96 episodes

On the Digitally Irresistible podcast, we cover the optimization of digital technologies and irresistible people that influence both employee and customer experiences. We feature professionals who are passionate about delivering a great customer experience.

Brought to you by iQor and hosted by Bernie Borges, Vice President of Global Content Marketing.

Digitally Irresistible Bernie Borges, V.P. Global Content Marketing at iQor

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

On the Digitally Irresistible podcast, we cover the optimization of digital technologies and irresistible people that influence both employee and customer experiences. We feature professionals who are passionate about delivering a great customer experience.

Brought to you by iQor and hosted by Bernie Borges, Vice President of Global Content Marketing.

    A Balanced Approach to CX Leadership With Head and Heart

    A Balanced Approach to CX Leadership With Head and Heart

    The Vital Role of Leadership in Customer Satisfaction
    We welcome Daniel Burks to this week’s episode of the Digitally Irresistible podcast. As a retail management professional with over two decades of experience in elevating customer experience and service excellence, Daniel brings a perspective on leadership that blends both intellectual and heartfelt elements to create exemplary leaders.
    As a U.S. Army veteran, Daniel recognizes the importance of acknowledging a team member’s achievements, a practice that fosters a collaborative environment where every member feels valued and driven to pursue collective objectives. His leadership experience, whether in military operations, call center settings, or remote teams, has culminated in five key leadership pillars designed to develop leaders who successfully manage teams equipped to deliver top-tier customer experiences. [RC1]  
    Tune in as Daniel explains these pillars, which he deems as essential for building an environment rich in communication, high morale, and meaningful recognition.
    The Influence of Personal Background on Professional Leadership
    Raised by Great Depression-era grandparents, Daniel says they significantly shaped his professional and personal life by instilling in him a sense of simplicity and kindness, which he has carried into his leadership style. This foundation of straightforward, compassionate interactions has been a guiding principle in his life and career, particularly in how he approaches leadership and customer service in large organizations. He credits these values for teaching him how to treat people and manage customer interactions effectively.
    Prior to entering retail in 1999, Daniel served in the U.S. Army, where he noted the importance of recognizing his fellow soldiers’ achievements without delay. He learned a simple strategy for offering recognition successfully.
    1. Recognize in a timely manner. The sooner you acknowledge someone, the more impactful and meaningful your interaction will be.
    2. Recognize specifically and publicly. When pointing out a noteworthy moment in an individual’s performance, mention exactly what someone achieved in front of their peers so they have the opportunity to shine. This also inspires others to adopt good habits.
    Drawing on the influence from his grandparents and his military experience, Daniel carried these lessons of discipline and empathy into his future leadership roles.
    The Impact of Mentorship and the Pursuit of Leadership Excellence in Retail CX
    From his early days in the retail industry, Daniel’s journey was greatly influenced by the exceptional leaders and mentors he had the privilege to work under. These mentors were pivotal in recognizing his potential. They invested time to help Daniel refine his skills by providing honest feedback when needed, which was aimed at guiding him toward success and personal and professional development. This foundational support fostered Daniel's growth and instilled in him the value of continuous learning and self-improvement.
    As Daniel progressed in retail CX, he observed that his true passion lay in more than managing teams or processes efficiently—he enjoyed lighting the spark of leadership in others. The joy and fulfillment he found in seeing managers, especially those early in their roles or those facing challenges, develop and succeed under his guidance became his driving force. He devoted himself to empowering these managers, helping them bridge knowledge gaps and improve their ability to lead effectively.
    Daniel believes this commitment to nurturing leadership skills among managers is crucial in any business environment. Such devotion significantly impacts how teams perform and, more importantly, how customers experience services. By focusing on developing strong, capable leaders, Daniel has contributed to cre

    • 30 min
    How iQor’s Qoncierge Program Connects Employee Advocacy and Customer Satisfaction

    How iQor’s Qoncierge Program Connects Employee Advocacy and Customer Satisfaction

