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In the first quarter of the year, we are still powered by some of the resolutions we set for the new year, which certainly includes our work in improving our communications to enhance the customer experience (CX). In fact, many DOCUMENT Strategy readers are starting to meet new team members hired to oversee the company's holistic CX strategy. They're starting to look at the impact of the communications that you design, deploy, and deliver—more closely this year than the last.
If these new decision makers at your company are starting to pop their heads into your cubes, visit your production floor, or show up at your stand-up meetings, you have some good reasons to give yourself a quick CX makeover. Here are five simple ways to get started.
1. Earn a CCXP DesignationYou can be the first person on your team to be a designated Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP). What do you get for a return on this investment? You'll gain a survey of all of the terms, concepts, and metrics that leading CX practitioners use every day. When you talk to CX pros, you will be speaking their language. This shows that you are ready to put your work into their context, which will allow you more control over your own projects. If you can think like them, you can defend your position better when you don't agree. You can also help your team to understand this new point of view, which puts you in a leadership position.
2. Attend a CourseIf you aren't inclined to do all that independent study, you might feel more inspired to learn with a group. There are courses that range from a day to nearly a week. For example, I'm an adjunct faculty member at the Customer Experience Certificate Program at Rutgers University's Center for Innovation, which offers a four-day in-person course or an eight-week online program multiple times in the year. If your manager won't approve a high investment like this, you can take a course for as low as $19.99 on Lynda.com.
3. Join the CXPAJoining the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) gives you access to an online community for networking and career development tools.
4. Read a BookYou can also directly access information from some great sources yourself. A classic source that many CX thought leaders attribute is "Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business" by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine. Jeanne Bliss's book called, "Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine," is a great way to put CX into your business model, and Bruce Loeffler's "The Experience: The 5 Principles of Disney Service and Relationship Excellence" is a great book if you love things presented as acronyms.
5. Listen to a Podcast or Read a BlogExperience Matters is a great CX blog with frequently updated content. You'll also get some great top-level interviews from Jeanne Bliss's Customer Bliss blog. The best is Shep Hyken's blog, which will point you to interviews, guest bloggers, and relevant articles.
Still Too Busy?You read to the bottom, now we're here. (That's a weak Drake reference, for any millennials that made it this far.) I bet you have the ambition and time to do at least one of the things listed above, but if you're still too busy, you're just going to have to follow some Twitter feeds. Here are some to start with:
Tweets by Hyken
Tweets by JeanneBliss
Tweets by annettefranz
Take your New Year's CX resolutions past the first quarter by investing in education that will serve you well into the years ahead.
Scott Draeger is Vice President of Product Management at Quadient. He joined the digital document industry in 1997, after graduating from UNLV. He started as a document designer using a collection of hardware and software technologies, before moving to the software side of the industry. His broad experience includes helping clients improve customer communications in over 20 countries. For more information, visit www.quadient.com or follow him on Twitter @scottdraeger.