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Today’s interview is with the winner of the MyCustomer 2022 CX Leader of the Year competition: Maneesha Bhusal, Director Customer Experience & Marketplace Operations at Jingdong Indonesia ( JD.ID), which is a subsidy of Jingdong (JD.com), one of the largest retailers in China.
This interview is slightly different this week as I conduct it with Clare Muscutt, Founder and CEO of Women in CX but follows the same format to the one last year where we interviewed Sri Safitri of Telkom Indonesia the winner of the 2021 CX Leader of the Year.
In the interview we discuss Maneesha’s journey to where she is now, why she applied for the CX Leader of the Year competition, how she felt when she won and the biggest lessons that she has learned along the way.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – Customer success and the role of community – Interview with Elaine Richards of 37signals – and is number 451 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
NOTE: A big thank you goes out to the folks at Calendly for sponsoring my podcast this month.
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Here’s the highlights of my chat with Maneesha:
- I certainly didn’t have a linear path to where I am today. I come from a very strong technology background. I was a software programmer.
- One common theme across all my roles that has been key is people.
- My technical background helps me understand both the technical side of things and the people, particularly on the technical side of things.
- One of the most significant barriers we face is that customer experience is not being taught in schools or universities.
- There needs to be more education on what customer experience really means today.
- However, there’s been a lot of change in the last three years. CX is quite prevalent in that most people understand that CX is important. However, they still don’t understand how to go about executing it.
- We make everyone accountable for the experience of what customers go through and do so by setting KPIs for each department.
- Each department needs to see and feel how they are either hurting or improving the NPS through their work.
- Every department has a customer experience champion now.
- Because of this, people truly understand the impact that they have and the connection and the connectivity that they all have.
- Causation and impact are established.
- I am very passionate about CX. I’m very passionate about the work that I have done in the past. So it reflects when I talk to my team, even talk to my colleagues and peers.
- I give a vision. I give direction, I delegate, and then I take a step back.
- I get my hands dirty heavily. Sometimes I could sit next to an agent. Or sometimes, I can go into the transport zone and see the delivery all the way from the warehouse to the customer’s house, literally. I also shop on all of the competition’s platforms and connect with my customer service agent, pretending to be a foreigner but our customer.
- The habit of getting your hand’s dirty drives empathy into leadership and insights because it collapses the distance between the office and where the transaction or interaction is taking place.
- That’s the stuff that drives respect from your people and insight and understanding.
- All the leaders I have worked with have shown trust in my capability. At the same time, they have always assured me that they will be there whenever I need support.
- Trust, empowerment and permission to fail but protection from failing too badly.
- Leading by example and treating by example.
- There is no guts or courage required to start an initiative. However, guts are required to say “Hey, it is not working. Let’s stop it immediately.”
- “When was the last time you killed something or stopped something?” is a fantastic question to ask anybody in an executive leadership position. If they struggle to come up with an answer then there’s a problem.
- If customer centricity is not embedded in the DNA of the CEO it will be very hard to translate that into the culture of the company and then into the habits and the discipline of the employees.
- If you really want to achieve that CX edge and differentiation possible then start with the DNA of the CEO. The certain habits and things that need to be embedded in the mindset attitude of the C-level executives. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter.
- To help and sustain it, I share one customer case in the management meeting every week without fail.
Maneesha Bhusal is Director Customer Experience & Marketplace Operations at JD.ID. Maneesha is an executive with over 20 years of CS & CX experience in various industries including ecommerce, banking, real estate, telecommunication. She is a proud alumni of Insead Business school (MBA 2011).
Having worked in 27+ Countries across APAC, EMEA and US, she holds firmly to the notion that there is a solution to every customer problem, regardless of circumstances, capabilities or budget.
She began her career as a software engineer and moved on to become a business consultant. Over the time she gained a formidable reputation for successfully scaling the business and improving the CX by leveraging on UI/UX & technology.