We hear from Clare Abbott, one of the students enroled on the Applied Customer Experience (ACE) short course starting this October at Pearson.

Listen carefully and, at any organisation worth its salt, you’ll hear the phrase ‘customer experience’. Everywhere you look society is measuring the quality of the experiences provided and decisions are being made based on those judgements:
‘I rated this restaurant 3 out of 5 as the service was disappointing’
‘I have been attending this salon for 5 years and always leave happy’
‘Our university was rated top for student experience….’

Customer Experience is growing as a discipline

The term is now cropping up in more and more job descriptions across sectors but any manager who oversees a product, service or programme should be considering the customer experience they provide on a daily basis. Meet or exceed someone’s expectations, they are more likely to be advocates. Whereas disappoint them, and they could be lost to you forever, pushed into the arms of your competitor. We are all customers and we can all name the brands that we love and those we loathe; we can all talk with vehement anger about the call where we were left in a queue for an hour and then passed around from pillar to post.

Yet, the work that goes in behind the scenes striving to create that ‘seamless experience’ can be agonising for those running the CX programmes, we know what we are aiming for but getting there can be like pushing a large rock up a hill. I have spent ten years working in the field of customer experience however, earlier this year I decided to enrol on the Applied CX course – why?

Four fab reasons why I joined the course

Create space. It is so important in your working life to step back from the daily grind and allow time to reflect. This course will allow me to carve out time to study theory, read, discuss and consider with no board meetings, performance management or daily crises getting in the way.

Face my fears. In every project there will be that one technical data related question from a board member that makes you stop in your tracks and doubt yourself. I hope the content of this course will provide a bedrock of knowledge that eradicates those wobbles and gives me the confidence to trust my instinct.

Learn from others. Understanding a customer experience is about how people feel so it makes sense that this course combines theory with first-hand accounts from practitioners from a range of sectors. I want to hear from those who have made CX improvements: what worked, what didn’t work and what they learnt.

Grow my network. Identifying the change to be made that will improve a customer experience in an organisation is the easy bit. The hard bit is doing something about it. You are going to have to change things and, change causes conflict. This course will provide me with a supportive network of like minded professionals who face similar challenges day to day. How have others’ managed upwards? What tools did you use to create the evidence to make a compelling case? How have they wielded influence to agree the required budget? How have they secured support from the CEO? How have they successfully managed culture change? How did they measure the impact of their endeavours coherently?

The best leaders never stop learning. At work, the next challenge is always around the corner, things don’t stand still and the more knowledge I gain means I will be better placed to adapt. So, apply the principle of CX to yourself – always look to improve.

Clare is our guest blogger. She joins the Applied Customer Experience course starting at Pearson in October. Register to join here: www.pearsoncollegelondon.ac.uk/cx