Welcome to the CX community: A 5-step guide for new members
Tymeshift's head of community lays out a map of Slack groups, Twitter channels, blogs, and everything else you want to join from the get-go.
Last updated May 31, 2022
I have been working in CX for six or seven years. But only when I joined Tymeshift did I feel like I’d really entered the CX community, learned the ins and outs, and saw how important it is: not just for me, but for my whole company.
Being an active member of the CX community can and will impact your company’s performance: It generates leads and valuable partnerships, and it creates brand awareness when you start getting invited to events, for example.
It will also impact you on a more personal level. Meeting great people, connecting with them, diving deeper into the conversation, and feeling like you’re a part of the in-group—these things make you enjoy your job more and can even give you a sense of purpose or belonging.
So if you’ve just dropped in on the CX scene, let me help you get up to speed. These are five steps to get you into the CX community faster and smarter:
Follow thought leaders and opinion shapers
Inspiring people can give you the low-down on the basics, catch you up on the latest questions lighting up the CX community, and help you reframe old questions in entirely new ways.
4 experts to follow in the LinkedIn CX community
Susana de Sousa spent four years working on Airbnb’s Customer Experience. There, she helped launch and grow Airbnb’s European HQ to 600+ employees. If you’re new to CX, you’ll find mentorship programs and job opportunities to keep you advancing through your career.
Putting the “customer” in customer experience, Annette Franz might be LinkedIn’s most-read CX writer. You’ll follow her for the short, simple intros to complicated concepts—but you’ll stay for the great podcasts, blogs, and books.
When I say that James Dodkins is a rockstar, I mean it. This CX evangelist used to be the guitar player in a heavy metal band. Now he speaks about customer experience and #CXTech in podcasts, events, and fireside chats—which rocks even more.
Best-selling author, podcast host, and influencer Colin Shaw is also worth following. His style is unique, and the multi-media content is on point. He takes a very scientific approach to customer experience, diving into Behavioral Science (why your customers do things the way they do, and why it matters) and even the new field of Customer Science.
3 people to follow in the Twitter CX community
Nate Brown is known as the best-dressed man in the CX community. Which is hard to argue when you see his collection of colorful sports jackets and blazers. But he’s so much more than that, and his Customer Experience Question of the Day (#CXQOTD) is one of the daily high points for the CX community, where professionals and thought leaders gather to debate and share super powerful insights.
I think I crossed paths with Jeremy Watkin a couple of times at big CX events, but it’s his Twitter account that I check out constantly for all the great content he creates and retweets.
And you can’t be on Twitter and not follow Jeanne Bliss, a CX Coach (or CoaCX?) and one of the powerhouses of Customer Experience. She has a great team behind her and is always on target in her opinions.
Join the right Slack channels
Slack is where so much of the conversation happens—under the surface, off social media. It’s also a great place to get to know the people in the community on a very different level.
Before you do anything else, you want to join the Zendesk Community and the startups community and go #say-hi to everybody there. Make sure you tag me so I can say “Hi” right back. This is the place where all of us Zendesk power users hang out. Having trouble with a feature or need to understand how you can do something better? Ask here and people will be sure to volunteer some help.
CX Accelerator is another huge community where CX thinkers and professionals gather. It’s run by Brown (see above), who is super chill and welcoming. It’s sort of the dressing room of the CX community, where all the main actors hang out.
Support Driven is a community of 10,000 professionals—with a great newsletter as a nice bonus. Its whole idea is to “Foster acceptance and belonging,” which is exactly why you’re reading this article in the first place.
Other channels worth checking out are CX Unite and Future of Saas. These are great places to build your network and make some connections with fellow professionals of the CX Community. Finally, although it’s not a Slack channel, we have to mention the LinkedIn group CX Network. With 500 million members, it might be one of the biggest focuses of professionals in our field.
Keep up to date with the trends
It might seem like a lot to ask you to learn the basics and also start thinking ahead—but that’s where the Zendesk CX Trends Report 2022 helps: It’s an easy, accessible document that will enable you to hit the ground running.
Earlier this year, Watkin wrote his take on the 2022 CX Trends Report, which might be worth a read if you want to see how a CX influencer uses the report to glean some major insights. Be advised, though: There are some major spoilers, so you want to read the original first.
As the name suggests, there’s a new Trends Report every year. So make a mental note to come back in 2023 and check out the next one.
Start reading these blogs
The more you read, the more you learn. Set aside some me-time every morning to read up on what’s going on and who’s getting published in the community.
Most of the CX influencers we mentioned before have their own blogs. I’d like to highlight Franz’s CX Journey—she’s the brains behind it and its main writer. It’s a great place to get to know some big ideas on customer experience, employee experience, and everything in between.
Bliss’ Customer Bliss is another must-read to make sure you keep up with the trends and soak up some insights you can deploy in your next meeting.
Read Blake Morgan, a keynote speaker, best-selling author, and futurist. In her podcast The Modern Customer and in its companion articles, Morgan interviews dozens of industry leaders to bring you priceless insights about putting CX at the heart of your business (“Instead of focusing solely on technology, companies need to remember the humans behind the technology”) or helping marketers understand why CX matters (it’s all about spending more time with your customers).
Of course, I have to mention the Tymeshift Blog, too. Some of our content is more focused on WFM because we’re a workforce management company, but it also features some of the biggest thought leaders of CX, interviews with a number of CX PROs, and plenty of CX content by our own support specialists.
We launched it in early 2022, and we’re all super proud of it.
CX Community blogs to bookmark
CX Network has a wide range of topics and an even wider range of media: From whitepapers to webinars, their content spread is impressive.
CX Community’s Insights gets a new speaker every week to be interviewed. You can watch it on YouTube, listen to the podcast, or read the transcript on their website. My Customer is another of those publications that I’d say is worth coming back to regularly. Bookmark away. And then Customer Think is essentially a big publication with dozens of different authors who cover most everything that is even remotely connected to CX.
Finally, one shout-out or honorary mention must go to Seth’s Blog. While it’s not very CX-centered (it takes more of a marketer’s approach), few people understand what makes people tick like Seth. And understanding people is the only way you can understand a customer.
Make yourself matcha or coffee, and start reading. Taking half an hour to read every day before the meetings and the calls start is great not only for building up your knowledge and confidence, but it also works wonders on your state of mind.
Build your network and relationships like your life depends on it
We’re a community of community-driven people. If you want to make it here, you really need to start reaching out to your peers and connecting with them.
I think I’ve given you everything you need to network online here in this article: the Slack channels, the social media accounts, and the blogs. However, while I’m a huge fan of connecting with people online, there’s also something particularly satisfying about meeting other people from the CX community in the real world. So, keep an eye out for events happening near you—and consider hosting your own.
If you do, make sure to send me an invite.