Risk is a part of life, whether it’s as intense as going on a shark tour or as mundane as driving your car to work. Most of the time, you have no problems, but on other rare occasions, you might have a terrible experience.
In ecommerce, your customer risks having a bad experience when they make a purchase. The product could be late or of bad quality, or any number of other issues could arise. The reality is that you can't prevent every bad experience — but you can do your best to make them very rare.
One way to reduce the risk of a bad experience is to hire a customer experience specialist. But there are other options. While hiring a customer experience specialist could be the right move for your business, you may want to consider the alternatives we explore below, too.
Whether you decide to hire a CX specialist should be based on how you answer two key questions:
"Can we more affordably improve/protect CX in other ways?"
"How can we build a customer-centric culture in our organization long term?"
A customer experience specialist champions the buyer-centric experience within a business.
The goal of the role is to make sure that someone takes ownership of improving the experience customers have when they interact with the company.
A good CX specialist must be able to collaborate effectively across teams. The goal is to inventory all touchpoints and make sure the customer has a positive experience at each of them.
For example, a CX specialist might work with product design and marketing to make sure that all of the benefits of a product are clearly communicated on the product page of the website. Customers benefit because they can immediately understand the features of the product and will avoid disappointment when the product is delivered; the website helps set appropriate expectations.
The core competencies expected of a CX specialist center on analysis and communication skills. Within analysis, the requirements usually include tracking CX metrics, interpreting customer feedback, mapping the customer journey, being familiar with the CRM, and using all customer interactions as a source of customer information.
On top of analytical skills, communication skills are needed to keep stakeholders in different roles (e.g., product development, marketing, sales, web developers) aligned with CX goals. Such goals could include reducing the customer effort score (CES) for particular shopping activities or boosting customer satisfaction (CSAT).
Customer experience specialists also need to communicate the findings of their analysis and the changes necessary to meet customer needs. An ideal customer experience specialist combines interpersonal skills with the problem-solving skills needed to succeed in a fast-paced environment.
With customer experience as a key differentiator, it makes sense to consider if hiring a professional to oversee this aspect of the business could benefit your company.
Reasons to hire a customer experience specialist include:
Before sending a job alert, be clear on the requirements. Hiring for this role is a big commitment — whether you're looking for a high school graduate or someone with a bachelor's degree. After all, even a modest salary comes with a price tag in the tens of thousands of dollars. When candidates and the team are aligned on expectations, you're likely to secure a higher ROI. Responsibilities will be similar for full-time and part-time positions, as the skills and certifications required to complete the necessary tasks won't change.
Your job description should include:
Hiring is a big commitment. While it may be the right thing to do, it's reasonable to consider all your options. While right for some businesses, hiring a CX specialist might not make sense for your business.
Reasons to hold off hiring a CX specialist include:
Always remember that even if you choose not to hire a CX specialist, you will need to take customer experience into account in some way — for example, by providing proper CX documentation and guidance to all departments and bringing in tools that can support CX.
Ultimately, whether or not you decide to hire a CX specialist, CX is still an area you need to prioritize in modern ecommerce. Implement new tools to make sure your customers have the best experience possible: