Head of Customer Service at Selfridges, Sham Aziz, explains his formula for a great customer, the relationship between brand equity and reputation, and how customer service can be a proactive function in a company, turning from a perceived point of loss to a profit.
Customer service is like glue
The golden metric that customer service aims to achieve is retention - customers' loyalty in returning to a product or service based on the success of their experience. This also leads to a greater reputation, furthered by positive feedback and recommendation. But at the root of retention lie the products and services that resolve a customer's problem. Although these aspects are core to the customer experience, the act of great customer service binds them together like glue.
Sham shared his secret recipe for achieving excellent customer service. It visualizes the elements of customer service that companies should focus on, so the customer experience can be innately positive and successful. The formula is:
- Resolution x Reputation x Retention = 🔥
Evolution of personas
A key marketing strategy is the customer persona profile. Marketing Insider Group state that 93% of companies who exceed lead and revenue goals segment their database by buyer persona. This characterization mode can effectively group customers based on various factors, e.g., psychographics. Therefore, it leads to more specific and accurate targeting. However, with individual diversity and desire being so vast, is this tactic losing validity or gaining practicality in a data-driven world?
This article summarises podcast episode 74, "The Formula for Great Customer Service," recorded by CX Insider. For more information, listen to the episode, or contact Sham on his LinkedIn profile.
Written by Marcell Debreceni
Full episode transcript
Sham: If I go all the way back to my early experiences of speaking to people in my banking days, over the phone, around money in their account, versus talking to when I worked in grocery for customers who received bruised bananas, they both were equally as unhappy as each other. Absolutely. And so bruised bananas are a real issue.
Adam: They are a big deal.
Valentina: So hello, everybody, and welcome to another video episode of CX Insider. This time, Adam and I talk to Sham Aziz and head of a customer service at Selfridges. We talk about Sham's formula for great customer service, the latest technology trends, and the most popular service channels. Enjoy the episode, and don't forget to share your thoughts on our LinkedIn page. By the way, this podcast was brought to you by ACF Technologies, Global Leaders, and Customer Experience Management Solutions. Hey Sham, thank you very much for coming today. How are you?
Sham: I'm good, thanks. How are you guys doing?
Adam: All right. Yeah, I'm good. Very good. Thanks.
Valentina: Yeah. So we usually start by doing a little introduction. So would you like to tell us something about yourself, your career, your background, and what you do?
Sham: Well, so my name is Sham. I'm head of the customer service at Selfridges. And the second part of my role this year includes the diversity board, of which I'm deputy chair. And I guess in my main life, I'm practicing to be an adult and being a parent, that's kind of my main job to a nine-year-old terror of a son, the most rewarding job, but also the most difficult job I've ever had.
Adam: I couldn't agree more with that, to be honest.
Valentina: Could you also tell us a bit more about like what you do on your, you know, as your as part of your career in your day-to-day basis?
Sham: Sure. So I spent about 20 years in customer service a little bit over that now. I started way back on the phones telling people their bank balances. Fast forward to today at Selfridges is I guess three main parts of the role are running the day-to-day operation. What we're doing over the next 12 months, whether that's projects that we're going to deliver. And then finally, it's what's the strategy over the next three years, five years? Where should we go, and the roadmap to get there? So all exciting stuff.
Adam: Absolutely. So you spent how long did you say you were working? You worked at and answered the telephone and told the people about balances. How long did you do that?
Sham: Well, that was some 21, 22 years ago. And I did that for about three years. I fell into it by accident in terms of customer service. It was a job to do after college, and I liked the open-plan nature of the contact centre. It was a different way of working. It was different to retail, being on the shop floor, for example. And then I started to progress within the contacts, and I started having training sessions developed into a team leader, and then I saw that there was a career for me, and that is.
Adam: A contact centre. This is an interesting idea. But as a contact centre changed much in 2122 years?
Sham: Yeah, exponentially it has even just from the naming conventions. So if you go all the way back, they used to be called call centres. We used to get faxes, customers sending a fax through faxes.
Valentina: I remember seeing that as an option on the internet whenever I needed to send something or as a kid. But I don't remember how or I've never used it.
Adam: I don't know how it works.
Sham: Yeah. Just maybe we could cut that part out. But they used to be called call centres and then there was a channel shift where email sort of came in and said then it was a contact centre and then there was sort of like a rebranding exercise that took part and we started calling them customer experience centres. Today customer experience is more aligned to online and the digital side of things, so now it's kind of gone back to a customer centre or a contact centre and some people still say call centre. So if you hear somebody say call centre, then they've got some experience behind them because they've been in the game for a while.
