Client Experience: More Than Just Customer Service
In the past, “customer service” was an all-encompassing term used to describe the interactions between sales associates, other company representatives, and customers. Customer service was primary associated with fielding requests and complaints and providing a smooth customer experience if problems arose. Now as retail drastically evolves from brick-and-mortar shops to primarily online stores and subscription services, customer service is getting a makeover too. That’s why you’re probably hearing more and more about the importance of “client experience » (CX) over customer service.
CX encompasses a very broad spectrum of events and interactions throughout the customer journey, beyond interactions with the customer service team. As soon as a consumer sees that first Facebook ad or stumbles upon your company’s social media profiles, the CX has begun—and it lasts long after your product or service has been purchased. CX is comprised of the sum of every single interaction made during the customer’s “experience” with your business. This includes things like:
- Emails sent out by your business
- Social media posts and engagement
- Events hosted and attended by your staff
- Blog posts written to inform your target market
- Communications with sales staff
- The online checkout process
- After-purchase events like customer satisfaction surveys
- Delivery or implementation of the product or service
- Packaging of the product
- Quality of the product
- Case resolution in the event of an issue
As you can see, every employee in a company can impact CX. The marketing department, sales team, support staff, warehouse workers, and of course, the customer service department, all help define the client experience for your target market.
As business leadership has observed this transition from customer service to client experience, we have seen the emergence of a Client Experience Manager (CXM) position. You might even see a Chief Client Experience Officer (CCXO) at larger corporations. The individuals in these positions oversee customer satisfaction at the highest levels. Happy customers increase the likelihood of repeat business, employ customer referrals, and create a competitive advantage only achieved by great CX.
Armed with that knowledge, it’s easy to see why investing in a proven CXM or CCXO can help your business thrive. But what makes for a great CX professional? Look out for these skills when on the hunt:
Most of your client experience is facilitated digitally, and the tools available are constantly changing the game. A CXM who adapts quickly and efficiently can help your organization stay ahead of the curve.
Pro tip – When searching, look for diverse experience with programs and evolving systems used in candidates’ previous roles.
Strong Communication Skills
Because CX involves every department in your business, your CXM won’t be able to handle everything alone. Being able to communicate across departments is crucial to getting things done effectively.
Pro tip – During the interview, listen for stories involving multiple team members from different departments that ended in a lesson learned or measurable success.
Goal-Oriented and Numbers-Driven
The ability to collect data and extract meaningful insights and next steps determines the success of CX. Taking those insights and running with them to create and meet company goals for revenue, conversion rates, and more is what sets the great CXMs apart.
Pro tip – Check resumes for quantitative evidence of prior success such as “lowered attrition rates by 5% over 3 months.”
Today’s consumer is savvy and has plenty of options. When it comes to buying literally anything, finding 10-20 different products around the same price point is a piece of cake. That’s why your client experience must cater to the customer in the perfect way and stand out to ultimately win business.