Jeannie Walters is the Chief Customer Experience InvestigatorTM/Founder of 360Connext, the only global organization specializing in Customer Experience InvestigationTM, a trademarked process of walking in the customer’s shoes for a truly objective view.
She has been helping companies improve retention, employee engagement, digital experience and social customer care for more than 15 years.
Jeannie’s 2012 TEDx presentation inspires her community to collect microinteractions, the small, sometimes unnoticed things that can have a huge impact on the customer experience. Jeannie is a member of Faith Popcorn’s Talent Bank and a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. Also a very active writer and blogger, she contributes regularly to CustomerThink, Business2Community, Yahoo! Small Business and Social Media Today. She serves as an editorial team member for the Social Media Club, and was recognized on the Huffington Post as one of “The Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros On Twitter.”
We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!
Paper < Plastic
Personalization < Privacy
In-Store Shopping > Online Shopping
Transactional > Relational
Mac < PC
Customer Service > Customer Experience
Captain Kirk < Dr. Spock
Talk > Text
Dog < Cat
Movie Theater > In-Home Rental
What was your first job and what did you learn about customer service in it?
I helped match up babysitters with families at a youth center. I learned it was important to have the person match the culture! That’s still a critical part of delivering customer service.
Tell us how one outside influence impacted your customer service or customer experience thinking. (For ex. book, movie, sporting event, relationship, travel)
When I moved back to Chicago after years in other cities, one of my first “big city” moments came at an ATM. After submitting my card and request, I saw a message in all caps on the screen: ‘I’M WORKING ON IT.’ I thought that was quintessentially big city – sort of abrupt, and it felt like the machine was yelling at me!
I’m sure the copywriter and/or programmer didn’t intend to offend. I’m sure the voice in his/her head was cheerfully saying “I’m working on it!” with a smile. But it goes to show you how examining each small moment in the experience can lead to a better understanding of the many ways humans will interpret things, even with the best intentions from those who design those experiences.
I think that’s what started my passion for exploring the small moments within greater experiences. I mentioned that moment in my TEDx talk and had several people share similar “human v. machine” experiences. It’s universal!
In your own personal experience, has customer service gotten better or worse in the past five years?
I’m not sure it’s black or white. In some ways, awareness has improved so the companies that get it really get it. But it does feel like the idea of customer service is just absent in some establishments!
> I consider it a bad customer experience when I am placed on hold for more than four minutes.
> In five years, the most important social media channel for customer service will be It won’t be a channel. It’ll be personalized mobile.
> The best book I read in the last twelve months was Spin Sucks!
By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.