So you want to be the next hotshot CX leader? There’s no denying that if you want to make an impression – in almost any business – the best way to do so is by putting the customer first. People who exceed their customers’ expectations inevitably exceed their employers’ expectations, and it’s these professionals who quickly find themselves becoming indispensable in today’s customer-centric business environment.
But just how do you go about exceeding all expectations, and how do you guarantee you’ll leave an unforgettable experience in the minds of your customers? I can’t say that it’s an easy task, but here are a few pointers to get you started on the road to becoming a leading CX professional.
1. Experience is everything
Before becoming a great CX leader, you first have to realize that every aspect of the organization touches upon your role. There is no ‘customer experience department’. Everything from sales, to marketing, to technical support impacts the overall customer experience. And it’s not even just those departments that directly interact with the customer. An employee having a bad day can be just as damaging to a customer’s experience; as such, your job must be to work with management, with HR, even with IT, to ensure that everyone is working together to guarantee a positive customer experience. It’s a daunting reality, and one that many CX professionals don’t realize until they’re in the role.
2. Experience is also a buzzword
Sooner or later, all great CX leaders have to come to terms with the fact that ‘experience’ as a concept isn’t always treated with respect. With endless businesses and brands looking to prove that they are taking an ‘experience-first’ approach, many marketers have been quick to adopt ‘experience’ as their next big buzzword. The best advice for any CX leader is to embrace this fact and not get caught up in the nonsense. Don’t worry about what other people are saying and instead focus all your efforts on getting to know your customers. Learn how they think, how they act, and what they need. The result will be a CX strategy that actually works, without all the marketing hype.
3. Focus on the negative … and then build from there
If you run a customer experience survey and it tells you that you’re doing everything right … then you probably need to build a better survey. Customer experience is all about endless improvements and optimization, and never being satisfied with the way things are. Before you can build a great customer experience strategy, you first need to think about all the possible obstacles that could stand in your way. What are the areas that are letting your customers down? Where are the bottlenecks and the points of frustration online? Only by carefully identifying these weaknesses can you start to develop a truly effective customer experience approach.
4. Don’t get too caught up in the data
In an age of big data and numerous analytics platforms, it’s all too easy to start seeing your customers as little more than numbers in a spreadsheet, or profile-IDs bobbing through a customer journey visualization. While all this data is useful – and machine learning is quickly making it even more insightful – it’s important to remember that customers are just people. You can’t always expect them to follow repetitive paths or even to make rational decisions, and accepting that fact is important. A true CX leader will see beyond the data, and will think in terms of personas, behaviors, and decisions, rather than conversion rates and cart abandonments.
To learn more about how brands are thinking experience-first, watch the on-demand webinar: “How do we build loyalty in a digital world?”