Strong customer experiences are essential for the success of many businesses. Whether the experience reduces the customer churn rate or increases referrals, leaving a lasting positive impression with customers is always good for business. So does this mean you need a Customer Experience Manager? Someone to think up all of those master plans that will save business and get new customers? Not necessarily. Here are a few questions to ask yourself BEFORE you hire a Customer Experience Manager.
- Have you learned all you can and made the most sense of your customer data? – An impulse thought is that hiring an employee to manage the customer experience will fix everything. They may improve some things, but they can also create new unforeseen problems and delay projects by acting as a buffer between departments. Before pulling the trigger and making a hire, evaluate all of your data points and learn more about WHY you want to improve your customer experience. If a group of customers is driving the push for improvement, it may be due to a process or existing department that is hindering the experience. Looking at your customer data is something you should do often to not only fix issues but also to prevent issues from even happening. Spot trends in your customer data – such as a high number of negative ratings for a certain agent in one week – and deal with these trends before they become significant.
- Is your workplace set up to enable efficient employee collaboration? – Often times Customer Experience Managers are brought in to get other departments to talk to each other. This can be because one aspect of the experience (support, sales, etc.) is failing to deliver in some way in the eyes of leadership. While there may be a lack of communication, it may not be because employees don’t know how to talk to each other but because they don’t WANT to talk to each other. This can be due to the fact that communicating as a group can be difficult and cumbersome. Collaborative customer support software can help as it enables departments outside of support to communicate in an organized manner that keeps both employees (more efficient communication) and customers (faster and more relevant interactions) happy.
- Does your company pass new customers between different stages? – Many companies, especially in B2B (business-to-business), merely pass customers from one stage to the next. A customer may start in sales, move into onboarding, and then eventually end up in the hands of an account manager. Sometimes these shifts between stages can be rocky and frustrate customers – a salesperson may not talk at all to an account manager and thus all of the information told to the salesperson by the customer needs to be repeated. A Customer Experience Manager can’t singlehandedly fix this issue. Collaborating and sharing information across all departments enables employees to share and view customer AND contact information so they are well-prepared for any customer interaction. Breaking down silos between departments helps improve communication and thus improves the customer experience in a more organic way.
In conclusion, hiring a Customer Experience Manager isn’t always a sure fire way to make the customer experience better. In some cases, hiring one is looking for a quick (and expensive) fix for issues that can be resolved by improving your internal communication with collaborative customer support software. Analyze your data to further understand your customers and make sure the messages encouraging employee collaboration are strong and come from the executive level. Learn specifically how your employees communicate with each other and determine how to evolve these communication techniques to become more collaborative. Customer experience is about making the customer happy; this is an effort that involves the entire organization and should not fall on the shoulders of one person.