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Interview with Jihane Srour – Tehini

1. Can you share your journey and how you became a judge? We’d love to know more about your career path.

Certainly, I’d be happy to share my journey and how I became a judge for the international customer experience award.

My career journey began at Accenture, where I started in the field of customer relationship management. This role provided me with valuable insights into the fundamental importance of customer centricity for the success of any organization.

I transitioned into the telecommunications industry, where I took the responsibilities of managing a Call Center, it was a very operational and hands-on experience which reinforced my conviction regarding the importance of prioritizing both customers and frontliners to gain a distinct competitive advantage.

As my career evolved, I took on various roles, all of which revolved around enhancing customer and frontliner experiences. From leading complex projects to heading customer experience, my journey has been driven by the relentless commitment to elevate employee and customer experience.

In 2023, I took a pivotal step in my career by co-founding Human2outcome. This venture is dedicated to mindset transformation, with a central ethos of placing employees and customers at the core of every decision and strategy. It represents my unwavering belief in the transformative power of prioritizing the human element in business.

In parallel, I was driven by a strong desire to deepen and consolidate my knowledge in the field of customer experience. I embarked on a journey to attain the CCXP (Certified Customer Experience Professional) certification, I successfully obtained it in November 2021 and judged for the first time the 2021 CXPA Emerging Leader Awards. I gained the attention of the ICXA through my role as a judge at the CXPA Emerging CX Leader Awards. It was this recognition of my expertise and contributions in the field of customer experience that led the ICXA to extend an invitation for me to participate as a judge in their esteemed panel.

2. Being a part of The Judge Club must have been quite an experience. Can you share how being a member has impacted your professional and personal growth as a judge?

Being part of the judge club provided me with the invaluable opportunity to connect with highly experienced individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. It has been a great learning experience, offering me the chance to share and gain fresh perspectives and elevate my skill set significantly.

4. The Judge Club is known for its supportive community. How has connecting with other judges within the club enhanced your experience, and have any exciting opportunities come your way through this network?

Absolutely, the judge club is an incredibly supportive community. We have had opportunities, such as before the ICXA, to come together and exchange our diverse judging experiences, sharing our best practices and learning from one another. Additionally, attending events organized by the judge club has been a fantastic way to network, share insights, and continue learning. I had the privilege, for example, of meeting the inspiring Marie Cross during one of these events, where we discussed and shared valuable thoughts, tips, and strategies for maintaining a positive mindset while working on the frontline.

5. As someone with valuable experience, what advice would you give aspiring judges who want to excel in their roles and positively influence the industry?

I would give 3 pieces of advice to aspiring judges:

  • Keep up with industry trends – the field of customer experience is ever evolving, attend relevant conferences, workshops, and webinars to remain at the forefront of CX expertise.
  • Remain impartial and objective – we all have conscious or unconscious biases, ensure that personal biases or preconceived notions do not influence your judgement. Focus on the criteria and evidence presented by participants.
  • Helpful feedback – when providing feedback to participants, offer constructive criticism that is specific, actionable, and supportive.

5. Keeping up with industry trends is crucial for judges. How do you stay informed about the latest developments and best practices to enhance your judging skills?

It involves dedicating time and effort in learning and professional growth, which may encompass trade publications, staying updated through news feeds, attending webinars, enrolling in online courses, participating in industry conferences, reading relevant articles, and studying books and reports.

6. Your career journey outside of judging is quite impressive! Can you share some of the highlights from your professional endeavors and what inspired you to become a judge? Additionally, what exciting projects or opportunities do you have on the horizon for your career as a judge?

One of my most significant endeavor has been a total revamp of critical user journeys in telecommunications (process, tools, and people). This endeavor was a massive undertaking involving hundreds of frontliners and multiple internal departments. It constituted a highly intricate project with numerous stakeholders and complex workflows.

We encountered several challenges along the way, but what truly transformed this project into a resounding success was our unwavering commitment to involving frontliners at every stage of the journey. Additionally, we fostered collaboration between IT teams and frontliners to ensure that the collective vision of both customers and frontliners was shared and understood by all parties involved.

This approach allowed us to establish the project with purpose, meaning, and a profound focus on both employee and customer centricity, ultimately leading to its success.

As a judge, I am eagerly anticipating my role at the ICXA 2023, where I will have the honor of evaluating exceptional customer experience initiatives. Additionally, I am excited to announce that on September 28, I facilitated a webinar focused on CX culture.

During this webinar, I provided practical insights and tips on celebrating CX champions through crafting compelling CX stories. These stories have the potential to not only elevate the employee experience but also significantly impact the overall CX culture within organizations.