Best Practice Customer Experience Team Design

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Best Practice Customer Experience Team Design

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Adam Ramshaw
Adam Ramshaw has been helping companies to improve their Net Promoter® and Customer Feedback systems for more than 15 years. He is on a mission to stamp out ineffective processes and bad surveys.
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As companies increasingly compete on customer experience, having the right organizational structure and talent in place is critical for success. Many businesses are investing in dedicated customer experience (CX) teams to analyse customer feedback, uncover actionable insights, and drive continuous improvement across the enterprise.

But what does an effective CX Team look like? How should it be structured, and what are the key roles and responsibilities? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, best practices are emerging based on the experience of CX leaders across industries.

In this post, we’ll explore the essential components of a high-performing CX team.

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Key Takeaways for Customer Experience Team Design

  • CEO/CxO support is non-negotiable for the success of any CX program.
  • Customer-centric values should be consistently understood and embraced by staff at all levels to create a foundation for CX success.
  • The CX team should act as an enabler and centre of excellence, providing skills and tools to support operational departments in implementing CX improvements.
  • Operational departments are ultimately responsible for executing CX initiatives, as they have the domain expertise in their area of the business.
  • CX KPIs must be established just like other business area.
  • Key roles in the CX team include CX leader, Voice of Customer (VoC) manager, data analysts, experience design specialists, and customer success managers.
  • A steering committee with senior representation can help drive alignment and maintain visibility for the CX program.

The Role of the CX Team

CX teams play a crucial role as the voice of the customer within the organization. Their primary mission is to analyse customer feedback from various touchpoints, uncover insights, and share those learnings across different departments to drive meaningful improvements in the customer experience.

Enabling Customer Experience Success

The customer experience team should be an enabler or centre of excellence for customer experience management skills and systems within the organisation.

The simple analogy is with the IT or Accounting departments. Accounting is responsible for counting the money, making sure it’s reported accurately, counselling the rest of the organisation on how best to use the money but NOT making sales.  Nobody thinks this is strange.

Customer experience is no different. 

It is a set of skills and systems that is used by the rest of the organisation to improve their individual CX performance. The CX Team should be viewed as “consultants” to the rest of the organisation – people with desired skills and the ability to add real value to the whole process.

Data Analysis Skills

As the centralized repository of customer intelligence, the CX team is responsible for aggregating data from sources such as surveys, customer service interactions, social media sentiment, and user behaviour analytics.

They use a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods to identify patterns, pain points and opportunities in the customer journey.

Change Agents

However, the CX team’s job doesn’t stop at analysis. To be effective change agents, they must also communicate their findings in a way that is compelling and actionable for stakeholders across the organization. This means going beyond data dumps to craft narratives that build empathy for the customer and create urgency around addressing their needs.

Importantly, the CX team also plays a hands-on role in implementing experience improvements. They may lead experience design projects, develop journey maps to identify process enhancements, or create tools like customer personas and feedback templates. By partnering closely with operational teams, CX experts help to translate insights into tangible changes that improve the customer experience at every touchpoint.

CEO/CxO Support – Not Negotiable

The non-negotiable starting point for any successful customer experience management program is unwavering support from the CEO and other C-suite leaders. Without genuine belief in the profit-driving power of CX flowing from the top, efforts to improve customer focus are doomed to die a slow, unbudgeted death.

Full support from senior executives goes beyond rubber-stamping CX budgets or paying lip service to customer-centric values. The CEO/COO must visibly champion the idea that superior customer experience is a key source of competitive advantage, not just a feel-good initiative. They must reinforce this in their communications, resource allocation decisions, and by modelling customer-centric behaviours. Only when leaders walk the talk will CX be embraced as a strategic priority across the organization.

Companies like CyberCX show what is possible when the CEO/COO makes CX a top imperative, uniting all employees in the mission to delight customers.

[Case Study] Transforming the Digital Frontier – CyberCX’s Successful Customer Experience Program.

Tom Allan (COO) and Anita Chai (NPS Program Manager) at CyberCX share insights on how they successfully launched a robust, valuable, and profitable customer experience (CX) program using NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CustomerGauge.

We spent a lot of time getting people to understand this was not just about NPS. From the start, we made it clear, ‘This is about listening to our customers, understanding their feedback, and critically, taking action based on that feedback.

Tom Allan (Chief Operating Officer)

The C-Level Must Convey Clear Customer Centric Values

As a sub-topic, the organisation must have consistent and simple to understand customer-centric values that are genuinely held by staff and senior management. If you can ingrain this into the organisation, the rest of the process will be simpler. Think Disney or Apple.

Roles in the Customer Experience Team

Having a customer experience function in a company is a realtivley new concept and as a result the roles and titles of team members is still evolving.

Newer CX roles emerging include Chief Experience Officers, Customer Retention Leads, Omni-Channel CX Directors, and Customer Lifecycle Managers.

But while the exact composition of a CX team will vary based on company size and industry, there are several common roles that are essential for driving customer-centric change.

At the helm is typically a CX leader or manager, who is responsible for setting the overall vision and strategy for the customer experience. This person must have a deep understanding of CX best practices and be skilled at influencing cross-functional stakeholders to rally around customer needs.

Another key role is the Voice of Customer (VOC) manager, who owns the process of gathering, analysing and sharing customer feedback. This person is often supported by a team of data analysts who help to uncover insights from both structured and unstructured data sources.

Experience design specialists are another critical part of the CX team. These professionals use customer insights to create detailed journey maps, develop user personas, and design intuitive, seamless experiences across touchpoints. They may come from backgrounds in UX design, service design or design thinking.

Rounding out the core CX team are often customer success managers. These individuals are responsible for proactively engaging with customers to ensure they are realizing value, identifying upsell opportunities and mitigating churn risk. They serve as a valuable source of frontline feedback and often partner with the VOC team on closed-loop follow up.

CX Team Operating Best Practices

In terms of process implementation, there are some gems of insight in the comments.

Operational Departments Implement

Operational Departments are responsible for implementing CX improvements. They have the critical departmental domain experience to understand their business better than anyone else. The CX team (see below) understands CX, and has the tools to support the Operational Departments in implementation.

At the end of the day, the buck stops with the people that know their part of the business the best.

Customer Experience KPIs are Required

Operational Departments must have customer experience based KPIs. These are rolled down from the C-suite and go hand in hand with the standard KPIs they have.

The key understanding here is that CX KPIs are not just an interesting diversion – they are profit lead  indicators.  That is the key importance of, for instance, Net Promoter Score.  It’s not just interesting, it leads revenue growth. It goes without saying that the CX KPIs should be connected to remuneration in the same way that the other KPIs are connected to remuneration.

Hot Desking

If the CX Department is large enough, consider having them hot desk around the organisation to become ingrained in the business.


Where does the CX team report?  

This varies but is generally either directly to a “C” level executive, even the CEO, or into Marketing.  Personally, I am less keen on having it roll into Marketing.

As noted above with the sharing of KPIs, the customer experience team is not solely responsible for the customer experience as this will relieve responsibility from the Operational Departments.

How Big Should the CX Team Be?

The size of the CX team: This group does not have to be large. 

It can be as small as an outsourced consultant to the CEO and up to 20 people for the largest of organisations.

Business Silos

Cross-customer product silos can be of particular issue.  Consider banks that have mortgage, transaction accounts, personal loans, credit monitoring services, etc., all interacting with the customer..  These organisations have a particular issue and often the silos will need to report to the same person to allow a customer focus to override the product silo focus.

I've created a step by step guide to implementing an Effective Customer  Feedback process: Download it Here