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James Scutt: CX Leader of the Year "is a great career builder"


Meet James Scutt, the winner of CX Leader of the Year 2020. Discover the projects that formed the foundation of his award-winning entry, and let him explain why you should enter this year's awards. 

26th Jun 2023

It's that time of year when we invite CX leaders to share their outstanding work from the past 12 months. With the deadline of June 29th fast approaching, MyCustomer spoke with James Scutt, winner of CX Leader of the Year 2020.

In this interview, Scutt discusses the projects that led to his success, what he is currently working on and how entering CX Leader of the Year is a valuable exercise in itself. 

When winning CX Leader of the Year 2020, you were the Head of Customer Experience Strategy and Deployment at the Post Office, only two years after proposing the creation of a dedicated CX role within the organisation. How did you identify the need for this role, and what were the first initiatives you implemented?

I had always had a focus on the experiences customers were having, even when in a more sales or operationally-focused role, because I knew that good CX was the enabler to increased financial performance or better operations. I could see that the current way of working was not engaging the people at the frontline who were the ones that were creating the experiences, so it seemed like a good opportunity to propose this new role. Things took off from there. Our CEO at the time was very open to the idea and supported a trial which quickly turned into a permanent position. One of the first initiatives was to relaunch the Voice of Customer programme with a focus on enabling frontline employees to better understand their customers. 

We would love to hear about some of the specific projects you undertook when submitting your award entry in 2020. Can you share the goals, strategies, and results of those projects?

One of the most effective initiatives I ran was the Customer Experience University which aimed to focus-in on the behaviours that were demonstrated by frontline teams when interacting with customers. No online training, but presented in a simple workbook that colleagues could work through at their own pace, supported by their area manager or CX Champion in their branch. Filled with discovery-style activities, the workbook didn't contain very much "training" at all. This was all about looking at your own behaviours, matching them against other service providers you had experiences with and identifying opportunities to do things differently. Focusing on behaviours like friendliness and professionalism had high positive impacts on customers' experiences. 

Were there any innovative or unconventional approaches you took in your CX initiatives that contributed to your success?

One activity I always really enjoyed was our focus weeks. We always had a very successful National Customer Service Week every October so I decided to add some other focus weeks throughout the year. These were a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate colleagues who went above and beyond for customers, and we themed them in lots of different, engaging ways. Easter, Valentine's Day, and, of course, Christmas were all really good opportunities to talk about the differing needs of customers and real-life examples of great CX!

We've seen from previous winners and finalists how CX Leader of the Year not only validates expertise and accomplishments but also opens doors to new opportunities, providing increased visibility and credibility. Has winning CX Leader of the Year 2020 impacted your career?

Winning CX Leader of the Year really was impactful. I could see that there was an instant and sustained uplift in my online presence and credibility in the experience management industry, and opportunities to speak at events and get involved in judging followed and continue to do so today. The award is also a great career builder and undoubtedly contributed to my professional proposition strength and credibility.

Winning CX Leader of the Year really was impactful. I could see that there was an instant and sustained uplift in my online presence and credibility.

Since winning the award, you've moved on to a new role. What are you doing now?

I have been lucky enough to join the Qualtrics XM Institute, Directed by Bruce Temkin. I had worked with the XM Institute for a number of years and deployed a number of their models, and incorporated many of their points of view into my customer experience programme, so this seemed like a logical move for me. Of course, I also get to work very closely with Bruce Temkin and understand his thought processes, his approaches, and I continue to learn a great deal from this legend of the customer experience industry. I am now an Experience Management (XM) Catalyst with the XM Institute and absolutely love my role. It's very diverse, with lots of speaker engagements, practical advice development, research, thought leadership and collaboration with some of the outstanding worldwide experts in the experience management industry. 

How are you bringing your expertise in CX into your new role, developing great customer, employee, product and brand experiences?

It's great to be able to bring practical experience to the role. Very often, what people really want to hear about is where an initiative went wrong or the pitfalls that could be ahead. Practical, real-life examples also really help bring thought leadership and practical tools to life. I've always been an advocate of bringing experience from previous roles into current ones, and the role of XM Catalyst really does allow me to think about experience management from different perspectives. As a previous sales manager, project manager, operational manager, hospitality manager or retailer, I can draw direct comparisons to the CX industry and hopefully bring that experience into practical tools and advice. What's clear is that to provide great experiences to customers, you also need a great employee experience too, and the expanded role of an Experience Management Catalyst allows me to move out into these other areas. 

What is the most valuable lesson you learned from entering CX Leader of the Year?

As a CX practitioner, you should put yourself out there more. It can be difficult to put yourself up on the stage, but it's a really worthwhile exercise. Entering CX Leader of the Year makes you look back on all the things you've done, the initiatives you've put in place and the positive impact you've had. It's only when you really stop and think about it that you realise how much you've achieved and the impact you've had. 

Entering CX Leader of the Year makes you look back on all the things you've done, the initiatives you've put in place and the positive impact you've had.

If you could give one piece of advice to those considering entering this year's awards, what would it be?

Do it. If you are going back and forth as to whether your submission would be good enough, then you should submit your entry and let the judging process do its work. We often think our own work won't be as good as others, but without sight of everyone else's entry, you can't make that call. The process of constructing your submission and entering is a valuable exercise on its own. There is so much to gain just by entering!

Are you a CX leader?

Join us in celebrating CX excellence as we invite leaders from across the globe to showcase their achievements over the past year. Share your personal, team, and organisational successes by submitting your entry before June 29th.



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