CXPA Impact Award Winner Spotlight: Steve Walker

By Gabe Smith, CCXP posted 10-28-2021 03:01 PM

On CX Day, CXPA celebrated the winners of its 2021 Impact Award as determined by a panel of global volunteer judges.
Steve WalkerWinners were announced in three categories--Impact on CX in an Organization, Impact on the CX Profession, and Impact on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Outcomes related to CX. Steve Walker, Chairman & CEO at Walker and host of the CX Leader Podcast was announced as the winner of the 2021 award for "Impact on the CX Profession."

You can read Steve's thoughts on his work below--and watch his reaction to the winner announcement.

Congratulations, Steve!


I have spent the majority of my professional career building our company, Walker, around the just cause of helping companies be successful by continuously improving customer experiences. My roots are in the market research world, as I joined our family business as a project manager in 1982. 

 Walker was one of the first research companies to apply Customer Satisfaction Measurement techniques to other industries, and we built a large CSM practice, driven by the Total Quality and Malcolm Baldridge approaches to management. Most large companies quickly looked to collect customer data, organize, and act based on customers’ wants and needs.  

 Today, young people want to pursue a career in CX, major business schools teach the discipline, and nearly all organizations need people who understand how to put customers at the heart of their business strategy. It is also noteworthy that CXPA has emerged. Certification and self-governance had been discussed for many years but did not occur until CXPA was born. After nearly forty years, how gratifying is it to see where this journey has taken our profession. 

 My nomination was based on the creation and success of The CX Leader Podcast. It was a group effort from a core group of Walker colleagues who had a vision. It has grown and flourished as a logical extension of the various forces and history that I have described in the previous paragraphs. A signature feature of each episode is what we call “Take Home Value” - a practical tip, tool, or trick listeners can use to immediately improve what they do in their daily work. When we began the podcast in early 2018, we had no idea that it would take off like it has. From its humble start, we have produced over 180 episodes, interviewed hundreds of guests, and covered aspects of CX that we did not even know existed when we started.

 Our tagline, “It’s a Great Time to be a CX Leader,” emerged organically over time. As I interview our guests, I’m continuously amazed at the applications, innovations, and methods that CX pros extend into their companies, the impact that it has had, and the opportunities they create—not just for themselves as CX pros, but for their companies, fellow employees, and, of course, customers. As I listen with amazement and pride in our profession, I find myself saying to our listeners, “Well, it truly is a great time to be a CX leader.”

 I feel lucky to have had the opportunity, resources, connections, and colleagues to be able to help advance the profession in some small way. I feel lucky to have been able to spend my career helping our people and our companies succeed by providing amazing experiences to their customers, employees, and other stakeholders. I started this message by talking about the “just cause” of our profession and I truly believe that it is a noble and worthwhile effort to improve the customer experience for everyone. If the podcast has contributed to that, I am happy and proud.



Steve Walker