Winning Customers’ Hearts and Minds Through Power Skills

About This Episode

Winning Customers’ Hearts and Minds Through Power Skills

Ben Sieke, Director of Talent Development and Learning for Delta Dental of California and affiliates, has a vision for his customer service representative workforce: to help them develop critical power skills that are often overlooked and undermined, like empathy, personalization, and how to proactively problem solve. In part 1 of our conversation with Ben, he tells us about his L&D team’s customized, blended learning program empowering Delta Dental’s customer service representatives to go above and beyond in their roles to provide top-notch service and drive business outcomes. As a huge proponent of L&D measurement, Ben goes on to share not only his program’s success metrics, but also how he puts data into action to better serve learners. And while the power skills he’s advocating may be vital to ensuring superior service, they’re just as valuable to any organization seeking to transform the customer experience – and win the hearts and minds of customers with authenticity and ease.

Interested in learning more?

  • Click here to listen to the rest of our conversation with Ben, as we discuss what it takes to build a strong learning culture within organizations.
  • To see how you can help cultivate power skills amongst your workforce, check out Skillsoft’s Leadership Development and Power Skill Solutions.
  • For all our listeners who are also fellow music lovers, follow Ben’s 90s cover band, SO RAD, and stay tuned for their upcoming performance schedule.
  • For more insight on Delta Dental and their organization, Ben invites you to visit Delta Dental’s website and check out their careers page.

The views expressed by guests are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Skillsoft.

About Our Guest

Ben Sieke

Ben Sieke is Director, Talent Development and Learning at Delta Dental of California. Ben leads a national team of learning and development professionals, including facilitators, instructional designers, program managers and others, that develop, deliver, and manage learning programs for Delta Dental employees. He and his team take a consulting approach when working with internal clients and other human resources partners to develop and execute enterprise and divisional learning strategies in support of personal and professional employee development, both in our employees’ current roles and throughout their careers at Delta Dental.

Ben, who has more than a decade of experience in corporate training and human resources, joined Delta Dental in 2019 as a Senior Organizational Effectiveness Consultant. He was subsequently promoted to Manager of Talent Development and Learning later that year, and again promoted to Director of Talent Development and Learning in early 2020.

Prior to joining Delta Dental, Ben served as Director of Field Human Resources and Manager of Learning Programs at Guitar Center between 2016 and 2019. Ben has also held roles on the global learning and development teams at MUFG and at Weight Watchers. Ben has been a certified Master Trainer since 2013.

An active member of the professional learning and development community, Ben served as President of the Association for Talent Development, Los Angeles Chapter, from 2017 to 2019.

About Our Host

Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek

As Chief Marketing Officer, Michelle leads a global marketing organization, focused on transforming today’s workforce for tomorrow’s economy. Since joining the company, she has been responsible for Skillsoft’s global marketing strategy, which includes generating awareness, driving preference, and building affinity for Skillsoft. Additionally – and perhaps most importantly – Michelle serves as the company's brand evangelist, helping to build a vibrant community of passionate learners.

With more than 25 years of marketing, branding, and strategy experience, Michelle has made it her personal mission to support the advancement of women in business. Prior to Skillsoft, she served as Chief Marketing Officer of IBM Watson, where she was instrumental in developing the first “Women Leaders in AI” program, which honors women who put AI to work across industries and around the globe. She also served as the global head of marketing for The Weather Company, an IBM Business, helping companies understand how to anticipate, plan for, and ultimately make better decisions – with greater confidence – in the face of weather.

Michelle is a prolific speaker on a range of topics, including the war for talent, digital transformation, and marketing in a post-pandemic world. She covers these topics and more as the host of Skillsoft's podcast, The Edge, now in its second season. She has authored countless papers covering a range of business and marketing topics, was at the center of Skillsoft’s leadership role in DEI through free “Leadercamps,” and has taught two Percipio courses on the Pink Pandemic and Public Speaking.

Michelle is also a founding member of CMO Huddles, a group dedicated to bringing together and empowering highly effective B2B CMOs to share, care, and dare each other to greatness. Michelle holds a Master’s degree from Simmons University and sits on the pro side of the Oxford comma debate.