Today, Steve uncovers some of the missing links in business operations. Steve's guest is Alicia Butler-Pierre, CEO of Equilibria, Inc.
Alicia Butler Pierre is the founder and CEO of Equilibria, Inc., a 15-year-old operations management firm. She specializes in increasing bandwidth for fast-growing organizations via business infrastructure. Alicia has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University, an MBA from Tulane University, and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification. Combined, her content has over three-quarters of a million views across various online platforms. Alicia hosts the weekly Business Infrastructure: Curing Back Office Blues podcast. She’s also the author of the 2x Amazon bestseller, Behind the Façade: How to Structure Company Operations for Sustainable Success. Committed to doing the right things the right way, Alicia's mantra is "to leave it better than you found it."
Alicia's Contact Details:
Machine Transcript Below:
Welcome to the Science of CX podcast. My name is Steve Pappas a former serial entrepreneur turned C. X obsessed expert and each week we bring you an inspiring message and insight into how customer experience can catapult your business to soar grow and accelerate beyond what you thought was possible. We seek out experts to interview and help you on your journey to see X in the Science of C X. Well welcome everybody to another episode of The Science of C X. I'm your host, Steve pappa's and as always, you know, we keep trying to find experts in all areas of customer experience, an employee experience and today is no exception. We have a great guest today, we have Alicia Butler Pierre and she's coming to us from Atlanta and she is going to talk to us about the importance of process and the infrastructure within the business. So please help me welcome Alicia to the show. Thanks Alicia for coming on today, Steve, I am so excited, thank you so much for having me. Well, I think this is going to be our pleasure because I have been dealing in process for so long and this season we haven't had anybody that I could just talk process with. So let me give folks a little bit of your bio just so they understand who you are and what we're going to talk about. Alicia Butler Pierre is the founder and Ceo of equilibrium Incorporated. So 15 year old operations management firm Alicia specializes in increasing bandwidth for fast growing organizations via business infrastructure. This is going to be important later in our conversation. So just remember business Infrastructure, Alicia has a Bs in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University on NBA, from Tulane University and a lean six sigma black belt certification combined her content has over three quarters of a million views across various online platforms. Alicia really knows what she's talking about. Alicia also hosts the weekly business infrastructure hearing back office blues podcast too. So we have a fellow podcaster here in the room and she's also the author of two times the amazon bestseller behind the facade, how to structure company operations for sustainable success, committed to doing the right things the right way. Alicia has a mantra that she's stuck with and it says to leave it better than you found it. So Alicia, that's a great bio. I have to comment on the leaving it better than you found it. Where does that come from? And at the same time maybe you could give our listeners a little bit of how you happen to come into the customer experience realm if you will to. Well, first thank you for introducing me, wow, that was great steve my mantra to leave it better than you found. It comes after years of beating myself up. The perfectionist in me always wants to have a client that I may be working with or a project that I may be a part of. And have you ever had that feeling where you make suggestions or recommendations and you feel so strongly about those suggestions and recommendations and when they don't implement them, it's like ah it just eats away at you. And I had to start telling myself, okay, did you at least leave that client or leave that particular project better than the condition in which you found it? And if the answer to that is yes, then I've done my job that helps me go to sleep at night, nasty because sometimes I would have things literally keep me up at night and then as far as my coming into customer experience, Gosh, I guess it's just part of my work ethic in my morale. I've always same things through the lenses of other people and my background in the world of processes and operations management actually starts in manufacturing. And that was when I first started hearing about Lean 6 Ï‚.. But because I was just a little p on, um I had no seniority when I was working as a very young engineer in my very early 20s. But I knew that it was a big thing and I was at the time working at Monsanto making round up. And only those engineers who had been around for several years were allowed to take this training. And eventually once I left the company and I relocated and I started my own business, I did invest in training myself and I always appreciated this customer centric city that comes with lean six sigma. In fact there's an exercise called the Voice of the customer because you can make improvements all day long. But if it does not trickle down to that customers experience with your product or your service, it is all for nothing. So that's my introduction into customer experience. Absolutely. Well, that's important. I think maybe what we should do is that we use some terms earlier business infrastructure. And it's probably important for us to explain exactly what you mean by business infrastructure because it is in the title of your book so that people understand exactly what area we're going to be talking about. Sure. So it definitely has to do with the way you operate your business, the way you run your company. And thank you for asking that question about business