Simple. Smart. Connected: Verizon Executives Divulge how they are Redefining the Industry through a Differentiated Customer Experience

By: Elizabeth Clor

May 15, 2015

CEM Programs
CEM Solutions
customer experience management

“We firmly believe we can drive a differentiated experience for our customers that will be a competitive weapon for growth and loyalty.”

This bold statement by Ken Lain, vice president of National Operations at Verizon, highlights the company’s strategy of competing on customer experience. As the global leader in delivering innovative communications and technology solutions, Verizon is clearly ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding customer needs, wants and feelings, and delivering a superior experience.

We recently chatted with Lain and his colleague Miguel Quiroga, executive director of customer experience for Verizon’s video/broadband division, about how the company is “redefining” the industry. Both executives will be speaking at our C3 conference in Miami Beach, June 22-24. Here’s what they had to say:

Sentiments: In your industry, why is customer experience important? What are the key business drivers?

Lain and Quiroga: Customer experience is more important than ever before in our industry. Pressure is building with over-the-top players and rising content costs, forcing companies to make new and unique business decisions. The noise created from our competitors making network and CX claims are at an all-time high.

Bottom line—customers are confused and want to know who is really the best. In most measures, Verizon ranks the highest in customer satisfaction. But that is not good enough for us. We want to break out of the category in terms of service experience and completely redefine our company and even the industry. Consumer expectations are being set by their most recent experience, whether that experience is with us or with another company.

Our industry is not well thought of in terms of consumer satisfaction. So is it really good to be the best of the bottom?  We think not. We firmly believe we can drive a differentiated experience for our customers that will be a competitive weapon for growth and loyalty. When we provide a simple, smart, and connected experience for customers and employees, people notice.

We aren’t going to wait around for another company to create a successful model for CX. That’s for us to create for our customers.

Sentiments: What are your top priorities when it comes to the customer experience?

Lain and Quiroga: To provide a simple, smart, and connected experience across all platforms. Everything from products to services to each interaction a customer has with our company.

Simple means to create personalized interactions that are convenient, always available and easy to understand. Smart refers to our ability to use predictive analytics to understand and anticipate the wants and need of our customers. Connected is our commitment to proactive interactions with customers across all our channels to create a seamless experience.

Sentiments: Tell us a bit how you are using the Clarabridge platform to analyze feedback.

Lain and Quiroga: Clarabridge has helped us dig in and analyze the voice of the customer, identify the pain points, consider the sentiment, and track key trends about how customers perceive their interactions with us. It’s been a critical tool for helping us transform the conversations we have within the company and, most importantly, with our customers.

Sentiments: What’s the biggest impact to your business that your Voice of the Customer program has made?

Lain and Quiroga: Externally, our customers are seeing our improvements every day. It’s about creating an authentic and ruthlessly simple experience for our customers.   Additionally, our customer churn is improving, revenue is growing and our cost model is declining as it relates to calls into our centers. The experiences we are creating with our customers are designed to win loyalty each and every day.

Internally, our employees are deeply engaged with the new tools and thoughtful approach to how we design systems and solutions. We’re intensely focused on creating a high-quality, personalized touch whenever a customer connects with us and we approach everything we do with the mantra, “For Reps, by Reps.”

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

Lain and Quiroga: Customers and employees matter. We know that simplicity can be a powerful agent for engagement, trust, and loyalty with our customers and employees. Whether it’s new or existing customers, every interaction needs to be simple, smart and connected. When we treat our customers how they want to be treated, we all win.

Sentiments: What will attendees at C3 learn from your session?

Lain and Quiroga: How we are tackling the challenge of creating a much-needed strategy that uses CX to drive profitability and growth. You cannot stand by any longer and admire your data. It’s time to take action.

About Ken Lain and Miguel Quiroga

Ken Lain is the vice president of National Operations at Verizon. As a passionate leader and change agent, Ken works with his team to ensure customers receive a world-class experience. Ken is currently responsible for developing the national call center strategies around resource management and planning, quality and training, project management, methods and procedures, and self-service.

Miguel Quiroga is a digital transformation leader in his current role as Executive Director of Customer Experience for Verizon Communications’ video/broadband division. In this role, he is responsible for establishing and leading the business integration strategy and execution of cross channel customer engagement efforts for both contact center and digital channels including TV, online, mobile, social, and voice. He leads a team focused on creating and implementing customer engagement practices to balance both customer experience and profitability.

Hear more from Ken Lain and Miguel Quiroga by attending C3 in Miami Beach, FL June 22-24.