Modern Insurance Magazine

Celene McCaffery

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10 minutes with…Celene McCaffery, Senior Client Director at Kantar

Q. What is your most memorable achievement whilst working in your current role?

A. While working in the Customer Experience team at Kantar, it’s always been very rewarding to see clients who really do put the customer at the heart of everything they do. Bringing the voice of the customer into a business can be truly transformational for companies and their employees. And we’re proud to help our clients do that.

For example, we help our clients federate CX by collecting ‘real time’ customer feedback, using a CX platform to send surveys and display results in digital dashboards. This allows our clients to see customer feedback as soon as a survey has been completed. Customers are much more likely to leave valuable verbatim feedback when enabled to do so, and it’s these comments that can often un-earth the most valuable insights which can be a real game changer for senior CX staff who aren’t used to hearing or seeing the voice of the customer. Empowering our clients to act on this customer feedback and seeing them make positive improvements for customers is a real passion for me.

Q. What has been the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given?

A. Working ‘agency side’ in the Customer Experience Team at Kantar in a client services role has given me the opportunity to work with a range of amazing and diverse clients in both the Insurance industry and beyond. A valuable piece of advice I was given when first starting out in the industry was to always “think through the eyes of the client”. This is something I remind myself, and my teams, about all the time, particularly when working with new clients. It’s so important to put ourselves in our clients’ shoes, to invest time in understanding their world and immerse ourselves in their business challenges and culture. Only then can agencies become a real extension of their client’s team and work in true partnership.

This rationale transfers so neatly to the world of Customer Experience and anyone working in a customer delivery role. Putting yourself in the shoes of a customer can really help you understand how a customer is experiencing a product, a service or issue resolution from a brand, and that vision can really help clients impact positive change.

Bringing the voice of the customer into a business can be truly transformational

Q. What has been the key positive or negative impact of change in your area of the market?

A. In my area of the market, it has been fantastic to see many more women in senior Customer Experience leadership roles in agencies and on the client side. There are some great networking events across the world of CX, and I’ve seen great examples of women supporting each other and sharing their knowledge through these events.

For example, there’s a members-only online social media platform called Women in CX, which is all about empowering women to collaborate and succeed together. We have several hugely experienced female CX consultants in our team at Kantar who are also fantastic to work with and inspire me every day.

Another positive change has been the acceleration of digital customer strategies in the past year. The Insurance industry had seen good progress in this area in the past 3-5 years, but I have never seen quite the level of digital progression that I have seen developing across our client portfolio over this past year. Customers are benefiting greatly from initiatives which might otherwise have taken years to roll out. Covid has really forced this pace of change.

Q. If you were not in your current position, what would you like to be doing?

A. I would definitely be doing something more creative or artistic because I love art and I enjoy creating things. I’m the daughter of an architect and I grew up in a very creative family, so watching him design and build things has probably influenced me in that respect. I also studied history of art, and draw a lot in my spare time, which I find very ‘mindful’. I’m thinking of doing a woodwork course with my friend in the new year – that feels ambitious – but who knows, maybe I’ll end up on ‘Repair Shop’ one day fixing things!

Q. What three items would you put on display in a museum of your life and why?

A. Wow what a question! Well, it would have to be 3 photographs of the 3 things that I love the most in my life: a picture of my husband and two daughters who I love spending time with and get inspired by every day; my home where I am always happy; and pictures of my friends. The pandemic and the lockdowns made me appreciate how important the very simple things are in life. Being able to spend time with family and friends doing the things you all love is what makes me most happy.

Q. What three guests would you invite to a dinner party?

A. Well, being a child of the 80s, it’d have to be someone like Boy George! I always thought he seemed so fun and interesting, and I reckon he must have plenty of good stories to tell. I’d also invite Jurgen Klopp as my husband would love that, and let’s face it, we could probably all learn something from Jurgen’s leadership skills. And I’d definitely invite a chef, someone like Yotam Ottolenghi, to cook some delicious food for us all.