infrastructure. Because I always tell people steve it's a blessing and a curse. A blessing in the sense that there are not a lot of people out there in the world who talk about business infrastructure but also occurs because there aren't a lot of people out there in the world talking about it. And so clients don't necessarily know to use that terminology when searching for a person like myself. But the definition that I have for business infrastructure is that it is a system for how you link your people your processes and your tools and technologies such that the business grows in a profitable, repeatable and sustainable way. Perfect. I think that makes an awful lot of sense. And in those areas, you know, you've got the people, you've got the process and the technology there. It's important for us to highlight why this is important. You know, we talk about a lot of aspects of customer experience. We talk about everything from voice of the customer to customer journey mapping to persona building and everything in between and beyond. But at the end of the day, one of the most important things is the foundation of the business. How you pull these things together, your people, whether the employees or customers, your processes and the technology. So let's talk about the why why does this matter today? Especially through what we've all been through. Why should businesses start to really analyze and look at aspects of their infrastructure as a way of growing? I mean, some people look at it as, oh, that's the foundation, that's how the house is built. But it's really all the visible stuff. It's the stuff on the top when we talk to people, how we interact with people, I think a lot of people and why this is an important episode is for them to understand that the house falls if the foundation fails. That is so true. And that's such a perfect analogy comparing it to building a house. You don't want to build your house on sand, you want to build your home on solid ground, preferably a concrete foundation. If I could just step back just a bit steve and I don't know if I'll offend anyone out there by saying this, but I always look at it as marketing versus operations. Marketing are all of the activities that you're doing that are customer facing. It's what the customers sees. So the customers sees your branding, they see your social media presence, they see you as a result of the press and the pr the operations, our the unseen things, the things that your customers don't see, but that they experience. It's all of that behind the curtain, under the hood back office kind of stuff that gets into the nitty gritty details of how that product or service is actually delivered to your customer. And that's what I mean. When I say, it's not necessarily seen by your customer, but it is definitely experienced by your customer. The reason it's so important. The why is because if your customers consistently begin to have a bad experience, they will leave. That goes without saying. But how do you fix that? And that's where most people don't always know to take a look at their processes. I think Michael Gerber in his book, the myth does such a wonderful job of explaining how even if you don't plan to grow your company via a franchise model, start thinking along those lines. If we look at Mcdonald's for example, you are going to pretty much have a consistent experience whether you're going to Mcdonald's in new york city or Nashville Tennessee vs Hong kong customers know what to expect. But imagine if you go to a Mcdonald's in Washington D. C. And you have a horrible experience. You may not know what went on behind the scenes to cause that experience to be so horrible. You just know that as the customer, you're feeling it and you're likely not going to be quiet about it. Another reason why business infrastructure is so important steve is because it is especially important when your company starts to grow very quickly. Let's take the pandemic and what has happened to some companies because we hear a lot about the businesses that have failed. But there are other companies that skyrocketed in growth, everything from firearms and ammunition to toilet paper and hand sanitizer. All of a sudden that demand has substantially increased for those products. Did they have the operational capacity to handle that demand? And we all know the answer to that. It took some of those organizations months to catch up with the demand. So again, that gets into your operations. When we start talking about capacity and band with and the people that you need to make sure you can process all of these orders. All of that has to do with your business infrastructure. And that's really the piece that allows you to scale in a lot of my talks, we talk about the fact that we all are here because of the customer in any one of our businesses were here either to service the customer to provide them something, but also the unsung heroes are the ones that work on behalf of the customer. The way I pointed is that when we do some of the exercises in some of my courses that there are customer facing people. So you put it in terms of marketing as the customer facing and marketing is probably the fuel that grows the business. We look at all of the customer facing, all of the ones that affect the customer experience that are dealing directly with the customer. But then there's the whole other part of the business that operates on behalf of a customer. And I hope they understand that their salary is paid because of a customer. You know, I think it was sam Walton that said it best we're all hired and fired by our customers. So what you say is spot on. It is absolutely one of the most important areas. So maybe we can dive in a little bit more because when I think about the term scalability, especially what you brought up about businesses that have skyrocketed, they can buckle under the pressure of the fact that they grew too fast. Let's talk a little bit about where the problem areas and