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Small mary lee current




Director of Customer Experience
U.S. Air Force - Staff Sergeant, Signals Systems / Paralegal

My job is to understand our customers to such an extent that we deliver designed, differentiated experiences so fantastic that they stay loyal to our brand and refer us to their friends and family. I'm responsible for fostering and amplifying the voice of our customers throughout our organization so we can develop effective strategies and make sound business decisions.

My role constantly evolves, which keeps it interesting. But on a typical day I read customer survey comments and listen to customer phone calls to identify top pain points. Then I'll work with cross-functional teams to resolve the root cause of the issues so other customers don't have the same negative experiences. We ask our customers to provide feedback, so it's important to listen, empathize, and then respond and act on that feedback by improving our products and services. To be effective, I've got to be curious, think critically to identify root causes, be flexible and open to ideas and focus on delivering results. It's important to learn, adjust, and pivot when things aren't working and try another approach.


Stay curious, ask questions, and keep it simple. When it feels like you're the only one who doesn't understand something it can be intimidating to ask questions. In this complex world and quickly changing environment, we have to question the status quo to work smarter. Past practices can be flawed or just not work anymore. To continually improve, we must constantly evaluate what is the right thing to do for our customers and have the courage to question practices and try new ideas.

Don't be complacent; have a sense of urgency in what you do. Don't wait for others to get started. You don't have to have a formal leadership position to get the momentum going and make something happen today.

Learn as much as you can about your company, competitors, and keep up with industry trends. The more you adapt and learn, the more you can figure out what needs to be done to affect change. Make lunch and coffee appointments with co-workers in various work areas to learn more about the company and develop your network.


In the Air Force and the civilian world, constantly taking on different roles and responsibilities shaped my career trajectory. Learning so many complex and technical skills increased my confidence and desire to take on risks and challenges. Working in different business units helps me to see the bigger view and how it's important to understand not just how and what to do, but knowing why. It was incredibly interesting to see how the military operates and how it is able to accomplish so much around the world - from allocating resources, prioritizing, mobilizing, etc. It's just as important to understand the big picture in the corporate world.

It's been ingrained in me to be mission-focused and goal-oriented. I have a strong work ethic and am addicted to the pride that comes from accomplishing something I didn't think was possible. I have deep respect for leaders and team players with high standards. We all bear a huge responsibility to our colleagues past, present, and future. Being someone others can count on is a huge asset that military members bring to the table.  

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