The Top 12 Customer Experience Experts You Need To Follow in 2021
In any profession, success comes to those who are constantly evolving, staying updated on current trends and learning best practices. We often look to leaders and industry experts to show us the way forward whenever there’s a roadblock, and if your work profile is dependent on keeping up with evolving customer trends and expectations, you need ongoing guidance.
In this case, customer experience experts will be your go-to mentors as these influencers actively share invaluable insights on their social profiles. They can give you a better perspective about best support practices and help you adopt the same to fine-tune or revamp your existing strategies.
I’ve put together a list of 12 powerful customer experience experts (in alphabetical order) whose social media profiles are treasure troves of thought leadership, agent training, customer happiness, and pretty much anything related to bettering customer engagement and service. You can follow the LinkedIn and Twitter profiles linked to their respective names.
#1 Adam Toporek
Adam Toporek is a customer experience keynote speaker globally recognized for his expertise in helping businesses rethink customer service. He owns CTS Service Solutions, a customer experience consultancy that is an extension of his Customers That Stick blog. Being a third-generation entrepreneur, he fosters a real-world approach to train front-line agents on how to ace their customer support.
In his book, Be Your Customer’s Hero, Adam Toporek writes: “Making customers happy doesn’t mean buying into the old adage, ‘The customer is always right.’ The customer is often preposterously and absurdly wrong. Move beyond a literal interpretation. Think about what the words signify: Place your customers first. Take good care of them at every turn.”
He co-hosts the renowned ‘Crack The Customer Code’ podcast with Jeannie Walters. The podcast is dedicated to enabling customer-facing agents to engage in contextual support for heightened customer experience.
Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben offered him some sage advice: “With great power comes great responsibility”. CX leaders and practitioners should bear this in mind when leveraging things like AI, psychology, neuroscience,… https://t.co/g9YXT1X21j — Adrian Swinscoe (@adrianswinscoe) July 22, 2019
Adrian Swinscoe is a customer experience consultant who focuses on customer support strategies that help affect positive business outcomes. His blog, keynote sessions, and workshops emphasize his expertise on customer-centricity, which bridges the grey area between support and experience.
An excerpt from How To Wow, Adrian Swinscoe’s expert customer experience bible: “Many firms ask for feedback but few follow through and do anything about it. Fewer still take action based on the feedback and only a very few actually report back to their customers what they have done with their feedback. As a result, closing the feedback loop is a huge opportunity that is missed by many firms.”
His latest book, Punk CX—unlike conventional support resources—encourages brands and agents to go above and beyond to create their own successful customer experience story. The takeaways are a breath of fresh air from the confines of garden-variety formulas that some books offer to script a customer success story.
#3 Al Hopper
A3 Social Media #custserv has the ability to not only resolve Customer issues (reactive) but also reduce the volume driven to other channels (proactive) due to the reach of messaging and the ability to search what your competition is dealing with as well. — Al Hopper (@AlHopper_) July 24, 2019
Al Hopper is a customer service and experience leader, and Customer Experience Manager with Black Rifle Coffee Company. He believes that while marketing may bring in customers, lasting relationships are built by providing a great experience at every turn.
Currently, Al Hopper also co-hosts the #CustServ chat on Twitter, where the hosts discuss and debunk roadblocks in customer service. He stresses the need for customer success teams to find innovative ways to connect with customers. In one of his LinkedIn articles, he writes: “Give them the ability to have the courage to follow their instincts and your training to do great things. Your business will flourish when you clear the path of broken procedures or black and white policies that aren’t always one-size-fits-all.”
His innovative social media campaigns to build a great customer experience with Black Rifle Coffee Company, is a great place to draw inspiration for your own campaigns!
Do you know all of the building blocks of a customer experience transformation strategy? https://t.co/P0HajFYeOU #cx #custexp #customerexperience #empexp #employeeexperience #strategy #cxo #cco pic.twitter.com/j6dyQwIsRB — Annette Franz, CCXP (@annettefranz) July 20, 2019
Annette Franz is the founder & CEO of CX Journey Inc, a globally renowned customer experience consulting firm that specializes in building a transformational CX strategy. From mapping the customer journey to aligning employees to a customer experience roadmap, Annette Franz helps to bring about a value-driven and people-centric culture into the workplace. She is an established leader with 25 years of experience in the customer experience sphere.
Annette co-hosts the #CXchat on Twitter, which brings together top customer experience thought leaders like her to share their perspectives, workarounds, and tips regarding customer experience. She rightly calls for the need to be both employee and customer-centric at the same time. In an interview with CMSWire, she says: “What is necessary is to listen to your customers: understand their needs, expectations and jobs to be done, and design an experience that meets those needs. The same goes for your employees.”