where are the pitfalls that they can fail, especially when they're growing? Yes, and thank you for phrasing that question in that way, because whenever we hear about business is failing, it's usually from a completely different perspective, the perspective of not having enough customers, but that's not what we're talking about right now. We're talking about the fact that you have done such a great job in marketing and promoting your company and you have a great product or service that demand just steadily increases. So now what if you don't have that business infrastructure in place, your company can absolutely still fail. One of the first things that companies have to contend with that are growing very rapidly is the need to upgrade in every single aspect of the company. You need to hire more people. And it could also mean that some of the existing employees that you have may not have the skills you've just kind of been skating by and it's okay as long as we're able to get the orders fulfilled or as long as we're able to provide that particular service, it's all good. Right? Absolutely. But when your demand literally can double overnight, do those people necessarily have the technical aptitude and skills to perform whatever test they've been assigned. And a lot of times when we're just starting out, especially micro enterprises, that is not the case, several people are wearing several hats that they probably should not be wearing. And so that's one of the first things again that a company has to contend with this. Oh my gosh, we have to increase our staff, we have to get them on board quickly. Well then you start to recruit you. Screen people you interview eventually you start hiring. Well, what does your onboarding look like? What does that orientation look like? They have to be trained. But the business hasn't slowed down any. It's still coming in fast and furious. So how do you carve out time steve to actually train these new people and still service your customers without there being a dip in the quality or the experience. So that's another balancing act. You may also realize I don't have anything documented. Oh my God, it's all in my head. There is nothing documented. Oh, crap. So now you've hired these people and they're kind of looking at you like, well, steve, okay, we're here. I know you don't want to pay us to just kind of sit around and do nothing. We're not telepathic. I can't read your mind. So what do we do? And you can fire them. We can go down that path if you'd like, but it wouldn't be smarter advisable because it's your fault. The other thing that can happen is you may realize you need to upgrade your technologies, you may have to upgrade physical equipment, you know, so many of us are working remotely now, but once we're all still able to kind of go back to maybe even a hybrid working solution where people still come into an office, you may have to also upgrade your office space. You may have to upgrade the digital technologies that you are leveraging all those cute little free accounts that you have here and there. Guess what? You have a team now. So that basic version of whatever you signed up for, it no longer works, It's no longer sufficient. You need the pro plan or the enterprise plan and all that comes with a price tag plus a learning curve. It's not to scare people steve is to get everyone to start thinking about these things. Now. Start preparing your company for that unprecedented growth now. And one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your company is to start capturing your processes. Let's let that marinate a little bit because I think it needs to hit home to a lot of people because when cash is flowing and the business revenue is happening, a lot of folks tend to overlook some of the impending doom symptoms, and unfortunately, it's not until there's a bleeding head wound, do they decide to go to the er Right, so let's talk a little more about the symptoms that are business leaders out there listening to us can maybe keep in the backs of their mind as to what are the symptoms? What should be telling them? It is time that they've got to do some things and then we're definitely gonna come back to the process because it's an area you and I could talk five hours on, I'm sure. But let's talk about before it becomes a bleeding head wound or what are the telltale signs that a business leader should be looking for? Even when times are good, even when the cash is flowing, that they should be saying, okay, I'm starting to see this, this, this and this. It is definitely time for us to make a major change here so that we don't have the information stuck in people's heads. We do have a single source of truth. We do have a place that all new hires can go to. We do have a way of training them, we do have a way of onboarding them, etcetera, etcetera. So what are the telltale signs that you've noticed when you've gone into businesses that have said, oh, Because I know I can walk into a business and in about 90 seconds I'm starting to get that feel for what's happening and what are the survival techniques that they're using to just get through the day? Yes, that's excellent. We're talking about the science of customer experience, seeing that steady increase in customer complaints, you always have to monitor that metric at all times. You want to keep that obviously as minimal as possible. But if you see that it's just steadily increasing and it's not necessarily a phone call, it may not necessarily be a face to face interaction or expression of dissatisfaction. People have a way of going onto social media and voicing their complaints there and now you have a real problem on your hands, especially if you don't have someone on staff to respond and address these issues as they are brought up on social media. So that's one absolute telltale sign is the rise in customer complaints. They're airing the dirty laundry out in public. We definitely don't want it. Exactly, and we know how