    Creating Onboarding Experiences That Empower New Hires
    In this episode of iQor’s CX Labs Digitally Irresistible podcast, John Mercer, director of continuous improvement at iQor, delves into iQor’s Qoncierge program, which is dedicated to welcoming newly hired frontline employees. In this role, he supports the Qoncierge team to make sure they have the training and tools to guide new employees so they are prepared to deliver consistently remarkable CX for our clients’ customers.
    Since his arrival at iQor in 2014 as an operations director in the telecommunications space, John has gained extensive experience that has equipped him with a deep understanding of operational efficiency and employee experiences, both of which help to establish a culture driven to facilitate irresistible CX.
    Read on to discover how iQor’s Qoncierge program champions engagement and training for new frontline employees from the outset, building a confident and prepared workforce ready to create excellent customer experiences.
    The Role of iQor’s Qoncierge Program
    The Qoncierge program is designed to offer a seamless and supportive experience for new frontline hires from their first day at iQor until their graduation from training. A Qoncierge serves as an employee's initial contact, providing a welcoming introduction to iQor's company culture and expectations. This role assists in establishing strong employer-employee relationships early on, which are vital for long-term employee retention and satisfaction.
    The Qoncierge's role is critical—each one provides a white-glove experience that extends throughout onboarding and training for the employee’s first 90 days. From the initial welcome and site tour to icebreaker games and weekly meetings, the Qoncierge’s tailored support helps to alleviate the common anxieties associated with starting a new job, allowing new employees to focus on their growth and learning with confidence.
    Bridging Connections for Consistent Frontline Employee Support
    Onboarding is the fundamental first step in an employee's journey and sets the tone for their career path and potential success. A vital component of effective onboarding and training programs is the continuity of support. John sheds light on the Qoncierge's role beyond welcoming new employees—it's about being a steadfast presence throughout the initial training phases.
    As a representative of the organization's commitment to its employees, the Qoncierge navigates new hires through company procedures, addresses their concerns, and integrates them into their roles efficiently. By connecting new employees and various operational departments, the Qoncierge is instrumental in helping new hires overcome potential obstacles, thereby enabling a seamless transition from trainee to full-fledged iQorian. 
    Acting as a liaison, the Qoncierge ensures that frontline employees understand their role within iQor and have a clear roadmap for the expectations set forth, along with the resources available to support their development in the organization. This meticulous attention to detail fosters an inclusive and attentive atmosphere from Day One.
    The Qoncierge Program’s Impact on Employee Retention and Satisfaction
    One of the standout aspects of the Qoncierge program is its proven effect on improving employee retention rates and overall satisfaction. The program helps new hires integrate smoothly into iQor and fosters a sense of belonging and commitment. Both continuously touching base and engaging new employees drive employee satisfaction and longevity with iQor.
    Creating Brand Ambassadors for Client Success From Day One
    A positive initial impression of a new workplace can significantly influence an employee’s enthusiasm and commitment to their role, which, in turn, affects how they interact with customers. The Qoncierge team helps facilitate new empl

