CXpert Talks: Former Director of Sysco's Customer Strategy and Current CEO of CXPA, Diane Magers

Lauren Burgess  |  November 13, 2018

Lauren Burgess  |  November 13, 2018


This series is aimed at breaking down some of the mystery around managing, improving and measuring customer experiences at every digital touchpoint. Every day we hear the message that having a great digital experience is key for generating sales and increasing customer loyalty, but rarely do we get actionable advice for creating them. 

Each interview is packed full of essential tips for digital teams looking to connect with their customers through meaningful experiences. Participants have been selected for their extensive backgrounds in the industry and the unique insights that they’re able to contribute as a result.

5 Things You'll Take Away From This Interview

  1. The importance of being selective in digital enablement
  2. Why the best experiences are emotional
  3. The three biggest CX challenges for enterprises this year
  4. How intelligent data platforms can help you understand your customers
  5. Why you can't rely on just surveys for determining the quality of CX 

In the second installment of the series, Diane Magers, CEO of the Customer Experience Professionals Association and founder of CX consultancy Customer Experience Catalysts reveals her thoughts on today’s digital experiences and the challenges that come with managing them.

Diane Magers photo

Diane has over 25 years of CX leadership experience with world-renowned brands like AT&T and Sysco. During this time, she assisted many businesses with the necessary digital transformations required to embed customer and employee engagement with definable business benefit.

In addition to her decades of experience, Diane holds an MS in Psychology and an MBA. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) and is also certified in NPS, Voice of Customer and Customer Experience Management.


1. What does digital transformation mean to you?

Digital transformation is about leveraging new tools to shift how we collaborate and connect within organizations and with customers.

The transformation is being driven by expectations of the “always-connected” customer and we have to embrace technology to deliver on the expectations. Much like the shift of changing how the organization works around the customer’s needs, digital transformation puts that shift into high gear.

My most common phrase when talking about digital transformation is to restate that it is an experience transformation enabled by digital.

Many organizations are quickly implementing digital in as many areas as possible, without really considering its impact and how usable it is and the impact to the experiences across all channels. It’s important to be selective about where you enable digital, how you design the experience and to ensure they are integrated with non-digital channels.

2. What do you think are the key elements of a truly brilliant digital experience?

These are the basics: It’s targeted to human needs and what they are trying to accomplish, and it’s easy, simple, contextual and personalized.

But when I really think about a brilliant digital experience, I think about the one I just had with a B2B organization while using their app. Not only was my experience contextual and personalized, but I was guided through it and given opportunities to educate myself. I wasn’t familiar with the service and product, so the app walked me through the process which was enormously helpful.

I might not have recognized it immediately, but it was an emotional experience. I was initially confused – it wasn’t a topic I knew a lot about, but the experience met my needs both practically and emotionally. I was anxious going into it, and once I had achieved what I wanted to with the app’s help, I felt much more empowered and knowledgeable.

It’s an example of how digital and experience teams really need to leverage design in a different way when it comes to digital experience.

3. What do you think are the biggest CX challenges facing enterprises this year?

These challenges are significant opportunities. Many organizations:

a. Struggle to recognize customer and digital experiences as a dynamic, transformational shift.

They may think: “Okay, we’re going to set up ways to bring in all this information about our customers,” but they don’t understand how to leverage that information into insights and to get the organization to work more cohesively, effectively and efficiently on what needs to change based on the customers’ needs.

b. Expressing the value and impact of customer and digital experience improvements

Ultimately, we’re trying to change the outcome for the organization by helping customers achieve their goals. How are we creating experiences that drive revenue? Reduce costs? Affect social influence?  Bring in more referrals? It’s about engaging with more customers, deepening the relationships we have, boosting lifetime value and increasing the strength of the brand.

c. Getting multiple departments to work together on the experience

For CX professionals, being given the authority and the support you need to help bring the organization to work together is a challenge. Having executive support is essential for elevating the importance and impact of CX and helping people really recognize the benefits of it.

4. How can you identify opportunities for improving digital experiences?

Digital will provide new ways for technology to collect information about the experience and understand how well we are meeting customer’s needs.

Real time insights and action platforms, biometric feedback, journey analytics, social feedback, app and web analytics will tell us how a property is being interacted with and what the journey looks like – there are a lot of opportunities to see where and how a customer might be engaged or “lost” and you can adapt your design around that.

Data can tell you where a customer is struggling. Journey analytics tell you, based on their behavior and feedback, what the experience is really like.

Data can tell you where a customer is struggling. Journey analytics tell you, based on their behavior and feedback, what the experience is really like.

5. How can you judge the success of digital experience improvement projects?

From the customers and employee’s viewpoint. Once your digital experience is live, the ability to perform behavior and journey analytics but also keep getting customer feedback in multiple formats is key.

You can’t just rely on surveys. Digital is designed to be quick and easy – filling out a form that takes longer than the experience you just had? It just doesn’t make sense for the customer.

Communities and social conversations around your digital experiences can also be helpful.

People are already having conversations about their experiences, we just need to be in the right place to listen to them. Leveraging that is one of the core components for customer experience professionals looking for feedback. We’re becoming part of the conversation, not just asking over and over, “How did we do?”


A big thanks to Diane for sharing her thoughts with us! Keep an eye out for the next installment of our interview series.

Read our Ultimate Guide to Digital Experience Transformation.

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Lauren Burgess

Written on November 13, 2018 by:

Lauren Burgess

Lauren is a Digital Marketing Executive at Decibel.


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