Customer Experience Magazine is profiling the top 10 Professionals and Influencers from our Top 50 CX Stars list.
Here we conclude our list with a look at the well-deserved Number 1 in each category. Amanda Riches of is today’s featured Professional, and our Influencer is James Dodkins.
We welcome feedback on our CX Stars list, and all correspondence should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Professional Services at Medallia
CXM’s first Number One Professional CX Star is Amanda Riches, who leads CX Consulting for experience management software firm Medallia’s Professional Services division in the EMEA region.
There she helps organisations operationalise customer feedback programmes in order to deliver maximum impact, and London-based Amanda is putting her valuable years of CX experience into the role, to magnificent effect.
Fellow CX pros will know Amanda for her inspiring work in years gone by establishing the service formula for Premier Inn through her role as Head of Brand Excellence and Customer Service. Her success in the role saw her go on to become Head of Quality and Guest Insight for the hotel chain’s owner Whitbread, where her skills continued to grow through a range of successful Customer and Employee Experience projects, including innovations such as creating an ‘e-panel’ of hotel guests to harvest and better utilise feedback.
Confidence in her skills pushed Amanda towards creating her own CX consultancy, and in 2008 she founded Enrich. Later, joined by Employee Experience expert Fiona Tweedie, together they promised – and delivered – “No fluff, just simple, clear, engaging programmes,” for clients.
Today, at Medallia Amanda continues to help firms make significant and lasting changes to their CX offering, including Fidelity International, which took not one, but two Gold category titles at the 2019 UK Customer Experience Awards (UKCXAs).
Fidelity’s wins for Use of Insight & Feedback – Customer Satisfaction and Financial Services in partnership with Medallia have been cited as among Amanda’s proudest career moments, as she has worked closely with the firm in previous years.
Speaking of awards, Amanda is in high demand for judging roles due to her expert eye, and along with appearances on panels at the UKCXAs over the years, she has also judged at the Patient Experience Network National Awards. Patient Experience is an area very close to her heart, and Amanda leads workshops to improve experiences for those using NHS services, among other worthy initiatives.
Amanda says: “Successful customer-centric organisations must relentlessly search for actionable insight and improvement opportunities. Listen, learn, prototype, test, iterate, validate, repeat!”
She tells CXM that her biggest inspiration is the frontline CX workers across all sectors who contribute in many ways, big and small, to making memorable and lasting experiences every single day.
Amanda is herself one of the UK’s most inspiring CX professionals, and a role model for everyone working towards greater customer centricity. We look forward to seeing Amanda’s influence reach exciting new heights in 2020.
The face of a new generation of CX influencers, James Dodkins is the founder of Rockstar CX, a consultancy which promises “fast, heavy, powerful customer experience transformation” for progressive firms unafraid to think outside the box.
The energy, enthusiasm and stage presence of James has its roots in his time as an actual, honest-to-goodness rock star, and now instead of wielding a guitar in front of heaving crowds of heavy metal fans across the globe, he is bringing a vibrant new take on Customer Experience to an audience of thousands in the form of bestselling books including Foundations for Customer Centricity, videos, and speaking engagements.
A savvy social media star, engaging fans through now-traditional platforms such as Facebook, and even emerging ones such as TikTok, 2019 also saw James make the move towards a new realm for Customer Experience influencing – television.
His This Week in CX show was launched on Amazon Prime, and offered a snappy weekly round-up of CX news, pulling no punches with his assessments of big name brands and where they were going right, and wrong, with customers.
James brings his signature style to every aspect of his influencer role – a poster for his upcoming ‘Disrupt CX’ UK Tour looks for all the world like a flyer for a series of gigs, but instead of head-banging in the mosh pit, delegates will be jumping head-first into the Rockstar method of CX delivery, while learning from James’ own experiences working alongside some of the planet’s biggest and best-known brands.
These include Disney, Mercedes, Adobe, Nike, Microsoft, and Lego, to name but an impressive few.
Meanwhile, alongside his Rockstar CX duties, James acts as a Principal Consultant for Customer Experience and Process Management firm BP Group.
James says: “Knowing your customers at a deep level allows you to understand their Successful Customer Outcomes and associated needs, and then allows you to design ideal experiences that achieve those outcomes.”
Globetrotter James is the one rock star hotels are happy to welcome – instead of throwing TVs out the window into the swimming pool, he’s more likely to be found engaging with staff on ways to make guests’ stays more memorable.
With an incredible few years already under his studded belt, 2020 looks set to see more businesses than ever before benefit from a blast of the CX Rockstar’s passion.
We say rock on James!