What is the role of the CXO?
“CXO’s are tasked with owning the customer experience—driving profitable customer behavior by focusing on loyalty, satisfaction and retention; creating a corporate culture where the customer is king.”
— Karen D. Schwartz
The chief experience officer (CXO) is concerned with the overall user experience (UX) of an organization. They seek to answer one critical question: How do customers experience an organization? At the core, chief experience officers are data-driven thinkers, with deep knowledge of design frameworks and the ability to lead cross-functional teams (IT, marketing, product, support, etc.)
One could even argue that the CXO role is somewhat of a dichotomy; requiring the ability to think strategically at a high-level, while also being deeply involved in the trenches the customer experience process. Ultimately, the CXO is the bridge between the customer and the organization. As the voice of the customer, they only have their best interest in mind.
The CXO takes center stage
Today we live in a digital age ruled by omnichannel communication, big data and the relentless pursuit to understand the customer journey. It has become increasingly more difficult to win over customers and even more difficult to keep them long-term (think about your own expectations as a customer). In addition, technology has bled into every customer interaction creating a tangled web of individual customer interactions. It is up to the CXO to understand how all of these separate interactions intersect to shape the customer experience.
The goals of the CXO include but are not limited to:
- Determine baseline metrics needed to define and track customer relationships
- Creates a focus across the organization on how to deliver maximum value to customers
- Facilitates the exchange of customer information across teams
- Work with leaders to establish a one-company definition for customer growth
- Implement or optimize customer feedback management systems
With a Chief Experience Officer at the helm, executive teams can better tackle and respond to rapidly changing customer expectations, identify areas for operational improvements and create a collaborative vision across internal teams.
The C-suite dream team
While there has been a rise in CXOs—the role is still new to the boardroom. In order to “get brought up to speed” on an organization’s inner workings, CXOs need to liaise with all the other c-suites namely CIOs, CMOs, and CTOs. Each of these roles can stand to gain a lot from collaborating with one another.
CTOs of software companies, are under pressure to build easy-to navigate tools that provide instant value to the customer. CIO’s across all industries are challenged with managing the internal infrastructure, and providing their employees with simple tools that will help increase productivity. Working together the CIO, CTO and CXO can design better user experiences concepts and frameworks for both employees and customers.
The number one priority of the CMO is the customer. A recent study by Gartner confirms this: “25% of CMOs say leading customer experience is the most-increased expectation CEOs have of them over the last year.” Today, the CMO’s decisions are driven by data, as they attempt to understand customer sentiment, buyer decision patterns, and predict future actions. There is no question that the CXO and CMO should work in tandem. CMOs have a wealth of useful information to share with CXO’s looking to optimize the customer experience strategy.
As the CXO role evolves, it continues to gain traction. With customer success becoming a critical differentiator in an increasingly crowded marketplace, organizations embrace the CXO as an inevitable and invaluable player in shaping the overall customer experience.
Related blog posts:
Customer Experience Maturity: A Few Tips For Execs
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