234 episodes

The Customer Confidential Podcast unlocks a world of unparalleled customer and employee loyalty insights. Host Rob Markey, a Net Promoter System pioneer, uses his deep expertise and empathetic approach to challenge conventional wisdom, peel back layers of typical advice, and expose the real stories of industry transformation. Take a deep dive into discussions on CX, customer journey, customer insights, Net Promoter Score, and more. Every episode is a master class in loyalty. Guests include CMOs, CXOs, and heroes of customer-centric transformation, along with thought leaders who inspire them. Exploring organizational structures, operating models, goals, and metrics, Rob and his guests from companies such as Vanguard, American Express, and more bring to light practical marketing, product, customer experience, and technology strategies for earning customer-focused growth. This podcast is your source for untold stories of customer and employee loyalty. Challenging, insightful, and instructive—all in one place. Earned growth starts here.

Customer Confidential: Untold Stories of Earned Growth Rob Markey, Bain & Company partner and customer experience expert

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 43 Ratings

The Customer Confidential Podcast unlocks a world of unparalleled customer and employee loyalty insights. Host Rob Markey, a Net Promoter System pioneer, uses his deep expertise and empathetic approach to challenge conventional wisdom, peel back layers of typical advice, and expose the real stories of industry transformation. Take a deep dive into discussions on CX, customer journey, customer insights, Net Promoter Score, and more. Every episode is a master class in loyalty. Guests include CMOs, CXOs, and heroes of customer-centric transformation, along with thought leaders who inspire them. Exploring organizational structures, operating models, goals, and metrics, Rob and his guests from companies such as Vanguard, American Express, and more bring to light practical marketing, product, customer experience, and technology strategies for earning customer-focused growth. This podcast is your source for untold stories of customer and employee loyalty. Challenging, insightful, and instructive—all in one place. Earned growth starts here.

    Ep 234: Naiara De León & Madison Dyal Anderson | All Customers Just Want to Belong: What Defines an Inclusive Retail Experience?

    Ep 234: Naiara De León & Madison Dyal Anderson | All Customers Just Want to Belong: What Defines an Inclusive Retail Experience?

    Why do some retailers excel at creating a welcoming environment for a diverse customer base while others fall short?
    Bain & Company's Naiara De León and Madison Dyal Anderson discuss their research on how companies that excel in customer advocacy and inclusion consistently outperform their peers by a staggering 10 percentage points annually.
    Beyond quantifying inclusion's sizable revenue impact, they also share data from their survey of over 7,700 US consumers on the lasting negative psychological toll exclusion has on retail customers—and why one bad experience can turn someone off a brand forever.
    We analyze the root of the issue: What causes consumer exclusion in the first place? We also share examples of companies’ winning inclusive strategies, from the importance of eye contact to plentiful product assortment to purposefully designed campaigns.
    Guest: Naiara De León, Partner, Bain & Company
    Guest: Madison Dyal Anderson, Partner, Bain & Company
    Host: Rob Markey, Partner, Bain & Company
    Give Us Feedback:
    We’d love to hear from you. Help us enhance your podcast experience by providing feedback here in our listener survey.
    Want to get in touch? Send a note to host Rob Markey: https://www.robmarkey.com/contact-rob
    Time-stamped list of topics covered:
    [3:30] Research study overview and key findings
    [6:33] Research findings on how inclusion is universally important
    [8:02] Personal experiences of feeling welcomed or excluded in different stores
    [10:13] Balancing inclusivity with a retail brand’s target market
    [12:16] How the feeling of belonging or being welcomed affects customer advocacy
    [13:04] Types of negative retail experiences that lead to customer detractors
    [15:00] The subtleties of interaction that affect customer perceptions of inclusion
    [20:14] Examples of companies that have created welcoming and inclusive atmospheres
    [22:10] How product assortments and staff training contribute to inclusivity
    [26:32] How retailers can assess and improve their levels of inclusivity for good
    [30:54] The greater impact of inclusive practices on strategy and market position
    Time-stamped list of notable quotes:
    [00:32] “There is this line between welcomed and belonging. The core customer needs to feel like they belong.”
    [2:24] “Universally, customers across all demographics desire to feel invited and welcomed.”
    [6:33] “Inclusion matters to everyone. It's actually pretty universal.”
    [10:34] “The core customer needs to feel like they belong. That's where you are tuning in to those behaviors and those customer segment needs and wants. Make people feel heard and seen.”
    [14:45] “[In terms of survey findings, there were] verbatims that talked about, ‘The store associate never made eye contact with me. I have hearing loss and that made [communication] very hard. English is not my first language and I need that eye contact to carry all the way through [a conversation].”
    [31:13] “It is quite profitable to [prioritize inclusivity] because it helps you grow. It helps you lead, versus your peers. It’s also the right thing to do.”
    Additional Resources:
    Read Madison and Naiara’s Bain research, In Retail, Inclusive Customer Journeys Lead to Growth

