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Want To Advance Your Career? Get CX Certified.

Delivering great customer experiences has become a top priority for many companies. Given the increased focus, employees with CX skills are in great demand. While on the job training and reading books provide great learnings, completing a formal CX certification program can accelerate one’s career.

Consequently, I decided to take my customer experience knowledge to the next level.  I explored a variety of programs that would expand my understanding of CX best practices and teach me new methodologies. After evaluating different schools, I chose Rutgers University.  

5 Reasons I Recommend Rutgers CX Certification Program

  • The course content is very relevant and applicable. Students gain access to helpful tools and templates that they can bring back to their jobs to make an impact.  
  • Classes are taught by top executives and leaders who share meaningful examples that reinforce the CX coursework. Topics include developing personas and journey maps, CX measurements, building a CX culture and more.
  • The program offers much flexibility. People can take the course online over 8 weeks, or offline in a classroom setting for 4 days.
  • Rutgers provides incredible networking opportunities. I met many smart people who have instituted successful customer-centric programs in their workplace. I loved all the knowledge sharing in and out of the classroom.
  • It is a real, university-backed program – not a seminar or conference.

Interested in learning more?

Watch the video below to hear about my personal experience. Feel free to contact me any time about the curriculum too. Detailed course information and class dates are also available on Rutgers’s website.

Want to Save 20% OFF THE TUITION COST?

Rutgers CX Certification Program

 

I’ve been able to get DoingCXRight readers a 20% discount for the CX course as well as three other classes: Cyber Security, Design Thinking, and Big Data. Simply subscribe to my blog to receive the promo code, which you can use any time during program registration.

 

P.s. Classes fill up quickly. I suggest you sign up now with the option to pay later.

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*All opinions expressed are mine alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

 

cx goal 2019

The One CX Goal You Need to Set for 2019

Every January we all get energized to be better versions of ourselves. We post on social media about what we want to accomplish in the new year, thinking if we post it, we will finally do what we committed to doing. Often, this is where the story ends. With a social post.

Why do we so rarely accomplish what we set out to accomplish? Because we do not focus. We have LISTS of resolutions. All you need is one commitment. By focusing on one thing, you are setting up the path to achieve your goal.

Identify One CX Goal

For 2019, I urge you to make only one CX goal – bring about business success with your customer experience work. Don’t just do work in the general sense. Rather, set a CX goal that has a real impact on your customers and their experiences with your brand.

Own your challenge, too. Select an internal metric and report your progress on a quarterly cadence. You can use operational efficiency KPIs (faster throughput, higher percent FCR – first call resolution), cost KPIs (lower call volume, higher percent self-service), or revenue KPIs (higher conversion rates online, more repeat customers, higher value customers).

Find a CX Metric that Matters to Your CFO

Whatever you choose, do not stop at NPS or CSAT. Keep going until you find a metric that your CFO relates to. NPS is important, but NPS is not enough. As MaritzCX explained in their CXPA webinar, often NPS is managed as a transactional measure vs. a relationship measure.

This makes it hard to connect NPS to customer loyalty. NPS is right for us CX professionals. However, NPS does not make customer experience an important topic for boards of directors.

Measure What you Know

Back to your 2019 CX Goal. Depending on your role and level in the organization, you can prioritize and focus on different things. The higher you are in your organization, the more you need to manage metrics. We all know the expression if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. Without metrics you are lost.

Set a goal to collect and analyze metrics that link to customer experience in your organization. Depending on your business, you can start with any of the above mentioned metrics.

What you collect and connect to CX can also vary by CX program. For our operations readers, employee efficiencies (through time studies before and after) are a good place to start. For contact center managers, talk-time and FCR are the best places to focus on. Digital professionals should track looks, conversions, purchases, percent site abandon, percent direct sales vs. 3rd party, etc.

Focus Your CX Measurement

If you are managing a Customer Insights team, focus on one business customer in 2019 and service that customer. Send your people to observe the day-to-day of that team so they can understand better what survey questions to ask and what metrics help manage results better.

Don’t wait for the business to reach out and ask you for a standard report. Task a team member to really think through the lens of the business and build a customized report. Remember, customized does NOT mean get a drop-down per month vs. per week view. Look at the data with fresh eyes and see new insight that is powerful and useful to the business unit. Solve problems. Bring light to meaningful patterns. Become the adviser that the business cannot live without. Do this for one division in 2019 and then grow your scope (and budget, hopefully) to deliver value to more business lines in your organization.

