Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 3 months ago

119) #ExponentialInsights: Being Human at Every Turn - Sales & Customer Experience

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

When was the last time you were happy to get an automated email? Probably… well, never. Right? 

Meanwhile, sales is rarely held accountable for the terrible customer experience they create. 

We can do better. We just need to be a little more human. 

My guest today,James Gilbert, Head of Marketing - CRMNext, is a big believer that more empathy — more humanity — in business is the only path forward for financial brands in today’s world.

In this episode, we discuss:

- How to have better conversations

- How to infuse more humanity into your brand

- The three pillars of a successful marketing team

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts , on Spotify , or here .

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.


 

...we have three rules on on my marketingteam and everybody has to live. Then the first rule is see everythingthrough the customer's eyes. Okay, the second rule is see everything throughyour other customer which sells And then the 3rd 1 is see everythingthrough the one who keeps the customer happy, which is customer success. Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. You're listening to banking on digitalgrowth. With James Robert lay a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing,sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential bygenerating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part ofthe exponential insight series where James robert interviews the industry'stop marketing sales and fintech leaders, sharing practical wisdom toexponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show greetings andhello, I am James robert, ley and welcome to the 119th episode of theBanking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of theexponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome James Gilbert to theshow James, which is a great name by the way, he is the head of marketing atCrm, next host of the Banking on Experience podcast, which I highlyrecommend that you subscribe to as well if you're not already subscribed and afellow father of four kids James believes that the biggest gap intoday's world is our lack of being human at a return, which I'm going toask you more about in a minute. So with that welcome to the show James Jamesrobert. I don't hold a candle, stick to your show and what you're doing ondigital growth, So thank you so much for having me on here, I think I'mhonored to be on man. No, we're all in this together and it's a, it's a risingtide raises all ships. So you bring a...

...voice in a perspective, I bring a voiceof perspective, Brett King brings a voice in a perspective. Jim Morrisbrings a voice, we're all bringing something and it's the sum of all ofthat which encourage us and really helps us to all be better. And it's myhope back to that point that that we can bring a little bit of humanity tothis conversation here today. Starting with what is just one thing that youare excited about personally professionally your pick go. I think what I'm the most excited aboutis just the opportunity that exists in front of us to make an impact from amarketing perspective at organizations. I think that for a long time now, Imean really when you think about it, the CML role and that the leadermarketing role has not been around terribly long and we're seeing now agiant shift of that role, be focused more on data and the customerexperience. And I'm excited about that because like that's what I'm really,really passionate about are those two areas when it comes to marketing and Ithink far too often marketers lose sight of that and and their journey andwhat they're trying to build. Let's talk about that, making an impactmarketing, making an impact a focus on data, but really using that data toinform and optimize this experience because as you know, marketing can lose,lose sight of that cells, can can lose sight of that. I want to come back tothe point that you mentioned as as I mentioned before, which is in your linkin bio where you note that the biggest gap in today's world is our lack ofbeing human at every turn. What does this gap look like for you here?Because like that's a that's a keen observation. Well, I don't want to be toocontroversial, but um, I mean if you think about everything that happened inour world this last year with Covid, regardless of what you believepolitically, I think that oftentimes we get caught into the social media cancelculture and it's not a human way to...

...approach things. People make mistakes,they have bias. There's no way to get around that bias. They're going to havethem. And so it's a matter of how we approach it in a human interaction. SoI have to think about like when I disagree with my mom, okay, um, am Igoing to go at her? Like I like, like people do on social media, I'm notright. I have a, have a nice conversation. I understand herperspective and I think that that's what is lacking in the world is justsome empathy behind conversations. Some empathy behind where people are comingfrom and understanding that you cannot change people's bias. What you can dois have an impact to help them understand why you feel different manyou're given. I'm not I'm not even like you're giving me goose bumps because Ithink you're touching on something that I'm personally passionate about, whichis just to bring a level of understanding to both sides of aconversation to both sides of the table. Because the only way to do that isthrough dialogue, it's through discourse, it's through conversationand it's going into that conversation with empathy. And I think a little bittoo with an open mind, what can I learn from this experience? And and notcoming in thinking it's almost like it's, I'm going to quote a little bitof Star Wars wisdom with Yoda, you must unlearn what you have learned. Um, and,and, and that is so critically important because if we're going tounderstand, I think if we shut the conversation down before it begins,we've all lost at that point. Right? Well, and you saw a complete dividehappened within our own country and I still think this is happening like withso many different issues and now you're...

