She brings CX insights to the executive level with passion

By: Elizabeth Clor

May 8, 2015

CEM Programs
CEM Solutions
customer experience management

A journey strategist and engagement engineer, Donna Peeples understands what it takes to generate executive-level interest in customer experience data. The former Chief Customer Experience Officer at AIG, she has risen through a variety of leadership, operations and revenue-generating roles, charting her own path through highly regulated and uniquely challenging industries.

She’ll be speaking on a panel at our C3 conference along with Paul Long from UnitedHealth Group, Tanya Parkins from IHG, and Amy Daddona from Travelers Insurance. On this panel, she will offer her experience and perspective on how to make CX insights relevant to the executive team, driving true change throughout all areas of business.

We asked Donna a few questions about how customer experience professionals can rally their executives to inspire action.

Sentiments: Consumer insights professionals are challenged to make CX data relevant and actionable at the executive level. What are your top recommendations in this area?

Peeples: It’s been my experience that most companies put a lot of emphasis on metrics and measures.  We love to measure everything! Finding the actionable data that everyone trusts and can agree on is difficult.

Have one version of the truth. Consolidate current and historical internal and external raw data, and knowledge and reports currently in use.  Research and interview internal stakeholders to better understand the best approach, methodology and data sources.

Develop benchmarks and baselines.  Uncover existing and emerging customer insights and collect market data to support analyses performed across the company to include: secondary research, macroeconomic data, social media metrics, regulatory nuances, competitive landscape and other relevant data streams to refine focus and deliver actionable customer insights to specific regions, functions, processes and programs.

Define and measure key customer performance metrics.  Perform required analysis on metrics including variation and root cause analysis.

Sentiments: In your roles leading customer-focused organizations, what were your top priorities? What were other executives most interested in when it came to CX?

Peeples: Driving an intense focus on the customer. This means enhancing the focus of board, executives, corporate functions, business units and employees to address customer needs through a governance structure to ensure capability development to deploy an enterprise-wide vision to deliver business results.

Once that focus was achieved, translating it into business benefits was key. I worked to convert CX strategy and capabilities into quantifiable benefits such as higher close rates, increased retention, increased share of wallet, and more profitable customers.

Sentiments: What kind of impact to the bottom line can a successful customer experience management program have?

Peeples: 86% of customers report that they have quit doing business with a company because of a bad experience. This is a 59% increase from what customers were saying just 4 years ago. Beneficial CX programs focus on increasing customer retention (a mere 2% increase in customer retention has the same bottom-line impact as decreasing costs by 10%), share of wallet, and overall attracting more customers.

By increasing a comprehensive focus on CX, greater efficiencies and expertise are gained, as well by streamlining and improving processes, technology, etc. expenses can be reduced. Not to mention the fact that 82% of customers buy more from a company who makes it easier to do business. Do the math! Giving your employees the tools to make the customer relationship seamless will only serve to increase shareholder value by productively impacting the numbers that are being so heavily monitored.

Sentiments: Do you have any core beliefs regarding customer experience? How do those manifest themselves in your business?

Peeples: The customer experience is not an initiative, project or a program—it’s a fundamental change in the way we think about the business day to day and strategically over the long-term.

It begins with the employee.  If we can’t connect and engage our employees around a customer focus in a way that is meaningful and relevant to them we simply cannot be successful in improving the customer’s experience.

Approach everything through the eyes of the customer. We need to understand and rationalize the impacts from communications and service delivery to product development, process change and technology deployment. We must avoid the “focus group of one” tendency if we are to truly deliver on customer expectations.

Sentiments: What are you looking forward to most at C3?

Peeples: C3 is going to be a wonderful experience. I have to say participating in a panel discussion is always something I look forward to when attending any conference. It’s the team effort and interactions that enhance the discussion.

I’m really getting excited about my panel topic at this year’s C3 conference.  I always walk away from a panel learning something new and I think to myself, “how can I incorporate these new learnings into my everyday business?”

I’m honored to be a part of this panel and this conference and look forward to a wonderful two days in sunny Miami. Thanks Clarabridge!


Want to hear more from Donna Peeples? Register for C3 in Miami Beach, FL, taking place June 22-24.

Elizabeth Clor is the Sr. Director of Content Marketing and Communications at Clarabridge. In this role, she is responsible for solidifying Clarabridge’s position in the marketplace as the leading Customer Experience Management (CEM) technology vendor. Elizabeth has 17 years of experience in high-tech marketing and communications, and is a regular contributor to various marketing publications. She holds a B.A. of English from the University of Virginia.