LAS VEGAS – We’ve all been there. You talk to a seasoned professional and discover a quicker, smarter, more efficient or cost-saving way to do your job.

And let’s face it customer experience professional: There are a lot of eyes on you. Everyone in the company wants to make sure your processes, analytics, data and feedback are accurate enough to ultimately enhance the company’s bottom line.

Wouldn’t it be great to get a few of the hidden secrets from some CX veterans?

Hot CX Topics

That’s what event organizers at Reston, Va.-based Clarabridge's C3 2016 Conference here this week thought. So they asked three CX experts with diverse backgrounds to share their thoughts and insights on a few hot topics in a panel discussion.

The group included Joyce Pang, manager of guest insights and analytics at Carnival Corporation; Mika Tatar, consumer insights and systems analysts at Jarden Consumer Solutions; and Paul Long, VP of enterprise CX strategy at UnitedHealth Group. Here are some of the highlights:

Leading the CX initiative is one of the hardest jobs in my company

Please, don’t shoot the messenger. It takes a special kind of person to walk up to an engineer and say, “Your baby is ugly. It’s got to change.” But on the flipside, these experts say trying to influence people throughout the organization — sometimes around the globe — can be very difficult but it can also be very rewarding. Long noted one of the best parts of his job is to help and encourage employees to follow the company’s positive philosophy.

People across my organization trust everything our CX team puts forward

There are a lot of challenges gaining people’s trust over the data, Tatar said. But she shared that when her team got better and faster with the feedback things began to change. That shift in course takes place especially when managers begin to see it hit the bottom line. While her team will hear about a problem or concern in emails or at the call centers, when it begins to affect the company financially, managers are more likely to say, "let’s dig into this and get to the bottom of it."

Long cautioned that sometimes CX professionals can take action too quickly based on one piece of data. “You have to ask, ‘are we really making a decision on solid customer feedback?’” There’s also the catch-22 with analyzing something too much information and not taking action, and just doing something that might not necessarily be the right decision.

Additionally, another challenge for CX professionals is sometimes the data can overlap so then where does the data go, to finance? In operations? Strategically you have real customer data and complete analytics, and hopefully you get it to the right decision makers.

A mature CEM program empowers employees to react to each customer individually

The fact of the matter is most companies don’t have the money or resources to react to each customer individually. However, Pang’s company is moving towards increasing levels of personalization to address their customer’s wants and needs. If not, they’ll go to your competitors.

Tatar pointed out that today’s customers aren’t staying with a company until they’re dissatisfied. If someone offers them something better, they’re going to move their business to that company. This is especially true of millennials.

Training is the foundation of great CX

The entire panel agreed that training is essential in getting your employees to talk to customers in the most-friendly way. Celebrating situations like when a frontline employee went above and beyond, team huddles, and coaching all play an imperative role.

“Training is essential,” Long said. “You can’t have a successful CX program by just delivering the data. It has to be everyone’s job … it has to be in their DNA.”

Moreover, if all the information is available and easily accessible for an employee to do their job, then they can concentrate on providing a positive customer experience.

What are the most important things to know about CX?

The panel agreed that it’s important to prioritize, have a data strategy and then know what you’re going to do with it.

It’s equally important to start with a common platform that has flexibility and one in which all the departments or levels of the organization can use.

Word from the Conference Floor

The three-day Clarabridge conference covered a host of industry expert workshops and presentations. CMSWire hit the conference room floor to get some insight from attendees.

“This is my first conference and I was excited to come,” said Ciara Glenn, a CX voice of the customer Analyst with Hawaiian Airlines.

“Getting a chance to listen to other customers on how they’re using the Clarabridge products is like having a looking glass into how people are using data. This 360-degree view is great. It’s been really informative and has given me a new perspective.”

State Farm Analyst David Parker agreed. “From a company standpoint, this conference is an opportunity to speak with individuals we would never normally speak to. It’s a great chance for us to interact with other people involved in the text analytics journey.”

Not everyone is a client of Clarabridge – yet.

Air Canada’s Call Center and Customer Relations Director Michael Tremblay was invited to attend even though he’s not a customer. “They invited us to the conference so we could get a better understanding of Clarabridge, its services and products. That says a lot about a company’s confidence in their products to invite you to talk to their customers in this kind of in depth setting. So far, I’m impressed.”