Tom Dewitt - customer experience & higher learning
CX Decoded Podcast
February 7, 2023

CX Decoded Podcast Episode 10: Tom DeWitt on Team-Based CX Learning

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, a Swiss educational reformer, is widely regarded as the father of modern education. Despite his relative obscurity today, Pestalozzi made major contributions to the field of education in the 19th century, pioneering new methods that were a stark departure from traditional European schools of the time. 

Pestalozzi emphasized real-world learning experiences and a student-centered approach to education, rejecting rote memorization in favor of group recitation and personalized instruction that highlighted each student's strengths. He believed that the role of the instructor was to facilitate and guide learning, rather than simply imparting information.

One notable student who benefited from Pestalozzi's approach: Albert Einstein. At the age of 17, Einstein attended a school in Germany based on Pestalozzi's philosophy, where he was encouraged to use imaginative visualization in his studies. This approach proved to be a defining moment for Einstein, and would later play a significant role in his groundbreaking work as a physicist. The right kind of education can make all the difference. And we now know a lot more about our universe in part due to Pestalozzi's influence.

Continuing this tradition of innovative education is Tom DeWitt, the director of the Customer Experience Management program at Michigan State University. DeWitt, our CX Decoded guest this week, leads a team-based real-world learning approach, fostering an environment of equality, inclusiveness and encouragement to explore. He acts as a guide to students from all walks of life, helping them to fully grasp the complexities of customer experience.

Episode Transcript

This Interview's Key Takeaways:

  • A Team-Based Approach. The [email protected] provides a comprehensive education in customer experience management through its combination of conferences, workshops and master's degree program. The program is geared toward working professionals, adopting a team-based learning approach to facilitate hands-on experience and peer-to-peer engagement.
  • Challenge and Engage. The program emphasizes active learning through discussion, reflection and collaboration among peers, instructors and company representatives, leading to immediate practical application in the workplace. It aims to challenge and engage students, regardless of their previous experience, fostering growth through the exchange of ideas and perspectives.
  • Developing Future CX Leaders. The program focuses on developing future CX leaders with both technical and soft skills, addressing the common failure of CX initiatives due to lack of leadership alignment and employee engagement. The learning approach is based on the flipped classroom model, with pre-class readings and assessments, interactive class discussions and team-based case studies.

Dom Nicastro: Hello, everybody, and welcome to CX Decoded podcast. My name is Dominic Nicastro, managing editor at CMSWire. And I am here with my colleague and co-host, Michelle Hawley, senior site editor for CMSWire Simpler Media Group is the parent company. Hey, Michelle, how's it going?

Michelle Hawley: Hey, Dom, it's going good. I'm happy to be here. How are you? 

Dom: Good, good. Getting rolling here. This is technically our first recording in the podcast of 2023. So I'm psyched here. And especially with the guest we have because this is someone who's done CX and is teaching CX. So there’s lot to cover here. We're going to have Tom Dewitt on the line here. He's the director of [email protected], and a fixed term faculty member in the Department of Marketing at the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. MSU. Baby, how's it going, Tom?  

Dom: Go Green.

Tom Dewitt: Go green, go white, really, really proud to be here at MSU and doing the work that we're doing. And thanks for having me today.

Tom's Journey to CX Expertise and Passion for Traveling

Michelle: So Tom, before we get into our subject today, which is your CXM educational program at Michigan State, we wanted to get to know you a little bit better. So can you tell us a little bit about your background in the world of CX and outside of that? And can you tell us one nonworking related fun fact about you? 

Tom: My work in CX like so many other people started at a young age when I started serving customers as a busboy and then a grill cook at the age of 14, when I realized my actions could impact people in a positive way. And and I was able to sense that I was smitten so early in my career, I got into hospitality management. I have a culinary degree, I have a bachelor's degree in hospitality management from Michigan State. 

But while doing work in Singapore in the mid 90s, I did my MBA. And it's there that I learned about service quality management and consumer psychology. And I was so excited by these frameworks that helped me to better understand things from both the consumer and the employees’ perspective. And I was encouraged then to get my Ph.D., which I did at Florida State University and services marketing, eventually made my way to Hawaii, where I spent 11 years there on the faculty and created a small practice. It was called brand experience management. 

This was before CX I think officially was a thing. To be quite honest, I had never heard of CX until I moved back to the mainland approximately four-and-a half-years ago. And that's when I was given the opportunity within the marketing department to lead an initiative around CX of my own design, which we'll get into more detail. The fun fact about me is, I love to travel. When I was in the undergraduate program here at Michigan State, I met my wife who was from Singapore. And that relationship opened my eyes up to Asia and the rest of the world. 

