Quick 6 With Karyn Furstman, Safeco Insurance

In this feature on the Customer Experience Matters blog, we ask 6 questions of different customer experience leaders.

  • Name: Karyn Furstman
  • Title: VP, Customer Experience
  • Company: Safeco Insurance, member of Liberty Mutual Group
  • Length of time on the job: 8 months
  • Previous position: SVP, Customer Experience, Washington Mutual

1. What do you most like about your role?

Building and creating the Customer Experience discipline in the organization as the first Customer Experience Officer for Safeco

2. What are you most proud of accomplishing?

In six months, creating a vision, strategy and role/engagement model for Customer Experience within the organization. Also building some foundational components of the strategy such as touchpoint mapping and implementing closed loop feedback pilots in multiple business lines.

3. What has been the most surprising challenge?

Changing the perception that Customer Experience is everyone in the organization’s responsibility and helping people understand what their role in this work is, whether front or back office employees.

4. How would you describe where your company is on its customer experience journey?

In the beginning of the journey and always reinforcing this is not about a program but rather a ‘way of life’ we are embarking on.

5. What initiatives are you currently most excited about?

Three areas of focus: experience design through prioritized moments of truth defined by customers; listening and fixing through closed loop feedback; and internal experience acculturation that supports our brand through consistent service behaviors across the organization and service recognition program.

6. What advice do you have for someone who is about to take on a similar role?

Define a vision and multi-year roadmap with early quick wins and showing value to the organization. Find executive leaders that can be your passionate advocates and help tell about their successes in Customer Experience wins.

Extra credit question: What would people be surprised to find out about you?

I really like spending time listening to customer calls and even complaints since I think you can gain great insight into what they are looking for to help turn them into being a promoter of your company in the long term.

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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