“It’s like running a small city,” says Lynda Firey-Oldroyd, when it comes to managing customer and employee experience as the Chief Customer Officer at Topgolf, a chain of venues that feature golf, sports bars, and restaurants. Lynda has had quite an illustrious career, holding leadership positions at Starbucks, Nordstrom, PepsiCo, Gap, and Taco Bell. She knows how to bring innovation to companies, including the introduction of the Chalupa to Taco Bell and expanding PepsiCo to more than just a soft drink company.
In this conversation, you’ll hear how Lynda helped contribute to the success of these blue chip companies, and why serving as the CCO at Topgolf, which has a global reach, takes an all-hands-on-deck approach. Lynda shares how they worked through various pandemic and expansion challenges and explains the importance of employee experience to the company – given they have over 25,000 employees.
Watch the LinkedIn Live conversation here.
You Have to Unite Around One Version of the Truth
By now we know that in order to have a successful customer experience program, the C-Suite has to be united in its approach. Lynda explains that uniting the C-Suite on goals of improving the customer experience was a rather natural process because everyone was on board with the desire to understand and impact the overall trends in customer and employee satisfaction.
Lynda and her partners looked at a range of data points to see what was happening with labor, capacity, experience, and how these different facets at Topgolf all came together. By analyzing the various findings, their operations, marketing, and people teams were able to come together to work towards solutions. With this cohesive approach, the departments all understood how their work was impacted by customer and employee experiences.
“Nothing happens in a vacuum. I don’t solve anything on my own. But having multiple perspectives, particularly in a vertically integrated business, is absolutely critical. Otherwise, you’ve got one kind of perspective of the prism,” says Lynda.
Lynda also shares that as a result of this work, they’ve recently created an analytic council that meets monthly to review data, tools, and business issues. Additionally, she mentions that they spend time creating career paths that benefit their people both within a function and across functions. This type of strategic planning helps build natural alliances and reduces the potential for work to be done in silos.
Manage the Employee and Customer Experience Simultaneously
According to Lynda, employee experience is taken very seriously at Topgolf and they refer to employees as playmakers. She shares that Topgolf is working on a playmaker persona study. Considering they have over 25,000 playmakers, they’re partnering with the People Team to understand their needs. It has become a business goal to understand who the different kinds of playmakers are and how Topgolf can better serve them through an intentional journey.
Lynda explains that Topgolf is a company that really cares about its people and the playmakers feel that deeply as well. In doing this work, the People Team is connecting the dots between the life and work values of the employees—going beyond typical employee engagement questions.
“The work that we do is constantly dedicated to improving the experience. To me, there’s no end game, it’s never gonna be perfect. Fortunately, we’ve got a leadership team and a CEO who is super dedicated to providing the best experience we can. So it’s the evergreen work of making things better,” says Lynda.
By using a multitude of customer listening tactics, Lynda and her teams listen for feedback as broad as understanding the total experience and as narrow as understanding the game screen UI. The work always leads back to understanding the greater purpose of the company and what advancement will get them there.
What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Then?
“I feel like I’m gonna sound like a cliche, but I have say, it’s to be patient. You know, any vertically integrated company is like a machine. And driving change in a machine is complex, because, you know, it rarely involves one thing, or one person or whatever, I mean, you’re changing processes, or you’re just changing a lot. Managing that change is super important. So I would have to say, just embracing patience to manage change effectively.”
About Lynda Firey-OldroydAs Chief Customer Officer for Topgolf Entertainment Group, Lynda Firey-Oldroyd creates and leads the strategic vision and execution roadmap for Topgolf’s strategy, customer insights, and marketing initiatives across all Topgolf business lines.
Lynda is passionate about leveraging people, culture, macro trends and analytics to build compelling stories. In addition, she is known for her talents in translating research and observations into clear insights and business implications.
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