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The Common Purpose

Release Date: October 19, 2021 • Episode #

The advantage of experience management (or “XM”) is the holistic view of experience across the company. By leveraging customer and employee data together, companies can take their experience programs to the next level. But what companies are applying this practice and how’s it working out for them? Host Steve Walker welcomes Jennefer Pursifull, VP of marketing and sales, and Sharon Bislich, director for marketing, communication, and engagement – both from Medxcel, a healthcare facilities management company – to discuss how they successfully built their program to empower their employees to create better experiences for their clients.

Download “Effectively Combining CX and EX”

Jennefer Pursifull and Sharon Bislich

Jennefer Pursifull and
Sharon Bislich
Medxcel
Connect with Jeneffer
Connect with Sharon

Highlights

Find a common purpose

Sharon: “Along this journey, we developed a common purpose. And what we found when we were going through the process of developing the common purpose that went with that whole service standard story was that we had many of our associates. We’re doing some amazing things and they were doing them because it it, it really represented the core values. But they what they were doing, they didn’t know they had permission to do. And once we develop that common purpose that went with that service program, then they realized that they had permission to go outside of their normal task in service to accomplish that purpose.”

Prioritize your efforts

Jennefer: “You know, I think that the greatest value to our organization is to understand that we can through the processes of voice of the customer research and associate research, we can bring back information that is actionable to the organization. And we have enough information that we can start making prioritization decisions. Every organization deals with limited resources, whether they’re people resources or financial resources. And understanding how to prioritize the efforts or the spend within your organization to areas that will have the greatest positive impact…”

Transcript

The CX Leader Podcast: "The Common Purpose": Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

The CX Leader Podcast: "The Common Purpose": this wav audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Steve:
One advantage of experience management, or XM, as we call it, is the holistic approach to experience across all areas of the company.

Jennefer:
They got some data back on the associate side and we had some data on the customer side and really it started over some just casual conversation about some of the things that we saw in both sets of data and what those might mean if we brought those together and looked at them.

Steve:
A real life example of the advantages of combining customer and employee experience on this episode of The CX Leader Podcast.

Announcer:
The CX Leader Podcast with Steve Walker is produced by Walker, an experience management firm that helps our clients accelerate their XM success. You can find out more at walkerinfo.com.

Steve:
Hello, everyone, I'm Steve Walker, host of The CX Leader Podcast and thank you for listening. We like to say it's never been a better time to be a CX leader, and this podcast explores topics and themes to help leaders like you explore all the benefits of your customer experience. A few weeks back, we discussed Walker's new report, Effectively Combining CX and EX, which provides advice for combining customer and employee insights to gain a better perspective on your company's XM efforts. And if you want to download that report, there's a link on cxleaderpodcast.com. But are companies actually doing this, and how is it working out for them? Well, as you can probably guess by now, we have a great example of CX plus EX in practice on this episode of The CX Leader Podcast. Jennefer Pursifull is the VP of marketing and sales, and Sharon Bislich is the director for Marketing Communication Engagement, both from Medxcel, a health care facilities management company. And they're old friends and so delighted that they're willing to come in and share their story about this very important topic. So, Jennefer, Sharon, welcome to The CX Leader Podcast.

Jennefer:
Thank you.

Jennefer:
Thank you.

Jennefer:
It's great to join you this morning.

Steve:
And actually, I was reminded by one of our key behind the scenes players that Sharon was actually a guest on episode forty seven of our podcast. So this happens to be episode one eighty eight. So before we get started, just to give our listeners a little more context. Jennefer, could you just kind of give us a brief overview of Medxcel? It's such an interesting company. I know it's such a unique kind of situation in sort of the whole health care ecosystem and stuff. So if you wouldn't mind just giving our listeners a little a little more context with some background on Medxcel?

Jennefer:
Sure, Medxcel is an integrated facilities management provider that works only in the health care space. We have been in the market for a number of years. We serve over one hundred and sixty hospitals across the United States, and we do everything from plant management, building maintenance, planning, design and construction landscaping. Really, all of the services related to facilities management are provided by Medxcel in our customer hospitals.

