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Driving Customer Satisfaction: The Role and Impact of a CX Leader

Updated: Jun 16

For organizations starting to consider getting started with customer experience, some of the questions we get asked by many clients is:


  1. Should I hire a leader or executive for customer experience?

  2. What a customer experience leader should do?

  3. Who they should report to?


In addition, clients ask us if there should be a dedicated resource or if the duties should be integrated into another current position.


Brilliant Workplaces has seen a lot of iterations of Customer Experience structure, and we are excited to offer our take on these frequently asked questions.


Yes, you should hire a customer experience director

Should I have a dedicated customer experience leader?


YES! When getting started with your Customer Experience program, we believe that a dedicated resource is absolutely necessary. The reason being that this person can be solely focused on the customer needs, and not distracted by other duties. If you have a dedicated resource, that person can live and breathe customer understanding and pain points, and work across all departments, levels and duties to be a significant change agent, resulting in creating the best experience possible for customers.


In our opinion, a position that has duties integrated into the job will be pulled in too many directions, and if your organization seeks to transform in to a customer centric culture, this person should also report to the executive suite. We wrote an entire blog on organizational structure, see it here for more about reporting for customer experience.


Download the Complete Guide to Getting Started with Customer Experience


This workbook is for anyone who wants to start making the customer and service the center of their work.

If you are a department manager, store manager or operational executive, this workbook is designed to enable those who want to take the first steps to change their culture and be more focused on customer needs.



What level should the Customer Experience professional be?


In our experience, in order to make change throughout the organization, the level of director or above is appropriate. Ideally, a chief experience officer is an ideal position, but our position is that if you are just getting started, you don’t need a senior executive. A director will be at the right level to be heard and influence other departments, without being dismissed and not taken seriously. The choice on level and title is primarily dependent on the organizational culture and hierarchy of positions.


The most important consideration with a customer experience professional is that they can foster relationships across departments, have strong listening skills, and ability to motivate teams into action.

Customer experience is one of the hardest positions, in that the position influences everything but doesn’t have direct influence at the same time.


What are some of the duties that a Customer Experience Director will do?


duties of a customer experience director

In general, the Customer Experience Director will lead the understanding, process improvement and standards for improving the customer experience. In our experience, we see this position also work in tandem with HR, Marketing and Sales to improve employee experience using similar methodology, or to implement new process. For example, a customer experience director will use the data and customer voice to work with marketing and sales on messaging, work with operations to develop a new process and work with HR to develop new training guides will be needed for new processes.


Here are some of the primary, overarching duties, which can be added to depending on your individual organizational needs. We left these written as a job description so that you can copy some of the language if you need. Or, download the job description template:




Strategy Development:

First, the director will start to develop a Customer Experience strategy roadmap that comprises a holistic plan to provide positive experiences at each customer touchpoint along the customer journey and purposeful ways to measure those experiences – both online and off.

The director will do this in a few ways:

  • Conduct internal stakeholder interviews

  • Analyze competitors

  • Analyze market trends

  • Look at other data that will help to diagnose how to service the target audience.

Customer Experience strategy roadmap

The strategy should create meaningful experiences that can improve customer loyalty, increase customer satisfaction and engagement across all interactions, from discovery to post-purchase.

Customer Journey Mapping: 


Next, the director should start to assess and document the current customer journey. Looking at the emotions, needs and decision points, they will then build customer journey maps identifying pain points and opportunities to envision a positive and exceptional experience across every single customer touchpoint (direct or indirect).


Service Design: 


After the journey has been mapped and the key moments that matter have been identified, it is time to develop a framework for services. The director should define the services, including service blueprint, service scope, service value and service standards. They should be directly responsible for audience experience design, related process flows and activities to ensure services offered align with brand and stakeholder expectations.


CX Implementation: 


The director should identify how to improve the existing customer experience journey, through analytics, experimentation, and partnership across the business, and ultimately, bring the customer value proposition model to life. This is where the cross-functional collaboration and stakeholder interviews will come in handy, as they will work with functional leads to develop and align on a cost/benefit analysis.


