Customer experience strategy: Removing friction from the buyer

Customer experience strategy: Removing friction from the buyer

Let’s play a little game. Think back to the most recent exchange you had with a delivery driver, cashier or waiter. Now, remember the last time you had to contact your internet provider or bank to solve an issue. Regardless of the tangible outcome, I’m sure each interaction left you with an impression — hopefully, a positive one.

That is the power of customer experience.

Gartner defines customer experience as “the customer’s perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with a supplier’s employees, systems, channels or products.” And it is the most essential component in any business relationship. So much so that companies like Salesforce and HubSpot have devoted their resources to researching just how much good customer service impacts brand loyalty, retention, and revenue. Salesforce’s findings show that 89% of customers would return for a purchase if the customer service experience is positive, while HubSpot reports that 82% of consumers expect an immediate response from a brand’s marketing or sales team.

Considering these statistics, along with the high costs of acquiring new customers compared to retaining existing ones, point to just how important it is to plan for and implement customer experience strategies as a service provider.

Here’s how you can start.

How to create a frictionless customer experience

In the world of technology, friction is defined as anything that has a negative impact on customer experience. Long hold times, difficulty finding the checkout option, unavailable salespeople, and other similar barriers disrupt your prospects’ intent to engage with you and can create frustration and stress, among other negative feelings.

The first goal in your customer experience strategy is to remove friction. This is achieved through careful processes and systems that make it easier for customers to reach a happy conclusion in every engagement with you.


In order to remove friction, you must first recognize it. You can find friction at any stage of the customer journey, from discovery to post-purchase interactions. So, we must begin by identifying every customer touchpoint in the customer journey.

A relatable example of friction in customer experience is when a customer submits a service request. If you’ve had to claim a guarantee, you may have had to call a service number, which likely transferred you to a different department, from which you were told to go to the store, which referred you back to the helpline.

This type of process is incredibly frustrating and puts a damper on the best products because it puts the burden of service on the customer. Brands like Apple have mastered the art of service by centralizing their operations, so no matter where in the world you are or where you bought your device, you can walk into an Apple store and get help. A totally different experience — and one that separates the tech giant from many other brands.


Now that you have a clear view of every customer touchpoint, it’s time to see its role in the customer journey.

Analyze aspects like how many steps there are in the buying process, how clear and readily available is the information prospects need, and how easy it would be for a customer to ask for help should the need arise.

Thankfully, there is a lot of data you can use at this stage. Churn rates, average resolution time, ticket volume, and first contact resolution rate are only some of the metrics you can use to accurately find the friction in your organization and devise the best ways to address it.


Consumers now have a lot more interactions with any brand or company than ever before, which greatly influences their experience and creates a more complex process for you as the provider.

A prospect used to engage directly with a salesperson, but now, they may visit your website, subscribe to your newsletter, and engage on social media before they even talk to a representative. All of these facets must align as each of them is crucial for your overall customer experience.

Streamlining your processes to remove any unnecessary steps helps both your team to provide a better service and your customers to enjoy the experience more. Not to mention that it can cut your costs and increase your profit margins.

Lean Six Sigma is one of the most popular project management methodologies for increased efficiency and lean operations. If you find that you’re dealing with increased customer service demands, higher-than-normal losses, or wasting resources, this methodology may transform your organization.


Friction is not always a bad thing in tech. Some forms of friction, like your bank contacting you about unusual movements, are positive as they prevent users from committing a mistake (like permanently deleting their data) or risking their property (like in the case of the bank). So the goal is not to eliminate friction from everywhere in your processes and systems.

That said, friction must be a well-thought-out component of your customer experience strategy, not a byproduct of inefficient operations.

Together, we can devise a customer experience strategy that removes unnecessary friction, keeps your customers happy and optimizes your organization’s use of resources. Book a consultation now to learn more about how we can make this happen.

Career growth: Preparing for advancement

Career growth: Preparing for advancement

The typical career looked like an entry-level employee going from one role to the next as they “settled” into their field to then land a role that allowed for long-term growth. From there, they’d build a career that spanned 20 or 30 years of growth within the same company until it was time to retire. This was perceived as stability, progression and loyalty. And it came with steady pay raises and regular promotions.

