#39 | DCX - Perspectives and insights on digital customer experience
How I Built the Skills to Lead a CX Team; The Future of CS: Finding the Right Balance Between Human and Digital; Linkedin DCX Poll of the Week; DCX links and the Linkedin profile of the week
How I Built the Skills to Lead a CX Team
As a CX Leader who has been working in and around the industry for almost two decades, I've seen the evolution of customer experience from a "nice-to-have" to a critical component of business success. But it wasn't always that way.
When I first started, there were few resources available. As a result, it was a trial-and-error process, and I had to learn on the job.
So, I read everything I could get my hands on about customer experience, from books to industry blogs.
I learned that there is no single path to success in customer experience but many paths, each of which involves understanding why customers choose to buy a product or service.
For instance, some CX leaders may have started their careers in sales or marketing, which allowed them to develop a deep understanding of customer behavior and preferences.
Others may have started in customer service, where they gained valuable insights into the common pain points and challenges customers face.
In my case, my unconventional path to CX leadership began through business consulting. I found that the most successful businesses clearly understand their customers and how to create value for them.
This understanding is essential for creating a compelling customer experience. With that in mind, I started to focus on CX leadership and have been dedicated to it ever since.
I learned the importance of empathy, active listening, and problem-solving skills and realized that customer experience wasn't just about fixing problems but building relationships and creating loyalty.
But most importantly, I learned by doing. I took on new challenges and projects, constantly pushing myself to learn and grow. I volunteered to lead cross-functional teams, where I could collaborate with colleagues across departments and learn from their expertise. I took risks and tried new things, not always succeeding but always learning from my mistakes.
Over time, my skills and knowledge grew, and I became a trusted advisor to my colleagues and leaders. I led the charge of creating new customer-centric initiatives, and I saw the impact of those programs on our business success.
I'm proud of my journey to get here. It wasn't always easy, but it was worth it. And now, as I lead a new team of CX professionals, I'm committed to helping them gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed while continuing to learn and grow myself.
Regardless of the path taken, successful CX leaders share a common trait: they put the customer at the center of everything they do.
The best leaders in CX understand the entire customer journey: from awareness through purchase to loyalty. Then, they use this knowledge to build accessible, enjoyable, and valuable customer experiences.
They strive to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for their customers by understanding their preferences, anticipating their needs, and addressing their pain points.
Ultimately, you don't need a specific degree or certification to be a successful CX Leader. You need to be curious, creative, and willing to learn. In addition, you need to be a problem-solver, a collaborator, and a strategic thinker.
And most importantly, you need to be passionate about creating exceptional customer experiences. With those skills, you can lead your way to CX success.
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Here are some of the top skills I've found to be essential to succeed in CX
Understanding and relating to your customer's needs and emotions is critical in creating a positive customer experience. A CX leader needs to be able to put themselves in the customer's shoes to understand their pain points and needs.
Effective communication is key to successful CX, and active listening is critical. A CX leader needs to be able to listen to their customers, employees, and colleagues to gather insights and feedback that can be used to improve the customer experience.
CX is not just about making customers happy; it's also about driving business success. Therefore, a CX leader needs to be able to analyze data and metrics to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
CX is about solving problems and creating solutions that meet your customers' needs. Therefore, a CX leader needs to be able to identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and implement them effectively.
CX is a cross-functional effort that requires collaboration across departments and teams. A CX leader needs to work effectively with colleagues across the organization to create a seamless customer experience.
A CX leader must strategically create a customer experience that aligns with the overall business goals and objectives.
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Linkedin DCX Poll of the Week
A survey by Amplitude found that 59% of product managers said their company values speed of development over quality, and 47% said their company values shipping new features over fixing bugs.
Making decisions on where to invest your development resources is never easy. Cleaning up technical debt and bug fixes may not be the most glamorous part of CX, but they're certainly important. So how do you balance these efforts? Check out the responses from the Linkedin Customer Experience Professionals Group to this week’s DCX Poll:
The results showed that most voters (38%) believe that 30% of development capacity should be focused on bug fixes, followed by 22% who voted for 70%, and 20% voted for both 50% and 20%.
The poll highlights CX leaders' challenges in balancing development speed, new feature releases, bug fixes, and the need for organizations to prioritize and allocate resources accordingly. The issue is further exacerbated by CX leaders being increasingly asked to deliver new features and functionality faster than ever before.
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The Future of CS: Finding the Right Balance Between Human and Digital
Today, there is a drive toward digitizing all customer interactions to reduce costs, provide a consistent experience across channels and speed up customers' ability to self-serve.
Frontier Airlines' recent decision to transition to an all-digital customer service model resulted in controversy and criticism from customers and employees.
Customers have expressed their displeasure with the lack of human-to-human customer service, with many travel media pundits noting that the move could decrease customer satisfaction.
Employees have also expressed concern over the lack of human interaction, noting that the move could decrease customer loyalty.
On the other hand, Frontier Airlines has defended its decision, noting that the move will allow customers to get the information they need quickly and efficiently. The company also believes its decision reflects customer preferences, as many customers prefer digital channels over phone calls.
Is this the future, or is it a hybrid experience of human and digital working together? And how do you decide what the best balance is?
The Pros and Cons of Digital Customer Service
Digital customer service has many benefits, including:
Quick access to information. Customers can find answers to their questions online and get them quickly, which is convenient for both parties.