    • 32 min
    Ep 233: Eckhart Boehme | Uncovering Hidden Customer Needs: The Power of Jobs to Be Done

    Ep 233: Eckhart Boehme | Uncovering Hidden Customer Needs: The Power of Jobs to Be Done

    What if the key to creating truly innovative products and solutions lies at least as much in uncovering the deep emotional and attitudinal needs of your customers as in mastering technology?
    Eckhart Boehme, founder and managing director of Unipro Solutions, shares his approach to putting Clayton Christensen’s Jobs to Be Done framework into practical use. Eckhart demonstrates how in-depth interviews with customers and their families can reveal the underlying personal experiences, emotions, and desires that truly motivate people to seek out and purchase products or services. With these insights in hand, companies often uncover fundamentally different needs than they first anticipated, sometimes even opening up new markets or uses for their products.
    We also discuss Eckhart’s Wheel of Progress model, which he designed to reveal the hidden layers of reasoning behind customer decisions. It provides a systematic way to deconstruct customer narratives and identify the jobs that are most likely to drive customer decisions along their cyclical journeys. Learn how this model segments the customer journey into phases of motivation, decision-making, and action. He brings this all to life with a compelling case study about finding a senior living place for an elderly loved one, revealing a hidden but critical job to be done: giving the elderly parent a sense of purpose.
    Our conversation also lays bare some common pitfalls when applying the Jobs to Be Done framework, such as focusing too narrowly on functional jobs while missing the bigger picture of the customer's overarching goals and emotional needs.
    Guest: Eckhart Boehme, Founder and Managing Director, Unipro Solutions
    Host: Rob Markey, Partner, Bain & Company
    Give Us Feedback:
    We’d love to hear from you. Help us enhance your podcast experience by providing feedback here in our listener survey.
    Want to get in touch? Send a note to host Rob Markey: https://www.robmarkey.com/contact-rob
    Time-stamped list of topics covered
    [1:19] How Jobs to Be Done goes deeper than traditional customer needs analysis
    [3:02] Clarifying what Jobs to Be Done entails and why it’s a game changer
    [6:08] The Wheel of Progress model and its role in dissecting customer decisions
    [10:41] Applying Jobs to Be Done in complex customer service scenarios
    [15:00] The practical steps and challenges in implementing this framework
    [20:14] Examples of transformative customer insights derived from in-depth interviews
    [22:10] Strategies for businesses to effectively harness Jobs to Be Done
    [30:54] Future trends and directions in customer experience research
    Time-stamped list of notable quotes:
    [6:26] “You want to understand where the story starts. What [event] triggered people [wanting to conduct] research and go through pain. Understanding what triggers people have is very valuable because then you can start building a relationship—even before people have started going to a search engine to look for a solution."
    [7:51] “When we look at the customer journey, we call it ‘the cycle of progress’ because we think that people make progress in cycles."
    [16:01] "We try to design our offerings and the marketing and sales processes to focus on helping customers make progress.”
    [24:23] “Jobs to Be Done helps you to do the right thing and design thinking helps you to do things right."
    Additional Resources:
    Learn more about Eckhart’s Wheel of Progress Learn more about HBS professor Clay Christensen’s Jobs to Be Done Theory and his famous story about how to improve milkshake sales

