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Chief Experience Officer: Why Every Company Needs A CXO

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

chief experience officer bright horse

The role of the Chief Experience Officer (CXO) has become crucial for any major organisation in 2023. This is because customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) are now at the centre of business, competitive edge and sustainable profitability. Hence, with the integration of CX and EX, the position of a CXO becomes more of a necessity.

Traditionally, a company would depend on methods such as advertising and price promotions with the hopes of attracting the right kind of customers. In 2023, whilst those traditional means are still important, another factor that dictates brand preference is the kind of experience a company is willing to offer to their customers.

Here's Bright Horse CXO Neil Keating explaining the roles of a Chief Experience Officer In Two Minutes:

According to a 2016 research conducted by Forrester, over 72% of business executives have made improving customer experience their top priority. It was also noted that positive CX would boost the chances of a former customer returning to the brand five times over. 

On the other hand, the experience of the employees is equally important and often overlooked by the decision-makers sitting at the top. However, ever since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way organisations perform their day-to-day activities and working from home became a norm, significant growth in attention towards EX has been noted. A 2020 article by Forbes suggests that in the post-pandemic era, business leaders are set to invest millions into improving their workers’ experience. 

Sander de Bruijn, Head of Global Employee Experience at ING says:

“By taking excellent care of our employees, we create higher performing teams that are better able to care for our customers.”

Who Is A Chief Experience Officer (CXO)?

A Chief Experience Officer is someone who is in charge of CX and EX and assists a company in developing and unleashing the combined strength of both disciplines. A real “experience officer” should oversee both the CX and EX operations and be in charge of establishing a mutually reinforcing relationship between the two.

Why Is A Chief Experience Officer Important?

chief experience officer

The relationship between CX and EX cannot of overestimated. The need to create a balance between the two is of utmost importance. 

Companies that prioritise EX above CX risk having well-intentioned workers who don’t know how to help their customers receive the desired outcome. In such a case, the staff could be very happy coming to work but would not provide good quality service to their customers. 

Alternatively, companies that focus on CX without paying attention to EX may face labour expenses problems as a result of high staff turnover and a lack of innovative thinking. Complaints about the unsatisfactory work environment, unfair salary structures and bad professional relationships among colleagues may become a regular affair.

Therefore, a need for skilful ‘experience leadership’ in the c-suite of every company that wishes to prosper in the post-pandemic era arises. Here’s where the role of a Chief Experience Officer comes in.

What Are The Key Roles Of A CXO?

key roles chief experience officer bright horse

According to the Harvard Business Review, a Chief Experience Officer (CXO) may be responsible for:

  1. Increasing customer awareness across all workers.

  2. Increasing employee understanding among corporate leaders.

  3. Driving purposeful, disciplined design and execution of customer and employee experiences.

  4. Championing customers’ and employees’ perspectives in the company’s strategic decision-making.

  5. Measuring the impact of CX on employees. The impact of EX on customers. And the impact of both on the company’s KPIs.

  6. Creating connections between CX and EX, and advocating for the integration they require, whether technical or otherwise.

Example 1: How Adobe Increased Its Value With The Help Of A CXO

Donna Morris was a part of the Adobe family for almost 18 years during which she looked after the EX and CX by focusing on three key factors that determined the relationship between the employees and the customers; attraction, engagement and development.

To encourage employee engagement, Morris set up listening stations where staff could hear directly from customers. It allowed them to learn about their triumphs and difficulties, either online or in-person. This increased staff engagement by allowing them to better understand Adobe consumers. It also allowed workers to design products and solutions that better fulfilled customers’ demands, resulting in increased customer engagement.

Morris also oversaw the establishment of a customer-centric compensation model for all employees. It was a short-term monetary incentive scheme based on corporate revenue performance as well as customer satisfaction metrics and evaluations. Because everyone was working toward the same goals, the programme made employees’ contributions to the customer experience more tangible. It also fostered workforce cohesion and synergy.

Example 2: How Cleveland Clinic’s CXO Them Become A Pioneer In Patient Experience

Cleveland Clinic are a leading medical institution. They have enabled digital engagement to take centre stage in the experience journey of their patients. Dr Adrianne Boissy, the CXO was entrusted with the role to maintain a close watch on technology. The Experience Officer needed to embrace collaborating with IT providers and internal IT leadership to improve the customer experience.

Talking about the importance of technology to create a balance between CX and EX, Dr Boissy said:

“The solution is to remember that technology has a real role in encouraging patient engagement, while at the same time, recognizing what doctors want, which is to not be distracted or disengaged from their patients.”

The Chief Experience Officer therefore must be a connector, able to collaborate with the CEO, CNO, CFO, CIO, CHRO, CMO, Marketing Officer, volunteers, staff, and others who are familiar with all functions and silos and can exert influence across them.

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