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[00:00:00] Welcome to LFG with JJ, the podcast that helps you level up your CX game by navigating CX and AI technologies. I'm Juan Jaysingh, the CEO of Zingtree, the AI-powered customer experience platform, providing solutions that turn every human into an expert. 700 plus companies across 54 countries trust our solutions to boost their contact center proficiency, enable their customers to self-help, improve their internal processes, and more with Zingtree. Good afternoon, Cynthia. How are you? I'm great. How are you, Juan? Great to see you here. We've got Cynthia Long joining us at LFG with JJ podcast. Thank you for taking your time, Cynthia. Cynthia is the Customer Success Change Leader for Continuous Improvement and Innovation Testing at Intuit.
[00:00:49] I know that was a handful. You've done a lot in your career, so excited to have you here. Excited to talk to you about your background, about what in the CX industry, your current role, how did, how have you stayed relevant in your course of your professional journey? And then we can wrap up with some fun questions in the end as well.
[00:01:06] So excited to get this started, Cynthia. So let's jump right into it. Who is Cynthia Long? Tell us something about yourself, your background. Something that, is unique about yourself, that you like to share, and how you got to where you are. So I'd love to, learn a little bit, little bit about your background.
[00:01:23] Sure. I think I had a fairly unique childhood. My father was in the oil business and that was like your parents being in the military where you go live in foreign countries for two years. And then you maybe go back to the States and then you go overseas. So I've lived in Beirut, Brazil, Iran, Italy.
[00:01:43] And obviously because of that, traveled everywhere, literally took a trip around the world once. I like to be well traveled. I enjoy travel in different cultures and that type of thing. I think one of the things that it did was give me a good, understanding of history. And also that around the world people are the same, they want the same things for their families.
[00:02:05] They want the same, they want to be treated well and they want to be able to earn an income for their family and feel like they can provide and not be oppressed by the government. And I, there are definitely third world countries out there. And as a child, it was. Sad to see some of those situations, but it's a very real world.
[00:02:26] And a lot of us are isolated from that. So I'm grateful to have had that childhood. I think one of the things that makes me different is I'm also on the spectrum. I do have, what they used to call Asperger's, but that just makes me really low on the, The spectrum. And so I am super sensitive to sounds and smells and noises and, makes me sometimes blurt things out.
[00:02:52] But other than that, I'm super honest because lying doesn't come easily to those of us on the spectrum. Everything you're going to hear from me is going to be the truth as I see it. That's great. Thank you. What a unique, interesting background. That's amazing that you got exposed to so many cultures at a young age.
[00:03:08] That's phenomenal. That's awesome. Your parents gave you that exposure and opportunity. That's pretty cool to be able to live in so many different countries at a young age, get exposed to different, and not just going there for a, vacation, for one to two weeks, but you're immersed in that culture for a longer period of time.
[00:03:24] So understand American culture, but then you have to get exposed and adapt to a different culture. It's not easy. And you've gone through that. That must be something that you can put to work on every day. Do you see that come in handy for you being able to interact and, understand different cultures?
[00:03:39] And we live in a global, business world now, have you seen that, give you some memories of how to deal with different cultures and adapt. And have you put that to use in your day to day work? I think so. Especially because it is a far more global work environment now, just being aware that different countries work on different days, not everybody has the American weekend, different cultures have different religious holidays.
[00:04:04] And it makes me more sensitive to not stepping on people's toes and even different, English speaking countries are very different, right? There are different terms versus British English and, and American English and even Australian English. So it's, it just makes me more aware and probably makes me ask more questions.
[00:04:24] Did you mean this or that to make sure that I have a clear understanding of what everybody is intending by what they say? . Thanks for sharing about your personal situation as well. I feel like I, blurt a lot of things out, all the time. We all have some of these going on.
