Jeff Valentine has led transformative customer experience initiatives at 3 companies, across 12 different business units, and has been doing this work for over 10 years. The length of time Jeff has been doing customer experience work is a rarity in an industry that has only recently gained notable traction. We were delighted when he agreed to join our EVP, Kate Feather, for a webinar hosted by the Customer Experience Professionals Association.

Jeff is an expert in creating customer-centric cultures and his passion for the customer experience is contagious. His presentation Forging a Customer-Centric Culture is only available to CXPA members. That said, we’re confident the insights Jeff shared in this presentation alone would make the cost of membership worth it for any customer experience practitioner. Here are a few highlights from his presentation.

Communication is key

“The problem with communication,” goes the famous quote from George Bernard Shaw, “is the illusion that it has occurred.” Jeff Valentine keeps this quote at his desk and believes remembering this is essential to successfully transforming the customer experience. Changing the customer experience takes the coordination of many departments and spans all tiers of the company. To be successful a customer experience practitioner must become a master at effective communications inside and outside of the organization.

Be disciplined in your execution

Jeff uses clear guidelines around tactical execution: how often Client Advisory Boards will meet, how many phone calls need to be made, the number of survey waves that will go out. He calls these “operating rhythms” and they are vital to getting the customer experience work done.

Connect the voice of your customers to your employees

Jeff shared a variety of tactics for sustaining employee commitment to the customer experience. These included simple things like using the company Intranet to keep everyone updated on progress. He also shared how his team uses video footage of clients speaking about how changes the company made helped to improve their businesses. And, as Jeff explained, having the CEO give updates on what the company is hearing from clients will go miles in keeping everyone focused on improving the customer experience.

Forge deep connections with your customers

Jeff is a big advocate for forming Client Advisory Board’s (CAB’s). A CAB is a group of individuals representing the portfolio of your customers. These individuals are selected for their strategic insights and are regularly tapped for ideas on how the vendor could improve the experience it delivers. CAB’s can be incredibly useful at bulking up your Voice of the Customer efforts and Jeff offered advice on going about the selection process, measuring ROI of these meetings, and general best practices for managing the CAB relationships.

A big thank you to Jeff (you can follow him on Twitter @jvalentinevoc) for sharing his formula for customer experience success with all of us at the CXPA.