What is a Chief Experience Officer (CXO)? What do they do in the modern business landscape, and how can they benefit customer-focused companies?
A growing focus on customer experience (CX) as the most important differentiating factor for any business has led to significant changes in the modern world. Not only are new tools and solutions emerging to help companies enhance and digitize customer experiences, but new experts are entering the workforce. Roles like “CXO” are quickly becoming essential among the C-Suite.
In fact, according to Gartner, by 2020, 90% of organizations were set to have their own CXO.
Today, we’re going to take a closer look at what the role of “CXO” actually entails and how it’s changing the modern management team for the better.
What Is a Chief Experience Officer? Defining the CXO
A Chief Experience Officer, or “CXO,” is a corporate or C-Suite executive responsible for enhancing the overall customer experience. Reporting to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer), CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), or COO (Chief Operating Officer), CXOs oversee the CX strategy.
The role is similar to that of the Chief Customer Officer, with a slightly broader scope. Primarily, the goal of the Chief Experience Officer is to foster brand and customer loyalty and drive a customer-centric approach to business operations.
In recent years, the question “What is a Chief Experience Officer?” has appeared more frequently online as companies search for ways to optimize their CX initiatives. CXOs collaborate with leaders across departments to create initiatives that increase customer retention and lifetime value.
CXOs are catalysts of customer-obsessed business strategies. They fight for the needs and wants of a company’s customers and guide employees with the tools and knowledge they need to excel. What’s more, CXOs also help design customer experience initiatives, create journey maps, and orchestrate business operations, create journey maps, and orchestrate business operations focusing on CX.
What Does a CXO Do? Activities and Responsibilities
So, what is a Chief Experience Officer responsible for in the business world? What does the average day of one of these professionals look like? The answer can vary based on a company’s customer experience strategy.
However, Chief Experience Officers primarily help companies create a more positive customer experience on every communication channel at every stage in the customer journey.
These professionals usually plan policies and strategies to boost customer satisfaction scores, NPS ratings, and other CX metrics. They might research the average buyer’s journey to guide support, sales, and services teams.
They can also supervise teams of developers and designers working on efforts to improve the customer experience. CXOs also guide companies through using intuitive tools for CX, whether it’s self-service AI bots, automation tools, or CCaaS platforms.
Some of the most common responsibilities of a CXO include:
1. Researching customers and mapping journeys
CXOs spend a significant amount of time on market and customer research. They conduct surveys and polls, competitor analyses, and read market reports to understand what drives consumers. This helps with the creation of customer profiles outlining consumer needs, wants, and goals.
It also ensures that CXOs can create comprehensive customer journey maps, covering all the critical touchpoints consumers have with a brand and how they can be optimized to improve loyalty.
2. Creating policies and initiatives
Based on their deep understanding of customers, CXOs create policies and processes designed to ensure customers are satisfied. They identify potential issues and frictions that may emerge during the buyer journey and craft intuitive responses for service teams.
They also work with designers, developers, and other staff members to implement new forms of customer experience solutions into business operations. This could mean designing generative AI chatbots or exploring which channels to add to an omnichannel contact center.
3. Collecting data and feedback
To further their understanding of customers and power future CX initiatives, Chief Experience Officers often need to listen to the voice of the customer. This means using feedback tools and solutions to collect insights directly from a company’s target audience.
CXOs often combine qualitative feedback with quantitative metrics and reports. They might monitor NPS scores, CSAT scores, customer effort scores, and retention rates to uncover opportunities to differentiate the brand from its competitors.
4. Building a customer-centric culture
CXOs are often the driving force behind a “customer-obsessed” company culture. They help other business leaders and employees understand customer experience initiatives’ impact. Some CXOs also use reward and recognition campaigns to encourage customer-centric work.
By sharing best practices, reports, and insights with other departments, CXOs can also ensure that their teams are constantly progressing toward a better customer experience.