My first job out of undergraduate program was at a university in China, where my wife and I were the first full-time foreign hospitality management instructors in China. So I've got that it's not my resume that way, but that's what we were. But you know, to see the world, I saw my first view of Asia was in Singapore, which is very multicultural — the different languages and sights and smells. So I'm addicted to travel. I've traveled to over 40 countries, I've lived in four other countries besides the US and Hawaii. When I'm not working, I'm traveling. So that's a little bit about me, that's gotten me where I am today.

Related Article: Top 5 Customer Experience Courses and Certifications

Exploring Global Customer Experience: Cultural Norms and Differences in Customer Service Across the World

Michelle: Seeing as you're a world traveler than Tom, I'm kind of curious, do you have any quick takes on global CX and how it differs from country to country? 

Tom: Well, I mean, even if you think about different customer service models, and if you boil it down to human behavior, it's very different even across Asia. I've spent a considerable amount of time in Korea — 10 years working there in the summer in a program at a university where service is often very cold and abrupt — and other parts of Asia like Hong Kong and Singapore, the focus is on speed. The server may not even make eye contact with you. But there are pockets like Singapore when I lived there in the mid-90s. The government recognized the importance of good customer service to the tourist industry. So they used run these smile campaigns and or even smiley badges that people would wear, to try to entice retailers to be nicer to people. It wasn't working really well. 

So what the government then did was they invested in understanding customer experience management. And they started by improving government offices and the quality of service there, I can remember, one of my last visits to a government office, it was to cash out my government savings fund. And at the end of the encounter, they pushed a single page survey across to us to evaluate the encounter. And that really struck me. And now, I think, because of that initiative, Singapore has grown leaps and bounds in the level of their customer services, not just efficiency, but also the quality of the interactions. 

And the reality is a lot of that is related to cultural norms. Because if you go into other countries in Southeast Asia, like Indonesia, and Malaysia, Thailand, even Vietnam, the service is much warmer, because it's a reflection of the culture. I think a lot of people hold Japan is kind of a combination of the both, where it may not be natural, but it's scripted. When you go into retail, where they're they're very attentive, they're great at anticipating customer needs, I think it's more part of systematic approach to understanding and anticipating customer needs and delivering on it. 

So I think the reality is globally, it's kind of this mix that is oftentimes tied to the cultural background and the norms of behavior. And then there's these different initiatives like Singapore to formalize it because they recognize the value for it. And that's just Singapore, let alone all the other countries in the world I've been to bottom. 

It is interesting note the differences. And, to me, it's always fascinating to see the cultural norms and the norms of behavior, and how do you adapt to that or change it. I can remember my brother-in-law from Singapore, his first trip to the US, and he went through a cash register at a supermarket and got to the cash register. And the cashier asked, so how are you today? You know, which we do in the US, right? Whether we really mean or not, that's kind of a greeting for us. He was so taken aback that the cashier invaded his privacy, his space by asking such a personal question. But for us as Americans, it's it's a natural greeting. 

Asians and Chinese specifically have a greeting, they ask you, “ni chi mifanle ma,” have you eat your rice yet? Again, it's similar to the US and that it's, it's kind of a reflection of our care for that person, right, you know, we care enough to ask, but for Americans, it'd be have I eaten yet, you know, what do you mean? But so, these subtle differences across cultures, you know, and the meaning behind it, it is just it's so fascinating. But now imagine a global company, and how do, you know, how do you harness that?

MSU’s Newly Launched Master's Degree in Customer Experience Management with Global Approach 

Dom: But Tom, bringing that home and segue into the program, the CXM at MSU, you know, the educational program that you lead at that university? Do you infuse global customer experience management into your curriculum? Or are we thinking this is at 100%? US based CX lessons?

Tom: I think that's a great question. So to clarify, CXM at MSU is kind of this overarching entity, and we deliver conferences, both online and offline. We deliver workshops, the master's degree, MSU CXM the master's degree in customer experience management, recently launched, and in August, it's delivered completely online. It's 15, five-week courses, over 20 months, targets, working professionals, and a great deal of the curriculum is designed for the participants in the program to learn about principles, but reflecting back on their own organization and their practices. 

We also adopt a team based learning approach and our synchronous class sessions. So students learn from each other. But to your point about, you know, the idea behind a global approach, it's challenging for a couple of reasons. One of the things that — our goal is to get students in the program from a broad range of backgrounds and different perspectives — including global perspectives. The challenge becomes the tuition model in different parts of the world. 