Adam: Yeah, yeah.
Valentina: Formulas make our lives easier no matter how much we don't like learning them at school. Once we know how to use them, we can apply them to solve difficult tasks. They help us understand how things work. People are coming up with formulas all the time. Only two weeks ago, scientists created a formula for the perfect start to your day. They even claim mathematicians made the formula for love. Similarly, Shem was looking for the formula for the best customer service.
Sham: Yeah, I was up very late, and I was just pondering this question around customer service. I was trying to figure out how to improve it, tinkering with it. It's part of my day job, but I ended up going down this road where I thought we could turn it into a formula. And so essentially it's the idea that if you could resolve something, it could lead to a better reputation, which could then lead to retention. So the formula would be: resolution times reputation times retention equals fire emojis. Okay, so the idea is if you can nail those three points, then they'll be fire emojis. And that's kind of the goal. That's where anyone and everyone's trying to get to. If we think a little bit to our marketing colleagues, retention is that sort of golden metric that everybody is trying to get to. And I believe you could do that through customer service. So like for me, customer service is the glue that binds products, services and experiences. And so if we can do a bit of a rebranding exercise in the world of customer service and demonstrate that value back into the business, then we get a seat at the table within that.
Adam: Then you've got obviously one of the things you mentioned was reputation. How how do you affect reputation, if that makes sense? I understand you can obviously do retention and customer experience. Customer service is huge, but what about reputation and what kind of effect and control do you have on that?
Sham: Yeah, so it's... Stay with me on this.
Adam: Okay. No, fine. Yeah.
Sham: So customer service is a touchpoint. It's arguably probably one of the biggest touchpoints. It's a two way touchpoint. If you look at marketing, you might send out a DM, direct message, or direct mail, and then you're waiting for a customer to interact with that. But that doesn't happen in a live scenario in customer service. If you're in a conversation, it's a two-way interaction. So as part of that, you could either improve the customer's perception or make it worse or stay neutral. That's sort of the three options that you have. So that customer attends that conversation with you, and they'll leave with one of those three. If they leave with a positive view, then you've added to that brand equity, and that's where the reputation kicks in. So if you go into a store and have a fantastic experience, when you call, you should also have a fantastic experience. It's all part of the same reputation and that's where I think customer service can positively and sadly, sometimes negatively impact.
Adam: And in terms of like this digital age that we're in. Have the challenges of that changed a lot? I'm sure they have. But how has that changed in terms of dealing with those channels and those touch points? Because there must be more.
Sham: Yeah, there are so many channels now. And I guess that one of the challenges of customer service is the proliferation of channels where you start adding many more ways for people to get in touch on our side of the fence. That's quite hard to juggle. We're trying to make sure that we're in all those channels, and then what we're trying to do is make sure that we're consistent across those channels. The skills required to have a phone conversation with somebody versus having a chat conversation with somebody, that typing skill that's different. So you're trying to recruit for that, and you're trying to make sure that you're equally as good across those channels. And if some customers are channel hopping, they start with a phone call, tweet you later that day, and send you an email overnight, waiting for a response in the morning. That's quite tricky to stay on top of and make sure that you're resolving that for a customer. So I think if I could give anybody advice, it would be to do less good.
Sham: And so pick this sort of the two or three top ones you want to go for and do them really well. Most people will come there and respond to you. Different channels are more appropriate for different businesses. So some businesses lend themselves beautifully to live chat or to messaging asynchronous, which is you send a message and then they'll reply when they reply, it depends on your business, what you're trying to do, what service you're offering, what your products are.
Valentina: Sham mentioned brand equity, the holy grail of branding, the ultimate objective of marketers. Apart from reputation, how else can customer service impact brand equity?
Sham: Yeah, absolutely. I guess if you take brand equity and you try and break that down and understand what that means, a lot of it is, are you providing a great product, service or experience? They're sort of like the three things that you're going after as a brand and the role that customer service can play in that, other than making sure they've had a great experience when they turn up, is taking the information that you've been given within your department and then facing inwards to your business and informing them. So if somebody gives you feedback on a marketing campaign, feed that back into marketing. If somebody has used the feature on your website and it hasn't worked quite well, let your IT department know about that. So take that information and use it to create a better journey going forwards. That's ultimately the goal behind what most businesses are trying to do. They're incrementally trying to improve the experience and customer service. We get that information. Customers give that to us. That's one of the hardest things for most businesses to do is to talk to customers. The beauty of customer services, they come and talk to us.