...saving seeing it come to the frontsteps of every business and you're seeing businesses take initiatives withtough social subjects where they're trying to uh for lack of a better wayof putting it. They're putting out a lot of fluff, okay and actions nosubstance. You feel, yes, very little substance. They're using it as employ.Um, and I think that part of the reason why that is, is because all of us, somany of us are so afraid to have conversations because we're afraidwe're going to get canceled. And I just think that uh you know how I've grownup is you know, to see others for who they can become um to love everyone forfor for that aspect and to not see, you know the color of people's skin, to notsee cultural differences because they're going to be there. Yeah. Yeah.You know, I at the foundation of every relationship is respect. This was amodel and and this was in banking on digital growth and it's something thatmy wife and I came up together with and and probably she gets more credit forit than me because we've we've done marriage prep over the years and youknow, probably prepped over 100 200 couples. Um Some was in a group setting,some of it was just one on one. And what we found is when we look at theserelationships, there were really three patterns of that could kind of predictfuture success. But the foundation was respect, um, respect for the otherperson and, and sometimes you would find we would find that there wasn't arespect in, in in the way that they treated and they talked in theconversation. Um the next level up is trust and trust is built upon twothings what you say and what you do,...

...and that pinnacle of the relationshipis love, which is his commitment. And I think we can see that in in a businesssetting and a marketing setting and a cell setting. But I always liked the,the ancient wisdom of uh thomas Aquarius with what, how he defines this,which is love is to will the good of another person. Like I, and and thisone, I'm I'm trying to teach my kids, like I uh I want the best for you and Ihope that you want the best for someone else. And and and and to this point Ithink it would be interesting to see how this plays out. You just went onvacation With your family, great time to get away. But there's a problembecause I saw in lengthen that you came back to well over 1000 emails in yourinbox, 85% of them were cells pitches and you noted and I agree with you.This has to change because this is not how you do marketing, this is not howyou do cells. This is not willing the good of another person if you will. Andso I bring this up because as we analyze digital secret shoppingexperiences for financial brands and are banking on digital Growth program.And while we benchmark these experiences that gets competitive aswell for many, the marketing and sells communication that we see in cominginto the inbox is almost exactly like what you noted on linkedin. Um and andso why is this, why do you think we're in the state that we're in from whatyou experienced coming out, you know, a week of the off out of the office andthe coming back and then what we're seeing with secret shopping, there's a,there's a correlation there. Why is this? I think there's two fold right?We had a lot less human interaction physically during the pandemic whichcaused a flood digitally to happen. So...

...now you're seeing a flood of thathappened. You're also seeing a flood of technology be developed with smallertechnology companies that are coming in and playing as a niche. If you look atlike the chief Martek slide, I think like two years ago it was right aroundlike 6500 total companies now. It's like, I believe it's above 9000. Okay.And 2011 it was about 150 because we've been tracking that. Yeah, I mean, justthink about that for a second. So I think part of the problem is the vastamount of technology that's out there. You have individual contributors atcompanies that are looking to solve a specific needs. So they go out andpitch this technology to somebody and then they bring it on, but then theydon't have adoption across the whole organization. I mean, I saw this a lotat the company that we got acquired by, which was Cisco, they had a lot oftechnology that existed all over the place with all their acquisitions thatthey were acquiring and we went through an audit process of like what all thosecompanies that were being acquired and how much overlap of technology therewas. And even in the massive organization like Cisco there's tons ofoverlap and I think that you're having this happen right? And then you're theneverybody not being in the physical world trying to communicate digitallyhas created that problem. But I think there's an even bigger one which is agrave misunderstanding of what the customer experience really is about,which is why I um I put that in my linkedin because I truly believe thatif we we have three rules on on my marketing team um and everybody has tolive them. The first rule is see everything through the customer's eyes.Okay? The second rule is see everything through your other customer, whichsales and then the third one is see everything through the one who keepsthe customer happy, which is customer success service, yep. And by doing thisyou put yourself in the shoes of being...

...like a prospect or anything like that.I hate getting automated messages but I hate it right? Um I think it'sunbecoming. I think it takes it takes just as much time for you to send meand personally not just a tiny bit of research Than it does to build anentire sequence over a 4-month period and all be automated. I mean thinkabout that for a second and I think too often from my experience, even being inthe customer experience world before I came over here to see our um Next wascells is very rarely held accountable to the negative impact that they haveon the customer experience. And this is no knock on cells. It's just the truth.There is very little if any accountability to being human cellsprocess everybody's a number. Everybody's a revenue target,everybody's a pipeline or opportunity. I'm gonna call it out. I'm just gonnasay it how it is. Everyone typically in cells, everyone's a means to an end. Exactly.And that's part of what I think that that's the biggest gap in the worldtoday. It's why there's very little relationship building that happens incells processes, why cells might set an unrealistic expectation and then theybecome a customer and then it falls flat with customers. Success andcustomer success gets blamed because the expectation wasn't set ahead oftime. So the truth is, you know, About 80% of people that I talked to who havean interest in joining the banking on digital growth program, 80%. I guide tosomewhere else. Um, it's there, it's just not a good fit and it's nothingpersonal, I'm very honest with them and a lot of that is not, it's not it's notthe issue there. It's more of a larger cultural organizational issue that Iknow if they were to come in, it would almost do more harm than good. And thenthe other thing too is, and this comes back to the point of just having, Ithink very real honest conversations um...