Certainly in developing countries. We've gotten considerable interest from across Africa from India, but the tuition is too high. Similarly, in Europe, most master's degree programs or university programs are subsidized by the government there. So the tuition kind of prevents its students. But at the same time, you know, we do engage with companies that have a global presence or part of our our corporate collaborative. And we do draw on case studies from those organizations that are embedded in the course, with an attempt to get case studies from very different backgrounds, whether it's in South America Europe, or Asia or otherwise. 

So right now, the majority, if not all, the interest and applications from the program are coming from the US. But we want that to grow, even if we have to develop a model for delivery to Asia, which is 12-to-13 hours away from us and Michigan. And I think the reality is still when you think about the development of the field, what countries would you point to as leaders in CX, even if you look at Asia, if you do a search on LinkedIn, and you search country, by country, for people that work in the field, you're gonna find that it's limited to just a few countries. 

We actually do have a partnership with one organization, an Australian market culture, we do use a case study from them. But we're working on getting more and more as we develop our courses. And this is one of these incidents, you know, when you're talking about a degree program at a university, you're not allowed to do anything until the degree has been approved. 

So the master's degree took a year and a half to get all approvals. It was approved in May of 2022. And within three months, we recruited 18 students and hired faculty. But we're still in the process of developing courses. We work with an outside vendor RNL on course design, it takes three to four months to deliver the design of a single course. It's like you're building the shipyard while you're building the ship. But that's been fun. We have three intakes a year in late August and January and in May, and we just started our second cohort in January. So we, we have two cohorts of 18 students, which has worked out really well. And now we're recruiting for May.

Related Article: What Does a 'Good' Customer Experience Really Involve?

Future CX Leaders Need Both Technical and Soft Skills for Successful CX Initiatives

Dom: That's great to hear, you know, Thomas, CMSWire, our readership, or you know, VPs of customer experience, our chief customer officers, they’re worried about customer data management, they're worried about employee experience, you know, empowering their call center agents. What are the skills you think that future CX leaders like that should be equipped with? And of course, your program is one of the ways they can do that. But in general, what skills should they be equipped with heading out into the real world as CX leaders is kind of a two-part question, and what's the split between technical skills and those soft skills?

Tom: That's a good question. You know, when we put the curriculum together for the degree, there's 15 courses, we had to look at a variety of the things. We had to look at why do CX initiatives fail? You know, if over 90% of organizations view CX as a strategic imperative, yet fewer than 25% of CX initiatives succeed? Why do they fail? It's not from a lack of technical skills, they have the data gathering skills, they have the design skills. But it's how do you integrate CX into your organization's operating strategies? How do you integrate it into your organization's goals? How do you achieve a consensus in the C-suite on the role of CX and getting to the people part. 

One of the biggest reasons CX initiatives fail is due to a lack of leadership alignment, which I've already kind of touched on, but also from a lack of employee engagement. So to what extent are people recruited for organizational mission, vision and values? To what extent are they indoctrinated and reinforced in those and to what extent are they motivated to perform in their role and feel like they're being developed? And to what extent are their personal values and objectives aligned with those of the organization? If those are truly customer-centric? 

So to answer your question, I think you’ve got to have both, right? They're both equally important, because there are tons of organizations out there that have customer personas, they've got journey maps, they've got all these things, but there's not an understanding of what to do with them or to reinforce across the organization, why the organization is focused on customer experience management.

The Gap in Customer Experience Management: Understanding the Need for Technical and Organizational Skills

Dom: I'm always curious what people are learning before they go into jobs? You know, like, is there a part of the course that's like, hey, this is a customer data platform. And this is how you use it like you'll literally be inside one of the customer data platforms, you'll literally be inside a customer experience management platform, CX analytics, social media management, that kind of thing. I'm always wondering that split between how technically savvy do these students have to be, and how good that looks, you know, when they're going to apply for a job?

Tom: Yeah. Well, I think the reality is, you know, the motivation behind the degree was to fill the gaps — even if you look at people in leadership roles, and CX, go look at their LinkedIn profile, where did they come from? What did they do, you'll see huge gaps here. They've come from advertising or supply chain management, and they served a role on sales or whatever, all of a sudden, they're thrust on the role of CX. 