[00:04:42] Hopefully, the stuff I bird out, as I, it doesn't offend people, but I appreciate you being honest and direct and that's important in the world that we live in it's it's great. So yeah, so you were traveling with your family, you were exposed to different cultures, then you went to school and, in Texas, you went to UT Austin, and then tell us a little bit about how you got into.
[00:05:05] The work you're doing now, worked at various different companies. I know you've got, some credentials, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt . I think you're the first, person on our podcast, that has that certification. I know you care about that a lot. I go through educational sessions to keep that updated.
[00:05:22] I know you're also a contributor at ICMI. So I'd like to learn a little bit more about, how you got to where you are now. And a little bit about some of these credentials that you have and, some of the contributions you make, in, in our space. Yeah, absolutely. When I graduated from university, I went straight into a tech support type of a role.
[00:05:41] And, then I went into training technical. This was, this was a hundred years ago, so it's back when everybody was just learning about Microsoft Windows and what, so I was a stand up trainer for a while and then I worked in a contact center and my whole entire career has always been in services.
[00:05:59] Along the way for those services, I had to stop and ask myself, What in my personality is a career? What is there about me that I can leverage to be happier at work to make sure that I'm you know delivering the best I can and not they always say, you know If you do something you're passionate about you'll never work a day in your life.
[00:06:22] You'll enjoy it. You'll be happy and that for me started out with the PMP being a Project Manager and after doing that I had long heard about Lean Six Sigma, but had never actually worked at the company And in the day you had to work at a company that had it implemented now I know they offer the training to people who are just interested in it but back in the day you had to be in a company that was offering the training and host and having projects and all the domain toll gates and all that kind of stuff so I Was lucky enough to join Lenovo and the woman who ran the Lean Six Sigma program really liked me.
[00:07:00] I was a, I jumped in and was a go getter and got my yellow belt. And then she was like, just go straight to black belt. And you're your yellow belt project was really like a green belt project and keep going. And so I got my Lean Six Sigma black belt there. And I then moved to Cisco where I got my, Lean Six Sigma master black belt.
[00:07:19] So for me, what's fun about that is I learned I'm never going to be great only being in a room by myself, like coding or something like that. I'll, that will never satisfy me. There is some part of me that does want human interaction, but the best thing about Lean Six Sigma is that it. It's like constantly being given a new shape of a Rubik's Cube to figure out.
[00:07:45] So you're always challenged with what the problem is and you have to talk to people to understand how they do a particular process, but then you also get the part that I love, the downtime to do like the statistical analysis and be alone with your numbers and do that kind of math that is, Part of what I love, but I can't do it all day alone.
[00:08:06] I have to have some of that human interaction. So I've been really lucky that I was able to follow big companies and technologies in services. Like when I worked for Cisco, I was a black belt in the tech front line. So it wasn't like I've ever been an engineer anywhere, but I've worked in a lot of, probably seven fortune 100 companies and, not all of them are on my resume cause I'm old and I don't want them all on there.
[00:08:32] But, I want it to be, always solving that puzzle. That to be Sherlock Holmes at work is fun. And that's amazing. And your title is perfect. What an amazing time. Continuous improvement and testing. You're always about trying to improve. That's a great mindset to have, even outside of work.
[00:08:51] You're always trying to get better or you're always trying to get your teams to get better. You're always trying to help your company get better, your department, your company. So everyone benefits from that. So that's pretty cool. And, just hearing you talk about, your certification, with Lean, Six Sigma Black Belt, it relates to your continuous improvement mindset.
[00:09:08] Yes. Yes. A lot of places call their, Lean Six Sigma teams like, Continuous Improvement Center of Excellence type thing. It's a pretty common terminology out in the industry. I will say though, being how I am at home can be frustrating for a life partner because If you're unpacking the dishes, I might see a better way to do it.