This traditional path is predictable and safe. However, it can stifle employees’ growth. So now, professionals choose to shift roles, go to other companies and even make lateral moves in order to increase their earning potential and advance their trajectory more quickly. There’s also a boom in less traditional paths like entrepreneurship, freelancing or consulting as people increasingly look for alternative income streams.

Whether you’re actively looking for new career opportunities or not, there are some steps you need to keep in mind so that you’re prepared when the time comes.

How to always be prepared for career growth

First, keep track of your professional achievements.

Regardless of your future plans for career growth, it’s essential that you save your accomplishments and measurable results in your current role. This may look like specific metrics that tie to company revenue, increases in productivity for your teams, or successful initiatives you’ve led.

Whatever the case, you can create a success folder documenting the results and praises you achieve in your current role. Memories fade and it’s easy to forget past accomplishments, so you’ll be glad you compiled them when it’s time to demonstrate your authority. This portfolio can help you land a raise or promotion, or it can serve you well as you interview for new roles.

Second, maintain an updated resume.

It’s easier to update your resume periodically as your career and experience grow than it would be to start from scratch once the job search begins. In addition, you never know when an opportunity might present itself, and you’ll want to be ready for it. Do this by updating your LinkedIn profile with your most recent roles, responsibilities, and tangible results, and reflect the same information in a Word document.

Something crucial to remember is that you want your resume to be ATS-friendly. An ATS, or Applicant Tracking System, is the software hiring managers use to run the hiring process, and it culls through countless data to pull the best candidates for the manager to review. Some key pointers include the format (note that we mention Word documents above, not PDFs), keywords (job titles, responsibilities, and industry jargon, for example), and chronological order (as opposed to functional or others).

Third, expand your network.

Your network is the single most important element of your career growth. Knowing the right people and keeping good relationships with them can open doors you may not have realized existed. In fact, research shows that 85% of all jobs are filled through a referral.

Nurture your network by sending periodic messages, inviting acquaintances to coffee or lunch every now and then, and keeping up with their personal and career milestones.

In addition to one-on-one connection, attend industry events and make it a point to engage with people outside your circle. And follow the old adage of treating others as you’d like to be treated by connecting them to potential opportunities or people whose needs and interests align.

Fourth, continue to educate yourself.

Keeping your skills sharp and learning about the latest developments in your industry makes you an attractive candidate and a valuable employee. Especially now that technology progresses so quickly.

Plus, working on your personal development boosts your career growth, nurtures your confidence and empowers you to take on new responsibilities and step out of your comfort zone.

Fifth, keep all options on the table.

Loyalty and stability were prized characteristics of traditional career growth. However, this is no longer the case. Now, people have shifted to prioritizing their wellness, flexibility, income potential, and growth above employers’ well-being.

If you’re having difficulty finding a role or company that aligns with your needs, consider creating your own. Entrepreneurship is increasingly popular, with 3.8 million new business applications and counting filed in 2022 in the US.

While it may be an intimidating prospect, starting a business that supports your vision of the life you want to live is always a possibility.

Career growth is not one-size-fits-all

Traditionalists still consider it the pinnacle of success to work with the same company for 40 years, retire and walk away with a gold watch. But the tides have changed for many professionals who are willing to expand their horizons and embark on new adventures as they seek fulfillment and a lifestyle that aligns with their goals.

The road is filled with risks, as we’ve seen over the past year, with tech layoffs, failed startups, and an uncertain economic landscape. But the higher the risk, the higher the potential for a reward. And just as we see startups fail, we see others rise above the highest expectations. So there’s plenty to look forward to as you prepare for your next step.

Is it time to strategize your next move for career growth? Book a discovery call, and together, we’ll craft a path forward for you.

How to inspire transformation in your organization

How to inspire transformation in your organization

If you were to reflect on the similarities between Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Oprah Winfrey, Henry Ford, or Steve Jobs, what key characteristics would you point out first?

Regardless of where you stand when it comes to these icons, one thing is certain — they earned a reputation as some of the world’s most influential leaders, and they did so by driving change and inspiring people to action.

