North Highland At CXPA

Dove LeBaron, Rob Sherrell and Kelly Slothower had the chance to attend the CXPA Insight Exchange this year in Salt Lake City. We sat down with them to catch up on the conference, key takeaways, trends and more!

What are your key takeaways from the 2019 CXPA Insight Exchange?

Dove: CX leaders are realizing the necessity to create a tangible connection to financial outcomes. However, numbers alone do not move mountains. Storytelling compels action, but how can CX leaders weave in data and hard evidence to create insightful reasons to act?

Rob: I’m seeing CX leaders continue to focus on driving customer-centric alignment across functions within complex organizations. They’re focusing on securing the funding and resources to make meaningful CX related change.

Kelly: CX leaders are not alone. Everyone seems to be struggling with the same issues – executive buy-in, changing mindsets, driving scale, and proving value of CX investments. We are lucky enough to see firsthand what works and what doesn’t across multiple industries and advise on best practices for these types of common challenges.

What is new and noteworthy within North Highland’s CX team?

Dove: We’re very excited that North Highland was recently recognized as a Strong Performer in an independent analyst report on Customer Experience Consulting Practices.

Rob: Clients are trying to understand what the return on investment is for customer experience. Through Experience Economics, we’re able to quantify customer needs and uncover drivers of growth. The team is also doing a lot of exciting work in transformational design, experiential change and accelerated service design. 

Kelly: More clients have been reaching out about complexities in B2B2C environments and putting more focus on Employee Experience. There is a desire to understand the right balance of empowerment and control, and building the right tools for visibility and tracking.

What do you see as the biggest trend for CX in the next year?

Dove: According to North Highland’s research, CX is a top strategic priority for executives this year. It’s up to CX leaders to build the organizational assets, tools and competencies that demonstrate the value of CX as a major player within an organization.

Rob: I’m hearing more conversations surrounding Employee Experience, something that we’ve been working on with clients for the past 10 years. As these conversations continue, I think that Employee Experience will likely be a central focus for 2020 planning.

Kelly: The pressure on outcomes and ROI means CX leaders are going to get smarter about their financial impact this year. I sense that we will experience more rigor in upfront goal setting and more analysis of value along the way. Luckily, we have a process and methodology for those who could use some support in these discussions. 

What excites you the most about the future of CX?

Dove: The conference’s theme, “Moving Mountains”, highlights what fuels my passion for the practice of customer experience – the triumphs, challenges, and grit of what it takes to develop and deliver a compelling customer experience.

Rob: It’s exciting to see how organizations are pushing boundaries. There’s now a more deliberate integration of technology to enable data-driven decision making, both with – and without – the help of AI.

Kelly:  I’m excited about how AI and machine learning will impact customer experience. It will be interesting to explore what is “cold” vs. “cool” and when high-touch human interaction is most critical and impactful.