[00:09:29] So I have to constantly monitor myself to go, you know what, it's okay. If my life partner is doing it slightly differently than I would, it's not as efficient, we don't have a line of people waiting for a dish, so we're okay. I love it. I love it. You can take that anywhere with you. You can take it to the workplace, you can take it home and you can always bring more efficiencies and, more, Better ways of doing things.
[00:09:51] That's all. You're always on. I love it. That's great. When you think like this, and I naturally think like this, and I think the people who are the happiest doing this are the people who naturally think, look at something and go, what if they did this? And that, there's nothing more fun than when my team and I get together to have lunch and we start making jokes about, and it's only, I think, nerds like us who would appreciate having the, this type of conversation.
[00:10:15] But, oh, that, that cafeteria is not efficient. They should really have a, they have a push system and they need a pull system kind of a thing. So it's, they're nerds. We're a special breed of nerds. They're nerds. Out in the world that do all kinds of different things, but I like to think of the Lean Six Sigma people as like the pink zebras.
[00:10:33] We're like the, we're not like the, all the animals in the zoo, but we're not even really like the zebras. We're just, we're pink zebras. We're slightly different in our thinking because we never settle down from trying to solve a problem. I love it. You know what? I think someone famous said that nerds rule the world.
[00:10:49] So we're in great company or you're in great company and we are a great company. Yeah, I'll call myself a nerd. I want to be in that company as well. So let me ask you this, let's transition right to the industry. You started your career as someone who was, uh, you know, taking, uh, technical calls.
[00:11:10] Is that right? You were taking technical support calls. That's right. And now you're still, in the CX industry. So you've seen, you've been in the front lines, putting out fires. I, you're probably putting out different types of fires now. I've been in this industry for so long.
[00:11:26] I, tell us, what do you like about this industry? What is the, there's a lot going on now, with everything that's going on with advancement in technology with AI, with all the stuff we're all hearing in the news. And stuff that, we're doing with our product, with your, tech stack.
[00:11:41] Yeah, what is the state of the union? What's working for, what are you seeing working well in the industry? What are some of the challenges out there? And where is this industry going? We'd love to hear, your, insights about, the space we're in. Yeah. And you asked a little bit about the ICMI, which is the International Contact Management Institute.
[00:11:59] . They are a great organization. I've been a member there for years and years. It's a great way to share information with other people who are in the contact center. And not just call center, but also that tier two, tier three level contact center. Um, I'm a contributing editor this year.
[00:12:16] I always submit annually to their contest. I think it's a great way to show, how improvements are being made in that customer facing industry. And, so yeah, so I'm a contributing editor this year. I was a judge for their contest and I also submitted my team for their contest. They have a conference every year.
[00:12:35] That's really great. A lot of knowledge sharing. I think that. The reason I've stayed in customer success or business transformation, operational excellence, all of those terms that really come down to supporting who buys your product or service, right? Yes, giving them an amazing experience, world class experience.
[00:12:55] And I, you never, once you answer calls for a living, you never get over that small win. That small win is everything to you, right? So that, oh, you really helped me today. Make sure, you want to, you have that, you're coming in to play that role where you have that. You have that goal of helping someone achieve something.
[00:13:14] You have that empathy and that, drives you, that, it gives you adrenaline to get excited and keep providing that level of support. And that's how we got involved with Zingtree as well. Somebody, Zingtree is such a powerful product and it can do so many different things.
[00:13:30] Each tree that I build, I'm always learning things about the fields. Hey, can we do a lookup and an existing document? Sure. This is the field you'd use a thing. So there's a lot of cool technology in Zingtree. And what is amazing is that I can do it myself. I don't have to reach out to a developer to get it done.
[00:13:48] I don't have to be a, a rocket scientist to build a tree. Yeah, it's... a lot of metrics and tracking and results oriented. So I can clearly as somebody who's part statistician, right? So I'm part Sherlock Holmes, part statistician. The statistician in me just loves that, the ability to report and then say to leadership, because like you, like everybody, I have to tell people.
