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The CX leader handbook

Learn how to find the right customer experience job, thrive as a leader, and strategically plan for the future.

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Authored in partnership with Jeannie Walters , CEO, and founder of Experience Investigators™

What does it mean to be a customer experience leader? The answer varies depending on your job description and your organization’s CX goals. 

The truth is, many of those who make it their mission to champion for the customer don’t even have customer experience in their job title. They reside in several departments, with Information Technology (IT) being the most popular, followed by Customer Experience, and Product Development, according to The 2022 State of CX Report

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However, since the onset of COVID-19, there has been an increase in CX-specific roles: one in three companies now have a holistic customer experience leader focused on the end-to-end customer experience. In fact, Harvard Business Review made the case that every company should have a Chief Experience Officer (CXO) to oversee customer experience and employee experience. 

Today, more organizations focus on customer experience as a strategy and business discipline. Opportunities for CX professionals are on the rise. If you’re looking to step into that customer experience leadership role, this guide is for you. Here, we’ll help you navigate the journey from start to finish.

Part 1

Find the right CX job

22-H2-GF-Illustrations-CX Leader Handbook Finding the right job

Many customer experience job descriptions lack clarity around specific ways to measure success. They offer loosely defined ideals, like “seeking a customer-centric leader willing to put the customer first,” which insinuates that CX is just a nice idea instead of an approach with actionable outcomes. 

The key is learning how to vet these roles, so you identify opportune jobs and steer clear of those with obvious concerns Below are checklists, questions, and red flags to look for when reviewing a job opportunity, regardless of your experience level.

3 elements to look for in a CX job description

1. The values and mission of the company

Values alignment is a key part of being happy in any position, but it’s crucial for those responsible for customer experience. The company’s mission informs what customer experience success looks like in that particular organization. 

A company’s values also provide a glimpse into the employee experience (EX), reflecting its customer experience aspirations. Unhappy employees create dissatisfied customers. In fact, a Salesforce study in partnership with Forbes found companies that prioritized EX to deliver a premium CX achieved 1.8 times faster revenue growth.

2. Insights, benchmarks, and indicators

Measurement is part of any customer experience role, so it’s key to know what’s valued at the organization. Many job descriptions won’t have specifics for desired ratings or percentages, but look for keywords that show there is measurement (or they want measurement) now and in the future. Examples include: customer satisfaction, amount of effort, scalability, retention, and customer loyalty, etc.

3. CX future goals

What are the expectations for the future? Again, these might not be specifically laid out in a job posting, but it’s good to see aspirations as part of the description. Watch for terms like “customer growth” or “loyalty” to indicate what the organization expects. This can prepare you for how to prioritize efforts quickly if you do get the job.

Momentive’s growth mindset focused on enabling employees to stay curious and put the customer first was very evident in the job description for my current role as Director of CX Programs. I knew that I would be empowered to create thoughtful services that ensured the success of ours customers’ experience programs. – Marci Kirkpatrick, director of CX at Momentive

Hopefully you’ll read some descriptions of what future experiences will be like for customers, too. This might include providing a “seamless customer journey” or “improving the way employees can deliver an experience” that lives up to the mission and values. If you don’t see anything about the actual experience for the customer, then it might not be a true priority for that organization’s leadership.

Questions to ask during the interview process 

The job description and responsibilities seem to align with your personal career goals. Great! Now you’ve reached the interviewing process where you’ll get to dive deeper into the organization’s current customer experience maturity level and its future goals. 

Ask the following questions to all interviewees to garner a clear understanding of whether, as the CX leader, you would be set up for success.

1. What does your customer experience look like today? 

Pay attention to how they’re defining customer experience. You should feel confident that everyone in the organization is speaking the same language around customer experience. For more on this, see our red flags section below.

2. What are the aspirations for the customer experience moving forward?

Make sure they’re setting realistic expectations for the CX role.“We’re looking to improve” is a decent answer, as long as there’s understanding about what they’re improving. For example, "Currently our customer retention rate is 35% and over the next year our goal is to increase it by 7%." If they don’t know the answers, ask about why they’re hiring a leader. What are the expectations for the role?