Steve:
So your customers are the hospitals and these were big long term contracts, right? So you have relationships at the highest level and the big hospital systems and the administrators of the hospitals and then each and every employee and patient on those properties, probably at some point touches what your services provide correct?

Jennefer:
Yes, we have a number of front line associates in those hospitals and they impact the patient experience as well as the hospital associate experience on a daily basis.

Steve:
You know what? You did a great job of setting that up. And for our CX pros, I just wanted them to start to frame in their mind kind of the complexity of the relationships that you deal with in your business and why this is such a rich example of how you can integrate CX and EX. So thank you for that. And maybe Jennefer, just real quickly, then I'll go to Sharon, but a little bit more on your background and your journey and kind of how you got to this level of where experience management is so critical to your career and what you're doing?

Jennefer:
Well, Steve, I have been in sales and marketing for well over 30 years now. So a long history. And over 20 years ago, I had the opportunity in my position to become a part of a customer excellence program where we began listening to the voice of our customer. And of course, that many years ago is a pretty rudimentary program. But we started understanding the value of listening to what our customers were telling us about the service we provided and then making changes in our sales and marketing practices, as well as our operational practices to better serve our customers. Continued on that customer experience journey and then about probably 10 years ago, really connected with Sharon Bislich at Medxcel. And together, we really started down this journey of integrating the associate experience with the customer experience and understanding the richness of the data that you can find when you bring all of that together and you actually incorporate that into the behavior of your organization.

Steve:
I can't wait to get to that, and I'm going to come right back to you in a minute, but I do want to introduce Sharon and allow her to give a little bit of her background, but I kind of assume that Jennefer, you're the executive sponsor for the program at the organization.

Jennefer:
I am.

Steve:
And Sharon really directs this activity on a on a day to day and from a strategic standpoint, but that you're really more about integrating this into the overall aspect of the organization and Sharon's the expert on the program itself.

Jennefer:
Absolutely. She is the engagement guru.

Steve:
All right. Well, Sharon, why don't you just again, since you were a guest on Episode Forty Seven, people might have forgotten who you are. So just a quick background on you, and then we'll come back and start to break down this topic of CX and EX together.

Sharon:
Sure. Yes, actually, my career started what I call my first real job was with Walker years ago, and I was able to really from the bottom up grassroots, understand customer engagement, associate engagement, understand service excellence versus relationship management. And then, you know, just those fundamental basics. And I think I was with Walker for a little over 20 years and then I started actually went into a different area, more of a pricing analyst type area. And until I started working with Jennefer and the company we were with did not have an engagement program. And so we were able to start first with customer and then just start building one piece at a time until we were able to come up with something that was a little bit more holistic.

Steve:
So how long have you been on this journey with Medxcel now?

Sharon:
Oh, 10 years?

Jennefer:
10 years.

Sharon:
I started six months after Jennefer. So yeah,

Steve:
Well, again, I'm so grateful that you're willing to come on and tell this story because I think a lot of our listeners are so new to this journey. I mean, just what's happened? I say, you know, it's a great time to be a CX leader because so many companies are just discovering it, but they can really benefit from learning for companies like you that have been on this journey and have really integrated this into the way they run their companies and have that 10 years of experience. So. Jennefer, you started to go there a minute ago, but what kind of was the impetus? Where was the light bulb that said, Hey, we got to put CX and EX together? And what was that moment like and how is it driven your activity since,

Jennefer:
You know, we had we had been doing our voice of the customer research for a couple of years at Medxcel. The associate research really lived in the HR department, and in those days, HR and marketing didn't talk a lot with one another, and they got some data back on the associate side and we had some data on the customer side. And really, it started over some just casual conversation about some of the things that we saw in both sets of data and what those might mean if we brought those together and looked at them. And Sharon had joined our organization. And, you know, from those probably just casual conversations grew an effort to really start bringing that data together. And Sharon, with her research background, knew how to bring that together with power. And so that's really what started us down that journey.