To me, that's the biggest issue. It's not the technology. And frankly, most technology platforms are pretty user friendly. They're pretty easy to understand. And it doesn't take long for people to learn how to use those. The question is, do they know why they're using them? Like if we talk about creating a data dashboard for a particular audience within an organization? Do you understand why they need that information? And what information they need? Do you know how to communicate it in a way that they're going to understand?

I mean, all the data out there shows the more you share customer data with employees across the organization, the more engaged they are in their role, the higher level satisfaction and the better service that they deliver. But if you evaluate organizations, you'll find most fail in that regard. So it's not the technology or the platforms. We're awash in those right? Every company has it Qualtrics, Medallia all of them have it, they bought it all up, right. 

But when companies are being sold these platforms, are they set up to succeed? Do they understand why they're using them? Do they have the people in place that know how to use them in a way that's going to benefit the organization? So a good example would be the one that I gave you, the internal politics might prevent it, you might have people and the leadership that go, why are we sharing this with everyone in the organization, that information should only be consumed by people at midmanagement, upper management who need to make decisions. It's a, it's a power grab, or it might be a certain department in an organization that wants to hoard the information, right? That's our job. And then they trim stuff out to make the organization look good. So what you'll notice in our degree program is not just a focus on the skills, it's an equal focus on the organization. 

The first two courses are focused on the organization. The first course is the customer-centric organization. What does that look like, act like and feel like? And why is customer experience management a natural extension of that, rather than doing what most organizations do, they run out, they get the technology, they plug it in, it's like, okay, let's let her rip, just like they did with CRM, 15 and 20 years ago, and they fail miserably. 

Our second course, is on organizational change management. It's focused on helping organizations in a systematic way to move toward being a customer-centric organization. And then I think we have four or five courses that are focused on understanding the customer and employee, and that's where some of those tools come in. But again, tools are only valuable, if you know why you're using it. Right? What questions are you trying to answer? And what are you trying to accomplish with the technology, It's not the technology that's driving the change or the implementation, it's the culture and the people behind that are. It's also learning the principles of analyzing the data in a meaningful way. So our students learn empathy mapping, jobs to be done, service, blueprinting, root cause analysis, Six Sigma, all of the, the tools necessary, because the technology is gonna help to facilitate that and help people to adapt to it. But it's understanding the role and when to use it. And, to your point, social media and other measurement tools are really there to help inform us of how well we're delivering on the designed experience. 

When I talk to people, I’ll meet someone, VP of Customer experience, I go, wow, that's cool. And the first question I usually ask is, What does CX look like at your organization, I come to find out. They're basically the head of the call center, where everybody goes when they've got a problem. So really, they're not practicing customer experience mangagement. They're practicing reacting to failed customer experiences. So there's a lot of data gathering going on there, too, isn't there — at least there should be — but it's not part of a broader strategy and integration within the business.

Related Article: How to Deliver a Customer-Centric Digital Customer Experience

Revolutionizing CX Education: Team-Based Learning in Action

Michelle: So Tom, you've told us a little bit about what is being taught in the program, but I'm curious about how it's being taught. We know you like team-based learning. So I'm curious about the style of learning used in the program, you know, how do CX pros best learn? And are they taking what they're learning in the program and applying that to their organizations,

Tom: They're doing it from day one. Team-based learning is based on the flipped classroom, I came up through a system lecture based, quite honestly, and I got my degree here at Michigan State. And when I reflect on it, it was really a poor form of learning. It's very passive. Studies have shown, oh, you only remember 20 to 25% of what you hear. And you remember the most when you teach — about 90%. Then you remember. A lecture-based model, you listen to the lecture, they give you the homework, you go home alone, do your homework, right, without any support, any interaction, coaching from anybody. 

So team-based learning is based on a model where, before you come to class, you watch videos, if someone feels the need to quote unquote, lecture, which I haven't done in 20 years, you create a short table that there are readings that students complete before they come to class. And then they're assessed on it. All students take a 10-question multiple choice on the materials they evaluated before they came to class. For every class session in our major, there's five in each course, they do an individual assignment, often a reflective exercise on their organization on themselves, that they bring to class. A typical class period, the first 20 minutes are focused on students discussing articles outside the readings that they've identified from blogs and otherwise and posted on Packback, an application that we use. 

And every week, students have to post an article, summarize it and post a question to the class that has to come from topics and the readings that we have, but from a different source. And then they have to respond to two of those, and also bring another source to do it. They end up looking at five different articles in addition to the readings. So we'll spend the first 20 minutes just talking about two of those articles and the responses to it. In the chatroom. While we're talking to chat rooms going crazy. I experienced that this week with the second cohort. And then after that, that reflective exercise I talked about. We put students, we pair them up with each other to compare the results from their other companies, what were your scores and why were they, and what were the conditions of the company that caused those scores. 