5. Aligning employee and customer experience
Many CXOs know the strong connection between employee experience and customer experience. These professionals often implement strategies designed to improve employee engagement. This could mean setting up gamified competitions or giving employees specific goals to work towards with measurable KPIs and metrics.
They work with team members to learn how the company can implement strategies that make agents and sales professionals more effective in their roles. This often involves listening to the “voice of the employee” with surveys and feedback forms.
What Is a Chief Experience Officer? The Key Skills Required
When answering the question “What is a chief experience officer?” in today’s landscape, it’s worth examining the evolving skills these professionals need. CXOs can vary in background and experience, rising through the ranks in marketing, sales, and customer service roles.
However, all these professionals need 5-star customer service skills and an excellent understanding of their company, market, and CX trends. The core skills of a customer experience officer include:
- Technology skills: Increasingly, as AI and automation enter the CX landscape, companies are looking for CXOs with more technical knowledge. While you might not need to know how to build a chatbot or AI app in this role, you should understand how these tools work and the benefits they can bring to CX.
- Collaborative leadership: Successful CXOs are experts in cross-functional teamwork. They help to foster collaborative work environments, promoting open communication and transparency in the workplace. These leaders encourage all employees to work together on a shared vision of excellent customer experience.
- Problem-solving: Problems happen regularly in CX, but a good CXO can respond quickly and efficiently. They can look at an issue from various perspectives, gather feedback from other team members, and combine their insights with data to resolve complex issues.
- Communication: All CX experts need to be fantastic at communication. CXOs must bring departments throughout the business together with open and transparent communication. They need to present data and statistics in easy-to-understand formats for shareholders and listen to the feedback of consumers and employees.
- Strategic thinking: CXOs must be creative and strategic to align CX initiatives with broader business strategies. They should be able to identify growth opportunities, predict customer needs, and make data-driven decisions for the company’s future.
Attributes of a Customer Experience Officer
Alongside specific skills and abilities, CXOs tend to have particular attributes or characteristics that set them apart from other members of a CX team. For instance, CXOs are often highly influential and motivational, which makes them excellent in leadership positions.
They’re also naturally strategic in their thinking and feel comfortable using data and statistics to make decisions for future strategies. Other attributes include:
- Endurance: CXOs are excellent at staying calm under pressure. They know even the best-planned initiatives don’t always work out and are ready to pivot when necessary. They can handle challenging experiences and difficult instances with grace.
- Collaborative: A good Chief Executive Officer works well with others. They often need to collaborate with other C-level leaders and individual employees to drive customer experience initiatives. Though they can lead, they also listen to others.
- A growth-first mindset: Many leading CXOs have a growth mindset. In other words, they believe they can constantly improve and enhance their skills. They commit to lifelong education and ensure they’re always up-to-date on CX trends.
- Adaptability: The customer experience landscape is constantly changing. CXOs need to be agile enough to adapt to changing trends. They should be able to respond quickly to evolving trends and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. CXOs often embrace agile methodologies, encouraging experimentation and rapid transformation.
The Benefits of a CXO for Modern Companies
Now you know the answer to “What is a Chief Experience Officer?” you might wonder why these professionals are becoming essential in the business world. Ultimately, CX is becoming a central focus for virtually every business in every industry.
Increasingly, the broad focus of the CXO role is allowing it to replace other older positions, such as the “Chief Customer Officer” in some organizations.
A CXO helps to bring structure and strategy to a company’s customer experience initiatives. Without a CXO, an organization may not have an effective way to track and optimize the customer lifecycle. With one of these professionals, companies harness the insights and expertise of a professional wholly focused on driving customer loyalty and better business results.
CXOs can help boost employee and customer experience initiatives, transform contact centers from “cost centers” into “profit centers,” and improve brand reputations. Simply hiring a CXO demonstrates a clear move by a business to become more customer-centric.
As the world continues to focus on the importance of CX, the position of “CXO” is likely to become a standard part of the C-Suite.