The Power of Lifecycle Management to Drive the Customer Experience With Danilo Pozo

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Lifecycle Management for Transformative CX with Danilo Pozo
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In this episode of the Customer Service Secrets Podcast, Gabe Larsen is joined by Danilo Pozo from Cisco to learn about lifecycle management and being the customer’s number one supporter. Listen to the full podcast below to learn more about Danilo and his work creating a more economic workforce in developing communities.

Taking the Journey with Your Customers

As a leader, you define the touchpoints of your customer’s journey and it’s important to know what these touchpoints are and what kind of experiences you want your customers to have with your brand to harbor long-lasting loyalty. A journey that’s engaging with consumers adds value to your efforts because they’re more willing to stick around if the touchpoints lead to the right solutions.

“When you come into Customer Experience, it’s about how you go through the journey with them.”

Digital transformation is the secret to making the customer journey seamless because it removes mundane tasks for both consumers and agents. Danilo explains, “So you not only are interested in what your solutions are, but you’re really interested in why it’s a digital transformation and what stage of this transformation they’re at.” Better solutions come when agents have automated processes and elements of digital transformation working for them.

Global Talent is Key to Entering Different Markets

Hiring the right talent is important for building deep connections with your customers because the more they relate to your brand and your agents, the more they feel understood. When expanding into global markets, Danilo emphasizes the need to hire talent around the world to help with this process, as it can be difficult for younger companies and leaders just starting in their new roles. Different cultures can be hard to integrate into, so hiring talent that is already well acquainted with the culture and language of a place can better establish your company in that market. 

“There is so much talent around the world that you don’t have to be in one place now. You can gather talent from different places of the world for one common factor, and that would allow emerging markets to be more attractive to many companies.” 

Business and technology are constantly changing in the CX world and in order for brands to stay relevant, they need to keep up with the modern customer. To explain shopping trend changes within the last few years, Danilo examines, “People have opened their minds to different ways to do business and productivity.” With more agents staying home and successfully providing stellar CX, more companies are realizing that business doesn’t have to be done in just one place. Changes like these are happening all over the world and what better way to embrace such changes as a CX leader than to hire talent that speaks the native language of your desired global markets? Expansion is totally possible with the right talent.

Solving Problems with Customer Data

If you’re not using data to learn details about your customers, how are you providing the best possible experiences? It’s nearly impossible to do so on a large scale if you know nothing about your customer demographics like purchasing trends, shopping habits, preferred languages, area of origin, etc. Gathering customer data is crucial to offering products that they’re bound to love because when data is used in the creation of such products, the customer stays at the focus of each decision. CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a great tool for managing data. Delivering excellent experiences happen when agents are enabled to better serve their customers with data-driven decisions. As Danilo says, “I have so much information that it’s actually allowed us to make decisions based on that, based on what the customer has and where the customer wants to go.”

To learn more about enhancing brand and customer relationships, check out the Customer Service Secrets podcast episode below, and be sure to subscribe for new episodes each Thursday.

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Full Episode Transcript:

Lifecycle Management for Transformative CX with Danilo Pozo

TRANSCRIPT

Intro Voice: (00:04)

You’re listening to the Customer Service Secrets Podcast by Kustomer.

Gabe Larsen: (00:11)

We’re ready to rock and roll. It’s time to start. We’re excited to get going here. We are going to be talking about, fun episode today. We will be talking about the power of life cycle management to drive customer experience. You’ve got your host, Gabe Larsen, and I have a special guest on, he comes to us from Cisco. He’s currently the Vice President of Customer Experience for Latin America. Danilo, thanks so much for joining and how are you?

Danilo Pozo: (00:38)

Hey, Gabe. How are you doing? Nice to be here with you. I appreciate the invitation.

Gabe Larsen: (00:43)

Yeah. I’ve been on Dan’s back for a while. He does some really cool stuff. Great experience in the space. I think today will be fun. I appreciate him jumping on and taking a minute with us. Before we jump in, maybe tell us just a little about yourself, some of what you’ve done in Cisco, maybe a little bit of your career. Jump into that real quick.