[00:14:13] How effective I'm being in the job that I'm doing. And one of the best ways to do that, especially in continuous improvement is to say, we took this much waste out of the process, or we improved, the Customer Experience by this many points, et cetera. I really feel like those are the things that even now as strictly a leadership role, I get still by, by.
[00:14:33] Learning about technologies and by putting my hands in the technologies myself, I love to evaluate the new technologies and see how they'll fit in a contact center. How can we leverage it? What's the most creative thing to build a tree, right? There are other people at building trees at Intuit, and so we started, our own like little Zingtree Center of Excellence so we could share knowledge amongst ourselves and make sure that we were, understanding, if we get stuck to help each other.
[00:15:05] But it's hard to get stuck with the, I love going out to the Zingtree knowledge base because I can always find the answers I need, but, I might have to steal that from you. Zingtree Center of Excellence. I like that. Oh, yeah. We had a customer event in London where we brought in a handful of customers together.
[00:15:23] And the thing that benefited most is not from listening from me or listening from any of our teammates at Zingtree. They all, shared a lot of knowledgeable information, but then the customers chatting among themselves, talking about their pain points, their, ways of, solving those pain points and best practices of how they put Zingtree to use some of the challenges they have, and that itself was a huge home run, by bringing customers together and it, inspired us to say, how do we build a Zingtree forum?
[00:15:50] And, I just got the title, Zingtree's Center of Excellence. So there you go. We'll give credit to you when we, officially name it that. Sure. And I see your Lean Six Sigma skills are coming into play in this podcast. You kept me honest by making sure I didn't, miss on any of the questions I asked you.
[00:16:09] So you brought up, ICMI. So thank you for doing that and keeping me organized. Sure. So yeah, so in the CX space, you've seen a lot, you're using a lot of great technologies. Thank you for, the reviews on Zingtree. We like hearing that, what are you seeing the future, where is the space going?
[00:16:27] We're all in the space, to help the end customer have a wow, experience, have a world class experience when they buy a product, and not just when they buy the product, but when they put the product to use, you were sharing about your. Shark Robot, your vacuum cleaner robot where you had an issue and they resolved it in a seamless manner.
[00:16:47] So it's, when you're under those stressful, times where you're not happy as a consumer, when a brand comes in and provides amazing service, it wows you. So, you know, that's the end goal, where do you see the industry going? Are we there? Are we doing that consistently? What more do we need to do?
[00:17:05] What challenges are out there? Any insights on that? I'm going to say this. The customer base has changed as more and more younger people go, get into the workforce. My, my father used to keep paper bruce in his briefcase, like who does that anymore? Nobody, right? I don't even, you don't even write on paper anymore.
[00:17:25] I have a device I write on, not, with a virtual pen kind of a thing. And so the customer base is changing. So their expectations are changing. What does service look like? It is based on what the new customers really demand. Customers don't, now the younger customers, they don't. Want to wait for an answer because they live in a very instantaneous world.
[00:17:46] So I think some of the technologies that are coming out are going to help with the new expectations of the younger customers who are, depending on your industry, taking over your marketplace. I think that's key to make sure you're staying in touch with what the customers wants and needs are. That voice of the customer is...
[00:18:06] Immeasurable. It is so valuable to every customer. And then like things like AI scare me a little bit because while I know that the functionality of it is huge, the risk of the AI having what they call hallucinations or trying to please you. Rather than telling you the truth and the way that it's just spread like, virally, everybody's talking about it.
[00:18:31] Everybody's trying to do it. But yet there's still not a lot of, morality, embedded into it that it shouldn't lie and that it shouldn't do certain things. I think companies are having to focus on that a lot more than they maybe originally intended. If there would be nothing worse for a customer service organization than to implement an AI and have it start lying to customers, because the AI thinks it's trying to keep customers happy, but really it's.
