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What can I do with my CCXP?

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International 2 Comments

In this short and personal post I discuss the question – what can I do with my CCXP?

Someone wrote to me  a short while ago.  Here’s what they said.

“Dan, I have earned my CCXP.  But I’m not sure what to do with it.”

And I thought that he asked a fair question.  So I’ve written this short and personal post to discuss and answer that question.

What can I do with my CCXP?

(For those who don’t know, the CCXP stands for the Certified Customer Experience Professional certification credential).

 

Earning a professional credential like the CCXP

I think that the biggest benefit to earning a professional credential is the journey you take and the people you meet along that journey.

Whether that’s a 4-year degree or preparing for a few weeks or months (or more) for your CCXP.

Not just getting that piece of paper to hang in your office or show off to recruiters.

If you’re just after putting a few letters after your name, then you’re missing out on the most important part.  The growth, development & socialization that go along with earning those letters.

Bu with that said, getting that piece of paper is also a milestone accomplishment.  It deserves to be celebrated.

I still keep my university graduation photo in my office because I remember that day fondly and how happy my parents were for me.

But that piece of paper doesn’t do anything for me on its own.  It doesn’t have magic properties.

I have to proactively do something with it.

 

The role of leadership

I often get to work with Managers & Team Leaders in Contact Center environments.  And when we’re covering the topic of leadership, I like to use this definition –

Leadership is the combination of skills, knowledge and experience that enable a person to inspire others to accomplish a shared goal.

We begin by first defining the shared goal or goals.  What is it specifically that we’re try to achieve?  Because if you aren’t sure what you’re trying to achieve it’s going to be hard to get there.

Once we answer the shared goal question, we work backwards and brainstorm the specific skills, knowledge & experience we need to inspire people around us to achieve the shared goal.

And that can be a powerful exercise for people.  Because in the heat of doing our work, it’s not easy to step back and reflect on what we need to know and indeed what kind of people we need to be to inspire others.

So why do I bring up leadership in this post?

Because if you’ve earned your CCXP credential, I think it matters that you see yourself as a leader.

Regardless of what your job title is or what your work function is, you’re in a terrific position to inspire other people to achieve Customer Experience goals.

And with the CCXP credential, you’ve demonstrated that you have the required skill, knowledge & experience.  The credential measures and validates that.

So now that I understand that leadership & inspirataion are involved –  what can I do with my CCXP?

That’s the important question.

 

What can I do with my CCXP?

Whether it’s an MBA, a university degree or a professional certification like the CCXP, I think you can look at three ‘categories’ of doing.

Here they are.

1.  What can I do in my own job function?

One of the principles of Customer Experience management is that you maintain an ongoing pipeline of CX related projects to work on.

And given the breadth and depth of the topic, it’s unlikely that you’d ever run out of ways to apply what you know about CX to your job.  Whether you’re in Finance, Engineering, Operations, Customer Service, Marketing or a formalized Customer Experience function.

Creating new rituals, rewriting job descriptions, looking at how performance is measured, earning Employee engagement, considering specific ways to improve VOC results, designing new experiences or using strategy to prioritize decisions.

The list of potential CX related projects is nearly endless.

One of my favourite descriptions of Customer Experience is ‘thoughtfulness made visible’.  Of course being a thoughtful person is a great first step.

But for me this particular description refers to thoughtfulness in first understanding and then improving the experiences people go through. Whether for Employees, Partners or Customers.

You’ll never run out of things to do when you see things this way.

What behaviours do Customer Experience professionals display?

 

2.  What can I do with other job functions?

The famous leadership expert, John C. Maxwell writes, “The true measure of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.”

That’s such a powerful statement.

Influence, Leadership and the CCXP credential. A big part of Customer Experience involves working across functional boundaries.  If you’re in a formalized CX function that’s pretty clear already.

But what about if you’re in a more discrete function such as Tech, Marketing or Finance?   Is it still appropriate to work across functional boundaries?

If the true measure of leadership is influence then the answer is a big ‘yes’.

