These 5 Companies are CX Innovators

Last week we asked you to dust off your prediction skills, weigh some odds and take a shot at guessing the winners of the 2014 CX Innovation Awards. Now it's time to find your ballot: We know the winners.

Just yesterday, the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), a global non-profit organization created to guide and enhance customer experience management, named five winners from a list of 14 semifinalists. 

Winners were announced at the CXPA's fourth annual Insight Exchange event, which continues today in Atlanta.

Come on ... Admit it. You're eager to know who they are.

The Envelope, Please

The CX Innovation Awards, now in their third year, recognize new practices that "improve customer experience, result in strong business impact and advance the field of customer experience for other organizations."

And the 2014 winners are:

What's So Innovative?

Akbank, a Turkish bank, initiated a project to give "just in time" direct feedback to employees. The target was to measure daily customer satisfaction and transfer feedback to the specific employee who served the customer. Randomly selected customers receive a call within 24 hours following service to determine the customer service level, competency of the staff, general staff behavior and more. General satisfaction scores are shared daily with the specific branch employees by notification pop ups. The feedback is designed to be "simple and sympathetic," because Akbank believes "easy to understand, timely feedback is the key to creating employee focus.

Cisco took an overlooked, basic skill and used it to drive a cultural change across a $50 billion dollar company: language. The problem? Employees used jargon to talk with each other, but customers had a hard time understanding them, which "was bad for the business, bad for sales and the Cisco brand." The brand experience team helped the company focus on simpler and more distinctive language — and communicate things in ways customers can understand. "To make it stick, the team created guidelines and playbooks, translated them into 14 languages and developed curriculum and a training program that has trained nearly 2,000 people worldwide."

National Car Rental has spent the past three years collaborating with the Emerald Exchange, a private online community of 300 loyalty club members, to gain a fuller understanding of the customer journey and experience. Throughout this engagement, National has built "meaningful relationships with these valued customers – putting them in the driver’s seat – to help the company improve every aspect of their service experience." Because of this feedback, the Emerald Exchange community was instrumental in National’s launch of its new Mobile App last August. The app isn't just a reservation engine, but an end to end "rental tracker” that includes directions, inventory selection, rewards, roadside assistance and more.

The Oklahoma City Thunder's core customer experience initiative is E.E.C.: Educate (training), Evaluate (research) and Congratulate (recognition). Educate represents the CLICK! With Your Guests training program, which provides front line staff with the tools to create memorable guest experiences. Evaluate uses metrically based research and overall fan feedback to determine what the organization is doing well and what it can do better. Congratulate includes encouraging staff to continue excelling when caring for customers. "Following the 2012-13 NBA season, the E.E.C. model was enhanced to provide more training opportunities for frontline staff, enhanced evaluation tools for research programs and more 'in the moment' staff recognition."

Safelite’s MRM3 software with its "on the way" text pilot program "represents a new way for mobile service professionals to interact with customers." MRM3 helps technicians provide exceptional customer experiences on the road, from daily work order lists to secure payment. Driven directly from customer feedback, MRM3 allows Safelite to deliver a consistent experience to the customer regardless of the technician’s location. With only one tap of the screen, Safelite has empowered its technicians with a tool that sets the stage for a satisfying conclusion to the customer’s overall experience.

Mohamed Latib, a co-founder and vice president of business development at PeriscopeIQ and co-chair of the CX Innovation Awards Committee, said he was impressed by the variety of the winners "in geography, industry sector and approach to CX practice." It demonstrates the growth, adoption and commitment companies have to improved customer experience, he explained.

PeriscopeIQ is a provider of customer and employee engagement solutions.

Another Round of Applause

Let's give one final round of applause for the nine runners-up:

Title image by ollyy / Shutterstock.