In this two part blog series, we asked our co-founders to answer the same set of seven questions in seven minutes. First up, Rob Maille – our Head of Strategy and Customer Experience.
Tell us about your journey into digital experiences
In the early 90s, I started out as a systems guy in the Marine Corps where I was able to work with Banyan developing programs in dBase and secure networks to communicate with people in the field throughout the world. This gave me the opportunity to understand how these systems worked. From there I spent some time consulting, helping businesses understand how the internet was coming up from a commercial standpoint. During my time with Reed Elsevier and Pioneer Investments, I got a lot of experience building unified platforms from an internal perspective. It was at Fidelity where I dug into the user experience side from an enterprise level. I gained a deep understanding of how the back end works to make the front-end work, and how to create a seamless experience for the user across multiple products and platforms.
I used this knowledge to start my own company Makibie, in 2005, where we built digital solutions and strategies for enterprises. After about six years into Makibie, I started focusing heavily on using digital to create value-based experiences. Vinay and I co-founded CommerceCX with this idea in mind. We wanted to find a way to streamline digital experiences by rethinking how the end-to-end works without completely rebuilding a company’s processes from scratch. At the same time, we strive to enhance value and the overall experience of the digital solution. Today our goal is to provide organizations with the experts and tools they need to navigate their digital transformation journey and turn their end-to-end solution into a powerful commerce ecosystem.
In your opinion, how was the customer experience industry evolved?
Everyone used to think about customer experience (CX) as being primarily outside the company with the customers. Until recently, people weren’t really thinking as much about what might happen when we transcended into the company and implemented a true end-to-end experience. The CX space has really changed in this regard.
In addition, we are seeing more and more traditional barriers being broken down by new technologies which is really exciting. We can also pull solutions from other areas of the market that traditionally haven’t had a play in CX and use them to create something new to boost and elevate CX for a business.
What is ahead for the customer experience industry?
I strongly believe that a great experience is about great service NOT great self service. Understanding the actual intent of a customer and then making it as easy as possible for that customer to reach their goal with the highest satisfaction is redefining what customer experience is all about.
Quote-to-cash, cognitive technologies, CRM and blockchain. Would you of these four do you think has the biggest impact on digital transformation process? Why?
Cognitive technologies will have the biggest impact. CRM, blockchain and quote-to-cash (QTC) technologies are the body while cognitive technologies is the brain. The brain will make the body more intelligent while enhancing the overall experience.
What’s your best work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
For me, quiet time is the most important thing for increased productivity. I always take a couple hours each morning to focus my mind on my faith and family. This sets the stage and the laser focus I need to be successful the rest of the day.
What’s your go-to publication for news?
The Wall Street Journal. If I could only read one thing it would be the WSJ. It provides me with a full picture of what is going on in the world, in business and the trends that I need to keep an eye on.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Learn to say no and never take yourself too serious. Both have served me well personally. Professionally, “you know when you are done when you can no longer take anything away from it,” has been my north star for agile business and solution strategy.