Customer Experience has become the fastest-growing business discipline in the world. As a result, 95% of leading organisations cite CX job roles as crucial to achieving business growth. Business owners are becoming more aware of the necessity for CX Professionals in their companies, so job opportunities keep increasing.
So if you are working in customer service, marketing, sales or operations, CX might just be the next step in your career ladder.
It’s fascinating and it’s worthwhile.
What does a career in a senior CX role involve?
In an interview at one of our Masterclasses, our Managing Director, Julian Douglas spoke with Loraine Walsh, the CX Director at Laya Healthcare. Laya Healthcare is one of Ireland’s largest health insurers.
Loraine studied marketing in college and then quickly found that it was quite difficult to get a job in the field without any experience. So instead she went to work in customer service for Laya Healthcare in Ireland.
When an opportunity arose she got into the Marketing department and progressed up the ladder to become Head of Marketing for many years. In 2019, Customer Experience started becoming central to the business strategy and a new position opened up – Director of Customer Experience. Lorraine got the position and was able to represent the customers at the “top table” in all company decisions being made.
Here is a snippet of the Masterclass Interview:
You came from a marketing background, there may be a lot of people who are in a customer-facing role, looking to move into a Customer Experience role, what does your day-to-day look like?
Good question, I ask myself that regularly when I’m in many meetings and writing emails. It’s different. I try to spend as much time as possible with the teams dealing with customers regularly because you get the most important information from them.
So for example this week, I’ll be listening to some calls to hear directly what the customers are saying about our proposition, service and products. I’ll be meeting with Team Leaders to talk to them about some results of different campaigns and then provide an open forum for them to say how we can do things better.
A lot of ‘looking out’ as I call it. This afternoon I’m meeting with heads of customer experience in a different company because I learn something from them and they learn something from me.
You’re looking at research very regularly like Net Promoter Score Research – where are you doing well, where are you not doing well? A lot of strategy meetings as well – we have two things now going through strategic change, and one of them is a customer journey that’s going through a big revamp, so there will be a lot of meetings about how that’s progressing.
How do you do the customer journey map at Laya Healthcare?
Everyone does it differently. In the past, we had external support that helped us, but really it’s about getting the people at the touchpoints of the customer journey into a room, we get all the data from all the touchpoints of the customer journey as well and we get the feedback.
Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks of Laya Healthcare first, so you have to think, ‘Well how did they even start the journey’. What does their day look like and really stand in the shoes of the customer. And then you use the data and the member insights and the people who are involved in the process and you literally map it out. It can be as in-depth or as light as you want. This particular journey will be quite in-depth [For the Strategic Change]. Sometimes you can take a lighter view – it depends on how transformational you are going with it. And sometimes external help can be supportive as well.
And do you use whiteboards, paper, or technology? How do you plan and map out that journey?
It’s kind of a little bit of the old-fashioned way of just mapping it out with the old markers and A4 pages. There are lots of tools you can use like Moodle, but we sometimes just find bringing it together and talking through it works for us. Bearing in mind that we’re in a luxurious position and most of our team members are in Ireland and an hour in any direction and we’ll all be together. But it might be different for others for sure. But we find the old-fashioned way works for us and then you draft it up in a more tangible format.
In your role as the CX Director, how important is senior leadership and how important is the fact that they’re bought into customer experience? And does that come right at the beginning – is it one of the most important things?
It’s absolutely the most important thing for customer experience to be successful. You need it at the senior leadership level and throughout the business. I fundamentally believe that if you have culture at the heart of customer experience everything else will fall into place. You might have the best technology, and processes that can help you with customer experience but if the culture isn’t there and if it’s not from the top down and the bottom up, I think you’ll struggle to make it work.
So all of our board members are very customer-centric. Our MD has always been really proactive when it comes to the customer and every single person at the senior leadership level talks about the customer all the time. And we call them members at Laya Healthcare. It might surprise you that some areas like IT and Finance might get a bad rep for not thinking about the customer, but in Laya everyone always speaks about it. It’s phenomenal – it really helps you to get your job done when you have that strong culture.
Do you have and use customer profiles?
Yes. We always start out by looking at what the customer looks like, what their day looks like, and what is the internal data that we have and then the external data about what their lives look like. So we really try to bring to life for our team what the customer really wants and needs.
For example, we sell life insurance and we have quite a young team, and they don’t necessarily know the value of life insurance. They were like, ‘Why would anyone want to buy life insurance’. They might’ve not even been on the property ladder for a mortgage, so they didn’t connect with it.
So we had to describe the customer and their personas, but we actually got the customers in to describe an experience, where they have lost a family member and didn’t have life insurance and another where they did have insurance. So we had to try to bring it to life for people as well depending on what you’re talking about.
Do you sit in on any product development meetings?
Yes, we do. If it’s not me it’s my team. In fairness, collaboration for anything here is key, and there’s a strong culture of collaboration where it would be very unusual for the customer to not be represented in any of those discussions. So for new products and new services, there would always be a customer experience person involved. We always start with the data and the insights and trends and then we work from there. So it starts with the customer and then it works beyond that in terms of innovation.
I’m getting great enthusiasm here. It sounds like an amazing career. You’re dipping in and out of and you’re working closely with many different departments. You’re not always stuck in one area, whether it’s data, web, marketing, etc. You’re moving around the company all the time – is it fascinating? Do you love it?
100%, you can’t do this job on your own. There’s no way you can make a difference for customers by yourself and in silos. You have to work with everyone around you – they need you and you need them. You get information from every aspect of the business. And it’s the same for customers, it’s not just one thing that’s customer experience, it’s everything you do so it has to work both ways.
You can watch the full masterclass here: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/7VSEag8erguQkb_esd7VBiKF9PsmTP0ILaHpSihWqyVx8BJrwjq1f_kGaQ0kP93GQmSBaSaiat-CYfcA.WJVPYib0YIe7Njs9?autoplay=true&startTime=1675252426000
Learn more: How To Be a Good CX Leader?
What are the wages like?
Really, if you want to work in Customer Experience you need to have a passion for customers otherwise you won’t succeed and your customers won’t ever be satisfied with their experience. However, money is important, especially in times of economic turmoil.
According to talent.com a Customer Experience Manager’s salary can start at €49,000 and can even get as high as €84,250 per annum or more (In Ireland).
A Customer Experience Champion’s salary can range from €30k – €40k.
This shows that working for customers and working hard to make their experience better really pays off – not just for the company, but also for you.
If this sounds like something you could be interested in, then enrol in our Professional Diploma in CX today and take your career to the next level.