No matter the industry nor the type of the company, in our current highly competitive and in recession markets, customer experience strategies make the difference more than ever.
An Amrop study on Customer Experience in Retail (full report here) revealed that customer experience is a journey for the organisation as it is to the customers. For example, 78% of retail executives say CX is a strategic priority, but only 24% report a single CX owner. If the clear majority of retail executives say customer experience is a strategic priority, only 42% say that CX is on Senior Management’s agenda, the rest setting it on a departmental or business unit level. Only 24% say a single executive is accountable and only 4% report that they have a dedicated CX department. So, the responsibility for strategy setting, execution and monitoring has been somehow diffuse and risks getting lost in an organizational wilderness.
For some organisations, it might now be the time to hire a dedicated Customer Experience Manager. From our extensive Executive Search experience at Amrop, we have observed that many top CX strategists share some of the same patterns and characteristics. We’ve distilled them down into four major traits to help you while hiring or coaching a CX Manager:
1. Cross-Team Collaboration
Your CX Manager should be able to build internal trust and collaboration and emphasize excellence in customer experience.
For the companies that are switching towards customer experience as a priority, the first challenge will be to make sure that all their employees (to train only those that are customer interfacing is not enough) have a customer-centric mindset. For such a transformation, you need someone that is able to create collaboration patterns outside the organizational traditional ones.
Make sure you hire someone that is inclusive of all people and can get everyone to participate in innovation and contribute to the execution of the ideas, which will lead to increased engagement of all teams.
Your CX Manager is not supposed to have all the ideas and the answers and be fast in giving solutions. On the contrary, a very good CX Manager will be able to source and bring creative ideas of others on the table. Starting with a “What is our CX ambition?” question, you will have a sense of the market & customers, imagining how different scenarios and their outcomes may impact them and the whole marketplace.
3. Operational savvy
Many CX Managers focus too much on the CX ambition and long term strategy, forgetting to take the immediate actions that can get them those short wins that sustain momentum and are very important for everyone’s morale. Great CX Managers balance initiatives and know exactly how to organize people and activities in order to get things done. They know what to measure and how to measure it and can see opportunities for synergy and integration where others can’t.
4. Design Thinking / Re-design
Any CX strategy aims to generate value for all its stakeholders (customers, business, communities etc.). A very good CX Manager should link the transformation efforts to the value they create for the organization and its customers and ensure they have the CEO’s buy-in. Enabled by customer research and data analysis (Turning Touchpoints into Customer Journeys, see McKinsey, Customer Experience Compendium, July 2017), a CX Manager will be committed to a continuous improvement and will create a learning environment, empowering people to contribute for better products, services, CX touchpoints etc. Depending on how ready the organization is, using human-centered design can lead to disruptive customer experiences that will position the company on a whole different game.
Written by Magda Clipaciuc, Senior Consultant @Amrop Romania
Amrop is Market Leader in Executive Search & HR Advisory since 2017 in Romania. Amrop is also one of the world's largest Executive Search firms & Leadership Services solutions provider. Amrop Romania helps you build your business by finding the "Leaders For What's Next" - top talent adept at working across borders, in markets around the world. Provided services are: Executive Search, Leadership Assessment & Team Effectiveness workshops and Boardroom Consulting. Amrop covers all industries, especially: Consumer Goods & Retail, Life Sciences, Technology & Media, Automotive & Industrial, Financial Services, Family Business, Energy and Defence.