The importance of having a customer experience team
We have talked about the importance of having a customer experience strategy backed by the right technology. But what about the people? Who you need will depend on the size of your business.
In smaller firms, the business owner (often aided by marketing) typically drives and owns the project. In larger companies, the CX team may consist of 4-5 specialists, with ‘CX’ or ‘CRM’ incorporated into their marketing/operations/sales title to mark the extension of their job role. At enterprise level, you’re more likely to find a Head of Customer Experience or Chief Experience Officer, with many different reports.
When it comes to CX, it makes sense to engage a multidisciplinary team, as it is a combined input across the business that is needed to bring it to life. Whether you give people formal titles or not is up to you, but certainly using these will add weight to your vision to be customer-centric.
What about marketing?
Marketing teams are going through a strange phase where they are called on both from a traditional perspective (more leads please) as well as to add value to the customer experience. CX/CRM teams now sit at board level and are actively informing each move a company makes as they have such a comprehensive understanding of the customer. In a sense, CX exists less as a branch of a marketing team and more as a separate department in its own right. This department’s role is to underpin everything else and move the business forward.
However, we argue that marketing should have a seat at the CX table, and potentially lead the whole strategy. Of course, that’s a big ask of any individual or team. CMOs and even Marketing Managers may feel they’ve been left holding the MD’s baby, with only a slender budget to make it happen.
Building your dream CX team
As we’ll cover in the next chapter around tech, CX projects should not happen in isolated silos (so, no more ‘handing it to marketing’), but be a joined-up effort. Marketers have a host of value to add as we will see below, but even they need help to set the vision, scope it out and implement the project – and that’s where an external partner comes in.
Regardless of marketing’s involvement, it makes sense to create a CX team with people who have skills in the following areas:
The 6 key people to have in your CX team:
- Leader – business owner, CMO, Director of Customer Experience: anyone with the gravitas to lead on the project – could also be externally appointed on a contract basis.
- CRM Manager – managing the day-to-day delivery of customer experience
- Coordinator – supports the CX project leader, working across the different departments and teams.
- Data analysts – responsibilities include setting and measuring KPIs, identifying trends and capturing customer metrics, as well as connecting datasets together if necessary.
- Journey mapper – builds out the buyer and customer journeys into visual formats so they are clear for the group to view, understand and analyse.
- Design – capable of building out what’s needed at the various touchpoints into prototypes; could be anything from a digital portal/hub to a Point of Sale unit.
- Communications – conveys the need for the project, explaining its importance both internally and externally.
Why marketing specialists are naturals at CX delivery
All of these roles could be carried out by a member of the marketing team. We are already adept at gathering customer data and using it to target our buyers. Our ability to guide the buyer around a website to complete a form helps inform the digital piece. We ‘get’ automation, having created and mapped thousands of digital user journeys and dynamic lists. Our content and comms skills are also a given.
But – marketing can’t do it alone
Despite your natural skill set, it’s critical to create a team that represents a rounded view of the customer. Ops, Sales, Finance, HR, Customer Service – all departments have different experiences with the customer and, despite what they say, no one team knows the customer best. When you build a dream CX team, you get the combined experiences to inform everything from product launches to events, soft releases and more.
Invest in time
Bringing in a partner adds an extra layer of knowledge gained from clear-sighted experiences of delivering best in class CX projects. Internally, your CX team needs leadership, hard data and, importantly, time and space. Giving people a proper break from daily schedules to invest in design thinking is essential if you as a business are going to come up with genuine ways to improve the customer experience.