Ask the Right Survey Questions

If you are an individual contributor designing surveys, think about asking questions whose answers can be converted into projects. If you do that, you may even end up executing those projects. And once you do that, you have propelled your CX career. For example, if you work in retail banking, ask your customers why they leave your branch. Then analyze the answers and from the patterns, you will be able to see the top 3 reasons people leave (apart from relocating). One of those reasons will be something the bank can change. Take that one thing and propose a solution.

These are just a few examples of CX goals with business impact. Depending where you are in your career and CX maturity, your CX goal will vary. Whatever your specific CX goal is, make sure that it has a tangible impact on your customers and your business. If you need to brainstorm on your specific goals, reach out to our Mentoring Program. We are always excited to learn about CX jobs and role challenges across industries.

Sign Up for our newsletter to continue learning how to increase your skills and transform your organization! When you register now, you will get free access to our whitepaper on how to go from CX Novice to CX Expert.

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

cx skills tips

Our Holiday Wishes for Great CX

The lights have been lit, the gifts have been opened, and the year is coming to a close. In that spirit, we share with you holiday wishes from DoingCXRight.

Build CX Skills

Every successful customer experience initiative starts with a skilled CX team. Brush up on your CX skills to strengthen the business case for CX; to develop relationships within your organization; and to deliver standout customer experiences in the new year.

Earn Certifications

CX Certification helps to advance your CX career. It also gives you more tools to solve CX problems, and opens you up to a community of industry professionals. Here, we review the CX Certification process, and provide helpful tips to kick off your new year.

Get Customer-Centric

Customer-centricity is at the core of every effective CX strategy. Get tips on how to keep the customer central to your CX design and journey maps.

Build Mentor Relationships

You can benefit from mentor relationships at every stage of your CX career. Explore our mentoring program and discover how building relationships helps to advance your career, and advance the CX profession across industries.

Sign Up for our newsletter to continue learning how to increase your skills and transform your organization! When you register now, you will get free access to our whitepaper on how to go from CX Novice to CX Expert.

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

what is cx meaning

CX Meaning: What are the Faces of CX?

When I worked in marketing nobody ever asked me “What does marketing mean?”. Since I moved into Customer Experience, every time I give my job title, someone asks “What does CX mean?”.

Even though customer experience is recognized as more and more important for the long term survival of brands, many remain confused about CX meaning. Here are six ways you can answer when asked about what CX means.

Customer Experience means any one and all of the below. Each area of CX represents a path for CX professionals to impact business health and build successful careers. One of my favorite CX analogies is that it is like the blood in our bodies. When CX is done well, it touches every aspect of an organization. That’s what makes customer experience so much fun! You will never be bored working in CX.

CX Meaning & Marketing

Smart CX comes AFTER marketing

When I mentor Customer Experience professionals, my first question is always about brand promise and brand strategy. Marketing defines a brand’s customer service when it broadcasts the RTBs (reasons to believe or use a brand). The customer experience mission is to consistently deliver on those marketing promises. That is how CX promotes a brand.

CX Meaning: Policies & Procedures

Good CX means redesigning policies and procedures to make customers’ life easier

Sometimes Customer Experience is about putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and in your employees’ shoes. Do this to understand what your customers go through to get “their jobs done” with your brand. And what your employees do to get their jobs done on behalf of your brand.

Looking at it from the customer’s perspective, his/her “job” might be to sign up for your subscription service, pay a bill, or close an account. Often, Customer Experience professionals find out that a bad customer experience is bad by design. This is not malicious, of course, nor is it intended. But still, the bad outcome happened by design!

That kind of poor design starts from the ground up. Think about training materials and how they prepare frontline employees to deliver customer experience. Those materials might be teaching the employees to ask a question in an insensitive way as a result of regulatory requirements. Two policies might have been written in silos and might be asking the same questions of new customers in a way that makes them feel like your brand is wasting their time.

In a bigger, older and more merger-driven organization, CX is often about cleaning the so called “customer journeys” by revising existing rules and procedures. Although this may not be the most exciting part of CX for me, for an engineer, cleaning up these procedures is an exceptionally rewarding and meaningful job.