And while they're talking to their partner, and these breakout rooms on Zoom, they're recording the responses on a jam board, which we share when they come back 10 minutes later. And I call on the teams to share out their results. So you're already seeing the learning between each other. And then we take a short break. And when they come back, we have a case study that's provided by one of our corporate partners. It's introduced by a representative from the organization. And we apply a set of questions from the readings to that case study, which students work on in breakouts in Zoom for a half an hour. All their answers are going into a shared Google Doc, where we can see the responses of five teams to each question. And then we pull them back after half an hour. And we talk about their responses. And they're getting feedback and questions both from the instructor and the company representative. 

And what's interesting about these cohorts, 18 students, on one end we have students with absolutely no CX experience at all. One of my favorites, we have a member of the women's basketball team who is a graduate transfer that's in one class. And then on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have a senior vice president of strategy in a healthcare system. And we've got several VPs of CX right now in the program. And we’ve got everything in between. 

And it's this discussion with each other, even these articles and seeing the articles that people they're pulling in, that's driving their learning. And that's what we hear about from them. They love their classmates, they love the learning environment. And then what we also hear is that things they are learning, they're immediately putting into implementation in their workplace the next day. They're not waiting 20 months, they’re not waiting until the course is done. In fact, what we heard the first go around with the first cohort. And you know, we have consultants from Medallia. We have senior vice presidents. They said from day one, they came in thinking they knew it all. And this is what they said, not me. 

But from day one. They were learning things they hadn't heard about. And they were so excited by that, and they're also learning from each other. If you go on LinkedIn, you'll see our students posting about what's going on in class, in fact, I saw one this week. Someone was reposting one of those articles that they saw other classmates had brought into class and talking about how they're learning. So that's how it's happening. You know, and there are people out there and I've had, several applicants have backed out because they go, oh, this isn't a self-paced asynchronous degree that I can do on my own. 

I said, nope, it's not. First of all, I don't know everything. The instructor doesn't know everything. But the reality is you can learn so much from other people. And that's what team-based learning is about — introducing people to multiple sources — you can learn so much from your classmates, why would you want to deprive yourself of that? That's not to mention the WhatsApp group that they created, and everything that's going on in there. So every cohort has a WhatsApp group, every five weeks as students rotate into a new team, so they're working with two to three other people they hadn't worked with before. And they love that as well. 

For every course we have a team identification exercise. So what we do is part of the application process, students create a persona for themselves, we create a massive slide deck that we share with them. And each team has to come up with an identity that reflects their team members in themselves. The first course, it was an animal, so I had golden retrievers. I had honeybees. Second course was a city, what city reflects your collective identity. I think the third was a rock band or a band. The fourth is a food dish or prepared food dish, but it's this working with each other. And I think that all carries over into the workplace to I think it makes them realize the importance of cultivating those relationships in their own workplaces as well.

A Career in Customer Experience: No Consistent Pattern in Backgrounds, but a Love for Engaging with Customers

Dom: Yeah, Tom, when you were talking about the type of students that come in, that fascinated me, because, we at CMSWire, do a lot of persona interviews. And one of the questions I always ask these CX leaders, these marketing leaders is, where did you come from? Because there's no natural, like, progression there. Like if you want to go to law school, you're probably going to become a lawyer, right? For those folks that are coming in as inexperienced CX people, what is their undergrad course? Is there a theme, that's a pattern that's emerging?

Tom: It doesn’t matter, go ahead and LinkedIn and look at the people that are working. Now, there's not really a consistent pattern there, either people are from all over, I'll be honest, you know, I think like you and like everybody else, I came in thinking there's going to be this type of person. I figured it's people midway through their career, they're looking to broaden their skill set, they want to elevate into leadership role. And maybe we get a few of these VPs in there as well, that really wanted to legitimize their role. But what I didn't anticipate is people from a broad range of careers with no CX background that would be interested in it. Dom, the one common theme I do see is they work in a role where they engage with customers, and they love it, the role doesn't really matter that much. 

We have people that are working in retail, while we have student last semester was assistant director of the MBA program at Michigan State. This semester, we have a student from Michigan State that works in student housing. So there's really no rhyme or reason. But the common thread, Dom, you know, kind of like where I came from, and a lot of you came from, we started out by serving customers, and we enjoyed it. And I think along the way, we wanted to understand it more, right, and we wanted to make a career out of it. And I'm seeing that as some of our students, we also have a lot of students that presently serve in a CX role. They fit that typology I thought we would capture a lot of so we're getting those people that are working in CX in some way, shape or form like we have in CX specialist, or journey managers from allied financial. 

