So, you’ve proven the value of customer experience through blood, sweat, tears and data visualization charts. You’ve been able to effectively show the compounded ROI of CX initiatives to the right executives.

And after doing so, you have finally received the budget and green light to build out a dedicated customer experience team … now what? Or you already have the right people in place, and now it’s time to fine tune your team’s growth and impact strategy. Either way, where do you start?

First, it's important to recognize that CX is a multifaceted concept, encompassing everything from your company’s website and digital offerings to the person-to-person interactions customers have with your brand representatives. As such, CX must be addressed at all levels, with at least one team member focused on each aspect of the customer journey.

Let’s break it down.

Understanding Consumer Feedback Data

As an example, one key component of CX is understanding and using consumer feedback data effectively. That means you’ll need some data-oriented teammates in your corner. Look for data analysts who can also engineer processes for collecting customer feedback. Once the data collection systems are established, you’ll need your analysts to be able to sort and relay the subsequent data to locate areas for improvements or identify new opportunities.

Another example of an essential component of a CX team is a strong aptitude for relationship-building. This needs to be something that shines through targeted marketing and personalized messaging communication channels. Using that customer data your analysts are capturing to personalize email campaigns, sending targeted promotions based on purchase history, or creating segmented customer groups for customized offers are all examples of developing a foundational rapport with your customers.

The difference between the two above skillsets is the former is often considered a hard skill (meaning, it generally requires someone with a very specific training background), and the latter is often considered a soft skill (meaning, it’s something intangible that’s usually difficult to teach and is generally innately possessed by certain people).

Herein lies the overarching lesson when it comes to building a team for a department as complex as customer experience: Know the difference between the skills you should hire for versus skills that can be taught and learned.

Related Article: My Top 3 Lessons Learned as a CX Leader

Ongoing Training and Development

Here’s another tip: You can (and should) hire for specific skillsets, but at the end of the day, no matter what type of skills you hire for, your team won’t grow and improve without intentional training. 

In a field as ever-changing as CX, ongoing training ensures that your team is equipped with the most up-to-date knowledge needed to provide an outstanding customer experience at every touchpoint. By focusing on CX trends from all angles, your team will create powerful customer experiences that truly sets your organization apart from the competition.

There are several important factors to keep in mind when developing ongoing training modules, but one key area to focus on first is ensuring that your team has not only the right skills and knowledge, but also the appropriate training on the analytics tools that can best optimize their day-to-day workflows. 

Additionally, it's crucial to make sure your team understands how CX impacts all aspects of the business, from marketing to product development to finance. By tackling these connection points and thoroughly educating your team on each of them, a CX team that truly delivers exceptional customer experiences at every touchpoint will begin to evolve almost naturally.

Learning Opportunities

Related Article: How to Ace Customer Experience Leadership in Year 1

Technical Skills Do Matter

While the innate, “soft” skills (like relationship-building and the ability to effectively communicate with others) are crucial, they are more difficult to teach later and should be the elements you hire for upfront. That means you’ll need to make room in your growth plan for development opportunities so that your team can hone the various CX technical skills that are necessary for long-term success. 

Some key areas of learning and development to focus on include being able to program automation software, effectively market cross-channel experiences and develop strong copywriting skills for CX-related communication channels, like email campaigns and website content. 

And you should probably focus on the biggest overall areas for improvement first. The easiest way to find those knowledge gaps is by keeping track of the CX data your team is producing. Once you’ve uncovered those key knowledge gaps, focus on those areas for training first. This will optimize your team’s performance and in turn, ensure long-term success. 

Never Underestimate the Power of Inspiration

Another way to optimize your CX team’s performance over time is by inspiring them and proving to them that the work they are doing makes an enormous difference. One way to do this is by giving your team members achievable (but important) goals. Then, show them the impact their completion of those goals had on the overall health of the company. 

By connecting CX efforts with broader business goals, you’ll not only create a CX team that excels at delivering exceptional customer experiences, but also one that seeks out ways to contribute to the overall success of your organization in meaningful ways. 

Whether you're just starting to build out a team or looking to fine-tune your existing team, the tips and strategies in this article will help and are good places to start. 

From developing technical trainings to providing your team with quality CX analytics tools, we've covered all the essentials for building an effective, outstanding customer experience team.