Once aligned, they will work directly with Sales and the broader Operations team to develop workflows and transition processes to provide a seamless experience for customers. Ongoing, they will form a partnership with other leaders, continually optimizes key customer-facing processes that are both differentiated and scalable. Identify opportunities for technology use to simply and improve the customer experience.


This is going to be one of the most difficult aspects of the job, as agreement does not equal alignment. Listening to other perspectives, leading cross functional teams, and change management are going to be a big aspect of the job. When interviewing for the position, these are key skills to look for in a customer experience leader.


Customer Value Reinforcement: 


The director will drive customer lifetime value by leveraging the customer journey and collaborate across teams to identify and pursue customer growth, customer churn reduction or cost efficiency opportunities. They will do this though gathering data, and using metrics to continually optimize the customer experience. The director should work with senior leadership to establish goals and metrics for gauging customer experience success, including operationalizing NPS (Net Promoter Score), and identifying key experience indicators based on desired service and outcome.


Metrics:


Ongoing, the director will monitor and share metrics broadly across the organization by being the voice of the customer, and by conducting quantitative and qualitative research with customers. This position acts as the evangelist for the customer, tracking and understanding customer feedback and recommending operational changes that impact customer delight.


Monitoring and Sharing data:


In addition, they should stay current on key industry trends, research, recommend best practices, KPIs and benchmarks, and, where relevant, incorporate into ongoing experimentation and adoption. They should share Voice of Customer insights across the organization, to inform business decisions and support leaders staying current on customer trends and sentiment.


Skills to identify and that will be required to be successful are someone who understands customer feedback measurement, but more importantly, can translate it into stories and bring it to life for the organization. Ability to communicate this data is paramount to success, as this position needs to have the organization aligned around the customer.


Documentation:


The director should create visual designs for customer journey maps, service design documents, service value charts, service standards documentation and other tools that will information to organization how to deliver exceptional customer experience.


In our experience, we have seen too many times where new information or processes have been developed, but not used because people can’t find them. One of the key ways that we recommend is a sharepoint site that the organization can access (more information on this coming soon!)


Should the leader have a CCXP? What is that?


A CCXP stands for Certified Customer Experience Professional, which is awarded through the Customer Experience Professionals Association. Those who earn their CCXP have demonstrated competencies for customer experience:

  • Customer Insights and Understanding

  • Customer Experience Strategy

  • Metrics, Measurements and ROI

  • Design, Implementation and Innovation

  • Culture and Accountability


Within each competency, specific job tasks, knowledge and skills are required, such as journey or process mapping, performing root cause analysis, etc. With a CCXP, you will have confidence that your hire has demonstrated knowledge and experience in these areas.

certified customer experience professional logo

As of 2023, there are only 625 active CCXPs in the United States, and 1257 in the world (including the US). When conducting a search, looking for this certification will reassure you that this leader is a professional.


For healthcare, there are other certifications in Patient Experience like the CPXP through the Patient Experience Institute which are similar in nature.


Learn more about Suzanne’s journey in obtaining the CCXP and study tips if you have a new practitioner or are considering one of these certifications (coming soon).


What are the skills I should be looking for in a customer experience professional?


As mentioned, in our experience there are some common skills for success. Screening for these might be difficult, but in general:


  • People-centric

  • Empathetic

  • Can build relationships across an organization

  • Understands data and can translate to others

  • Great communication

  • Good listening skills

  • Expert in Change Management

  • Resilient

  • Patient

Technical skills regarding customer experience are important, but the skills listed above are truly what sets a good customer experience leader apart from the crowd. If a person cannot lead or pull people together for the good of the customer, they won't be successful in the role.


A Guide to Getting Started

If you are a department manager, store manager or operational executive, this workbook is designed to enable those who want to take the first steps to change their culture and be more focused on customer needs.


Customer Experience doesn’t have to be overwhelming – if you have a plan.

Final Thoughts


Transformational change with customer or employee experience requires a focused, dedicated leader with the skills and knowledge within experience to be successful. This leader - in combination with the right framework - is a winning combination for experience transformational change that will grow sales and keep customers coming back again and again.


Further Reading



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