There is a really exciting change happening.
Organizations across a wide range of industries are creating positions like Chief Customer Officer and Customer Experience executive. They’ve realized the importance of investing in the overall experience of customers, and that doing so generates phenomenal business results.
We have only just begun the customer experience revolution, and yet, many people have decided to become experts! That’s great! Organizations need leaders who know how to put customers first to deliver great experiences.
These leaders can certainly be the ones with the fancy titles like CXO or CCO, or they can be someone with a totally unrelated title but a passion for making things great. I’ve seen plenty of Marketing, HR and Technology leaders who have made astounding improvements in the experiences they create for customers.
Customer focused organizations smoke the competition.
According to Watermark Consulting, for a five year return, those companies considered customer experience Leaders outperformed their competitors in general, but a whopping 128% better than those companies identified as customer experience Laggards by Forrester.
There are plenty of reasons to make your customer experience a priority. There are even more reasons to want to be a leader at the forefront of this movement!
But how can YOU make that happen?
How can you be the leader you want to be in the fast-paced and changing business world?
If you really want to be a true champion in your customer experience role, it takes resolve and determination, not to mention some education. The passion is a start, but information and knowledge will help you get a lot farther.
Here are some ways you can educate and empower yourself to be the customer experience champion you want to be.
1. Catch up on your reading.
There are now zillions of books (that’s a lot) focusing on customer experience. Some are better than others, but there are a few I think are required reading. We’ve listed several of them on our Customer Experience Resources page, along with some downloads and other free resources to help you.
Want more? Feel free to ask in the comments!
2. Be observant.
This seems so obvious, but you must really start paying attention to the experiences you have as a customer. What made the experience great or infuriating? What could have worked better?
Start taking note of these observations and pay attention to how events or situations made you feel as a customer. Then turn the lens around and consider WHY a company might be organized that way. Start considering ways to improve that scenario. You’ll get tons of ideas!
Observing is what led me to speak about microinteractions, those small, often overlooked moments that matter. It’s amazing what you can learn by watching carefully.
3. Join us!
There are plenty of groups on LinkedIn focused on customer experience, and some of them are great and some of them are not-so-great. The ones I find most interesting are the industry-specific ones. If you are trying to become a customer-centric leader at a bank, that can be very different than an independent bookstore. Finding your industry can inspire you.
4. Stay current.
I love blogs because they tackle topics in a timely way. Our blog here at 360Connext is of course a good place to start, but I also follow blogs focused on retail, metrics, customer service, and more.
5. Get certified.
If you’re serious about becoming a customer experience professional, then the Customer Experience Professionals Association is the place for you.
This community of CX pros from around the globe provides tons of resources, educational opportunities, conferences, and more. There is now a special certification for people who know their stuff well enough to test it. The Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) certification process involves a test covering many areas of customer experience and then committing to continuing education. It’s a really great step forward in this evolving world.
Whether or not your title says it, your leadership is needed! Take a minute to dive in and keep learning.