The Talent Behind Customer Experience

Earlier, I wrote about Powerful Data Lessons from the Presidential Election. A key component of the Obama team’s data analysis deserves its own discussion—the people.

Recruiters are probably scrambling to find out who those Obama data crunchers are and lure them into corporations. For the Obama team, these data scientists became a secret ingredient that the competition didn’t have. This team of analysts knew how to hear the signal and ignore the noise, how to segment and target its base, and how to model scenarios and revise plans based on what the data told them. The talent was the difference.

As you work to transform your organization to be more customer-centric, don’t forget that talent is a critical element. Journey mapping is a good start to understanding how your talent impacts your customer experiences. Part of journey mapping includes documenting the “on-stage” and “back-stage” systems and touchpoints. When mapping this part of your customers’ journey, include the roles and talent behind the employee actions—both customer facing and further upstream from that customer touchpoint. Know what each of these roles does, how well you are retaining people in these areas, and your plans to fill these open positions in the future.

To use data scientists as an example, this job will be in high demand over the next 10 years. The workforce is shrinking, and higher education institutions may not be able to turn out trained data scientists as fast as you need them. You don’t want to be caught with a skills deficit, so consider how you can best plan for the future talent you will need.

Have your existing employees make their career aspirations known to you now. You may find you already have employees willing to take on roles that drive better customer experiences. Then develop customer experience talent from within your organization through targeted learning programs. If you know that you will need to go outside the organization, build those candidate relationships now. Nurture the candidates you want to hire and partner with universities, colleges, and trade associations so you can increase the number of qualified candidates in your talent pool.

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