    • 4 min
    Customer Experience Is Everything in a Member-Centric Business

    Customer Experience Is Everything in a Member-Centric Business

    Building and Sustaining Memberships Through Excellent CX
    This week we welcome Jennifer Blevins to the Digitally Irresistible podcast. Jennifer is the senior vice president of member engagement and relationship management at Wespay, a payments association that guides its members with insights on best practices, business solutions , strategy, compliance, and other critical payments factors. With over two decades of experience in treasury management, sales, product development, and more, Jennifer shares her journey and insights into the transformative power of treating membership-as-a-service with a commitment to excellence.
    Prior to joining Wespay, Jennifer was a member for more than eight years, actively participating in the member advisory council and utilizing Wespay's resources to enhance her expertise in treasury management. This firsthand experience as a member equipped her with a deep understanding of member needs, which now translates into her work at Wespay, where she champions member engagement and delivers exceptional experiences.
    Tune in as we discuss how listening to members, leveraging their feedback, and maintaining a commitment to continuous improvement are crucial to creating a service that meets and exceeds expectations to building a thriving membership service.
    Membership-as-a-Service Is All About the Experience
    Jennifer joined Wespay after working for Umpqua Bank as a regional sales manager. She credits her strong background and experience in treasury management and product marketing at smaller financial institutions for paving the way to her current role at Wespay, whose membership-as-a-service is its product. This also enabled a smooth transition into her new role.
    Jennifer says Wespay stands out from other payments associations because it provides comprehensive support to its members, including banks and credit unions, for education, audits, and risk assessments. She explains that in membership-as-a-service, the membership itself is the product. Unlike traditional product sales, where the relationship transitions from a transaction to customer service, membership-as-a-service begins and continues as a service relationship in perpetuity.
    This is achieved by providing members the ongoing resources, support, and experiences that empower them to achieve their goals.
    Immediate Support Creates Exceptional Customer Experiences
    In the pursuit of delivering unparalleled customer experiences, Wespay has innovated a unique touchpoint for its members: the payments hotline. A source of pride for the organization, this service epitomizes Wespay's dedication to offering timely and expert support, ensuring that members have access to the assistance they need when they need it.
    The payments hotline is designed with intentionality at its core, serving as a direct line for members to engage with Wespay's team of subject matter experts. Whether the inquiry involves automated clearing house (ACH), check processing, risk management, faster payments, or fraud prevention, the hotline ensures that members can obtain insights and resolutions without delay.
    Wespay's team members are deeply versed in the nuances of payment systems and the myriad challenges that financial institutions may encounter. This expertise ensures that the guidance provided is also tailored to address the specific needs and contexts of each member. By offering a mix of traditional and digital communication channels—phone calls, emails, and chat—Wespay caters to the diverse preferences of its members, ensuring ease of access to its support services.
    Wespay's Commitment to Empowerment Through Education
    At the heart of Wespay's mission is a commitment to education, a cornerstone that Jennifer, with her extensive experience both as a member and a leader within the organization, holds in high regard. Her experiences and reflections highlight the benefits of this fo

    • 24 min
    Empowering Employees for CX Excellence Through Organizational Development

    Empowering Employees for CX Excellence Through Organizational Development

     Welcome to the latest episode of iQor’s CX Labs Digitally Irresistible podcast where we delve into the world of organizational development with Mark Monaghan, vice president of organizational development at iQor. Mark shares insights on the components of organizational development, as well as heartwarming examples of employees whose careers have been positively impacted by iQor’s leadership training and development programs. 

    Investing in employee growth and development through training and mentoring transforms the employee experience, driving a rewarding workplace culture, ongoing employee career growth, and excellent customer experiences. 

    Tune in to learn how iQor elevates employee training and mentoring to improve performance and customer satisfaction by cultivating the next generation of leaders to create smile-worthy CX. 

    Career Advancement Through Organizational Development  

    Mark Monaghan’s career in human resources began about 25 years ago as chief HR officer for another company. He joined iQor about 12 years ago as vice president of corporate training, working with his team to help develop frontline leaders through initiatives such as iQor’s PeaQ Performance Qoaching and sQholars programs. When the department evolved into the Global Learning and Development Department a few years ago, Mark became vice president of organizational development with a focus on career pathing and learning to boost performance and leadership opportunities for iQor’s global workforce. He and his team spearheaded more coaching and mentoring opportunities for future leaders through additional learning initiatives such as the iLead Program with a leadership competency model focused on tasks and responsibilities connected to individual roles.  

    The Building Blocks of Development 

    The heart of iQor's organizational development strategy lies in its leadership competency model, which categorizes employees based on their leadership roles and provides specific competencies aligned to each level, from leading oneself to leading a team to leading a department to leading a vision. Each category has five Lominger Competencies aligned to it. For instance, leading a team involves developing direct reports as one of the competencies. The organizational development department has mapped learning to each competency. 

