Spark Customer Experience Innovation

Diane Christman’s three questions with Suzanne C. Foy. 

What behaviors and mindsets do internal innovators share? 

Successful innovation starts with having as many interactive, engaged discussions as possible, as soon as possible. We stress the importance of listening to understand where people are coming from, what commonalities exist, and who has passion around an idea. Internal innovators build coalitions by connecting people to an idea in a meaningful way, so they can contribute and amplify. They invite others to evolve and strengthen the pitch or signal when an idea might not be worth the investment. It’s critical to have these discussions early in the process to ensure it’s the right idea, at the right time, solving the right problem.

What role do agility and adaptability play in the innovation process? 

Innovators may conceive of an idea or solution, or may only see a glimmer and not all its potential. Or, an idea may start in one place, then the problem changes. It’s common for innovators to discover that what they are trying to solve is not actually the problem. That’s when the process goes in another direction.

I’ve heard you talk about the “Doctrine of Doability.” How does that impact the innovation process? 

During her career, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright often referred to the Doctrine of Doability. In diplomacy and in life, there’s what you can see—the big idea—and then there’s what you can do. It’s a succinct way of saying innovation can be bold, and achievable. When applied, the doctrine helps determine how to advance an idea, get buy-in, learn more, and help it grow. Now your idea is not just exciting, it’s one with substance and applicability.“

This article was originally published in 2023 Second Annual Intrapreneurship & Innovation Report.

Suzanne Castano Foy, VP Customer Experience Operations – Strategy & Process, Cox Communications

Suzanne Castano Foy
VP Customer Experience Operations – Strategy & Process
Cox Communications

At Cox Communications, Suzanne Castano Foy drives Customer Experience Operations strategy, workforce management and analytics, process design, team engagement, and billing and payment experience.

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Gibbs Jones

C5 Emeritus
Owner (Spartanburg)

ARCpoint Labs

Gibbs is a customer experience executive with over 25 years of customer experience leadership and expertise in the design, optimization and implementation of customer contact operations. Gibbs has combined skill in the human and technology side of customer contact operations, including the procurement and installation of ACD equipment, workforce management and CRM systems. He has directed the start-up of multiple customer contact operations, with industry expertise in consumer electronics, communications, retail, manufacturing, financial services, banking, and direct sales.

Gibbs has over ten years experience in the Cable Industry. Most recently Gibbs was the Senior Vice President of Customer Experience for Suddenlink Communications. Gibbs worked with Suddenlink’s six regional senior vice presidents and the managers of its customer-contact call centers in Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia to measure and improve Customer Satisfaction through transactional and relationship Net Promoter Programs and JD Power Research Studies.

Gibbs was also responsible for the company’s social media strategy where he made sure Suddenlink was active in the major social networking channels and found new ways to improve customer loyalty in this space.

Currently Gibbs owns two ARCpoint Labs locations. ARCpoint is a leader in the B to C and B to B drug and alcohol testing industry. Additionally, Gibbs has a consulting practice that helps companies improve their customer experience.

Gibbs is a Certified Net Promoter® Associate and has been a speaker at various conferences and is frequently called upon to discuss considerations related to measuring and improving the customer experience, exceptional contact center management, and optimizing the employee experience.


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