about, ‘How are we going to deflect customers,’ you’re going to do the wrong things.” Slowey adds,  “I’m the type of person that will do anything I can to self-serve, but if I need the human being — if I want to talk to an agent — don’t make it hard for me.”  

 

Now the senior director of global support with a focus on digital transformation at GitHub, Bernard previously spent almost 15 years at Microsoft designing digital customer support experiences and studying all the unique ways customers interact with brands. In his current role, he drives digital transformation to augment support experiences and create meaningful relationships with customers. 

 

Join us and find out more about the future of digital customer experiences on OneTAKE Live! 

 

Episode Resources

SYKES 

Jobs.SYKES.com 

Bernard Slowey’s LinkedIn 

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OneTAKE Live: Customer Service Magic With Shep Hyken

OneTAKE Live: Customer Service Magic With Shep Hyken

November 4, 2020

 

“At the end of the day, be nice. Customers start with a problem. They want to be happy when it’s all over with. Anything in the middle — that can change all it wants to change.” – Shep Hyken 

 

In this episode of OneTAKE Live, host Ian Barkin discusses customer service, customer experiences, and all the innovative new ways companies can start prioritizing convenience with Shep Hyken, chief amazement officer at Shepard Presentations, LLC.  

 

These days, it’s not good enough to just meet the needs of your customers and call it a day — you have to truly amaze them if you want to see repeat business. Is your CX charting a path toward better? Or business as usual? Where should companies even begin? 

 

To find out, we asked Shep Hyken. He’s a longtime expert who has dedicated most of his life to studying and creating outstanding CX, starting his first business as a magician at age 12. Since then, he’s spoken all over the world, written several insightful books, and authored countless impactful articles teaching business leaders and companies the transformative power of CX.  

 

“People say, ‘Where do I start?’ And I say, “Why don’t you look at the journey that your customers take with you?’” Hyken says, emphasizing the importance of viewing customer service holistically. “What happens when they have a problem? What’s that journey look like? What does the repeat customer journey look like? So there’s multiple journeys, but when you start to look at that, you can say, ‘Okay. This is the way we’ve been doing it — is there a better way?’ Now we’re designing a better process.” 

 

Join us to learn how reimagining your CX can help build long-term customers on OneTAKE Live! 

 

 

Episode Resources

SYKES 

Jobs.SYKES.com  

Shep Hyken’s Website 

Shep.tv (YouTube) 

BeAmazing.tv 

Shep Hyken’s Books  

Amazing Business Radio (Shep Hyken’s Podcast) 

Shep Hyken’s Instagram 

Shep Hyken’s Recent Interviews 

Shep Hyken’s LinkedIn 

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