Creating a delightful customer experience – Interview with Elizabeth Pitt, Chief Customer Officer
Delightful, is the sentiment Infusionsoft wants their customers to feel when they interact with their team members.
Elizabeth Pitt, recently appointed to Chief Customer Officer at Infusionsoft, oversees roughly 200 employees hyper-focused on a positive customer experience. She is also in the process of hiring up to 60 more people by the end of the year to care for their 30,000 and growing customers.
Prior to her appointment, Pitt served as senior vice president of Customer Delight. I sat down with Elizabeth to learn more about Infusionsoft’s secrets to creating a delightful customer experience.
Tishin: What does Customer Delight mean for small businesses?
Elizabeth: Delight is an interesting concept. I came in to it as a software product development person and we did customer driven innovation. [This means] deeply listening to customers and understanding what problems they are trying to solve and tasks they are trying to complete, or things they want to get done in the software of their business-and it was truly delightful.
Tishin: What else makes it is delightful to the customers?
Elizabeth: There’s an additional part to Delighting as we are so focused on small business success. It’s connecting and being empathetic to the time crunch, the loneliness, the moments of doubt, the questions, the craziness, the overwhelm that comes with being a small business owner.
When we get that right, and we do, we build a bond with our customers and that’s what’s so magical about Infusionsoft.
Tishin: There seems to be a lot of psychology in this process. How do you sustain the delighting?
Elizabeth: You’re exactly right. Our hiring is actually part of the secret sauce of Delight, that’s for sure- that’s probably 70 percent of the game, honestly and truly.
[We] hire them [with a genuine understanding] of how to listen with empathy and we reinforce it in the early days of training. [We also have] people who review all of the customer calls who can give them help and suggestions on how to make those interactions even more delightful.
Tishin: And how about the mental strain of dealing with frustrated or irate callers?
Elizabeth: Part of dealing with an upset person is understanding it’s not about you. We know that a person is in a lot of pain, and it probably has to do with all the things they’re doing in their small business. So we lean in to empathy when the energy is heated or frustrated because we know that that’s because they are in pain.
It’s about understanding the state that human being is in and understand that our commitment is to take them in whatever state they come to us and give them Delight, and give them resolution that they ask for- even when they didn’t know quite how to ask for it.
Tishin: How do you approach Delight fails?
Elizabeth: We tried for about a year or two to map out certain painful customer journeys through cross-collaboration and influence to get the customer experience strategy on the radar. Instead, we went strictly grassroots and started talking about delight fails.
For any employee that interacts with a customer, and we know we could’ve done better, they can register a “delight fail,” and our customer experience team takes that “delight fail” and tracks them all. The team selects [fails] they are going to tackle each month to improve the customer experience.
Tishin: What would you consider your main initiative as CCO?
Elizabeth: I’m on a mission as my role as Chief Customer Officer to have that kind of “WOW!” connection, [with] small business in the first 60 days.
We believe that like any good relationship, the first interactions matter the most. For the first 60 days of a customer’s experience, we are making improvements. At the end of that the 60 days, we want small businesses to say “I can’t imagine going anywhere else for help with my small business again.”
Tishin: What is the most delightful part of your day?
Elizabeth: I love walking in to the building at Infusionsoft. I feel like I am coming to the place where I get to do my life’s work.
I walk through those front doors, and I see our values on the wall and there is an energy in that building.
In my office I’ve got reminders of customers we are helping, just customer mementos and I get to feel like my work means something. Like I’m actually doing something that matters. And it starts the minute I walk across the threshold, that’s pretty cool.