this goes right, customers are less likely to tell others about a positive experience. Then they are in comparison to when they have a negative experience. If they have a negative experience, you can best believe they are not going to be quiet about it and they will get online, they will get into different forums, they will get onto twitter and just kind of sling your brand that you've worked so hard to build, just drag it through the mud. The other factor that I've always noticed is high turnover in staff. Again, people are frustrated because they're hired to do one thing, but then they're told to do something else or they're never given instructions on how to do their jobs? Well, how do I become a high performer in this particular role when you've never clearly defined that for me? How can I improve my performance when you've never even given me a process to follow yet alone. Tell me the metrics by which my performance will be measured and especially if we're talking about your employees who are on the front line, who are truly customer facing and they have to deal with the yelling and the screams and the hurled insults and things like that. They're not going to put up with that, so they leave. Another factor is, many businesses are audited. Many businesses have some type of regulatory agency that provides some type of a governing body. Whether we are talking about CPS, for example, accountants, insurance agents, people who have medical practices, chiropractors, dentists, people also who might do work with governments, universities, there is usually some type of auditing agency that we all have to be aware of. Even if you don't fall in one of those sectors that I just mentioned, we all have to deal with the I. R. S. There is no escaping Uncle Sam. If nothing else, take the time to study what they are looking for. Have all of your ducks in a row, make sure all of your I's are dotted and all of your T. S. Are crossed so that when you do find yourself being audited or your company being audited, your company will be ready if it's not depending on what the agency is and what type of power that agency has. Your company again can be shut down. So those are some things. And then I think another one that probably is really reared Since the events that took place in 2020 is this rapid digital transformation that we've all had to undergo. And again we've had to contend with are my digital technology is sufficient. Am I finding that we have to do double triple entry into multiple systems simply because those systems don't integrate with each other. So now steve, you might have to start having a conversation about upgrading to some type of an enterprise resource planning system, something that's way more sophisticated. Then using the little this system for this, this system is for your crm, this system is going to be your knowledge base. This system is going to be your direct messaging or chatting feature. You know, your needs may have outgrown all of those things individually and it may require having to do a serious upgrade. You can't just band aid and duct tape it anymore. You have to completely replace all of those technologies. Getting documents signed while we're all working from home. Now. That's been tough. We all know that pain because we've all felt it and been through it. We built a better solution. Seeing the problem that everyone has gone through now that we're working from home to get documents and contracts signed just requires so much effort and it's been difficult for everyone. We've solved that problem with sign pdf doc dot com. Sign pdf doc dot com is your one stop simple solution to get all of your documents commented shared and signed easily. You can even import from google docs and dropbox into a single manageable dashboard. Sign up today for your free account at www dot sign pdf doc dot com. I'm wondering Alicia as you're speaking, how much of these symptoms a founder can be aware of and I'm not taking anything away from the founders out there that are listening, but I'm wondering whether or not the blinders sometimes are on and they really do need someone else to be looking critically at the business over time to say I can see these. And I'm just wondering whether there's a gap between the founder and the business operations and the infrastructure that really needs to be handled. It doesn't feel like it's something that every business leader is prepared for they're prepared for. I've got a great idea. I started to get a lot of sales from it were caught in that hamster wheel of selling and supporting what we sold and continuing and continuing on and if we have VC money we just got to stay on the hamster wheel and I'm wondering, when do they come out of their bodies and really think about things dispassionately and without any bias to the I built this thing. What do you notice out there? That is such a great observation and I'm glad we're having this discussion because the role of the C. O. Is so important. I'll never forget steve. Years ago I was talking to a client and this subject actually came up and he said, well I've been coached and told that C. E. O. S are actually being phased out in most large companies. And I was like what? Who told you that whether you call that person the Ceo or not? Rest assured. There is someone in all of these very large organizations who oversees the operational side of the business. Trust me now that person may not be called the chief operating officer or the chief operations officer. And if we're talking about a smaller company, that role might be a director of operations. The general manager, sometimes it's just the office manager. But again, there is someone or if there isn't, there should be someone who is looking over those nitty gritty details and can then communicate that to the ceo because you're so right. Ceos are the visionaries there, the big picture thinkers there at that 50,000 ft level. I don't want to get bogged down into these nitty gritty details. I