Jay Patel wins CX Leader of the Year at the CX Awards 2023
CX Today, the leading publication in customer experience technology news, has revealed the winners of its second-ever online CX Awards ceremony.
Launched in 2022 to celebrate our industry’s greatest CX technology innovators, this year saw 40 brands compete for recognition across 13 award categories—including Women in CX Technology and CX Leader of the Year.
Hosts David Dungay, Editor in Chief at CX Today, and Clare Muscutt, Founder of Women in CX, also discussed how the shortlisted leaders are setting new standards in customer experience – and what this means for all of us.
As for Cisco, we’re proud to share that our own Jay Patel, VP and GM for Webex CPaaS Solutions, won this year’s award for CX Leader of the Year.
A remarkable win for Jay in one of the most competitive categories, the judges deemed his application “a story of strong leadership and vision” from a very “inspiring entrepreneur.”
We sat down with Jay after the ceremony to discuss his award, and the state of our industry today.
What does this award mean to you?
“Firstly, I’d like to congratulate all the CX Awards 2023 finalists. It’s an honor to receive the award for CX Leader of the Year, especially given the number of industry leaders in my field that applied. For me, this award confirms that my team at Webex CPaaS Solutions is having a transformative impact on the CX space.”
What are the biggest challenges facing CX leaders today?
“I’d say our biggest challenge is constant behavioral and social change driven by consumers and technology. Consumers now expect rich, connected interactions with their favorite brands and they expect you to be available where they are, 24/7.
We all need to be more proactive in how we deliver great CX, the technology exists but the reality is that many organizations struggle due to their reliance on legacy, and often highly complex, systems and environments.
You need the modern tools in place to quickly adapt, scale, and respond to change. Ultimately rich customer journeys need to be based on a single source of connected truth.”
What CX trends do you predict for 2023 and beyond?
“There are a few trends I predict we will hear a lot about in 2023, some of which are already helping change the way we think about the customer journey.
With 95% of global businesses expected to use CPaaS solutions by 2025, it’s vital that businesses meet their customers where they are. And looking at our data, that’s on the same conversational channels many of us use daily, such as WhatsApp, Apple Messages for Business, and Google Business Messages.
Conversational commerce lets you engage customers in an open dialogue across all their favorite channels and enrich the buying journey in real time with tailored offers, recommendations, flexible checkout options and more. What was once a one-way service interaction has become a living hub for the customer relationship.
AI-powered automation is key to getting this right. Chatbots can help customers get the answers they need quickly and intuitively, and with low-code development, they’re easier to build and deploy than ever. And by automating those routine processes and conversations, you’re saving valuable person-hours better spent on innovation and fielding critical interactions.
I’d also like to highlight the role Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) play in delivering rich and empathetic interactions. Together, they can recognize, and process text based on contextual understanding and inform next-best decision making.”
What mistakes do leaders often make when trying to improve CX?
“I think CX leaders are likely to make three mistakes when enacting change. These are:
- Focusing on a specific part of the journey rather than the end-to-end experience. This is risky because every interaction is an opportunity to provide value and create a competitive advantage.
- Making existing tasks more efficient instead of designing new processes or reimagining legacy tasks to meet the needs of the modern customer and employee.
- Maintaining a disconnect between front and back offices instead of uniting every department and their data to deliver joined-up customer experiences.”
What pain points often prevent brands from mastering CX?
“Relying on multiple technology vendors and disconnected apps, teams, and systems is a big issue. And these organizations can end up spending more time and money just trying to keep the lights on than delivering great CX journeys.
So much data gets locked away—or even duplicated—across siloed teams and systems, and all it does is create inefficiencies. But by consolidating vendors and connecting everyone through a single, centralized platform, you can more easily deliver the timely and personalized experiences your customers expect.
I also see the hesitancy of investment in AI and low- and no-code app development as a huge barrier to innovation and operational efficiency. For example, by using AI chatbots, you can drastically reduce customer-generated call volumes and live agent costs. While low- and no-code development can democratize the building of unique customer journeys.
But to get this right, you must make it easy for customers to interact with your brand when it matters most, on the channels that make sense to them.
An AI chatbot can field routine inquiries and even guide customers through your e-commerce journeys, such as by recommending products and checkout options, but there are times when the human touch is necessary.
This is especially important in retail, where emotions can run high. Your chatbot must be able to recognize the need for human intervention and hand the conversation over to a live agent. The best CPaaS solutions can also help you achieve this without the customer noticing and bring a swift resolution.”
What can help our readers deliver more positive CX right now?
“Brands that want to deliver leading customer experiences need to focus on three elements: resolving issues faster, building customer rapport, and delivering relevant experiences at every stage of the customer journey.
They must also find the right blend of communication channels and approaches for their audience. For example, by building a unique picture of each customer in your system, you can empower your AI and live agents with the information they need to best serve that individual on the channels they prefer.
Remember, no one customer is the same. While one may prefer WhatsApp, another may prefer SMS. It’s about understanding your audience and using that knowledge to deliver value on their terms.”
What has you most excited about CX technology?
“Technological change has always inspired me, and right now, we’re living through an incredible period of advancement. It almost feels like there’s something new to get excited about every day.
The ubiquity of high-speed internet, powerful handheld devices, and cloud infrastructure has made computing cheaper and more accessible. It’s laid an incredible foundation for businesses to fundamentally change their relationships with customers.
The result is a world where customers expect fast, connected, and personalized experiences as standard. Fail to deliver, and they have no problem switching providers—especially when it only takes the touch of a button.
Helping our customers use the latest technologies to deliver unforgettable experiences is what drives me. With our incredible teams and technologies like AI and 5G, we’re able to create more meaningful relationships between businesses and their customers. Plus, we can foster those relationships through consistent messaging across several communication channels, allowing customers to feel understood and businesses to feel empowered”.
Learn more about the CX Awards
Mar 30, 2023 — Richard Barnes
Mar 28, 2023 — Lorrissa Horton