    • 33 min
    Ep 232: Matt Harris | When AI Shifts the Balance of Power to Consumers: Preparing for a New Business Reality

    Ep 232: Matt Harris | When AI Shifts the Balance of Power to Consumers: Preparing for a New Business Reality

    Matt Harris, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures, argues that generative AI will soon empower customers in unexpected ways. Consumers, he predicts, will soon use AI tools to continuously discover lower loan rates, higher-yield savings accounts, or more attractive insurance policies.
    As a result, Matt anticipates a shift in customer-company power dynamics. Imagine, for example, an AI agent able to continuously move your deposits to the highest-yielding savings accounts or refinance your loans to the best available rates with little intervention required from you. Imagine consumer tools for interpreting medical scans and providing a diagnosis to compare to your doctor's assessment. Generative AI could even transform the future of mental health therapy to be more effective, efficient, and streamlined.
    Join us as we discuss the present and future of consumers' newfound AI-driven power and analyze where organizations and their leaders should be pointed next to remain competitive.
    Guest: Matt Harris, Partner, Bain Capital Ventures
    Host: Rob Markey, Partner, Bain & Company
    Give Us Feedback:
    We’d love to hear from you. Help us enhance your podcast experience by providing feedback here in our listener survey.
    Want to get in touch? Send a note to host Rob Markey: https://www.robmarkey.com/contact-rob
    Time-stamped list of topics covered:
    [02:53] How businesses use generative AI for productivity and future innovation [09:23] Discussion on the Gartner Hype Cycle for generative AI [17:09] What it means for customers to be “superpowered” and an overview of a few generative AI applications in finance and medicine [22:28] AI's impact on society and the future of work [27:44] Adapting to a world with superpowered customers who now demand more from businesses, emphasizing the need for deepened customer relationships and greater levels of innovation Time-stamped list of notable quotes:
    [10:55] "Every new technology experiences [influx and they] disillusion the rest of the market because they have these spectacular failures.” [14:20] “[Generative AI] is a much more powerful tool for customers than it is for companies. And an equal or larger part of energy should be going in these boardrooms to imagining a world where customers have the power of generative AI and the implications for your entire business model.” [18:00] “I revere doctors. But how could we expect that a single human being would have all of the medical knowledge in their head? This is something computers will be better at.” [22:16] "I think I could make an argument that generative AI, combined with predictive machine learning, and being moved forward as fast as these technologies are advancing, will be better at almost everything.” [27:53] “We should be spending as much energy thinking and worrying and planning for a ‘superpowered’ customer world as we are thinking about how we use [technology] ourselves, and I’m just not seeing people doing that.” Additional Resources:
    Read Matt’s article for BCV, The Age of the Superpowered Customer The Age of AI and Our Human Future by Henry A. Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher The AI Advantage by Thomas H. Davenport Prediction Machines by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb Learn about Bain’s spin-off, Bain Capital, which has operated as a separate company since 1984 Learn More About Our Guest and Host:
    Guest: Matt Harris LinkedIn Profile Host: Rob Markey LinkedIn Profile

    • 29 min
    Ep 231: Fred Reichheld | Unleashing Earned Growth: The Referral Spectrum