Adam: Yeah, good point.
Sham: So let's grab that information. Let's package that up. Whether that's in a dashboard, whether that's in a customer story you want to tell or a great tweet where somebody has come through and said, Oh my God, you blew my mind. Great service. Take that, share it internally, talk to you about it, go to your various departments, and then hopefully, the behavior will change, and the experience will change, and then that will continue to build brand equity.
Valentina: Customer service is often looked at as a loss in profit and loss statements, but could it also be the other way around?
Sham: Yeah, so that's kind of the thing that most people in my position are trying to do. We're trying to rebrand customer service or the contact centre within our businesses, so we're trying to demonstrate the value that's available. We've all had those difficult conversations within budget meetings. We're trying to do more for less is the thing that everybody's going after. And actually I think it's more important to go after the customer experience and if we can align ourselves with these sexy buzzwords like retention and resolution and these things that people associate with customers coming back and spending more, then suddenly customer service isn't an L. Now it's a P. So I would say my advice would be figure out whether you can impact retention for your customer service team and if you can talk about it, report on it. And if you're able to close sales through your contact centre, then report on that as well. Now the reporting for sale through a contact centre most likely sits on a different panel to yours. For example, it will be on the E Commerce Pal because they've made a sale through the website. However, if you facilitate that through the contact centre, then in your reporting you can say we did this many orders over the phone or we did this many orders over a live chat. And you're starting to demonstrate that you're more than just a race to the bottom in terms of productivity.
Adam: Makes perfect sense. Okay, brilliant.
Valentina: Most of the time, interactions with customer service are initiated by the customers, but customers appreciate to be informed without having to contact customer service. In other words, customer service has more of a reactive role. How could this be improved?
Sham: Yeah, it is a great question. There's always this thing about if we can deliver information to a customer first before they want it or need it, then you meet them in neutral territory. So if we take the example of a delayed order, if you could tell somebody before that the order is delayed, there might be some disappointment. But the news has been broken in the other direction versus waiting for somebody to realize the orders were delayed. And then they get in touch and say, Where the hell is my order? So the way that that message is delivered is interesting. This does come back to using the information that we have. So we live in a world of metrics. And so for a contact center, all of the contact we get, we tag that, we get a contract, we add a note to it, and then that allows us to do reporting. So, for example, whereas my order, if we tag those contacts at the end of the week, I could tell you how many of those happened, what day of the week they were, and which one of our carrier partners it was around. And if you take that information and go back in and say, is this normal? Is there anything we could do to improve this? And then you can go and eliminate the root cause of the problem. So you end up taking it away. So I think there's a bit around can you eliminate something? Can you reduce something or can you automate something that's kind of that three-step program of making it a frictionless customer experience? And so I'd encourage anybody to look at what their contact is, whether it's around delivery returns, stock, and then figure out using that three step method. How do I improve the experience?
Valentina: Customer service expectations are very high. The majority of customers expect on demand service anytime, anywhere. Yet I do wonder whether people expect more from premium brands than from functional brands.
Sham: Yeah, I mean, in my experience, if I go back right at the beginning, there was always this view, depending on where you worked, whichever business you were in, and what the value proposition of that business was that we would build customer personas and we would bucket customers and say, These customers expect this experience. These customers want this kind of service. In the end, in my experience, if there's an exchange so of time or money in return for a product service experience, the expectation in my experience has always been high because people are looking at an exchange and they want to feel like they've come better off in that exchange. And so if I go there back to my early experiences of speaking to people in my banking days over the phone, around money in their account, versus talking to when I worked in grocery for customers who received bruised bananas, they both were equally as unhappy as each other. Absolutely. And so bruised bananas are a real issue.
Adam: They are a big deal. So but every every customer's it's their problem. It relates to them. So they may think that bruise bananas is as bad as your mortgage payment not going out. Well, it's the thing that's annoying in that day at that time, isn't it?
Sham: Exactly. And so I think our role within customer service is not to judge anybody, is to resolve the issue and try and meet their expectations. So I'm going to call that one a myth.
Adam: Fair enough.
Valentina: I will say an unpopular opinion, but soon as are an outdated marketing technique. They have been very helpful for the last several decades. But more and more marketers believe that in today's post-modern society, personal identity is so unique to individual consumers and fluid that generalizing these individuals doesn't add much value. Whether that's true or not depends on many factors, but let's hear different perspectives.
