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10 CX Influencers to Watch

Delivering exceptional customer experiences takes a village – contact center agents, customer service representatives, marketers, salespeople, technical professionals, human resources, and c-suite leaders all play a role in designing and orchestrating the experiences customers expect.

Customer experiences are created by people for people. It’s a team sport and a human discipline. That’s why when it comes to CX, we’re always watching and learning from the best thought leaders in the business. In this roundup, you’ll find a list of 10 of our favorite CX influencers.

We’re lucky to have had several of these thought leaders join us on our game show, Experience Points. Check it out as guests compete to answer CX questions and share their expertise on how to fuel exceptional customer experiences.

1. Jason Bradshaw – Customer and Employee Experience Expert

People love doing business with organizations that they feel part of. Human connection builds trust and loyalty with a brand. Every touchpoint is an opportunity for an organization to show they aren’t just a machine, but rather people with personalities.
Jason Bradshaw, Experience Points
Jason Bradshaw

First to make our list of CX influencers is Jason Bradshaw. When he was just 14 years old, Jason started a telecommunications and hardware distribution business, which was the catalyst that launched a lifelong passion for customer experience. Jason has worked with organizations like Telstra, Fairfax Media Limited, Target Australia, and the New South Wales Government to transform employee and customer experiences. His book, It’s All About CEX! The Essential Guide to Customer & Employee Experience is an Amazon best-seller in five categories and two countries. Jason currently serves as the Chief Customer & Marketing Officer at Volkswagen Group – Australia.

Jason makes our list because of his unwavering commitment to improving the lives of customers and employees. For years, he has been in the trenches with leading organizations delivering transformative CX and EX results.

Where to Find Jason:

2. Jeanne Bliss – Global Leader on Experience Leadership and Customer-Driven Growth and Co-Founder of CXPA

What will customers remember you for? Memory creation is the currency of your brand.
Jeanne Bliss, What’s Your Three-Blocks Long?
Jeanne Bliss

Next on our list is Jeanne Bliss, lovingly known of as the “godmother” of customer experience. Jeanne is a leadership and customer experience advisor and keynote speaker who inspires the worlds’ most beloved companies to achieve business growth through brave leadership and elevated business practices. Jeanne is the President of CustomerBliss, the co-founder of the Customer Experience Professionals Association, and is recognized globally for transforming businesses to earn customer-driven growth.

Jeanne makes our list because she is a five-time Chief Customer Officer, coach to over 20,000 leaders, and has delivered over 1,500 transformative keynotes globally. Jeanne’s competencies for customer-driven growth have been adopted around the world, and her four best-selling books on customer experience and leadership are the guidebooks of the CX profession. They call her the godmother of customer experience for a reason.

Where to Find Jeanne:

3. Jesse Cole – Owner of Savannah Bananas and Founder of Fans First Entertainment

Whatever’s normal, do the exact opposite. Normal gets normal results.
Jesse Cole, Find Your Yellow Tux
Jesse Cole

You may recognize the next CX influencer on our list by his staple yellow tux. Jesse Cole is the founder of Fans First Entertainment, owner of the Savannah Bananas, and author of the book Find Your Yellow Tux – How to be Successful by Standing Out.

Jesse makes our list because he truly puts the fan experience above all. His teams have welcomed more than one million fans to their ballparks and have been featured on MSNBC, CNN, and ESPN. The Savannah Bananas have sold out every game for two straight seasons and currently have a waiting list in the thousands. Jesse is passionate about creating attention, loving your customers more than your product, and loving your employees more than your customers.

Where to Find Jesse:

4. Marquesa Pettway – Business Reinvention Strategist and Professional Speaker

A lot of us think that customer service just means doing what we can to keep customers happy and satisfied with what they’ve purchased. But going above and beyond can make all the difference in the world. Sometimes customer service should be the focus of your marketing strategy.
Marquesa Pettway, Experience Points
Marquesa Pettway

When the pandemic caused everything to go virtual practically overnight, where did we all turn to collaborate? Zoom. That’s why we’re adding Marquesa Pettway, Zoom Queen to our roster of CX influencers. Former CNN Associate Producer turned Business Reinvention Strategist and Professional Speaker, Marquesa Pettway helps experts and organizations leverage Zoom to build engaging virtual experiences.

Marquesa makes our list because virtual events and experiences are a key part of the overall customer experience in today’s marketplace. Her focus on leveraging Zoom to drive impact, influence, and income is one we can definitely get behind.

Where to Find Marquesa:

5. Dan Gingiss – Customer Experience Coach, Author, Podcaster, and Keynote Speaker

It is awfully hard to stand out among 500 million Tweets and 6 million blog posts every day. I’m not saying don’t do content, I’m just saying there’s another way. Focus on your customers.
Dan Gingiss, Think Summit
Dan Gingiss

Our next CX influencer believes that a remarkable customer experience is your best sales and marketing strategy and has dubbed himself The Experience Maker™. Dan Gingiss doesn’t just talk about customer experience, he embodies great experiences through every touchpoint, presentation, role, and communication he delivers. Dan has spent more than two decades hyper-focused on delighting customers, spanning multiple disciplines including customer experience, marketing, social media, and customer service. He has held top leadership positions at McDonald’s, Discover, and Humana.