[00:19:00] Not telling them, what their tax refund should be, or, that my, my robot, wasn't, was misbehaving for the wrong reason or whatever. So I think there's a lot to staying relevant with what the upcoming customers want and their expectations. I know we have a Gen Z group here at Intuit where we're constantly trying to get their feedback.
[00:19:23] That's awesome. Yeah, and so there's things like that, that I think are important. There's all kinds of new technology that's always going to come. The key for me is not to lose sight of the customer, unless the customer is a robot, which may happen, but maybe not in my lifetime. Unless the customer is a robot, you have to care about what your customer cares about.
[00:19:44] No matter what your service is, no matter what your product is, you have to put that customer's needs and wants first to make sure that you're delivering what they need. That's the only way to really keep your customers long term. That's very well said. I, yeah, that you put the customer in the center of your universe.
[00:20:06] I, and I, that's, in my opinion. The right way to do it. And guess what? When your customer has, and we say this a lot at Zingtree, when the customer has some serious pain points, some of the solutions, the right solution that can solve that pain point has nothing to do with AI. I, you can get it solved in a very Zingtree.
[00:20:27] In an efficient, effective manner, and with capital efficiency and quick time to value and, tremendous, impact and ROI. I had nothing to do with AI at the same time when a customer has certain types of pain points. The right solution there could be AI and very well could be AI that can, give you the type of impact you need, right?
[00:20:48] It's, so you really have to understand the customer's pain point, and start with that versus leaning first with the product or, the type of technology, first instead you start with the customer pain point is exactly what you're saying. So great to hear that. I, I'm sure you benefit from having that kind of view and your team benefits from that view and your company, Intuit benefits from the, from that view.
[00:21:09] Yeah. So I think it's a great segue to segment, segue into your role. At Intuit. Intuit is in a phenomenal company, great brand. You guys do very important work, and you've got all these, timelines and busy season, April 15th and I think October 15th is coming up now.
[00:21:25] So you got a lot going on. And you've had very different roles that into it. I, I think, I just heard you are on the TurboTax team and now you're on the QuickBooks team. So tell us a little bit about your role, what do you do kind of day to day and, what, And how do you continue, growing within Intuit over the years, you've been there for almost five years now.
[00:21:44] What are some of the things that you do, doing your time at Intuit so far? I think there's always change at Intuit. It is a very dynamic company. They are very concerned about making sure the customers get what they need and staying current with. Especially on the tax side of the house, there's all kinds of law changes that happen every year, et cetera.
[00:22:03] So there's a lot of, there's a lot to keep up with. Yeah, it's complicated. And, but the key and into it is that for the customer experience, it's not complicated. We keep it simple for the customer. But it can be complicated, behind the scenes. It's like a startup and the outside looks really nice and, both put together.
[00:22:24] But under the hood, there's a lot of, moving pieces and, a lot of work being done that, the rest of the, public facing folks don't see it. I think it's more like a Mercedes. Where the car looks nice on the outside and you get inside the car and it does a lot of stuff for you.
[00:22:40] The lights dim when someone's coming at you in traffic, the windshield wipers go, the doors lock automatically. But I personally, driving that car, don't need to know how all of that stuff technically works. That's the way I look at TurboTax. That the complexity is our responsibility and your responsibility is just to get in your Mercedes and drive it around and have a nice time, right?
[00:23:02] Be safe. That's a great analogy. Yeah, so my role really is to make sure that all the things, to keep going with that analogy, that all the things that are supposed to work well for the customer are actually working well for the customer, right? And the customer can be both the people who buy the product and The people who are the tax agents who support the customers, right?
[00:23:24] To make sure that we've got everything streamlined. So they have the right answers at their fingertips. And that's one of the ways that we leveraged Zingtree really was to try and get the answers to the experts fingertips more quickly and not related to the tax stuff, they already know that, but, there might be different
[00:23:41] complexities in someone's tax situation, or there may be teams of people that aren't actually tax experts who are taking initial calls and trying to help the customer troubleshoot, like, where the problem is, that type of thing. There's different levels Of knowledge that needed to be shared quickly.
