Quick 6 With Steve Furman, Discover Financial

In this feature on the Customer Experience Matters blog, we ask 6 questions of different customer experience leaders.

  • Name: Steve A Furman (blog: Expedient MEANS)
  • Title: Director: E-Business Customer Experience Design & Social Media
  • Company: Discover Financial Services
  • Length of time on the job: 11 years
  • Previous position: Founder of Expedient MEANS, independent, interactive marketing firm

1) What do you most like about your role?

There is increasing focus on the customer experience inside our firm. As someone who works daily in this realm, it’s gratifying to see this transformation. Others are beginning to seek out assistance from myself and team members related to customer experience as they design products and go to market with digital campaigns.

2) What are you most proud of accomplishing?

No one thing. Instead I’d say it is a series of efforts stitched together over the last 11 years, evolving discover.com from a simple read only site to the interactive experience, including mobile and social, it is today. We are proud of our digital platform that was built expressly to offer a great customer experience with the capability of positively impacting business outcomes.

3) What has been the most surprising challenge?

Underestimating what it would take to shift the inertia from marketing via paper and servicing via phone to performing these functions in digital channels.

4) What initiatives are you currently most excited about?

We have worked hard to connect the E-Business and Customer Service teams on several levels. We are wrapping up an exciting project of re-engineering our Help Center with dynamic content and the ability for the field to publish as they see what’s coming into the call center. This was fueled by an analysis of data not previously looked at. New metrics are always energizing.

5) How would you describe where your company is on its customer experience journey?

We are moving into a phase of high activity and focus cross-functionally across the organization. Using the Passive, Willing, Engaged framework, I’d say we are entering the engaged phase with a bullet.

6) What advice do you have for someone who is about to take on a similar role?

Read the book, “The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels” and follow that advice. And, network as much as your time will allow both inside and outside your company.

Extra credit question: What would people be surprised to find out about you?

That I’m old.

(Editorial note: No he’s not!)

About Bruce Temkin
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

One Response to Quick 6 With Steve Furman, Discover Financial

  1. Very glad you have this! Steve is one of the smartest internet people I have ever met. I was fortunate to work for him for some years at Discover and learned a great deal re: Customer Experience and its importance to the organization. I am trying to implement many of those same concepts and principles in my current organization.

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