The need for a Customer Experience Officer (CXO) arose alongside the “empowered consumers” phenomenon. As shoppers continue to take control of when and how they engage with a brand, the need to provide a pleasant experience across all channels has become the price of doing business. When an organization names a Customer Experience Officer, the action signals a sea change – a fundamental shift in company culture away from a pure product-focused transactional approach and toward a planning process that’s built around a customer’s brand experience across all the channels through which they may engage.
The rise of the Customer Experience Officer provides a senior thought leadership role which helps shape the organization’s consumer experience strategy. The Customer Experience Officer define target customer segments and identify gaps in the current customer experience versus what customers expect when interacting with a brand. The Customer Experience Officer tweaks – or, more specifically, oversees the tweaking of – the user experience and user interface roadmap to eliminate those gaps. CXOs must be conversant with a wide range of quantitative and qualitative data sets which influence decision making around customer lifetime value. They also need to understand the impact that online experiences have on site surfers, which means they need a solid grounding in web design and usability. They even have to be mystery shoppers – they’ll periodically test all channels, including contact centers, to experience firsthand what customers and prospects go through when contacting a brand. And the Customer Experience Officer is responsible for ensuring that consumers interacting with a brand have a seamless experience – even if the brand units themselves operate in a highly siloed environment. The CXO’s role can extend far beyond the boundaries of digital technology and in some cases includes responsibility for community relations, internal relations, and even investor relations.
I predict this position will become more commonplace in the healthcare field as hospitals strive to improve the experience of their patients, as well as among companies that are seeing plateaus in their future sales outlook, or deterioration in their marketing efficiencies.