Thought Leadership
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April 18, 2022

Five Non-Technical Skills That Every CX Leader Must Have

6 min

What skills make a successful leader of customer experience? 

Stellar customer experience is the holy grail of business. CX leaders oversee the strategy, planning, and execution of a company’s overall customer experience goals. This 21st-century role plays a huge part in an organization’s customer-centric vision. Being in a leadership role means delivering a great customer experience and meeting business goals while managing the performance of the CX team. 

While the role requires plenty of technical knowledge and a knack for software is always well-received, successful customer experience leaders do more than manage a team and solve customer problems. CX leaders are the torchbearer of a customer-centric culture organization. 

Here’s a list of five non-techy skills every CX leader should have in today’s digital age. 

Flexibility

You have to be ready to adapt at any moment in this type of ever-changing environment. Being in a leadership position usually means your days are fast-paced, and you’re often tugged in multiple directions. One minute you’re determining what role your department can play in improving customer relationships, and the next, you’re analyzing customer service feedback. 

Successful customer experience leaders are ready to adapt to any given situation. You should be able to make informed decisions and execute initiatives quickly without feeling overwhelmed so that you can deal with unexpected problems or tasks effectively.

Excellent Leadership Skills 

You’ll be in charge of building a team of analysts and customer experience specialists with a deep understanding of the customer experience journey. So, naturally, part of being a successful manager or team lead is allocating specific roles to the right people. 

A great CX leader should have extensive management experience in a customer service environment. Leading a team requires a unique skill set to accomplish department goals - no matter what those goals may be. While CX leaders should have practical management experience, it takes a unique personality to lead a team to success. The best leaders are often strategic thinkers, self-aware, and prioritize helping others reach a common target. 

Strong Communication Skills 

You need to clearly communicate courses of action to those around you, whether you’re talking to a higher-up or a brand-new member of your team.

Great CX leaders are strategic thinkers with a clear vision to serve customers best. A huge part of the job is encouraging your team members and explaining your ideas, findings, and concepts to others in the organization. 

Keep in mind that gathering the information is great, but it’s useless if it sits within the CX team. Information has to be collected and communicated in ways that foster change. Being a CX leader means projecting, planning, sharing, and executing management functions to provide better customer service and higher customer satisfaction. Strong communication skills are critical when discussing customer concerns with others, like executives, members of upper management, or people in the design or production departments. 

Empathy

Always keep your team in mind. Being on the frontlines of the customer service team can be exceedingly challenging. Dealing with the public is inherently stressful for most people. Your team members will have to deal with a succession of customer complaints and issues while addressing various feelings on the fly, like frustration, anger, or satisfaction. 

As the CX leader, it’s important to inspire and encourage staff to continue providing the highest service standards at all times. One way to do this? Show your team adequate empathy. An effective leader has the skills and emotional intelligence to help struggling employees improve. In addition, listening to your team members and addressing their unique concerns creates a healthier, more productive working environment. 

How to Lead With Empathy:

As a leader, you can demonstrate empathy with your team in a couple of ways. And you don’t have to be a mental health expert to show compassion, either. Simply listening and understanding an employee’s struggles, offering to help or appreciating a person’s point of view, and building a better solution for them helps achieve greater success. Always try to consider a team member’s perspectives and make recommendations that help solve a problem. 

Time Management Skills

Successful CX leaders must be able to handle multiple tasks at one time. CX leadership is about creating experiences that solve unmet human needs - so naturally, you’re sometimes going to feel like you’re being pulled in all directions. Any CX lead will often see a multi-faceted work day, where crucial qualities are decision-making, critical thinking, communicating, and organizing. Additionally, you’ll likely collaborate and liaise with marketing, front-end web development, and product teams throughout the day. So how can you make sure there are enough hours in the day to accomplish every task on your list? 

Taking ownership of your time isn’t just essential to improving your work quality; it’s critical to maintain a healthy mindset at work. Too often, people in leadership positions feel burn-out, stressed or overwhelmed. The best CX leaders are comfortable with scrappy environments, where you can do a lot with a little and where speed (always) matters. 

What’s Next? 

Customers are the lifeblood of a business. Without paying customers, every company would cease to exist. As a CX leader, it’s up to you to develop the skills necessary to better yourself and improve your team to ultimately provide the best possible customer experience. 

The good news is that every skill mentioned on this list is something you can work on. So whether you need to brush up on your ability to listen with an open mind and resolve conflicts within and between your department and others or on your flexibility, you can better yourself to lead the CX team. 

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