That’s exactly what it’s like to work in Customer Experience (CX). When compared to customer service (CS), customer experience is more about proactively creating a seamless customer journey, from awareness of the brand to post-purchase. In contrast, CS is about reactively supporting customers with service/product questions and problems.
This article aims to shed light on the trending and unique career path of CX and how we are heading towards a future where hiring people who care about other people is critical to business success.
Read on to further understand what a CX professional is, popular specializations within the field, a salary comparison chart per top country, and even several FAQs. In the end, current CX professionals may better understand their role expectations while others may see whether the growing area is for them.
Generally speaking, those working in the CX industry is:
Customer experience management typically involves conducting business practices that meet the customers’ expectations or go above and beyond them. You know if one has truly mastered customer success when they tick off all four of these critical interconnected areas, as according to CXPA:
✔ Helped create a wholly customer-centric company culture: From top to bottom, everything the organization does is centered around the customer and a CX advocate ensures this. Among many other things, it means involving customers in the boardroom, to employees being fully engaged with them, and C-Suite strategizing everything around targeted buyers.
✔ Initiated CX efforts that really work, leading to rewarding results: Any plan or action of the so-called CX professional (let it be a CX manager, specialist, director, and more on this later) should demonstrate proven success in the areas of financial (e.g., high ROI), social (e.g., positive word-of-mouth), operational (e.g., high NPS), an organization (e.g., happier employees).
✔ Contributed to a holistic internal alignment: A great CX-driven businessman ensures all organizational units and team members are aligned on the same desires and goals to achieve customer experience excellence. This means the prevalence of a frictionless cross-departmental work experience, the proper installation of training, and CX skills engrained in employees, just to name a few.
✔ Performed small yet valuable acts that positively impact end-consumers: A little goes a long way. The ideal CX professional has always fully considered the customers’ needs and wants, such as active listening to the voice of the customer (VoC), integrating VoC data into new strategies, and investing in the right CX technologies.
Over the past decades, CX has rapidly developed into a more valued business discipline, with LinkedIn reporting customer success as among the top U.S. jobs in 2020. At that time, also, Gartner reported that nearly 90% of companies carried a Chief Experience Officer (CXO) or Chief Customer Officer (CCO) or the like. Whereas, in 2017, the number of CXOs and CCOs was less than 65%.
So, not only is there an increasing value in the field but also an abundance of opportunities in the relatively new area, and how more and more professionals are understanding the rewarding impact such jobs have in helping people.
While there are certainly existing roles that greatly influence the customer experience (e.g., Data Scientist, Customer Intelligence Advocate, Customer Strategy Team, Engagement Creator, Top Account Support, Information Architect, etc.), there are also actual roles that now specialize in CX. Some of the more common job titles today, and their summaries, include:
CX Agents support customers with any questions or concerns related to the brand’s products or services. They proactively communicate using virtual chat, email, phone, video, social media, etc. Ideally, they are very engaged with helping customers that they out of their way to make the end-users happy, thus attempting to create more of a memorable experience rather than simply ‘assisting.’
CX Specialists mainly strive to optimize every customer journey touchpoint for the individual customer and provide positively memorable service experiences. They do so by tracking and monitoring all customer interactions, deeply understanding the relevant communication channels, aligning CX strategies with all relevant departments, and more.
CX Consultants possess a broad knowledge of various industries and skills. Their main routine consists of working with clients to assess the needs and wants of the client’s customers. So this means that no matter the client’s industry, the consultant should know how to identify the right problems and solutions.
CX analysts collect and analyze the necessary consumer data to build effective VoC programs. They tend to concentrate on actual numbers to tell stories, rather than the big picture and are often in close contact with clients. Their role connects customer service with business intelligence and data analytics.
CSMs are like mentors for your customers; they help explain what’s going on before, during, and after-sales to ensure client satisfaction throughout the entire buyer journey. Thus, striving to maintain a mutually-beneficial relationship. Customers can go directly to the CSM for any product or service issues and ask for the right support or tools, including advice on purchase decisions and onboarding concerns. Among many more things, CSMs deeply understand their clients’ needs and are expected to communicate such needs to other teams like Sales, Marketing, and Product.
CXOs oversee and enable customers and employees to have a positive experience with their company. To do this, they create tailored experiences for a company’s clients or customers as well as its employees. As a relatively new addition to the C-suite, a CXO may oversee marketing specialists, user experience (UX) professionals, and others. Some organizations refer to CXOs as Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) or Chief Customer Officers (CCO).
Using 2022 data from Glassdoor, one of the world’s biggest job-searching sites, we’ve provided below a chart indicating the estimated annual average salary per mentioned role. We covered some of the top innovative economies today, including those in North America and Europe. Other factors that may influence these estimates are one’s years of experience, the number of salaries publicly provided by Glassdoor users and economic conditions per country.
While we may have already answered some basic yet critical questions on a career in customer experience, here are some more common questions that one may wonder about.
Compared to previous decades, and across verticals, companies today are placing more strategic value on their customer experience and support teams. If you’ve been in a customer support role, you are likely to already carry a deep level of consumer insights about your brand’s target audience. This knowledge is valuable in itself. Regardless of how long you’ve been in customer service, there are plenty of growth opportunities. Related management experience especially and quickly gets you closer to the specialized CX roles.
No. Some argue that experience in analytics or business intelligence will likely get you started in CX, particularly entry-level. Indeed, data knowledge is critical for just about any business occupation today, many can still find their way into the CX discipline through a mix of product management, some project experience with client success management, and has led as a senior manager somewhere.
CX pros should, at the very least, possess these essential skills to succeed, if not more:
- Stakeholder empathy
- Enterprise intelligence
- Tailored insights
- Customer journey alignment
- Response activation
Yes, attempting to create a successful customer experience is the job or responsibility of every employee.
The future outlook of the CX job market is highly positive. According to Colin Crowley, a CX advisor at Freshworks, there is a shift to specialists now, so much that the nature of CX is transforming as a result of digital transformation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Crowley stated, “some businesses may opt to hire less frontline CX support people, such as customer support representatives, while others use more AI-based innovations and self-service technologies such as chatbots to handle more routine and mundane inquiries. There will always be a need for a human touch, though, leading to a rise in hiring for more specialized positions in CX.” Crowley expects CX to naturally grow into becoming its own industry in the next five years. Read more from the CMSwire article.
With the technology solely built to help top-tier consumer brands raise customer satisfaction levels, it’s no wonder that everything we do at Wonderflow impacts the customer experience in one way or another. At least to say our AI-driven customer feedback analysis system has been enabling global customer-centric leaders to leverage data to improve their decision-making.
Whether you’re a CXO, CX Specialist, CX Support Agent, or others, the Wonderboard is simple for any internal department to understand their customers better. Find out for yourself by booking a demo with our experts.
Wonderflow empowers businesses with quick and impactful decision-making because it helps automate and deliver in-depth consumer and competitor insights. All within one place, results are simplified for professionals across any high-UGC organization, and department to access, understand, and share easily. Compared to hiring more analysts, Wonderflow’s AI eliminates the need for human-led setup and analysis, resulting in thousands of structured and unstructured reviews analyzed within a matter of weeks and with up to 50% or more accurate data. The system sources relevant private and public consumer feedback from over 200 channels, including emails, forums, call center logs, chat rooms, social media, and e-commerce. What’s most unique is that its AI is the first ever to help recommend personalized business actions and predict the impact of those actions on key outcomes. Wonderflow is leveraged by high-grade customers like Philips, DHL, Beko, Lavazza, Colgate-Palmolive, GSK, Delonghi, and more.
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