Steve:
Well, Sharon, you and I have known each other for a long time, and I know you're very well trained in this area. But had you done much with employee data? I mean, you're most of your background was with customer. But had you or was this sort of a kind of a new area for you to explore?

Sharon:
I had done a, I would say, a handful of associate surveys when I was at Walker working with some of the people that are still there. And so in some ways it was new, but in others, as far as trying to integrate those pieces together, I think part of my background with Walker looking at integrating service with relationship, we kind of looked at it the same way. This is another element that kind of goes with that same path. It's just another element. You know, your service element, you have your relationship element and then you have your associate element that it's it's all streamlined.

Steve:
Yeah. And actually, you did such a great job at teeing this up, both of you. But in this in this kind of business, there is almost no way to separate the customer's experience from the employee experience because it's just going on all the time, right? And so, Jennefer, your comment of like, you know, hey, we got to get these two people talking to each other. And you know, I. In and around this business for over 40 years, and it's incredible that it's really taken this long to get these folks to start to put these two data sets together. So what were some of the early wins? What were some of the key insights or things that kind of move this thing along?

Sharon:
Yeah, you know, I think it was when we were tasked with finding a service program to teach associates so that, yes, you can have good service, but if you have one hundred and sixty one hundred and eighty sites and they're all servicing well in a different way, you're not providing a consistent service. It's not nearly as scalable. And so we went looking for a service program that we could teach across all sites. And as we began to develop that program, that experience of the associate went right with it because, you know, you're now you're moving from just customer service and measuring that service to training a consistent service program. Well, a key element of that service program are the associates. So how do you start? It was just a process that just naturally left right into that associate engagement piece.

Jennefer:
You know, Steve, I'm going to jump in here and I'm going to say, you know, the other piece when you really start pulling together different functional perspectives. So as I said, my background is primarily sales and marketing. When you start thinking about this from the perspective of the power of your brand, and Sharon made the comment consistent behavior across all sites, consistent delivery of your service product that starts building power in your brand because then what you're selling is what you're delivering, no matter which associates are delivering it in that site. So that started bringing this marketing and sales conversation into the value of the data that we were looking at and how we could really deliver a better product as an organization. And then in the marketplace, you had the discussion going on about the value of your associates as brand ambassadors. Well, all of these, you know, individual conversations start coming together to say your brand is how your associates deliver the service, how your customers experience it. And then if you can build the power of your associates and your customers as a voice for your brand, then you're more successful in the marketplace. And so you start telling a story within your own organization that not just makes sense to the HR people in the marketing people and the research people, but starts making sense to your finance people and to your operations people. And suddenly you have an entire executive team that's behind your program. They're starting to see the organizational value to combining associate data and customer data and turning that into actions within your organization. So it's a pretty powerful place to be.

Steve:
Well, I know you guys, you've been at this for a long time and you've been really thoughtful about that. But I bet with one hundred and sixty individual laboratories, there's been innovation that's come from all areas of the organization, and that's got to be exciting to see that kind of can. Is there anything you could kind of tell us a couple of anecdotes or stories or maybe even general? I don't want you to get into your trade secrets, but again, the way you describe that, Jennefer, it's you know, it really is kind of hard to argue with let's let's really try to have a consistent experience for our customers anywhere we operate and wherever our brand is. But again, I'm just interested in sort of maybe how the employees got engaged in this as as you went forward and some of those things that came out.