    Ep 231: Fred Reichheld | Unleashing Earned Growth: The Referral Spectrum

    Discover the engine of Earned Growth as Rob Markey and Fred Reichheld, Bain Fellow and "Winning On Purpose” author, hold a working session on how references and referrals significantly contribute to organic growth.
    Rob and Fred unearth the pivotal role that references and referrals play in propelling Earned Growth. They answer key questions such as: How would you characterize different referral types? What are the best mechanisms for measuring and attributing value to them? How do you navigate the tricky path of fostering genuine, organic referrals at scale?
    Together, they explore one of the thorniest issues in accounting for the value of referrals: How much of a new referred customer’s value should accrue to the referring customer versus the referred one?
    Guest: Fred Reichheld, Bain Fellow, founder of Bain's Loyalty Practice
    Host: Rob Markey, Partner, Bain & Company
    Give Us Feedback:
    We’d love to hear from you. Help us enhance your podcast experience by providing feedback here in our listener survey.
    Want to get in touch? Send a note to host Rob Markey: https://www.robmarkey.com/contact-rob
    Time-stamped list of topics covered:
    02:00 - Unveiling the Referral Spectrum 08:30 - Measuring the Impact of Referrals 15:45 - Attributing Value: Who Benefits? 22:10 - Fostering a Culture of Earned Growth Time-stamped list of notable quotes:
    02:25 - Rob Markey: "A genuine referral, an authentic referral, is motivated by some form of goodwill towards the recipient." 05:45 - Fred Reichheld: "Earned Growth is not just a metric, it's a philosophy." 19:30 - Fred Reichheld: "The value of a referral is the cornerstone of organic expansion.” Additional Resources:
    Winning On Purpose by Fred Reichheld Bain & Company’s Insights on Earned Growth Guest and Host Bio Links:
    Fred Reichheld LinkedIn Profile Rob Markey LinkedIn Profile

    • 35 min
    Ep 230: Tim Pernetti | A New Playbook: Reinventing the IMG Academy Experience

    Ep 230: Tim Pernetti | A New Playbook: Reinventing the IMG Academy Experience

    Why would a world-class sports academy invest in a student center, rather than more coaches, fancy equipment, or dorms?
    IMG Academy, a Florida boarding school, turns out some of the most successful college and professional athletes around. Its president, Tim Pernetti, led a massive cultural shift toward customer loyalty.
    Tim says IMG Academy used to be highly focused on coaching and sports operations. To be clear, that emphasis on athletic excellence helped produce a large number of highly successful athletes. But Tim and the leadership team saw the potential to add something on top of this: a focus on serving a more comprehensive set of student-athlete needs. Today, IMG Academy leverages student-athlete input to refine its program and operations. New initiatives range from enhancing dining experiences to introducing flexible communal spaces.
    Tim shares how an emphasis on employee recognition combines regular student and parent feedback to instill deep, enduring culture change.
    Guest: Tim Pernetti, President, IMG Academy
    Host: Rob Markey, Partner, Bain & Company
    Give Us Feedback:
    Help us enhance your podcast experience by providing feedback here.
    Send a note to host Rob Markey: https://www.robmarkey.com/contact-rob
    Time-stamped list of topics covered:
    [00:09:17] Global influence and expansion [00:14:25] Culture shift toward experience [00:19:57] Response to student feedback [00:25:32] Investment in campus experience [00:30:01] Recognition's impact on staff [00:35:23] Challenges in universal buy-in [00:37:09] Commitment to improving IMG Academy Time-stamped list of notable quotes:
    [00:04:43] “Really, [our early] focus was on intense physical training, like total immersion in tennis. And the result was ten world number ones [were trained here].” [00:07:23] “This is an environment where you're bringing people in from all over the world. You want to have good people in the environment. We put a lot of weight into that, like getting to know kids, and getting to know their parents.” [00:23:17] “We went into meetings with data and said, ‘Here’s what the customer is saying.’” [00:29:16] “[At] a place like IMG Academy, we have everything from coaches, people that serve food every day, and our transportation drivers, [and people] who cut the grass at five o'clock in the morning. And I've shadowed all of them." [00:30:12] “We [recognized a tram driver] with a financial bonus and a gift card to take his wife out to dinner. This guy now is known as the friendliest, nicest, most outgoing person on campus.” [00:30:35] "The biggest tool you have in your toolkit right now is your personal and other leaders' acknowledgment and recognition when people do the right things.” Guest and Host Bio Links:
    Tim Pernetti's LinkedIn Profile Rob Markey LinkedIn Profile

    • 38 min
    Ep 229: Stan Swinton | Redefining Customer Centricity: What is the NPSx Framework?

