The Customer Experience (CX) Director: Leaders Who Create Business Value [Quicknotes]

11 October 2017

1597 Original

Customer experience (CX) is THE buzz-job title of the minute in tech. As competition between tech firms intensifies, and companies shift from selling products to providing a service, supporting customers throughout their entire journey has become of utmost importance. The aim of CX is to deepen customer’s engagement with the brand, and ultimately create raving fans who will come back time and time again. 

QUICK PROFILE

Earnings: Varies with sector, but typically heads of function earns somewhere in the region of £60-100k, plus bonus.

Hang-Outs: Often found with customers, or with the team poring over customer metrics

Key Skills: Communication, leadership, strategic thinking, data analysis

Secret Weapon: They never lose sight of the customer

Ultimate Ambition: That people publicly LOVE the brand they helped shape (a la Amazon, Apple, Netflix…)
 

So, what is Customer Experience?

Customer experience can include different things, but it really boils down to how the customer engages with your brand, and the perception they have of the company. CX encompasses everything from the advertising/messaging a firm uses, the products they sell, the sales process, aftersales support or customer care and the reputation of the company in the market. CX drives acquisition and retention of customers, playing a pivotal role in revenue generation.  

What role does a Customer Experience Director play in a tech or gaming company?

In tech or igaming, CX is all about creating strategies to ensure customers get the most value from the service or product, which in turn generates brand loyalty. Customer Experience Directors are involved in setting strategy and managing projects. They’ll typically manage or collaborate with teams involved in the customer journey including UX designers, developers, marketing and communications, product managers and customer success managers.

Giving a great ‘Customer Experience’ is all very noble, but at what cost?

It’s true, customer experience isn’t all about pleasing the customer. (What, you say?!). Good CX directors see the bigger picture – they understand how CX fits into the overall brand and business strategy, and ensure investments in developing customer experience provide a good return on investment for the business, through analytics and interative testing. 

What kind of person thrives in CX?

To thrive in CX you need to be customer centric, with a genuine obsession for the customer experience and a focus on delivering exceptional quality while maintaining a highly productive operation. This requires a broad skill-set: not only do individuals need strong empathy, communication and leadership skills, but technical and analytical skills too – as customer experience needs to be measured and tested. Sound business judgement, a clear picture of the company’s brand and strategy, good project management skills - are also the mark of a great CX director.

What’s a typical career path (and what’s the *Ultimate* potential)?

‘Customer Experience’ can mean different things in different companies, so there isn’t really a ‘typical’ career path. Some Customer Experience Directors have a technical background, others have a less technical focus, originating from customer service or account management. Often UX or product management positions are a stepping stone to director of Customer Experience. CX directors can end up as head of divisions of entire product line, or in the chief marketing or chief product role.

Highs and Lows of the Job?

Highs: Seeing tangible results from CX initiatives (and positive customer feedback of course).

Lows: When internal stakeholders aren’t on board with the mission