Securing executive alignment and clearly defined priorities in support of the customer experience is crucial. Yet, so few companies have a game plan for making this happen. In most cases customer experience, as a priority within the business, originates and stagnates within customer service or call center departments. The initiative fails to gain traction in other customer-facing areas of the business, and never receives executive support and endorsement. As a result, the customer experience never delivers material business results.
Why is this? For customer experience to translate into improved financial performance and become a competitive advantage it must be embraced enterprise-wide. It must be implemented in a cross-functional manner — and, it has to be a priority for the CMO, CEO and the entire C-suite. Ultimately, to be successful, the CEO must truly believe customer experience matters. The CEO must commit to creating an experience that will differentiate the company and grow the business.
10 commitments CMOs need from the CEO.
There are 10 commitments you need to secure from your CEO if you want to achieve customer experience management success.
- Commitment to Customer Centricity
- Commitment to CXM Ownership
- Commitment to a Direct C-Suite Reporting Relationship
- Commitment to C-Suite Funding and Involvement
- Commitment to Cross-Functional Leadership Accountability
- Commitment to Organizational Change (People, Process, Technology)
- Commitment to Meaningful Performance Metrics
- Commitment to Measurement and Reporting Systems
- Commitment to Realistic Timeline for Business Impact
- Commitment to Sustained, Company-Wide CX Cadence
(To learn what each of these commitments entail download 10 Commitments Every CEO Must Make to Realize Customer Experience Success.)
If you really want customer experience to deliver material results, these are nonnegotiable. Why? Because there is a clear link between a CEO’s commitment to customer experience management and business profitability. That’s the key takeaway from a global study led by The Economist Intelligence Unit. The study found that 58 percent of companies reported much higher profitability than their competitors when the CEO was in charge of customer experience, and 59 percent realized better revenue growth as a result of prioritizing strategic customer experience investments.
Without this level of commitment, customer experience becomes just another business fad. Something a few members of the team talk about for a while before it quickly fades to black. It’s never institutionalized. It’s never operationalized. It does not become a cornerstone of the company’s business strategy. In these cases, companies should save their money or spend it elsewhere. But for those companies where the CMO, CEO and the entire C-suite are fully committed to making customer experience a difference maker, it is the best place the company can invest its money.