In the corporate hierarchy, a Chief Experience Officer (CXO) is a top-tier executive responsible for ensuring positive interactions with an organization's customers. This role typically reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
A CXO's role is consistently enhancing the customer experience (CX). They communicate the organization's value proposition using the customers' language and engage with them through their preferred communication channels. A CXO oversees the entire customer journey, often involving creating a journey map. These maps are data-driven diagrams that illustrate the stages customers go through when interacting with a company. They help create positive interactions between companies and individuals and can help predict the path of future customers.
In an enterprise, the CXO supervises a team that monitors customer interactions and ensures that the company adequately responds to complaints, concerns, and suggestions for improvement. The CXO integrates various channels, such as social media platforms and customer feedback forums, to ensure a smooth flow of usable information between the enterprise and its user base.
With the constant flow of usable information, the CXO consistently directs responses to user needs. This often involves employing data analytics teams to digest various forms of communication and customer information, as well as social media management software and teams. Many CXOs rely on an executive dashboard to monitor these resources and extract valuable customer intelligence from the business. CXOs may also lead digital transformation projects and ensure consistent and positive user experience (UX) across customer-facing websites, apps, and other technologies.
Many CXOs handle both employee experience (EX) -- the interactions, perceptions, and feelings that an employee has with a company, from recruitment to an exit interview -- and CX, to align the two initiatives. This aspect of the CXO role has become more crucial, as many experts agree there is a strong link between employee and customer satisfaction.
Benefits of Hiring a CXO Without a CXO, an organization may not have a defined way to extend CX beyond care and support services. CXOs oversee the customer lifecycle, ensuring positive CX. Typically, a CXO is in charge of increasing customer and employee understanding, designing and delivering positive CX, prioritizing a customer's viewpoint in decision-making, and keeping track of key performance indicators (KPIs).
Hiring a CXO also represents a move toward a CX-centric company culture. Good CX requires many departments across the organization to be customer-focused, and CXOs work toward that goal. They align marketing, sales, customer success teams, and the C-suite, breaking down silos that prevent good CX.
The evolution of a Chief Experience Officer CX is becoming a central focus for many organizations. As digital experiences and interactions rise, customers increasingly expect personalized experiences with brands. The job title of chief experience officer is increasingly replacing that of the chief customer officer (CCO) and CMO in many organizations. The role of a CXO is generally broader than that of a CCO, especially when it comes to ensuring a positive experience for internal customers, such as employees, suppliers, and vendors.
In 2020, almost 90% of organizations have a CXO, or CXO equivalent, according to Gartner. This is a significant increase from 2017 when more than 35% of companies did not have a CXO.
CXO vs. CMO CX, not marketing, is becoming the main goal for many brands. This causes many companies to replace the CMO role with a CXO, which is often a rebranding rather than the firing and replacement of a CMO. Many organizations still have both CMO and CXO roles.
Traditionally, the CMO is responsible for driving marketing strategy, which includes understanding the company's position in the market, directing marketing campaigns, and overseeing branding strategies.
The CXO, on the other hand, drives the company's entire CX strategy. This involves mapping customer journeys, overseeing the customer success and service teams, and digging into customer data. The CXO is often responsible for improving employee experience and engagement, while a CMO is generally not. However, the roles of the CXO and CMO overlap, as CMOs are expected to have skill sets and tools that drive CX strategies.
Experience and Skills of a CXO CXOs come from various backgrounds and experiences. Often, a CXO has a background in operations, marketing, sales, customer service, or UX. Sometimes, a company hires a CXO from within when an employee is interested in CX or is a brand champion.
CXOs should generally possess the following traits:
Excellent communication and leadership skills
Ability to manage people
CXOs often have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or other master's degree, with proven experience in a managerial or executive role.
In conclusion, the role of a CXO is crucial in today's customer-centric business environment. By focusing on the customer and employee experience, they can align various organizational departments toward providing a positive experience for all stakeholders.