In my professional life, I have never encountered a group of professionals as engaging and collaborative as Customer Experience leaders! I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview CX professionals from top brands across many industries over the last few years and what always stands out to me is their willingness to share stories and explore challenges with me. What I hadn’t realized was how few opportunities these professionals have to network and connect with one another. We were excited at Maru/edr to launch our first breakfast briefing and offer the CX leadership Community a chance to network and learn.

It was a truly tremendous event full of energetic CX executives, many of whom woke up at 5 am and made it into New York in order to network with other attendees. CX really does have a role in almost every industry and I know the whole MARU/edr team would like to thank the guests from Verizon, AXA, Wyndham Hotel, The NY Racing Association, JetBlue, Cole Haan, Vonage, Samsung, Freshly, Landhedge, Artis Energy for being open to this community and sharing a bit of what they have learned on the job.

After getting to know each other a bit better, we kicked-off the event with a keynote presentation from renowned CX and brand expert Tom Asacker.

Tom displayed poignant examples to help us all gain alignment on the new reality of the market and customers’ shifting expectations and behaviors. His presentation showed how inextricably brand perceptions and customer experiences are interwoven. This was further explored in the context of his framework for how people make choices. In Tom Asacker’s words, A brand or a customer experience is a belief. It’s a story in someone’s head. It’s a feeling of knowing.” To understand these beliefs and how they influence customers’ choices, we looked at further examples that dove into Tom’s three core pillars: Aesthetic, Control, and Identity.

To relate the framework back to the day-to-day work of many CX professionals, the President of North America at Maru/edr Ted Chen took the stage to share practical examples of how many of his clients are implementing outstanding practices to engage both their customers and internal stakeholders, using the tools outlined in Tom’s framework.

Ted explained how looking at CX through the lenses of Aesthetic, Control and Identity leads to powerful transformations where companies stop simply measuring and monitoring customer feedback, but truly integrate it into the fabric of the organization.

At the end of the morning, one of the committee chairs, Stacy Sherman from Verizon, invited the attendees to join a task-force of CX leaders to co-write a CX playbook of best practices to address common challenges.

I am so impressed with the work that Maru/edr and the CX Leadership Community did to make this event a success. It was such a pleasure to be a part of this meeting and I really look forward to see what more comes from the group.

By Julia Chamber, Researcher Manager