Sham: It is an interesting question and look, fair disclaimer I'm not a marketer. And so if there's if there's marketers listening to this and I say the wrong thing, I apologize upfront. But in my experience, from what I've seen around the persona piece is just trying to better understand customers and figure out what you can tweak within your proposition, what's the value trying to provide and what's the view that you're providing to that customer. So in my experience, there's always been there's probably this sort of 80% bucket where the value proposition as it is within your business applies to most customers. And then that fringe of 20% is ever so slightly different. And those personas help drive sales, drive experience, drive reputation, all of the above. So I think you can get lost. You can end up with far too many personas. And then you have to question yourself and say, Am I here to run a business or am I to categorize personas? But I think there's something in it. I think there is something around being able to test and learn your way through your. Position. And sometimes the personas will help you do that. It will help you understand which experiments to run with which groups of customers in order to drive your business forward.
Valentina: Throughout the pandemic, customers shifted to entirely new channels. Now, when things get back to normal, it's difficult to predict which channels will disappear and which will be the leading means of communication. It could be WhatsApp, email or video.
Sham: Either I'm going to sound like a genius or go on. I am not because in six months or six years time this will age well or it won't. I think with technology, I think the jury's still out on video. So the experience I had recently of trying to buy a mobile phone via video chat. It wasn't great. Know it was. It was an interesting one. There was this sort of challenge with every video conversation. Most people know this because over the pandemic, we've been using teams, zoom and everything else. So there's always that bit where you look at the screen and you're not looking at the camera, and so you can't really make good eye contact on.
Adam: Mobile phone cameras up in the top left. You're staring there, and he's thinking, why is he not looking at me?
Sham: So that's that's kind of a bit unsettling when you're trying to buy or sell something and it's like. So I'm not entirely sure about that. Then there's the bit around their background, your background, and the noise that comes with that and the distraction that comes with that. I do quite like streaming, though. I like the idea of streaming. So product demos via streaming, you know, think back to the days of QVC.
Adam: Totally. Yeah.
Sham: Yeah. But take that to the Internet and think about how you.
Adam: Could run in Asian markets. It's massive.
Sham: Yeah, indeed. It's incredible, and I love it. It's an experience, and you can sort of see that product, and it's moved on massively from the days of QVC. And if QVC is watching, I haven't recently watched. So maybe they've moved on too, I don't know.
Adam: Head office used to be in London. It was that really kind of outrageous building with the gold sides makes sense what you're saying. So in customer service, you don't at the moment you think is a bit awkward. Do you think that's because people, when they're in customer service, they've got their problem, they want to resolve it as quickly and efficiently as possible? They probably don't want to faff around with downloading a video app, or setting up whether they're cameras. Right. They just want to get it done. Yeah. And in terms of that then is the most common channel, the telephone.
Sham: Yeah. So just to I guess, bookend the video piece in terms of customer service rather than the sales part.
Sham: Is that. I don't know that we've always been sort of customer-facing in that sense, especially in the contact center world where you're dealing with a phone call or you're multitasking because you're adding notes to a system or you're trying to type up an email, trying to do that via video chat. At the same time, you just see somebody that's quite distracted who's clicking about stuff. So I'm not sure that that would give you the best experience from a service angle, but I'm open to hearing about businesses out there that are doing it well, and I'd love to learn about that. Not from salespeople, by the way. So just from that side of it. And then the second part of your question was the best.
Adam: So, you know, me personally, I'm a really impatient consumer, and I can imagine my persona is that impatient man. And if I've got a problem, I want it to be done. I'm not as bad as the person you kind of mentioned earlier that will send you a message, or send you a tweet. I don't do the tweeting thing. I think that's out of order complaining on some company's Twitter page. But my preferred channel is a live chat, mainly because I am multitasking and I'm doing that while on something else. But are you finding that the most common channel is still the telephone? Is it live chat? Is it messaging or does it really depend on what the product is?
Sham: Yeah, it's a really good question. So as well as working in the industry for 20 years, I've built up a network of other people who do the same job that I do. So it's cross industry. What I've seen mostly is that phone is still king. It does drive the most volume, usually somewhere around 40 to 50% of contact volume. And then email is a close second in some cases over the pandemic that flipped around a little bit more emails were being sent than phone calls. But most contact centers are subtly trying to nudge customers into channels that have a better contact resolution. So rather than have multiple emails going backwards and forwards, if you have one phone call, you might be able to resolve that query. But if you have a live chat session, then you can solve that quickly whilst you're multitasking elsewhere. So let's say you're working. You could start a live chat session with customer service. They can respond to you, you can deal with that. You could also do other things. That's easier in terms of multitasking, then say, trying to balance a phone on your ear while you're trying to sort of multitask there. So Live Chat has quite a great content resolution. Social has a great content resolution attached to it. So as well as taking the offer out for ourselves as a department, it can be better experience for the customer as well. So most people are trying to move away from email within the industry because at least one email has to be sent and one has to come back in the other direction to get anywhere. And so usually emails the, the thing we're trying to eliminate.
