When it comes to building a successful CX team, companies need to get the balance right. Five people with exactly the same skills won’t get the job done, they will just step on each other’s toes. You’ll likely want someone who is analytical, strategic, an excellent communicator and someone who can foster relationships up, down and across your organization.
CX initiatives are typically under pressure to prove ROI, and often face increased budgetary pressure if they want to grow or even maintain their efforts. At the end of the day, everyone has their own strengths, but because CX covers so many elements, a company needs a variety of different team members to ensure your CX program is well-rounded and as effective as possible.
One caveat here. If your budget doesn’t stretch to the full team, don’t panic! One or two people with the right blend of skills can do the job well, and it’s always worth seeking support from other teams to help fill any gaps.
Creating a CX Dream Team
Instead of being laser-focused on individual traits, as CX professionals, we can be more successful if we hire with a real team dynamic in mind. In the realm of Customer Experience, you can build your strongest team by bringing on people who complement one another and serve different strategic purposes. Ideally, to create your CX Dream Team, you want a group that can act on data, communicate results across the organization and always be thinking one step ahead.
Who would make up the perfect CX Dream Team? Let’s take a look at some key characters that no CX team should be without.
The rock underpinning every CX Dream Team is the Analyst. This person lives and breathes numbers and is crucial in backing up your mission with hard statistics that are bound to impress your C-suite executives and guarantee that the results are valid and robust.
In order to demonstrate the value of investing in a CX program, the Analyst needs to be able to identify and analyze the right kind of data to demonstrate the ability to impact key business objectives. They should be able to identify an ROI model that will directly link to a company’s business priorities, which is ultimately what the C-suite is going to want – and need – to give their blessing.
With the ever-growing data mountain that encompasses most corporations, it’s imperative to have an Analyst on the team who can evaluate the information accurately, communicate it to the right people in the most digestible format, so necessary action can take place.
The Analyst is responsible for delivering, highlighting and sharing key data that pinpoints Net Promoter Score® (NPS), Net Easy Score (NES) and other CX metrics on a regular basis. In addition, they should break down these scores and be able to explain how and why they are going up, down or staying the same. Knowing where these numbers are at all times, and having an explanation as to why they might be changing, is the foundation for your team’s ability to making beneficial changes to the business.
However, the huge expectations from CX programs means that throwing around CX metrics isn’t enough in the longer term. It’s a great way to start to show some of the impact of your program, but in most cases, it won’t sustain budget. And certainly won’t increase it. Your analyst needs to be able to prove the linkage between your CX activities and hard financial data. Higher NPS and fewer complaints are nice. But not as nice as higher revenue and lower costs. You must aim to deliver this data.
Last but not least, it’s important that the Analyst knows how to collaborate. He or she will need to work closely with the CX Evangelist (more to come on them below!), to create a CX team that gets the C-suite’s attention. When the numbers aren’t looking as good as planned, the CX Evangelist becomes the analyst’s right hand, to add more color, context, and insights to the data. The pair should collaborate to identify areas for improvement and ultimately, tell the most well-rounded story.
The CX Evangelist
Another crucial member to any CX Dream Team is the CX Evangelist. This team member will be critical in selling your CX program across the organization. Passionate and articulate, this person has a strong pulse on who needs to be influenced, and oftentimes convinced, that CX is worth investing in.
To be successful in this role, the CX Evangelist must be a real storyteller. CX initiatives are usually under pressure to prove ROI, and often face increased budgetary pressure if they want to grow or even maintain their efforts. If solid ROI is not readily available (though your analyst should be on the case to ensure it is!), the key to getting the C-suite on board is telling a compelling story. This is where the CX Evangelist role comes into play, to augment quantitative reports by incorporating a storytelling approach.
The CX Evangelist should be a bit of an extrovert and developing rapport and strong relationships with stakeholders across the organization should come naturally. This person should have excellent interpersonal skills and be an adept listener. By understanding what other departments need and want from a CX program, the CX Evangelist can leverage their passion and aptitude and make it happen.
The Design Thinker
The next critical member of the CX Dream Team is the Design Thinker. By having a high-level, strategic thinker on your team, you can stay one-step ahead to make sure your program produces real results. And this is more than just designing great surveys (though this is important). It’s about creative thinking around areas like how to talk to people and finding creative ways to address business challenges.
The Design Thinker needs to understand what a great experience looks like. Firstly, in regard to the overall CX program, from surveys to driving change to closing the loop with customers.
But beyond that, they need to be able to recognize, understand and create slick customer experiences that exceed customer expectations. Finally, they need to be able to communicate results. Not necessarily in big company presentations (you have other team members for that) but to be able to take the data from the Analyst and ensure it is presented in a compelling way.
On the survey front, the Creative Thinker should keep the respondents in mind. They should ask themselves: Who is the target audience? What would get their attention? What would keep their attention? The Creative Thinker should be well-versed in the latest trends such as using audio and video in surveys and knowing when and how to encourage customers to provide feedback. Note that this does not mean providing gift cards or entry to competitions. It’s about making sure people understand why you’re asking for feedback, and what you plan to do with it.
But your CX Dream Team won’t be able to design and implement those experiences themselves, so you need the final member of your team.
Finally, we come to the Entrepreneur. This is your business-savvy team member who gets things done. This person has elements of the other three team players, but wraps solid CX expertise in real business acumen. They understand what delivers results, and how to make that happen. This is vital in ensuring the all the great CX ideals and ideas are translated into action.
Often this person will have an operational background which provides them with a clear understanding of why change is often so difficult. In many cases, CX teams can be frustrated by pushback from different departments who just don’t seem to understand the importance of streamlining processes or adjusting workflows to improve the customer experience.
The Entrepreneur understands the issues, can pre-empt objections and speak the language of the wider business to gain buy-in and seek suitable alternatives. Teamed with the Design Thinker’s creativity, this results-orientated team member will ensure that change is delivered – giving your Evangelist more to shout about!
As companies continue to legitimize the need for CX within organizations, teams will start putting more and more emphasis on the specific players they need in place to be successful. As there becomes a shift on CX teams to be less of a silo and to engage across the wider company, you should build your strongest CX team by bringing on people who complement one another
With the right blend of skills, approaches and experience, there is no stopping the CX Dream Team.