Experiences are distinct economic offerings, a true competitive advantage, and it is where organizations need to innovate. However, to create remarkable experiences, you need CX leaders in your team with a specific set of skills who can design and execute memorable and personal experiences that customers deem as time well spent. Meaning, they will value the time they spend with you regardless of online or offline touchpoints.
These are the 3 core skills of CX leaders:
Customers are people; investors are people; suppliers are people, and employees are people. Additionally, people consume experiences, and they are designed and created by people. So, if you don’t understand people, you will not be able to deliver great experiences. Therefore, the most critical skill is human skills.
Humans are social beings eager for experiences, and this is why people go out to a restaurant to have dinner instead of eating at home. People go to a restaurant not just to have some food; they go to a restaurant to interact with others and, at its most fundamental level, to fulfill a biological need: social interaction.
There are certain individuals who are naturally born with a deep understanding of the human components and drivers. You want to have these kinds of individuals in your team, and they will inherently form strong bonds with other people; it is simply their nature. However, if you are struggling to find enough contributors with these characteristics, the good news is that you can train them. Human skills such as listening, empathy, patience, and effective communication, among many others, are teachable.
Additionally, there should be a solid organization-wide commitment toward modeling desired behaviors and maintaining a clear vision of the Customer Experience strategy. CX is not a function within the organization but a responsibility of every single team member.
I still remember that customer who desperately yelled at the conversational IVRs:
“I want to speak to a human being!”
These were the early days of conversational IVRs and a customer of one of the world’s most well-known brands.
Again, human interaction is a biological and basic need, but that does not mean technology should be left out of the game. In fact, many of the most recent and successful customer experience initiatives involve using some sort of piece of technology, from machine learning and algorithms that recommend TV shows on streaming platforms to the advanced AI used in autonomous vehicles. All of them improve customer experiences in so many different ways.
So, it is paramount that CX leaders strategically understand what technology can do for their customers and their employees.
Customer Service professionals have always suffered from the use of many different systems, data siloes, log-in credentials, and disparate user interfaces, which negatively impact the employee experience and, therefore, the customer experience.
Then, CX leaders must be agile tech learners. This skill will lead them to come by solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365, which offers an immense set of features and capabilities in one single place, tackling many of the Always-On tech barriers in the CX space and leveraging the capabilities of the HR team, the HR role in digital transformation is vital to address the human side of the equation.
In today’s digital world, the amount of data available is overwhelming sometimes. That is why taking something complex and distilling it down to its essence or most simple form is vital when the rest of the people only hear the noise.
Being able to see the forest and every tree in it enables CX leaders to solve problems with a broad perspective, understanding what the problem really is and bringing clarity in the darkness.
However, analytical skills are usually associated with numbers, and this is not just about numbers and statistics; this is about people. You are solving human problems. So, the context is fundamental to truly comprehend the big picture and the layers underneath it and synthesize the information into actionable insights.
Lastly, these 3 core skills will help immensely in pushing for change internally in the organization. CX leaders are mainly change agents, and remaining positive while moving the needle is critical, and don’t forget to acknowledge progress and call out all the successes along the way.