3. What does success look like for this role? 

A salesperson wouldn’t accept a role that just says, “Do sales.” There would be defined expectations and agreement. The same should be true for customer experience roles, but too often the goal is a loose interpretation of, “Deliver great customer experience.” 

If your interviewer struggles with answering, present your own definition of success. Be clear on what outcomes are expected. Is it to focus on one particular customer loyalty metric, like Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), or is it more advanced, like optimizing and managing the entire customer journey map?

4. How are customer experience outcomes being measured? 

How the company measures the success of CX informs the maturity level of its customer experience program. Find out what customer experience metrics they are using and how the insight is being analyzed and reported. If they haven’t defined how to measure success, ask if you can help define that as part of your role.

5. How is customer experience managed internally? 

For any customer experience program to succeed, the entire organization, not just the leadership team, must be committed and involved in the process. Ask whether there is an established CX governance structure within the company. 

There are various committees that can be included in governance structure, and roles and responsibilities will vary somewhat by committee. The North Star structure includes an Executive Committee, a CX Executive Sponsor, an EX Executive Sponsor, a Core CX Team, CX Champions, and a Culture Committee. 

Having the right structure in place ensures that you’ll have that grassroots involvement among employees—a groundswell of sorts—to create and perpetuate the culture, customer experience, and employee experience you’re working to achieve.

Don’t worry if there’s no official governance structure set in place just yet. Not many organizations have them. What matters is if there is a shared agreement that such structure is necessary. In fact, if the CX role is new, expect to spend time building these coalitions and educating other leaders about customer experience.

6. What technology and tools are used to support customer understanding? 

This is a very straightforward and important question. It helps you gauge how committed leadership is in customer experience. When looking for a customer experience solution, robustness and speed to insights are the key characteristics that CX leaders have found valuable. 

Included in tools is funding. Ask how the current CX efforts are funded and whether the team is happy with those investments. The answers will draw a clear distinction between leaders who are just talking about customer experience and those who have actually prioritized it as part of the business. 

7. Is there anything that prompted them to seek this role? 

If there is an ongoing service disruption or a customer service disaster they are looking to recover from, it’s important to accept the role with your eyes open. 

Major red flags during an interview  

Most likely, you won’t get all the answers you want. Many organizations are still defining customer experience, and hiring various leaders is part of that journey. According to our CX Maturity Quiz, most organizations are at a level two out of five. 

However, there are several red flags you shouldn’t overlook. When interviewing, watch out for the following:

You would be a team of one without significant resources 

Customer experience is a team sport; even if you don’t have a defined team yet, it’s essential to have support, funding, and resources. If you don’t feel this role has enough support, ask questions about the roadmap to get that support. If they don’t see this as requiring more funding in the future, then it’s an issue.

There is a mindset that good CX just happens

Do leaders in the organization think that customer experience happens magically? We’re all customers, so it’s easy to think we understand what customer experience really is. But if it appears that leadership thinks that by simply hiring a CX position they are addressing customer experience in their organization, that’s a serious red flag. 

There is too much incongruence around customer experience

Watch out for organizations that already have a lot of confusion and misalignment around the CX role and quantifying growth. It’s possible that the customer experience leader can help address this, but follow your instinct if it’s telling you that there isn’t a robust foundation. 

Customer experience is interchangeable with other industry terms

Is CX referred to interchangeably with customer service, customer feedback, or even a single loyalty metric, like Net Promoter Score® (NPS)

Calling the NPS program the CX program shows a myopic view of what customer experience really is. The same is true for referring to customer experience as just what happens in the Contact Center. While service is a vital function of the customer experience, this shortsightedness can lead to frustration. This is especially concerning when the CX leader has no accountability or visibility into making changes to the actual customer journey, but the expectation to move the numbers is still there. 

The CX goals are nebulous

If “a seamless customer journey” is a success metric for the role you’re interviewing for, ask the hard questions about how that will be measured. If no basic qualitative loyalty metrics––like CSAT, NPS, and CES––are mentioned, you might want to reconsider.

