Before leading client experience at American National, Scott spent a large chunk of his career in marketing and communications. He previously served as the company’s chief marketing officer. Scott details how this experience has been useful for him, allowing him to understand the importance of wrapping up the work and communicating it back to the organization.
Scott tells us that while he was the CMO, they were working on the customer journey as a kind of “side project” in his business unit. He knew from a marketing standpoint, that there would be a lot of opportunities to combine some elements of marketing with client experience. He mentions that things started taking off, and with the success that his team started seeing from their projects, the CEO wanted the CX work to expand to the whole company, moving beyond the business unit.
Get to Know Senior Leaders in the Organization
Scott shares that as he started in his CCO role, he immediately had to figure out how to translate the CX work within the business unit to the whole enterprise. Similar to many other CCOs I’ve interviewed, he spent a lot of time, in the beginning, talking to senior leaders in the organization. Scott and his team of three met with every single senior leader across the company to introduce themselves and inform them of their roles within the company. He shares that his team needed to know the players in the game, ask questions, and do a lot of listening.
After spending time getting to know the senior leaders, Scott details how his team worked on getting the strategic framework built—figuring out how to incorporate all of the other facets of the business. He shares that he and his team conducted focus groups and client sessions, holding about 4 or 5 them across the company. He says that as they started putting together the journey at a high level, they needed to understand what really mattered to clients.
Scott and his team also installed a voice of the client platform, which is where most of their listening takes place. He shared that they survey clients, analyze the verbatims and conduct lost client surveys. Scott understands the importance of understanding why a client left the company, and that client growth is not just about acquisition. Scott and his team realize that it’s their job to take all of the data in, see where the dots connect, and what the priorities and trends really are.
Client Experience Can and Needs to be Measured
Scott shares that he and his team are always looking for someone who’s willing to listen or talk. He states that there’s a lot of formal and informal engagement with leaders. He ensures that when there are relevant updates that need to be communicated, he does so, formally. Scott tells us that he’s constantly looking for opportunities to engage with colleagues.
We both agree that it’s important to ask colleagues and leaders about what they’re doing, not just going out and pitching their projects. He wants his team to be able to add valuable insights and get teams on all levels across the organization to engage and start doing the work. People need to see the value in what’s working and not working.
“We’ve been very focused on overcoming the idea that client experience is squishy and soft. And I think that’s probably a challenge a lot of people face, or it’s a preconceived notion,” says Scott, about proving the value of customer experience. To him, communicating that CX is something that can be measured is a big priority. Scott shares that his team has worked to establish appropriate KPIs so they can drive profitable growth for the company. He starts with the indicators that are relevant to the team leaders so it’s easier for them to track and connect the dots between the effort and results.
Start with key performance indicators that are relevant to your team leaders so it’s easier for them to track and connect the dots between the effort and results. -@scottccampbell, @CareerswithAN #CX Click To Tweet
Have the Right Team to Push the Work Forward
Scott, like many other CCOs and CX leaders, understands the importance of having a strong team to support business growth. He’s able to push client experience work forward with an operations team and a strategy and insights team. According to Scott, the operations team helps manage the budget, conducts a lot of the reports and handles compliance operations.
Scott shares that the strategy and insights team manages the listening program, so they really know the voice of the client. They manage the platform and put together analytics to feed to the CX managers who work with the different business areas to enhance processes. The goal is for the strategy and insights team to partner with the business areas to improve the experience and make sure the voice of the client is getting embedded into the work.
Scott shares that his top advice is to ensure you’ve got the right talent on your team. You need people who can flex into different roles and responsibilities and figure things out.
What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew Before
“When I kind of got charged with starting this, “Find and fix, right? This is going to be easy. We’ll just go to all the areas and we’ll have ’em put a list of all the client touch points that suck and we’ll just start making them better!”. And that was kind of the early day’s approach to some of this stuff. I think I wasted so much time on that because you quickly realize that the number of things you could improve are basically infinite. There’s so much that we could do better. But a lot of that stuff, in the end, really doesn’t matter.”
“Always tie it back to the client and the client journey, which of course seems intuitive for a client experience area. But when you play whack-a-mole and you start just finding and fixing, you are still orientating around you and your process.”
About Scott CampbellScott leads a talented Client Experience team at American National. It’s their mission to build an unmatched client experience that helps people choose American National, stay with the company and recommend it to others. It’s Scott’s passion and privilege to be part of pioneering that important effort at a great company in an industry that does so much good for people.
As Chief Client Officer, I oversee the corporate client satisfaction strategy, voice of the client (VOC) program, design and development of our consumer-facing digital platforms, and enhancement of the most impactful touchpoints at all stages of the client journey.