...that let's lean into that because whenwe lean into that to me, that's it's it's in the pain, it's in thosedifficult discussions. I think that's where the biggest growth happens. Andso when when we look out and and and it was funny because you ask a verysimilar question on your podcast as well, but I'd be curious to get yourtake biggest belief that financial brandshave right now about marketing and cells. What do you disagree with And toput it bluntly, where might others be wrong and why do you feel this way? Ithink the biggest area that I disagree with is um, that you can't make everyinteraction human. I truly believe you can. I think that you're just beinglazy. I mean that's the honest truth of it. You're trying to find technology toautomate, you're trying to bring on more people to automate those processes.And I think that um, sometimes it's a matter of spending a little bit ofextra time with your cross functional teams to build something that ismeaningful. A good example James robert, you were on, you were a judge of ourright on the money contest. Um, we we purposefully with that campaign wantedus to not be part of the judging committee. Yeah, because we wanted itto be organic and real, right? And I think too often we get scared becausewe might be putting spend towards something that we feel like we have tocontrol it more. And part of us being human is allowing people to be human.And they're going to naturally go through their channels. They're goingto naturally go online. That's what people do. It's the same type ofconversation that I have with so many other marketers and teaching them aboutattribution, right? And how that becomes such a big problem, becausethey don't know how to attribute their impact. Right? Well, the impact reallyis when you ask people that have engaged with your brand, do they findthe engagement meaningful? I mean, to...

...me, that's really what it is. If theydon't find it meaningful, then what's the point? Technology has transformedour world and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buyfinancial services forever. Now, consumers make purchase decisions longbefore they walk into a branch. If they walk into a branch at all, but yourfinancial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits, we get it. Digitalgrowth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financialbrand, marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have to because James robertwrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digitalgrowth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of hisbest selling book banking on digital growth Or order a copy right now foryou and your team from Amazon inside, you'll find a strategic marketingmanifesto that was written to transform financial brands and it is packed fullof practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidentlygenerate 10 times more loans and deposits now back to the show. And Ithink, I mean I've been doing a lot and have had a lot of conversations andprobably will continue to have a lot of conversations of scaling almost I thinkscaling humanity, but through technology and that doesn't necessarilymean automation, it just gives us a multiplying effect of reach of scalevideo. I've made it almost a daily habit too. Get on linked in. I see something and maybe someone got a new um job.Yeah, I can just recently think of someone that I've known for about 10years just moved up into a ceo position And I sent this person 30 45 2nd loomvideo saying, hey congratulations on this newopportunity. You know, it's been so...

...good to watch your growth over the past10 years. I remember when we first met, it was at a conference in SAn Diego. Wewere in the hallway, it was beautiful, sunlit over the looking over the bayand like I say, it's like it's just a habit that I've gotten into because Ireally do care to make these connections go deeper. Imagine if abranch manager, a loan officer just took 10 minutes a day To do somethingand then they just work through a list. You know, that's one person, that's 300people. Take out weekends. So double up 365 days, you get 100 people doing that.That's 36,000 people. Well, especially in the financialservices space, like technology is a naturally getting a really bad rap,right? Just because adoption is tough being able to integrate into thesystems that really matter like a core is tough. But I think that one of thethings that naturally happens is when you can bridge technology and the humanside of of how you interact with people. I mean that's core to I think what, youknow specifically in the financial services, the credit union movement isall about like they want to have that relationship, they want to have thosehuman interactions, but technology can sometimes get in the way of that theyhave, they might have too much of it. So how do they consolidate it so thatthey make the day to day of every single person at that organization umeasier so that they can actually have those meaningful conversations. One ofthe things that we just recently shared in our digital growth community,insider community was something that I've talked about and written aboutperfectly, but technology, I think we we lose sight of what technology is andwe put so much emphasis on like technology being the thing that's gonnatransform us are going to save our organization. And I'm like, notechnology is nothing more than a tool...

