10 CX Thought Leaders You Need To Follow to Stay In Tune With The Pulse Of The Industry

No matter what profession you are in, staying up to date on current trends and aligning yourself with the knowledge of the best in the industry is essential for being successful. Especially with recent challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic it has been more important than ever for any decision maker to understand what the future holds in store for us. Following a short list of thought leaders will allow you to better understand the environment your organization is operating in and help reacting with proven best practices in mind.

We have compiled a list of some of our favorite thought leaders and trend setters in the Customer Service industry. Out of our own experience, following these thought leaders will add insight into customer service trends and best practices and will help you tailor your operation more successfully to the needs of the industry. Their social media profiles are treasure troves that are utilized by companies all over the world. We love their philosophies and how they tie into our mission of being more human and delivering elevated customer experiences.

Of course, there are many more bright and influential minds guiding the Customer Experience Industry and every day new talents emerge. The following list therefore should only serve as a starting point for your own research:

10 CX Thought Leaders You Need to Follow

1. Shep Hyken: Linkedin, Twitter

Who does not know Shep Hyken! Shep is a keynote speaker, NYT bestselling author, and is an international leading authority on customer service, customer experience and loyalty in business. His goal is to help companies deliver AMAZING customer service experiences! Shep is one of our favorite thought leaders. His customer centric approach of delivering memorable customer service to create raving fans aligns with our company’s vision and mission. 

At a minimum, we recommend that you subscribe to his Shepard Letter. Famous for the wonderful illustrative to-the-point cartoons, he picks a topic we can all relate to and outlines his best practices. You can also tune in to his CX blog here to receive all the latest insights, studies, and practices. 

2. Jeff Toister: Linkedin, Twitter

Jeff Toister is a customer service author, consultant, and trainer who helps companies get their employees obsessed with customer service and he does it with humor which makes him unique. Jeff's Customer Service training videos are featured on Linkedin Learning and ICMI named him one of the top 25 Thought leaders to follow in 2021. His Inside Customer Service blog has been recognized as a top customer service blog by Customer Contact Central, Credit Donkey, and Feedspot, which named the blog one of the Top 50 customer service blogs on the planet.

Jeff’s Book, Getting Service Right, was named one of the 11 best new customer service books to read in 2021. However, his many other books are equally well written and deserve a place in your CX library.

3. John Goodman: Linkedin, Twitter

John Goodman is one of the original trailblazers of the customer experience industry. His contributions overturned conventional wisdom and were instrumental in repositioning customer care as a profit center. He has written numerous bestselling books such as Strategic Customer Service and Customer Experience 3.0 which have earned a front row place in bookshelves of Customer Experience executives. John is also a highly sought-after speaker and consultant. He routinely shares his customer experience perspective with fortune 500 organizations worldwide.

You can find out more and learn about John’s past and qualifications here. 

4. Ron Kaufman: Linkedin, Twitter,

Ron Kaufman is one of the world’s most sought-after educators, thought leaders, and keynote speakers on customer experience and service culture development. In 2018, 2019 and 2020, Global Gurus ranked Ron as the #1 customer service guru in the world. As Co-Founder of UP! Your Service, Ron leads a consultancy that helps companies on every continent build cultures of uplifting service that delivers genuine business results. Ron has also published the New York Bestseller Uplifting Service which is widely considered one of the best Customer Experience books of the decade. 

You can find out more about Ron Kaufman and his contributions to the customer service industry here. 

5. Roy Atkinson: Linkedin, Twitter

Roy Atkinson is one of the top influencers in the service and support industry, with an international reputation. His expertise been featured by The Economist, Social Media Today, Computerworld, BizTech Magazine, and many others. He has contributed to books on Customer Service, Social Media, and IT Change Management. His specialty is exploring the connection between customer service and technology, with extensive experience in the IT and technology industries.

To learn more about Roy you can visit his site for a comprehensive history on all of his accomplishments.

6. Brad Cleveland: Linkedin, Twitter

Brad Cleveland is known globally for his expertise in customer strategy and management. He has worked across 45 states and in 60 countries and has appeared in media ranging from the New York Times to the Washington Post and NPR’s All ThingsConsidered. Brad’s books and articles have been translated into a dozen languages; he is also an instructor for LinkedIn Learning, with courses on customer strategy and management, and customer experience leadership.

Sign up for Brad's Newsletter here.

7. Adam Toporek: Linkedin, Twitter

Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and frontline trainer who helps organizations get results by thinking differently about customer service. As the author of Be Your Customer's Hero, the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog, and the co-host of the Crack the Customer code podcast, Adam regularly shares his customer experience and customer service insights with a global audience.

Visit Adam's website here to catch up on his keynotes.

8. Anette Franz: Linkedin, Twitter

Annette Franz has more than 25 years of experience (both client side and vendor side) helping companies understand their employees and customers, identifying what drives retention, satisfaction, engagement, and the overall experience, and designing customer experience strategies to deliver a better experience for all constituents. Annette was named one of “The 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter” by Business Insider and is regularly recognized as a top thought leader in Customer Experience.

You can check out Anette's new book Customer Understanding here. 

9. Jeanne Bliss: Linkedin, Twitter,

Jeanne Bliss guides companies to the achievement of business growth through leadership bravery and elevated business practices. She is known globally for transforming business to earn customer-driven growth. A 5-time Chief Customer Officer and coach to over 20,000 leaders, her practices are field-tested and proven. Bliss' 5-Competencies for customer-driven growth have been adopted around the world, and her 4 bestselling books on customer experience and leadership are the guidebooks of the CX Profession.

Jeanne's website Customer Bliss is an amazing resource for all your cx needs.

10. Nate Brown: Linkedin, Twitter,

Nate Brown - Customer Experience Officer of Officium Labs - is a true original in the industry. Not only because of his memorable outfits, but for his energy and passion. Nate Brown is a perpetual student of the world’s greatest experiences and the people who create them which earned him a place on the  ICMI Strategic Advisory board. He specializes in helping employees to understand the customer journey and how they play in role in improving it. He is well versed in a variety of CX disciplines, including journey mapping, survey process and analysis, voice of the customer programs, employee engagement and much more. We love Nate because of his clear understanding of the customer journey and his specialty in educating companies, individuals, and cx team members across the board.

You can access his Customer Think blog here for some great articles and studies. 

For additional inspirations and ideas, please dive into VIPdesk extensive resources at VIPdesk.com.

~ VIPdesk ~