CEO, CTO, CFO and COO: In companies, we encounter many leadership figures with a variety of tasks. But not everyone knows what a Chief Customer Experience Officer (CXO for short) is or what they actually do.
The work of the customer experience officer is particularly important for the success of the company. He or she aligns the company more closely with its customers, places their wishes and needs at the center of decision-making, and ensures a better understanding of customers among management personnel.
Table of contents
Actually, every company benefits from a Chief Customer Experience Officer (CXO)
All important areas in the company have their chief. For IT, which is so important today, this is the Chief Information Officer or CIO, for example. He or she ensures that the necessary IT infrastructure is available for day-to-day work and that it is kept up to date.
The situation is similar in virtually all other important areas of the company, such as finance, compliance or marketing. But who actually represents the interests of the company's customers? In the past, there was no chief executive for this. But this is changing with the CXO. He or she finally gives customer interests the status they deserve.
Most companies still do without the Chief Customer Experience Officer
The starting signal for the development of this new position was given in 2011 by an article in the Harvard Business Review. Here, in the article The Rise of the Chief Customer Officer, this new leadership figure was mentioned for the first time. But how did this development come about?
The authors noted at the time that increasingly demanding customers expected companies to be more responsive to their needs. With the increasing expectations on the customer side, it was clear that there must be someone in charge in the companies who takes care of customer orientation. After all, customer satisfaction and trust is a success factor for companies. The CXO was born.
Amazon goes ahead
Anyone who reads up on the prevalence of CXOs in companies today is surprised at first glance. In fact, only a few corresponding open positions exist. But some heavyweights in the business world are setting a good example and are already relying on the skills and benefits of the CXO. Amazon is the first to be mentioned here.
In e-commerce, no competitor can afford to ignore customer interests. Buyers are particularly demanding here; an alternative web store from the competition is just a click away. Countless support requests are received every day and customers have many opportunities to communicate their satisfaction or dissatisfaction, for example in the form of comments.
Amazon relied on the CXO here early on to accommodate customers as much as possible. The company is known in the industry for its customer orientation and very good service and support. This is not by chance, because with the CXO, this important task is specifically assigned to one person in the company. This has brought Amazon strong growth, and the high level of customer satisfaction sustains the company.
Amazon claims to be the most customer-oriented company in the world. It is therefore hardly surprising that the Chief Customer Experience Officer (CXO) exists as a corresponding position.
Colleagues from marketing and sales benefit
Marketing is one of those departments that have always pushed for greater customer focus. Data-driven marketing, for example, draws on customer data, analyzes it, and aims to gain a better understanding of what customers want. Those who understand the customer better can target marketing measures more effectively.
It therefore comes in handy for employees in marketing and sales if, as part of a corresponding transformation process, the customer finds his way back into the company as the focus of attention.
Some companies are going one step further and merging the previous marketing and sales departments into the newly created area for customer experience. This is because there are, of course, overlaps in terms of content. Customer experience does not always complement marketing and sales, but rather merges with them.
This concept is about real operational responsibility and not an insignificant staff position. This could also be one of the reasons why only a few companies have introduced the CXO so far. The changes are far-reaching, and decision-makers might shy away from tackling this transformation.
These are the tasks of the CXO
But what concrete activities does the CXO take on in practice? His or her main task is to optimize the interaction between the brand and the customer base. The company itself wants to control how customers perceive the brand and the various products and services offered.
Many of the CXO's concrete actions relate to the company's website and web presence in general. He optimizes the website and offers customers the most profitable interactive experience possible. He does a range of other media work and is present via social media, for example.
In some cases, the CXO himself is the figurehead at the center of the measures. This is often the case when the CEO takes on the role of CXO. A well-known example of this would be Elon Musk of Tesla. These CEOs actively care about the customer experience and are constantly working to improve the customer experience via channels such as Twitter.
Your concern is that people perceive the brand in a certain desired way. This makes it an extremely demanding task that requires a great deal of communicative skill. For the CXO or possibly the CEO, the confident handling of social media is important.
As a rule, however, another executive fills the role of Chief Customer Experience Officer (CXO). This makes sense simply because this distribution of roles relieves the CEO. Not many companies have the necessary charismatic figures to achieve high visibility. But the CXO can also work in the background, where he or she can achieve improvements in the customer experience and steer them.
The Chief Customer Experience Officer (CXO) fills an important gap in the management structure of companies. Customer experience is a decisive factor today, and successful companies are trying to manage it. The best way to do this is with an additional position. Of course, the concept can only work if this new leader is given the appropriate decision-making authority as well as his or her own budget.
Especially in times of social media, companies cannot leave the customer experience to itself. Intervention is urgently needed here, and the CXO can take on this task and perform it superbly. Modern companies are therefore looking at the benefits of the CXO.