CX Meaning: Customer Engagement

Asking customers what they like/do not like about their experiences with a brand improves CX

Another side of CX, survey making and survey analysis, helps to capture the VOC (Voice of the Customer). This is the job of people who design, analyze and offer recommendations to business units based on what they have heared from customers. This part of CX is integral. It drives results when it is done properly.

The challenge is the integration levels within the business. Often VOC teams are perceived as the analytics group. Instead of being the drivers of change, they simply “service” the business when the business has questions for them. In other words, instead of the customer voice driving the conversation, the business assumes it understands what the customer needs. Regardless of the challenges, surveys, analysis and VOC are excellent opportunities within the CX fields, particularly for CX professionals with a background and interest in analytics.

CX Meaning: Employee Engagement

Ask employees what they NEED to deliver better CX and GIVE it to them

A derivative of VOC, VOE (Voice of the Employee) is an analytics version of CX that drives the engagement inside the company. Ideally, this team asks the right questions from employees to learn what prevents them from delivering on those marketing promises we mentioned earlier.

It is amazing what one can learn from the frontline. From illogical or user unfriendly UX design of every day tools, to approval levels of discretionary spending that make no sense, employees highlight the holes in customer experience that leave a brand vulnerable. When VOC and VOE are the same people, the impact of this specific CX job is palpable to all! Very few organizations set up a system for understanding and adapting to VOC and VOE needs. Often VOE is under HR and VOC is under Marketing, completely isolating the insights from one another.

There are important opportunities available for organizations who are able to bring VOC and VOE together and design CX according to those insights.

CX Meaning: Process & Architecture Design

Process and architecture design must allow free movement.

My favorite version of Customer Experience is the design and human experience planning of a product or service. It combines engineering, brand management, design, and VOC. Not many organizations have this CX job clearly defined. It is one of those things that you have to create for yourself. But doing so is not that hard, depending on the life cycle of your brand.

If the brand is building an app and it is a retail business, you can absolutely take this app and integrate it in the physical spaces of the brand. I can promise you either nobody is thinking about it or they are, but they are thinking it is in the distant future. You can take this side of the experience, build it and make a big impact!

CX Meaning: Organization Advocacy

Be an advocate for the Customer so everything the company does keeps the customer in mind

The last role in CX is the most senior. It is also the most difficult. These are the people that work with the executive team to provide funding for Customer Experience departments and programs. They are also the people who design the organization to deliver consistent, easy and seamless experiences for customers.

Think Elena Ford and what she is doing with her company. Executive leaders who are advocates for CX take into account VOC, VOE, marketing, processes and procedures, product development and employee training to build systems around the experiences customers need and want from your brand. For them, and for their brands, CX improves the way they do business. And that, at the end of the day, is the true meaning of CX.

 

If you like this article, please share with others so they can benefit. Sign Up for our newsletter to continue learning how to increase your skills and transform your organization! When you register now, you will get free access to our whitepaper on how to go from CX Novice to CX Expert.

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

customer experience career tips

4 Career Tips for CX Professionals

In honor of the 4th of July, we have rounded up 4 career tips for CX professionals. Set aside some time during the break from work to take stock in your CX career and evaluate steps you need to advance to the next level. Continue Reading →

ccxp certification test prep

Let’s Get You Certified as a CX Professional!

If you are ready to signal to the business community that you are serious about customer experience and your intention to be part of its leadership ranks, it’s time to work on earning your internationally recognized Certified Customer Experience Professional certification.

Doing so makes you a part of an elite group of certified CX professionals who lead the way in customer experience innovation and action.

The Basics of the Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) Certification Continue reading “Let’s Get You Certified as a CX Professional!”

CX Skills Builder: How to articulate your CX Value and secure your budget

Two weeks ago we urged you to find CX problems and fix them instead of diagnosing and mapping them. That is  Continue reading “CX Skills Builder: How to articulate your CX Value and secure your budget”

CX Skills Builder: Own the Customer Experience

Often, CX professionals do not believe they impact CX design and experience for their customers. Why?  What is the cause of this disconnect?

A month ago, I got a call from an acquaintance saying that her mom got the loyalty points for flying to her destination on an airline carrier, but not coming back. When she called the carrier, the person on the phone told her that since the booking was not made via the airline website, they could not find her reservation and help her.

