Who exactly is the best person to speak for your brand online? After all, their job duties encompass so many different aspects of visibility in your customers’ purchase journey.
Customer Experience is the sum of all experiences customers have with you and they include a person’s behaviors, attitudes and emotions toward your brand. It takes some savvy maneuvers to navigate all your online properties and it’s not a job that just anyone can handle.
It may surprise you to know that many businesses haven’t put much thought into this position. Some haven’t even designated someone to manage all of the components of their online marketing, thereby leaving their online presence andreputation vulnerable.
“Everyone’s job” can mean “No one’s job.”
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your online reputation is “just fine” without your attention. Don’t convince yourself there’s no need to go to the expense or trouble of making sure the conversations about your brand are legit, informed and a mirror of the excellent customer experience you deliver in real life. It’s a dangerous mindset that can translate to lost sales.
Once you’ve decided that someone should be overseeing your online assets, it’s mega important to know what types of skills they should possess before you make a decision on who will be in charge of your online reputation.
What are the characteristics and skills that are required in a Customer Experience Manager?
1. Social Media Savvy
She/He should be a regular user of social media personally and should be savvy in the social environment. They should also be able to tell a story. If they have a blog or write for online media, that’s a great way to observe their skills.
2. Branding and Marketing Experience
Social media is equal parts marketing, branding, sales, PR and crisis management and data analysis. I can’t tell you how many employees I meet who’ve been put in charge of the store’s social profiles and online reputation that have ZERO branding and marketing experience.
Social media is simply a channel(s) with which to engage your customers and prospects and deliver key messages that are relevant to their needs, concerns and challenges. Experience is evident in your message and results.
3. Ability to Recognize Leads
Social media and online review sites are places where people share their experiences and opinions. Often during those conversations, questions will arise. As a savvy Customer Experience Manager, their job is to recognize those opportunities as leads and treat them as though the person was physically in front of them.
Prospects ask questions. Answer their question then pose another that will help them think through their decision and lead them to the sale. These are the tenets of consultative sales but to the buyer, it’s advocacy.
4. Emotional Maturity
Your Customer Experience Manager must have the ability to maintain perspective and above all, not take things personally.
5. Empathy and Patience
The act of putting yourself in your customers’ shoes helps a great deal with understanding their needs and addressing them accordingly. Patience goes a long way when responding to negative reviews.
6. Clear, Concise, Professional
Messages from your brand are representative of the experience a buyer can expect. Reviews are examined to further a buyer’s knowledge. Poorly written responses or robot-sounding corporate speak are not going to help you. In fact, they can damage any goodwill you’ve earned because it looks like you don’t care.
7. Industry Experience a Plus
While it’s an added bonus that your candidate has experience in your industry, it’s not a requirement. An overview of operations and an immersive trek into company culture will go far. With a high empathy quotient, she/he will quickly get up to speed on how the industry works.
8. Able to Resolve – Not Inflame
The ability to balance a timely response with a reasoned response fosters resolution. Inflammatory remarks and behavior don’t do anyone any good. Remember, your candidate may often times be working on their own without supervision, so conflict resolution should be their ultimate goal.
Last but not least, they MUST have authority. When you empower a Customer Experience Manager they take responsibility and become accountable to see every issue through to the end. With authority, they can escalate an issue, follow-through with the players involved and respond to the customer in a timely, respectful manner.
Your Customer Experience Manager speaks for your brand. Develop and implement an action plan to manage your online reputation and secure it all by choosing the right person, with the right skills, to maintain it.