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We sat down with Kiasha Manickum, CX Design Lead at Immersion Group for a chat about the importance of CX in driving success:

How did you decide on what aspect of CX to focus on?

I was drawn to the world of customer experience by my passion for helping people, solving problems and my thirst for learning. The ever-changing nature of the field energizes me as I tackle complex issues and create seamless, empathetic solutions. My focus centres on designing omni-channel experiences that truly resonate with customers. In the inspiring year 2023, named the “Year of Empathy,” my mission is clear: to craft business solutions that combine innovation with genuine human connection, leaving a positive impact on both clients and customers.

What keeps you challenged in CX/Research?

Diving into the world of customer experience and research, I’m fueled by the excitement of its ever-changing challenges. The speed at which technology evolves, along with what customers expect and how markets shift, keeps me on my toes. Staying in sync with the latest tech trends, like the magic of AI, is a thrilling part of the journey. It also pushes me to think outside the box, adapting solutions to fit each client’s unique story. This adventure is all about blending innovation with understanding and crafting experiences that light up the path ahead.

What was your last biggest challenge, how did Immersion react and what did you learn?

I encountered a client facing the typical challenge of adapting to swiftly changing project demands. Here’s where Immersion truly shines – our collaborative and consultative environment is who we are. Facing that challenge taught me the power of embracing change and taking risks. Immersion’s support, along with the expertise of my colleagues, became a safety net as I navigated the unknown. Their partnership wasn’t just about teamwork; it was about fostering growth and innovation together. This experience showed me that stepping out of our comfort zones leads to the greatest discoveries. Immersion’s ethos empowers us to welcome change and trust our abilities. It’s a place where we don’t just tackle challenges; we embrace them, learning and evolving in the process.

How do you judge when someone is ready for that next level role within the CX space?

Gauging readiness for the next level in CX is a blend of multiple elements. It involves cultivating expertise or broadening knowledge while also refining essential skills like consulting, customer service, and leadership. The journey is best guided by a circle of sponsors. They’re the compass that keeps you aligned, highlighting strengths to leverage and areas for development. This network ensures growth remains authentic and accountable. In essence, it’s a path of continuous learning and mentorship where strengths and growth areas intertwine to propel you to that next level.

What role does innovation play in research?

Innovation is the heartbeat of research. It drives exploration, fuels creativity, and shapes new possibilities. Through innovation, research transforms ideas into breakthroughs, fuels progress, and pushes boundaries. It’s the bridge between curiosity and impactful change, opening doors to solutions that can redefine industries, improve lives, and pave the way for a brighter future.

How does Immersion measure CX success?

At Immersion, satisfied clients and aiding their key targets are the goal. In the realm of CX, it’s like assembling a puzzle. It’s not just CX but a blend of UX, UI, and systems thinking, creating a vibrant customer experience. For me, success is a metrics treasure hunt; CES, churn rate, retention rate, and customer lifetime value are some of the key metrics to measure success. They unite to paint a broad CX picture. But here’s the twist – it’s not just a one-time snapshot. We journey through time, tracking, measuring, and analysing these metrics. This helps us uncover trends and elevate CX even more. So, measuring CX success is a continuous voyage to enhance customer experience.

How does your role influence the cross-functional and multi-disciplined way in which Immersion works?

At Immersion, every discipline collaborates like a finely tuned orchestra. My role in CX establishes the holistic view of the client-brand relationship, amplified by seamless and valuable UX, and elevated through UI’s visual identity and interaction design. CX shapes the overarching view, UX hones the journey, and UI adds the visual dimension. It’s a harmonious symphony of collaboration, where each element contributes to crafting impactful and unforgettable experiences.

How does research contribute strategically to the Immersion’s success?

Research is the strategic backbone of Immersion’s success. It provides insights into trends, customer preferences, and emerging opportunities. By analysing data, we make informed decisions and swiftly adapt to changes. Research refines our products and services to match market needs, while deepening our understanding of our customers. It’s the compass guiding our growth, connecting us with the pulse of our clients and propelling us toward success.

How do companies currently view the role of a “CX Researcher”? Should this change, how should we be viewing CX Researcher within organisations?

Currently, companies are beginning to recognise the value that a CX Researcher brings to the table. They are seen as the architects of customer insights, playing a vital role in understanding customer needs, preferences, and pain points. This understanding fuels better decision-making, enhances product development, and fosters customer loyalty. However, in the evolving perspective, a CX Researcher becomes a linchpin, connecting departments and aligning strategies with customer-centric goals. They should be involved in strategic planning, product development, marketing, and more, ensuring that every decision is rooted in customer understanding. Their role isn’t confined to research; it’s about guiding the entire organisation toward a future where customer experiences drive success.

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