Keith Gait, MBA CCXP: Leading the Charge in Customer Experience Innovation

Keith Gait, MBA CCXP

A positive customer experience is crucial for building customer loyalty, satisfaction, and advocacy. It goes beyond just the product or service itself and includes elements such as ease of use, customer service, communication, and the emotional connection a customer has with the brand.

Organizations that prioritize and invest in enhancing customer experiences often focus on understanding customer needs, providing seamless and consistent interactions across various channels, and continuously seeking ways to improve and exceed customer expectations. The goal is to create a positive and memorable overall impression, fostering customer retention and positive word-of-mouth. Customer Experience Foundation helps organizations do this by providing information, advice, and support. At the forefront of this CX innovation is Chief Executive, Keith Gait.

Keith started his career as a call centre agent, which provided him with a deep, hands-on understanding of the challenges and dynamics of customer interactions. He then went on to hold senior roles with brands including NHS Direct and Sainsbury’s. Working with both customers and front-line staff, Keith gained insights into the pain points and solutions that were possible and became totally passionate about improving customer experience.

Elevating Customer Experiences

Keith has an MBA, and in 2019, he became CCXP accredited, one of only 1,500 in the world. He has also been named a finalist in the World CX Leader of the Year in 2020 and in the Top 50 CX Stars in 2021, which spurred him on further to become a visionary leader in CX.

The Customer Experience Foundation is proud to be the only CX and Contact Centre industry body offering information, advice, and support that is accessible to everyone.

The company believes in a collaborative, supportive approach, and its vision is to improve CX as a profession for those it ultimately serves, making a difference by providing the community with sound CX innovation, practical advice, and support from proven practitioners.

The Customer Experience Foundation has a mission to learn, understand, share, and promote best practices across all areas of Customer Experience and Contact Centres.

Influencing the Future of the CX Industry

Being at the helm of the Customer Experience Foundation, Keith is responsible for the overall vision and working with the team to deliver a programme of activity looking at Operational and Technical Delivery, Strategy and Implementation, Employee Experience, Leadership and People Development, and Culture and Wellbeing for both corporate members and foundation partners.

Its corporate members include Retailers, Utility and telco, Public Sector, Travel and leisure, and BFSI organizations, and the company provides free audits and assessments and access to the Industry Councils and Leaders Summits as well as exclusive in-depth reports and white papers, and round table events.

Customer Experience Foundation Partners include BPOs, contact centres, and CX technology companies, where it delivers a programme of thought leadership designed to shape and influence the future of the CX industry. Each Foundation Partner Membership package contains a mix of digital and traditional marketing, as well as face-to-face and virtual events – putting their brand right at the heart of the CX community.

Launching the industry councils and events programme and understanding the topics and debates that are needed showcase Keith’s visionary leadership, but what he is most passionate about is the “Power 100.”  Empowering others is what makes him a great visionary leader.   Recognizing those making a difference encourages people to participate and want to do better.

Launched at the end of 2022, the ‘Customer Experience Foundation’s Power 100’ recognizes the rising stars and key contributors within the CX and Contact Centre community, celebrating the best of today and those shaping the future.

Criteria considered are the contribution to the CX profession, the thought leadership provided significant developments in improving CX, and those leading transformational change.

The “Power 100” initiative has positively impacted the CX industry by recognizing, celebrating, and connecting those doing amazing work. It fosters a culture of excellence, encourages collaboration, and contributes to the continuous improvement of customer experience practices on a broader scale.

Fostering a Culture of Innovation and Excellence

The latest CX technology and innovation are out there, with AI, chatbots, and NLP all available to effectively transform and enhance customer contact centre operations and CX strategies for today’s brands and organizations. Its members and foundation partners reflect the industry’s commitment to stay at the forefront of CX excellence.

With this rapid pace of change, there is a strategic need for organizations to consider how they are going to shape their future workforce. Critically, to look at how to leverage these technologies and decide the role agents of the future will play.

The people working on the front line cannot be defined by one prescribed job description but rather by a prediction of a wide set of skills and expectations that are constantly changing and ever-evolving.

This year, the company has hosted a number of industry councils and round table events and produced a number of in-depth reports exploring how there is a direct correlation between employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) and strategies one can implement, the benefits of outsourcing to South Africa, Hybrid contact centres and how to run them successfully, how to build loyalty, and shaping the workforce of the future.

Expanding the Horizon of CX

The company is entering a new phase of CX with technological innovation, AI, and machine learning at its core. Leaders face many challenges as they look to shape their CX strategies with emerging technology, but with no proven blueprint for success, this is a critical time for leaders.

According to Keith, there are many strategies to consider. Outsourcing strategies with BPO organizations are one. They work on an enormous scale with multiple brands involved. This brings with it both benefits and challenges. BPO organizations can achieve cost savings for brands by leveraging economies of scale, centralized operations, strong technology offerings, and access to a skilled and cost-effective workforce, often in lower-cost regions.

Keith believes that with any considerations for technology, no matter how big or small, leaders need to always think about how it is proposed and how it will affect their CX strategy and Contact Centre. It doesn’t have to replace agents, and great thought should be given to employees on how they can empower them and enhance employee experience in this new era.

According to him, any tech integration should be done on a trial basis, too, with a soft test-and-learn approach in place, and this testing should be with low-value and low-volume contacts so as not to cause too much disruption to the business.

Addressing Emerging Challenges 

The company plans to organize larger and more innovative events and insight reports in 2024 to address emerging issues. Its priority is to expand the reach to connect with more CX professionals, organizations, and thought leaders. This will enrich content and discussions with a more comprehensive understanding of diverse customer needs and expectations.

Keith will continue to lead the Customer Experience Foundation with a focus on innovation and excellence, fostering collaboration and promoting new technologies and strategies.

Embracing how the CX landscape is set to change dramatically needs a forward-thinking approach that will certainly propel his personal growth!

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