And they’re all examples of the same leadership style.

Traditional leadership, at its core, is transactional — you do this and get that reward. Traditional leaders exert control over followers; they value structure and often rely on a hierarchy to achieve this control. A transactional leader is one giving orders for others to follow at the risk of dealing with a consequence, as you’ve likely seen many times throughout your professional career.

Transformational leadership flips traditional leadership on its head. Transformational leaders inspire and motivate employees to be active participants in the success of the organization instead of relying on risk and reward systems.

Transformational leaders develop soft skills like strong communication and empathy, priceless tools in their toolkit, as they connect with employees to bring out the best in them. They dig deep to define and clarify the organization’s values, vision, and mission — and use these to build a path forward for the organization as a whole. This increased sensitivity and perception allow them to step into an organization and discover its greatest pain points, quickly devising a strategy to address them and leading the organization to realize its biggest goals.

There are countless benefits for organizations with transformational leaders — here are just a few of them.

The benefits of transformational leadership

Greater innovation

Transformational leaders attract passionate, talented individuals who are driven by motivations other than money. An organization guided by a transformational leader is in a better place to deal with uncertainties, adapt to cultural shifts, and overcome industry challenges because the teams are engaged and see challenges as opportunities for growth.

They foster an environment where the goal is to always strive to be and do better both as a team and as individuals. So they are empowered to thrive regardless of external circumstances.

This growth mindset is the perfect foundation for innovation and discovery as it creates a playground for employees to take risks and walk the path less known, often making valuable contributions to the success of the organization.

A strong vision

Transformational leaders go beyond the how of what they do and reach the why. They consider the mission and vision of the company, keeping their purpose at the forefront of every action. They choose to do what is right instead of what is easy, creating a standard for every team member that fosters trust and well-being for everyone involved while realizing the organization’s fullest potential.

An inclusive workplace

A transformational leader identifies and understands their employee’s capabilities and appreciates how they play into the company’s success. They realize that diverse employees with a range of backgrounds and different life experiences are a powerful combination for growth. As such, they create safe places for employees to bring their unique points of view to the table — welcoming differences and finding or creating opportunities for everyone to shine through their unique contributions.

Develop these characteristics to become a transformational leader


Transformational leaders understand that their team’s collective output is far greater than each member’s individual contribution. As such, they foster collaboration and help employees see how each of their contributions adds up to a single objective within the organization.

Encourage participation and collaboration by treating employees as valuable team members, fostering opportunities for each to contribute their skill set, and opening the lines of communication.

Emotional intelligence

Transformational leaders leave their egos at the door and embrace their flaws because each flaw is an opportunity for growth.

They’re able to connect, show empathy, and make an example out of their actions by owning mistakes as well as recognizing others’ strengths because, at the end of the day, each team member’s strength increases everyone else’s.

The ability to adapt to new paths makes it easier for teams with transformational leaders to correct courses and achieve desired outcomes. It also helps alleviate the fear of the unknown, building confidence and encouraging team members to take calculated risks.

To be a transformational leader, work on your self-awareness to discover your areas of improvement. Develop your communication, empathy, listening skills, and humility to improve your relationship with others.


Authenticity is an essential component of effective leadership because it demonstrates a commitment to the organization and its purpose.

Transformational leaders are honest and let their actions speak louder than their words, which breeds trust because followers can see them personify what the organization stands for and get inspired to do the same.

Authenticity may feel vulnerable and risky. But embracing your true self is essential to build a solid foundation and earn the trust of your team.

Leadership starts from within

Transformational leadership is all about realizing your fullest potential individually so that you can bring out the best in others and align your team to achieve an objective that’s greater than each of your individual roles.

Transformational leaders inspire, motivate and shape their employees’ view and their roles within the team by complementing each other’s weaknesses and playing to their individual strengths to accomplish better outcomes together.

Is it time to unlock your hidden talents and achieve the impact you’re capable of within your organization? Book a discovery call now, and together, we will explore the best path forward on your leadership journey.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Tech

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Tech

Diversity, equity and inclusion have been on many leaders’ minds in recent years, and with good reason. The corporate landscape in America is dominated by men, especially white men.

