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Several DOCUMENT Strategy articles have chronicled the rise of customer experience (CX) within enterprises over the past year or two, but CX has really moved from theory to practice recently. Many enterprises are already engaged in three key activities right now:
  • Hiring CX executives
  • Connecting communication projects together
  • Mapping the total customer experience
As these activities become more widespread, let’s consider the impact for you and your staff—as owners of key document and communication processes.

Hiring CX executives
If you take a look at LinkedIn, you will see many new CX-focused roles: You will see the title with the most caché, the chief experience officer (CXO). You will see another cool title, albeit slightly more subtle, at some marketing-focused firms, the chief customer officer (CCO). At more technical firms, you will see a chief digital officer (CDO) looking at the problem from a systems perspective. If the firm isn’t adding another chair in the C-suite, you will find vice presidents of CX as another variation. Other firms are more reserved and run CX as a project from within the marketing team.

As these roles gain prominence, leaders will be looking to those responsible for key document and communication processes for assistance in connecting the critical customer (and employee) touchpoints that you control with an overall strategy for CX. This means it’s time to get prepared. You can look to new LinkedIn groups about CX for ideas and education. Additionally, there is a new certificate available to CX professionals called the Certified Customer eXperience Professional (CCXP), which is designed to create a basic level of credibility in this new field. Moreover, Rutgers University has created the first university-level certification program for customer experience. (Full disclosure, I am a member of this program’s Technology Advisory Board.)

Connecting communication projects
As these new professionals show up in enterprises, most likely, first on the agenda will be looking for ways to create continuity within an enterprise’s communications. We all know this is no small task, because every communication project can be accessed by different customers at different times, in different contexts, via different channels, and by different people within your enterprise.

The CXO will probably start by analyzing how these experiences overlap. One might not readily understand the importance of an account statement connecting with the mobile app. However, with the same data from the same core systems being leveraged in multiple designs, those in the trenches know there is an immediate opportunity to improve consistency, respect customer context, and reduce maintenance costs across projects. It just needs to be in the budget.

Mapping the total customer experience
One of the tools that CX teams use to put the customer experience into context is the customer journey map. In June, Gartner’s Brian Manusama, Jason Daigler, Gareth Herschel, Jim Davies, and Shubhangi Vashisth released a “Market Guide for Customer Journey Analytics” that covered 20 vendors offering this new technology. This class of tool puts touchpoints on a map that can help the CX team improve the customer experience by looking at the communication inventory in a logical flow. Features like journey visualization, customer data augmentation, and customer journey mapping tools help connect CX professionals with their tactical partners that create, maintain, and update these critical touchpoints.

There are new opportunities with these changes
I wish I could tell you the new CXO will want to meet you for morning coffee on the first day, but that’s probably not going to be the case. The department responsible for millions of operational communications per month may not even be discovered by the new CXO in the first year. Knowing this, I encourage you to seek out these new executives. Welcome them to the company and be proactive in sharing with them how your applications, designs, and processes can help them reach their customer experience goals faster.

The benefit for you? By approaching them, you can get on their radar and get close to the CX budget. That CX budget can help you get the tools and access you need to achieve the things you are longing to accomplish—and the things they were hired to do.

How can you locate them? Here’s a hint: Look in the parking lot for the electric cars, or just check your company’s LinkedIn page. If they aren’t there yet, they will be. If there isn’t one, apply for the job yourself!

For more information on the shift of communication projects, look for GMC Software's special session at DSF ’17, May 1-3, 2017 in Downtown Chicago. Visit

Scott Draeger is Vice President of Product Management at GMC Software Technology, a provider of multi-channel and highly personalized document outputs for customer communications management. For more information, visit or follow him on Twitter @scottdraeger.

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