Dan makes our list because he is one of the brightest minds in customer experience. His CX commentary and thought leadership is always extremely relevant and thought-provoking. His energy and passion for CX is infectious. Did we mention Dan has won countless awards including Top 50 Customer Service Experts of the Decade, Top 20 Global Customer Experience experts, Top 100 Best Customer Service Books of All Time, and more?

Where to Find Dan:

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6. Scott McKain – Author and Keynote Speaker

Your people need to know how to create distinction to give yourself a competitive advantage in this volatile marketplace. The ultimate customer experience is more important than it has ever been because customers need that type of engagement with you now more than ever.
Scott McKain, Distinctive Business Performance at scottmckain.com
Scott McKain

Next up on our list is Scott McKain. Globally recognized for helping organizations and professionals create distinction to attract and retain customers, and stand out in a hyper-competitive marketplace, Scott is an author, keynote speaker, founder, consultant, and coach who is passionate about CX.

Scott makes our list because he’s been in the game for over three decades and has worked with leading organizations like Apple, SAP, BMW, Merril Lynch, Dow, Cisco, and more. And the cherry on top? Two of his recent books have been named the year’s 10 best business books.

Where to Find Scott:

7. Jay Baer – Marketing and Customer Experience Author, Founder, and Keynote Speaker

Almost everyone underestimates the impact of service on customer retention and customer acquisition.
Jay Baer, Hug Your Haters
Jay Baer

Our list wouldn’t be complete without the mention of Jay Baer, marketing and customer experience expert, seventh generation entrepreneur, author of six best-selling books, and founder of five multi-million-dollar companies. Jay has spent 25 years in digital marketing and customer experience, consulting for more than 700 companies including 34 of the Fortune 500. His current firm, Convince & Convert provides word of mouth, digital marketing, and customer experience advice and counsel to some of the world’s most important brands.

Jay was a no brainer inclusion on our list of CX influencers. You can catch him speaking on tech, CX, and consumer expectations an average of 60 times per year, worldwide. Jay’s Convince & Convert blog was named the world’s #1 content marketing blog by the Content Marketing Institute and is visited by more than 250,000 marketers each month. Not to mention, Jay also hosts and produces the Social Pros podcast, which is downloaded 65,000 times monthly and was named best marketing podcast by the Content Marketing Awards.

Jay is one of the world’s top global gurus in customer service and customer experience, this list would be incomplete without him.

Where to Find Jay:

8. Shep Hyken – Motivational Customer Service Keynote Speaker, Expert & Author

Your customers no longer compare you just to your direct competition. You are being compared to the best service they have ever received.
Shep Hyken, Forbes
Shep Hyken

We love Shep Hyken’s title, Chief Amazement Officer, at Shepard Productions and he’s next on our list. Shep is a customer service and experience expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author. Shep works with companies and organizations who want to create amazing experiences and build loyal relationships with their customers and employees.

Shep makes our list because he is an international leading authority on customer service, experience, and loyalty in business. In addition to his best-selling books, Shep has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame and his articles have been circulated in hundreds of publications. He also created a customer service training program called The Customer Focus™, which helps organizations develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. He has thousands of followers across LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Where to Find Shep:

9. Blake Morgan - Customer Experience Futurist, Best-selling Author and Keynote Speaker

There are three trends that have created this perfect storm in which customer experience is all anybody wants to talk about. The first is the experience economy. People value experience over things, and access over ownership. The second trend is a power shift from the company to the customer. And the third shift is technology.
Blake Morgan, Keynote Speaking Session
Blake Morgan

Up next is customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and best-selling author, Blake Morgan. Blake believes that if you make people’s lives easier and better, you will always have an audience and she shares that message with people all over the world. She is the author of two customer experience books and has been named a top 40 global female keynote speaker by Real Leaders Magazine.

Blake makes our list because she continues to build her audience through content and thought leadership. She has two podcasts, The Modern Customer Podcast and the Be Your Own Podcast. She even recently announced a new customer experience community where members can get weekly livestreams, watch monthly presentations, access private reports, and even get certified in Blake’s Customer of the Future course.

Where to Find Blake:

10. Dennis Wakabayashi – Vice President of Customer Experience Implementation for RR Donnelly

Ultimately the value of a brand and the customer experience comes from the people inside the brand working with the people outside the brand.
Dennis Wakabayahi, Experience Points
Dennis Wakabayashi

Rounding out our list of CX influencers is Dennis Wakabayashi, Vice President of Customer Experience Implementation for RR Donnelly, a global business communications firm specializing in the production, execution, and delivery of customer engagement tactics along the entire path to purchase. Dennis regularly works with Fortune 500 brands, defining CX strategies and leading tactical implementation with the teams at RR Donnelley.

Dennis rounds out our list because he consistently shares the latest CX innovations and strategic practices with his audience of more than 50,000 followers, has been named one of the top 50 (CX) experts of the decade, and ranks among the top 150 CX influencers globally on social media.

Where to Find Dennis:

To differentiate in today’s marketplace, you must invest in customer experience. Each of these great CX minds brings something unique to the table and are consistently providing knowledge, perspectives, and insights that you can apply to your own organization.

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