Buzzwords can be a problem: they are a shorthand that turn complex issues and carefully crafted solutions into a quick phrase, or even worse, an abbreviation. Once this happens, all the complexity and care can turn into just another meaningless button on a marketing dashboard.
Which leads nicely into Customer Experience…or CX. It’s one of the hottest buzzwords in marketing today. Organisations are falling over themselves to demonstrate their shiny new CX strategies and solutions ─ but are we in danger of losing its true meaning? Forgetting what CX means presents very real dangers: today’s customers (individually and collectively) have the power to make or break brands, so Customer Experience IS the product.
So what skills should a CX specialist possess?
Technology is hugely important in CX ─ for the first time in history we have the ability to meaningfully listen to and learn from customers. But this blog is called ‘The Anatomy of a CX Specialist’ for a reason ─ because essentially, CX is about human interaction, human emotion and human relationships.
Cut a CX specialist in half (please don’t do this!) and you will need to find expertise from across your whole organisation. They should be able to inform the what, who, how and where of modern business. As examples:
Know your customer: A CX specialist knows what customers want should be the bedrock of every business, so CX analysis needs to be embedded within, and inform, product development from the outset.
Be a source or have access to Insight: effective segmentation can only come from understanding who your target customers are ─ so CRM teams need powerful CX insight.
Lead Content and Media strategies: CX analysis must lead digital and brand teams if they are to understand what moves customers ─ inspiring the most meaningful content and optimising the impact of media and marketing campaigns.
Get involved in every aspect of the business: CX needs to be everywhere. As Customer Experience permeates every aspect of your business, you need to find a way of plugging the expertise of data scientists into the everyday activities of all your teams.
GENUINE CX is the perfect mix of people and technology: without technology you’ll never be able to listen to your customers; but without human understanding, all the technology in the world can’t package CX up into a button on a dashboard.
Marketing has the chance to lead here, embedding CX across businesses and demonstrating value (both of CX and Marketing!). In the next blog we’ll look at how your teams, partners and technologies can allow you to adapt to better identify, anticipate and deliver. Because ultimately, if you don’t listen to and learn from your customers, somebody else will.