The CX Professional of the Year title has been awarded to Alison Lawri of paint and coatings firm AkzoNobel at the 2018 UK Customer Experience Awards.

Alison – or Ali to colleagues – is Head of Customer Experience, Quality & Continuous Improvement at the Dutch company’s UK operation, and is the brains behind the firm’s drive towards putting the customer at the heart of what they do.

She took the opportunity to lead this journey when AkzoNobel UK launched a growth strategy with the aim “to be famous for inspiring and enabling beautiful living spaces”.

Fresh in her new role, Ali saw this was a shift from the traditional focus of simple product quality, and identified an opportunity to champion a broader transformation of the business, to focus on the end-to-end Customer Experience.

An AkzoNobel spokesperson said: “Ali completed a situational analysis, comparing our experience to other brands that are market leading in their field, and she developed a CX strategy and gained buy-in at all levels of the business. This work resulted in the Managing Director making a change to the overall business strategic priorities, with ‘creating an unrivalled CX’ being added as the number one strategic priority.”

Ali worked with the AkzoNobel UK board to identify which stages of the customer journey needed the highest level of focus to support the strategic goals. This resulted in a change to the annual business planning approach.
The spokesperson added: “All initiatives business-wide were aligned both to the overall strategy and the customer journey improvement focus, to ensure we addressed the pain points in the parts of the journey that matter most to our customers, to drive loyalty, and support our growth ambition.”


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