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Episode 55: Solutions Spotlight with Misty Eales – Evolving the Customer Experience

In this final episode of our multi-part solution spotlight series, Matt Swain is joined by Misty Eales, Head of Digital Client Relations, Project Management Office and Onboarding at Broadridge, to share her unique market perspective around digital communications and their importance in enhancing the customer experience.

Matt: I'm Matt Swain and you're listening to the "Reimagining Communications" podcast. This is the fifth and final edition of our multi-part Spotlight series, where I've been speaking with key leaders within our Broadridge customer communications digital team about current market dynamics and how the modular approach of the Broadridge Communications Cloud is helping our clients modernize their communications ecosystems and ultimately improve customer experiences. Today I'm joined by Misty Eales, Head of Digital Client Relations, Project Management Office, and Onboarding. Misty, thank you so much for being here today.

Misty: Thanks, Matt. Thank you for having me.

Matt: Certainly. Well, I appreciate having you join and getting a chance to get your market perspective because you have a unique lens. Out of everyone that we've spoken with, you spend a lot of time with our clients, and you know the day-to-day challenges that they're facing and what they're looking for in the future. I'd love to have you start with providing a brief overview of your background, your role, and your responsibilities within Broadridge.

Misty: All right, that sounds good. Thank you, Matt. So, I recently celebrated my 20-year anniversary with Broadridge. It has been a unique run. Like you said in my role, I get to see the highs and the lows with our customers, which you need all of that to build that balanced client relationship. Through that 20 years, I've always been in that client-facing role, where we focus on delivering, not only excellence in our products and our services, but also our relationships. So, you know, client relations, it's all about building that relationship with our customers. My current role, it allows me to not only focus on that customer relationship and in making sure that we have teams that are delivering and executing on our day-to-day services, but I also have the onboarding program and project management office. And that supports our execution of our clients, their evolving communication strategy. So, that's where the fun side of it comes in, where we get to have those conversations with our customers, and you're involved in a lot of those to find out where they want to take their strategy. We have the flip side of that, where we get to work through their challenges with them. We understand where they might be challenged in their organization and how we can help them grow out of that. So, it's been a good run, and I'm really excited about where we're at and where we're heading.

Matt: So, on that note, Misty, maybe share a few of the key themes that you're hearing from clients, the challenges they're facing, but also what they're excited about, what they're looking for, relative to their digital communications initiatives.

Misty: Probably the biggest thing that I'm hearing from our customers is their desire to evolve. We've gone from an industry that was focused on print and mail and being the best of the best in that industry to an organization where our clients are looking for us to really be the experts. They're looking to us to guide them on how they evolve their customer experience. So, it's an entirely different lens than we used to see, and it's exciting. I recently heard a customer that said they want to take their communications from a 1980s status to a current status. So, to have a customer recognize that about their own customer communications, it's brave for a customer to identify that, but it also provides such an opportunity for us to help guide them, in what we see in the market, in what we see with other customers to help them grow that for their end customers.

Matt: Excellent. So, Misty, like I've done with other episodes in the Spotlight series, I do want to get your feedback on a few soundbites from our recent webinar on modernizing communications ecosystems. The first quote here is from Katie Liebel, who's with CustomStrat Advisory, and she's talking about breaking down the siloed lines of businesses to improve customer experience.

Katie: If you hit a roadblock online, let's say you're trying to change your address or whatnot, in a perfect world, let's say you hit the roadblock and you call the contact center, they know that the reason you're calling is because you're trying to change your address. Not that you're going to take me through four levels of the call tree, and then you couldn't make a change for me at the end. You should know this, right? And so, it's really, the bar is high, and it has to be omnichannel and it has to be across products.

So, Misty, does this resonate with you?

Misty: Oh, absolutely. I just had a customer conversation yesterday as an example. And we talk about the different communication pieces that we send out on their behalf. And our customers are realizing the importance of continuity across those multiple communication pieces. So, they want to make sure that they're referencing a customer's preferred name in the same manner across those same communications, right? We want to make sure that there's consistency across that because that really helps tie the customer into their end customers. It gives that feeling of not being just another person that's receiving something or receiving a communication. It's very strategic and our customers are seeing that. So yeah, we see a lot of conversations about really wanting to break down those silos.

