There are 10 commitments CMOs need to secure from the CEO and C-suite if they are to achieve lasting customer experience success.
1. Commitment to Customer Centricity.
First and foremost, the CEO must make customer centricity a cornerstone of the company’s business strategy. The CEO must commit to driving customer knowledge deep into the fabric of the company’s culture.
2. Commitment to Customer Experience Ownership.
The CEO must appoint a sole leader of customer experience management who can be fully responsible for defining, managing and optimizing the customer experience. This individual must be equipped with the authority to manage across organizational and political boundaries and be empowered to influence or enact change.
3. Commitment to Direct C-Suite Reporting Relationship.
With an executive-level owner in place, the CEO must formalize a direct reporting relationship with the C-suite. Ideally, this individual would report directly to the CEO. However, this is not a requirement. What is required is a direct reporting relationship to a C-level executive.
4. Commitment to C-Suite Involvement and Funding.
Your CEO must ensure each member of the C-suite plays an active role in shaping the customer experience strategy. Finance, operations, marketing and other functional leaders must be held accountable for actively managing customer experience initiatives that pertain to their area of the business.
5. Commitment to Cross-Functional Leadership Accountability.
Executives must hold lieutenants accountable for leading initiatives that are designed to improve the customer experience. Leaders must realize these initiatives and the associated business results will be visible at the highest level of the organization. Not momentary visibility, but sustained visibility within the C-suite.
6. Commitment to Organizational Change (People, Process, Technology).
Your CEO must make it absolutely clear that there are no sacred cows, political motivations are outlawed and functional barriers are being torn down. He or she must provide the customer experience leader with complete autonomy and authority to inject change into customer-facing areas of the business.
7. Commitment to Crystal Clear Performance Metrics.
A critical part of customer experience management is defining and securing agreement on the metrics that matter. Once defined, the CEO’s job is to get every member of the C-suite to lock arms and communicate that these are the key performance indicators to focus on.
8. Commitment to Measurement and Reporting Systems.
Securing commitment from the CEO and C-suite on performance metrics that matter is only half the battle. You also have to get the CEO to commit to putting data collection, measurement systems and reporting processes in place so you can capture and act on those metrics. Your task is to find systems that will provide you with visibility and access to needed metrics at every level of your organization.
9. Commitment to Realistic Timeline for Business Impact.
The most critical factor in achieving success is ensuring executives are fully aligned as to when customer experience management will materialize into business results. When expectations are out of alignment, uncertainty and doubt creep in and commitment quickly becomes compromised.
10. Commitment to Sustained CX Cadence.
Your CEO must commit to ensuring the strategic importance and business value of customer experience remains omnipresent. Executives and leaders across the business must maintain a consistent cadence by which they communicate, manage and drive change throughout the customer experience.