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We’ve compiled this list of frequently asked questions to help you understand what it’s like to start a new and dynamic career in the field of Customer Experience.
Customer Experience refers to how customers interact with your business at every point in the customer journey, from the first moment they become aware of your brand on social media, to the service they receive from your customer support team.
Built around the principles of Human-Centred Design, Customer Experience is not just a set of actions, but also aims to connect with your customers’ feelings and needs. At every customer touchpoint, the business decisions you make will influence your customers’ emotional responses to your brand and whether or not you live up to their expectations.
Customer Experience is all about strategically planning and optimising every single interaction your customers have with your brand, leading to unforgettable experiences and a loyal customer base.
As well as the features of a product or service itself, customers often differentiate brands based on their all round experiences with a brand. Customers want to feel connected to the brands they use and, more often than not, will only buy from businesses that take the time to truly understand them.
All this means businesses are implementing customer-centric Customer Experience strategies to deliver personalised, pleasing interactions at every customer touchpoint. These interactions have a cumulative effect on your customers’ overall impression of your brand, making customer experience critical to your ability to attract new customers and grow a profitable business.
Customer Experience has the potential to positively impact every facet of a business, from a marketing team aiming to understand the customer’s motivations, to a software team tasked with building a user-friendly website. Ultimately, Customer Experience can shine a light on how you should structure and run your entire business.
A role in CX is multifaceted and normally brings a wide range of responsibilities. Although no two roles will ever be the same, some of the day-to-day tasks that go into being a CX specialist include:
With many businesses now recognising the need to carefully plan how customers will interact with their brand, it’s commonplace for companies to implement a CX strategy. This involves putting actionable plans into place to deliver a positive, meaningful experience across all touchpoints. This will include monitoring key metrics and finding purposeful ways to measure the effectiveness of your CX strategy.
It’s vital to build a strategy that incorporates all departments, and not just the folks working in customer-facing roles. By drawing feedback and insight from the entire business, you’ll find it’s easier to rally your organisation around its ultimate CX goal – improving all the engagements people have with your brand.
Human-Centred Design (HCD) is an approach to problem-solving that puts the people you’re designing for at the heart of the process. What distinguishes Human-Centred Design from other approaches is its obsessive focus on the person who will eventually use the design. The aim is to establish whether or not the solution that’s been designed is truly meeting the user’s emotional and practical needs.
In the case of CX, this process begins with empathy for the people who will interact with your brand, product or service. Your goal is to pinpoint the kinds of experiences they find most desirable, the problems they need solving, and any pain points they’re keen to avoid.
CX specialists favour the Human-Centred Design process because:
By continually validating, refining and improving your CX strategy through a lens of Human-Centred Design, you can discover the root causes of your customers’ knottiest problems and arrive at tailored CX solutions.
What is a customer journey map?
Customer journey mapping is the process of creating a visual story of your customers’ interactions with your brand. You’ll need to be able to map out the customer’s experience as they progress through all the touchpoints, from initial contact and purchase to long-term loyalty and brand advocacy.
Customer journey mapping helps you to see and experience your business from the customer’s perspective, so you can plan interactions that truly satisfy their needs. Customer journey mapping is a crucial component of the research stage when devising your CX strategy.
Customer journey maps can be used throughout an entire organisation, helping the content team determine what information the customer needs most, or informing the marketing team about the kinds of people that make up their target audience.
What are customer personas?
Before you can give your customers the experience they really want, you first need to have a clearly defined sense of who they are. Customer personas help you better understand the people engaging with your brand.
The most accurate customer personas are based on market research and insights you gather from your actual customer base (this might come from sales data, surveys, interviews, etc.). Details incorporated into customer personas might include gender, age, professional background and geographical location, as well as broader specifications surrounding their motivations for using your product or service and the problem they are trying to solve.
With a detailed understanding of the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of the people who make up your market, you’ll be able to personalise your all round brand experience and provide customers with the most satisfying outcomes possible.
Today’s CX specialists rely on an ever-expanding array of software to help them go about their work more effectively and efficiently.
Though there are a broad range of tools and platforms on the market designed specifically for people working in CX, we’ve rounded a handful that many CX professionals use from one day to the next.
Zendesk is one of the most popular CX tools available, offering four products in one cloud-based package: support, guide, chat and talk. Between them, you can do everything from building a customer service portal, to giving your employees a self-service bank of customer service advice. It also offers live chat, a sales CRM function, analytics and reporting, and can be integrated with applications like Salesforce and Google Analytics.
Salesforce is a suite of software products that helps marketing, sales and IT teams connect with their customers. The Salesforce CRM has the capacity to bring together masses of customer data, enabling businesses to closely track customer activity. Insights drawn from Salesforce can be used to build stronger customer relationships, improve customer service, speed up response times, and personalise communications, all of which can optimise the customer experience.
Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer support platform that provides a help desk dashboard, an in-built customer chat function and support tools for customer service agents. Powered by AI, Freshdesk’s solutions evolve with the demands of your customers. Freshdesk is a popular choice among businesses aiming to increase customer engagement and maintain positive customer interactions as they scale.
A successful CX specialist will draw on a variety of hard and soft skills when completing their day-to-day work. The most in-demand skills that anybody aspiring to work in CX should aim to develop include:
Before you can meet your customer’s needs and deliver a satisfying brand experience, first you need to listen to your customers and empathise. Empathy and listening might be the most important skills in CX, determining your ability to really understand your customers wants, needs and potential frustrations. Without this understanding, you’ll never give them a satisfying customer experience.
CX professionals use qualitative and quantitative data to build sound, well-informed CX strategies that are based on hard insights. You might need to interpret customer feedback, which could entail sifting through masses of data, while you’ll also need to carefully listen to customer interviews and pinpoint any critical underlying insights.
Implementing a CX strategy often involves coordinating ideas and input from multiple teams. It’s not humanly possible to do it all alone. A CX specialist relies on project management skills to facilitate collaboration and ensure team members complete tasks within set timelines.
CX specialists often work cross-functionally, collaborating with anybody from software engineers, to marketers and the customer service team. Strong communication skills will enable you to nurture meaningful work relationships and align teammates with your CX strategy.
From identifying a CX opportunity, to implementing a plan and refining it based on customer feedback, CX specialists are all about thinking strategically. People tasked with improving CX rely on their strategic skills to ensure that all teams, infrastructure and resources are focused on a CX vision.
Inevitably, a range of choices have to be made when leading a CX strategy. CX specialists have to be able to weigh-up options, anticipate probable outcomes and make wise decisions that positively impact a brand.
There are a variety of reasons to choose a career in CX. First and foremost, it’s a profession that’s in high demand. These days, businesses in every industry understand that placing the customer’s needs first is a surefire way to be competitive.
Before you embark on becoming a CX specialist, it’s useful to have a clear picture of what the average career path might look like.
Here’s an example of a typical Customer Experience career pathway, broken down into three simple steps:
Step 1: Land an entry-level CX role
Most Customer Experience careers are kickstarted with an entry-level position. Larger organisations will often hire Associate Customer Experience specialists, who are often freshly qualified in the field.
Some of an Associate Customer Experience specialist’s responsibilities include:
Step 2: Land a mid-level Customer Experience role
The next step in your career might entail landing a mid-level role as a full blown CX specialist. Your typical day-to-day responsibilities might include:
Step 3: Land a senior-level Customer Experience role
Once you’ve accumulated roughly 3-5 years of experience in a mid-level position, you’ll have the chance to move up to the role of a senior CX Expert. At this level, your work will become much more strategic, relying on your ability to coordinate the efforts of different teams across a business. You’ll be taking on more serious responsibilities, which include:
Delivering amazing customer experiences is one of the best ways to drive sales and build long-term business value. It’s no surprise that CX skills are highly sought after in most industries. A whopping 56% of business executives in APAC countries, including Australia, say that developing a strategy to improve customer experience is one of their top priorities.
There are currently over 6,648 Australian CX specialist roles available on Seek (October 2022).
It’s also worth remembering that CX capabilities are in demand globally, so wherever you find yourself living, you’ll have work experience and a resume that employers are hunting for.
The pay opportunities for Australian Customer Experience specialists are representative of a role that’s in high demand across a number of industries:
Talent.com records the average Customer Experience salary in Australia at $91,019 per year (or $46.68 per hour).
There’s also a good chance you’ll find working in Customer Experience highly rewarding, particularly at the top end of the profession, with Customer Experience Managers scoring a perfect 5 out of 5 for job satisfaction.
Even for a complete beginner, picking up CX is not as hard as you might think. That said, it’s important you begin with a strong motivation to connect with your customers, think strategically and collaborate with other teams. You’ll need to learn how to:
If you’re aiming to get a foothold in the profession, you should consider earning a formal certification in CX. It will be difficult to secure your first role without this, since so many other candidates will have a certified skillset.
There are many options when it comes to qualifying in CX. Most employers favour practical skills and a strong portfolio, which means more people are enrolling in condensed bootcamp-style courses, which quickly prepare graduates for the industry. These courses focus on the hands-on techniques and tangible skills that today’s CX specialists need to make an impact in the field.
Academy Xi offers practical, industry-recognised training that’s designed for digital careers.
Whatever your starting point, our CX courses offer you the chance to:
Whatever your goals and lifestyle, Academy Xi has a course that’s perfectly suited:
Not sure which course is right for you? Chat to a course advisor and we’ll help you find the perfect match.
Want to discuss your transferable skills and training options? Chat to a course advisor today. We’ll help you to find the perfect course so you can kickstart a career in the fight against cyber crime.