Who is responsible for this bad customer experience?  More importantly, who has the power, skills and authority to fix it? The answer is easy. All. Of. Us.  Who do customers perceive as the person responsible to fix their customer experience problems? The Customer Experience Director.  I realized this, pointedly, when my acquaintance reached out to me.

In this example, typical of airline industry providers, it is true that we cannot find a reservation that has been made on another channel. It is true that our systems can be better integrated, more CRM-enabled, and easier to work with. It is also true that despite existing limitations, many professionals across the organization can do something to improve the customer experience in a case like this one.

The person on the phone can come up with a creative way to find the customer reservation using another tool.  The person in charge of partnerships can work on a better integration with other booking channels.  The person managing the points tool can enhance the tool so that every customer shows the last 2 flights, regardless of where that customer booked those flights. The list of can-dos and should-dos goes on and on. Yet, these customer experience professionals do not see themselves as owning the customer experience, nor do they feel accountable to do something to improve the customer experience.

To change that, it is imperative to shift the culture in the mindset of customer experience professionals at all levels.  This is very difficult to do.

Even the CX professionals who own the customer experience on paper frequently do not feel empowered to have a real impact. They do not recognize that something as simple as the example above can become a successful project in their portfolio. Instead, customer experience professionals journey map and look at holistic pictures, often without implementing or designing for real changes to the customer experience.

It almost feels like CX professionals have an identity crisis that prevents them from acting with impact. This may be because some are afraid of angering the operation, and so take a more passive approach. A passive approach does not advance the cause of customer experience design, nor does it make it easier to make real changes and to be heard at the table next time. Customer Experience professionals need a portfolio of changes to gain legitimacy in their organizations.  The best way to do that is to find a seam in the experience and fix problems. No matter how small a problem may be, fix it. Don’t just document it, communicate it and assess it. Fix it!

It is okay to jump in and fix the customer experience because this IS your job as a CX professional. At the end of the day, if you are not fixing things you really aren’t  doing your job. Own the customer experience. Be Brave. And you will see how much your internal brand will grow, and you will watch the operation start to come to you for solutions they know will work.

Like this tip? Sign up to have our next Own the Customer Experience CX Pro Tip delivered straight to your Inbox.

 

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

 

Where Should CX Sit at the Table?

Before we begin talking about where CX should sit in the organization, I want to clarify one thing. Customer Experience is not a single person. 

A company cannot hire one customer experience professional and expect that in a year that company will have a customer-centric corporate culture in place. CX also is not a team that has no visibility and no budget. No one has ever heard of a business successful transformation without extensive change management implications done and without vision and strategy. CX requires individuals and teams with cross functional workshops, new products and processes and heavy communications across the organization.

A CX team needs the leadership support to deliver all of those to the brand and the organization. So where in the organization should CX sit? Leadership teams across industries and geographies are trying different suboptimal approaches.

IT

Last year a non-profit health insurance company in New York approached me to ask for feedback on their CX set up. They were planning to set the CX team under the CIO. Since the corporate staff was not big, the role of CX would have been fairly elevated. Still, I advised against that organizational structure.

A customer experience transformation cannot be led by IT for several reasons. Although the world today is more and more digital, brands still are in the business of making the human, long lasting connection with the customers that will drive more sales. Our IT partners are excellent at executing a program and can definitely help with the UX part of the job, but they are not marketers or operators.  Asking IT to drive CX is just not the right choice. There is no doubt that CX cannot exist without IT. But that does not mean IT needs to lead it.

Marketing

Marketing (or in some organizations “product”) is the most common set up for CX in brands’ corporate organizations. Media and consumer goods companies usually take this approach.  At first look it makes sense to set CX in marketing. After all the purpose of CX is to deliver on the brand promises made by marketing.

This could almost work if brands did not bury my CX peers deep down in the organization so they turn into journey mapping documentation gatherers with no real impact. One fast food brand in Europe actually had the role of Head of Brand Engagement under the CMO and then had four other leaders reporting to that role, one of which was the CX Director. That CX Director was competing with the other three directors with similar roles for a piece of the authority pie.  This is equivalent to giving somebody a problem to solve with no tools to do so.