Tech companies, in particular, have a big representation issue. For example, despite making up roughly 12% of the US population, according to Statista, only 3.8% of Facebook’s workforce was Black as recently as 2019. Others fared better, like Twitter, with 26.5% of its employees being Black, according to the same report.

Still, research proves time and time again that when minorities are represented, businesses thrive. Now, leaders have started to realize that diverse workplaces have many benefits for both the employees and the company’s performance. But there’s a lot to be done to achieve true representation.

In this blog, we’re exploring the nuances of diversity, equity and inclusion and how they benefit your organization.

The difference between diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace

Diversity, equity and inclusion are terms commonly associated with one another. So much so that some people have started using them interchangeably. But each concept is a special piece of the puzzle in the workplace.

To start, diversity highlights the different characteristics and backgrounds of the people in a group. Equity refers to the importance of giving everyone, regardless of these differences, equal access to opportunities. And inclusion means creating an environment where these differences are welcome.

As you see, these concepts are closely related. While they go hand in hand, each of these terms carries a special weight. And companies that work on developing these values are bound to succeed, as we’ll see in the next section.

The common characteristics of diverse and inclusive workplaces

There isn’t a tried and true formula for DEI in any industry. However, diverse and inclusive companies have similar characteristics. For example, the office may have a prayer or meditation room or accommodate office hours to employees’ religious or spiritual habits. Facilities are designed with accessibility in mind for people with disabilities, and there are breastfeeding rooms for new moms going back to work.

But true diversity starts with representation. In inclusive workplaces, employees have a range of backgrounds, including different races, ethnicities, religions, ages, sexual orientations, disabilities and neurodiversity.

All employees within an inclusive workplace feel like valuable contributors to the company’s processes and success. And most importantly, they feel represented in leadership, which empowers and encourages people from any background to be an active participant.

Psychological safety is another characteristic of diverse companies. A psychologically safe space is one where employees can embrace their uniqueness and be authentically themselves in the workplace without fear of repercussions for thinking or acting differently from their peers.

One positive outcome of workplace diversity is that it sparks creative thinking. People with different backgrounds bring different perspectives to the table and are more willing to explore out-the-box approaches and take risks. Multiple studies show that diverse teams outperform nondiverse teams across the board. Great Place to Work, for example, highlights that racially diverse teams see greater revenue growth. And Forbes reports that companies with an inclusive process make decisions 2x faster and with half the meetings compared to other workplaces.

The benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace are clear. But how can you, as a leader, open these spaces in your organization?

How to foster diversity in the workplace

Roughly a third of potential applicants admit that they wouldn’t apply to a company where satisfaction rates among employees vary by race. So creating a diverse and inclusive workspace for your team may feel like going in circles in that you may have difficulty bringing in diverse staff if you don’t already have a diverse staff.

One of the first steps you can take is to diversify your recruitment process as part of your DEI commitment. Microsoft succeeds at creating a diverse and inclusive environment by connecting with students in colleges and universities. This way, they tap into a talent pool that’s full of potential. Microsoft’s multiple programs further support its mission to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” You can also ask for referrals from your existing diverse staff to reach people outside of your network. Hybrid and remote work has also created the opportunity to work with talented individuals from many different locations and backgrounds.

Another crucial element of DEI is fair compensation. Historically, women and other marginalized groups have experienced significant pay discrepancies compared to men, especially white. For example, in the US, black men earn 87 cents per every dollar a white man earns. And white women, the highest-earning group of women, earn 79 cents for every dollar a white man makes. Companies like Convertkit, with fully remote staff, have committed to closing this gap by offering equal pay for equal work, regardless of location. Transparent wages and compensation schemes are attractive incentives for job seekers and employees alike. In fact, New York recently passed a law that requires employers to disclose a salary range for promoted positions in hopes of reducing the pay gap.

In order to attract diverse talent, you’ll also need to ensure that your existing staff has ongoing DEI training, which are training programs designed to help people discover and work on their own biases and prejudices, as well as give them the tools to advocate for underrepresented or marginalized groups.

