As more and more organizations are waking up to the fact that a great customer experience is an essential part of their long-term survival and success, they are investing more in their customer service strategy and the development of their customer service teams. Even a decade ago it was perhaps sufficient to provide good customer service. But in today’s competitive market we need to provide outstanding service. This is accomplished by creating a customer experience strategy with a qualified team of professionals to implement it. An employee working within a customer service team may now have the title ’Customer Experience Professional’. This role includes all of the duties of a Customer Service Professional – but with the added responsibility of ensuring a positive customer experience.
Before going into the duties for this role, let’s go over the difference between customer service and customer experience since these phrases are often used interchangeably. While they are different, both are equally as important for business success.
Customer Service vs. Customer Experience
Customer service is the support and care provided to customers — before, during, and after they buy and use a product or service. In today’s digital landscape, customer service means delivering proactive and immediate support to customers anytime, on the preferred channel of their choice — phone, email, text, chat, direct message, and more. Customer service typically involves the work of a customer-facing employee and may involve just one or two interactions. In this way, customer service refers to a particular customer interaction with a business.
In comparison, customer experience refers to the entire customer journey – that is the steps a customer takes from their discovery of a business, through their purchase of a product or service, to post-purchase care. Any interaction a customer has with a company during their customer journey is known as a “touchpoint”. Not every customer journey will look the same, but all will involve more than one touchpoint.
So we can see in this comparison that customer service is part of the overall customer experience. A person with the title “Customer Experience Professional” has a bird’s-eye perspective on the customer journey, and is equipped with the knowledge and training they need to ensure that all interactions contribute to an outstanding customer experience. With this in mind, we’ll summarize the role and list some of the essential duties of a person with this title.
The Role of a Customer Experience Professional
Since no business can compete effectively without an amazing customer experience, the need for Customer Experience Professionals is on the rise. The role of a Customer Experience (aka CX) Professional is to:
- Provide outstanding interactions with customers across multiple channels and platforms
- Track, analyze, and find opportunities to improve the customer journey
- Communicate with other departments with the common goal to continue fine-tuning and enhancing the customer experience
They identify customer needs, respond to customer queries, track and report on the customer experience and collaborate with internal departments to optimize customer services and brand awareness.
They are expected to possess highly developed interpersonal skills, a customer-centered approach, exceptional organizational and time-management skills, a solid knowledge of online customer engagement platforms and channels – including social media, proficiency in productivity and online project management tools such as MS Office, Asana, and Slack, as well as in-depth knowledge of CX and CRM software.
Essential duties of a Customer Experience Professional include but are not limited to:
- Providing Customer Care – Identifying customer needs and taking proactive steps to maintain a positive customer experience.
- Responding to Customers – Responding to queries in a timely and effective manner, via phone, email, social media, or chat applications.
- Recording Touchpoints – Using a CRM to document processes and log technical issues, as well as track customer compliments, issues, and complaints.
- Analyzing and Reporting on Customer Feedback – Gathering and carefully analyzing and reporting to supervisors and department heads on customer feedback and product reviews.
- Collaborating with Other Departments – Working with other department teams such as IT developers, product and production leads, HR, and those in sales and marketing to enhance customer services and brand awareness.
- Maintaining Knowledge of CX Tools and Trends – Keeping informed of customer experience and industry trends, assisting with the development of employee onboarding and training programs, and implementing new Productivity/CRM technologies as needed.
- Continuing to Grow Professionally – Continuing to grow and develop is essential to ensure professional success in this critical role!
In conclusion, a great Customer Experience Professional will be someone whose expertise results in excellent customer relationship management, consistent customer delight, and a positive brand reputation and image – all of which will contribute to business sustainability and success. We’ll end here with a favorite quote by Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes Benz USA:
“Customer experience better be at the top of your list when it comes to priorities in your organization. Customer experience is the new marketing.”
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