just know that the money is coming in. If we're talking about a larger company, the shareholders are happy. My employees seem to be happy. Sure we have some turnover, but hey, the business is still coming in. So who cares, it all balances out. That's what I think sometimes some leaders tell themselves at moments, but if we're looking at smaller companies, you absolutely have to have someone around you. If you are not that person, you need someone around you who doesn't mind rolling up their sleeves getting into the trenches and doing the day to day detailed grinding work that's required to make sure that again behind the scenes, everything is flowing as smoothly as possible. And that machine is working as though it's a well oiled machine and this is where introspection becomes so important. Be honest with yourself. If the thought of everything that steve and I are talking about right now, just drives you nuts, Get someone around you who loves it. You can complement each other. I'm not a huge fan of looking at your strengths, your weaknesses, opportunities and threats and trying to figure out well, how can I convert my weaknesses into strengths? Know find people who are strong in the areas where you are not. We don't enjoy every aspect of our business. Let's be honest, I hate accounting, I hate bookkeeping. I do not enjoy it at all, but I know it has to be done and I have respect for people who know how to do those things. So I make sure I have people around me who can do those things and who love it and enjoy it and are very good at it. So the same is true for us as CEOS and heads of these companies. If we don't enjoy doing that level of detailed work, get people around us who do enjoy it and who are very good at it. Great advice. Let's bring it back to the process because I want to make sure we have enough time to cover. How do you begin this? Let's say, someone calls you, they do have that bleeding head wound, you're having the first call via zoom or whatever it is. What's the first thing that they would expect someone like you that comes in to help them would need or would ask the first thing that I would ask. I have a scoring system, I call it the pace score and it looks at your productivity, your availability, your capacity, and your efficiency and when I say you're I mean you're companies based on that score that enables me to ask certain questions And I've done this long enough to know usually within 15 minutes I'm pretty good at being able to say, you know what I see, what's going on here and then I ask a certain set of questions and then based on that person's answer, I am then able to almost give them some few next steps that they should consider Because one thing that I often tell people a misconception about this type of work and I know you can appreciate this especially when it comes to the process. Improvement piece is okay, well I'm thinking I could get this done and maybe 30 days lickety split. No problem. No, you didn't build this overnight. So why do you think you're going to fix it overnight? Especially if you don't have anything documented. So what I have learned is to diagnose and properly assess the root causes of the fast growth pain and then offer solutions and the way those solutions are offered Are in 30 to 60 day increments. So whether that means we work on this as a project where my company comes in and kind of takes the rain and does the work for you or if you want to do it yourself, if you have someone, especially as of covid this happened quite a bit where ceos might contact us and they would say I am way too busy. Plus I don't want to do this kind of stuff. This gives me a headache but I have an administrative manager who can work with you or I have an operations manager who can work with you a C +00 so forth and so on. So that's another way that we're able to work together. The other thing is that we're about to start doing remote workshops. So again, for people who may not want to make the financial investment or if they just don't have the time and it just works out better for them to do it in the form of a workshop where they have their peers that they can kind of bounce ideas off of. Also that's another way that we're able to work with people. Great, Well, let me ask you a question because it just struck me that some of the things that you may come up with in your solutions might not always just be processed because they either lack process or they need to optimize or re engineer the process, but it may be behavioral too right. There may be the way that they behave, might also be part of this, so it's not just the process itself, but it may be some of the soft skills. Do you work on that also? Yes, and I just realized I didn't talk about the framework that I have. So the framework that we have for building business infrastructure is called casino and it's basically the combination of two ancient Egyptian where is scott and see Newcomb meaning the spirit or essence, see new meanings, similar Tudor twin. So the idea is that as a result of going through this framework, you will in essence replicate the spirit or the essence of what makes your company so great to begin with. That starts with figuring out all of the tests that have to be performed in your company and it's grueling. I'm not going to even kid you. It is grueling work, but when you get on the other side of it, it serves as a foundation for how you organize your company into departments and from there, how you create job descriptions, even if you have existing job descriptions, they will be so much more succinct. After going through this exercise, you then have a foundation for creating a new organizational chart that isn't just like a regular chart with just boxes and maybe a few people's names and titles on their note, these are growth plants. These are your company's vision boards, that's what the organizational charts that we create for companies look like. It also serves as a foundation for your records