CX Insight Magazine

January 2024

KIA Online Community Member Spotlight: Forbes

Traci Lamm’s vision for fostering exceptional CX within Forbes and the industry at large.


Traci Lamm

Senior Director, Customer Experience, Forbes

Delving into the world of customer experience (CX) and its dynamic landscape, this KIA Online Community Member Spotlight falls on Traci Lamm, the Senior Director of Customer Experience at Forbes. In an insightful interview, Traci shares her unconventional journey into the realm of CX, highlighting the critical need for educational emphasis on CX careers from an early age. She sheds light on Forbes’ strategies, its ongoing CX transformation, and the importance of integrating technology and analytics.

Additionally, she underscores the company’s approach to creating memorable customer experiences and the pivotal role of community engagement in shaping her career. Join us as we uncover her perspectives, experiences, and vision for fostering exceptional CX within Forbes and the industry at large.



Execs In The Know (EITK): Did you always want to work in Customer Experience? How did you get to where you are today?

Traci Lamm: It’s funny. I get asked this all the time, and my answer is always the same. No! I didn’t know Customer Experience was a career path when I was trying to figure out my future as a young adult. I thought I had to be an accountant, or a lawyer, or something grand. Looking back on my career path, though, it was a divine path that I was put on, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I do wish more high schools would talk to students about careers in CX, though.

EITK: From your perspective and experience, what are the key levers of a successful customer experience transformation, especially as they relate to unlocking growth potential, improving CX, accelerating the rate at which a brand innovates, and building new capabilities?

Traci: It depends on the company that you are transforming the CX for. Each organization is unique, and the CX goals and plans should be based on the company’s goals and brand. But in general, transformation starts at the top and bottom. Your C-suite needs to be supportive and on board with the transformation plan just as much as the agents and CX employees need to be on board and understand the plan. The whys behind why the transformation is happening. They also need to be involved. It is less scary or disruptive if they are involved in the process. Then comes the back up to the transformation through technology and data. So, in general, strategy, people, technology, and analytics.

EITK: In what ways is Forbes applying AI to improve customer service, enhance operational efficiencies, or drive customer value?

Traci: Right now, we are just in the infancy of looking into AI. We know we need a solution; we are just still exploring what and where we want to implement one.

EITK: The last few years have brought unprecedented challenges, opportunities, and evolution for companies of all sizes. What have been Forbes’ biggest wins and challenges from a customer experience and operational standpoint?

Traci: In a lot of ways, Forbes was in a position where the pandemic and other recent events didn’t impact the old CX much at all. We were already working with outsourced remote providers and working from home. However, all those efforts were siloed and disjointed from a true Customer Experience perspective. We are now in the process of pulling all CX functions under one org and knocking down those silos. And that is the biggest win: getting the entire company on board with understanding the need not to be siloed has been huge.

EITK: A consistent commitment to outstanding service is essential. When creating unforgettable customer experiences, no detail is too small. In what ways does Forbes seek to “wow” its customers?

Traci: We are still working on the “wow” at Forbes. However, part of the plan is the personal touches that you can develop by knowing your customers better. Birthdays and anniversaries — both personal and as a customer, gifting, bundling of products to help customers save a little, etc.

EITK: Are there any interesting facts you can share about working for Forbes that most consumers don’t know?

Traci: Believe it or not, we are a small company in the grand scheme of companies that have been around as long as Forbes. We have less than 700 employees! We are small, but mighty!

EITK: Most of us can look back and remember less-than-ideal experiences we’ve had as customers. However, even more memorable are those times when a company’s customer service exceeds our expectations — even delights us. What has been your most delightful customer experience to date?

Traci: I forgot to pack an umbrella on a recent work trip to New Jersey. I was talking with the front desk clerk when I was getting ready to leave to walk to the office and mentioned I would be a drowned rat by the time I got there. She asked me to wait a few minutes and entered the back office. When she returned, she had her personal umbrella and told me to use it for the remainder of my trip and just to leave it with the front desk when I checked out if she wasn’t there. I was so incredibly grateful. I do a lot of walking when I am in New Jersey’s offices and was unprepared for the amount of rain coming down. She made my trip so much more comfortable and pleasant. She totally did not need to give me her personal umbrella, but she didn’t even hesitate.

EITK: What are the three key qualities of leaders who inspire you?

Traci: Approachability: I believe all leaders should be open to their employees approaching them about anything related to their day-to-day needs or wants.

Humility: Just because you are the leader does not mean you necessarily know everything. Often, people on your team have a different or better way to do something or an idea or knowledge about something you don’t or haven’t thought about. Do not take it as a competition that they do; take it as a win that you have that person on your team.

Empathy: You do not know what your team members are going through outside of work or even sometimes at work. Don’t lose sight of that.

EITK: Even the most successful and productive leaders prioritize outside interests and passions. How do you prefer to spend your leisure time?

Traci: I love live music, so my absolute favorite is going to concerts and musicals. I don’t care what kind of music; just watching someone share their gift is life-affirming for me.

EITK: Can you share how your involvement in the Execs In The Know and the KIA Online Community has translated into value for yourself and your organization?

Traci: There are so many wonderful people in the Execs In The Know community who are so open to sharing their experiences and knowledge. I love that there is always someone to reach out to when you are trying to tackle a problem. Over the years, I have learned so much from the community and have been able to find tools and resources that have helped with the various companies I have been a part of. I am not sure my career would be what it is if it weren’t for this group. They have taught me so much.

Thank you to Traci Lamm, Senior Director, Customer Experience, Forbes for her leadership, participation, and insights.

To connect with Traci, or to participate in the wider conversation, consider joining the Execs In The Know “Know It All” (KIA) Community. The KIA Community is a private, online community designed exclusively for CX Leaders at consumer-facing brands. Come learn, share, network, and engage to innovate.

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