CX Day celebrates brands that put the customer first—every day of the year

Todd Leach | Oct 1, 2019 Todd Leach 10/01/19

Today marks the 7th annual CX Day, a global celebration of exemplary customer experience and the professionals who make it happen. To commemorate the day, we spoke with 3 passionate CX pros to find out what they love most about helping their teams deliver a great customer experience.

Raul Arevalo | Service Performance Coordinator, Pollo Campero

Years of CX experience: 8

What is your customer experience mantra? Always give people more than what they expect to get.

What do you love about working in the customer experience field? What I love is to be able to understand my customers’ needs in order to generate the right solutions for them. The more we engage with customers, the more things become clearer for us and the easier it gets to find the proper solutions. Engaging with them and providing a great product has helped us not only to sell but to create long-lasting experiences.

What do you believe is the "next big thing" in CX? Artificial intelligence with customer service orientation. This will add an aggregated value to our next-generation products and innovations by creating self-paced experiences and immediate solution to any doubts and concerns.

What is your favorite customer "surprise and delight" story? Every year we do a “Day of Service” and go to restaurants to live the experience that our employees are providing our customers. We greet, take orders, serve, clean, and even prepare some products. But most importantly, we interact with our customers. And it is in this activity where we are able to hear stories about how some people have been loyal customers for years and why they like our brand—not only for our products, but because of the great service we provide them and the way we treat them.

In a personal experience, it was great to hear from a customer called Don Johnny. He visited our restaurants to receive a warm welcome and be surrounded by people who were very attentive to him. He was retired, without anyone living with him because his sons were living away with their families. But he visited our locations and one in particular, since he felt very good there and was welcomed as a family member. The time I had my “Day of Service”, he thanked me for dedicating my morning, listening to his stories, giving him a good product, and providing him with a very good experience.

What impact does your CX program have on your organization? It has a big impact on us since our President and CEO have been involved in these topics and have promoted the program as well. Our executive teams have been involved in all of our presentations and insights deployment, and they have helped us align all of our employees with the importance of a CX program. We understand that our business depends on customers—so besides selling our products, we need to treat them very well and provide great customer experiences. 



Ryan Hanawalt | Sr. Director, Operations Intelligence, CKE

Years of CX experience: 5+

What is your customer experience mantra? Our job is to make our guests happy. If we do that consistently, they will continue coming back.

What do you believe is the "next big thing" in CX? The opportunity to consolidate guest feedback into a single platform and provide our Operations and Leadership team members with the full guest perspective at a micro and macro level.

What impact does your CX program have on your organization? Our CX program gives us unparalleled insights into the guest experience in our restaurants and allows us to make changes and build programs to support our operators’ ability to improve the overall guest experience.


Bryan Stevenson | Director, Ops Support and Culinary, Potbelly

Years of CX experience: 20 years

What is your customer experience mantra? In a support role, my goal is to provide the field with tools that are easy to execute and simple to report. Then they can focus on our vision: An experience people love to share, thanks to our craveable food, quirky personality, and amazing people.

What do you love about working in the customer experience field? I love seeing the process of an idea come to life and impact change—determining a customer experience metric to track, developing a survey question to track it, monitoring results and coaching teams based on those results, and culminating in a significant improvement in the customer experience.

What do you believe is the "next big thing" in CX? Hard to say, as our customers are changing and we are changing with them. What we thought customers wanted a year ago has already shifted. Working with SMG, we are staying ahead of the game to proactively address customer needs before they even know they have them!

What is your favorite customer "surprise and delight" story? With so many SMG celebration alerts every day, it’s impossible to pick just one. I especially love the random acts of kindness that had no trigger and were not ”recovery” scenarios—when one human being genuinely treats another human being with unprecedented respect and dignity.

What impact does your CX program have on your organization? Our CX program has been incorporated into all levels of the organization, from strategic plans all the way down to daily execution at the shop level. Our customer perception impacts what we sell, how we sell it, how we interact with each other and our customers, what we wear, and even how we design our locations.


Partnering with great brands to make CX a top priority every day

At SMG, we get the pleasure of working with these CX professionals every day—helping them shape and evolve their programs to provide the best customer experience possible. It’s an honor to partner with organizations so passionate about making their customers happy—and we strive to deliver that same great service to our clients. If you’d like to learn more about our refined approach to delivering better, actionable CX insights to fit the ever-changing needs of your industry, click here.

Todd Leach | Chief Client Officer

Customer Experience Update