Matt: So, Misty, this is actually a good tie to your day-to-day role. So, let's say you heard that from a customer or from a client relative to their customer base, you provide your feedback on what else you're seeing in the market and bring other people into the discussion as well, but then, how is what you heard in that comment reflected in how we solution for a client with a similar need?

Misty: We take the opportunity to look at the communication process from start to finish. We don't look at it in pieces and parts. We can't look at it as just how a customer might access their statement online, for example. We have to look at the data that we're receiving from our customers and what's included in there. And then we look at our services and solutions, and what we can leverage to take that data coming in and craft the communication going out to our customers and clients. So, whether it's an email or a text message, we take those steps to make sure that if a customer sends us in something, we send them an email that's going to resonate, and it's going to grab their attention, and it's going to make them feel like it's that personalized communication. And then we take the next step and make sure that when they access that statement, for example, online, they continue that same experience.

Matt: Yeah, that makes sense. And I'd like to go to another soundbite, this time from Rob Krugman, our Chief Digital Officer at Broadridge. He had this to say about where companies are falling short relative to driving digital engagement.

Rob: An email that says, “Your statement is ready, click here to come to our website," is not going to get it done. It's going to become noise in a crowded email box that people are not going to respond to. If it's engaging, provides context. It doesn't have to be data-driven context, it could just be templates that are randomly displayed. You can actually start to create a conversation with folks, and at the same time, work to actually fix the problems underneath.

Misty: You know, it's funny because he talks a lot about making the communications stand out and don't get mixed in with others to where it's just overlooked. And I think that that's key. The communications that go out from our customers, it has to be engaging. Gone are the days where you can just put something on a screen and you expect a customer to say, "Yes, I want to adopt digital." We have to move forward and engage the customers. It's like Rob said, it's almost that conversation. We have to engage digitally with those customers to make sure that they're feeling that personalized experience. And that's what engages them. And our customers, that's what they want to see. They want us to help them get that conversation started with their customers.

Matt: So, Misty, do you have any good example of a client that has come to us with that type of request and how we've supported it?

Misty: Yeah, absolutely. If you take, for example, the telecom industry, we all get a phone bill in the mail or in our email, and we go and look at that. And we often get in the habit of not even really looking at that. We know a bill is due and we have AutoPay, and we may or may not even pay any attention to it. So, we had a customer that's looking for us to say, "How can I better engage my clients so that they're not just leaving this on AutoPay and not really engaging with us." And so, the important thing is to make sure that they're still providing the information that their consumers want to see. They want to see what their balance due is. They want to see what drives that cost. If there's a change in the cost, they want to see what drove that change. So, it's important to have that information but it's about more than just putting those numbers on a sheet of paper or in an email or even on a digital statement. It's about catching their consumers' eye and engaging them, so they want to understand it.

Matt: Excellent. So Misty, bigger picture, a bit of crystal ball, again, you have your finger on the pulse of what clients are asking for today, how do you think their communications needs are going to continue to evolve in the coming years?

Misty: When our customers look forward, they want to be ahead of the curve. Many of the communications have been kind of behind the market. They've been an afterthought. Many of our customers are wanting these communications going to their consumers to be in front of the thought. So not just a bill or not just a financial statement. That's their conversation point with their consumers. They're realizing that they have this opportunity to better engage with their consumers, improve their servicing through these communications that were, at one point in time, thought of as just a must-have. We must send a bill. We must send a financial statement. So, they're looking at it differently. And if we look to the future, the key thing there is that we stay in front of the technology. We cannot be behind it. So, we as an organization, we have to think about it through our consumer lens, through our relationship lens with our customers, and we have to look and continually evolve and see how we can do it better and faster, and cheaper. Customers want to save money, right? We have to drive the importance of that communication to get to all those endpoints.

Matt: Well said. And Misty, it's a great way to wrap our Spotlight series. So, thank you so much for participating today.

Misty: Thank you, Matt. I really appreciate it and look forward to future conversations.

Matt: Excellent. Well, I'm Matt Swain and you've been listening to the "Reimagining Communications" podcast. If you like this episode and think someone else would too, please share it, leave a review, and don't forget to subscribe. And if you're ready to reimagine your customer experiences, consider the Broadridge Communications Cloud, an end-to-end platform for creating, delivering, and managing omnichannel communications and customer engagement. To learn more about Broadridge, our insights and our innovations, visit broadridge.com or find us on Twitter and LinkedIn.