Never in my life have I witnessed so many people collectively anticipate the turn of a calendar page. Yet many of the challenges from 2020 still remain. And, at least here in the United States, we’ve ushered in the new year with political turmoil that almost guarantees the year ahead will give 2020 a run for its money.

Still, the turnover to a new year brings with it a sense of optimism. A belief that we can — that we will — bring good health, peace, and prosperity to ourselves and to those around us.

I see that same optimism in the aspiring and veteran customer experience professionals that I have the pleasure of working with every day. And to be honest, I believe that deep-seated optimism is key to success in this field. We must believe that we’ll make things better for customers, employees, and our organizations — otherwise, why would we attempt CX work at all?

To bolster our optimism — because in addition to vaccines, we all need that figurative shot in the arm from time to time — I reached out to some of my favorite CX thought leaders and friends to see what they were thinking about at the start of this new year. Some offered a glimpse into their hearts, while others delivered the tough love that many organizations need. Collectively, their words offer a view into the state of customer experience during this time of unprecedented change. (Yup, I said it. Unprecedented change. Mark your bingo card.)

Contributors include: Jeanne Bliss, Kerry Bodine, Annette Franz, Shep Hyken, Ian Golding, Don Peppers, Stan Phelps, and Natalie Petouhoff.

I wish you good health, peace, and prosperity in 2021. And I hope you’ll find the ideas in this eBook both useful and inspiring in the year ahead.

Kerry Bodine — Co-author, Outside In