They’re young. They’re good looking. They represent a diverse mixture of genders and ethnicities. And, according to UserTesting, they offer the kind of hope we all need right now that the future of CX will be a bright one.
Earlier this week the San Francisco-based provider of customer experience software released what it described as its first annual CX Watchlist, which it said recognizes “the top 100 rising stars in customer experience-focused roles in organizations around the world.”
Reviewing the CX Watchlist, however, was a somewhat odd experience. Though the first names, headshots and company each honouree works for were clearly displayed, they were not clickable. In other words, there was no detail provided on exactly what these people were doing, nor why they deserved to be on this list.
Scroll to the bottom and you see the honouree’s full names, along with a link to their LinkedIn profiles and a link to their employer’s web site. Otherwise, nothing. No details about how they were chosen, who was part of the selection process or how their accomplishments might inspire others. Nothing.
To be fair, I have not reached out to UserTesting for more details, but should I really have to? The company said the CX Watchlist was established “to showcase the diverse range of experienced professionals and how they are helping their companies grow by orchestrating programs and experiences that delight and inspire the customer.”
I understand the basic rationale behind these sorts of initiatives, because I’ve been part of them myself at the various media properties I’ve edited. Whether they are “ones to watch” or “30 under 30,” compiling a list of this sort can be a great way of fostering a sense of community.
They are also a great way to drive traffic. In this case, the CX Watchlist may attract. a lot of people to UserTesting, which by compiling these names has shown a clear interest in the kind of people who could become its customers.
Rather than dismiss the CX Watchlist as marketing ploy, however, I wondered if it might be a useful way for CX leaders to think about their self-development. There are 100 people here, and they work for the kind of companies (Netflix, Google, etc.) that are often held up as exemplars of fantastic customer experiences.
Why not connect to each of them on LinkedIn, and perhaps set a goal of having a virtual coffee chat with some of them every month? You could discover more about their goals, their achievements and career aspirations. There’s always a chance these people might be working for you (or vice-versa) someday, and if nothing else you could commiserate over shared challenges.
Unlike traditional award programs, where all the details about a recipient’s career highlights are cited, the CX Watchlist could be a catalyst for enhancing your professional network by forcing you to be proactive in learning about the next generation about CX talent. Don’t just keep an eye on this watchlist, in other words. Start a conversation with them, and get ready to listen.