CXPA Member Spotlight: Kay Lynn Hendrix, CCXP

By Gabe Smith, CCXP posted 10-29-2019 09:33 AM

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Kay Lynn Hendrix, CCXP, believes that the ability to ask good questions is essential for any CX professional.

As Director, Customer Experience at Dell EMC, Hendrix brings that inquisitive mindset to her team, which focuses on the experience of customers who purchase servers from the company.

“I have three parts to my team,” Hendrix says, “a research section that conducts big competitive studies like NPS and all of those traditional kinds of things. And then we have an analytics piece that takes all those customer insights and takes our operational data and says, ‘how do we tie those things together? What are we doing operationally, and how does that tie to what our customers are saying about where those gaps are?’  We take all that information and then we go activate on it, and we do that through our project management arm.”                                   

Kay Lynn Hendrix, CCXPDuring her three years at Dell EMC, Hendrix has seen the organizational culture evolve from customer-focused to customer obsessed.“

I have seen them take this amazing journey in the last three years… I think the underlying hint of it was probably already there. But now even when we talk about [CX] as a company, we have what we call our strategy cascade, where our leaders are focused on four main pillars of the business. And every leader has customer-focused scores and customer-focused initiatives on their cascade, from Michael [Dell] down to our Vice Chair down to our presidents, all the way down to my working level. They've really built it into our culture. And so it's really easy for me to go do my work, because I can say, ‘here's how it points to the company.’

Still, Dell EMC is a large organization that offers a familiar challenge for many CX practitioners-- organizational silos. Hendrix acknowledges that silos won’t go away anytime soon, but believes that a willingness to ask effective questions across business functions can diminish negative impact on CX. “If I go to a different department, and I say, ‘hey, here's some things that our customers are saying about the department that I'm in, here's some things that our customers are saying that the department you're in. Does that resonate? Have you heard that before?’ And I will tell you nine times out of 10, they say ‘yes.’ And then it's an easy follow up with, ‘how do we work together solve it?’ I think there are very few people who don't want to work across those boundaries. I think most people do. And it's just acknowledging that there is an elephant or gorilla or whatever animal you want to put in the room and just saying it's there. Let's go work with it. And let's go figure out how to work across it.”

As Hendrix sees it, CX professionals must approach their customers’ challenges—and their colleagues—with relentless curiosity. “Whether you are talking to a customer to understand what they need, or you are talking to an employee to help drive change, or you are talking to an executive to try to get your project funded or move forward, the ability to ask questions is a really good skill set in this job,” she says. “It’s the concept of, ‘tell me more, tell me more.’ And I think that that is a skill that has really helped me drive better understanding. And I think if you have better understanding of where customers and people are coming from, you can drive more progress.”

To read my full conversation with Kay Lynn, where we discuss the role CX leaders play in change management, creative solutions for calculating the ROI of CX initiatives, and much more, head to the member resources section.