Customer experience is the most important and toughest part of marketing. The scale alone can be staggering. CX involves every interaction current and potential customers have with a brand — from customer service to packaging to digital presence to physical store maintenance to positioning around external events and much, much more.
Dig deeper: How Allied Beverage is transforming customer experience
How can anyone stay on top of all that? You need expert help. So, here’s our list (in alphabetical order) of the people you absolutely must follow to keep up with the latest in CX.
Jay is a customer experience and marketing keynote speaker and emcee who has written six best-selling books on customer acquisition and retention and founded five multi-million dollar companies from scratch. He is also founder of ConvinceAndConvert.com, one of the world’s most popular online resources for marketers and business owners.
Jeanne is a leadership and customer experience advisor, who has delivered over 2,000 speeches and workshops for nearly every business vertical. She hosts the podcast Customer Bliss and is the author of several books including the best-selling “Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine.”
- LinkedIn: Jeanne Bliss (26K followers)
- Twitter: @JeanneBliss (25K followers)
- Website: Customer Bliss
James is Pegasystems’ GTM Excellence, Customer Service & Sales Automation Director. He can honestly be called a rockstar, having played guitar with a world-touring, album-releasing heavy metal band. Check out his video “What Can Stevie Ray Vaugh Teach Us About Customer Experience” to see what those two worlds have in common. He also helped create the ACXS customer experience certification program.
- LinkedIn: James Dodkins (28K followers)
- Twitter: @JDODKINS (3K followers)
- Website: James Dodkins
Annette is founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc. and has been named one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider. She’s author of the books “Built to Win” and “Customer Understanding.” She has 30 years of experience in CX on both the client and vendor side, serves on the advisory board for customer experience at the University of California, Irvine, and is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.
- LinkedIn: Annette Franz (20K followers)
- Twitter: @annettefranz (27K followers)
- Website: CX Journey
Don’s first book, 1993’s “The One to One Future,” written with long-time business partner Martha Rogers, Ph.D., is widely credited with having launched the CRM revolution. BusinessWeek called it the “bible of the new marketing” and Tom Peters named it his “book of the year.” Among the many other books Don has written by himself or with Rogers are the definitive “Managing Customer Experience and Relationships” and “Customer Experience: What, Why and How.” He is also one of the LinkedIn Top Voices, which is the site’s official influencer program.
- LinkedIn: Don Peppers (329K followers)
- Twitter: @DonPeppers (10.5K followers)
- Website: CX Speakers
Colin is a pioneer of customer experience. In 2002 he founded Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first customer experience consultancies. He is author of several best-selling books, including “Building Great Customer Experiences’ and “Revolutionize Your Customer Experience.” Colin is also one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices and co-host of the business podcast The Intuitive Customer, rated in the top 5% of all podcasts by BuzzSprout.
- LinkedIn: Colin Shaw (295K followers)
- Twitter: @ColinShaw_CX (14K followers)
- Website: Beyond Philosophy
Currently VP of Global Innovation at Salesforce, Brian is a renowned digital anthropologist who researches technology’s impact on business, markets and society. He’s the author of many bestselling books, including, “X: The Experience When Business Meets Design,” “What’s the Future of Business” and “The End of Business as Usual.” He’s a Top Voice on LinkedIn, where his newsletter has more than 62,000 subscribers.
- LinkedIn: BrianSolis (344K followers)
- Twitter: @briansolis (272K followers)
- Instagram: @briansolis (65K followers)
- Website: Brian Solis
Bruce leads the Qualtrics XM Institute, which provides thought leadership and training to help organizations with experience management. He is also co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Customer Experience Professionals Association. This non-profit organization runs the Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) program, an industry-wide, standardized curriculum which confirms CX practitioners’ expertise in the field.
- LinkedIn: Bruce Temkin (36K followers)
- Twitter: @btemkin (17K followers)
- Website: XM Institute
Steve is CEO and founder of The BP Group, a consultancy that helps upskill customer experience professionals. He has been keynote speaker for conferences and corporate events around the world. He is author of the books “Dare” and “The Process Tactics Playbook” (with James Dodkins).
- LinkedIn: Steve Towers (31K followers)
- Twitter: @stowers (10K followers)
- Website: Steve Towers
Steven Van Belleghem
Steve is co-founder and board member of nexxworks, a disruption consultancy. An in-demand keynote speaker, he is also author of many business books, including “The Offer You Can’t Refuse” and “When Digital Becomes Human” and the tech thriller “Hoogverraad” (sadly, only available in Dutch).
- LinkedIn: Steven Van Belleghem (49K followers)
- Twitter: @StevenVBe (39K followers)
- Website: Steven Van Belleghem
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