Thoughts on Current Hot Topics by Top CX Leaders

We’ve been talking to some of the top minds in customer experience organizations in our CXperts by Pathlight podcast. Their insights are inspirational and a true gift from their years of experience growing companies and managing teams. These leaders know how to deliver exceptional customer service that creates a competitive advantage for their businesses.

Last updated on: 
August 10, 2023
Josh Witty
Josh Witty
October 6, 2022
6 min read

With their collective experience from companies like Sunbasket, Therabody, Digit, Robert Half, Adobe, Uber, Zendesk, Freshly, and Microsoft, they are indeed experts in building teams to provide brand-enhancing customer service experiences. 

You can find these podcast episodes on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts— be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss out on future episodes.

Here are a few of our favorite quotes on today’s hot topics: 

On being an innovative leader

“You can't be the inspirational leader that maybe you want to be if you are so inherently cautious and slow to do things.” - Richard Smith: VP Customer Experience at Therabody, Episode 9 
“The speed of technology change is not going to slow down, it's only going to accelerate, and the importance of digital literacy to embrace the tools that you have, but also to be an early adopter of how you can even be more productive, more effective with additional tools and resources is something that as a CX leader, you need to demonstrate by example, you need to show that you are embracing the technology. You are an early adopter. You are looking at innovative ways to use the technology to do your job better, or for your team to do their job better.”  - Diane Domeyer, SVP at Robert Half, Episode 10

Managing in a hybrid world

“Now one in seven (work remotely or a hybrid schedule). (...)companies that can provide that level of flexibility and will continue to provide that level of flexibility, even as the pandemic subsides, have the upper hand in identifying talent in a really, really tight talent market.” - Diane Domeyer, SVP at Robert Half, Episode 10
“I think the interesting thing from a manager's perspective is really how do you manage performance in an environment that's become remote and distributed, that has new metrics on this is not just call handles but how do you understand the different complexities of different cases, modes of operating? When does first response time become important or next response time? Giving the managers the tooling that they need and reporting they need to understand if somebody's doing well, or if they need help up is really important.” - Matt Price, SVP at Zendesk, Episode 7


Importance of EX and CX in an economic downturn 

You want to make sure that you are being sensible in how you approach economic slowdown so that you are not caught swimming naked as the tide goes out. So I'm trying to be responsible as to sort of how I approach decisions, but equally I don't want to compromise on that agent experience. I don't want to compromise on that customer experience.” - Richard Smith: VP Customer Experience at Therabody, Episode 9 
“So, let's just say we head into an economic downturn, I would argue that those organizations that really connect CX and EX are the best positioned to persevere regardless of economic conditions.” - Diane Domeyer, SVP at Robert Half, Episode 10

Empowering agents with realtime transparent performance data

“It's by having the data available and making it there and having the understanding why it's important, it puts agents in the driver's seat to be able to see where they're at and if they care, right? And that's part of hiring people who care and helping them understand why these things matter. They can see themselves and they can start asking for help. They can start looking for, "Oh, what can I do different? Or what went wrong yesterday?" - Brett Frazer, VP Customer at Sunbasket, Episode 8
“people can get often the first response to transparency is that frontline folks will feel bad if they see how their performance compares. Anytime I've had this sort of public performance management, people love it. It may be difficult that first couple of days, but man, when they get into it, you know? People want to be successful at our core. And I think we lose that sometimes. And so this is a really great way for people to be like, "Okay, I'm starting to slip. I can't have anyone see that. I've got to bump it up." So I love that about Pathlight. I also love that our managers can really just take a quick note, add it to a one on one doc for conversation and give that feedback very clearly with that data in the moment.” - Jen Burton, Head of Customer Support at Digit, Episode 11

Why QA programs are game changers

“No one's got 100% customer satisfaction. That's just not reality. And so what we do is we use a QA program because I think most of us in CS understand that customer satisfaction metrics are a little loose because quite often people are rating the product or the policy, not the quality of service they've received. So we use QA as part of getting a really holistic view of an individual's performance. And we're able to really help those folks go to the next level.” - Jen Burton, Head of Customer Support at Digit, Episode 11
(Quality assurance) “that's not a measurement of agent. That's a measurement of my internal operational efficiencies, my training effective? Is my coaching effective? Is my follow through effective? Have I got my tools in the right way that can work and make it easy for the agents to do their job? I would say that 70% plus of all the reasons of failing in QA and not because of the agent, but cause of the process, because of the structure.” - Brett Frazer, VP Customer at Sunbasket, Episode 8

Hiring the right employees and giving them a great experience 

companies that have a robust employee experience and engage their employees have a customer loyalty that is three times higher than those organizations that are not known for employee experience. So it's not just about making your employees happy, there's a business case associated with it.” - Diane Domeyer, SVP at Robert Half, Episode 10
“There's a lot of things we need to take into hire, but there's three really key qualities that I look at that I've observed over the years that make people successful in the long run in the frontline that gets them that opportunity to move up and beyond that. The first one is empathy. There are certain people who have a higher natural tendency towards being empathetic. It's just reality, right? The second one is resilience. And the third one is curiosity.” - Brett Frazer, VP Customer at Sunbasket, Episode 8

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