Providing an exceptional customer experience could mean different things to you versus someone else. Without a clear and shared understanding of what exceptional really means, you won’t be able to succeed in this job. 

Part 2

How to succeed in your CX role

22-H2-GF-Illustrations-CX Leader Handbook Planning for the future

Congratulations on getting the job! Now it’s time to set yourself up for success. 

Step 1: Get the lay of the land 

Before you can set appropriate goals, build relationships with leaders and teams, or even analyze customer feedback, make sure you have the right tools to get started. Take the time to understand the following elements of your organization: 

  • Vision, values, and mission. These should serve as a guide for your goals and help you align with what’s most important to the organization and its leaders

  • Team structures, accountability, and stakeholders. Understand who your stakeholders are and where you might want to focus in building relationships first. It’ll be critical to building CX coalitions and getting buy-in

  • Any known customer issues. If there are existing customer challenges that create friction, poor feedback scores, or otherwise, find them early. Issues can help you prioritize where to put efforts for some initial wins. If there are existing customer journey maps, now is a great time to review those, too

Step 2: Establish the foundation for success  

The good news is that more than half of customer experience employees (61%) report having stated OKRs around their program. The less-than-good news is that some of those goals may not be defined in the best way for CX leaders to accomplish their goals.

Understand what customer experience means at your organization and how you can create the biggest impact. Refer to the following checklist.

1. Define what success means and how it will be measured  

Be realistic here; narrow the focus based on time and resources. Prioritize outcomes. It’s easy for “success” to be defined by tactics, like “send 10,000 surveys this month.” But what is the outcome that will drive customer experience success? The surveys are only useful if the customer insight is used to improve the customer journey. If you need help getting started, read How to use customer loyalty metrics: NPS, CES, and CSAT.

2. Set goals that are tied to the overall organizational success

According to the new Momentive report, Bold Decisions, the three top priorities for CX leaders is boosting customer loyalty, collecting customer feedback, and increasing upsells and cross-sells. The additional challenge is for customer experience leaders to clearly demonstrate how these CX goals improve the bottom line.

Continuing with the example outlined above, what will gathering more customer feedback in better ways do for your organization? If the feedback is used to drive action, then it can improve customer retention, renewal rates, upsells, cross-sells, and more. 

What’s most important to your leaders? That’s where you start. Read our Customer experience strategy playbook for guidance.

3. Build coalitions with other leaders 

CX professionals or teams that significantly collaborate cross-functionally are 27% more likely to have a “high” or “very high” rate of ROI on their program. They’re also three times more likely to have a high business impact compared to those who engage in little or no collaboration at all. 

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Work with other leaders in your organization who are accountable for making changes and supporting the work you lead. Start early by building relationships with leaders in research, marketing, learning and development, and of course customer service and customer success. Here is a guide on how to bridge the CX gap between departments.

Step 3: Assess the organization’s current CX maturity level 

Knowing how mature an organization is when it comes to the various elements of customer experience management can help determine how to prioritize your efforts.

GetFeedback’s CX Maturity Quiz includes nine different elements to evaluate. Stepping into a new role is a great time to ask for support from other leaders. Ask a few key teams to complete the quiz from their perspective. Once the results are in, compare your findings with the 2022 State of CX Maturity report.

Here is what you can expect to gain from each team’s honest assessment: 

  • Current CX team members: their perspective should help you see the barriers are impeding success 

  • Customer support leaders and team members: these important agents interact directly with customers and have valuable, real-time insights

  • C-suite leaders who are both directly and indirectly involved with customer experience initiatives: The CHRO, CMO, and CEO all need to feel connected and have buy-in to provide the right resources in the future. Involving them early is a good way to build relationships and set expectations

  • Customer Success: this team interacts directly with customers and hears feedback regularly. Their perspective is also vital to understanding the true customer journey

  • Data analysts and technology leaders: involve them to begin conversations about needs for data visibility, necessary tools, and how to best work together

Don’t be shy! Build relationships early so you can gain support as needed. Remember, leaders of mature CX programs value teamwork and cross-collaboration more than those  of less established organizations.