Sharon:
Yeah. Along this journey, I'll go backwards here. Along this journey, we developed a common purpose. And what we found when we were going through the process of developing the common purpose that went with that whole service standard story was that we had many of our associates. We're doing some amazing things and they were doing them because it it, it really represented the core values. But they what they were doing, they didn't know they had permission to do. Yep. And once we develop that common purpose that went with that service program, then they realized that they had permission to go outside of their normal task in service to accomplish that purpose. And then we started to hear tons of stories about, you know, the one I love is all there's two I really love. One is very, very simple landscapers. There was a funeral procession going in front of one of our hospital facilities. Our landscapers got off their equipment, turned them off, took their hats off and stood in in honor and recognition. Well, it touched one of the individuals within that group so much that she wrote to the hospital that she put it on social media. Again, allowing your associates to have purpose and giving them that permission. We also had a great story about a little boy in one of our facilities, and he called in to our customer experience center and or his his mother did because he wouldn't go to sleep because the bed was creaking and he knew that there were monsters in that room. And the mom was trying to get him to go to sleep because, you know, he needed his rest. He was in the hospital and she called in and she talked to one of our experience coordinators and the lady that that she talked to knew that this wasn't an urgent thing. It wasn't an emergency. But she also knew that this had a huge patient impact for that little boy and that mother that was stressed. So she put in the work order. But then she also followed up with a call to the site and said, You're going to think I'm crazy as squeaky bed is not an emergency, but told them the story. Long story short, the guy went up, did a monster check, checked everything in the room and explained to the little boy. And you know, that's serving purpose, and that's how we got our associates to really understand. It's OK. You know, there are things you can do that are beyond task.

Steve:
We're all CX pros, right? So, you know, it's important we hear from you about what topics you think would be most helpful. Let us know how we're doing by going to cxleaderpodcast.com/feedback and complete a short survey. You'll even have a chance to score some free CX Leader podcast swag. That's Cxleaderpodcast.com/feedback.

Steve:
My guests on the podcast this week are Jennefer Pursifull and Sharon Bislich, who are both with Medxcel, a very interesting company that provides facility and management services to health care facilities around the country 160 or so of them. Jennefer is the VP of marketing and sales, and Sharon Bislich is the director for marketing, communication and engagement. And they have been literally on on this journey to integrate CX and EX for probably longer than ninety five percent of the organizations that I'm familiar with. And so I'm so glad that our listeners are able to access this expertize. But again, back to more the organizational side, Jennefer, what's been the impact on the organization over this journey? And and maybe even where do you see it going from here in terms of your vision for how it's going to impact your customers and your employees going forward?

Jennefer:
You know, I think that the greatest value to our organization is to understand that we can through the processes of voice of the customer research and associate research, we can bring back information that is actionable to the organization. And we have enough information that we can start making prioritization decisions. Every organization deals with limited resources, whether they're people resources or financial resources. And understanding how to prioritize the efforts or the spend within your organization to areas that will have the greatest positive impact, I mean, that's a great value to our organization and and one that I think we now embrace. You know, it certainly took us some time to build that understanding and recognition that this data is actionable in a way that most people don't understand. And so for me, that's a tremendous value that we've brought the organization, and I think that's something that we will continue to explore and better understand and and create a feedback loop within our own organization. So there's the there's the true organizational benefits, but then there's also the, you know, I think what gets viewed as the softer side, but also turns into very measurable business impact. And that is on things like the associate engagement leads to reducing your turnover. Engaged associates increase your engagement of your customers. Your customer satisfaction measures increase, which have direct business impact. And so I think for us, we're still in the early stages of tying the business decisions to the data. And as our organization matures, I hope that we do more and more of that and that we continue to create then those feedback loops of business decision back to how did those business priorities impact our associates and our customers?

Steve:
Yeah. And for our CX pros that are listening into this, you've just gotten a great perspective of how senior leadership is going to buy in and and support these activities. And we mentioned the report that's available on our website. But Medxcel offered up a pretty generic case study. But Sharon, just for the CX pros out there, just very simply, how do you start and you got this distributed model where you have one hundred and sixty unique operations? But just from a getting started standpoint, how do you start to put these two things together?

Sharon:
We started by looking at the leader level. You don't make change unless you get down to that associate customer interaction. And we we just started by putting it on paper, getting the data down to that site level and then taking the information and giving them a report that said, This is your report, this is your one of one hundred and sixty sites. Here's your VOC information. Here's your service information. Here's your associate information and just started to pull it together into something that meant something to the individual leader.