    This model forms the backbone of various programs and workshops orchestrated to support employee growth and development. One of the flagship initiatives is the sQholars Program, which aims to groom entry-level employees for higher leadership roles within iQor. 

    This program has been instrumental in nurturing talent like Cheyenne, a success story from the financial services vertical. Starting as a sQholar in 2019, Cheyenne progressed from agent to assistant manager in the operations department by embracing iQor’s servant leadership model. 

    Another successful financial services sQholar is Michelle, who strengthened her communications and coaching skills to become an assistant manager in operations thanks to the guidance and support she received.  

    Another notable initiative, the LevelUp Program, prepares supervisors for higher managerial positions and equips them with skills and competencies to thrive in leadership roles.  

    Interactive LevelUp training sessions empower employees to engage effectively and learn proactively. LevelUp participant Jovi's promotion to assistant manager stands as a testament to the department's commitment to nurturing internal talent and preparing them for leadership roles.  

    The PeaQ Performance Qoaching Workshop focuses on empowering supervisors to identify critical behaviors and coach their teams effectively, contributing to overall performance improvement. These programs, along with others like learning compliance and employee evaluation support, are all part of the larger global learning department and reflect i

    • 10 min
    Elevating Training for Agents With Active Learning

    Elevating Training for Agents With Active Learning

    iQor's Active Learning Approach in Business Process Outsourcing Creates Irresistible Employee and Customer Experiences
    On this episode of iQor’s CX Labs Digitally Irresistible podcast, iQor Senior Manager of the Active Learning Classroom Tarisse Grant-Shelton explores the evolution of training and development at iQor, a business process outsourcing (BPO) company with more than 25 years of experience in customer service. She delves into training best practices that impact the onboarding of frontline employees and the positive results clients enjoy with active learning. Get ready to discover firsthand how iQor is revolutionizing training practices to deliver top-notch customer experiences.
    iQor's active learning approach engages employees in the learning process through experiential and differentiated learning methodologies, instilling confidence and competence for performance excellence.
    Read on to learn more about how iQor elevates employee training  through active learning that improves performance and customer satisfaction in a CX landscape that creates smiles.
    The Evolution of Training at iQor
    iQor has redefined its training processes in business process outsourcing CX from traditional, passive learning to active learning that enables trainers to adopt a facilitative role and empower frontline employees with a structured approach to practice their new skills in a safe learning environment. Active learning research shows that individuals who take charge of their learning tend to understand and retain knowledge better, demonstrating higher proficiency when transitioning to service delivery roles.
    For the past two decades, Tarisse has played an integral role in this evolution, working in every facet of training at iQor. This experience has prepared her for her current role helping trainers become the best versions of themselves.
    She supports trainers with the knowledge they need to succeed in active learning classroom environments, blending experiential and differentiated learning to prepare agents with the confidence and skills they need to provide exceptional customer service. She also helps trainers develop surveys, boost Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and master coaching and development techniques.
    The 3-Part Active Learning Workshop for Trainers
    iQor's active learning workshop plays a pivotal role in transforming the training experience for frontline employees by equipping trainers with the skills they need to excel as facilitators. The workshop consists of a primer, three-day workshop, and practicum.
    Part 1: The Primer
    The primer allows trainers to work offline to grasp active learning concepts and foundational knowledge before the workshop begins, optimizing their time in the classroom for interactive discussions and activities.
    Part 2: The 3-Day Workshop
    During the three-day workshop, facilitators create a dynamic environment where the trainers learn from each other and engage in practical scenarios. Trainees receive ongoing coaching (from facilitators and their peers) personalized to their needs throughout each experience to further their development. The scenarios are recorded so trainees can view themselves on camera to self-identify areas for improvement as well. The workshop is a safe place for trainees to test their newly acquired skills and learn from their mistakes.
    Part 3: The Practicum
    The practicum phase is a practical application of the learned skills, ensuring that the knowledge gained is promptly applied in real-world scenarios, thus preventing the information from going into "cold storage." The practicum lasts about 6-12 weeks, enabling trainees to practice their knowledge in the field and build an extensive portfolio and an in-depth understanding of best practices, ultimately leading to their certification as active learning trainers.
    Check out Tarisse in Episode 2 of our Digitally Irresis

