To have a successful CX team means bringing onboard and engaging the right people in the right roles. Who exactly those right people are, will depend on the organisation, where the team sits under the organisation’s structure and how broadly you scope the function and responsibilities of the CX team. The CX team for a large bank is unlikely to look the same as the CX team for a niche ecommerce provider.
What do CX teams do?
If a company is completely centred around the customer and improving the customer experience, theoretically everyone who works within that organisation could be considered part of the CX team or at least everyone in a customer facing role such as sales, marketing or service.
Laura Frazer, managing director of Frazer Tremble (FT) Executive , comments, “As a function within a business, customer experience is still relatively new and is still evolving. Everyone has their own flavour of it. It’s what makes it such an exciting area to be in. But it also makes it a bit of a challenge when it comes to hiring and managing the right team.”
At the core of most CX teams is a group of specialists who are responsible for analysing customer feedback and data and then sharing their findings with the rest of the organisation. This team may also be responsible for running Voice of Customer (VoC) programs and conducting regular consumer research.
Within some organisations, the CX team takes a very active role in designing new experiences and the cultural transformation required to become a customer-centric organisation. In other companies, the insights provided by the dedicated CX team informs the work and changes made by the other teams and departments. Referring to research from Forrester, Annette Franz highlights the following to be the primary responsibilities of a CX team:
- Developing the CX strategy and vision for the organisation
- Managing VoC and customer feedback programs
- Running measurement programs and monitoring customer related metrics
- In charge of experience design and customer-centric culture transformation
- Conducting consumer research
In some organisations the team may be very small, involving only a couple of people, where the individuals in that team need to take on multiple job roles and have a diverse set of skills. On the other hand the team may involve dozens of people all with highly specialised roles.
How your build your CX dream team all depends on the priorities and objectives you establish for the team.
What roles does your team require?
Stonington City Council commenced their CX transformation journey about six months. They built their CX team around achieving three initial priorities. Greg Curcio, director of engagement and innovation at Stonington City Council, explains, “We started with some priorities as we started to build out the team. It was really around understanding the customer, designing for the experience and raising the profile of the customer across the organisation.”
After they established their initial priorities as well as their CX strategy for the next three years, Stonington built an operating model to help them achieve their objectives. Curcio says, “I’m a massive fan of having an operating model. Without an operating model it is very difficult to articulate roles, accountabilities, and process hand off points. We created an operating model that included, technology, digital, customer experience leadership and analytics. Everything in the model points to knowing the customer. Without this we could not have gone to the next step and build out a CX dedicated team.”
In one form or another, most teams require people to fill the following positions:
The analyst – Companies produce tons and tons of data about their customers. You need someone in your team who can design customer satisfaction and feedback surveys and has the skills to draw the necessary reports and insights from the data produced. It’s from the analyst you will obtain the necessary understanding of your customers.
The design thinker – You need people who can use those insights, discovered by the analyst, to design new and improved experiences for customers. Someone who can think strategically and creatively to solve business challenges.
The customer ambassador – Someone who can listen and understand the needs and the perspective of all stakeholders within the organistion. This person can develop strong relationships with stakeholders across the organisation while promoting the perspective of the customer in everything the organisation does.
The above are not necessarily specific roles as much as they are personas representing core capabilities and abilities that are typically found in a CX team.
Hiring your CX team
Once you have decided what roles need to be filled, finding the right people to fill them can be a challenge. The roles can vary quite widely and encompass a range of skills sets that are constantly evolving. Writing job descriptions and requirements for jobs that have never existed in your organisation or your industry can be extremely challenging.
When hiring people for your ‘CX dream team’ Frazer advises, “try looking for people who add new qualities and diversity. A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, actions and outcomes for everybody”.
“My advice to clients who are hiring CX teams is to look at culture add rather than culture fit. Find people who can contribute new qualities that positively impact on your team and help your business moving forward.”
Frazer believes, just as CX professionals develop customer personas, you need to come up with team personas, she says, “Think about it that way when you are building your team, where diversity in knowledge, experience and backgrounds will always improve your chances of success, especially when you are in the CX world.”
One of the most important things Greg Curcio wants to know about potential team members is their motivation. He comments, “One of the first questions I always ask is not just why they want to join the CX team but why local council. What’s their motivation? I believe if they are emotionally invested in what we provide the community then that carries a lot through difficult times.”
In terms of CX things like empathy, motivation, enthusiasm, eagerness to learn and adaptability are likely to be far more important and useful than focusing on specific skills, or education or work back grounds. As things are changing so quickly specific skills can become outdated very quickly.