[00:23:58] And like I said, that changes sometimes that changes yearly. And so we had to have a way to dynamically be able to update those things. So my role is a combination of managing a Lean Six Sigma team of people, managing a team of testers who actually test the experience, they test the customer experience, they test the expert experience, they test the agent experience.
[00:24:20] And then I also have this role. Of where there is a VP at the company who has a wide network of contacts and periodically will just flip a piece of software over to me, a contact over to me and go, hey, take a look at this product. See if it's going to fit in kind of a thing. And that's. That's a really fun Rubik's Cube to get pitched over the fence where it's like, Ooh, let's see, what does this product do?
[00:24:45] How can I best implement it? Who in the company could this help? So that level of evaluation is one of the things that keeps me engaged. Because at some point you go up the food chain and you stop doing your craft. And so you miss You know, like I miss not doing a gauge R& R or a one way and over some statistical thing.
[00:25:06] But I'm still engaged because I get to try new technologies and see how those would fit. And so I still get Rubik's cubes to resolve. What a cool role. And we just, I, it's great that you were able to evaluate Zingtree and then get us in and into it. So thank you for doing that.
[00:25:24] But that's good to see so many different technology vendors. You're able to assess them and you're able to, see where, into it of which organization the departments can leverage it and put it to use. So that's cool alongside your day to day job as well. So it's pretty cool that you get that opportunity.
[00:25:40] Yeah, I'm excited because now I'm in the QuickBooks side of the house too, and there's a lot of opportunity to continue to drive Lean and Lean Six Sigma thinking over here and, help our QuickBooks customers. So I heard you say you had a mentor. Sounds like you had, I, some sort of a mentor.
[00:26:03] I, I, the lady you worked at who was the leader at Lenovo that, was pushing you towards a Lean Six Sigma. Now you have a team of folks that help them with your Lean Six Sigma experience. So are you in a reverse role now where you're like trying to get more people to get certified with Lean Six Sigma?
[00:26:25] And, how is that working? I don't try to push it on anybody. I am an evangelist, but I'm not pushy about it. I, but I do mentor anybody who comes to me and wants to be mentored. If you have an interest, if you have a desire for it, I will absolutely mentor you. And I also love to give back to the community.
[00:26:42] So I do speak a couple times a year at different conferences on Lean Six Sigma or business transformation, to try and give back to the community to hear what other people are doing that might be cutting edge that I could leverage. And plus, like I said, it's always fun to get together with a room full of other pink zebras, that we're, it's a certain language that we all speak.
[00:27:04] And so it's fun to, to see people across the country or maybe even across the world who, how they're implementing the craft skills and what they've learned that I could leverage for where I am. That's awesome. This has been an awesome conversation. You've had a vast, amount of experience and, your organization skills, I can see, but put to use during this podcast and, your, you have your stuff together, was there a time in your career, you started out taking technical phone calls, providing technical phone support. Was there a time in your career where you felt like, hey, this is what I want to do with my career. And, this is where I want to be, where you're able to continuously think about how to improve the customer experience, how to evaluate the right technology that's out there, how to put it to use and implement it.
[00:27:52] Was there like an aha moment you had during your professional career that made you feel that this is what you wanted to do, and then you dedicated your, dedicated yourself to it? My career has been along the lines of a boat. And periodically coming into the harbor.
[00:28:12] Your analogies, Cynthia, are awesome. By the way. I love it. I think of it like this, ooh, I, Okay, so I go out and I'm on, I'm a fishing trawler. And I come back in and then all the other fishermen are saying, Oh, we're catching tuna over here. And I'm like, wait, what? You're catching tuna? I've only been looking for sardines.
