Celebrating CX Successes With Experienced Women CX Leaders - Guest Post by Karyn Furstman, CCXP
Updated: Mar 15
Today's post is written by my friend and colleague, Karyn Furstman, CCXP.
By Karyn Furstman, CCXP
I asked my CX colleagues and friends who have been in the CX profession driving change for many years the following question...
“Have you had a CX success that stands out above all the others that you're the proudest of? What made it successful and why? Has the organization continued to practice the work you led?”
Stephanie Thum, CCXP shared that CX wins happen across an organization, not just in the CX leader’s office.
“While working as the CX leader for a federal government agency, we built a C-level CX performance metrics and governance framework from the ground up starting in 2012. The objective was to uncover bottlenecks and reduce the red tape that slowed down service to customers. This required getting buy-in, input, and regular effort over multiple years from a large cross-disciplinary team of people. We published the agency’s CX goals and performance in our public-facing annual performance reports, plans, and reports to Congress. In 2016, it was recognized as some of the most advanced CX work in the federal government. What I am really thrilled to see now is that all high-impact U.S. federal government agencies are required to create measurable CX goals and report on them publicly. This work happened in government. Wouldn’t it be cool if all publicly traded companies shared similar CX data with their shareholders?”
Ingrid Lindberg talked about the gratification from helping employees grow their CX careers.
“The success that I’m most proud of is seeing what my team members have accomplished as their careers have progressed. In the early days of customer experience, there were no standard job descriptions - certainly not in healthcare. I was managing a customer service representative whose role was to change the way health insurance handled complex care situations. I was lucky enough to help guide his career – but his natural curiosity and his ability to see things in data have taken him where he is today as a UX research leader for a Fortune 100 company. He has extended everything we built together and is now teaching a whole new group of practitioners. The outcomes I look back on with wonder are the ones where together as one team...we did magical things to change companies.”
Annette Franz, CCXP, discussed driving business results through a formalized customer listening program and a dedicated retention team.
“One of my favorite success stories is work I led with an insurance industry client. They wanted to reduce the number of at-risk customers and prevent future customer loss through listening and proactive outreach to improve their experience and gain their loyalty. In the first year, after building a world-class customer listening program, and their follow-up efforts with detractors, they were able to save 63% of at-risk customers, which translated into more than $11 million of saved revenue. More than 20 process improvements were made, and operational efficiencies were introduced that simplified the quote process, billing/payments, and the claims process. We then used predictive analytics to identify behaviors that trigger customers to shop, with the goal of proactively contacting these customers before they had the chance to defect.”
Jeannie Walters, CCXP, spoke about customer-focused culture and treating CX as a way of life, not a project or initiative.
“I worked closely with leadership at an enterprise SaaS company, helping them focus on customer experience throughout the organization. The relationship started with a simple journey mapping project to identify how their customers were receiving emails from the many brands at the organization. We uncovered that many customers were experiencing things in totally different ways than how the internal process maps were designed. It was a huge "a-ha" moment for the C-suite. The CEO was surprised by what they didn't know about their customers, so they asked me to help them develop a customer-centric culture. I worked with them to create a culture focused on customers with strategy, mindset, and discipline for five years. It was incredible to watch how the brand became more and more customer-focused as more leaders saw how customer experience impacted their results when CX is treated as a continuous key process and not a one-time exercise or fix.”
Each of these reflections on success focuses on different parts of a long term CX transformation. Customer experience is not a project or initiative but rather a journey of how you operate your company and continuously improve how you serve your customers. It is hard but gratifying work that pays off when your customers and employees know you have their back.
As a CXO and member of the executive leadership team of companies in multiple industries, it has been gratifying for me to see the long-term benefits of influencing the shift from a product-focused to a customer-focused company. Weaving customer focus into the DNA of the company and its decision-making process while winning the hearts and minds of employees is a victory. And, I was especially proud to see improved business results and long-term business value realized over time.
Having done this work for many years, I have learned that it’s also important to celebrate the small wins along your path in order to see the positive momentum of great things happening. Celebrating successes will not only help to inspire your employees, and it will also shine through to your customers every step of the way.
What success story are you most proud of and why? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Connect with all of us on LinkedIn: Annette Franz, CCXP, Karyn Furstman, CCXP, Ingrid Lindberg, Stephanie Thum, CCXP, and Jeannie Walters, CCXP.