management systems. We were talking about these different digital technologies earlier. Many people like the idea of having a paperless office. Okay, great. So you don't have a physical mess, but you might have a digital mess again when you hire and add to your team, do people know where to go and quickly access the information that they need and if the answer to that is no, that is something that we can address through this framework. We also take a look at the actual configuration of your workspace and then we get into the processes. So those are all of the elements. And yes, it absolutely touches on those soft skills. Perfect. I think we've come full circle around and the process part of this should never be overlooked. I want to challenge every listener to really think about their processes whether or not they have them written down whether or not they have them in what they consider to be a single source of truth that is protected and is updated and is a living breathing area knowledge base for their businesses. We've got to challenge them. So can we leave our listeners with an exercise? Of course. I love exercises. So I'm not sure the best way to get this to your listeners will have show notes to anything in the show notes. Okay, so what I am going to get to you steve. It's an 11 x 17 sheet. And on that sheet it has all kinds of topics is categorized into six areas, accounting and finance operations. HR. Marketing, business development operations. And I thi I may have even named seven. I don't know but but suffice it to say on this sheet of paper you have all kinds of topics within each of those categories. The idea of when you look at this sheet is to get together with your team and start to think of all of the activities that you perform in your company as it relates to each of those topics. For example, let's say if we're looking at accounting, everyone, even if you're a non profit organization, we're all dealing with money. Some of us pay taxes, some of us don't. That's the only difference but we're all handling money. So let's say one of the topics might be accounts receivable. So you and your team would have a conversation around. Okay. So let's talk about how we actually receive money. That means we send invoices or we may have a point of sales type system that we're using. Do we issue receipts? Do we issue electronic receipts? Who actually goes and deposits the money? Just have all of those conversations. Those are all individual activities or job tasks that are performed in your company. And here's what's going to happen. You will inevitably come across the topic where you say, what on earth is that? So it's going to force you to have a conversation with your team about, first of all, what the heck is that? Didn't know what that was. Maybe that's something we should look into. I'll tell you what one of the topics is. So many clients that I've worked with over the years when they get to factory, they're like, what in the world is that? And so it's great because they get to have a conversation about it. And so what will happen is even if you aren't performing a certain activity that relates to one of those tasks, you may decide, you know what, we're not doing that right now, but it's something that we do need to do and you want to capture that as well. What's going to happen is you're gonna have hundreds of tasks, and then from there you want to start to take those tasks and group them into departments. And I know we don't have enough time right now to walk through that entire exercise, but just know it always starts with answering the question what work needs to be done that is going to help you so much. And that serves as a foundation for also identifying the processes that need to be captured in your company. If you want to know specifically step by step how to go through that entire framework. I really recommend shameless plug seriously. It's a true how to book, but it's told in the form of story helpful to someone out there that's going to be immensely helpful to a lot of folks. I'm sure I want to let people know that they can head on over to amazon and they can buy your book behind the facade. How to structure company operations for a sustainable success. So just look up Alicia Butler Pierre and behind the facade and you'll find that, and it really is a book that covers all of what we've talked about and tons more. How else can they get in touch with you if they want to talk to you about coming and helping them? The best way is probably to go through my personal website, which is Alicia Butler Pierre dot com. So that's A L I C I A B U T L E R P I E R R E dot com. And that site serves as a hub for my consulting practice, the podcast, the book, as well as all of my social media links. I'm very active on linkedin twitter, starting to get a little bit more active on instagram. I'm even on clubhouse now steve. That's been interesting, but I am definitely open, definitely receptive to having a conversation with anyone. Even if you just have some ideas that you want to bounce off of me. I'm more than happy to have that conversation. So yes, please go to that website and from there you'll be able to link to these other sites. I think that's a great way to go. So I want to thank you Alicia for coming onto the show today. I've learned a lot. I really enjoyed talking about process and I'm sure our listeners are really happy with this episode two. I hope so. Thank you so much steve. This was fun. That was great. Well there's another episode of the science of C. X. I'm steve PAPP is your host and until we meet again please stay safe. Stay healthy and do take care. Bye bye. Finding one place to see all customer experience related tools to technology has been difficult until now. We just built it. Get ready for a science of C. X. Original customer experience technology has been helping to drive businesses by giving them insights into better methods to engage and delight their customers for some time now.