Applying the XD Framework for Success: Ryan CIO Ray Ann Cacheria

In a speech to the XD Leadership Alliance in Dallas, Ryan CIO Ray Ann Cacheria shared what “experience-driven” (XD) means within her company, along with its impact on customer experience (CX).

Ryan, an award-winning global tax services firm, has the largest indirect and property tax practices in North America, as well as the seventh largest corporate tax practice in the United States. The Dallas-based organization provides a comprehensive range of state, local, federal and international tax advisory and consulting services.

Recognized for customer service excellence and empowered by its dynamic, pioneering work environment, Ryan applies experience-driven principles that benefit all its audiences.

Following are highlights of Ray Ann’s speech. The full video of her May 2017 presentation is also available online.

  • I love the XD framework because it is a real focus on how people are experiencing you as a leader, as a department, as someone you serve in your role, whether it’s personal or professional. [In my department] we serve people who need technology, whether it’s a laptop, an application, a network or pretty much anything that has a light on it and plugs in; they need support from my team.

  • It would be really difficult to deliver if you don’t first have a great understanding of what it is and how everything you do impacts that experience. If it’s not within your culture, in your group or at your company, I’m not sure you’ll be as successful as you can to deliver that for your end users.

  • Ryan as a company is very XD-oriented. We’re fanatical about our customers. We’re fanatical about our customer experience. We measure that very meticulously.

  • Ryan has that culture of experience-driven, not only for our customers, but for our employees.

  • Nothing will change a culture or reputation like a consistent behavior.

  • Within my group, we had to change some things to align more with the corporate culture. In its simplest form, we applied the XD framework to our entire department to see what needed to be changed. We’ve done it through the other divisions. We took action. Then we measured the results. We do that every single day. We’re always looking for ways to change our metrics and see what else we can see.

  • Investing in user research is just about the only way to consistently generate a rich stream of data about customer needs and behaviors. It informs product managers, engineers and just about everyone else. It forms a foundation of intuitive designs, indispensable products and successful companies.

  • Observing users in person provides you with data that surveys and behavioral data simply can’t. You need data and then you need to validate that data – that experience – with your customers, with your users, with your team. Every single thing we deliver, every single thing we support, every single day, is an experience for those around us and those we serve.

  • If you’ve got a team that really is passionate about experience-driven results, then they’re better poised to deliver because they’ll “get” it. I’m not saying it’s easy, because they then have to rely on interpreting proper datasets from their user groups, but they’ll deliver better XD for you.

About XD Leadership Alliance

The mission of the XD Leadership Alliance is to recognize and connect industry thought leaders in the fields of design, technology, research, product and marketing. As customer experience continues to be the top driver of digital transformation for organizations, experience-driven (XD) businesses are leading the way in increasing market share and delivering greater ROI. The new ideas and collaborative efforts of the XD Leadership Alliance are aimed at keeping Dallas at the forefront of this vital economic initiative.

For more information and to get involved, visit the XD Leadership Alliance now at