Podcast – CX Detectives | Episode 10

Tackling CX in the year of agility

An interview with Bruce Temkin, head of the Qualtrics XM Institute

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Episode summary

This episode features an interview with Bruce Temkin, Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute, the leading experience management platform in the world. Bruce is also known as the “Godfather of Customer Experience.” In this episode, Bruce discusses how to move from insight to action more quickly, focusing on sensing change, and how to thrive both personally and professionally in the year of agility.

About the guest

Bruce Temkin is an Experience Management (XM) visionary and is often referred to as the “Godfather of Customer Experience.” He leads the Qualtrics XM Institute, which provides thought leadership and training to help organizations around the world master XM and is also building a global community of XM professionals who are radically changing the human experience. Prior to Qualtrics, Bruce led Temkin Group, which provided research, advisory, and training that helped many of the world’s leading brands build customer loyalty by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. He is also the co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. Prior to Temkin Group, Bruce spent 12 years with Forrester Research during which time he led the company’s B2B, financial services, eBusiness, and customer experience practices and was the most-read analyst for 13 consecutive quarters. Bruce has a mechanical engineering degree from Union College and a master’s in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Key quotes

*”What we realized is this year, and probably even going farther out into the future, the organizations that succeed are those that can do that faster, learn faster, propagate insights faster, adapt faster. And so that’s why we called it the year of agility. And we’ve been helping the organizations and the people that follow us try and think about how they can build agility into everything that they do.”

*”Move away from an obsession of focusing on trending. A lot of the work happens in experience management and customer experience is around trending. How are you doing over the last year? And moving into an obsession with sensing. So what are you doing to listen and understand and sense those changes? That was a big shift.”

*”If you step back and go, ‘Our customers are going to be asking for things differently. We’re going to have different segments of customers and we’re going to have employees who have a different view of work.’ In that environment, it’s ripe for disrupting through a really good experience design. So these are the moments when you want to step back and say, ‘Okay, we might have been successful. We might still be successful in this moment. But there’s enough changing that we can take advantage of that change by doing something substantially different and new.’ And those are a couple of the practices I think come into play during the year of agility.”

*If we look at the business school, people trained in finance and people trained in making sure we hit our numbers, they’re trained to be defensive. Like, demand shifts, so what do we do? We cut back our costs to reflect it. But this is a moment where offensive moves can be equally and maybe even more profoundly valuable.

*”I want leaders to spend less time asking about numbers and measurements. I don’t care if you have a dashboard. I don’t care if someone’s coming to present numbers. I want you to ask two questions: What are you learning? And what changes are you making based on what you learned?”

*”Even when we’re talking about technology in this space, ultimately we’re doing it in the service of people. We can talk about data, we can talk about insights, we can talk about design. At the end of the day, what we’re trying to do is to create experiences for human beings that helps them achieve the thing that they want to achieve. And hopefully do it in a way that satisfies the goals of an organization. And so if we’re not ultimately thinking about what it’s doing to each and every human being there, then I think we’re missing the point.”

*”How do we center ourselves so that we can be the best of who we are even in an environment of change? I think there’s the organization stuff that’s really important. But, you know, maybe even more important is how we think about ourselves as professionals and how we think of ourselves as human beings, and how we deal in that world of chaos that we’re in.”

Time stamps

*[0:09] The Case of Tackling the Year of Agility

*[0:31] Introducing Bruce Temkin, Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute

*[8:34] Evidence #1: Needs other ways to listen to customers

*[15:03] Evidence #2: Wants to shift internal culture, but worries about change management

*[24:34] Evidence #3: Doesn’t know how to adjust to change personally

*[30:32] Debrief

*[31:43] HGS Pub

Thanks to our friends

This podcast is brought to you by HGS. A global leader in optimizing the customer experience lifecycle, digital transformation, and business process management, HGS is helping its clients become more competitive every day. Learn more at hgs.cx