An Accidental Evolution
“There’s a saying that ‘sometimes the best things in life are free.’ For me, the best things in life are accidental,” laughs Olga Budieri, CCXP.
As a student at the University of Jordan, Olga initially studied chemical engineering, but soon shifted to industrial engineering. “I noticed myself drawn toward simulation, quality assurance, and all those different disciplines that are a part of what we do in customer experience,” she explains, though she wouldn’t have identified CX as a likely career path at the time.
After she graduated, she was hired by Aramex, a provider of comprehensive transportation and logistics solutions. In those early days, her focus was on customer service improvements, and she was faced with more questions than answers.
“At the time there were no systems readily available on the market like they are now,” she says. “We hadn’t heard of Zendesk, Freshdesk, or Salesforce. We were building our own systems from scratch, figuring out requirements, and asking, ‘what’s the best approach?’” she recalls.
Then Aramex started analyzing customer interactions in different areas, which enabled the beginnings of an evolution from service to experience, as Olga and her team began to capture data in one place and provide systematic strategies to engage with customers. Those successes led Aramex to ramp up the customer experience culture at the company and develop a strategy for voice of the customer experience design initiatives.
Since Aramex is a global company, there are a lot of centralization and decentralization strategies, Olga explains, and depending on cost optimization, the company is serving different regions. “That gives more control from an operations perspective, but then it allows me to focus more on the strategic side of things and identify how things are going to be connected and what that experience looks like.”
As the company has developed its CX strategies, Olga has been mindful of the need to continuously foster connections with others in the organization. “We realized very quickly that while marketing might have marketing workflows, or sales might have sales workflows, CX doesn’t necessarily have CX workflows because we are creating everything, and as we see the customer experience being integrated, we build on that, “ she says, “so we have to be connected with different people and build credibility with the team.”
Driving CX in the Middle East
Throughout her 10-year career at Aramex, Olga’s professional growth has mirrored her company’s evolution from customer service to customer experience. Now, as a globally respected CX leader, Olga is leading the way in the Middle East to create customer experience resources for her peers in the region.
Olga enjoys sharing her passion with others in the CX industry and was inspired to do more when she was on her journey to earn her CCXP certification. To that end, she has been working to advance CX concepts in the Arabic language, which is very tricky because there are many different dialects in the Middle East, with sometimes competing understanding of terms like “customer” and “customer experience.” Olga says it is critical for global CX leaders to adopt a consensus definition of customer experience.
As a CCXP, Olga has developed a series of CX webinars in Arabic, which received a lot of positive feedback. “So now we’re trying to figure out how to make the content cool and attractive,” she says, “I’m trying to add a bit of an edge and humor to it.”
As CX continues to grow, Olga advises her younger colleagues in the industry to think about what it’s like when you bring a new baby home from the hospital for the first time, and says that pros should remember that CX, like a human, doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
“You have a lot of great material and content to guide you, but it’s not something to follow step-by-step to get a guaranteed result. There’s a lot of experimentation, a lot of context, and you have to be open to new experiences. So keep experimenting and trying new methods. And don’t give up.”