Mark runs a small software development company that targets IT professionals. However, his software products are relatively just like every other software product targeting IT professionals on the market. He really likes running his company and working with his colleague but is worried that he will soon be pushed out of business by the big guys.
Mark begins thinking, “What can I do to make my brand unique and stand out among the crowd?”
Mark’s question is a legitimate one, and many leaders in small to large companies consider asking the same thing. The answer isn’t to make more products or to offer more services. The answer lies in something Mark hasn’t thought often about lately: Customer Experiences
As more services and products are increasingly looking the same as other services and products, customer experience is the line of demarcation.
Today, it is hard to think about leaders and executives in any company without a discussion of how companies define customer experience. Many people confuse customer experience with customer service, but these two are not under the same umbrella. Creating an experience that makes the customer feel nurtured is what sets companies apart from those who simply provide great customer service.
Creating great experiences is the role the CXO or Chief Experience Officer fills. This person is the sole representative in the executive suite who represents the needs of every customer throughout the entire organization. Whether every company needs one is a good question that we’d hate to say no to. But ensuring unity and align across all departments for the benefit of the customer is no easy task.
A better question to ask is whether your company’s culture is customer-focused and driven by customer-centric behaviors internally. If you’re not sure what a customer-centered organization looks like, consider asking these questions:
• Is there an executive in your organization who represents, champions, or advocates for the customer every day, in every meet-ing, for every decision?
• Is there someone who provides that common definition or understanding for the organization of what it means to be customer focused? And how your organization will achieve customer-centricity?
• Do employees understand how their work matters and how it impacts the customer and his experience?
• Is there an executive in your organization who spearheads customer listening efforts across the organization, across various touchpoints?
• Is the customer and his experience woven deeply into the DNA of your company? Or are they simply recognized and focused on within individual departments or a single department?
Carefully answering these questions can help push you closer to whether your company should create this position.
The CXO or Customer Experience Officer could be thought of as an agent of positive change. This person will facilitate cross-functional interaction, educate and support efforts to empower employees, and help to break down organizational silos. Listening, aligning, engaging, and driving are just four of the top skills you should look for in a CXO.
If you want to know more about the role of the CXO and how it could benefit your company, click the link below to look at what 5 professionals have said about their experience creating great customer experiences within their companies.