And finally, create policies to ensure that your stakeholders are aware of the ongoing DEI efforts and initiatives that’ll make your organization a truly welcoming place for a broad range of people. SMART goals and action plans increase your chances of success and demonstrate to your talent and prospective employees that you’re committed to being better.

Is your workplace lacking in diversity and inclusion?

If you’re struggling to create a truly diverse and inclusive workplace, it’s time to rethink the way your organization is running. Book a discovery call, and together, we can explore the possibilities to transform your organization from within.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

For centuries, African Americans have experienced blatant exclusion in our society. Then came affirmative action and diversity. Affirmative Action was put in place as a way of reaching Employment Equity. Employment Equity refers to a workplace that employs a certain number of people from different race and gender groups. Attention has now been drawn to the fact that beyond equality, equity needs to include more than just the number of diverse individuals, but fairness in how businesses operate. What does it mean to move forward with fairness?

While diversity is a variety that includes race, gender, religion, physical ability, and gender (male/female).I don’t think any of us would disagree that the meaning of the word diversity has truly expanded to include, but is not limited to. race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, military status, educational, marital status, language, age, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental, physical ability, genetic information, and learning styles. We have just witnessed the protection of the LGBTQ community in our laws and this is a wonderful thing. It makes it that much more important to understand how companies and organizations define diversity.

It is also important to note that inclusion is bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making. I believe that this does not just mean being a part of the opportunity, but it also means having a voice that will be heard, valued, and respected. That is why It is imperative that “Equity” be included as part of the Diversity & Inclusion conversation. What does Equity really mean? More importantly, what does it look like? Equity is to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunities, impartiality, and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of information and resources by all. This means that we need to guarantee fair treatment by eliminating the barriers that have prevented the full opportunity for certain groups. In other words, it means to be inclusive of all people.

First, you must acknowledge that a problem exists to change it. Everyone must have the desire to make the necessary changes to create this environment. Once we are at this point, certain actions must be in place with appropriate consequences if not followed. It is critical that this needs to be reinforced with reporting, metrics, and values gained by the business and this boils down to effective communication and follow up. Some examples of behavior changes might be equal pay for women and opportunities for African Americans and other groups with support to succeed.

Another way to help with this effort is to do “skill resumes” vs. traditional job descriptions. We must realize that the ability to successfully execute certain tasks and initiatives is not solely correlated with whether or not someone graduated from a prestigious university. We must create opportunities for high achieving employees to be considered for advancement based on skills rather than just education, which would be a small step in the right direction.

Code Switching

Code Switching

Over the last few months, I have had more conversations regarding code-switching. First, let’s begin by understanding the definition of code-switching. The dictionary defines it as the practice of alternating between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversations. One might ask what is the problem? The problem or concern is that one perceives that they must code-switch to be accepted in certain environments.

In the black community, there is a language spoken from time to time. As black people, we often communicate with one another in a more relaxed tone and diction. I am not talking ebonics here, I am talking about being relaxed and confident to speak openly without judgment. While knowing that you are being understood even if the words and meanings aren’t entirely precise. We don’t use that language or tone when we go into work, specifically, professional environments as we don’t want to appear as if we are uneducated or unprofessional to management or our colleagues.

We often code-switch to survive. We use the language that is “acceptable” to the environment that we are in, so we can have the opportunities that we desire. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. There is another challenge within our own community that when we speak well; we are perceived as “acting white”. As you can imagine, no one wants to feel like a sell-out, or feel ostracized from their community, so we adapt.

After all of these experiences, one begins to ask “can I be authentic and code-switch?” Yes, you can. Code-switching is a way of addressing your audience. We do not speak to our children the same way we do colleagues at work. You do not say or speak the same way to your elders as you do your friends. We must not look at code-switching as being completely negative unless you are not being true to yourself.

We have to get to a place where we are comfortable in our own skin and learn to be authentic in our own presence. You do not have to apologize or be ashamed of your upbringing, background, or experiences. Everyone is a product of those things. We all have our own story and journey. Simply, just be yourself!