Steve:
Yep.

Sharon:
And then just started to grow from there, because then it's it's personal to, you know, not just one hundred and sixty sites, but one hundred and sixty leaders. And then the leaders help their associates. And then you start a reward system that backs all of this up. And but really one step at a time, you know, don't buy it off world hunger. I know for our program, we have every year, my goal is to add something new.

Steve:
Yeah.

Sharon:
Some new benefits, some new piece of information so that you know, they're getting more and more of what they want. It doesn't get older, stale,

Steve:
And I can just imagine the first time you put those three data sets in front of the leaders, what kind of conversations you had. I bet you…

Sharon:
Oh, it was a book like this. It was for those that are like listening, it was about six inches deep, and I think the first words were "that was a lot of work."

Steve:
But I bet you had tremendous conversations and some of them had to be courageous and some of them had to be really insightful. And you got perspectives that you didn't have from your standpoint that the operators do. And I mean, again, it's just part of this process and why our cause is just and noble for what we're trying to do with our organizations, Jennefer and Sharon. We've reached that point in the show where I ask every one of our guests for take home value. This is our way of helping our CX pros take what they learned on your podcast today and actually go back and apply that at their company, either later today or next Monday or whenever they get back from vacation. But Jennefer, I've heard you've been nominated to go first on our take home value. So Jennefer Pursifull, what is your best take home value on this subject of integrating CX and EX data to really have a total view of your experience management at Medxcel?

Jennefer:
You know, I would say my take home is just get started. I think many organizations have pockets of data. You have somebody looking at customer data, you have somebody looking at associate data, you have somebody looking at your HR statistics, somebody looking at the value of your brand in the marketplace and bring all those people to the table and just let them start talking about what they know. And then you can move to, what data do they have and how might that fit together? But if you if you try to start with the data, you don't have the people having the right conversations to get you where you need to be. Start with the conversation.

Steve:
That is a great tip. I mean, why wait till next week to start? So it's kind of like my workout program. I'm going to start next Monday. Hey, Sharon, what's your take home value?

Sharon:
I think I think I'll piggyback off what Jennefer said. Share your data. I know a lot of researchers who feel like it's their information and they hold it really, really close. Share that. You know, if you can then start to pull in other pieces. You know, we're starting now, we're looking at retention data and how much can you know? That's the next step. Can we compare retention with associated engagement to pull that in? Share it. You know, really allow people to use it. Look at it, feel it for them and what it means to them and their corner of the piece of the business.

Steve:
Thank you. Sharon Bislich and Jennefer Pursifull have been my guests on the podcast this week. They're with Medxcel. You ought to check out their website in just in case people would want to follow up or connect with you. Because you are so advanced on this topic is there are you guys on LinkedIn or you want to give us email?

Sharon:
So for me, sharon.bislich@medxcel.com.

Steve:
And Jennefer.

Jennefer:
Jennefer, with all E's dot Persifull at Medxcel.com, also found on LinkedIn.

Steve:
Yeah. And we'll have their names spelled on the website, too. And so you can or probably write on the the What I call the album cover of our podcast. Each podcast has a unique little album cover, and we'll have your names on there, too. So thank you again for for being a guest on the show and for bringing this incredible expertize to the community of CX leaders. Appreciate it.

Jennefer:
Thank you, Steve.

Sharon:
Good to catch up.

Steve:
If you want to talk about anything you heard on this podcast or about how Walker can help your business's customer experience, feel free to email me at podcast at walkerinfo.com. Be sure to check out our website cxleaderpodcast.com to subscribe to the show and find all our previous episodes, podcast series and contact information. You can drop us a note, let us know how we're doing, or suggest an idea for a future podcast. The CX Leader Podcast is a production of Walker, where an experience management firm that helps companies accelerate their XM success. You can read more about us at walkerinfo.com. Thank you for listening, and remember, it is a great time to be a CX leader and we will see you again next time.

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