A Day In The Life of a Customer Experience Manager

Have you ever want to know what it would be like to work in a different job or industry within process improvement? PEX Network's twice monthly "A Day in the Life" series continues this week with Desiree Murphy-Palmer, customer experience manager for Cox Communications, one of the largest cable television and telecommunications firms in the United States.

While the customer experience team is housed in the customer care group, the job spans all of the departments within the company. We work with the understanding that customer experience is owned by everyone, even those in the back office that will never meet a customer. There are nine analysts and one escalation coordinator on my team. Together, we listen to the voice of the customer, gather the relevant information and provide it to the other departments. We also get involved with helping create plans to improve, where needed, and use our "hearing aids" to help measure the improvements.

My day usually begins with my husband waking me up with a kiss from my youngest daughter. He leaves before I do, so he gets the girls ready and takes them on his way to work. I roll out of bed around 6:30 a.m. and get ready for my day. I stop before leaving the house and get a little love from three of our four dogs. The fourth is already outside for the day chasing birds and sleeping in the grass.

Desiree Murphy-Palmer is Customer Experience Manager at Cox Communications

On the way to work, I stop by a local convenience store to get my 32-ounce Rooster Booster energy drink and an apple fritter. This is my daily vice, which I cannot work without! I get in the car listening to my favorite talk radio show for the 25-minute drive to the office in Wichita, Kansas.

It is about 8 a.m. now, and when I get there, a few of my team members have already arrived and greet me with a ‘Morning, boss!’ as I round the corner. I will spend the next several minutes looking through e-mails and my schedule for the day. I review everything and decide which items are the most important.

It’s time to get started. I open one of the reports that my team has put together based on our customer feedback. Our vice president has asked us to find out why our satisfaction score dropped three-tenths of a percent last quarter, and I need to get him an answer … now! Each analyst has sent me their input, and I have to review them for common themes.

While a three-tenths drop is not a huge deal, the fact that we had gone up every quarter for the past three years dictates a change that we need to get on top of before it is too late. I will spend the rest of the morning looking over the reports and finding the correlations. Once I have an idea of what the data is telling us, I start creating the white paper to send to the team for review. Our team is relatively new to the company and we need to prove our value.

I will get interrupted with several phone calls and visits throughout the day. There is always someone or something going on that needs our input or attention. Most of the time, it is just an opinion that is needed, but some cases require me to stop what I am working on and get involved. Luckily I have a team that is built on a high level of trust and respect; and in many cases, one of the team members will raise his or her hand to take on the new task so that I can continue the other work.

We all can count on the ‘socialite’ of the group grabbing our attention a few times for a thought or opinion – sometimes about work and other times about current events. The team enjoys these little breaks in our day, and I think that is why he does it.

The team members continue to surprise me everyday with how much better our projects are as a result of their work. I used to do everything myself, afraid to delegate anything; but with this team, I have learned that together we will create something far better than any of us would have done on our own. This is why I try to take them out for lunch or an afternoon ice cream once in a while. Today, we are going to lunch.

While at lunch, we inevitably will start discussing the latest project and what we each found. We spark lively conversation and debate. We have been able to overcome the ego of the group and truly remain open to new thoughts and ideas, challenging each other without any ill content. The check comes, and even though they all know that the company is picking up the tab, they thank me nonetheless.

We return to the office and get back to work. As I put the finishing touches on the white paper, I check with the team to confirm some facts and send it out to all of the members for review. They all make changes and send it back to me. I attach our team logo and picture and send it over to the VP. It’s just in time, too, because the phone starts ringing – marketing needs to know what the customers are saying about the new guide we just launched. It’s time to start over again. I send the request to the team and they get busy digging and analyzing.

As the phone calls, meetings, impromptu conversations and brainstorming sessions continue, I see that it is getting close to the end of the day. I call my husband to see if he is going to be able to pick up the girls. He works in the field and right now is stuck at the Kansas-Missouri border with no end in sight. So, I pack up my things and head to the car. On days that I need to get the girls, I have to take off just a few minutes before 5 in order to miss the traffic jam on the highway. If I am even one minute after, I will have an extra 30-minute wait, and the sitter isn’t too happy with me being late. Otherwise, I would wait it out for a bit and leave after the traffic was past.

I make it to my grandparents’ house by 5:20 p.m. and pick up our 11 year old. Even though she rides the bus now, they aren’t comfortable with her being home by herself in the afternoon. They wait for her bus everyday and take her over to their house. They are both close to 90 now and I think feeling needed keeps them going, so I don’t mind. She comes out to the car like a snail weighed down with her book bag full of homework and her trumpet.

She and I run over to the sitter to grab our 1 year old. I walk in the door at 5:30 on the dot. No mad sitter today! I squat down hoping to surprise her. I look around at all the little faces waiting for their parents and spot her. I am like a puppy, so happy to finally see her, and she looks back at me with determination. She knows the routine and is so proud of herself. She runs over to the teacher with her hand out to ask for the daily paper and then goes back to her bin to gather her things. She turns to the room, blows them a kiss, and says ‘bye-bye’ (or at least her version of it). As she reaches up for my finger to lead me out the door, I think about how blessed we are.

The rest of the evening is spent on supper, homework and a DVR full of shows that I never seem to get through. We have bath time and get ready for bed. When Daddy finally gets home, the girls are in bed and I am ready to follow. He goes upstairs to take a shower and I close up the house for the night. I stop by each of the dogs again to give them a rub and kiss, being sure to give our outside dog a little extra love to make up for missing her in the morning.


Do you want to share your story with PEX Network? If you work in process improvement we'd love to hear what your day is like! "A Day in the Life" submissions should be between 700-1000 words and can be sent to us at info@pexnetwork.com. Please include a brief professional biography, and a jpeg photograph. Please note: submission does not guarantee publication.