I recently received an automated LinkedIn email advertising a new role at Barclays – Customer Experience Design Director http://www.linkedin.com/jobs?viewJob=&jobId=3159960&trk=fjr_results&goback=%2Ejob .

On receiving and then reading the job description, three thoughts crossed my mind:

1. It is both encouraging and exciting to see that an organisation the size of Barclays has recognised the importance of Customer Experience and the significance of designing products, processes and tools that make customers lives easier

2. Are there a plethora of individuals in the UK that actually possess the skills to do what the job description is asking for?

3. Can you be responsible for Customer Experience Design if your background is purely in designing solutions?

The Barclays job description states the following:

‘You will undertake the ownership of digital design associated with projects and programmes which impact on customer experience. This includes the ideation, design, development and delivery of projects that make the lives of our customers much easier. You will also lead our interaction with digital design agencies. Ideally, you will have proven expertise of Customer Experience having previously worked in a consulting design firm and/or for another global customer-centric corporation. You will have a track record in creating highly creative digital solutions that differentiate provide a unique customer experience and subsequently drive engagement and loyalty; think innovation and collaboration!

A fantastic job description that focusses almost entirely on an individual’s ability to create ‘digital solutions’ to ‘improve the lives of customers’. Barclays want someone who has ideally worked for a ‘consulting design firm’ or ‘another global customer-centric corporation’. The successful candidate will have created ‘creative digital solutions that differentiate and provide a unique customer experience’ – very grand!

I have no doubt that there are some incredibly talented and skillful online/digital experts who have created stupendously sophisticated multi channel solutions that have truly made life easier for customers – the Amazon ‘1-click’ purchase springs to mind. However, are these individuals ‘CX experts’? Are these individuals ‘CX professionals’? Nowhere in the Barclays job description does it state how important it is for the successful candidate to have been involved in the creation and development of customer experience strategy – which combined with customer experience measurement ultimately leads to the understanding of exactly where customers lives need to be made easier.

It may be inferred, but I believe that anyone who is responsible for ‘designing customer experience solutions’ needs to have a deep-rooted understanding of customer experience ‘end to end’ – not just the design of a solution. A customer experience professional understands what it means to create a customer experience strategy; methodologies for understanding what is important to customers; the ability to prioritise what improvements are required and what new solutions are necessary; the understanding of how improving the customer experience will engage with and improve the lives of their own people as well as the customer.

What Barclays are looking for is encouraging and exciting – but are they looking for the ‘right person’?

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