About Julia Ahlfeldt

Originally from the US, I moved to South Africa before customer experience was a buzzword. Since becoming a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP), I’ve been at the forefront of what is now a booming industry in a dynamic market. I work with clients all over the globe, and am connected to cutting-edge thought leadership through my research, writing and involvement with the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA). My client portfolio includes leading global brands such as Virgin, Old Mutual and Lloyd’s Register as well as JP Morgan and AMEX in the US. Prior to working in CX, I obtained a degree in economics and foreign language from Scripps College in California and started my career in management consulting.

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Decoding the Customer Podcast

In 2017 I launched my podcast, Decoding the Customer. It’s a platform where my guests and I share ideas, best practices and industry success stories. New episodes are released each Thursday and my listeners are based all over the world. I interview CEOs, CCXPs and Chief Customer Officers to gain insights into how they’ve transformed their businesses to be more customer-centric, or have built their businesses from the bottom up with their customers’ needs at the center.

Episodes also include my CX mini MasterClasses. Hosted by me and occasional guest experts, these are short, punchy episodes that cover topics such as Understanding the Voice of the Customer, Customer Strategy vs. Business Risk and Taking on Net Promoter Score.

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Industry Contribution

Some say that customer experience is a vocation rather than a profession. I, like many of my fellow CCXPs, am dedicated to the growth and evolution of the profession. Through my research and writing, I push the envelope on CX strategy and share practical ideas for how organizations can realize customer-centric transformation. I am an active member of the CXPA, the international industry body and I play an ongoing role in the development of the CX community in South Africa and globally. I also develop CX courses that are presented in partnership with some of the leading academic institutions in South Africa.

My work is regularly featured in the media and I’ve been interviewed by Radio 702’s Bruce Whitfield and SAFM’s Nompu Sizaba as well as featured in Financial Mail, Business Day, moneyweb and ITWeb to name a few.

Committed to demonstrating the true value of CX strategies on the bottom line I have developed my own framework for evaluating customer experiences, called the Elements of CX, and a metric called the Net Experience Effect (NEE). I regularly use both across my work. Both the Elements of CX and the NEE metric were tested in my 2017 research collaboration with the opinion mining company, Brandseye. They both played a central role in the analysis..

Each week I also publish a Mini MasterClass podcast and share it with listeners who may be new to CX, or who want to brush up on the basics. Listen here.