In this interview, Michelle Spaul, a Customer Experience (CX) Consultant at Delta Swan, takes us on a journey through her fascinating path to becoming a CX consultant. She offers valuable advice for those embarking on their first 100 days as a CX leader and shares her insights on the current and future landscape of customer experience strategies.
What advice do you have for someone's first 100 days as head of CX or CS?
When asked about advice for someone's first 100 days as a head of CX, Michelle emphasizes the significance of balancing the desire to make a lasting impression with the need to foster strong relationships with colleagues and teams. She recommends two priorities: understanding stakeholders' goals and perspectives and comprehending the existing customer experience landscape. By taking the time to listen, collaborate, and identify gaps, new CX leaders can build a solid foundation for impactful CX initiatives.
What does your CX strategy focus on currently and in the future?
Michelle's CX strategies are client-focused, adapted to each organization's unique needs and goals. She emphasizes the importance of striking a balance between business, customer, and employee interests. From tactical problem-solving to holistic customer-centricity, Michelle tailors her strategies to meet client's expectations, ensuring that the approach aligns with their growth aspirations.
How Do You Measure Success With CX?
Measuring success in CX involves a blend of tangible outcomes and customer perception metrics. Michelle highlights the importance of quantifiable achievements, such as reduced costs and increased retention rates. While acknowledging the relevance of metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Michelle underscores the need for metrics to resonate more deeply, translating into concrete business improvements.
What pain points do you have leading a CX or CS team?
Michelle identifies a prevalent pain point in CX consulting—the misconception that exceptional customer experiences can be achieved organically without intentional management. Overcoming this challenge involves demonstrating the value of dedicated CX efforts, aligning business goals with CX strategies, and dispelling the notion that customer experience management is intuitive.
How do you establish partnerships and gain buy-in with the C-suite?
Gaining buy-in from the C-suite requires a tailored approach. Michelle emphasizes the importance of understanding C-suite stakeholders' objectives and presenting how CX initiatives can directly contribute to achieving those goals. By setting clear targets, KPIs, and engaging in activities that directly improve customer experience, CX professionals can secure top-level support and drive impactful change.
Do you have an example of utilizing customer feedback to improve your company?
Michelle shares a powerful example from her early days as a CX consultant, where her collaboration with various stakeholders led to an impressive reduction in returns for a major manufacturer. By gathering insights from retailers, consumers, and internal teams, Michelle drove a cultural shift and implemented improvements that resulted in substantial cost savings and strengthened relationships with retailers.
What is the future of CX and CS?
Looking ahead, Michelle envisions the future of CX focusing on getting the fundamentals right. This includes ensuring effective communication, collaboration, and a deep understanding of customer needs. Furthermore, she highlights the potential of advanced data analysis and technology to revolutionize CX, allowing organizations to delve into customer insights and streamline processes for enhanced customer understanding.
About Michelle Spaul
Michelle Spaul is a dynamic CX consultant with a diverse background encompassing quality management, process improvement, change management, and more. Her passion lies in helping organizations drive customer-centric solutions and enhance customer satisfaction. Michelle's journey into the realm of CX was a natural progression, driven by her fervor for making things work and assisting people in delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Michelle's passion for working with businesses of all sizes and sectors shines through. She is dedicated to fostering collaboration, helping organizations prevent pitfalls, and driving impactful change. You can learn more about Michelle and her insights by visiting her website or connecting with her on LinkedIn.
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.