Who Should Really Lead Customer Experience Design?
The need to provide an excellent customer experience is not a novel concept but it is an act of necessity. In the digital age, competition is growing all the time, and buyers often make purchasing decisions based on customer experience alone.
Consumers today expect brands to deliver a seamless and consistent customer experience. With a myriad of options, any trivial inconvenience could drive them to competitors.
Quantifying the value of CX
CX is so important to consumers that:
- 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, with 89 percent of consumers beginning doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience (Oracle)
- 52% of customers state that they are extremely or somewhat likely to change brands if a company doesn’t personalize communications with them (Salesforce)
- 79% of customers will share bad experiences online (RightNow)
A comprehensive customer experience design strategy is critical for keeping up with the competition.
Successful CX demands dedicated leadership
However, deciding who should lead the customer experience within an organization is unclear. Marketing drives the customer experience strategy in many organizations. Others rely on the client-facing knowledge of customer success/support teams. A large number still defer to the vision of a CEO.
Unfortunately, in most organizations, siloed departments and disparate goals/KPIs in each department destroy the congruence of CX strategies. The lack of synchronization between different teams makes it exceedingly difficult to create the CX that customers expect.
However, a successful alternative has steadily emerged; a CXO or Chief Experience Officer.
In some industries, such as healthcare, customer or patient experience has been a priority for years. In such contexts, the quality of the patient experience can also affect health outcomes. But for most other sectors, this is uncharted territory.
Now that customer experience has become a competitive differentiator, dedicated leadership is a must have. The CXO coordinates the factors that build the overall customer experience, encourage collaboration between departments, and deliver a unified vision. It is this unified vision that pulls everything from marketing to customer success and R&D together.
CXO-led customer experience design: Initiating cross-department coordination
One of the most significant challenges is ensuring a consistent experience across multiple channels. Incite Group finds that over 50% of companies report their most critical customer experience design issue is “providing a seamless experience across multiple channels.”
The CXO is in a unique position to combat this by encouraging communication across different departments. He or she is responsible for monitoring user feedback in the context of marketing efforts, product support, and post-sales relations. After aggregating all of this information, the CXO must create alignment between all stakeholders and drive a CX improvement strategy forward.
The value of customer feedback cannot be overstated
Customer feedback should be the driving force behind CX improvement efforts. iPerceptions reports that 76% of customers say they expect companies to understand what they need and what their expectations are.
The only way to understand these expectations is to incorporate real-user feedback.
After opening new channels of coordination between the different business units, the CXO will be the authority, responsible for collecting, sorting, and relaying the information to each relevant stakeholder.
For example, feedback on customer service will be used to boost customer service quality and efficiency, while complaints about the product will be used to inform R&D efforts.
Turning customer complaints (and praise) and including it in the customer experience design strategy is the best way to fulfill customers’ expectations.
Your customer experience strategy needs dedicated leadership
CX is one of the most significant factors in acquiring customers and retaining them long term. The strategic vision of a dedicated CXO helps to implement organization-wide adjustments to provide the best experience for customers. Appointing a dedicated leader helps to put user feedback at the forefront of customer experience strategy.