[00:28:30] So then it's I go, Oh, okay, God, tuna sounds interesting and tuna are bigger. So maybe that's a better thing for me to go try and catch. So I, a lot of it's been by listening and understanding how happy people are at their job. Again, evaluating it against my personality to say, Ooh, I could never do that.
[00:28:49] I could never be in sales to me. That is the hardest thing. Those no rejections would probably kill my spirit, but I can be in customers, customer support, because I'm always gonna make you feel good. When we leave a conversation, I know I can support you in whatever way I need to. So for me,
[00:29:07] it's been the people and admiring people and having other women who have admired me and maybe been ahead of me. Somebody described it once as we're just holding hands, so somebody could be a little bit ahead of you and it doesn't mean that you can't get there too, so You're part of some women, technology groups, where you have, where you're mentoring, other women and you're getting mentored by, women as well.
[00:29:32] What, what was, I know you and I were talking about Chief, but you're a part of another group as well, correct? Yeah. I'm part of Athena, which is, I think it's nationwide. It's certainly very strong here in San Diego, but it is a mentoring group and it. It mentors women across all categories against all levels.
[00:29:51] I took a class there on how to be a board member because now the law is two women on every board at minimum. Those types of things, they're staying current and it's a really good organization. And, a girlfriend of mine, a friend I play golf with was in it and she's Oh, I just took this really cool class.
[00:30:09] So again, I'm listening to see who is You know, when I get into dock with my boat, I'm like, look, okay, what are all the sailors talking about in the bar? That's where I am with my career. What are all my girlfriends talking about that they're doing that's cool and interesting? And how do I get to do that too?
[00:30:24] Because the thing in life that I have learned isn't that other people are smarter than you or better than you. It might just be that they're a little bit braver. And so if you're willing just to step outside and be a little bit brave and you see somebody, being doing those things, then it's oh, I know her and I can do what she's doing.
[00:30:44] And that's how I've built my career is by watching other women lead and being gentle with other women. That's awesome. That's great to have that, support system, whether, you're giving that support or you're receiving that support. It's awesome to have that support. That's great.
[00:31:02] By the way, I love your analogies. Your analogies are amazing. In terms of, I heard you say you play golf, so obviously you've got a very busy schedule of work. You're always thinking about how do you continuously improve your work, your work of your department, the, the work that, the amazing work that Intuit does.
[00:31:18] When you're not doing work, how do take some time off from work? I see you playing golf. I know we talked about pickleball. What do you do outside of work? Let's just be clear. I don't seem to be able to continuously improve my golf game.
[00:31:32] You can, but you got to put a lot of time into it. Maybe that's it. Maybe I'm not dedicated. You got to play consistently a lot. Yeah, I'm going to have to put a putt in green. Especially if you didn't start playing golf when you were younger. It's a humbling sport. It is a humbling sport, but it's a very interesting sport because really when you play golf, you only play against yourself.
[00:31:52] 100%. And it's, you know what, it's a little bit about taking a phone call. And, you have that great call, you may have some crappy calls, but you have a great call and that motivates you inspires you to stay in that job or stay in that department in that industry. And it's the same with golf, I go out and play and I'll have a bunch of crappy shots and I hit that one great shot.
[00:32:15] And that's all I need to keep me coming back. Yeah. And I'm not a great player. I play with some women that have eight handicaps. One went to golf on a university on a golf scholarship. Like they're very good players. I, which she jokes that she literally just missed the cut to be a professional golfer.
[00:32:32] So I have no hope of ever being that good, but what I can be. Is a good cart mate. I can play You know keep pace of play. I can be entertaining. I can be well dressed I can be supportive in the ways that I can be supportive. I always get invited to play So I must be doing something right? It's not necessarily, what you know, I used to play a lot of golf before I was in the startup world.
[00:32:57] I'm and you spend four or five hours with someone. . You get to know that person. They get to know you. You get to know about their family, their personal life, their business life. And a lot of the golf I played was, for business, right? But you really get to know this per that person and you get a feel, if you wanna engage with these people again, you wanna do more work with these people.