Danilo Pozo: (01:01)

Absolutely. Yeah. So I’ve been with Cisco for 21 years, so I mean, hopefully, that’s not showing my age, but I’m going to say I started early. So yeah, I started at Cisco in Sales. Started from the virtual sales space and kind of coming up on the ladder to Field Sales and eventually leading LATAM and Service Sales. And three years ago, this opportunity in Customer Experience came out and the first question I had was like, “Oh my God. What is Customer Experience?” [Inaudible] and all those things, what does that mean? And then I had a good, great conversation with our executives and what was the transformation that we were building in Cisco, and why was customer experience such an important team to lead and to build. And tell you what, it’s the best decision that I made in my life. It’s nothing better than building something when your own and structure the team, come together with processes, and understanding the market and how is the customer going to gravitate to the experiences you building with them.

Gabe Larsen: (02:00)

Interesting. How much different do you feel like it was, I mean, you mentioned kind of the background on the Sales side and then jumping into Customer Experience. How much, did you do a big difference, a small difference? How do you kind of project that?

Danilo Pozo: (02:16)

Yeah. Actually yeah. There are some similarities, but there are also some major differences. So Sales is all about the numbers. Like actually, how can you position the best value for your customer? But you’re also looking at why, how you’re achieving your quarter, how are you meeting your plan on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis? So you always keeping track of all of your sales and obviously making sure you build a relationship with your customers and to ensure that you are building volume for them as well, and we get to market quicker, et cetera. When you come into Customer Experience, it’s about how do you go through the journey with them. It’s how exactly are you walking, what their transformation is. So you not only are interested in what your solutions are, but you’re really interested in why it’s a digital transformation and what stage of this transformation they’re at and how do you actually move for them, sometimes tailor-made for them.

Gabe Larsen: (03:04)

Yeah, that is. That’s the beauty of it, I think. You put the customer so much more at the center. I mean, look at the numbers, the number of businesses has got to succeed but that is a big difference. That’s kind of fun. So I think as part of this transformational effort, I mean, certainly, it sounds like it’s been a fun journey, but you and I talked about this idea of life cycle management. So, how you thought about that to really start to leverage and drive that customer experience, maybe you can just start kind of big picture. What’s the, why is that? What is it? Give me the basics on that.

Danilo Pozo: (03:41)

So it’s a couple of things. Number one, it’s about value creation. So we always think about value creation and from the technology perspective and I think this can translate to a lot of the industries. It’s what you can offer it to and the value you have, but then you have that other side of the equation that says, what is value realization and how is that important to your customer? So it sounds what you perceive as value is when your customers understand what their value is for them. So once you put those two things together is what we call life cycle selling and life cycle process. It’s standing from the alignment perspective, when you have in the case of Cisco, we are usually, we are known to be a hardware company but we’re going through this transition to more current offers in software and enterprise agreement. And now we’re looking at saying, “Okay, how do you put all those three things together so we carry value to your customers and we align with our partners?” Because the majority of our business in Cisco goes through our partners, and put that together and start building the life cycles, understanding what the customer needs are and how do you build more of them and eventually make sure that they are adopted technology? So we come to a point of how do they [inaudible] expand with us?

Gabe Larsen: (05:00)

Yeah. It’s so holistic it’s such a holistic view. I think sometimes for whatever reason, leaders aren’t able or they just don’t take that kind of that whole life cycle holistic view. As you’ve jumped into this and you mentioned kind of building some of yourself, what are some of those things that you feel like have been those “ahas” or kind of real breakthrough moments that kind of translate? This onboarding process has been kind of a big differentiator or some of the data may be that you’ve been able to use, what have been those key components to this quote-unquote transformation?

Danilo Pozo: (05:36)

So the first thing you got to look at, and it’s a cultural shift. When you come from a company that’s more transactional in nature, says, “Okay, these are the equipment I have and how do I actually build it and to build that culture of recurrence and understanding the customer priorities?” Customers have always been first for Cisco. I mean there’s no change in that. That’s the approach that we take. So that’s one of the big things, we’ll say, “Okay. How do I not only build the team but build that culture that makes sure that works with the customer?” And the second thing I would say is the secret sauce for any CX experience, and customer experiences, those insights of data. That is the thing that is actually going to create a difference for Cisco and for any company that has to deal with customer experience. You get that in front of you and we say, “Okay. This is the problem. How do we solve this problem with you based on actual data?” And we have a platform called CX Cloud at Cisco that allows us to actually go into the infrastructure, go into the network, go into the software, and know-how the customers move through the life cycle process with us. And that’s the “aha” moment. It’s like, “Wow. You know what? I have so much information that it’s actually allowed us to make decisions based on that, based on what the customer has and where the customer wants to go.”

