A customer experience management professional may be one of the most valuable, revenue generating employees within an organization, making the position crucial. As many organizations are beginning to realize the value of investing in their customers’ experience, more and more companies are investing heavily in customer experience management plans. In turn, many more business professionals — especially from the marketing and customer service worlds — are being transitioned into the role of customer experience manager.
But what exactly does a customer experience management professional do?
Customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a brand or organization over time. This includes visiting a website, speaking with a customer service representative, attending a brand-sponsored event, visiting a store, or simply using a company’s product.
How does customer experience management differ from customer service? It is best to think of customer experience management as a hybrid between customer service and marketing. In other words, the goal of customer experience management is not just to keep customers satisfied; rather, it is to make satisfied customers loyal while turning loyal customers into active brand advocates. These advocates, in turn, bring in new customers as they evangelize to their friends and colleagues about the brand. As every business professional knows, a happy customer is one of the most effective forms of advertising, and the ultimate goal of customer experience management is to create active brand advocates.
While a customer service manager will typically react to issues as they arise, the customer experience management professional works proactively to prevent those issues from ever happening, while ensuring that customers are delighted and pleased with every interaction they have with the organization. This involves a lot of future planning and thinking and requires the professional to transcend the typical departmental roles and assignments.
The customer experience management professional works to identify, understand and create a profile of their target customer. This includes basic demographic information, as well as logging customers’ needs, wants and desires. Once customer profiles have been created, the customer experience management professional will analyze every point of contact a customer has with the brand.
Armed with this information, the customer experience manager then works to identify new ways the company can delight their customers at every touch point. This can include anything from customer loyalty programs to added personal touches or convenience features — anything that leaves a lasting impression and encourages the customer to evangelize the company to a friend.
Because this is a relatively new position, qualifications for customer experience management can vary widely depending on the organization. Many in this role have backgrounds in marketing, advertising, public relations, and even customer service. One thing is for certain, the best customer experience managers share a keen insight into the mind of a consumer, and a knack for creating unique, out-of-the-box ideas.