It’s easy to forget that there’s a living, breathing human being behind every single purchasing decision. There’s an emotional element to every business transaction, and how the customer feels about their interactions with your company can play an important role as they make their buying decisions. Your products and services might be a perfect fit for these customers’ needs, but if your overall customer experience (CX) isn’t rock solid, you may still end up losing their business to a competitor with a more customer-friendly approach.
Not surprisingly, the customer experience is a tricky thing to get right. It’s a complex web of customer interactions, and the underlying problems and challenges aren’t always obvious. It’s never as simple as resolving a single purchasing issue, or reworking some individual piece of the sales process.
To create an experience that really resonates with your customers, you need more than a few updates to your sales workflow. You need a CX Champion.
The role of a CX Champion is exactly what it sounds like: To steadfastly promote optimizations and positive changes to the company’s customer experience, on both structural and cultural levels. Anyone can take on this role, as long as they have both the organizational knowledge to understand the process and the dedication required to deliver results.
Every company will have a unique set of challenges to face as they rethink, rework, and implement their updated customer experience processes. There’s no one “right” way to become a CX Champion, but the end goal is always the same. Adaptability, resourcefulness, and a collaborative spirit are all key CX Champion traits.
All that sounds great, right? But what, exactly, does a CX Champion actually do?
One of the most important steps in improving your company’s customer experience is understanding where the problems are. While some issues will be obvious — outdated technology, inadequately trained service and support teams, lack of mobile support on the company website — the thorniest issues may be less visible. Identifying these deeper issues requires someone to actually pick up the phone to talk with customers about what the company isn’t doing as well as it could.
That’s the job of the CX Champion. It means calling up former customers to find out what went wrong, and current customers to find out what could be better. These conversations are often extremely revealing, helping the CX Champion to identify blind spots — and outright failures — in how the company treats its customers.
It’s almost impossible to consistently meet your customer’s expectations if you don’t know what they are. Those expectations also tend to change over time. A customer experience that was somewhat awkward, slow, or confusingly complex might have been perfectly acceptable 25 years ago. That’s no longer true in today’s business environment. A smooth and seamless CX is often seen as a competitive differentiator.
To reclaim those lost customers, and to retain the current ones, the CX Champion needs to understand the full scope of the problem. From there, the CX Champion can begin to craft strategies, new processes, and improved training to begin the process of remedying these customer experience challenges.
It’s important to recognize that this isn’t a one-and-done project. It’s an ongoing process and should become a core practice. It continually improves the overall quality of interactions between the company and its customers.
The CX Champion also needs to be empowered to make appropriate changes to the customer experience. This is rarely done unilaterally, of course. The CX Champion should work closely with key stakeholders within the company — particularly those who work directly with customers — actively seeking their advice and insight. When the time comes to implement customer experience changes, the CX Champion will already have a high-degree of buy-in from these stakeholders, making the process that much more likely to succeed.
In many companies, the CX Champion will also become the de facto expert for customer experience-related technologies. This may include a “refresh” of tech solutions, such as CRM software, to create a more streamlined customer experience. You may need to restructure the company’s e-commerce technology, marketing automation, and website to become more intuitive for customers. The CX Champion would collaborate with IT and web design teams to make this happen.
The CX Champion also needs to be able to clearly demonstrate the results of these innovations and updates. This requires access to top-notch reporting and analysis tools, and broad interdepartmental support to essential customer experience data. This sometimes means rustling a few feathers. Individual departments may have information siloed. Diplomacy, therefore, is another essential skill of the CX Champion.
Most importantly, the CX Champion is also responsible for seeing all of these changes through to their final implementation. He or she will often directly train others in the new customer experience workflows and technologies. They also work to continuously update and refine these processes, creating a customer experience that is always improving. As customer needs and expectations change, the CX Champion is right there, listening to feedback and planning for the future.
This may sound like an impossible job, but it really isn’t. Ultimately, the role of the CX Champion is pretty simple. They need to understand the customer experience, identify the challenges those customers face, and communicate with stakeholders within the company to solve those issues before they result in lost business.
Customer service specialist. Technology and e-commerce expert. Diplomat and negotiator. Trainer and maintainer.
These are all parts of the CX Champion’s job description, although even this list only scratches the surface of the many skills the position entails. Most CX Champions aren’t even full-time in their positions, but instead, take on the role while doing another job. It sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be.
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