As you gather results, keep records so you can compare maturity levels later in your journey. You also might find that different assessments within your organization provide very different results. That alone is a compelling finding.

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Storytime: Mary the new Chief CX Officer  

Customer experience leadership is an evolving role. That means leaders must continuously evaluate, refine and communicate about their goals, their progress, and how it all positively impacts the organization. Let’s walk through an example of how a CX leader might approach assessing the customer experience maturity inside their organization. 

Mary was just hired as Chief Customer Experience Officer reporting to the CEO. She is the first CX hire the organization has made at such a senior level, but there already are some customer experience roles and teams throughout the company.

The organization––let’s name it ABC––has a customer insights team that organizes, designs, and sends regular customer surveys. These include both relational and transactional feedback methods. The team reports the findings regularly via a shared dashboard.  

ABC is well-versed in tracking metrics like CSAT and NPS, and it’s dabbled with customer journey mapping. However, Marketing and other teams have their own version of what great customer experience looks like, how it's done, and what actions to take to improve it.

Mary has been asked to do more with that feedback and bring ABC’s customer experience management forward. She realizes early on that leaders and teams don’t have a common language or goals around delivering a great customer experience. So she decides to assess the maturity levels of the nine key elements within the organization. 

She reaches out to her fellow C-suite leaders to determine if the CMO and the CFO are congruent in their assessments. Mary also connects with the Customer Support leaders, including contact center supervisors. After learning who has used customer journey maps, she reaches out to those leaders too.

Mary tracks the results and realizes quickly that there is some alignment on customer feedback collection, but not when it comes to CX strategy, culture, or technology and tools. She now has a clear picture of what she needs to prioritize first. She puts together a plan to communicate, educate, and work with leaders that will help to gain their buy-in on a new, holistic customer experience strategy.

She also asks a CX analyst to gather more information on why there is a lack of alignment around technology and tools. Once they audit what is being used, they can make smart recommendations on whether the existing tools should be used more efficiently or there needs to be a more robust techstack.

On a regular basis, Mary connects with each leader about their CX plans and progress across the customer journey. After a year in her role, she asks leaders and teams to take the maturity assessment again. She then identifies next steps based on the results. This process and open communication repeats, keeping momentum needed to gain the program buy-in she needs from across the organization.

Step 4: Build your CX team and foster the right skills

CX Leaders are often brought in before they have a team. Your team might start building slowly––that’s fine. Most CX professionals work in a group where two to 10 team members focus primarily on customer experience.

It’s worth noting that CX teams with more team members report higher return on investment (ROI) for customer experience. While most CX teams consist of two to 10 people, teams of 16 or more are 16% more likely to say that the ROI they generate from their programs is “high” or “very high.”

getfeedback-roi-team-size-image state of cx report

How do you find the right employees? And what’s the ideal structure of your team? 

There are no perfect answers, but ideally, your CX team should be able to: 

  1. Set up a CX strategy and communicate it throughout the organization

  2. Leverage ongoing customer feedback to improve the customer experience

  3. Communicate and share not just results, but the true voice of the customer

  4. Work to include customer feedback from many places, including Customer Advisory Boards, customer interviews, observational studies, and more

  5. Design and innovate experiences for today and the future

  6. Create consistent accountability with a cross-functional team via regular meetings, reporting, and action steps

  7. Guide change management and socialize outcomes from CX efforts like measuring feedback and customer journey mapping

  8. Work with other leaders to provide change management and guidance around what needs to happen to improve customer experience 

Read Annette Franz’s article for more: How to build a multi-skilled CX team.

Skills and priority hires 

The top skills you should look for in your team members are problem-solving, teamwork, and the ability to cross-collaborate. This is especially true for customer service professionals whose roles have significantly evolved due to unexpected demands initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Skills and priority hires 

The top skills you should look for in your team members are problem-solving, teamwork, and the ability to cross-collaborate. This is especially true for customer service professionals whose roles have significantly evolved due to unexpected demands initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

getfeedback-teamwork-dreamwork-image. state of cx reportpng

To get started, consider where your greatest needs are. Many leaders bring on CX analysts early on. Analysts can help you design, implement, and analyze customer feedback research and programs. 

