We're excited to spotlight one of our newest Gaugies to join up over the last year, Cary T. Self. Cary brings with him the unique perspective of being a CustomerGauge customer prior to joining us as our new Global VP of Education and Program Development. Recently, he's been hard at work completely rebuilding CustomerGauge Academy from the ground-up with new content, new courses, and one of the industry's most challenging experience certifications.
What were you doing before CustomerGauge and why did you decide to join up?
I had the unique experience of being a customer of CustomerGauge before working here. I formerly worked for a concessionaire company called Areas which manages food, beverage and retail operations for airports and travel plazas all over the world. My focus at the company was customer service— helping to drive company culture, training and employee relations.
I created programs to help employees improve their individual performances to help improve the overall company performance, and I found CustomerGauge as a solution for what we were creating.
We utilized CustomerGauge for our customer experience management and to help us grow the business. I loved the partnership we formed with CustomerGauge in the 3 years we worked together, and I was also able to develop relationships with many different CustomerGauge departments including the product, marketing, and sales teams.
I became such a believer in what CustomerGauge offered and the way the company conducted their business. When I actually joined CustomerGauge, I felt like I was the newest employee with the longest tenure!
What separates CustomerGauge from the crowd?
My immediate answer is always “people”. The analogy that I use is that other companies that do similar work to what we do are like department stores and CustomerGauge is more like a boutique.
We are so agile and always able to respond quickly to a particular customer’s needs. We have the ability to leverage the strengths of our people within our platform. You’re not just buying a product off the shelf with us. You are buying a solution specific to you that is connected to our hard working, dedicated CustomerGauge team.
We learn from one another and from our customers.
Although we do offer our recommendations and best practices, we do not offer cookie cutter solutions. We are all about forming relationships with our customers and we are invested in the success of the companies with whom we work. And we have such a dedicated passionate team here at CustomerGauge who are excited and believe in what they are doing every day.
Why is education and training important to drive cultural change?
Again, culture is about people. People want to do a good job at work, they want to be recognized, but so often they hit obstacles and challenges due to a lack of job knowledge or particular skills or a lack of development and reinforcement from leadership. That lack can ultimately cause people to become discouraged and fail and certainly causes overall low company morale. Education helps people overcome those types of obstacles.
When you invest in people, you communicate to your employees that they are valuable and you help people come together to find solutions. Sometimes company culture does not succeed because everyone is speaking their own language, moving in whatever direction they think is right. Education sets expectations and teaches a common language so people are able to work together— which in turn brings your culture together.
What role does company culture play in a successful CX program?
I think it’s a pretty simple equation. If you have a strong culture and your employees are happy and motivated, they will take care of your customers. If you listen to your employees, have open communication and allow employees to own the business so that they feel “this is mine”, then employees will do what’s best for the business every time they engage with the customer.
Customers will in turn see this investment and the trust you put in your employees and are more likely to have confidence that they can put trust in your company in the same way. Everyone is playing on the same team including the customer. Our ultimate goal at Customer Gauge is to turn every customer into a “Gaugie”.
What are you most excited about at the moment in CustomerGauge?
That’s hard for me to answer because I’m excited about so many of the things that we are doing at CustomerGauge. What I think we are doing well right now is to be out front, listening to our customers’ needs. We are not following trends, as much as shaping the company to reflect the right people, at the right place, at the right moment to best take care of customers and grow our business.
We are developing a first-class platform which provides such vital information to the businesses we serve so they can make the best strategic decisions possible. We have a great product and we have great people that are helping other companies create a culture like our own.
In my position with a focus on education and training, I am helping to teach our customers our story, the “Customer Gauge Experience” We are living the model that we want to help our customers develop and grow. We are sharing based on our own experiences and I am excited to be a part of that process.
I love being a part of telling companies “this is what is gong to make you successful” so that our story can become your story also.
Outside of work, what do you do for fun?
I love to explore with my dog Maia, who goes almost everywhere with us on our adventures, be it a road trip or a hike through the woods. She has completely changed how we live our lives and travel. I am new to Boston so it’s been great learning about a new place—but honestly, I explore wherever I am living a bit like a tourist.
I also love photography. I pick up a camera whenever I have the opportunity to capture a moment or a place or person and I get a lot of joy from sharing my work.
Finally, I also love to cook and bake especially for other people—I’m sure the CustomerGauge Boston office can attest to that!