Convenience. Digital channels are available 24/7 and don't require you or your customers to be in the same place simultaneously. Customers can buy your products and services at any time of day or night from anywhere in the world. They don't need to call you or visit your brick-and-mortar store; they can click a button on their mobile device and have an item delivered within hours.
Cost-effectiveness. You can save money on labor costs by using automated systems instead of human agents for simple tasks like answering basic questions about products or services; this also frees up employees' time so they can focus on more complex issues that require a personalized response from someone who knows your business well enough not just how but also why something works as well as it does (or doesn't).
The Pros and Cons of Human Customer Service
With all the benefits of digital, it's easy to forget that some things can't be replicated by technology.
The personal connection between a customer and their representative is one of those things. When you call or email a company, you want someone who knows your name and can help you solve your problem quickly--and if they don't know how to fix it immediately, they should at least be able to offer advice on how best to proceed next time around.
This personalized experience can't be achieved through automation alone; it requires human interaction between people who care about each other and their customers' needs and wants.
This isn't always easy, though--especially when dealing with large volumes of inquiries from customers who may not always be polite or grateful for what's being done for them (or even aware).
And while this type of service might provide an increase in satisfaction levels among those who receive it (which means more repeat business), there are still costs involved: training employees takes time; paying them requires money; making sure they're comfortable working together means providing proper facilities and tools.
How to Decide the Balance
When balancing digital and human customer service, several factors must be considered. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:
The first step in finding the right balance between digital and human customer service is understanding your customers' preferences. For example, some customers may prefer the speed and convenience of digital channels, while others may prefer the personal touch of human support. Conducting customer surveys or analyzing customer feedback can help you better understand your customers' preferences and tailor your customer service strategy accordingly.
Complexity of the Issue
Another factor to consider is the complexity of the issue at hand. Simple queries and requests can often be handled effectively through digital channels, while more complex issues may require the expertise and personal touch of a human customer service representative.
Cost is also essential when deciding between digital and human customer service. Digital channels are often more cost-effective than human support but may not always provide the best customer experience. Finding the right balance between cost and customer experience is critical.
Ultimately, customer service aims to provide a positive experience for the customer. Finding the right balance between digital and human support ensures customers feel heard, valued, and supported. A seamless customer experience integrating digital and human support can help achieve this goal.
Finally, it's essential to consider the scalability of your customer service strategy. As your business grows, you may need to scale your customer service operations to meet demand. A balance between digital and human support that can be scaled up or down as needed can help to ensure that your customer service remains effective and efficient, even as your business grows.
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Links to Industry news, ideas, insights, and the DCX Thought Leader Linkedin Profile of the week
Executives Need to Invest in Understanding the Customer Experience (hbr.org)
The article discusses the importance of delivering superior customer experience and how it requires a cultural shift emphasizing pervasive information sharing and organizational intent analysis. Executives and managers need to invest in understanding the customer experience, as it is not just limited to customer service, support, sales, or IT departments.
Companies need to assign accountability and treat CX as a strategic necessity that is a part of everyone’s job. Additionally, having a formal CX role in place is important, but the responsibility and stewardship of CX need to be part of every executive function.
Prioritizing digital customer experience in the service industry | McKinsey
The service industry has been slower to adopt digital transformation compared to other industries due to its reliance on human interaction. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for a seamless and personalized DCX. The article provides examples of how companies in the service industry, such as airlines, hotels, and banks, are leveraging technology to enhance their DCX.
4 keys to bridge physical/digital customer experiences | EY - US
The four key areas that companies need to focus on are designing for the customer journey, building agile operating models, leveraging data and analytics, and fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration.
Companies need to understand their customer's needs and preferences, be flexible and adaptable to changing trends, use data to provide personalized CX, and enable cross-functional teams to work together.
The article emphasizes the importance of bridging physical and digital CX to provide a holistic and differentiated CX that meets the customer's expectations.
DCX Thought Leader Linkedin Profile of the week
Every week, I share a person's profile from Linkedin that I think will benefit your life and career.
This week, I’m excited to introduce you to Vashali Dialani, CX Analyst at Konobos Consulting out of Dubai.
Vaishali Dialani is a data-savvy marketer and product research specialist with over seven years of experience. She has been recognized for integrating emotions and efficiency through customer experience research, product insights, and more.
Vaishali is currently a Customer Experience Analyst at Konabos Consulting, where she was recently awarded as an Emerging CX Leader in the Middle East. She was also awarded CXPA Emerging Leader 2022 and was among the Top 25 CXMStars 2023.
Vaishali is a frequent guest on several podcasts. She was featured on an episode of The Customer Experience Podcast, discussing factoring human emotions into data-informed decisions. She also appeared on an episode of The Customer Success Coaching Podcast, where she talked about a new holistic approach to enhancing customer experiences. Additionally, she was a guest on a podcast called Transactional to Transformational Experiences with Vaishali Dialani.
Her holistic approach to enhancing customer experiences involves integrating emotions with technology to drive business growth. She is an analytical customer experience professional passionate about delivering human-centered experiences.
By approaching customer experience as an intangible feeling with tangible results, she works to humanize brands at the customer level to provide the best experience possible.
I highly recommend following her on Linkedin.
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