Women in CX: Cathy Summers, CEO of The CX Company
In conversation with the CEO of The CX Company, Cathy Summers
WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING THE CEO OF THE CX COMPANY?
It’s exciting, challenging, rewarding, fulfilling and fun. What I love is that each day is different, and I am still learning which keeps me motivated and wanting to do the best job possible. I am extremely proud of the great work we do for our customers, and I am fortunate to have a fantastic team of people with me.
DO YOU FEEL YOU’RE ABLE TO CREATE A DEEPER IMPACT ON THE CX COMMUNITY AS A LEADER?
I would hope that I am able to share my knowledge and experience with others. One of the most rewarding parts of my role is being able to support and mentor the CX teams we work with. A lot of the work we do in The CX Company is helping CX teams to get buy-in from senior leadership. I am not a person who is hung up on titles but I do think that going into these sessions as CEO means you are listened to and taken notice of.
Obviously, you need to have the knowledge and experience as well which gives you the confidence to convince people that investing in CX will deliver business growth.
YOUR CAREER HAS SPANNED MANY YEARS, WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A LEADER IN THE CX COMPANY?
I’ve always had a significant focus on the customer but it’s only in the last eight years that it’s been described as CX. For me, being a CX professional and being a leader feels like the natural and right thing to do. It almost feels vocational. You do question yourself from time to time but getting positive feedback from customers and knowing that the work we do makes a difference is what motivates me to keep doing it.
HOW HAS THE ROLE OF CEO AT THE CX COMPANY SHAPED YOUR APPROACH TO BUSINESS AND LEADERSHIP IN CX?
For me, a lot of it is about having the self-belief that you are a leader and that your colleagues, peers and customers value what you say and what you do. Being given the role of CEO has definitely boosted that self-belief and acted like a rubber stamp of confidence in my abilities which has been very liberating and helped me grow in the role.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT FACTORS IMPACT A WOMAN’S ABILITY TO LEAD OTHERS?
Being a leader can be challenging because you need many different skills and it’s a big responsibility. For many women, being caring and empathetic comes naturally but it can be much harder to be objective and make tough decisions. What is most important for me is to be yourself, to be authentic, genuine and consistent. Everyone has a different style so you have to play to your strengths and being kind to yourself is also important.
We’re all human and aren’t going to get it right every time but if we learn from our mistakes we’re only going to keep getting better.
CX IS STILL A RELATIVELY NEW DISCIPLINE. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING WOMEN IN CX?
Women bring a huge amount of value to CX at every level from front-line delivery to strategic development. When I think about the women I work with now as colleagues and customers what stands out for me is the understanding they have of the end customer, their quality of thinking and their ability to get things done.
CX is relatively easy to understand but can be very difficult to deliver. These women bring tenacity, strength, a “roll your sleeves up” attitude and a real sense of wanting to do the right thing for the customer, their teams and the organisations they work for.
The CX Company guide, support and mentor organisations around the globe to turn CX Strategy into action. We offer a range of services including CX audits, customer journey mapping, CX education programmes, internal communication design, and customised CX video design to engage your team and empower them to deliver CX Excellence.