Customer champion programmes have been around for over a decade, yet they’re still not all that common. They’re imperative to maintaining customer centricity. With customer success champions, you can ensure that your customers and their best interests remain at the heart of everything you do.
This CXM guide aims to inform you about the customer champion role, what they do and why they are needed. If you don’t already have this programme as part of your organisational structure, this piece may make you rethink that.
What is a customer champion?
Put simply, a customer champion is an employee who is genuinely customer focused. These champions can bring alive the concept of “think of yourself as the customer”. To keep an organisation customer-centric and focused on their needs, these champions fight for the rights of customers to make them happy.
The role of a champion is to link customer feedback directly to the business and work on changing the organisation in this manner. This will work directly for the benefit of the customer and what they require. Essentially, these employees work on ensuring the customer’s experience is being improved as it is being correctly understood by those in the business.
A key component of champion work roles is to improve the transfer of best practice knowledge. The main purpose of CX champions is to ensure meaningful, impactful, customer-oriented organisational change. This can only come when everyone in the business is aware of what their customers specifically need. Customer service is granted to be their specialty.
While customer success champions act on behalf of customers as their voice, that’s not all they’re required to do. Yes, they advocate for customer needs and improvements, but predominantly, they work on ensuring the execution of these changes. They have the power, authority and duty to ensure those changes.
What are the roles and requirements of a customer success champion?
We know that listening to customers and the feedback they provide is crucial for business growth. It’s how you can progress in line with what your consumers want, need and require for their retention. So, a customer champion must call out for customer testimonials in order to understand what they need so the business can improve in line with that.
On the surface, as mentioned previously, customer champions are heavily associated with customer service as an expertise. This comes in especially handy when they reach out to customers to gain their insights and perspectives. Their customer service skills must be perfected to answer challenging product queries from customers. In this then, CX champions must too be proficient with omnichannel strategies to meet customers at various touchpoints.
By being such a customer-focused role, CX champions have a duty of care to customers to ensure their satisfaction with the experience. They will also reach out to consumers to follow up on the issue and keep them aware of the situation. Not only does it create complete business transparency, but it keeps a level of proactive service that customers appreciate.
On the customer end of the role, champions need to gather customer insights. As well as reaching out directly to obtain testimonials, they could also analyse data from:
- Online reviews
- Competitor’s reviews – this will allow the business to see what they may be missing out on, or are doing better than others.
- Preferences and purchase activity
- Customer surveys
- Case studies
Skills needed for this role
As a customer champion, there are many skills that are needed to match up to the requirements above. These skills are to ensure satisfaction for the customers and the business is working effectively on the required changes.
These are some of the skills they need:
- Excellent communication. They must be a good communicator to both customers and their team – maintaining professionalism when getting across their advocation for customer rights.
- Problem solving for any and all issues they come across with their consumers that they can provide a business answer to later down the line.
- Keen eye for details.
- Strong interpretation skills. Customer champions should be able to successfully read between the lines as customers may not always feel comfortable speaking out about their issues.
- Good negotiating. Even if customers come across difficult issues, champions need to ensure their repeat business with the organisation.
A great customer champion is able to advocate for customers without pushing them. Customers should feel as though they can trust these champions to take care of their needs effectively.
Why are customer champion programmes needed?
Apart from the obvious necessity of making sure customer’s wishes are worked on and facilitated to in the business, there are more reasons why customer champions are needed.
By having a customer champion in place, your business is emphasising their customer dedication. By utilising these customer champions to gather testimonials and honest insights, this will build your credibility. Providing these raw reviews stand as objective third party perspectives. This shows you can be trusted to provide a fair outlook of your business – the positives and negatives.
In January 2023, UK Customer Satisfaction Index found that employees spend an average 4.8 working days a month purely dealing with customer problems. UKCSI has estimated that this has cost businesses £11.4 billion a month due to lost productivity. Customer champions may be a clear answer to help this issue. If they can truly call for positive change for customer needs, then customer service issues can be tackled at their root cause. Let’s champion customer-oriented work cultures.