John (Jack) Gebbie began his career as a Sales Representative selling custom continuous forms for a national business forms company. This was not just a great way to learn how to Solution Sell (how to solve customer’s problems) but it also was a great introduction to how critical information was in driving all aspects of a company’s business. In particular, the flow of accurate information was a critical piece to most aspects of a successful business form sale, thus I became sensitized to the value of quality and timely business information for a business. One of my next roles was in selling the hardware, software, and forms used in OMR (Optical Mark Read) scanning. If you are older than 35 (a few of us fit this age range!) you might remember the dreaded multiple choice tests in school that required a #2 pencil. These were often scanned using OMR scanners. After working in this role briefly I decided to try to establish a service bureau offering scanning services without the need to purchase the hardware or software. In 1996 I set up a small company (DATATEX) and was in the service bureau business processing paper surveys. Two years later in 1998 DATATEX added image scanning, a higher-tech version of scanning than OMR, and was processing paper surveys primarily in North Carolina for some businesses and educational institutions.
The internet arrived in force in 1999 and data collection for surveys was rapidly migrating away from paper based surveys. DATATEX began offering web-based online surveys to supplement the paper surveys that were slowly fading away. The web-based tool DATATEX licensed was one that offered unlimited surveys/projects for a fixed annual fee, thus we were able to make this approach more cost effective for customers by spreading out this annual license fee over multiple projects/accounts each year.
In 2003 DATATE began processing work for other research firms (scanning and programming and hosting online surveys) as well as continuing to work with a few high volume end customers for data entry, scanning, and comment coding. One relationship I began with a small research firm in Atlanta became a mentor/mentee relationship where the researcher was willing to teach me research techniques as I was selling “our” combined services to customers for turnkey marketing research projects. This was a fruitful relationship and as a result I received my certification via the online course at the University of Georgia “Principles in Marketing Research”. DATATEX was offering the full breadth of marketing research services from ad hoc offer testing to tracking studies by 2005. Several projects we managed were ongoing and revolved around tracking studies for customer satisfaction. Customer Satisfaction was the precursor in some aspects to future Customer Experience programs; albeit it was less comprehensive, as it often did not entail all aspects of a customer’s interaction with a firm’s services/products and most often did not include any metrics for the impact frontline employees’ had on customer satisfaction.
In 2010 DATATEX merged with a small family run research business in NC as I went to work selling and managing research projects for this firm. These projects included tracking studies and ad hoc studies (CATI/Web/Paper) data collection modes were employed depending upon the research design needed. Many of these projects utilized insights mined from unstructured data or open-ended comments to help frame themes and sentiments of customers.
In 2014 I joined a larger research firm that was building out their research staff for a financial services segment they were growing. I worked on a team of skilled researchers and managed various aspects of studies including a B2B problem resolution study for a large financial services firm. This study entailed journey mapping individual problems and moments of truth throughout the various customer interactions. As a result of this project, I became convinced of the value of getting an accurate picture of the ‘Customer Experience’ and once I left this firm in September 2016, decided to begin consulting in the Customer Experience field. I have my CCXP certification and over 10 years of managing VOC metrics including NPS and loyalty metrics – primarily in the financial services and banking segments.
In December of 2016 John Gebbie earned a CCXP (Certified Customer Experience Professional) designation from the CXPA.org.
My consulting practice – John Gebbie CX Solutions – is focused on helping firms define and outline approaches to assess their Brand Promise from the perspective of their customers. To do this work, I employ best practices when it comes to research methods and the appropriate technology and skills to uncover the perceptions and emotions associated with the key touch-points in a customer’s journey with a brand. My clients are both the brands and agencies supporting the brands that may need help in defining and establishing a CX program or simply updating or verifying the CX approach being used is still current. Whatever the CX challenge, I am ready to offer insights and solutions as John Gebbie CX Solutions.
It's Official! John Gebbie is now Corporate Customer Experience Manager at Saf-Gard Safety Shoes based in Greensboro, NC. John accepted this role in March of 2018.
John will be supporting Saf-Gard's efforts to continuously listen to customers as the firm continues to grow its business as one of the leading Safety Shoe companies serving the east coast with a fleet of Shoemobiles, twenty retail stores, and online ordering options nation-wide.