The proliferation of firms and individuals offering customer experience consulting services makes it difficult for organizations to make the right selection. After conducting over 200 projects around the world, we have learned the criteria that are crucial for a great customer experience consulting project and how to best set up a customer consulting project that will empower your organization to achieve your goals.
It is imperative to understand the objectives and goals of your customer experience project first. These goals and definitions will make it easier to determine the type of customer consultant you need.
- Are you venturing into a customer experience mindset project with a small budget, or are you launching a true transformation that will require a customer experience consultant who can demonstrate a track record of success?
- How will you measure the outcomes of your customer experience project? How would you know you have succeeded?
- What will you hold your customer experience consultant accountable to?
- Project completion?
- NPS score?
The more defined your objectives, the clearer it will be as to what type of your customer experience consultant you may require.
The industry is divided into several types of customer experience consultants. Here is a high-level categorization to guide your search for the right customer experience consultant for your project.
- The Cheerleader – Many ex-CX professionals deliver coaching and workshop support services. They are an excellent solution for the CCO who is looking to do it all on their own and is seeking some expertize-transfer. This type of customer experience consultant is accountable for a workshop or keynote execution.
- The Digital CX Players – These firms specialize in digital transformation and developing digital experience platforms. If you are seeking the new shiny tool or a cost reduction CX project, they are your preferred customer experience consultants. Hold them accountable for completion and usage of your new mobile and social digital platform. That is their sweet spot.
- The Voice of Customer Vendors – There are plenty of Voice of Customer vendors providing customer experience services. Make no mistake: they are there to sell their VOC platforms. The consulting they provide is primarily focused on developing a strong questionnaire. Their journey mapping will take you straight to a VOC platform but not a real change. The change is your responsibility. If you are at the VOC establishment stage, they might be your best choice to start your CX journey.
- The Technology Vendors – Looking for the next best offer and other CX tricks to personalize for your customers? Then technology vendors may be the right type of customer experience consulting for you. Just like their VOC vendors cousins, they sell technology. Customer experience consulting is focused solely on the technology.
- The Customer Experience Strategy Firms – If you are looking at CX as a strategic move to differentiate your company, you have arrived at the right place. A strategy firm should assess your readiness and provide you with a customized approach. They should explain how they will lift your organization from product centricity to customer centricity. They should lay out a clear path with milestones and steps, which may include VOC and other initiatives, and they should deliver a comprehensive approach to your CX efforts. Those customer experience consultants should provide you with a path to differentiation, not just participation in customer experience transformation. You should hold them accountable for business results.
Customer experience consulting comes in different flavors, and the name “customer experience consultant” means different things to different firms. In the next article, we will explore the criteria you should apply when selecting a customer experience consultant.
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