Customer Experience Leaders Discuss Often Overlooked Areas

In today’s constantly-connected landscape, a passive customer support team is no longer enough to keep your customer satisfaction numbers where they need to be. While you may need more areas of focus, for those companies striving to provide world-class customer support and overall experience, it’s a necessity. We asked six of the biggest names in the CX industry about areas they often see companies lagging behind in serving their customers.

Bob Phibbs

CEO the Retail Doctor, a retail consultancy based in New York, Owner of RetailDoc.com

“Shoppers want to feel a connection of human to human when they go out into a brick and mortar store. Through bean-counters slashing store coverage, many times it is impossible to find much of anyone, but when you do about all they can offer is to ring it up and take your coupons. We get feelings from humans, not products. Selling should be an emotional experience. When that is missing, about all you have is a warehouse of goods that many other retailers also carry – and many at a lower price than you can offer. The key differentiator in retail now is humans helping humans.”

Annette Franz

Principal at CX Journey

“The most overlooked area of customer service, and the customer experience overall, is the employee experience. Sadly, this is still happening more often than not. There is a clear linkage between the employee experience and the customer experience that is solidly supported by data and statistics. The problem is, many companies still refuse to make the employee experience a priority, focusing instead on shareholder value, the bottom line, and/or the customer experience (first) without considering the implications of a poor employee experience on all of the above. If your employees aren’t happy and engaged, it will be very difficult for them to delight your customers and to deliver the experience that you expect them to.”

Jeff Toister

Toister Performance Solutions and author of Service Failure

“The one area that’s consistently overlooked is defining what great service looks like. I call this a customer service vision. It’s a shared definition of outstanding service that acts like a compass to point everyone in the same direction. Support teams can’t move in a consistent direction unless that direction has been clearly set and everybody understands it.

A great example is Rackspace. Their customer service vision is called The Fanatical Support Promise. It basically says that they can’t promise perfection, but they can promise they’ll rise to the occasion and get it fixed when something goes wrong. That leads to crazy things like a time in 2013 when their phone system went down and support reps took the initiative to tweet their personal phone numbers to customers so they could keep serving people until the phone system was back up.”

Jeanne Bliss

Co-Founder Customer Experience Professionals Organization, President of CustomerBliss.com

”I’ve seen customer experience efforts fail most when the leadership team is not first united and engaged in the effort. Without this, leaders think of themselves of ‘customers’ of the CX work rather than partners in it. They need to be personally engaged and committed to take real action that they understand and agree to – before any work begins.”

Marsha Collier

Author of 48 books, eCommerce and customer service expert, radio host, keynote speaker, owner of coolebaytools.com

“Although we in the CX and support areas strive to streamline our customer’s experiences, technology can often move much faster than our customers can acclimate. In our quest to be the fastest and best, let’s not forget the customer and their needs. Being “there” for the customer mean understanding their needs often requires a very human touch. Never let the customer forget there’s a human being at the other end of the line. Stay personal.”

Jeremy Watkin

Head of Quality for FCR, Blogger at CustomerServiceLife.com

“The most commonly overlooked area of customer service is the frontline agents and their voice. They speak with customers day in and day out and therefore hold the keys and insights to building a great customer experience. Listen to them!”

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