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GuidesUser experience (UX)Career guide: Customer experience manager

Career guide: Customer experience manager

Last updated

3 July 2023

Author

Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Jean Kaluza

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In the era of social media, brand awareness and reputation significantly determine the success of a business. For this reason, businesses require a customer experience manager (CXM). The role of a CXM is to foster an overall positive brand sentiment brand in clients, which ultimately helps their brand maintain customers and continue to grow. 

Let’s look at what it takes to become a customer experience manager, as well as salary and career outlook.

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What is a customer experience manager?

A customer experience manager is someone tasked with enhancing customers’ encounters with an organization. For instance, they focus on improving every touchpoint, from discovery to the purchase of a product or service. 

CXMs manage the design, implementation, and optimization of customer experience initiatives. They’re responsible for gathering customer feedback to improve overall customer experience across the entire customer journey. With a better understanding of customer needs, a CXM can work to improve the services offered by the business. 

Customer experience managers are not customer relationship managers

Customer experience managers are often confused with customer relationship managers, but they’re two different roles. 

Customer relationship management encompasses all the methods a business uses to nurture connections with its customers—it focuses on how the company connects to the customer. Customer experience management, on the other hand, uses the information collected by the company to improve customer experience. In other words, it studies how a customer views the company in order to improve the relationship. 

Another significant difference is that a customer relationship manager uses customer information to drive sales and increase customer retention. Their strategy is to sustain sales, reduce costs, and enhance activities related to customer service. Customer experience management focuses more holistically on learning about the interactions and sentiments of the users in order to provide excellent experiences. A customer experience manager uses the collected data to know what the customer wants and reacts accordingly.

What does a customer experience manager typically do?

Below are the key responsibilities of a customer experience manager:

Ensure satisfaction and loyalty of customers

Customer satisfaction is crucial for the success of a business and is a good indicator of customer experience. A happy customer is likely to become a loyal client. The primary role of a CXM is to create positive experiences that will leave customers satisfied and make them loyal clients. 

A customer experience manager ensures customers are satisfied with their interactions with the company. As a result, a CXM is tasked with understanding different personas and purchasing trends, identifying their friction points during the customer journey, and designing an initiative to avoid the problem. 

Collaborate with business executives and stakeholders

Customer experience managers work closely with business executives to align business goals with customer needs. For instance, during company meetings with business executives, they advocate for customer-centric solutions by recommending changes based on customer feedback. 

A customer experience manager also collaborates with stakeholders such as IT developers and production and marketing teams. Together with these teams, they discuss new initiatives to solve issues affecting customers and ways to improve customer experience. 

Design and improve customer experience

The role of customer experience managers is to provide customers with exceptional experiences. Therefore, a CXM conducts research to identify new ways of improving customer experience. For example, by conducting surveys, they can collect data on customer habits, purchase patterns, and preferences. Through this, the customer experience manager can understand their unique concerns and chart an excellent customer experience. 

Lead customer experience

They lead the teams in designing customer-centric solutions. Together with the product, customer service, and marketing teams, they review performance indicators and customer service trends, making changes where needed. Customer experience managers are also tasked with training service teams on the standards required concerning customer experience and service delivery. 

Evaluate customer touchpoints

They’re responsible for establishing effective communication channels, which can be anything from a company website to a mobile application. Part of their role is to evaluate all these points of interaction, whether they’re online or offline, to ensure that they’re intuitive and user-friendly. 

Crucial skills required to succeed in the career field

To be a successful customer experience manager, you need the following skills:

Leadership skills

A customer experience manager should be able to lead the projects executed to improve the customers’ experience. With good leadership skills, the manager will guide teams on how to tackle customer issues. For instance, the customer service manager will be able to present clear findings and evidence to support the purposes of each project.

Analytic skills

They should be able to collect customer data and analyze it to uncover valuable insights. With good analytic skills, the manager can understand customer trends and develop strategies to improve customer satisfaction. A customer experience manager should evaluate escalated customer complaints and find solutions to their pain points

Communication skills

Good communication skills are required to succeed in customer experience management. CXMs need to speak to customers to understand their problems. They’ll also require effective communication skills when collaborating with other company departments to convey ideas and resolve customer issues.

Empathy and listening skills

Empathy allows a CXM to understand their customers’ perspectives and feelings. A customer experience manager should be adept with listening skills. They should keenly listen to customers' delight and frustration and acknowledge their feelings. Additionally, interpersonal skills and the ability to read between the lines can be the difference between a lucrative opportunity and a total misunderstanding.

Adaptability

The field of customer experience is constantly changing, so customer experience managers should be able to adapt to the fast-paced industry. They should be able to learn new skills and work with emerging technologies related to their jobs. Markets and customer expectations can change quickly too, and CXMs need to stay agile to keep up with them. 

Important metrics for a customer experience manager

Customer experience metrics present how customers feel after interacting with your company. The following are important metrics used by a CXM:

Net promoter score (NPS)

This is a measure that indicates how likely it is that the customer will recommend your brand to others. It consists of a scale from 1–10, and the response from an NPS survey helps you gauge the type of customers. Customers who give a score of 9-10 are promoters, those who give 1–6 are detractors, and 7–8 are neutrals. 

Customer satisfaction score

This is a measure used to quantify the user satisfaction with a product or service. It’s used to evaluate customer service efficiency after a customer has made a transaction. The customer satisfaction score tells you how happy or unhappy the customer is with your overall service. 

Customer churn rate

This metric is used to determine the percentage of customers who stop purchasing your products or services. It reflects how many customers have stopped using your products within a defined period. The lower the customer churn rate, the more loyal customers a brand has, and vice versa. 

How do you become a customer experience manager?

The following can help you become a customer experience manager:

Earn a bachelor's degree

It helps to get a bachelor's degree in marketing, business management, or a related field. This will give you an understanding of consumer behaviors and trends. 

Gain experience

To qualify for the job, you should have at least three years of experience in a similar role, for example, as a retail or assistant manager. You might also be required to have extensive experience interpreting customer experience information. You can achieve this by building experience in entry-level roles such as customer service support.

Consider working in UX

Customer experience managers may need a solid understanding of UX and research principles to do their job effectively. A background in UX will increase your knowledge of the fast-paced customer experience world and how customers interact with brands.

Update your resume

Your resume should contain a summary of your work experience and the specialized soft or hard skills you possess. You could also list duties and achievements from your previous job. Remember to keep it up to date. 

Consider a certification

Certifications help customer experience managers gain additional knowledge of their careers. They also increase the chances of being employed. You could consider completing a certification such as Six Sigma or Lean.

Job outlook

Customer experience is a necessity required for the success of any business. As a result, the employment rate is expected to grow at a high rate over the next ten years. The demand for customer experience managers is high, so the job outlook is positive. 

The salary of a customer experience manager

Salaries vary depending on the organization that is hiring. It also depends on the candidate's skills, experience, and certifications. However, most entry-level positions start at $88,000 annually, while experienced managers earn up to $140,000 on average.

FAQs

Who does a customer experience manager report to?

Typically, a CXM reports to the company director or the chief commercial officer.

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