Businesses are concerned about customers more than ever. With an urge to thrive in a competitive business world and boost revenue with each passing year, they seek new and unique ways to pique customer interest.
Gone are the days when a quality product alone was enough to appeal to the target audience. It's 2022, and thousands of businesses deploy the latest technology to design high-end products - you aren't alone.
However, customer experience is the light at the end of the tunnel. A skilled customer experience specialist has what it takes to level up any business.
Customers today seek businesses that optimize their experience and give them the value they deserve as business contributors. Gladly, a CX specialist makes that possible; here's how.
Who Is a Customer Experience Specialist?
A customer experience (CX) specialist tracks customer journeys and interacts with them across all channels.
This helps them ensure that the marketer adheres to a buyer-centric approach and delivers a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints in the buyer journey.
CX specialists coordinate with a company's decision-makers, including product design, sales and marketing, and account management teams, to fine-tune customer experience.
According to an article published on the Forbes website, 86% of customers are willing to pay higher to enjoy a quality customer experience.
Another research reveals that customer spending boosts up to 140% due to a positive customer experience.
It makes sense why any company would be willing to hire a CX specialist to optimize their customer experience and upgrade their business.
Responsibilities of a Customer Experience Specialist
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Initially, the role of customer experience specialist was restricted to monitoring conversations at the customer support center and minimizing related challenges.
Today, the role has expanded beyond that. CX specialists are now responsible for handling complicated customer journey stages across all platforms - online or offline.
Since all touchpoints play a role in making or breaking a brand's reputation, they oversee each to minimize limitations and maximize satisfaction.
Here's what else a CX specialist does.
Understanding Customer Experience
How can you resolve a problem without knowing what the problem is to begin with?
Improving customer experience is almost impossible without understanding it.
How do the customers feel about a particular product or service? What are their pain points? Are they satisfied with the services they get at a given price?
This and more can only be known after gaining an in-depth understanding of customer experience. CX specialists go above and beyond to understand the target audience by mapping the customer journey.
A customer journey map visually represents every customer engagement with a specific brand. This helps gain a deeper insight into customers' minds and understand how your services work from their point of view.
Were your services actually as beneficial as you assumed, or were you living in a fool's paradise? CX specialists provide a clear picture of where your business is standing and where it's headed.
Spotting Areas of Improvement
Mapping customer journey helps uncover the areas of improvement.
For instance, you may discover the sales drop you experienced a few weeks ago wasn't because of defects in the product but inadequate customer support. This helps create a business case highlighting the shortcomings.
CX specialists significantly contribute to a business by enabling them to understand their drawbacks and tweak business strategies accordingly.
Knowing the business flaws and outlining ideal processes doesn't make much sense if they aren't conveyed to everyone in the work environment.
Therefore, CX specialists actively collaborate with stakeholders from different departments and project management teams to share their findings.
This explains why a CX specialist is expected to have solid collaboration skills (more on this below).
Deploying Innovative Policies for a Better Experience
Finally, they recommend unique and creative ways to improve the customer experience. For instance, if a low engagement was the culprit, a CX specialist may suggest boosting online presence and offering personalization.
Besides, deploying chatbots, offering omnichannel customer support, and introducing customer loyalty programs are a few other techniques that help entice customers.
Customer Experience Specialist Job Requirements
Small and large organizations look for various qualifications when hiring a CX specialist.
Because these individuals complement some existing business practices and alter others for a positive outcome, employers may consider various factors when hiring them.
Note that the precise qualifications and job requirements vary per the firm and location. However, generally, they are expected to have the following when applying for the role.
Qualifications. Hiring managers expect CX specialists to have at least a high school diploma or anything equivalent. A few recruiters, however, may prefer a bachelor's degree in a related field - think business or communications.
Experience. Customer experience specialists typically receive on-site training since each business has unique customer service requirements. This can last somewhere between a few weeks to 2 months. However, a few employers may expect CX specialists to have 2-3 years of experience before applying.
Certifications. Any CX-related certification is always welcome. They are a positive addition to CX specialists' resumes and demonstrate the applicant's passion. Most online courses offer certifications to back the skill and knowledge of a customer experience specialist.
Customer Experience Specialist Skills
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A CX specialist must have technical and non-technical skills to nail their job. Here are a few skills that make a great customer experience specialist.
A CX specialist who lacks active listening skills will struggle to understand customers. This means regardless of their efficiency with technological systems; they won't be good at their job.
Understanding customers requires empathy and excellent listening skills. A CX specialist must be capable of putting themselves in customers' shoes to understand their feelings. This will help them proactively spot customer concerns.
The better these specialists listen to their customers, the better they'll be able to identify business shortcomings and offer reliable solutions.
Besides, because CX specialists communicate across various channels, from social media to phone calls, they must have strong communication skills to do so effectively.
Flexibility and Speed
Business dynamics and technology are ever-changing. This means understanding existing policies isn't enough. A CX specialist must have an adaptable personality to take on new and varying challenges and deploy the latest business practices for an impactful outcome.
So, they must also stay abreast of innovative business trends and customer demands to determine opportunities that may benefit the business.
Also, they are expected to be quick in spotting CX red flags and eliminating them before they take a toll on the business's reputation.
Collaboration and Project Management
Experts believe identifying areas of improvement in CX is relatively easy. The challenging part is communicating those gaps with the company's stakeholders and ensuring they aren't repeated.
For instance, an issue with a smartphone website requires CX specialists to work closely with UX design teams and marketers to take relevant steps. Likewise, poor website content may require them to collaborate with SEO specialists and content writers within the company. The key is to develop an actionable strategy to resolve existing problems and maximize business.
All the information extracted from the customer journey is stored in the form of data. Therefore, a CX specialist must have efficient data analytics skills to read and interpret data to drive actionable insights.
Although most companies have dedicated data management teams for that purpose, many expect a CX specialist to have desired skills. This helps them work with data management teams to make helpful decisions.
CX specialists must have strong problem-solving skills because they are required to tackle customer problems regularly. They must dig into the root cause of the concern and offer appropriate solutions for customer needs.
For instance, a customer encountering a hair fall issue may contact a CX specialist. At this point, they are responsible for recommending them the best product to mitigate the hair problem.
Efficient problem-solving skills can add to customer experience and enhance brand reputation through positive word of mouth. For instance, a survey shows that 64% of consumers are likely to recommend a brand due to a better CX experience.
So, when offering a seamless CX experience, a company retains its existing customers and targets new ones.
With over 333.34 million businesses globally, gaining an edge over competitors is no easy feat. So, besides offering innovative products, brands seek experienced customer experience specialists to optimize their CX experience and boost customer satisfaction.
Because business is where the customers are, any effort to improve their experience has the potential to take a company to new heights.
We rounded up the skills and responsibilities of a CX specialist and highlighted how they help keep businesses on track.
Cover Photo by Luke Paris on Unsplash