When approached thoughtfully and deliberately, a comprehensive Customer Experience program spans across many departments and areas of focus. We recently spoke with Nicole McKenna, Senior Director of Product Management, about CCC’s Customer Experience First (CX1) program and how it’s helped her team hone its view into customer workflows and exact real change—on short notice—to enhance our customer experience.
Before we dig in, can you explain what CX1 is and how CCC came to adopt it?
NM: Of course. Our CX1 program—which stands for Customer Experience First—is really about prioritizing our customers and ensuring their experience with our company is extraordinary from start to finish. While we’ve always been a customer-centric company, we implemented our CX1 program to formalize our way of doing business and to give us a little extra push to go above-and-beyond. Adopting CX1 has meant that each and every one of our colleagues is empowered to identify ways to improve the customer experience—and the program has been really powerful. When companies consistently put their customers first, it sets them apart from the competition. So that’s what we’ve set out to do: set CCC apart from the competition by creating a customer experience like no other.
During your 20+ years at CCC, how have you seen the company’s approach to customer experience evolve?
NM: I started my career here in Danvers, Massachusetts (USA), in Customer Support when there were just four of us on the team, handling all inbound inquiries from licensing to permissions to software support. I still remember listening to our voicemail box, writing notes out by hand, and returning customer calls. A lot has changed since those days. We’re well beyond the days of paper and pencil and rely on advanced customer service software and tools now. Our team has expanded along with our portfolio of data and software service offerings, and we’ve expanded geographically to meet customers’ needs in over 100 countries. While a lot has changed, I feel the priorities—the heart—of this company has not. Our customers have always been at the core of our business. Our enterprise wide CX1 program helps all of us serve them better.
What is your role within the CX1 team? Do you have a specific focus?
NM: I’m part of the CX1 Leadership team. As Senior Director of Product Management, my focus is on our product platform; specifically, I’m responsible for making sure back-office operations and capabilities provide the customer-facing applications with the services that they need. We want to ensure that our customer gets what they need on the first try. Since the launch of the CX1 program, there’s been a heightened awareness across the company that what we provide in the product really matters and, inversely, what we don’t do in the product matters. If there’s a gap in one of our products or services, we collaborate with other teams to bridge that gap to make sure the customer experience is a great one.
Can you share any recent examples of CX1 in action at CCC?
NM: Each of our product teams creates a roadmap to guide them through 12-week product development planning cycles. As much as we try to plan ahead, sometimes things come up in real-time that are too important to push off. For example, we recently learned that customers were challenged paying invoices due to small changes needed to the PO number or address information. So we made this a top priority, got it into the current roadmap cycle and made the enhancement as quickly as possible—all to improve our customers’ experience. Sometimes it’s the small changes that really matter; not just the complex things.
How has CX1 impacted the day-to-day operations of the Product Team?
NM: The development of the CX1 Dashboard has had a positive impact. Now, we can identify common roadblocks for our customers by exploring data related to Customer Support call traffic. These insights have enabled us to quickly enhance our products in direct response to customer needs. We’ve been able to adopt a self-reinforcing process where we look at the data from our customers, we investigate solutions, and we drive our efforts back into the roadmap for our products according to what matters most to our clients.
Wrapping up then, do you think embracing the CX1 philosophy has already begun to impact the customer experience at CCC?
NM: Absolutely. Our company recently held a “Demo Days” event for internal staff. It’s an annual continuing education program to share information with our colleagues on different areas of the business, introduce them to new products, and enable them to hear from our clients. A customer spoke at one of these sessions and it was so motivating to hear how they use our product suite on a daily basis to get their job done. When you hear stories like that, you’re able to make connections and think, ‘ok, if we improve this feature, that customer is going to see it.’ Having that personal context is a reminder that the work you do to study and enhance your products, making them the best they can be, really impacts your customers’ experience. And at the end of the day, that’s what is most important to us.