There is a really exciting change happening.
Organizations across a wide range of industries are creating positions like Chief Customer Officer and Customer Experience Executive. They’ve realized the importance of investing in the overall experience of customers, and that doing so generates phenomenal business results.
We have only just begun the customer experience revolution, and yet, many people have decided to become experts! That’s great! Organizations need leaders who know how to put customers first to deliver great experiences.
These leaders can certainly be the ones with the fancy titles like CXO or CCO, or they can be someone with a totally unrelated title but a passion for making things great. I’ve seen plenty of Marketing, HR and Technology leaders who have made astounding improvements in the experiences they create for customers.
Customer-focused organizations smoke the competition.
Those companies considered customer experience leaders outperformed their competitors by a whopping 128% above those companies identified as customer experience laggards by Forrester, according to Watermark Consulting for a five year return.
There are plenty of reasons to make your customer experience a priority. There are even more reasons to want to be a leader at the forefront of this movement! If you and your organization can master customer experience, you can make a significant difference in your customers’ lives — and your bottom line.
But how can YOU master Customer Experience?
How can you be the leader you want to be in the fast-paced and changing business world?
If you really want to be a true champion in your customer experience role, it takes resolve and determination, not to mention some education. The passion is a start, but information and knowledge will help you get a lot farther.
Here are some ways you can educate and empower yourself to be the customer experience champion you want to be.
1. Catch up on your reading.
There are now zillions of books (that’s a lot) focusing on customer experience. Some are better than others, but there are a few I think are required reading. Here’s a short list of some of my favorites:
- The Power of Moments, by Chip and Dan Heath – great exploration on why the moments of truth matter
- Chief Customer Officer 2.0 by Jeanne Bliss – a classic for any CX leader, written by the one of the original Chief Customer Officers and updated for today’s world
- Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise by Horst Schulze – You want to know why the Ritz-Carlton is the best in the world at service? This book has the story.
Looking for more, or personalized recommendations based on your goals? I’ve certainly got them! Grab 15 minutes with me and let’s talk.
2. Be observant.
This seems so obvious, but to master customer experience you must really start paying attention to the experiences you have as a customer. What made the experience great or infuriating? What could have worked better?
Start taking note of these observations and pay attention to how events or situations made you feel as a customer. Then turn the lens around and consider WHY a company might be organized that way. Start considering ways to improve that scenario. You’ll get tons of ideas!
Observing is what led me to speak about micro-moments, those small, often overlooked moments that matter. It’s amazing what you can learn by watching carefully.
3. Join us!
There are plenty of groups on LinkedIn focused on customer experience.
While there are many general CX groups out there, the ones I find most interesting are the industry-specific groups. If you are trying to become a customer-centric leader at a bank, that can be very different than an independent bookstore. Try finding your industry first — the results can really inspire you.
4. Stay current.
I love blogs because they tackle topics in a timely way. Our blog at Experience Investigators is of course a good place to start, but I also follow blogs focused on retail, metrics, customer service, and more. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Customer Think is a great source for voices from all over the customer experience industry.
- Harvard Business Review is always full of the latest studies on corporate culture, leadership, and more.
- SpinSucks has communication ideas and it’s fun! And let’s face it – so much of customer experience transformation is about communication and building community. We need to be constantly building these skillsets!
5. Get certified.
If you really want to master customer experience, then the Customer Experience Professionals Association is the place for you.
This community of CX pros from around the globe provides tons of resources, educational opportunities, conferences, and more. There is now a special certification for people who know their stuff well enough to test it.
The Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) certification process involves a test covering many areas of customer experience and then committing to continuing education. It’s a really great step forward in this evolving world.
Not quite ready for such a commitment? Check out my courses on Linkedin Learning. Each is under an hour total and can give you a quick advantage:
- Customer Service Blueprinting
- Customer Experience: Journey Mapping
- Creating a Positive Customer Experience
Whether or not your title says it, your leadership is needed! Take a minute to dive in and keep learning.