Great customer experience starts from the top: CX Mini Masterclass – E55

By September 26, 2019 December 20th, 2019 One Comment
This CX Mini Masterclass explores how leaders can champion the customer mandate. Great customer experience starts with the goals, data and a vision. Special guest and CX thought leader Stephanie Thum shares practical tips on on how to kick start CX alignment and how leaders can be prepared for the most common hurdles along the way. If you’ve been looking for some fresh ideas on fostering alignment, or some food for thought that you can send to your business’s leadership team, then this episode is for you.

Insights from a special guest



Stephanie has amassed deep expertise through her diverse professional background in the field of customer experience. While she’s often best known for her experience as one of the US federal government’s first agency CX leads, she has also been a practitioner and consultant in the B2B world, working with small and mid-sized companies and was one of the founding members of the CXPA. She’s a CCXP and has remained active with the association, even spending some time as part of the association’s HQ team. She’s written an ebook, Where Customer Experience Practices Haven’t Landed in Business. If you’d like to get in touch, connect with her via LinkedIn or Twitter.


Stephanie Thum, CCXP


The starting block for great customer experience

Data and metrics are a logical place to start. Many organizations live and breathe “the numbers”, so leaders are already primed to pay attention. Plus, most organizations are sitting on mountains of data. The next step is to identify how this data can be used to understand the customer and foster organizational accountability (e.g. as KPIs – see episode 53 for a deep dive on KPIs).

Next, leaders should foster awareness and rally department leaders around these figures. Easier said than done, but Stephanie shares the story of a manufacturing CEO who started a weekly stand-up meetings with his plant manager, HR leader, and lead customer service rep to go over the data. The company’s customer experience management efforts evolved from there.

Once leaders are begin supporting CX, they can take the message to their teams, sharing results and helping individuals understand how their day to day responsibilities impact the bigger picture of CX.


6 expert tips

Great customer experiences may start at the top, but rallying the rest of the organization, won’t be without a few challenges along the way. Stephanie provided her insights on what to look out for, and how to respond:


  1. Get comfortable being uncomfortable
  2. If the numbers aren’t great, get comfortable explaining the reasons why
  3. Align your management teams
  4. Present CX as a triage tool, not a policing mechanism
  5. Keep going, no matter what
  6. When the numbers are great, celebrate! When the numbers aren’t so great, don’t point fingers

If you’d like additional insights from Stephanie, be sure to read her full article on this topic.


Want to keep learning about CX?

If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.

And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.

Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including customer insights, CX measurement, leadership alignment and CX change implementation) or get in touch via email


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