Tell us the story of how you got involved in customer experience. How did your career lead you here?
I have always had a great passion for Customer Experience. I enjoy having great experiences and I absolutely detest having poor experiences.
My former boss had introduced me to a book called “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne and it was out of my reading and deep passion for the message this book was teaching that I conceptualized my business and started from there.
I also had the greatest privilege in life to work with our national airline, Air Jamaica, and this experience was the epitome of what Customer Experience is and my time spent working at Air Jamaica coupled with my desire to improve the landscape of customer experience in Jamaica and the world is how I ended up as a Customer Experience Consultant and an avid practitioner that has even evolved into a podcast that I have been hosting for the past 7 years entitled – “Navigating the Customer Experience.”
In which industries, verticals or sectors have you focused your CX career?
My company Professional Training and Occupational Services Inc., focuses on all sectors, however, most of our experience is in the financial sector, retail and telecommunication sectors. We offer training programmes for CX space in all industries for all levels of employees and we also offer Market Research services.
Why do so many companies struggle with making CX a priority? What are some common mistakes companies make?
Based on my experience as a business owner and CX consultant, I believe that companies struggle making CX a priority because they are not able to tie the financial gain/loss that CX can have. They see it as a business function, however, because the gains are not instant and cannot be seen so readily, so they focus on other areas of the business that can show more immediate results.
You’ve been selected to give a keynote address at a major CX conference. What topic will you discuss and what major points will you touch on?
If I was selected to give a keynote address at a major CX Conference, I would discuss the “The Link between Employee Experience and CX” – I would explain how the employee experience impacts customer experience and give strategies for aligning the two. One of my favourite analogies is “Mud flows from the top of the stream” and I strongly believe if an organization continually has poor customer experiences – this is a symptom of what is happening on the inside.
Have you seen, firsthand, any AI impacts on the practice of CX? What impacts are you expecting in the next few years?
In my experience and observation of AI and CX, I have seen personalization of customer interactions, enhanced customer support allowing for more swift response times and predictive analytics for better service delivery. For example, a company might anticipate a customer's need for a product replacement and reach out with a solution before the customer even identifies the problem. I must plug here though that even though AI is here to help and support, it will never replace human interaction. An interaction with a live human being with feelings and emotions can never be replaced.
What skills have served you best in your CX career?
The skill that's served me best in my CX Career is my ability to connect and listen to what my clients are seeking to enhance or improve. This skill has helped me to develop and design workshops, programmes, content that can aid in strengthening their service delivery and overall company culture.
What’s the best advice you’d give someone just starting out in their CX career, or just starting to transition from a related discipline like call-center or customer service management?
When starting a career in Customer Experience (CX), it's crucial to understand core CX principles and leverage your existing skills from related fields like call-center management/customer service management. You should also:
- Develop a customer-centric mindset, prioritizing customer needs in decision-making.
- Stay updated on CX technologies and trends, and utilize data-driven strategies to inform your decisions.
- Network with industry professionals who can provide valuable insights and share experiences.
- Emphasize empathy and emotional intelligence to better connect with customers.
- Practice effective communication across teams and show a willingness to experiment and learn from failures.
- Above all, maintain a commitment to continuous learning and adaptability, as CX is a very dynamic field.
When did CX as a discipline pop up on your radar? How have you seen it evolve or change over that period of time?
CX as a discipline popped up on my radar in university when I was completing a BSc in Hospitality and Tourism Management. I had to complete a final year project that was focused on a travel agency and how to make booking trips more customer friendly and user-driven. It has definitely evolved since 2002 because so much of what I saw in my research then has been realized and has surpassed our wildest expectations. Customers are in so much control now and with the access to information at their finger tips, decisions can be made so quickly and processes completed with the click of a button.
What trend do you think will be most impactful in (your niche of) the CX space over the next three years?
I believe a higher level of personalization will be a great trend that organizations will really tap into to ensure each customer feels like each experience was designed just for them. I also believe we have just touched the tip of how personalized our services can be for customers and as technology continues to be a vehicle of accessibility, processing and change, we will see even more options emerge and implementation occur to make your experiences personalized.
If there’s anything else that you’d like to share with our readers, please let us know! You’re welcome to share any “hot takes” you might have on the practice of CX, or anything you feel sets you apart in the CX space.
I absolutely love how CX has become so important and more organizations across the world both in the public and private sectors recognize the value that CX makes. I believe all CX practitioners, consultants, podcasters, strategists and really anyone who is in the space adds value in their own way, we are all different and even though the messages that we all share may be the same, the messenger is different and that can impact the value the message has on the recipient. I absolutely love talking, writing, coaching, podcasting and everything about CX and I aspire to learn and grow from every single interaction with an aim of “Creating a More Caring World.”