Valentina: There are a lot of claims about how artificial intelligence can help businesses be more efficient. Sometimes they are a bit out of touch with reality, but the future sounds promising. Speaking of AI, have you talked to Blender Bot, Meta's latest chatbot? You should try it. It's fun.
Sham: I think some of the outrageous claims on LinkedIn I know, we will reduce 30%, 40%. I saw something the other day where they reduced to like 80% of contact. And I think we're days away from somebody saying they'll reduce 120% of contact, which I don't think it's possible, but at some point, somebody's going to put that up on marketing just to grab the attention. I think you can automate to an extent. If we go back to what I was saying earlier, can you eliminate something? Can you reduce something, or then can you automate it? And I'd go that way around. I wouldn't necessarily start with automation upfront because you might be hiding the root cause of something just because you've automated it. It might be out of sight and out of mind for you. But if there's a root cause problem there and you need to go and solve it within your business, then, then you should do that. So I think automation works. Some of the pitfalls of automation would be that you can automate things that are repetitive and easy. And so what you're doing then for your team, you're giving them the hardest stuff to deal with because you've picked off all the easy stuff. So now you've changed the nature of their role. So you need to make sure that what they're dealing with, they're equipped to deal with it. And imagine if you get, I don't know two or three contacts, and you get an easy one, and you get a slightly medium one and a slightly harder one to deal with if going forwards. Everything's just really hard to deal with the tough role.
Adam: Cherry picking the easy ones and giving that to the AI on you.
Sham: Indeed. So I think, you know, that's the glass half empty view. The glass half full is that if depending on the type of your contact centre and what services you're providing if you're giving people advice on products and you talk to them about an event that they're going to and style advice or that's a great kind of cool to have, and it's not one that I can deal with at least today to my knowledge. So you get to have those kinds of conversations. So I think it depends on what your contact centre is trying to do or what types of contact you're dealing with. But there's always a role for technology.
Valentina: Once I start solving customer tickets, it will, of course. Laws solve the easiest issues, which will ultimately leave the most difficult tasks to the employees. Everyone who worked in hospitality or customer service knows how exhausting it can be at times. So if I make customer service more efficient, it can also put extra pressure on the employees.
Sham: The rise of wellbeing is now labeled really well, but if we go back many, many years, people are thinking about how to give staff a great place to work, whether the olden days that was like a foosball table, table tennis, beanbags, you know. I remember buying an Xbox in one of the contact centres that I worked in, and we played the Olympic Games on it. And so there's, you know, it's moved on a bit. It's different, you know, going forwards into 2022, wellbeing just makes sense. It's the right thing to do. It does pay you back from a business perspective, not just from wellbeing, but actually investing in upskilling of your teams and staff. So continuous training, continuous learning will lead to improvement for everybody, both for staff members, but then also for customers. So as long as we're happy to keep upskilling as an organisation, as a culture, then I think it will pay back, and hopefully you'll get away from difficult conversations because they'll be easier to have
Valentina: I hope you enjoyed listening to the podcast. If you did, don't forget to like, share a comment or subscribe to the podcast on your preferred channel. Most importantly, don't forget to join our community on our LinkedIn page. Enjoy rapid-fire questions, and I will see you next time. Also, this podcast is sponsored by ACF Technologies. What's your favourite brand and why?
Sham: What's my favourite brand? So I quite like wearing watches, but I certainly don't have the funding that's required to wear the kind of watch that I'd like to wear. So I recently discovered a brand called Sekonda, which most people would be familiar with. They do fantastic watches, and wrist checks.
Adam: Checked out.
Sham: And they basically meet my needs. It looks the way I want it to look. It feels good. It does the job that needs to do, and it fits the price point that I am after. And it's easy. It's easy to get. And so I'm going to call out Sekonda as a brand.
Valentina: What's your favourite TV show?
Sham: My gut is trying to think how much that will reveal about my watching habits. What is my favorite TV show? That's the problem with Rapid Fire. I'm not.
