Customer Experience Management (CXM) takes a lot of the spotlight these days in technical communication and other business communications arenas. In fact it’s a business discipline that first emerged more than ten years ago. Like all successful business trends, it’s taken time to gather momentum, but CXM is here now, and doesn’t appear to be fading away. As tech comm, marketing and customer support try to build their elevator pitches for how they add value to the bottom line, more and more practititioners see CXM as the sensible direction to head towards. If the silos can come down in the typical business, it may the that CXM is the way to do it. So we turn our attention to the practical side of this trend: how can tech comm and other content professionals transfer their skills and move into this growing area?
Back in 2010, Harvard Business Review blogger Adam Richardson defined customer experience as “the sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just in a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer.” Before during and after the purchase of a product or service…where marketing, customer support and tech comm each have roles to play. Richardson also said “Crafting a great customer experience requires enormous amounts of collaboration across groups in a company that often work independently and at different stages of product development. In many cases marketing, product design, customer services, sales, advertising agency, retail partners must all be working in concert to create even a single touchpoint.”
Anyone who’s been in tech comm or any kind of content creation work can recognize that companies moving to a CXM approach, will need the skill sets they offer… at least some of them. Technical communicators in particular often have a broad set of skills that naturally fit within this field. But how transferable are they? Audience analysis and use cases sure, but how about interviewing subject matter experts, writing clear procedures, creating style guides, or producing multichannel content? And just as important, are there skills tech comm doesn’t emphasize now that should be part of package? Take a few minutes to vote in our latest poll, and then provide some commentary–we want to hear from professionals who are facing these challenges now, as well as those who are still just wondering what might happen.