[00:33:18] They get a feel for who you are. And if, and. If they don't like you, they're not going to invite you again. And if you're annoying, they're not going to invite you again. Or you get a sense for, is this going to be a real thing or not, right? So you're not wasting anyone's time.
[00:33:32] So that way golf is great because it's a time commitment. And yeah, kudos to you. You are in great company 'cause you always get invited to play, hopefully we'll get a chance to play someday. I hope so. But don't be surprised. I have a very high handicap, but, it's all good. What about your pickleball game?
[00:33:47] Are you playing pickleball now? I know I told you about Bobby Re, Bobby Res in San Diego is a phenomenal facility. I met the owner. Steve Dawson is an amazing man. He's got a young son. Chase Dawson is one of the best pickleball players in the world. You got to go check it out. Bobby Riggs, pickleball facility.
[00:34:04] Yeah, I know, and it's just right down the road for me, but I have a sneaky feeling you're really good at pickleball, and I'm really bad at pickleball, so I'd rather play golf with you than pickleball. We'll get out there. So Cynthia, thank you for your time. As we wrap this up. I, you talked about a lot of different things, but one of the things that really stand out is having an amazing support system, and, I know you are supporting others, for all the people that are out there listening to this, what advice would you give to a younger Cynthia Long, or what advice would you give to this, younger generation who are looking to make a big impact like you in the CX space?
[00:34:41] What would you like to share with them, based on the amazing experience you've had in your career? So what I would tell my younger self is no matter what you're learning or what you're doing, it will come in useful later in your life. I've had so many full circle moments of at one point I worked for a biotech startup that was wholly owned by Novartis and I had to figure out how to get labels onto bags of blood that were going to be frozen and boiled and spun in a whatever How on earth would that ever have taught me and they had to have barcodes and blah blah blah But later in life sure enough having the understanding of what a dye Device is and you know understanding three of nine codes came in handy again at another job.
[00:35:30] So no matter what i've learned in my career somehow, it's at the time it's like why am I learning this? Why am I even doing this? But to my younger self I would say just be patient because at some point you're going to be the only one in the room with that experience and it's going to be invaluable to you Wow, what an amazing message Always, I mean it's hard right because you're doing some work like why the hell am I doing this work?
[00:35:53] But that is you know, it always comes back. That's amazing. You've inspired me. So thanks for sharing that. And you did bring something up. You said, Hey, I don't need to be a rocket scientist to build Zingtree.
[00:36:03] But just so you know, rocket scientists do use Zingtree, SpaceX, the customer of ours. So you can be a rocket scientist, or you don't have to be a rocket scientist, you can still put Zingtree to use. So I just wanted, I had that in my Lean Six Sigma, mind that I need to bring that back up to you.
[00:36:18] Yeah, I appreciate that. There are people way smarter than me using it. But it, I do think anybody can use it. It's invaluable. It really is an invaluable tool. So we've loved learning about it and bringing it into Intuit. And I know there's probably 10 other places I can think of to use it right now off the top of my head.
[00:36:35] Thank you, JJ, for having me on this podcast. Very exciting to be included. And, Thank you for inspiring me and inspiring, a whole lot of folks out there to hear about your story. Thanks for sharing your personal story as well, because, I think we live in a world where...
[00:36:54] Nowadays, both personal and your professional life are interconnected. Some days you have great days in personal and professional life. And some days, you have crappy days. Or sometimes in a day you have great times and you have a great hour and you have a crappy hour. And it happens both on the personal and professional side.
[00:37:12] So thanks for being open and sharing, the successes you've had, some of the challenges. You had to face and how you had to adapt. So I appreciate you sharing all that. And, I'm sure our listeners will appreciate that as well. So thank you. Thank you, Cynthia. It's great to see you and look forward to seeing you again soon.