...that can just bring two people togetherfor good. Just like we're doing right now in this conversation. I mean,imagine three years ago, like I don't think we'd be doing this at least Iwould, but I don't think it would be the it would have had the acceptanceand I know you would. I just don't think it would have the acceptance ofwhat it would have been three years ago, two years ago even. And and so I wantto dig into this because you just had recently had a conversation withMichelle Peterson, who's the chief member experience officer over a pluscredit union um on on the banking on experience podcast. And once again,dear listener go subscribe to James conversations that he's having becausethey're really good. There's a lot to learn there. And in this conversationwith Michelle y'All were talking about this command and control leadershipstyle that has just rained so long in the banking space and how that commandand control. And we're even touched on this, I think before we hit record thatcommand and control leadership style, it's probably met its expiration date.Um and I'm seeing this through the coaching that we're doing withfinancial brands when you think about command and control. Where's thechallenge when it comes to deploying some of this new thinking that you'retalking about using technology to connect people, not relying too much onautomation, but thinking of it as as an experience, how might command andcontrol, be limiting the potential and be the hindrance and then what's thesolution? What's the path forward beyond that? That's interesting because we weren'twe were talking about this before we hit record and one of the things thatwe've ran into on the podcast more than anything is a focus on just culturalexternally and internally focuses on D. I. And being able to address socialissues as a as a brand and a company.

And the tough part is is part of that.People think the eye is just to focus on minorities and it's not it's deeperthan that. It's also a younger generation right? That's coming up intoleadership, what are their values. And I think what we're seeing in thisindustry is a shift now we're you're having an older generation comes at theage of retirement and now a younger generation is needing to come in andand be leaders but they haven't been developed that way. Um And I think thiscommand and control leadership style is trying to control every little thingthat they're doing without allowing autonomy to happen within your team.And I think that what we need to see more of is leadership, take more of anautonomy approach and understand that there's certain people on your teamthat are going to be very strategic thinking. There's other people on yourteam that are gonna be a lot more tactical thinking and you need both andyou don't need to force one into a different role. And you also can't justpromote people based on they did really, really well and they're performingreally really well because they might just want to be an individualcontributor and you can't force somebody into managing people if that'snot their skill set and what they want to do. Yes. And you know some someresources for that. Because this has been a conversation that I've beenhaving with leaders in marketing leaders and sells leaders moving intothe leadership team. They don't they they don't necessarily have theconfidence, the deep confidence needed to go to that next level. And as aleader, your confidence, that's your most important thing. When you start tolose your confidence, it shows and it's like do everything possible to protectthat and you're going to have some good days, you're gonna have some bad days.And it's one of the things that that that I'm writing about and banking onchange, like you can either be growth bound or you can be stuck in the growthgap. And the growth gap is where you're...

...just constantly griping about problems.And two books come to the top of my mind. One is leading right for thefirst time by David C. Baker who has advised me over the years. And thenanother one is one called the coaching habit, Say less. Ask more and changethe way you lied forever by Michael uh manganese. Uh Steiner, I think is hisname. If my memory serves correct because it's this idea of coaching tome is something that I'm very fascinated with from a leadershipperspective because it helps guide someone. It's almost like when I writeabout making a digital growth, you know, being the helpful guide. But now it'smore of an internal like experience. And you're talking about these ideas.If you got different customers, you get your external customers, membersprospects. But then you also have the internal from a marketing lens of ofcells and and and then that of service. How what are the opportunities for forfor coaching here to to help guide someone beyond change because change ispainful. Change is scary. It's easy for someone to get stuck in the cave ofcomplacency. But how might we be able to help coach people through thoseexperiences to provide a path forward around optimizing marketing, optimizingcells, optimizing experiences. What are your thoughts on that? I know thismight sound like a surface level answer, but I still think it's relevant and Ithink that one of the areas is we have to be willing as leaders to let go ofcontrol and we have to be willing to let failures happen. And what I mean bythat is it doesn't mean you expect a failure to happen. It means that youlet people own something and be accountable to it and don't punish thembecause it might come up short. And I think that too often leaders are tryingto get their hands and everything because they see something and they'relike, oh actually that's not how I want it done. And so they get their hands init and they try to fix it and it's not...

