Your First Two Weeks at a New Job

Hi Squad, 

Eli here. This newsie is coming to you from the sunny (and mildly insufferable) West Hollywood, LA.

I am here for less than 24 hours to moderate a panel for DTCExperts, and I am excited to share the stage with Saie Beauty, a fantastic brand.

For the long-time readers, you might remember how I am always earning and burning points and miles (over 5m miles since my first credit card at age 18).

I watched friends travel the world for free, and while it made zero sense to me, I needed to figure out how to get in on the chaos.

There were a ton of blogs and forums to learn the basics.

A few years later, after traveling around the world (35 countries and counting) and needing to buckle down and get a job, I landed on Customer Experience but struggled to find those same blogs and forums to learn the basics. 

I listened to some podcasts, read some books, and carved my own path.

Same for Retention, which was marginally more difficult. It is much more data-driven than “make sure your experience is 10/10.”

Last week, I gave you some frameworks on what works. 

This week, I want to walk you through what your first two weeks at a new CX or Retention job should look like. 

These won’t all be relevant to every single person at every job, but might be helpful in cultivating a thought process that brings you somewhere magical.

Let’s go on this journey together, shall we?

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Before we kick off, I’d be remiss not to mention that I wrote an entire 46-page guidebook on what great CX looks like, from hiring and mentoring a team to setting up your helpdesk and everything between. 

That free guidebook lives here.

Today, let’s talk about your first week in a new CX or Retention job. 

Picture this:

You are on the hunt for a new job. You scour LinkedIn, your favorite job board, and ask friends in the industry.

You land a job at a well-known CPG brand, and day one is a mess.

They have been waiting for a CX person to come and clean up everyone’s mess.

Help set up the email flows, rethink the return policy, hire a team, figure out the bug on the website that is offering free shipping to everyone, and make sure lunch next week arrives on time.  

Turns out your CX job now has subtle pieces of Retention, Operations, HR, and a splash of People Ops.

Where do you start?

1. Don’t run before you know which way the road goes:

Far too many great employees optimize for speed and agility, which is great; early startups need that.

But if you have no idea where you are running and how to get things approved and pushed forward, chances are you’ll do the work twice and frustrate lots of people while you leave destruction in your rearview mirror. 

Spend a few days (or weeks) to better understand who you’d be working closely with, what their work style and communication style is, and how you’d work with them. 

Val Geisler’s “Work with me” doc has lived rent-free in my head since seeing it on X in 2021. 

If I had taken time to learn these dynamics and working styles before kicking off a storm, I’d have been more efficient in some previous roles. 

2. The Prioritization Matrix: Balancing Impact and Effort

In the first few weeks of a new job, every person you talk to will have a handful of tasks they were “waiting for you to join so they can give them to you.”

How do you decide what is the highest priority?

Think of this matrix as your compass in the first few weeks of a new job, helping you decide what deserves your immediate attention based on the potential impact and the effort involved.

The Prioritization Matrix is a simple yet powerful tool to visually map out where to focus your energy. It helps you assess two critical dimensions:

Impact: How significant is the change expected to affect customer satisfaction and business outcomes?

Effort: How much resources, time, and complexity are involved in making these changes?

Step 1: List Out Potential Initiatives

Start by listing all the potential changes or improvements you believe could enhance the customer experience. This could range from reducing response times to overhauling the return policy.

Step 2: Score Each Initiative

Assign a score to each initiative based on its potential impact and the effort required. You can use a simple scale (1 to 5, for instance), where 1 is low and 5 is high. The idea is to get a rough estimation that helps in comparison.

Step 3: Plot on the Matrix

Draw a two-dimensional grid. Label one axis 'Impact' and the other 'Effort'. Place each initiative on this matrix based on the scores you've assigned.

This visual distribution will immediately highlight which initiatives are 'Quick Wins' (high impact, low effort), 'Major Projects' (high impact, high effort), 'Fill-Ins' (low impact, low effort), and 'Thankless Tasks' (low impact, high effort).

It could look something like this. 

Step 4: Prioritize Accordingly

Quick Wins: These are your low-hanging fruits. Prioritize these as they promise significant returns for comparatively little investment.

Major Projects: These initiatives are vital but will need more resources and planning. Schedule them when you have the bandwidth to handle complex challenges.

Fill-Ins: These tasks are not a priority but consider them when you have spare resources or for small morale boosts.

Thankless Tasks: Ideally, avoid these. If essential, reevaluate to either reduce the effort required or increase the potential impact.

Especially when joining a lean team, wasting time on thankless tasks will corrupt your first few months at a new job. As someone that has fallen into this trap in the past, don’t do it. Pls. 

3. Talk to the ones paying your bills:

As new employees, we often follow directions from our boss, who can be biased in several ways:

Sunk Cost Fallacy: Bosses may continue to back projects with significant investment, ignoring signs of failure to avoid admitting a loss.

Confirmation Bias: They may favor information that confirms their prior beliefs, overlooking contradictory data that could lead to better decisions.

Overconfidence Bias: With a history of successes, a boss might overestimate their decision-making prowess, underestimating risks and disregarding alternative strategies or customer insights.

Customers are the ones that keep your company open.

If you are not deeply understanding what they are feeling about your products or services, you are probably wasting time.

This could be reading customer reviews, doing customer surveys, hopping on customer calls, or whatever else. But it’s imperative that you talk to the people keeping your company alive, not just the one paying your salary. 

4. Balance “incrementality” with the “Golden Rule”

In today’s era of DTC, everyone is testing everything for incremental revenue. TBH, it makes complete sense. 

If you are spending your hard-earned money (or time) on something, you want to make sure it drives more value than if you.. just didn’t.

But especially with CX and Retention, so much of your work is focused on delivering an exceptional brand experience, and not always will that translate into dollars tomorrow or even later this year.

We often forget the golden rule, treat others as we would want to be treated.

That goes for the emails you send, the policies you set up on the CX side, and the campaigns you run.

Yes, supremely important to make sure extra work will bring in extra $, but never underestimate the “brand power” of doing the right thing.

A good example of this is surprise and delight programs in the CX universe. We often push so hard to guage incrementality on this program when it is often less than 1% of the spend we do on growth.

If it costs less than your office lunch to create unique moments for your customers and you still aren’t doing it, maybe you don’t care about CX as much as you say you do. 🤷‍♂️

That’s it for this week!

Any topics you'd like to see me cover in the future?

Just shoot me a DM or an email!


Eli 💛

P.S. Looking for inspo on your next email/sms campaign?

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