HR

One Financial Services institution in the US had arguably the least impactful set up. They actually put CX under HR! Please, do not mix customer experience with HR. I know that we all talk about the importance of employee engagement to the successful delivery of exceptional brand experiences. Although happy employees and customer-centric culture are requirements for a CX driven organization, CX is much more than that.

For a CX group to have impact and drive change, it needs to be in the customer facing part of the organization. The CX professionals need access to the customer to learn what is working and what is not. They need access to the operations to change processes and procedures. Lastly, CX professionals need tools like IT and Marketing to deliver new solutions and communicate those solutions to the customer. HR offers none of those enablers to a CX transformation.

Customer Experience

An organization that is really committed to putting the customer at its center will build (reorg) the governance structure to reflect that commitment. That means having a Customer Experience Executive that has all the customer facing divisions under him/her and funding this organization appropriately.

If that means taking funding from other parts of the organization, so be it. As a brand this signals to both the investors and the employees that a real shift of the corporate mindset is taking place. With that set up, customers also will feel the change and will reciprocate with their loyalty. To do CX right, that is the way to do it – not by hiring one person buried in the org with no seat at the table, just to check off a mark.

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

new year tips doingcxright

What You Need To Do To Start 2018 Right

It is the end of December and we are all in reflective moods. Did I do enough to break into the field of Customer Experience? Did I build the right team with complementary skilled, engaged members? Did I do enough to build/maintain/scale the customer experience culture of my organization?

 

December is filled with doubts, feelings of failure and an urgent need to succeed. I can assure all of us with confidence that we all did what we could and that it is time to relax and spend some quality time with our loved ones. For any goals you did not achieve in 2017, there is always 2018 – so let’s make sure we start the new year right.

 

If you are a  job seeker
There are a few basic rules we learn in school that remain true throughout our careers. The steps for looking for a job are the same regardless of the level you are at. I know many Director level professionals who are looking for a job with a resume that has not been updated for the last ten years.

 

Write your resume (and bio if you are at a senior level). You are not too busy for that. This is one of the first steps we all have to take when we start a job search. The second step is to learn the language and concepts of the field you are pivoting intoCXPA is the best place to start that journey. If you join for $195 per year you will get access to a library of webinars, papers, experts, and a mentorship program that will allow you to connect with more senior professionals in the field who can help you with your education and job search.
By engaging with the customer experience community you might find that you are not as interested in your original goals search. Knowledge is power and that holds true in the job search process more than anywhere else.

 

For the team leaders
We all CARE about our teams. In , Frances Frei and Anne Morriss write that “[i]n most cases, the culprit is good people behaving badly, not bad people behaving badly.” Senior managers and directors do not want to be bad leaders. Unfortunately, many are. Why is that the case?  The answer is vulnerability.

 

Although it sounds like a cliché for those who still have not listened to Brene Brown’s TED Talk, it is worth spending twenty minutes this holiday season getting really comfortable with vulnerability. The hardest thing to do is to get your team together and ask each one of them what aren’t you doing well for them. Nobody is perfect and there are effort awards in life, even if we fail.

 

The fact that you show that you care will make your team appreciate you more. The difference between caring and showing that you care is demonstrating vulnerability. Give it a chance. 20 minutes.

 

For the organizations leaders
In the last few years. leaders have felt the pressure to master the meaning of customer experience culture. Depending on the maturity level of the organization the Chief Officers aim either to implement or scale their version of customer experience culture. Although we all know the theory, very few leaders walk the talk of culture.  The reason for that is that culture has real cost implications.

 

Leaders are struggling to meet the expectations of shareholders, employees and customers. On the surface, culture looks like a cost item that only covers employees. Very few leaders internalize and leverage the downstream effect of happy employees, happy customers, happy shareholders.

 

For the C-suit readers a TED Talk unfortunately would not be enough to prep for 2018. One of the favorite books of Warren Buffett, though, might be a good holiday read. will provide you with eight scenarios of what CEOs were able to accomplish when they did NOT listen to Wall Street. Capital allocation is not taught in our MBA programs and it is the biggest challenge that needs to be met before we start talking about culture (or the execution of culture).

 

Regardless of how you decide the spend the next two weeks, keep one thing in mind – the plan doesn’t have to be fully fleshed out before you start moving. Having the right aspirations and desires to be better versions of ourselves is more than half the battle. If you are reading this, that means you are striving to be better in 2018. That means you will. Onward and upward we all go!
*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.