Customer experience management (CXM) is the management of customer interactions through each physical and digital touchpoint in order to deliver personalized experiences that drive brand loyalty and increase revenue. Brands accomplish CXM programs through a combination of software, analytics, research and data-management systems.
What Skills Do Customer Experience Managers Need?
An effective customer experience program depends in no small part on having the right manager to lead the way. But what qualities should that manager possess in today’s business environment?
Customer Experience Leadership Demands Interdisciplinary Thinking
Customer experience is truly an interdisciplinary field. It includes aspects of user experience (UX), customer service, sales and marketing. The best CX managers are people who can think in an interdisciplinary way. They must understand what it feels like for a customer to interact with the product and the brand. Like a salesperson, they should understand the problems that the product solves for their customers.
CX Managers as Agents of Change
Customer experience managers need to feel excited about change, and be ready to compete creatively. Companies that continue doing what they’ve always done aren’t likely to rise to the top, so you’ll have to translate your enthusiasm for innovation into one of your central roles: as a change agent within your company. They also need to help stakeholders dive deep into CX insights, so they can confidently invest in the change that’s needed.
Adept With Customer Data
A CX manager needs the ability to both collect the right data points for customers, such as search behaviors and shopping habits, as well to derive insights from this data to create the single view of the customer. Recognizing shifts in where key data points can be found is another critical capability. Any conversation about customer behavior without including current and new data points fails to present a complete picture.
CX Managers Need Excellent Listening Skills
You need to be able to put yourself in the mind and shoes of the customer or end user and do your best to understand their experience — both good and bad. You need to be able to listen — to the customer(s) and to your employees with direct contact with the customers. Having the ability to listen objectively and fully to gain all the information needed is a critical skill set for any individual in a managerial role.
How CXM Software Helps?
A strong CXM program is only as good as the software behind it. Brands need to collect, track, manage, organize, analyze, personalize and execute relevant interactions with customers and prospects and can do this primarily through CXM software. CXM software can also incorporate systems like CRM, web content management, personalization engines, web analytics, customer feedback, customer data platforms and customer journey mapping.
Right CXM Tools for the Right Customer
Every company will tell you CX is central to their strategy, but in practice, it’s an extremely difficult thing to figure out how to create consistency across every touch point of the customer journey. Having the right tools — instrumented correctly — is more important than having a lot of tools. A great customer experience, allows a brand to meet customer needs and be seen as integral in helping each user do their jobs easily and effectively. To deliver this type of personalized experience across all channels, languages and content types, requires various technology solutions.
Getting Back to Digital Basics
Companies that want to be an essential business and give customers the kind of experience they want now need to reset by going back to the basics: the business equivalent of food, water and shelter. A new reality requires a new kind of thinking, a double-down approach to digital transformation and new ways of working that weave in the perfect balance of business, experience and technology.
In conclusion, a good CXM program leads to a customer experience that is consistent across channels, frictionless and valuable to both the business and the consumer. The promise of CXM for marketers is the ability to purposely move from ‘ready fire aim’ acquisition and retention tactics to a ‘ready aim fire’ approach that puts the customer’s unique needs first. There may be no such thing as a perfect one-size-fits all customer journey, but there can be perfect journeys.