In today’s show with Anne Witherspoon, we learn that sometimes implementing customer experience efforts has to start as a grassroots engagement across the organization. We discuss the skills and approach you need to build a customer experience program and its baseline foundation. Plus, Anne shares the strategy and game plan that helped her succeed in this role.
In addition to hearing Anne’s insights, she’ll share the following in regards to building her customer experience strategy:
- 30 day plan
- 90 day plan
- Long term plan
Meet Anne, an EVP and Director who Holds Multiple Professional Certifications
Anne Witherspoon is an Executive Vice President and the Director of Client Onboarding and Service Delivery at Texas Capital Bank. She was given the opportunity to begin a formal Client Experience program in 2015 and has been successful in building the foundation and creating momentum to evolve and expand the program in just two short years. Anne has an MBA from Texas A&M International University and a BBA from Texas Tech University. She holds several professional certifications including Certified Client Experience Professional (CCXP), Certified Treasury Professional (CTP), Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) and Project Management Professional (PMP). She serves as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of ePayAdvisors and as the Vice President of the Board of Directors of Fine Arts Chamber Players.
Become a Unified Team with One Focus
A big theme during this episode, which is a theme that I continuously stress publicly and to my clients is the importance of becoming a unified team with one focus. In building a client experience program from scratch, Anne became a master at project management and bridged relationships between operations and sales to have a collaborative environment. We discuss how important it is to build internal partnerships and deliver value to clients.
We both understand that in order to be successful in running a grassroots program you have to have the following:
- Experience running an operation that was successful and customer driven
- Collaborative and deep relationships that already exist with the senior leadership team
- The ability to check your ego at the door because it’s about making the whole team successful not just you
Another overarching theme is the idea that client experience is a methodology. It’s one that involves a lot of communication, education, and analysis. There needs to be an understanding within the corporation that even if you aren’t in a client facing role, you’re still a part of impacting the client’s journey along the way.
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Key Takeaways + Strategic Grassroots Planning (30 days, 90 days, and long-term planning):
Anne credits The Truth About Customer Experience from the Harvard Business Review as a source that was instrumental during the initial stages of her planning. Some other sources of assistance were: The Customer Experience Professionals Association, Delivering Happiness by Tony Sheih, and my very own, Chief Customer Officer (and no, I did not ask her to plug me during the interview, I’m ever so thankful that she did read it though!).
Anne presented a plan to her manager at the time to start the internal customer experience program. Some tactics in her 30 and 90 day plan are as follows:
30 Day Plan:
- Focus on metrics and ask questions to get you more data. Get more disciplined around the issues you’re facing. Ask questions that haven’t been asked: who are the unhappy clients, who are promoters, what are the top reasons client contact us, who contacted us the most? No one asked these questions.
- Internally: We held client working sessions and client experience 101 training
90 Day Plan:
- Schedule roadshows and set up meetings with C-level executives in the markets. We had to continue to communicate and have ongoing discussions about how we can keep the client top of mind.
- Held our first internal client survey to see how the plan is working.
- It’s always about communicating and getting people to buy into what you’re doing to showcase results.
- We had to pick an operational project to prove it and show value
What do You Know NOW that you Wish You Knew THEN?
“One thing that’s been very powerful is presenting our lost client analysis because it includes dollars and reasons. People in the c-suite love it.”
“I knew it was important to communicate results but it’s extremely important to continue to communicate. People don’t often hear what you said the first time. You have to communicate in a way thats fresh and also consumable to your audience.”
“Provide data in a timely manner so your business partners and the front line can see tangible results of what you’re doing. Looking back, I would’ve tried to give more frequent updates. I could tell the team to look at the data, and understand what this means for you so you can you have more meaningful convos with your clients.”
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