Walmart’s Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside on Fusing Together E2E Customer Experience

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Janey Whiteside, Chief Customer Officer of Walmart, is modeling a new role to evolve the customer experience of Walmart, bringing together what once used to be disparate functions together under one roof.  In Janey’s role, she is responsible for four critical pillars: customer, product, marketing, and Jet. Below is just a quick cheat sheet for you, but this is a must-listen to hear directly from Janey on the details behind each of these important pillars. Also, don’t miss her exceptional career advice and how she has grown in her career to earn her unique leadership role at the world’s largest company.

“My best piece of advice is: always trust your gut. When something doesn’t feel right, keep pushing until you are comfortable with the answer.” – Janey Whiteside

A New Blueprint

  1. Customer: It’s all about the customer: science, experience, and care. You can imagine our lake of customer data that we augment with structured and unstructured data to get a great view of the customer. The Customer Science team is focused on metrics and measurement to feed our Customer Experience team, who is looking at customer journeys to improve experiences, eliminate pain points and anticipate future needs.  The customer care organization – our digital and phone contact center – is focused on delivering customer value and feeding back insight around how best to support customers so they don’t need to call us.
  2. Product: The product organization includes the design thinkers, UX, UI and the product managers who are working with the engineers to develop products in their physical and digital sense. We think about solving problems for customers, like returns, and how do we enable customers to buy things online and return them in various ways, including in our stores.  As we go deeper into the online business, we have first-party products that are sold by Walmart and third-party products, so making sure that customers have easy, delightful ways to return those products, regardless of where they bought them, is key.
  3. Marketing: The CMO organization, led by Barbara Messing, is developing demand for the brand, awareness, and consideration. What does the Walmart brand stand for? How do we tell that story? How do we inject humanity into the functional business? We are a people-lead tech-enabled business which is different for us relative to some of the other competitors. And given our size, there is a tonnage of marketing to produce every day, everything from store signage to social media to paid media and more. We are also a major employer in many communities, so empowering and celebrating our employees is key.
  4. Jet: The Jet organization (acquired in 2016 for $3B). We are focused on how we leverage Jet as a brand to attract new customers to the Walmart franchise and operate in new areas, which perhaps haven’t been the traditional hotline. I think what’s important is to help incubate everything that is great about Jet – the brand, the product, the experience, the talent – and let it operate with the soul that it had when it was created. So we’ve softly ring-fenced it so that it can still move with agility and integrity while leveraging the scale and support of Walmart.
  5. Career Advice: I would love to be able to tell you that my career is a series of well thought out and active choices that I made along the way. The reality is it has been a series of planned and unplanned moves, all of which have given me a myriad of disparate experiences. I’ve been lucky to have a lot of people in my life who are ruthless with their feedback and also incredibly generous with their advice. My best piece of advice is to always trust your gut. When something doesn’t feel right, keep pushing until you are comfortable with the answer.
For the latest CMO Moves episodes, be sure to subscribe on SoundcloudSpotifyApple PodcastsiHeartRadioOvercast, or wherever you prefer to tune in. Nadine Dietz is chief community officer at Adweek and host of the CMO Moves podcast.