Consider not just what roles to fill, but how you can set up your team for success. When it comes to customer experience, the quality, visibility and actions from customer feedback must be an ongoing priority.

Many organizations use different tools to collect customer feedback across departments without a centralized feedback strategy. They might have a separate Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) platform that doesn’t integrate directly to their CX solution, or multiple journey maps built on just assumptions. 

Hiring an analyst will help you find out what tools are out there and where the data lives. You may want to explore not just what data is collected, but where, how, and why it’s being collected that way. Find the answers to these key questions:

Is everyone in the organization using the same tools? 

Watch out especially for multiple survey solutions. It’s not unusual to see the Marketing department use one survey tool to collect feedback after events and the Customer Success org use another to evaluate annual client feedback. This often means that customer insights aren’t in a centralized location.

Is there a centralized place for customer data? 

This can impact the visibility needed to create a seamless customer journey. If your Customer Support team sees only part of the customer’s story, it’s challenging to deliver personalized service. When teams hoard or hide customer information, that doesn’t set up CX leaders for success.

Do your reports show meaningful metrics, customer stories, and required action? 

As a CX leader, you’ll be asked for results. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to take the insights from those tools and turn them into something easy to share and socialize. Ensure the way the technology shows results works well to share outcomes.

Bolster employee experience 

Customer feedback is not just about surveys; it’s about real-time analytics, exploring customer data, and hearing from customer-facing employees like customer service agents and customer success managers.

1. Empower employees by educating them on CX 

You can start informally: “lunch and learns” or internal webinars can help boost employees’ confidence in understanding how their efforts make a difference in the overall customer journey. 

Customer experience metrics are a great tool for bridging the gap between departments––like HR, Marketing, Finance, etc.––and fostering a more customer-centric culture. Use this free guide to learn more. 

Identify reasons to work together and collaborate. This might include working with Learning and Development on specific CX training or developing a more robust way to tie financial outcomes with customer experience efforts with Finance. 

Report those collaborative efforts out to the organization. Help the C-suite understand and appreciate how important cross-functional collaboration is regarding CX success.

2. Use CX best practices to drive the right culture

Leverage employee feedback to drive the right focus and actions within the organization. Show employees (via metrics) that their efforts are driving organization results. 

Create a Voice of the Employee (VoE) program. This can help you measure alignment and progress using the same metrics used in CX, like NPS. Leverage journey mapping in the employee journey, too. Identify ways to reduce friction, provide access to better tools and resources, and ideate ideal journeys for the future.

And if you’re looking for more resources to improve the wellness of your company's culture, check out this Human Resources toolkit.

3. Ensure everyone on your team understands their role and responsibilities

Get everyone on the same page with clear definitions and goals. Document these roles and expectations in a CX team charter. Add to this as you add to the team. Clearly document expectations around meeting frequency and expectations. Come back often to the vision, values and mission of the organization, and how that applies to customer experience.

4. Be mindful of rewards and compensation 

Customer experience employees who believe they are well compensated are two times more likely to say their customer experience program sees “high” to “very high” return on investment (ROI). 

For more on industry salary and compensations, different team structures, and ideal skill sets, download: The 2022 state of CX professional.

Part 3

Your career in CX: Looking to the future

22-H2-GF-Illustrations-CX Leader Handbook First Days

Your role will evolve alongside the customer experience at your organization. Taking the CX Maturity Quiz at different intervals helps you track your organizational growth and your responsibilities as a CX leader.

It is helpful to look beyond short-term success and envision a future where customer experience becomes part of the everyday operations at your organization. That may seem daunting now, but creating a vision and game plan will ensure you make progress year over year.

Consider how to define success in both the short- and long-term, but make sure your goals are aligned with your organization's needs. Here are a few suggestions.

Years one and two: Setting the foundation for success

Your first two years are about getting to know the company while also introducing yourself and your vision for customer experience. Assess everything from organizational goals to what’s happening (or not!) with customer feedback. You’ll also begin to identify how to prioritize projects.