    Ep 229: Stan Swinton | Redefining Customer Centricity: What is the NPSx Framework?

    How can businesses transcend traditional customer service boundaries to establish new customer experience benchmarks?
    Stan Swinton, Founder and General Manager of NPSx, Bain & Company, discusses how a comprehensive approach to customer experience extends beyond gathering feedback or managing customer journeys.
    Stan details Bain’s NPSx framework—comparable to a restaurant star rating, he says—which offers an extensive customer-centricity analysis via 60+ dimensions and eight pillars. Stan shares how this methodology motivates companies to strive for top-tier customer satisfaction.
    We also discuss the Customer Experience Roadmap and Accreditation (CXRA). Stan highlights CXRA's effectiveness in uncovering inefficiencies and enhancing customer-employee synergies.
    In addition, we explore why businesses frequently restrict their customer experience initiatives to areas such as feedback management, and discuss the essential role of Customer Experience Officers in achieving genuine customer centricity. Finally, we examine the constantly changing landscape of CX benchmarks and expectations, emphasizing the importance of a flexible and adaptive approach.
    Guest: Stan Swinton, Founder and General Manager of NPSx, Bain & Company
    Host: Rob Markey, Partner, Bain & Company
    Give Us Feedback:
    Help us enhance your podcast experience by providing feedback here.
    Send a note to host Rob Markey: https://www.robmarkey.com/contact-rob
    Time-stamped list of topics covered:
    [16:56] Role of CX: Stan highlights how the NPSx framework aids in defining company decision rights and categorizes 60 different jobs or dimensions to be coordinated. [17:50] Framework Pillars: Eight pillars provide a structured context for internal dialogue on improvement within organizations. [18:15] Framework applicability: The framework's relevance, even for companies that are just starting their CX journey or are less mature in their CX programs [19:19] Framework evolution and review: The living nature of the framework, with ongoing revisions and updates to standards and maturity scales to keep pace with current trends in customer centricity [20:10] Benchmarking and improvement: How clients sometimes feel dissatisfied with their initial ratings but are encouraged to view it as a journey toward improvement, similar to achieving restaurant rating stars in the culinary world [21:48] Identifying opportunities: How the framework allows organizations to identify their strengths and areas for improvement in customer experience Time-stamped list of notable quotes:
    [04:49] “We would generally work with a company first to define their taxonomy. One of the things we recognize is a lot of different industries and clients have different ways of defining their experiences. But there are standards and there are best practices that we can bring to the table to help shape that taxonomy and definitions.” [7:28] “One of the things that we recognize at Bain is that a lot of practitioners didn't come from a CX background. There aren't a lot of degree programs dedicated to CX. And when we were looking at the market, we’d say, well, how can you train yourself as a CX practitioner?” [12:31] “Our framework has eight pillars: purpose and leadership, proposition management, customer value and lifecycle management, customer journey management, customer service management, customer feedback management, customer data management, and employee experience.” Additional Resources:
    Bain article | The Elements of Value: Understanding the 30 elements of value for consumers can help companies gain an edge. HBR article | The Elements of Value: Measuring—and delivering—what consumers really want Guest and Host Bio Links:
    Stan’s LinkedIn profile Rob Markey LinkedIn Profile

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

Kn0243 ,

Great insights and content

Thank you for your podcast! As a CX analyst, I throughly enjoy listening, and appreciate that you remain on topic and provide great insights clear and concisely.

closet snob ,

Excellent listening for CX and loyalty

Great podcast. Love the interviews and really helps paint the picture for why/how loyalty matters. Practical as well as inspirational.

Edited to add: love the new name and branding!

Redlead0 ,

Underrated podcast

This is my favorite podcast for customer experience. It’s underrated for the quality of topics and interviews. I love that the show continues to build and share NPS improvements. Definitely recommend it!

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