We have people from the healthcare industry that are working in patient experience. And then we do have the VPs. I think we have three VPs in this cohort out of 18. The major doesn't matter whether it's history or business, nonbusiness, it really doesn't matter. I think the reality is, they've ascended into a role in CX somehow, or they work in a setting where they regularly interact with customers, and they just want to do a better job. 

You know, the reality is to listeners out there is if you aspire to a career in CX, whether you're in it or not, you want to elevate into a leadership role where you have a broad set of skills, then this degree’s for you. And the opportunity to learn from people from different backgrounds and different skill levels is exciting. Our students love it. I was fortunate enough. We waived the registration fees to our last conference. It was our first in person conference post COVID and 10 of 18 students came to the conference to be together, and they are in the midst of their second course. So it's been like six, seven weeks, and they're already referring to their cohort as a family. So pretty cool stuff. 

CX Leaders Must Balance AI Technology with Personal Interaction

Michelle: So one final question here, Thomas. We're kind of running out of time here. So I don't think that any of us can escape the AI advancements that we're reading about recently, you know, ChatGPT has just been all over the headlines. Is there any advice that you can give to CX leaders about these AI tools? You know, do they have to adjust their CX management programs to adapt to these new exploding technologies?

Dom: They don't need to attend any more classwork is my take, they just need to ask ChatGPT how to run a CX program? It tells you in two seconds? 

Tom: Well, you know, I think, in fact, I was talking about this my undergraduate course yesterday, we have a little discussion around AI technology, the kind that you're talking about, I think the reality is, you need to be in tune with how customers want to interact with your organization and engage with the organization, and also the different context in which they want a different medium, right. 

Like, in general, if we're there to complain, and get feedback, we probably don't want to directly talk to somebody over the phone or visually, but we want to be able to talk to a human being, it's not as some automated response. And there are also certain conditions when we want to see a human being and we and we want to see their face, and we want to be able to talk to him about it. I think one of the limitations of a lot of the AI technology chat features is that they are somewhat robotic at times, and they don't answer the customers’ questions, which just infuriates people. 

So I think the reality is, you need to have some option where they can interact with a person, whether it's through a live chat or a video chat, where they feel like there's someone there who's listening and understands the problem and can provide a unique response that matches their problem. I mean, if we all start just thinking like customers, and how we like to interact with organizations, I think we can all attest to that, right? Am I simply there to get information? Am I there to complain? Am I there to get a more in depth response to a question or interaction. So I think the lesson to be learned is being able to provide a suite of ways in which customers can interact. 

Like if I think about my own credit union, they have this little feature on their website called Ask Fran. And I can either chat with someone or I can get an immediate virtual interaction with a human being or I see their face in like a Zoom session where I can talk to him about it. And I think that's on people's mood state, the situation. And if you look at age differences in the ability of people of different age levels to engage through technology, my own father doesn't know the difference between WhatsApp and email. 

Whenever I talk to him, he said, did you get my email? And I go, What do you mean? No, I didn't get an email, it was a WhatsApp message. And also, don't be naive enough to think that your technology is driving the change. Your technology is making human beings change. You have to adapt your technology to the needs of the marketplace. And you need to understand the differences across age groups and cultures and different contexts

Dom: Tom, so much to digest here. I've long at CMSWire wanted to know what is going on in undergrad and graduate programs with CX and marketing folks, and we really appreciate you giving us this up-to-date, unique program content and what goes on there. It's a super help, but I think our CX leaders are gonna love it. It's a good listen, I did want to give you just one chance to tell our listeners where to follow you for thought leadership. Most people say LinkedIn, I'm guessing that's a good place. But if you have a personal blog to or something you want to plug, go ahead.

Tom: Yeah, just find me on LinkedIn, Tom Dewtt with Michigan State University, easy to find, did run my own podcast for quite some time with Bob, the Tom and Bob Show. It's been a while; I've got to get back into it. I've been very busy with a master's degree. But I look forward to talking to more of your listeners one-on-one about the program, and how it might fit into their organization's personal and professional development needs.

Dom: All right, well, thanks, Tom. And thank you, Michelle for another edition of CX Decoded. Really appreciate your thoughts on this topic today.

Michelle: Yeah, thanks for coming here, Tom.

Dom: Thanks for having me. That was fun.

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