Head of Customer Experience
Samantha is one of four finalists to receive special commendation by our panel, recognising her achievements in the field of employee experience.
Joining delivery SME Fulfilmentcrowd in 2021 in the newly-created role of Head of Customer Experience, Samantha's responsibility was to create and execute the CX strategy, with a focus on customer service, process and people.
The key CX objectives that she would focus on included better management of customer services teams and operations to ensure delivery of KPIs and SLAs; coaching and developing the customer services team; redesigning processes and operational efficiencies; analysing best practices through competitive benchmarking and customer insights; working cross-functionally with marketing/sales/IT/operations to better understand the customer journey, needs and expectations to be able to feedback for improvements; and identifying and developing opportunities to generate additional revenue or reduce cost.
Having to build the strategy from the ground-up, Samantha undertook a comprehensive discovery assessment, which unearthed a series of gaps that would need addressing, such as a lack of formal processes/procedures; missing tools (such as CRM) and reporting that were limiting scalability and sustainability across the customer lifecycle; customer frustration at a lack of contact options; unclear roles and responsibilities; and no reward and recognition processes.
Identifying these gaps enabled Samantha to pinpoint quick wins and understand the longer-term strategies required to improve CX - all of which formed the basis of a CX capability roadmap, which was subsequently signed off by the exec board with the COO as sponsor, with the roadmap shared on the organisation intranet for employees to digest and understand.
Launching a Voice of the Customer programme and implementing a new CRM system, important insights into the customer journey and important touchpoints have been surfaced. And with customer insights shared across the whole business on a weekly basis as well as quarterly deep dives, a deeper understanding of clients has been fostered, enabling the organisation to develop a continuous improvement culture.
The Shared Services Team have also been restructured in response to customer frustrations, leading to the creation of the new Customer Operations Team, with clearly defined structures and objectives, roles and responsibilities. With an investment in customer service training and development, and a focus on empowerment and cross-functional working, employees are now better able to take the right action at the right time to deliver great CX - something that has been instrumental in driving up customer retention rates on a month-by-month basis.
Additional to the CX role, Samantha has also been leading employee experience initiatives, launching a company-wide staff survey, introducing and implementing an employee assistance programme to support the wellbeing and mental health of employees and creating new company values - 'one crowd' - to align every employee with the brand, its customer’s experience/journey, and its culture and values.
It has been achievement enough getting the CX strategy built and embedded over the past year, as well as launching all the related initiatives and projects, and aligning business activities to the customer experience strategy. But incredibly the impact is already being felt quite significantly by customers. Customer satisfaction ratings are up 15% already, client churn is down 20%, time to close (ticket) has been reduced by 3+ days, and average revenue has increased 3%. An extremely rapid turnaround from implementation to customer success.
The focus for 2022/23 is to align all activities to our strategies that will help move the business forward to ultimately make a difference to our employees and customers.
Judges' praise for Samantha:
"A very strong plan with culture as the backbone meant Samantha had an absolute focus on delivering an excellent CX programme and a large number of operational improvements, through people. In addition to CX, Samantha led an employee experience programme that has put individuals at the heart of the improvements and put in place wellbeing and mental health initiatives that were not previously in place." - James Scutt
"Establishing a systematic focus on CX from a ‘standing start’ is always a challenge. To be able to embed a customer-centric approach in a short space of time is even more challenging. Sam’s focused approach, combined with her passion and enthusiasm has created a fantastic case study for how organisations can make the focus on CX intentional." - Ian Golding