• Emily Laughlin

My Deep Dive into CX

To say I got thrown into the deep end of Customer Experience would be an understatement. Having only started my career in the field just under two years ago (not to mention just having heard about it) I am proud and excited about the work I have accomplished and all that I am yet to discover.

Allow me the opportunity to share my deep dive into CX. To share my challenges (and some tips on how I overcame), my triumphs, my learnings and everything in between. I’m sure many other first time CXers can relate!


Getting started: sink or swim

No joke, my first day on the job I jumped straight into the largest and best (not that I am biased or anything) telco in the Caribbean. Here, the EXCO team was tasked with enhancing the experience that our client delivers to over 1 million people across Trinidad and Tobago. Our project included a focus on CX KPIs (more on this in another blog), customer journeys and launching a new product to the market; including the conceptualization, design and implementation. No pressure!

As part of the Go-to-Market strategy, we placed a large focus on customer feedback and market research. Just two months into the job I found myself playing a key supporting role in a series of focus groups. Acting as facilitator, note taker and data analyst where I was able to support the team in gathering insights critical for a successful launch.

The challenge ahead of me was to uncover the TRUE customer’s experience that our client was delivering. The question I asked: “but where do we even begin?!” Well I’ve learned that sometimes simply getting started is the toughest bit of any CX project. We kicked off with workshops to map out the current experience where I played a pivotal role in the facilitation. Research is KEY: I reviewed previous journeys and researched ideal experiences in the telco world. In other words I dove deep! Through this combination of practical and hands on experience as well as the research and guidance from the team, we identified (and later closed) gaps that existed in the experience. Once I was in the ‘water’, it suddenly seemed like a tidal wave of endless ideas and ultimate experiences waiting to be unlocked.


Honesty is still the best policy

As is with all things that require change, people can become defensive and I found myself trying to gloss over some of the experience gaps we uncovered. I learnt very quickly this was not in the company’s, or their customer’s best interest. It is essential to point out the good, the bad and the ugly. In CX, you want to tell the whole story behind the customer experience data and the company’s performance. I realized that instead of focusing on the gaps, by bringing home the message around what we’re doing to improve the situation, and how we can/will and plan to support the initiatives around same, everyone becomes more eager, clearing a path for sustainable CX change.


Learn from the experts

Three months later: The Caribbean Customer Experience Summit! On October 24th 2019, we hosted the first ever CX summit in the region. This event included two global CX guru’s, who have shaped and inspired me on this journey, PLUS we featured brands like Sandals, EY and Caribbean Airlines! This was a defining moment in my career in CX; I felt truly inspired and propelled forward simply just being in the room with CX professionals who share our same passion. Check out the highlights below.

https://www.excott.com/summit

One year in and empowered by data

One year in, I found myself immersed in customer data. Having been certified in Customer Journey Mapping and officially earned my status as a Net Promoter Score expert, my university degree finally came in handy (Bachelor of Science - Finance, University of Tampa). My interest in and love for undeniable facts was reignited as I combed through a seemingly unending amount of feedback. Personally, I found this the most effective way of understanding not only experience, but customers in general. Every piece of data told a story; from our research on COVID19 and its impact across Trinidad & Tobago (check it out here - www.exoctt.com/covid19) to customers' political preferences and benchmarking studies across a variety of industries.


Not just another survey

Trigger warning for all CXers: In the past, I would unsubscribe or roll my eyes at a feedback request. I never understood or appreciated the value of simply filling out the sometimes short - and when done right - simple request for feedback. By using the right tools and methodologies to listen to the Voice of your Customer, you get to really know your customers and ideally, not just meet but exceed their needs.


Time flies when you're having fun

(and everyday is a new day, challenge, task and accomplishment!)

Now, a year and half later, I still can’t believe all that I have accomplished and learnt in the CX space. We all know the challenges that COVID19 and its restrictions brought, for me it was the push I needed further into the deep end. I am now responsible for the CX oversight and management of two accounts in the company’s portfolio. Looking back, I realize there is no coincidence that my introduction in CX is perfectly aligned with the way in which we approach a new client or project - jumping right into the deep end in search of the horizon! At EXCO, we thrive by embedding ourselves into an organization and its processes, from both the outside-in and the inside-out! As I continue to learn and master all elements of a sustainable CX program.


I am energized and eager for the next phase of growth and experiences (no pun intended) for this team that I am so proud to be a part of and I would not be where I am without them.

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