Is customer experience well-understood? Does the company have a shared vision? 

Customer experience should be the responsibility of the entire leadership team and, thus, well understood organization-wide. Start by building cross-functional CX coalitions and encouraging other leaders to take steps to improve the whole customer journey.

Is customer feedback collected?

By leveraging real-time customer feedback and CX metrics, you can demonstrate the value of customer experience across the organization. The right feedback collection strategy enables teams to collect both structured CX metrics, like Net Promoter Score® (NPS®), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and Customer Effort Score (CES)

For more customer-centric metrics organized by department, click here.

Does your team know how their roles and responsibilities impact CX? 

Whether they interact directly with customers or don’t, all employees in a company play an essential role in customer experience. Every employee should understand how their day-to-day actions are tied directly to customer experience success.

Is data available when and how it’s needed to succeed? 

Every successful customer experience program leverages customer data at the right time and in the right way. A less mature organization likely stores customer data in multiple locations. For example, Marketing might house demographic and preference data, while Customer Success might store feedback data. Siloed data makes it difficult to provide a seamless customer journey.

Make it a point to identify where customer data lives and who it is owned by to eliminate silos.

Do you know what’s needed next regarding team roles, resources, or investments?

You may have walked into a team with several players already. Conversely, you may get to build the department of your dreams! Look at your organization’s priorities. Are you struggling with strategic goals like increasing customer lifetime value or reducing customer churn? Do you need more team members who can help you analyze the data?

Take stock of what’s important to the leaders in your organization and your role description to define your long-term goals. Then look to the team you already have and start planning for what could happen with more or different roles to support your efforts.

Customer experience is often a priority but given little investment to back that up. Set the stage for how those investments will pay off by identifying strategic objectives and making a case for what your leaders will care about (e.g., higher profitability, increased efficiencies, and reduced expenses).

Years three and four: Moving CX forward

Your role as a CX leader has most likely led to getting to know many other leaders. To be successful, you need to continue to build coalitions. Hopefully, the organization has matured with you in this role. By year three, you should have:

  • Better technology to help you gather feedback, evaluate findings, and take action

  • A general understanding that customer experience is not a short-term program, but a way of doing business

  • Customer experience metrics and insights that are shared regularly via dashboards and a robust Voice of the Customer (VoC) program

Where should the organization invest next to achieve CX goals to live its mission and values?

Consider these questions as your role and the customer experience program evolves:

Are leaders invested in customer experience success, no matter their role?

Leaders throughout the organization can contribute to the overall success of CX and the organization's success. To do that, they need to be aware of how and why their role is critical. For example, supply chain leaders might not have seen how their operations impacted the customer journey, but now it’s clear how they do.

A customer experience leader who has built a relationship with the supply chain leader works proactively to remedy delivery disruptions while setting better customer expectations. This ultimately leads to higher rates of satisfaction and a loyal customer base. When leaders who don’t have CX in their title understand these relationships, they become more invested in customer experience success.

Is data visible to the right people at the right moment along the customer journey?

Customers want to be recognized for who they are and where they are on the journey. After spending ten minutes in a chat to solve a problem, they don’t want to start over when that unresolved problem forces them to call Customer Service. If agents in the contact center have access to the right data, they can serve the customer proactively and understand where they are in their journey. 

It might be too early for your organization’s CX journey to get to that level of data centralization. Start by reviewing customer feedback data. Is it all in one place, or are surveys and other tools used in siloed ways? Make the case to centralize whatever data you can. Feedback, purchase history, and in-person or digital visits paint the customer journey story.

Are improvements made based on customer feedback?

It can take a few years to get feedback collection running. Is that feedback used to improve the customer journey? Customer journey mapping is a chance to evaluate static points in the journey based on how long the customer has been active.

By now, there should be standard ways to funnel the right feedback to those who can take action. For example, suppose feedback shows that many customers are unhappy with the mobile app. In that case, the mobile team should automatically receive that feedback and report back on what actions will be taken.

Is the employee experience supported to deliver the best customer experience? 