She is also a member of the prestigious Forbes Coaches Council, which features invite-only communities for executive leaders and entrepreneurs from a wide range of industries and verticals.
#5 Bill Quiseng
To earn new customers, don’t try to get inside their heads. Get inside their hearts. Make an emotional connection. #CustomerService #custserv pic.twitter.com/BLReRo74AD — Bill Quiseng (@billquiseng) July 29, 2019
In Bill Quiseng’s own words, “Think RELATIONSHIPS or Go Broke.” Bill’s leadership and keynote sessions on customer service give real-world exposure to frontline associates who manage customers; and are responsible for building meaningful relationships and brand loyalty with customers.
Bill’s service training portfolio is spread across every major industry, from finance to hospitality. He believes that frontline support is the soul of every contextual experience that customers are offered. Here’s his take on the vital connection between frontline associates and customer experience: “Top-down leadership will not improve the customer experience. Listen to the front-line and then act. They KNOW the customer.”
Apart from being the Chief Experience Officer of billquiseng.com, Bill serves as the General Manager at Marriott Vacation Club Pulse in San Diego.
#6 Blake Morgan
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and two-time author. She has provided her customer experience leadership services to top brands and vendors including Accenture, Ericsson, Adobe, and Verizon.
Blake hosts The Modern Customer Podcast, which aims to break down customer-focused digital transformation. The pointers from the podcast can help aspirants connect the dots to unify customer service and customer experience. In her recent customer experience roundup blog, she writes: “Customer service and customer experience are often used interchangeably. While the two concepts are actually separate, service is a vital part of the overall customer experience. It’s no coincidence that brands with great customer service also tend to have a great customer experience.”
Blake Morgan’s latest book, The Customer Of The Future, has received rave reviews from customer experience pedants. It addresses the potential roadblocks and their workaround strategies for businesses looking to equip themselves for the demands of future customer experience trends and expectations. The book was an instant favorite amongst support professionals for its real-world examples on how to marry customer experience guidelines with emerging technologies.
#7 Bob Thompson
CustomerThink Research Finds 75% of Customer Experience (CX) Initiatives Fail to Prove Business Value by @customerthink https://t.co/RecThObBJw via @CustomerThink Groundbreaking research reveals key success factors for the 25% of “Winning” #CX initiatives. — Bob Thompson (@Bob_Thompson) January 22, 2019
As someone who’s immensely experienced in customer-facing roles like sales and support, Bob Thompson adds a lot of industry-ready exposure to businesses that want to turn customer-centric. He is the founder and CEO of CustomerThink, which brings together other great customer experience thought leaders and influencers. It serves as a repository of key customer-focused knowledge, built by the experts themselves.
Bob has authored a bestselling book called Hooked On Customers. In the book, he has included five habits that organizations need to inculcate to become truly customer-centric. He stresses the idea that customer experience management (CEM) is more about the use-cases that businesses offer to customers. According to Bob: “Instead of just looking at how valuable the customer is to the enterprise, CEM requires an inspection of the enterprise’s value to the customer.”
Additionally, Bob Thompson is also a great CRM enthusiast, often influenced by his interest in the latest technologies and using them to offer the best customer experience.
#8 Bruce Temkin
Truth! Your #brand thrives or dies based on whether or not your experiences deliver on your brand promises. Check out this FREE report from the #XM Institute, Translating Brand Promises Into Employee Behaviors. https://t.co/apuChyqCGp #BX | #CX | #EX https://t.co/wvgWkHLtAH — Bruce Temkin (@btemkin) July 19, 2019
A revered expert in customer experience management, Bruce Temkin specializes in all facets of customer-centricity. He is an expert on customer-first business strategies and is relentless in formulating new actionable insights that have gone on to become proven customer experience standards. Bruce has also helped several large organizations with impacting positive business outcomes by changing the way they interact with customers.
As the Head of Experience Management Institute at Qualtrics, Bruce delves deep into marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices. He opens up a plethora of opportunities that remain untapped in the way customers perceive support and experience. Bruce underlines the need to add context to the behavioral data of customers, without which there is no tangible value in providing support: “Don’t waste customers’ time asking them questions unless you are prepared to act on what they say.”
Bruce Temkin co-founded the Customer Experience Professional Association (CXPA), a global non-profit community that aims to benefit customer-facing professionals and improve the overall experience landscape offered to customers.
#9 Colin Shaw
I don’t think organizations consider enough how to implement their high-minded ideals for the brand. However, this implementation is essential to your CX. CX is the practical application of your brand.
Colin Shaw is the CEO of Beyond Philosophy, a customer experience consultancy and management training organization. He is an author of six books on customer experience and a global thought leader. Running one of the best management consultancies in the UK, Colin has helped many large businesses optimize their customer support efforts to translate them into benchmark customer experience and ROI.