Early in my career when I was in Finance, my big boss asked me to conduct some ‘How to Read a Financial Statement’ sessions for all the department heads.

And when I wrote the content for those sessions, my intent was not to just teach the department heads how to read financial statements. But to influence these important department heads to rethink about the our Finance function in general.

To see us as a trusted partner who could help them.  Not just the folks who nagged about budgets.

When I was managing large Customer Service operations, I regularly asked our company department heads across legal, marketing, finance & tech to come in and teach our Agents about what they did in their jobs and how it impacted Customers.

But I was also giving these departments heads a platform to positively influence our Agents about our company and our shared goals.

Whether you decide to bring in department heads like I did, or develop a series of short talks on Customer Experience – don’t underestimate your ability to positively influence those around you.

 

3.  What can I do outside of my organization?

I think every industry professional has a responsibility to write and/or speak and share their learnings, mistakes & perspectives.  And as a CCXP you are an industry professional.

You serve as a role model for the industry.  It’s an integral part of who you are and what you do.

I know that writing, speaking or recording videos takes time.  And that when you first begin it can feel overwhelming.

But through the process you find your voice.  You establish a perspective.  Your perspective.

And your writing and/or speaking improves.  These are important life skills.  And they enhance your ability to inspire and influence as well.

And finally, today there are so many groups, both virtual and offline, that have Customer Experience as their mandate.  It’s quite easy to find these groups and become an active part of the wider community.

CX lessons we can learn from the Contact Centre industry

My favorite John F. Kennedy quote

Perhaps because I grew up in a proud military family I’ve always loved this quote from President John F. Kennedy.

Using your CCXP credential to serve others. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

For me this quote embodies what it means to serve.  To look outside yourself to others.

As a CCXP, or MBA or degree holder or holder of any number of professional certifications that are out there, I think that looking to this quote as a touchstone can help.

It’s not what the credential can do for you.  It’s what you do with that credential for others.

And when you look at things this way, you’ll never run out of ideas or opportunities to serve.

I’m proud to be a CXPA Recognized Training Provider and help people on their CCXP journey.  But I still believe that it’s what you do with the credential after you earn it that matters the most.

Thanks for reading!

Daniel

 

 

 

CX lessons we can learn from the Contact Centre industry

by OmniTouch International OmniTouch International 2 Comments

In this article I look at the CX lessons we can learn from the Contact Centre industry.

Let’s consider – what CX lessons can we learn from the Contact Centre industry?

There’s no question that Customer Experience as a recognized business discipline is gaining traction around the world.

Over the past decade, CX consultants, practitioners and associations have identified competencies & practices for success – such as those established by the CXPA in their CCXP Certification program.

And the public relations buzz around CX isn’t too bad either.

Conferences, whitepapers, training providers have all expanded around the topic.  As a good friend said to me, it seems like everybody is a CX expert these days.  And everyone is looking for the (right) answers to to achieve their CX ambitions.

But wait.  Are the opportunities & challenges presented by CX all new?

Or are there some CX lessons we can learn by examining past work done in successful Contact Centres?

As you’ll see, I think there are.

Your friendly neighbourhood Contact Centre Manager

I came to CX through the Contact Centre industry.  And I couldn’t have asked for a better path.

That’s because great Contact Centre Managers have tackled some of the challenges – and realized some of the opportunities – that are talked about today in CX forums.

Sure – the Contact Centre is a subset of CX.  And yes – Contact Centre Managers who rebrand themselves as Customer Experience Managers – with no significant change in functional responsibilities – cloud the full meaning of CX.  (more in this in another upcoming article)

But successful Contact Centre Managers  have navigated – for years in some cases – some of the things we talk about in CX today.

So if you’re after some answers to some of your burning CX questions – I’d consider talking to my Contact Centre people.

Here are some examples.

So how did you get into the Contact Centre industry?

 

Example #1 – Are you a Cost Centre or are you a Profit Centre?

For you Contact Centre folks out there – did that header just make you shudder?

