The Key Players You Need on Your Customer Experience Dream Team

Customer experience (CX) professionals understand the pressure to do it all. CX is a relatively new field, and so we are constantly asked to prove our worth and demonstrate ROI. As a result, when building a CX team, there is a lot of pressure to hire the right people; to find the person who truly can do it all. However, instead of honing in on a variety of traits everyone on the team should possess, more success can be found by hiring with a team dynamic in mind. You can build your CX dream team by bringing on individuals who complement one another and serve diverse, strategic purposes.

One thing to note: Many CX professionals are not yet in the position to hire a whole team and have to drive a CX program with a perfectly formed team of one. This is fine. Think about which of these skills you have yourself, at your preferred way of operating, and look to cultivate the other skills. Then, look to your wider organization and identify CX champions with the skills you need who can be brought into the program on a part-time basis alongside their day jobs.

Below you'll find the top three team members that every CX squad should have on board, and the traits that these people should possess.

The Analytical Authority

One member of any CX Dream Team is the Analytical Authority, or the Analyst. This person lives and breathes numbers and is crucial in backing up your mission with hard statistics that are bound to impress your C-suite. To demonstrate the value of investing in a CX program, this person needs to identify and analyze the right kind of data that will impact key business objectives. She should be able to identify an ROI model that will directly link to the company's business priorities, which is ultimately what the C-suite is going to want and need before giving its blessing.

The Analyst is fundamentally responsible for the validity of the measures, giving confidence that the decisions made are based on robust analysis, whether that is Net Promoter Score (NPS), Net Easy Score (NES), or Net Service Scores (NSS). But that's not enough. CX scores are great, but your analyst needs to be able to provide an explanation of why scores are moving. More important, he needs to show how those metrics impact financial data. Higher NPS is great, but it's revenue increases and cost reductions that will woo the executive team.

Last but not least, it's important that this person knows how to collaborate. He will need to work closely with the CX Storyteller (more to come on them below), to create a CX team that gets the C-suite's attention. Once we have the numbers we need to bring them to life, the Storyteller becomes the Analyst's right hand, to add more color, context, and insights to the data. The pair should collaborate to identify areas for improvement and ultimately, tell the most compelling story that will act as a catalyst for change.

The CX Storyteller

This team member will be critical in selling your CX program across the organization. Passionate and articulate, this person has a strong pulse on who needs to be influenced, and oftentimes convinced, that CX is worth an investment.

CX initiatives are typically under pressure to prove ROI, and often face budgetary pressure if they want to grow or even maintain their efforts. If solid ROI is not readily available, the key to getting the C-suite on board is telling a compelling story. This role is crucial to augment quantitative reports.

For years, marketers have turned to storytelling techniques to build and strengthen connections with consumers. CX professionals should follow suit and combine customer feedback and journey mapping with storytelling technologies. This narrative should help trigger an emotional response from both the C-suite and front line, getting them on board with the plan and goals of the CX Dream Team.

The CX Storyteller is often a bit of an extrovert; developing rapport and strong relationships with stakeholders across the organization should come naturally. This person should have excellent interpersonal skills and be an adept listener and a bit of an entrepreneur. By understanding what other departments need and want from a CX program, the Storyteller can leverage her passion and aptitude and make it happen.

The Creative Innovator

The final, critical member to the CX Dream Team is the Creative Innovator. This person needs to understand what a great customer experience looks like, and that's not just about what your surveys look like! It's about the whole process of engaging with customers to deliver on their expectations.

Yes, your processes for capturing the voice of the customer and closing the loop with them is important. It's easy for companies to forget that capturing feedback is an experience in itself. But your innovator must take that feedback and use it to recognize, understand, and help to create slick customer experiences that exceed customer expectations.

This person needs to be able to communicate results and collaborate, to take the insights from the analysts and, (maybe using some help from your storyteller), work with other teams to turn that insight into new ways to approach the customer experience. She might not have deep expertise in the minutiae of the contact center experience or delivery processes, but if she can take insight and use it to help shape touchpoints that aren't working for customers, she'll have a huge impact.

The customer experience is now clearly recognized as a significant addition to the overall business intelligence and improvement landscape. But even the Dream Team cannot do it alone. Even with the perfect mix of skills, CX success is only delivered if we engage the whole organization. You need to think of yourself as the CX coach for your organization, enabling and empowering the movers and shakers across the business to do the right thing. Make sure the insights you provide are solid (thanks, Analytic Authority!) but then get your Storyteller and Innovator out into the business, coaching and enabling to deliver true business success.

Claire Sporton is senior vice president of customer experience management at Confirmit.