    • 7 min
    Navigating the Future of CX With AI and Employee Engagement

    Navigating the Future of CX With AI and Employee Engagement

    In this special edition of iQor’s Digitally Irresistible podcast, guest host Maribel De Leon chats with customer service expert and best-selling author Shep Hyken, chief amazement officer at Shepherd Presentations. Through his deep understanding of customer behavior and customer service, Shep shares his observations on artificial intelligence (AI), employee engagement, social media, and the dynamics of customer expectations.  

    Join us as we explore ways brands can navigate the changing customer service and employee landscape in the age of AI.  

    AI Evolution in Customer Experience  

    The growth of AI in CX has reshaped customer interaction channels, emphasizing a shift from purely traditional communication methods like voice to omnichannel digital interfaces, including chatbots and AI-powered self-service options. While AI has advanced significantly over the years, with generative AI and conversational AI boosting customer engagement, customers still prefer human interactions.  

    According to Shep’s surveys, customer service by phone is still consumers’ Number One preference. Last year 69% of survey respondents preferred voice over self-service; this year that figure is up to 70%. Despite this trend, Shep forecasts that more customers will adopt AI and the self-service experience over the next two years as continued improvements make them more indistinguishable from voice. 

    This overwhelming preference for voice, however, demands a balanced approach that provides customers a choice between AI-driven experiences and human support – integrating AI to complement, not replace, human interactions in CX. Giving customers the option of using one channel or both, depending on their needs or the stage of their journey, contributes to exceptional CX and brand loyalty.  

    AI and the Employee Experience 

    AI can also elevate the employee experience for frontline customer service agents. Seamless and intuitive access to information that supports empathetic, human-centric interactions elevates their performance for improved employee and customer experiences.   

    As Shep explains, the synergy between AI and human agents reflects a pivotal transformation in the CX landscape, focusing on efficient resolutions and holistic customer care. Additionally, harnessing AI in training, coaching, and prompt-response systems accelerates data-driven personalized assistance for agents to elevate their performance. 

    iQor’s Symphony [AI]™ ecosystem supports exceptional employee experiences by seamlessly blending automation and human capabilities. Spanning talent acquisition, training and development, and performance excellence and compliance, iQor applies AI to help nurture a highly efficient and effective workforce. 

    Changing Mindsets and Opportunities  

    Shep emphasizes the importance of recognizing the return on investment CX technologies offer, valuing customer experience as a competitive differentiator. Discerning customers expect more personalized customer service and compare their experiences to the best service they’ve encountered, irrespective of the industry.  

    Shep recommends analyzing the service offerings from iconic brands, learning what they're doing that’s amazing, and incorporating it into what you do for your customers to create a better experience. In the words of Bonnie Raitt’s song, give them “something to talk about.” 

    “Customers are getting smarter every day – we need to learn from them and have them talk to us in a positive way.” – Shep Hyken  

    With social media serving as a “spectator sport” displaying both positive and negative customer feedback for all to see, brands must actively monitor and engage with customers on social platforms and address their comments either publicly when positive or privately when negative. 

    Shep finds that customers often turn to social media as a last resort, particularly when othe

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

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d_oshaughnessy ,

Great Episode!

Loved the Simple Customer Experiences Ae Winning Experiences Episode!
Great episode encouraging speaking infront of people.

howardtnyc ,

Quick and practical insights

Bernie is well-versed in gathering quick and hard-hitting ​insights from his incredible guests. This makes each episode even more engaging and genuine. This is incredible for anyone who wants their customers to keep coming back for more!

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