Gabe Larsen: (06:53)

I like that. Two follow-ups on it. So you mentioned culture first and then a little bit on this data and insights. How do you shape that? I mean, so many of us who were trying to get this customer transformation going, people tuning in, et cetera, it’s, the culture piece seems hard. It’s a refocus. You got to do things differently. View the customer differently. Transactional to relational. It just seems to be a lot of that. How do you, thoughts on how to actually get those cultural pieces into play or things you’ve learned along the way?

Danilo Pozo: (07:27)

Man, it’s just a lot of fun. I always look at challenges as a fun thing to do because, and I think the first thing you have to do is create a common mission. So where are we now? Where do we want to go? Where’s the mission that we want to get to? And it’s not only our mission, it’s our marketing mission. It’s our customer’s mission. It’s our society at the end of the day because everything that our customers do is for all the society’s purpose, whether it’s revenue, whether it’s efficiencies, whatever that may be. So the first thing you got to do is the mission. And then you have big companies like Cisco, they’ll say, “Okay. There’s so many KPIs and different routes.” And how do you build those KPIs into one to say, what does success look like at the end of this road?

Danilo Pozo: (08:06)

And then you start kind of building that cadence and saying, “Okay guys, look at this. This is where we got to look into now.” And people understand you, how do you change through the process? And sometimes you have to bring new people to the organization that has [inaudible] already and [inaudible] how I did it and now how we do it together. So it’s a combination of so many factors and Gabe, by the end of the day, is time my friend, right? It’s just going to take us time because it’s a journey. I always say transformation is not one thing that begins one day and ends the other one. It begins one day and it continues because you continue to have to change and transform.

Gabe Larsen: (08:41)

I like that. I like that. Yeah. I think we forget it’s the sprint, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s like, “I want this to be now.” And it’s like, that may not, one of the things you touched on was just that data component. And I wonder, it seems like, in some ways, it seems obvious, but boy, it’s difficult to be able to see kind of the entire customer in the lifecycle in one view or bring that together so that we can actually understand where this person is, recommend new products to them, see where some of their gaps are. It’s always so disparate. At least that’s what we hear with a lot of our guests. I had one guest talking about what he called the Frankenstack. He was like, “The problem with CX tech is that I’ve got my order entry over here. I’ve got my CRM over here. I’ve got my tickets over there. And I got these reps who are just swiveling on their chairs across systems.” Can you just talk about the importance, maybe bringing that into one view so that you can see that customer in that kind of one place so that you can action and make those processes that you want to make?

Danilo Pozo: (09:54)

Yeah, I would say the first thing we’ve got to look at is to look at where the customer priorities are. So in the case of Cisco, we made sure that our customer’s priorities go around the applications. How do we reimagine the applications? How does it secure in the enterprise? How do they transform the infrastructure to where they want to be? Nowadays will be, we’re going through in the hybrid work, the importance of that, right?

Danilo Pozo: (10:16)

So those are the things that we can have discussions with them and see how their infrastructure is for transformations. And then get that data in front of us. And one way, one platform that says, “Okay, where are you in your priorities?” And then assessment says, “Okay, how do [inaudible] integration, the promises that we have?” We’ll make a simple. It’s a cloud, the right offer for you is a hybrid, probably the right offer for you. [Inaudible] consumption models they have. And yeah, you’re absolutely right. There are so many tools out there that, and then they come in front of you and you say, “Okay, how do I utilize them? How do I put this Frankenstack together?” But at the end of the day, whatever we say is, “Okay, each move in the organization has responsibility and accountability.” So you make those and you pull those bridges around to make sure that it is seamless for the customer, those are internal views. And for us, it’s fitting to say that makes sense for Cisco to come to help us do that and reimagine our infrastructure.

Gabe Larsen: (11:11)

That makes tons of sense and I think that’s so important that the centralization or the view of the entire business in its core, I think makes a big difference. A lot of questions about how to do this transformative customer experience in some emerging markets. And I know you’ve had experience with that throughout your career. Any tips or tidbits? How it’s different, or some of the ways you tried to translate some of the stuff, maybe you’ve done nationally? Some international instances where maybe it is an up and coming business, or maybe it’s not quite as developed of a region? Thoughts on that?

