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Keep Your Patience Charged Up

Nate BrownEach month, we’re featuring a member of ICMI’s Strategic Advisory Board. This group of industry thought leaders, practitioners, and solution providers helps ICMI keep tabs on customer insights and contact center market developments, and ensures that our content offerings are aligned with industry best practices and that our products evolve at pace to serve the community, and grow industry relationships.

This month, we’re featuring Nate Brown, Chief Experience Officer at Officium Labs, Co-Founder of CX Accelerator.

Could you describe your current role?

As Chief Experience Officer inside of Officium Labs, I get to do a number of very exciting things. One of those is helping to create the very best possible employee experience, working with leaders to review weekly pulse survey information and make informed changes to better the lives of our people. Next up, I'm actively working with our clients to transform their Customer Experience in all kinds of unique ways. Depending on the needs, this could be a training focus, a technology focus, or something else completely. Additionally, I'm privileged to do much of our marketing for Officium, especially in the area of thought leadership. I'm constantly amazed at how dynamic CX work is! I don't think I will ever have a boring day.

What, in your opinion, are the characteristics of someone who is successful long-term in this industry?

A person who is intrinsically motivated to serve others and create better experiences for them will find great meaning in this work. CX and Customer Service is generally not the road to accelerated riches, although the ROI for a business is tremendous. If you love people and finding creative ways to help them, you will experience great success in this space.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with those who are just setting out on a career path in the contact center industry?

You are about to embark on a collision course with a large number of unpleasant individuals. This will be in the form of customers, business leaders, and peers. The best contact center pros are those who are able to remain authentically kind and patient. This is your superpower. Keeping it "charged up" is essential. Fill yourself up with good, encouraging things as much as possible. Be curious, read great books, surround yourself with edifying people, and consume uplifting media. You will be amazed how much these simple changes can impact your overall mindset.

There have been so many changes in the contact center industry, both because of new technology and because of the COVID-19 crisis. How do you feel those changes will shape the industry in the next decade?

The days of "butts in seats" as both a physical reality and a management style are over. Successful CX leaders will be those with the capability to engage a remote workforce, creating both an exceptional employee experience and customer experience with a decentralized team. We can now recruit the best talent from anywhere in the world.

We need a technology infrastructure that makes it entirely natural for employees to engage with their peers and deliver seamless service to customers. For most organizations, this is going to mean simplifying their techstack to focus on a smaller number of truly integrated cloud-based systems.

It’s clear by your participation on the board that you believe in the role of mentorship in the contact center industry. Can you share a valuable lesson you learned from a mentor, and share who that mentor was?

My executive coach Steve Gutzler has taught me countless invaluable lessons. One that I remember most often is how incredibly contagious energy is. I'm one of those people who when I'm feeling frustrated or sad, I can fill a room with that vibe faster than a skunk spreading it's stink. I can't force a smile. It just does not work.

But, historically I've spent way too much time and mental energy focusing on things that I can't control. By focusing on the amazing things happening around me and all that I have to be grateful for, I don't need to force anything. I can choose to focus on these great things and fill those around me up with the same optimism I am feeling. As Steve says, be mindful of your "fountain inputs" that give you life, so that you can be a fountain of positive energy to those around you. Great advice, Steve!!

Lead image: Alfonso Coutinho on Unsplash.