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20 Great Customer Experience Quotes From CCW Austin

Leaders from PetSmart, Rent The Runway, Hilton, Electronic Arts and more shared words of customer experience wisdom.

Lisa Schulman

When you spend a week with some of the most accomplished, passionate executives in the customer contact space, you are going to walk away with valuable insights and ideas.

You're also going to walk away with a long list of informative, resonant quotes about the customer experience.

Held in Austin, TX from October 16-19, the first fall iteration of CCW provided this opportunity.

Speakers from a myriad of organizations -- Fortune 500 brands, emerging business sensations, influential consultancies and cutting-edge vendors -- shared quote after quote about the customer management landscape.

The quotes came from different perspectives and tackled different topics, but they all possessed incredible value.  We've highlighted 20 of our favorites below:

“What I see as a problem is the fact that people can’t talk about the business case for customer experience.  A best practice is to create a model for talking about experience.  If you expect to get funding, you better be able to tell a story.”

 Diane Magers, CEO, Customer Experience Professional Association


“Celebrating success seems like something so simple.  But, it’s often overlooked.  People focus on improvement areas.  Make a consistent effort to share the positive also; it’s so important.”

Suzie Dieth, Director of Customer Experience, an NRG Company 


“We’re certainly knee deep in mastering the omni channel environment.  But, more importantly, we have our sights on Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Automated Intelligence.”

Becky Ploeger, Vice President Customer Care, PetSmart


“People are trying to create efficiencies and optimize the agent.  But, we try to make it simpler and focus on the agent.  If you could shave two minutes of agent time and still deliver a great experience,  would that interest you?  Don’t build things in silos.  Consolidate your teams and strive for one voice”

Steve Prodger, SVP, Customer Experience, SmartAction


It used to be you established your brand and customers took your word for it.  Now 80% of customers go online and talk to friends and strangers and ask whether a company improved their lives. Your customers are your advocates.  They are your army. They grow your business. ”

 Jeanne Bliss, President, Customer Bliss


“Do you ever say to a customer ‘sorry that’s not my job?’  This is a Bermuda triangle and starts to drive erosion.

Jeanne Bliss, President, Customer Bliss


“People really don’t care about owning clothes anymore.  We’re in the business of renting things on demand and also offer a subscription business similar to Netflix when they shipped videos.  We were marketing our business from the customer experience and our first team was the customer experience team.  Everyone who worked at the company needed to work a couple of hours a day in customer service to create customer empathy. It’s still an important part of onboarding. “

Jennifer Hyman, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Rent the Runway


“We never spent money on advertising because we invested in people having Cinderella moments….The very best way to create a Cinderella moment is often when the customer has a problem.  Surprise the customer in those moments.”

Jennifer Hyman, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Rent the Runway


“All customers want to be treated well.  They will pay it forward and tell others.”

Jennifer Hyman, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Rent the Runway


“All of us have different businesses and customer bases.  We have to all understand what self service does for our business.  Customer preference matters.  Don’t force customers down channels that don’t work for them.  Make self service about the experience – not the dollars.  Create great customer self service experience.  We believe 50% of service should be self-serve and 50% assisted service.”

John Pompei, Head of Customer Care Operations WW, Electronic Arts


“If there’s no customer champion at your company, it doesn’t matter where you sit.  YOU can be the person pulling people together to focus on the customer. …Does cultural transformation happen from the top down or the bottom up?  In an ideal world, it happens in both places “

Ben London, Former Global Lead of Customer Experience, Moneygram International


“We go on ride-alongs with agents to deliver a better customer experience.  If we deliver a poor customer experience, we go out of business.  Our decisions are based on delivering value.”

Jason Mathias, Chief Operating Officer, Homesnap


“Innovation occurs daily.  But, you have to go out and talk to your employees about it…Innovation happens but often doesn’t happen in the innovation team.  We need to get the advocates out in the field to serve as our most critical assets…You have to let the users show you what is right and wrong.”

John Tanner, Senior Business Consultant of Corporate Strategy and Innovation, Southwest Airlines


“I think a big challenge in organizations revolves around developing people.  What’s critical is that we give these leaders the skills and tools needed to take the organization to the next level.  Some of that learning doesn’t happen organically. You have to invest in it.  You need to make sure they get up to speed fast and can hit the ground running.”

Troy Mills, Chief Academic Officer and 2017 CCW Advisory Board Member


“What we’re seeing in the industry that’s changing the most is the customer expectations.  In the old days Ford had 2 cars – black or black. The market has to change because expectations of customers changed.  Now customers want their problems fixed on the first interaction.  In the old days it didn’t matter how long it took to fix your problem because there wasn’t as much competition and global challenges.”

Jim Iyoob, Chief Customer Officer,  Etech Global Services


“Create a plan for responding to security incidents.  Engage your senior staff.  A natural part of your role is to think about how you’re storing data.”

Dama J. Brown, Regional Director, Southwest Regional Office, Federal Trade Commission (FTC)


“As we’re building systems, we try to think about how to make them intuitive.  At the end of the day, I believe training can be measured in terms of hours and days.  Intuitive training lets us focus on empowerment.”

Mike Gathright, Senior Vice President, Hilton Reservations and Customer Care, Hilton Worldwide


“There’s disruption.  We have to be prepared to not just grow but survive.  This led to our decision to invest in Artificial Intelligence.”

David Baker, Divisional Vice President Customer Service, CenterPoint Energy


“My calling has always been in the learning space… To become a learning organization, you need to have enabled, equipped and empowered employees.”

Michelle Lopez, Director, Corporate Learning, Human Resources Team, LegalZoom


“Customer experience is not just for the customer service team.  It must be OWNED by every single person in an organization.   Learning how to bring the entire company into the fold to own the CX everyday is a big challenge – but certainly worth the effort.

Melissa O’Keefe, Global Head of CX, Redbubble