I’m with you on that.

One of the most discussed topics over the past two decades has been whether the Contact Centre is primarily a bottomless money pit or a strategic function that delivers value.

To shift the organizational discussion away from the cost-centre mentality, I think successful Contact Centre Managers have been able to:

  • Prove the Centre’s impact on Customer satisfaction and related loyalty metrics
  • Present logical business cases to senior management in the language of numbers & outcomes
  • Provide useful business intelligence to other departments & functions

For CX folks, does any of this sound familiar?  It should.

Because in CX we have to make the connection to ROI.  We can’t rollout CX because we think it’s a moral imperative – an approach doomed to fail.

We have the obligation to link our CX efforts to improved organizational results – based on the metrics that matter most to us.

So if you’re working on CX ROI, it’s worth checking in with successful Contact Centre Managers to see what strategies they used to demonstrate Contact Centre ROI – and shift mindset away from ‘cost centre’.

 

Example #2 – Got a Service Culture?

Nobody goes to school to work in a Contact Centre.

And that means a lot of bright and often very young folks end up working in the Centre without prior experience or know-how.

So every Centre faces the need to transform raw human potential into industry professionals who have great conversations with Customers.

And that usually has to be done quickly – within months – sometimes even weeks.

To achieve that relentless focus on service requires strong culture building practices.  Because you can’t mandate culture.

I’ve seen the best Centre management do the following:

  • Develop a Service Delivery Vision to help everyone understand what kind of service we deliver around here
  • Select & define a focused set of principles that guide decisions about the behaviours we exhibit with Customers and each other
  • Ensure regular and frequent sharing of successes – and misses – with regard to Customer interactions – because storytelling & rituals are always a big part of culture

In CX you need to build a Customer-centric culture.  That marvelous CX transformation won’t happen without it.

But at the organizational level a culture transformation will take 3 – 5 years to succeed.  Assuming that it’s successful at all.

So if you want some lessons on how to build and even accelerate a Customer-centric culture – talk to your successful Contact Centre Manager.

They’ve been cracking this code for years.

 

https://www.omnitouchinternational.com/what-i-learned-running-60-classes-on-cx-values-and-culture-for-one-client

 

Example # 3 – Oh baby, don’t leave me this way

Attrition.

That word encapsulates what happens when Contact Centres fail to provide meaningful work and opportunities for their Team Members.

Recently, I listened to a podcast by Horst Schulze (the co-founder of Ritz Carlton Hotels and founder of Capella Hotel Group).  In that discussion he shared how the Ritz Carlton managed to reduce attrition to only 20% of the level experienced by the hospitality industry at large.

Largely by creating a clear vision and giving people a sense of purpose and belonging.

Contact Centre Managers who’ve  gotten a handle on attrition – and retention – have learned a lot about Employee engagement and experience.

Lessons about the application of purpose, opportunities for development and the use of appropriate reward & recognition programs as a starter.

And while the topics of attrition & retention won’t address all the requirements to unlocking a great Employee experience, successful Contact Centre Managers have improved life at work for dozens, hundreds and sometimes thousands of people who deal with Customers day in and day out.

It’s worth taking a look at what they did.

3 Suggestions for Contact Centre Leaders to transform into Customer Experience Leaders in 2019

 

In closing

For the CX industry, there are some great CX lessons we can learn from the Contact Centre industry.

Go in and talk to the Managers there.  They’re sure to appreciate it.  They have a lot to share.  I often remind people that some of the answers to their questions lie within their own people.

And for the Contact Centre Managers out there.  You have earned the know-how, hard knocks and learnings that have made you a master of the Contact Centre domain.

So when you’re ready – and take the time and make the effort to master Customer Experience as a discipline –  you’ll be in an unbeatable position to take everything you know and get out there and make Customer lives even better.

Thanks for reading!

Daniel Ord

I’m a CXPA Recognized Training Provider as well as a global Contact Centre expert with 30 years in the industry.

[email protected]  / www.omnitouchinternational.com

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