September 16, 2021

Customer Advocacy, The Virtual CMO Podcast
The Virtual CMO Podcast

The Virtual CMO Podcast

Season 6, Episode 11

Hosted By: Eric Dickmann
With Guest: Brian Kale

Our Featured Guest

Brian Kale

Head of Customer Success - Bank Novo

Brian Kale is a customer service advocate, CX industry insider, and Head of Customer Success at Bank Novo. a small business banking platform connecting business owners to no-fee checking and debit accounts. 

He's been helping companies better understand their customers by building better products for their needs. 

What's Hot?

"Powerfully simple business banking."

Bank Novo  is a powerfully simple business banking platform built for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. Their professional services include easy transfers, fast application processes, no hidden charges, FDIC insurance, and online banking capabilities. Novo also allows you to connect to the tools you use to manage and grow your business, such as- Shopify, Stripe, Zapier, Wise, Xero, Slack, and Quickbooks.

Bank Novo has partnered with reputable institutions for their customer's convenience- CNBC, WSJ, Fortune, VISA, and American Banker.

Bank Novo

Brian Kale

You are like the voice of the customer, and you're really here to represent, understand their life cycles, understand their different needs at different life cycles, and how do you then leverage that through data to make better marketing decisions or product decisions, or even sales decisions."

What We Discussed with Brian:

On this episode, host Eric Dickmann interviews Brian Kale about being a customer advocate within your business. Here are some highlights of our conversation:

  • [00:07:43] The hassle of customer service - Dealing with customer services issues is a big expense for companies and often a huge hassle for customers. Brian points out that in the banking industry, there's no reason for customers to talk to a middle person to have full control of their bank account. They at Nova do their best to ensure that their clients have full access to their banking accounts. There is so much room for customer service to grow and innovate!
  • [00:11:49] Service and access are the major differentiators- Organizations often believe that the features of their product are truly unique when in reality, they are usually not much different from their competition. What makes a brand stand out is the quality of service they deliver. Brian points out that that so many companies claim they offer a great customer experience and even have these made-up metrics to support their claims, but in reality, no one wants to call or talk to them. 
  • [00:17:19] Entanglement-  When customers sign up for services like Bill Pay, or they've got a mortgage or a savings account, they are so entangled in that organization that no matter how bad the service is, it's going to be hard for people to break away from the institutions because it's such a hassle disconnecting all of those established relationships. Brian says that consumers should look for financial companies that connect to other tools and services while also allowing full access to the information needed to help them through their buyer's journey.
  • [00:20:48] How do you pull together a seamless customer experience?-  Kale shares that what's exciting about customer success is it's a growing philosophy and business pillar. In most companies, there has been a delineation between sales and marketing. Customer success is the department responsible for the overall experience and linking marketing together with product development. The customer experience team should be their customer's voice and able to represent and understand their buyer's journey by recognizing the different needs at different buying stages, and leverage that knowledge through data to make better marketing and sales decisions. 
  • [00:23:55] Delivering a better customer experience-  It is ironic that despite the digital transformation happening around us, there are still large institutions that mired in outdated systems for delivering customer service. According to Brian, customers have so much frustration and disappointment with their banking experience that they are shocked when Bank Novo is able to prioritize them and deal with their concerns promptly. 
  • [00:30:36] The importance of serving your niche- Serving a specific niche allows businesses to be more empathetic with their customers. Clients, especially small businesses, experience many difficulties; they often need help to overcome hurdles. Companies need to develop ways to talk to their audience in the language that resonates with their business needs. Brian believes that more companies should think about whom they're serving and why, and not try to be a jack of all trades, master of none.                                                                                                                          

Resources Mentioned

Episode Transcript

Live Stream Replay

Follow Us


Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.