Employees must deliver the customer experience, so supporting them is key to long-term success. Look to those in customer-facing roles first, but all employees must have efficient and effective ways to live up to the customer experience mission.

Do your contact center agents have ways to provide real-time feedback based on conversations with customers? Does the customer success team receive customer feedback from all parts of the journey? Look for simple changes or updates that can make a difference for employees to be more successful. They will feel supported and see how their contributions impact your CX mission.

Does the organizational culture support CX?

A customer-centric culture means ensuring the customer is part of the organization's decision-making. As a CX leader, you set an example by including the authentic voice of the customer whenever you can. Here are a few ways to get started:  

  • Bring CX success stories to the C-suite to share in company updates

  • Work with leaders throughout the organization to provide context and understanding to CX metrics

  • Encourage and support cross-functional collaboration to improve the customer journey

It’s also an excellent time to check in with employees by working with Human Resources (HR) and Learning and Development (L&D) on employee feedback and ongoing CX training and support.

Year five: Ensuring a customer-centric culture

Congratulations! Five years as a customer experience leader means your organization has continued to invest in customer experience. By year five, listening to customers, evaluating feedback, and taking action to improve CX is critical and ongoing. Mature organizations have centralized data and make decisions based on customer insights. 

As a tenured CX leader, you encourage leaders to stay connected to the customer experience mission. Consider these questions to keep your program strategic:

Is the employee journey well-aligned with the customer journey? 

The employee journey should reflect the customer journey. Employees who support the company’s values and vision deliver better customer service. One of the best ways to do this is to ask employees how to improve the customer experience—while closing the loop on those suggestions. For example, look to the Voice of the Employee (VoE) program. Is it easy for employees to provide feedback?  

Is customer data used to make decisions like product innovation?

Siloes between product teams and customer experience seem to be some of the most challenging. The product team might have a well-defined roadmap and feel like customer feedback simply throws them off task. Mature organizations use customer insights to build innovative product roadmaps and evolve accordingly. Your role as the CX leader can help them understand how working together delivers better results.

Is your organization an “employer of choice” as a customer and employee-centric workplace? 

Employees want to work where they and their peers feel valued. They are more likely to refer others as job candidates, and referral candidates are more likely to stay with the organization. A tenured customer experience leader can offer to provide guidance and support to HR leaders and create CX-specific curricula for learning throughout the employee journey. By supporting the employee journey through learning and support, you’ll also show how CX is a priority through action and not just words.

Do employees have the proper visibility to real-time customer data to improve their experience? 

Real-time customer feedback is essential for employee coaching, especially in customer-facing roles. Supervisors and managers need to learn to leverage real-time feedback and coach effectively. Your role as the CX leader can be crucial in leveraging real-time feedback. Effective coaching allows employees to improve performance faster and feel more empowered.

Is customer experience prioritized with appropriate investments, team resources, and technology?

Customer experience as a priority means you have the right purview over the customer journey and actions required to deliver a superior customer experience effectively. When success is well-defined, you have teams who have roles in helping collect, evaluate, and act on customer feedback in centralized and well-governed ways. You have the support and buy-in from leaders throughout the organization.

Your tenure as a customer experience leader also shows the organization is invested in the success of a mature CX organization. Now is the time to consider upgraded technology, like a more sophisticated customer experience management platform.

Customer experience is an ongoing journey no matter when you start or how long you stay in a CX leader role. That’s why continuously measuring where your program is performing well and needs improvement is vitally important.

Part 4

Conclusion

There is no perfect definition of a great customer experience leader. The best leaders focus on how great customer experiences drive the right results––for their organization, the employees, and of course their customers.

Customer experience, regardless of who’s in charge of it, requires a lot of collaboration as well as leading by influence. So while a CX leader sometimes starts off as a “Team of One,” they must step into the role knowing it’s a collaborative experience no matter what.

Stepping into any CX leadership role means advocating for customers and balancing the needs of the organization overall. Focus on the big picture and create a strategy that wins for everyone. And don’t forget––you’re not alone! There’s a whole community of CX professionals out there and a ton of resources available.

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