...a coaching moment. What if we actuallyput the responsibility back on the leader that there is a learningopportunity, there's a growth opportunity for that leader to becomeeven better at communicating what the expectation is to the person who'shaving to execute against that leader's vision. To me, that's a massive growthopportunity and that's a, you know, it's it's something that takes time, ittakes practice. It, it is going to take some failure, but failure is that's thefertile seeds from which new growth springs a new and and I want to talkabout failure because it's something I know many struggle with, they sharetheir concerns with me privately. So let's peel back the curtain here,because you know, how how do you handle change? How do you handle failure? Howyou you react in stressful situations is a great judge of character. It'ssomething that's supposed that you just put on linkedin recently. It's where wecan learn a lot about people, learn a lot about teams, learn a lot aboutorganizations, I think, most importantly, learn about ourselvesthrough these experiences. So how do you personally handle what some mightcall failure, others call setbacks when something negative happens, doesn't goas planned and turns out. And what did you get? What did you learn from othersthrough this experience in the post that you put a link in here? I know noteverybody has. Um I have this deep passion to provepeople wrong, a part of who I am in some ways and very little contrarian.Yeah, so I know not everybody has that or feels that way, but I think that'spart of what I do is when I, when I fell and I know somebody has seen thatfailure or recognizes that failure. I use that as motivation always. I'mcompetitive in nature in that regard. Uh, and so I use it as motivation andnot everybody can make that switch, but I also think that uh, you know, every single time I've ever consultedfor a start up or been at a startup, um,...

...yeah, It's always less green than youthink it's going to be when you get there right, there's way more problemsthat people don't expose and don't talk about, which guess what are absolutefailures? And it's why, what is it less? Less than 2% of startups actually makeit correct? So if less than 2% of startups actually make it? So the nitand grit of the business world, right, entrepreneurship and all of these bigfellows that do happen don't get exposed. I think that we have to beopen as a society and a business um and as a business world in talking aboutthose failures so that we can all learn from each other, which is why you'reseeing now a massive influx over the last year of community, right, whereyou're having communities get together, you're having cmos get with cmos, ceos,get with ceos, entrepreneurs that are at startups, get with entrepreneursthat startups and now they're having these really unique dialogues with eachother, talking about a little personal anecdote on this. So the 1st 10 yearsof my business, I was kind of like the lone ranger, um you know, I thought Iknew it, I started this thing when I was 19, so I think there's thatyouthful pride, youthful arrogance. But once again, what is the ancient wisdomtell you about pride? Pride goes before a downfall in a downfall. It did comein 2012. While you know the business was great, you know seven figures inrevenue when all these awards behind the scenes, my life was falling apart.My wife was telling me and we just had our second child and it's the it's thefamily of the business because you you're not very balanced and I wasn'tand so I had to call in outside help, I had to get someone to to really show mea better path forward. And I knew that I wanted both, I knew I wanted tocontinue to grow the business. I knew I wanted to keep my family together umbut I couldn't do it because I just didn't know and by and I said sincethat time I am always going to have a...

...coach, a guide and advisor, be part ofsome type of community. And it's because of that that I attribute tojust not not being by myself because I found that when I by myself, Isometimes psych myself out and I don't know, it's just not, it's not a goodplace to be. This has been a, I think we've brought the humanity on this onetoday. Got got a little personal on on a couple of things which has been great.I want to wrap up with 22111 more question. Get real practical here at the end asas as as financial brands banks, creditors continue down their digitalgrowth journey. What is one recommendation? Something verypractical that they can start doing with their marketing and sellstrategies just to optimize experiences, something something small that theycould apply. It's all in the same room. I mean, I know that sounds againsurface level, but you're lending your marketing, they're doing two totallydifferent things and they very rarely know what each other is doing. And bythe way, I would even add bring your service into that realm as well,surprised how often times the service organization can become a growthopportunity for landing and marketing and when you kind of bring thattogether under under one shop, I think that it it makes the world of adifference. I'll never forget. I was facilitating a very similarconversation between a marketing team and a sales team and it was almost likesomewhat of a therapy session because I saw the, The disarming of both sides and agrowing mutual respect transpire over about a 90 minute conversation to whereI just, I just asked some really good questions and and speaking aboutconversation, someone's listening, they want to continue to learn from you.Obviously there's the banking on experience podcast, but how else canthey connect with you? What's the best...

...way for them to reach out and say hello,reach out to me the Lincoln and I am, I try to get back to everybody. That'sjust again, part of what I believe in is being human, never interaction. Soconnect with James. Listen to James learned from James. James, this hasbeen fantastic. A lot of fun today. Thank you so much for joining me onanother episode of Banking on digital growth. I appreciate you. Thanks forhaving me James robert as always. And until next time be well, do good andmake your bed. Thank you for listening to anotherepisode of banking on digital growth. With James robert. Ley like what youhear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcasts,google podcasts or Spotify and subscribe. While you're there to geteven more practical improvement insights, visit www dot digital growthdot com to grab a preview of James roberts, best selling book banking ondigital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from amazoninside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framedaround 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10times more loans and deposits until next time, be well and do good.

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