Danilo Pozo: (11:52)

So it’s a combination of both things. So having those opportunities to be in a mature market, like the US or Europe and you say, “Okay, these are companies that are already on the leading edge of where we want to go.” And then how do you build those use cases and best practices and make sure that the emerging markets are not reinventing something, kind of getting those use cases and replicating them for the benefit? And the other, I would say, this is a great opportunity to leapfrog. Some of these emerging markets, they were lagging before and they were not, they were building a different type of mentality as far as what infrastructure or software they need. Nowadays, you can just go faster. I think the pandemic has allowed us to, one of those very small advantages, as it says, people have opened their minds to different ways to do business and productivity. You have to leapfrog into that. And another thing that I think is really interesting about now is talent.

Danilo Pozo: (12:52)

There is so much talent around the world that you don’t have to be in one place now. You can gather talent from different places of the world for one common factor, and that would allow emerging markets to be more attractive to many companies. And we’re trying to see that. It’s like, how do you get the best talent from different places of the world for one company?

Gabe Larsen: (13:12)

I like that. I like the, yeah, the talent thing that is, that makes so much, I think allows you to move into emerging markets in a different way if you can actually capture talent there. We hit on a couple of different topics. I want to, as we look towards wrapping here, if you could go back to as you were starting this role in Customer Experience, I think it was three, about three years ago. This might be good for the takeaways for the group. Is there stuff you’d maybe tell that person three years ago? Any lessons learned that you know now? Or maybe I [inaudible] this question. There’s a lot of customer service, customer experience leaders who are just starting that journey who are trying to kind of figure out, “Where do I start? Do I get tech people?” What advice would you give your earlier self for those of us who are kind of starting in this Customer Experience?

Danilo Pozo: (14:05)

That’s a great question, Gabe. And I always, I mean, yesterday I was having a conversation with a group of people and I think that it takes the risk. Don’t hesitate. You’re not going to know everything. You don’t pretend to know everything. And the fact is this methodology is kind of new for us in the industry. I mean, maybe for some software companies, it’s a little longer and for us and this top competence and we try and put all this together [inaudible] but it’s an opportunity to actually learn and just kind of opens your mind to different experiences and discussion with your customers is going to be completely different. It’s just talking about what you have [inaudible] and how does that fit into their business? It’s like, what exactly you need. So it’s a more consultative approach than it has before. So if I tell myself something it’s, “Man, why did you wait to do this? You should have done this a long time ago.”

Gabe Larsen: (15:03)

I like it. Yeah. There you go. You got to take a risk, jump in, and sometimes the journey, I liked your point earlier that you can’t do this immediately. It takes a little bit of time. It’s a little bit of a marathon. Dan, appreciate you joining today. Fun to hear the talk track. Sounds like you’ve had an amazing experience. I’m glad you joined us. You’ve left the dark side of Sales and you’ve joined us in Customer Experience. I kid a little bit. In closing, if someone wanted to learn a little bit more about some of the great things you’re doing or maybe even connect with you on LinkedIn, what would you recommend?

Danilo Pozo: (15:36)

Yeah, I would say LinkedIn is a great way to actually get to know me. There’s a ton of books and articles out there about Customer Experience because there’s just so much. I think if you look at what your industry is, look at and understand your customers and try to find something that that team has made to that to your industry, right? I think customer experiences move sales to be honest with you. It’s just, customers are expecting us to understand where they want to go and it’s listening more than talking. So yeah. Yeah. If somebody wants to chat on Linkedin, I’ll be happy to.

Gabe Larsen: (16:14)

Awesome. Yeah. I love that line. Customer experiences move sales. So many people I think are coming. We call the tradition in customer service where it was more of like a call center. A lot of people saying, “It’s not a cost center anymore. It’s a profit center. We’re making money,” and then those things. So I think you can look at these different areas and you’re right. The customer experiences move sales. I like that. A good way to end. Okay. Dan, appreciate you joining. Thanks, everybody for tuning in and looking forward to our next week and have a great weekend. Bye.

Danilo Pozo: (16:45)

Thank you, Gabe.

Exit Voice: (16:51)

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