In his recent blog about customers’ perception of value in relation to customer experience, he writes: “To truly understand your customers’ preferences, you need to undertake research, particularly about how your customers feel when they interact with you. This emotional data is significant for how you design and position your Customer Experience.”
He is also the co-host of the podcast, The Intuitive Customer (he has also co-authored a book of the same name), which has a dedicated following of customer experience managers and support agents. The podcast attempts to decode customer intent—and uses it to amplify the performance of support and sales efforts.
#10 Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is a globally recognized customer support leader. He is a specialist in operations revolving around customer and tech support. Flavio is an expert in stitching together cross-functional workflows that impact customer service. His blog, Win The Customer, is an embodiment of his 15+ years of experience. His advice focuses primarily on helping contact center managers and support agents ace the challenges posed by evolving customer trends.
Flavio has a diversified portfolio of proven success in customer support, experience, and revenue generation from customer success operations. This first-hand exposure to various customer-facing roles makes him one of the most go-to influencers for mentorship. His experience and leadership in support training has inspired a lot of call centers to handle customers with better conviction and identify problems proactively.
In a world that is being taken over by automations and CRMs, he feels that today’s organizations need to spur back the elusive “human” connect. For this very reason, Flavio Martins’s leadership calls to strike a balance between technology and humane approach to customer service. In his own words: “While technology will never cease to become more prevalent in customer experience, we can’t let the tail wag the dog. Automation and new technologies can expand our service reach but will never supplant an emotional interaction.”
#11 Jeanne Bliss
“Brands can’t win on #CustExp unless their approach keeps pace with the new ways people research, compare, buy and share their experiences.” Keeping customers at the heart of everything you do is always key to great #CX. Good strategies here to that end. https://t.co/Hzl7ykE8PE pic.twitter.com/aTIJRTV3lS — Jeanne Bliss (@JeanneBliss) July 28, 2019
Jeanne Bliss is a pioneering global leader in customer experience. She helped define and shape the role of Chief Customer Officer (CCO) and other fields related to customer experience. Her expertise spans over three decades of helping businesses grow by mapping customer and business behavior. She is the founder & CEO of Customer Bliss, which has a striking motto: “Grow your business by improving customers’ lives”.
Jeanne is a renowned author with bestselling books on customer experience. Her latest book, Would you do that to your mother? is a repository of gold standards that customer-facing executives need to benchmark themselves against. The theme of the book is simple yet so profound, laden with actionable takeaways. Every customer service initiative is pitted against whether it would “make your mom proud”.
Jeanne Bliss also co-founded CXPA along with Bruce Temkin. She is a sought-after consultant, advisor, and coach to CCOs (having defined the role from scratch), experience managers, and other customer success roles. Here’s her take on companies that embrace customer experience transformation: “Companies that transform how they grow and are deliberate about it, do so because they think about the people at the end of their decisions. The intent of their work is to “earn the right” to grow by improving their lives. This is what makes all of the difference.”
#12 Shep Hyken
Part of creating loyal customers is how you respond in “recovery mode” when there are problems. Understanding the value of the customer can help you make intelligent & reasonable decisions to get the customer to come back next time – every time — Shep Hyken (@Hyken) July 30, 2019
In an ideal world, this name would need no introduction. Shep Hyken is the Chief Amazement Officer & Owner of Shepard Presentations. He is one of the most followed customer experience experts in the world with his expertise spread across various spectrums of customer success. Hyken is a renowned name — especially when it comes to customer service training and customer experience keynote sessions.
His distinct way of looking at customer service has inspired transformation among his clients. Shep says that customer service is not about a few successful service interactions or a skill that frontline agents need to hone. Rather, it is a conscious culture that the entire workforce of your business has to foster–a habit, so to say. In his own words: “Your customers no longer compare you to your competitor. They compare you to the best service they ever had… from anyone.”
Shep Hyken is the author of several books on customer service and experience. Among his books, The Amazement Revolution was a NY Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. In the book, he talks about seven customer service strategies to help create an amazing customer (and employee) experience.
Take Your Customer Experience To The Next Level
Improving your company’s customer experience is not just about personalizing communication to include first names, or responding to public reviews. It is an ongoing process of redefining every interaction with your customers based on their expectations and needs.
It is a playground of infinite opportunities, and with new technology bringing us closer to our customers each day, how we engage with them is becoming more of a differentiator than ever before. With the guidance of this remarkable line-up of customer experience experts, you can tap into these unexplored opportunities. Their ideas shared in social media and transformative sessions in customer experience conferences can help you transform your understanding of customers, implement best support practices, and create a customer-centric work culture.