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PHOTO: Quino Al

Building a successful customer experience (CX) team entails pulling in members with a number of different, complementary skill sets to ensure delivery of excellent digital customer experiences.

The different skills are important, said Dennis Bell, founder and CEO of Byblos Coffee. “CX teams should be composed of members from across the organization. For example, a member of the web design team and a member of the marketing team collaborated and created a new field in the order form. Their goal is to gather more information to improve marketing campaigns,” Bell explained. “This looks like a very good idea and if implemented correctly, should be able to produce good results. However, after a couple of weeks, their customer service team started to receive angry calls from customers who are frustrated because placing an order requires too much effort. Without someone from the customer service team to provide inputs, this great idea became the worst nightmare of this company.”

Bell added that CX team members should be open minded, collaborative and excellent communicators. Members from different teams must be able to come up with a plan collectively that translates into a positive customer experience. They must all think about the bigger picture and avoid instances like the previous example. A single mistake could cause a lot of damage, so gathering multiple points of view about potential impacts is key.  

4 Skills You Need in Your CX Team

Data Expertise

Data is the lifeblood of most CX initiatives at this point and therefore having team members with strong data skills is a must.

CX team members with excellent data skills have the ability to interpret and make effective decisions based on measurement and management of data —particularly customer feedback, NPS or other kinds of survey or sentiment analysis, added Martin Calvert, marketing director for ICS-digital.

“Edward Deming notably stated that 'it’s not enough to do your best — you must know what to do, and then do your best,'” Calvert said. “Correct interpretation of data, at scale, is key. For many, that means going beyond high school mathematics and getting into the detail around statistics and probability analysis. With data skills, CX professionals can help their C-Suite executive colleagues plot the right path.

Related Article: Not All Data Whizzes Are Created Equal: Melding Science and Engineering

Communications

Another critical skill for a CX professional in today’s digital environment is communication skills, the ability to select and use the right communication channel for each task, based on customer and business requirements, Calvert added. This requires a mixture of technical knowledge and skill to know the best tool/channel for the job at hand — whether that’s acquiring customer feedback or acting on it.

“Building in an empathetic- customer-first approach can ground these skills with a level of emotional intelligence. It’s not enough to select the right tools — handling them the right way given the differences in customer preferences and personalities is essential to driving the right results,” Calvert said.

Related Article: How to Structure Your Digital Team: 16 Critical Roles

Problem-Solving

Calvert and several others we talked to cited problem-solving skills — to deliver customer experiences that result in increased loyalty and more frictionless interactions, it’s vital to understand the pain points and wider context.

“Understanding why there are problems is a necessary first step to implementing fixes but the ultimate goal of the CX team is to move beyond this to craft superior experiences,” Calvert said.

Related Article: 11 Skills and Traits for Customer Experience Professionals in 2019

Critical Thinking

Closely related to problem solving, another essential skill for a CX team member is critical thinking, said Kevin MacCauley, CEO and founder of Upper Hand.

“One of the most important people on the CX team is the customer journey owner,” MacCauley said. “To a solid customer journey owner, one needs to excel in critical thinking and problem-solving. Harder skills the best customer journey owners require are an excellent understanding of foundational CEM principles and the ability to make sense of consumer data and present it in an actionable format.”