Customer Experience Magazine is profiling the top 10 Professionals and Influencers from our Top 50 CX Stars list.
Here we look at Number 7 in each category. Iain O’Connor of Aegon UK, is today’s featured Professional, and our Influencer is Nick Meinertzhagen.
We welcome feedback on our CX Stars list, and all correspondence should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Manager of Customer Experience & Insight at Aegon UK
CX culture is now long-established in the UK’s insurance industry, and among the professionals making a significant impact on behalf of customers is Edinburgh-based Iain O’Connor.
Since 2014, Iain has helmed CX duties at Aegon UK, following a 10 year-plus career at Royal Bank of Scotland, where he held posts including Customer Experience Manager and Marketing Manager – Customer Experience Insight.
Since joining Aegon, Iain has pushed NPS scores significantly northward, and most notably has established a remarkable feedback system that has transformed how the firm utilises valuable customer insight.
Known as Aegon Cares, and borne of the firm’s in-house CX Lab, the closed-loop feedback system allows the brand to establish and ultimately solve customer concerns sooner, which leads to higher NPS ratings. The inspiring initiative has led to recognition in the UK and beyond, including being shortlisted for a My Customer Award last year, and of course, his inclusion in the Top 50 CX Stars list.
“Of everything we have achieved at Aegon, the success of Aegon Cares is hard to beat,” he explained.
“We have introduced Aegon Cares across all operational teams and typically achieve NPS swing of +100 points when comparing before and after an Aegon Cares intervention. As well as an effective closed loop feedback tool, Aegon Cares has expanded onto social media and customer feedback from Aegon Cares interactions there is also exceptional.”
Iain says: “To drive loyalty in a competitive environment is difficult and so it’s important to understand what the customer needs almost before they do, and to help them achieve an outcome above and beyond their expectations.”
So who inspires Iain the most as he continues to create exceptional change in insurance?
“It may sound corny but my team and colleagues across Aegon are 100 percent my biggest inspiration,” he tells us.
“Rarely a day goes by when I don’t learn something new and I think this type of environment and culture is crucial to delivering for our customers.”
The founder of Experiential Consulting, Nick Meinertzhagen knows exactly what it takes to develop a successful business model from the ground up.
It doesn’t get more grassroots than establishing your very own firm from a spare bedroom armed with nothing more than a computer, a phone, and some old-fashioned dedication, and that’s exactly what Horsham-based Nick did in 2004 when he created what would become one of the UK’s largest mystery shopping businesses, 360 Perspectives.
Nick went on to sell the brand to Yomdel in 2018, becoming their CX Director before moving on to found his boutique CX consultancy.
Speaking of his spectacular success during those years, the inspiring CCXP told us: “It was amazing that some of the most exciting and dynamic brands in the UK chose to work with my company, and over a 14-year period we managed a database of over 30,000 mystery shoppers and measured over a million customer touchpoints.
Named a runner-up and ‘one to watch’ in the 2017 Sussex Business Awards’ Entrepreneur of the Year category, Nick has no plans to rest on his laurels, and alongside working with clients at Experiential Consulting, he is busy developing a new agency focusing on “advanced experiential usability and digital ethnography”.
His influence is also expanding through his contribution alongside 21 other global CX voices to a recently published Customer Experience best practise book, while plans are underway to adapt his 2019 MBA dissertation on the customer service strategies of small estate enterprises in SE England into a conference research paper.
Nick says:“A dedicated customer centric CX vision needs to be carefully planned, enabled, shared and lived by all employees/partners, therefore creating a common customer focussed purpose that aligns towards the organisation’s strategic intent.”
Among his inspirations is global CX guru Colin Shaw, and his own family, of whom he told us: “I hope that I can also be a source of inspiration for them.”
Click here for profiles of our Number 8 Professionals and Influencers.