In this interview, we sat down with Joel Sylvester, the Chief Client Officer at Five Star Call Centers, to uncover the key insights and strategies that have propelled his remarkable career. From his path to becoming a CX executive to his vision for the future of CX, Joel shares valuable wisdom and firsthand experiences that shed light on the ever-evolving landscape of customer-centric business practices.
What advice do you have for someone's first 100 days as head of CX?
For anyone stepping into the role of head of CX, Joel's advice is clear and actionable. He emphasizes the importance of defining your organization's desired customer experience and identifying the pillars that support it. Start by outlining what you want your CX to look like and create "always" and "never" lists to guide your efforts. Streamlining processes and workforce management while focusing on speed, quality, and expense are critical aspects of early success.
What does your CX strategy focus on currently and in the future?
In Joel's role at Five Star Call Centers, the current CX strategy revolves around balancing the elements of speed, quality, and expense. He stresses the significance of real-time reporting and dashboards that simplify data interpretation for senior leaders. Looking ahead, he anticipates integrating advancements in automation, AI, and natural language processing to elevate the customer experience further.
How Do You Measure Success With CX?
Measuring success in CX involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your organization's goals. Joel highlights the importance of speed of response, quality metrics, and cost management. By setting clear expectations, utilizing real-time analytics, and inspecting performance regularly, you can ensure that your CX efforts are on track.
What pain points do you have leading a CX or CS team?
One of the challenges Joel highlights in CX leadership is the need for clear definitions of responsibilities and processes within an organization. Avoiding assumptions and ambiguities ensures smooth operations and seamless customer interactions. Additionally, Joel underscores the significance of buy-in from the C-suite, which is facilitated through effective dashboards and reporting that resonate with busy senior leaders.
How do you establish partnerships and gain buy-in with the C-suite?
Joel emphasizes the importance of clear communication and aligned goals. He believes that success begins with defining your organization's desired customer experience and then building processes and KPIs around it. For Joel, dashboards play a pivotal role in this process, as they provide a one-stop shop for leaders to access relevant information. He shares that simplifying reporting and presenting data in a digestible format resonates well with busy executives. Joel highlights the significance of customer feedback as a catalyst for improvement. By implementing best practices from various industries, like retail and financial services, he showcases how businesses can leverage customer insights to optimize their operations. Additionally, Joel underscores the role of real-time speech analytics and AI-driven technologies in tracking and improving customer interactions. In the face of changing landscapes, such as the pandemic, Joel points out the power of adaptability and innovation in delivering exceptional customer experiences. Looking to the future, he anticipates continued advancements in technology, allowing companies to provide personalized and efficient customer interactions while maintaining a keen focus on cost-effectiveness.
Do you have an example of utilizing customer feedback to improve your company?
Joel shares an inspiring example of utilizing customer feedback to drive positive change. During the pandemic, Five Star Call Centers worked with a healthcare client to enhance the patient experience. By allowing patients to complete necessary paperwork prior to their visit, the organization was able to reduce visit times significantly, offering a practical solution to an everyday problem.
What is the future of CX and CS?
In Joel's vision of the future of CX, the integration of AI, automation, and natural language processing holds great promise. These technological advancements can streamline processes, enhance customer interactions, and create seamless experiences. As CX continues to evolve, Joel emphasizes the importance of adaptability and staying attuned to customer preferences.
About Joel Sylvester
Joel Sylvester has spent 25 years in the call center industry crafting customer experiences that drive brand loyalty. He has an unsurpassable passion for customer service and building call center cultures that encourage associates to come to work energized and ready to deliver the best service possible.
Today, Joel serves as partner and chief client officer for Five Star Call Centers, an award-wining outsourcing contact center offering onshore, nearshore, and offshore options, along with supporting hundreds of work-from-home agents across the U.S. With his passion for the industry, no one will outwork Joel in improving the customer experience for his clients.
His career spans hundreds of companies and helping each enhance their customer experience. Joel has recruited, trained, and coached award-winning customer services teams across the globe in industries spanning retail, finance, product support, healthcare, hospitality, and more.
About CX Chats
CX chats is an interview series with Ben Holland, where we talk to industry leaders in the field of customer experience and customer success. Each interview dives deep into the insights from each leader and highlights how they became successful, tips for aspiring CX professionals, and their thoughts on the future of CX.