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“Understand Your Customer...Before you Start Developing Processes.”

Each 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.Ted-Stodolka

This month, we’re featuring Ted Stodolka, vice president, Chief Care Officer and Diversity & Inclusion Leader at Hallmark Cards.

Could you describe your current role?

I lead Hallmark’s B2B and B2C customer care efforts. This includes the functional aspects of customer care, which includes contact centers, thought leadership, and center of excellence leadership for customer care across the company. In addition, I work with my diversity and inclusion partner on these efforts across Hallmark’s businesses. I focus on marketplace aspects of diversity and inclusion, while my partner focuses on workplace diversity and inclusion.

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

Empathy, flexibility, and tenacity.

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?

Understand your customer, their journey with your company, potential pain points, and moments of truth before you start developing processes, solutions, and technology.

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?

I think even more business will be done digitally. Digital tools only address the most common use cases, which leaves edge cases to customer care teams. As such, care teams need to be better prepared to support consumers in a mixed environment of self-service support and customer-requested full-service support.