What Is Customer Experience Planning & Optimization with Stephen McNeill

In this short series, we help you get some honest, behind-the-scenes details about what different jobs are really like from mid-career professionals across a variety of functions, industries, and companies.

The 6 short questions are based on our What Does This Job Entail framework and are a great way to gain quick insights about a job, and build an in-depth analysis for to prepare your resume, cover letter, or interview preparation. Let's dig in and learn some more about the job function above. 

What's your name?

Stephen McNeill

What's your title or function?

Executive Director, Customer Experience Planning & Optimization

What industry do you work in?


What led you to this career path?

A bit of luck - I was working in a digital strategy role and our organization restructured the team to create this new function. I've spent the last 7+ years of my career in 3 different companies to create this capability.

When you started in this job function where did you need to get up to speed?

Starting in the role I was more of an expert in digital media but needed to really understand all media channels, their role within the ecosystem, and how content is consumed. I also look at the entire ecosystem - anyone who reads ANY content we create is a "customer". I try to identify barriers for each of those customers and remove them - so it takes me to multiple parts of the organization (Sales, supply chain) that I may not be familiar with.

When you started in this job function where did you hit the ground running?

I've been in my new role (less than 2 months) - I took the first few weeks to listen and understand how the team was working before coming in with suggestions on how we could re-organize to drive this new capability and process. It's highly reliant on data and analytics, so need to ensure the "pipes" are working and delivering good data in a timely manner.

What does your day-to-day work look like?

I lead integrated marketing strategy that drives true behavior change. Understanding the various drivers behind the existing behaviors allows us to create messaging to help overcome those barriers.

What are some of the challenges that you run into in your role?

FOMO - many people on the team want to be a part of EVERY decision rather than empowering individuals to make a decision and holding them accountable for that decision. In addition, those unfamiliar with my role can feel nervous that I'm coming in to take their work vs. driving more synergies throughout the ecosystem.

What types of questions are you asking regularly in your role?

Why? With the objective of driving behavior change, I need to truly understand the drivers, the "why", behind their behaviors.

What's your favorite piece of career advice you've received?

You often learn more from failure than you do from success. Fail fast and continually optimize.

In you're ready to get more out of your career, here are three ways that we can support you. 

1) Join Our Job Search Accelerator Membership. Our structured step-by-step process to clarify, attract, and land your ideal opportunities.

2) Work 1:1 with Jenni. Learn more and book a complimentary call.

3) Work with a Coach in our Collective. Learn more and book a complimentary call.