A scrappy band of freedom fighters attempts the impossible, and their hopes and dreams rest in the hands of a “Chosen One.” Sound familiar?
Whether it’s Neo (from The Matrix), Katniss (from Hunger Games), William Wallace (from Braveheart), or T’Challa (from Black Panther), you know the story well. And even though you’re not taking on the evil empire in 2020, you’ll still need someone exceptional to integrate your Customer Experience (CX) initiatives and take everything to the next level.
So… how do you find your Chosen One? Are they trapped in the Matrix? Does the force run strong in them? Is their midi-chlorian count off the charts? (Sorry, uber-geek reference, there.)
Whoever spearheads your customer-first initiative should be truly exceptional, so we came up with a list of criteria to help you find that person.
Another familiar story (for enterprise SaaS companies)
At Wootric, we’ve seen this use case play itself out again and again. An established SaaS company that’s moved beyond the startup phase wants to unite its various customer Experience efforts. The goal is a unified view of the customer journey, and the implementation roadmap looks something like this:
- Switch support service + send CSAT surveys after each closure
- Upgrade the NPS program
- Collect in-app feedback to get a pulse on end-user experience
- Map and trigger different journey touchpoints with the data warehouse
- Segment events and send it all back to Salesforce, and beyond for action
- Bonus points if you can report sentiment
Again… does this sound familiar?
Now, you may be tempted to prioritize finding the right vendors and assembling the right tech stack, but all that pales in comparison to finding the right person to oversee everything. Once you find that person, everything else will fall into place.
Good candidates for your Chosen One
The ideal fit for this role isn’t easy to identify, even for us. We’ve seen a variety of people succeed, from Senior Sales Ops employees to Customer Success leaders, to Product Marketing people.
The common thread that connected each successful candidate is that each one understood:
- How integrated software works as a system
- Timelines (and how to stick to them)
- Budgets (and how to work with them)
- People (and how to manage them)
- How to buy from vendors without doing an RFP
- Have a clear mandate from you, another C-suite sponsor or your head of CX.
Your Chosen One will have the DNA of a future COO. They’ll be a great negotiator with a proven track record for success in the areas of customer experience and feedback.
Why not have the Customer Support Manager take the lead on software?
Where traditionally you might have the head of support run point on changing the case management software, today we see CEOs delivering a mandate to connect the dots across all key customer touchpoints. In this scenario, the Chosen One works as a special envoy, behind the scenes, reporting directly to you.
Why? The new system they’re creating will impact stakeholder functions across the entire enterprise, and this requires guidance from the top.
5 Specific qualities to look for in your Chosen One
- Ability to unite stakeholders across departments
This can’t be overstated. A big part of the Chosen One’s role is to motivate stakeholders to engage and move the project forward. Along with leading team meetings, communicating the battle plan, and holding everyone to a timeline, they will need to evangelize CX.
People skills are key. Your leader must engage stakeholders—the Product team, Customer Support, Customer Success, Marketing and even Finance—and show them how improving customer experience will benefit their own goals.
- Tech savviness
Your Chosen One must be able to evaluate the current capabilities of all the software platforms in use and under consideration. They must envision what’s required to meet project goals and fill the gaps, pushing for solutions and features that might not even exist yet.
- A keen eye on the strategic goal
The tactical goal of this project is to define and implement systems and processes, but at its core, this is about the relationship you have with each and every customer. When your champion can empathize with your customers and end-users, they will make tactical decisions to improve customer experience… and your bottom line!
- A natural project manager
Your Chosen One must be able to lay out a timeline that breaks the project into phases and orchestrate all the pieces, budgeting end-to-end. Then they must, of course, have the strength and confidence to keep everyone on track, helping them keep their eyes on the prize.
- A procurement mindset
No one would argue that the right software platforms won’t accelerate business outcomes. At the same time, companies are rightly wary of the overspending on technology. Your Chosen One needs to understand how to make trade-offs and deliver an integrated technology stack that is cost-effective but still gets the job done.
Use case: A fully integrated CX initiative
Once you’ve got your Chosen One, pass this blog post along to them and tell them to pay particular attention to this section—so they’ve got a rough idea of what a fully integrated, well-run CX initiative looks like.
Collecting CX journey feedback (2-4 touchpoints)
- Relationship: NPS surveys in-app, from web, and via email
- Onboarding ease: Customer Effort Score surveys following Pendo or WalkMe onboarding tour (via Segment event data or Salesforce Workflows)
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys after Zendesk or Service Cloud case closure (optional)
- Product Satisfaction (PSAT) after feature use (optional)
Closing the Loop with Customers
- Empower the front line. Integrate each customer experience outcome to Salesforce in real-time (and later to your Customer Success platform).
- Activate happy customers. Send referral and review requests via Marketo, Hubspot, or a customer communication platform like Intercom.
Analysis & Strategic Impact
- Go beyond the score. Turn qualitative feedback into a roadmap for CX improvement. Create text analytics dashboards and reporting tailored to each team (Support, Success, Product, etc) in your CX platform, such as Wootric.
- Drive strategic action. Unify feedback sources into your CX platform creating a central Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) repository for analysis.
- Incorporate CX in business analysis by exporting metrics and metadata to your data lake/BI tool.
A tech stack scenario we see a lot…
Existing: Salesforce CRM, Marketo
Purchased or upgraded last 6 months: Zendesk or Service Cloud, Pendo, Looker, Wootric
Evaluating: Segment, and Gainsight
Note that a CX management platform that plays well with new and existing systems is key.
Keeping everything on track
If you’re reading this, you’re either a CEO/other C-suite executive, or you’re an exceptionally talented up-and-comer in whom the CEO has placed their trust. Whether you’re Neo or Morpheus… Luke or Yoda… the key to a successful implementation is an open-door communication policy.
The CEO must be open with their Chosen One about concerns and red flags, and they should also be willing to celebrate the successes along the way. Similarly, the Chosen One must be honest about roadblocks, points of contention among stakeholders, budgetary limitations, and hiccups that occur on the path to success.
Remember, a fully integrated, fully functioning CX system is no simple feat. There are lots of moving parts and numerous possible points-of-failure. As Snoop Dogg once said, “You knew the job was dangerous when you took it.”
The good news? If you do it right, you’ll have your finger on the pulse of your customers’ experience, and that will enable you to build better products, ensure customers achieve success, and make your customers’ lives easier. And that will supercharge your bottom line.
Aric Martinez is Director of Enterprise Sales at Wootric.
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