Top 10 CX Leaders to Follow Now

Customer experience professionals have the tough job of keeping up with new technologies, developing strategies and processes for optimal agent performance, along with keeping up with the latest trends in the industry. In an attempt to help weed through the vast number of influencers, consultants and leaders out there, we have constructed a list of leaders in the CX field that are great resources to utilize to help you stay on top of this ever-evolving industry landscape.


Ian Barkin, Leading Technologist and Future of Work Expert

Ian Barkin is a seasoned leader and innovator in Digital Operations, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Automation, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and the Future of Work. Ian has extensive experience in operations, specifically in the coordination of Transformation efforts and teams across a global footprint. Follow Ian on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in ever-changing technology, strategy, and trends.

Peter Ryan, CX Influencer and Advisor

Peter Ryan is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts in customer experience (CX) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). He has had a long career of advising CX outsourcers, contact center clients, national governments, and industry associations on strategic matters like vertical market penetration, service delivery, best practices in technology deployment, and offshore positioning. Yearly, Peter publishes the Front Office Omnibus Survey, which is a comprehensive sounding of enterprise customer experience buyers in North America, Europe, and Australia. Follow Peter on LinkedIn for his posts, articles and updates on his latest speaking engagements.
>>>Listen to Peter Ryan on Vistio’s Podcast, Recorded for Quality Assurance

Mark Hillary, Influencer and Thought leader

Mark Hillary provides a unique view of the CX industry as a former technology director. He is now predominantly a communication advisor who has written numerous books and blogs on technology, work, and globalization for notable media outlets like Huffington Post and the BBC. Follow Mark on LinkedIn for his posts, articles, and updates on his latest speaking engagements.

Mark co-hosts a podcast with Peter Ryan where they speak to leading analysts, thinkers, and practitioners focused on managing Customer Experience (CX). In each episode, Mark and Peter talk to guests about the future of CX, important trends, and what customers really expect from brands today. Listen to their latest podcast here.

Joe Rice, CX Technology and Vendor Expert and Consultant

Joe is an experienced customer-focused executive and entrepreneur focused on advisory and implementation services for IT, communications, and networking infrastructure, including deep expertise in vendor evaluation and assessment. With the many CX technology platforms that are available, Joe is a great resource for vendor evaluation from the selection, to the implementation and also use scenarios. Follow Joe on LinkedIn for his posts and articles.
>>>Listen to Joe Rice on Vistio’s Podcast, Recorded for Quality Assurance

Melissa O’Brien, Analyst and Thought Leader

Melissa O’Brien is a great resource for research focused on CX services including digital marketing and sales, contact center, and digital associates. With over 13 years of both hands-on industry and analyst experience, her research focuses on key dynamics within retail, CPG, travel and hospitality, with regards to customer-centric strategies, intelligent operations and service delivery. Find her research here.

Dr. Marcell Vollmer, Industry Influencer

Dr. Marcell Vollmer is one to watch on LinkedIn where he regularly posts thought-provoking and informative infographics and articles on digital transformation and CX. He is currently a partner and director at BCG where he advises C-Level Executives & Executive Teams on the full range of digital transformation, innovation, new business models, restructuring and reorganization with focus on procurement, supply chain and operations globally. Prior to BCG, he was the Chief Innovation Officer at Celonis where he focused on supporting customers and partners to define and execute digital transformation strategies globally. Follow him on LinkedIn to stay up to date on the latest digital transformation trends in CX.

Rod Jones, Industry Pioneer and Consultant

Rod Jones has over 35 years of experience in the contact center industry and is an internationally recognized thought-leader, industry analyst, strategic adviser and subject matter expert.

He now focuses on advising senior leaders on strategic, operational, and technology issues of contact centers, customer experience management tools (including CRM, CxM, and CEM), and BPS&O (Business Process Services and Outsourcing) drawing from his extensive personal experience to provide relevant and logical solutions. Follow him on LinkedIn for his latest posts, articles and speaking engagements.
>>>Listen to Rod Jones on Vistio’s Podcast, Recorded for Quality Assurance

Sheila McGee-Smith, Industry Consultant

Sheila McGee-Smith has more than three decades of experience in the telecommunications industry, authoring multi-client market research studies in the areas of contact center and customer relationship management. She is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the contact center and enterprise communications market. Her insights focus on helping enterprises and solution providers develop strategies to meet the escalating demands of today’s consumer and business customers. Sheila contributes thought-leadership through multiple channels. Find her latest content by following her on LinkedIn.

Jay McBain, Analyst

Jay leads Forrester’s research and advisory for global channels, alliances, and partnerships. He focuses on B2B marketing in the age of the customer, understanding and navigating the complexity of multiple routes to market. He is a great resource for gaining insight into CX channel technology and how vendor partners are investing in resources to make the customer experience better for clients. Find Jay’s research here.

Annette Franz, Industry Influencer and Author

Annette Franz is the CEO and founder of CX Journey. With almost 30 years of experience (both as a client and vendor), she has spent the majority of her career studying and analyzing companies, their employees and applying her observations and research to improve all aspects of the customer experience. Annette was named one of the 100 most influential tech women to watch by Business Insider. To access Annette’s insights and advice follow her on Twitter @annettefranz or check out her blog.

Disclaimer: This list is in no particular order. Do you think we missed someone? Please feel free to suggest other resources or individuals today to be featured in upcoming lists.

If you want to keep up-to-date with standout leaders in the CX industry, listen to our podcast, Recorded for Quality Assurance. Twice a month we interview the world’s leading CX experts about industry trends, CX technology, simplifying the process of delivering great customer service, and more. Click here to listen to one of Vistio’s very own CX experts, Tom Benton, share his insights into the main pain points on the contact center floor from the perspective of the agent, manager, and risk management professional.

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