The Chief Experience Officer (CXO), or Customer Experience Manager (CXM), is a relatively new role revolutionising the corporate hierarchy. Its emergence reflects how 80% of businesses are expecting to compete mainly on customer experience in the future.
Ensuring that an organisation has exceptional customer engagement across all its divisions is at the heart of the CXO’s role. They help to align a company’s strategies with the customer experience, making the customer integral to the company culture.
As the latest analyst predictions point towards the importance of customer experience in brand differentiation, many companies are looking to employ a CXO.
However, many business leaders might also be wondering: will our company truly benefit from a CXO?
The CXO helps to embed customer-centrality into a company’s ethos. As such, an organisation’s need for a CXO depends on how customer-centric they already are.
Amazon, for instance, is one example of a company whose approach is founded upon expert customer understanding and management. If this notion already forms part of a company's DNA and is rooted in its culture, organisation, and processes, the customer experience has no need for a champion.
The CXO is most valuable when there is an internal transformation required, helping to drive better customer interactions and enhance the overall business performance.
The need for a CXO also depends on how much a business is investing in their customer experience. The latest Customer Experience Management Observatory (AFRC-Colorado) found that the share of French companies considered to be mature in terms of customer experience has increased by 11 points since 2016, and is rising to the same level as the United Kingdom. This degree is measured via the Customer eXperience Maturity index (CxM), and based on criteria such as the budget assigned to the customer experience, governance of the customer experience, and the management focus on customer experience, as well as the existence of action plans.
If a business is committing both time and funds to improving their customer relationship, then a CXO may be a useful addition. They can act as an internal customer ambassador between the employees and the target audience and streamline the company’s objectives towards achieving customer satisfaction.
Is the CXO role sustainable for businesses?
Customer experience is set to be a defining trend for future business practices. However, this does not necessarily mean the CXO has a concrete place in the boardroom.
According to a study from The Economist Intelligence Unit for Marketo, 86% of Marketing Directors state that they will be responsible for the customer experience by 2020. In addition, 87% believe that their department will have a growing influence on the company's business strategy, as well as on decisions about technological choices (78%). For 53% of the Marketing Directors, their main goal for 2020 is to win the trust of customers, to build loyalty, and improve the perception they have of the brand. Ensuring a more positive customer experience will be essential to their success. At the same time, whether this will require the assistance of a CXO is up for debate.
The COO, Chief Omnichannel Officer, compliment or substitute for the CXO?
The CXO is also not the only role disrupting businesses in 2018. From Chief Employee Experience Officer (CEEO) to Chief Omnichannel Officer (COO), there are a variety of new titles which echo the impact of new technologies and evolving consumer demands.
Blake Morgan, the American consultant on customer experience, considers the new role of the Chief Omnichannel Officer joining the list of "C-Suite" Executives. With the proliferation of different channels and platforms, she outlines that the COO would have the task of unifying the customer experience.
Their main function would be integrating the contact centre and the technologies intended for customers to create an omnichannel experience for both employees and customers. By introducing connected systems, unified processes and engaging employees, Blake Morgan believes the COO can make a significant contribution to optimising the customer experience.
Again, this raises the question of whether the COO should be a substitute, or complement, to the CXO.
The CXO has the potential to be a powerful tool in your business, particularly with exceptional customer experience becoming a key objective for organisations looking to create brand ambassadors and grow their customer base. However, it is important to consider how customer-centric your company philosophy is and whether a CXO is necessary. By carefully analysing your customer experience investment, strategies and customer approach across various departments, you can determine how far the CXO will enhance your customer relations.