Adam: Rapid doesn't matter. We can edit this.
Valentina: Yeah, that's fine.
Sham: Favorite TV show...
Adam: It doesn't have to be a current show.
Sham: Yeah, that's what I'm just trying to think. What do I normally watch or what did I watch that just, like, blew my mind and still resonates. My favorite TV show or program that I like to watch, not necessarily on TV anymore, would be the UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship. So it's a little bit different, but I just find it interesting how much the fight game has moved on and the different aspects of what takes place. So I do like to consume a lot of UFC.
Valentina: What's on your travel list?
Sham: So from a travel perspective, my wife and I traveled to many, many different parts of the world. And then now, with a nine-year-old son, we're traveling lots of different parts of the world. And so, for me, it's trying to explore different places, and different cultures and try and be a little bit off the beaten path. I do look for a son, but I'm not necessarily out there sunbathing. So I guess good climate, good food, but also a little bit of good culture while we're there. So I don't have one specific destination, but the next one I'm heading to is Istanbul, which seems to tick all those boxes.
Adam: Great place. Went last week. Nice. Yeah. Yeah. You love it. It's amazing. Massive. It's huge. It's like four times the size of London. Oh, yeah.
Sham: It doesn't seem it when you look at, like, guides and reviews, but.
Adam: But you said about warmth, 47 degrees one-day last week. Oh, wow. Yeah. That wasn't enjoyable.
Valentina: What's the best age?
Sham: Oh, wow. I don't know how to answer that question. I'm just trying to think about that one for a little bit. The best age. I think the best age for me is fond memories of growing up and spending time with my dad. So I think any one of those ages, whether it was when I was ten when I got my first bicycle and learned to ride it with my dad or age 15 when I played cricket with my dad, and I wasn't very good, and he was trying to teach me, and I was frustrating him, but he was trying to improve my form, just those sort of moments and memories. There's loads of them and I'm getting to now sort of create those with my son. So I guess they'll just always be lots of best ages but built around moments.
Valentina: And Adam, do you want to ask your question? You had the most difficult one. Oh, no.
Adam: I did. I did. So if you could have dinner with three people, 2 hours, you sit down and have dinner, they can be alive or dead. It doesn't matter, which three people and why?
Sham: Oh, wowzers.
Adam: Sounds like an interview question. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Sham: "Did you get the job afterward?" Three people are dead or alive. It's trying to think this one over.
Adam: This will show his real personality now. Imagine he says Hugh Hefner.
Sham: So well, let's start with Dana White then, from the UFC. So he runs the organization, the UFC that I was talking about earlier. I think that would just be interesting from beginning to end. The second person I would want to have dinner with is my dad. He's passed away, so that would be wonderful just to get that moment back and have one more dinner and then a third person that I guess I'd like to have dinner with. Sam, we really pick your options in it.
Adam: Actually, here's another way of looking at it. You've obviously been in customer service for 20-plus years. If you could go back and speak to any of your managers in the past, is there a specific manager or someone that you work with you'd want to go back to and go to? Thanks. You really show me the ropes. Anyone you can think of? Is anyone really inspirational to you that way?
Sham: Yeah, definitely. There are so many people who help me along on the journey and open the doors for me at the right time. And I'll probably be here all day listing them to you. But I guess the best way to answer that is the first person that came to mind, a gentleman called Mark Bentley, and he it because he's like incredibly humble and stuff, so annoying. But yeah, I would shout out Mark Bentley.
Adam: Mark Bentley.
Sham: Yeah. He opened a few doors for me and he just it was the first person, I think, that allowed an environment where you are able to sell confidently and then move on. And it was never a case of, you know, that's a mistake. So I think he's the first person that demonstrated that to me. You read about it in the books and you read about it online about failing fast. It was the first manager that showed me how to do that in an actual work environment. So I'll always remember fondly his life. By the way, I'm not talking about our time together. I remember fondly. I learned a lot.
Adam: Okay. And do you think you're going to be someone's, Mark Bentley?
Adam: In a few year's time, I'll have them on the podcast. I ask him, but they go, who inspired you?
Sham: I don't know that I've got a similar management style. I try, if I can, to create a similar environment. And I think that is because I benefit from it. I benefit from being able to experiment. And so I always try my best to do that. So the best thing to do would be to ask people who've left me and moved on. The ones that work with me now. But yeah, who knows? One day I'll be keeping a listen on the podcast.
Sham: Thank you.
Valentina: Thank you.
Adam: Thank you so much. Great.