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Annette Franz

Customer Care

Is Customer Experience Really Everyone’s Job?

Fulfillment matters more than titles

Published: Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 17:15

Pundits and experts alike say that ensuring a good customer experience (CX) is everyone’s job. In fact, if you Google “customer experience is everyone’s job” or “customer service is everyone’s job,” you’ll find endless articles, blogs, and webinars with that very title.

It’s true. Technically, it is everyone’s job.

The spirit of the statement, though, is this: Every employee affects the customer experience, whether he’s part of your frontline interacting with customers face to face or phone to phone, or she’s behind the scenes making sure the website works well, or designing brochures to describe your products. Every employee matters; every employee contributes.

It seems like that’s just one more point proving that the employee experience comes first—and drives the customer experience.

So it kills me when I see so many job postings for “customer experience” roles. In this regard, no, customer experience is not everyone’s job. I’ve seen positions posted with titles such as “customer experience” this or “customer experience” that. Ironically, the postings usually turn out to be sales/retail positions or call center/customer service jobs. Sadly, many of the job descriptions never even mention the customer. How can this be?

I’m an active member (and board member) of the Customer Experience Professionals Association; my colleagues and I are fighting to get recognition for the customer experience profession. This means that we’re looking to legitimize, validate, or otherwise verify or confirm that if your job entails listening to the customer and using what you hear to develop and execute a customer experience strategy, or if you oversee a team doing the same, or if you are tasked with ensuring the entire organization is moving toward ensuring better customer experiences, then you are a customer experience professional. If that’s the case, then your title should have the words “customer experience” in it. (If you’re a consultant who consults on this, it’s fine if your title contains those words, too.)

Instead, what we’ve found is that, with the popularization of customer experience roles and the push to improve the customer experience, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, making it trendy to put “customer experience” in every title. Unfortunately, this simple action dilutes the profession and what we’re trying to do.

The good news is that the customer experience has gained attention. The bad news is, with that, it can also become meaningless. When job descriptions have a customer experience title but never mention the customer in the actual description, a major failure has occurred.

What should you do?

Do your job, the one you’re hired for. You don’t have to have “customer experience” in your title to prove that you affect the experience. If you’re a true customer experience professional, one whose role it is to make customer experience management an integral part of how your company operates, do all you can to stay true to the profession, for yourself and those around you. For those whose job it is to deliver a great customer experience, give CX professionals a chance—they are taking what they hear from customers and translating it into a story to help you deliver a great experience.

In the end, yes, we are all responsible for ensuring our customers have a great experience—title or not. How will you execute?

When it comes to creating a great customer experience, everyone within the company is committed to doing what it takes to succeed.

First published Oct. 27, 2015, on the CX Journey blog.


About The Author

Annette Franz’s picture

Annette Franz

Annette Franz, CCXP is founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc. She’s got 25 years of experience in both helping companies understand their employees and customers and identifying what drives retention, satisfaction, engagement, and the overall experience – so that, together, we can design a better experience for all constituents. She's an author (she wrote the book on customer understanding!), a speaker, and a customer experience thought leader and influencer. She serves as Vice Chairwoman on the Board of Directors of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), is an official member of the Forbes Coaches Council, and is an Advisory Board member for CX@Rutgers.