In today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, the success and sustainability of your company depends, to a significant extent, on the quality of the experiences you offer to your customers.
In a world where consumers are more discerning, digitally connected, and vocal than ever, exceptional customer experiences have become the cornerstone of brand loyalty and growth. Yet, achieving and maintaining superior customer experiences is no simple task, requiring a deep understanding of your target audience, a carefully crafted strategy, and the expertise to execute it effectively.
This is where the role of a Customer Experience (CX) Consultant comes into play. Hiring the right CX consultant can be a game-changer for your business, helping you navigate the intricate web of customer expectations and interactions.
This blog will delve into the crucial aspects of what a Customer Experience Consultant does, and, more importantly, how to select the right one to drive your business toward excellence in customer experiences.
What does a CX Consultant Do?
A customer experience consultant’s job is to develop CX strategies that align with your business’ goals and objectives. To do this, they will meet with customers, senior leadership, key stakeholders, and technology teams to understand the current customer experience and evaluate key opportunities for improvement.
The consultant will then define your company’s customer personas and target audiences before they deliver their recommendations for crafting your customers’ ideal user journey.
CX Consulting Services
Here are a few of the steps your CX consultant might take as they’re crafting your customer experience strategy:
- Discovery: your CX consultant will meet with key stakeholders, and leaders, and external partners to understand your company’s specific needs and objectives.
- Market & User Research: the consultant will research your competitor’s strategies, speak to your customers, and may conduct surveys to understand their perspective and pain points.
- Tech Stack Evaluation: The consultant will evaluate the tools and technologies your teams are using to understand how each of them works together.
- Journey Mapping: CX consultants analyze each customer touchpoint to identify bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement.
- Persona Development: Your consultant will use the data they’ve collected to develop your customer personas so you can personalize your customer journey.
- Customer Experience Coaching: Your consultant will use the data they’ve aggregated to present their findings and recommendations for improving your customer experience.
6 Benefits of Hiring a CX Consultant
If you are noticing declining conversions, decreased user engagement, or lower CSAT scores than usual, hiring an experienced CX consultant can help you increase your market share and improve customer retention and loyalty. Even companies who simply need help better understanding their customer needs or want suggestions for personalization should consider speaking with a CX consultant.
Here are a few ways CX consultants can help your business:
- Helping you better define your product’s value proposition
- Influencing UX design based on interviews with customers and survey data
- Giving recommendations to product leaders for ways to improve the user experience based on market research and customer feedback
- Helping you ensure that your CX software and sales software are working together and that there are no data gaps
- Developing service offerings that improve the customer experience
- Using data and market insights to coach customer support teams
Qualifications and Skills to Look for in a CX Consultant
A successful customer experience consultant will most likely have a bachelor’s degree in business or marketing. They may also have an MBA and hold certifications such as the Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) accreditation.
You’ll want to ensure that your CX consultant has at least several years of experience implementing successful customer engagement strategies, as well as reference clients or case studies you can explore to learn more about your consultant.
7 Skills you should look for in your customer experience consultant include:
- Strong communication
- Customer service skills
- Analytical skills
- Knowledge of marketing best-practices
- Ability to analyze data and make data-informed decisions
- Coaching skills
Signs You Have the Wrong CX Consultant
- Endless self-promotion. Your CX consultant spends more time self-promoting than guiding your CX strategy. You may have the wrong customer experience consultant if every meeting with them sounds like a sales pitch. An experienced consultant will have enough success stories that their work will speak for itself.
- Arrogance. There are many ways to craft an effective customer engagement strategy. Your consultant shouldn’t insist on a one-size-fits-all approach for every business they work with.
- No references or case studies. A successful consultant will have several past clients that you can speak to about their experience, as well as written case studies you can review prior to signing any contracts. Never sign an agreement with a CX consultant who doesn’t have proof of past successful work.
- Bad-mouthing past clients. Just like you should avoid speaking negatively about a prior employer, a good CX consultant won’t spend time complaining about previous clients. If you find out that your consultant was fired or terminated from a past engagement, dig in and find out why before going any further.
- Lack of experience or qualifications. Every CX consultant has a different background, but your consultant should at least have a bachelor’s degree in a related field and years of experience guiding CX strategies in-house or for individual clients. Be sure to vet your consultant’s prior experience before signing any contracts.
Start Your Journey Toward CX Excellence
Hiring the right CX consultant can be a transformative step for your company, enabling you to navigate the complex web of customer expectations and interactions with expertise and precision.
As we’ve explored in this article, CX consultants play a multifaceted role, from conducting thorough research and customer persona development, to influencing UX design and coaching customer support teams. With their focus on crafting personalized experiences and aligning strategies with your business goals, an experienced customer experience consultant can be your key to customer satisfaction, market share growth, and improved retention.
Ultimately, the decision to hire a CX consultant should be guided by a thorough evaluation of your business needs and an alignment with the consultant’s expertise, skills, and values. In making the right choice, you can embark on a journey toward excellence in customer experiences that will set your business apart in the competitive marketplace.