The Rise of the Chief Experience Officer

As more customers start to take control of when and how they engage with a brand, providing a great experience across all channels has become the price of doing business.

Brands are actively working to differentiate themselves on customer experience because they know that retaining customers is more fiscally responsible than spending the resources to acquire new ones.  As a result, a massive change is happening in the C-suite: the rise of the Chief Experience Officer (CXO) or Chief Customer Officer (CCO).

When organizations appoint a Customer Experience Officer, it signals a fundamental shift in company culture away from a product-focused transactional approach, towards a planning process that’s built around a customer’s journey with the brand, products, and communication across all the channels through which they engage.

According to Gartner, “CX leaders must facilitate, help and empower those across the enterprise to understand key customer personas, map customer journeys, design and optimize interactions and deliver innovations.”

CXOs are charged with shaping the organization’s customer experience strategy, defining target customer segments, and identifying gaps in the current customer experience.  They must create consistency of experience across brick & mortar, online, and direct interactions. They must understand how every channel performs, including contact centers, to know firsthand what customers go through when contacting a brand.

Finally, the Customer Experience Officer is responsible for ensuring consumers have a seamless and delightful brand experience – especially if the brand’s business units operate in a highly siloed environment.

The challenge often facing organizations today: Where to find a Customer Experience strategy leader? There’s a big opportunity for many traditionally tactical roles to step up and expand into a strategic position.  For example, take Chris Stark (VP of Solutions Engineering at Topbox) who had been a talented web analytics professional at a leading sports apparel company tasked with generating insights from customer contact data. He recognized an opportunity to provide a different level of counsel and strategy to the various business units with which he interacted.

By providing the product teams with invaluable and actionable insights, he was given additional resources and was able to formalize a Voice-of-the-Customer program.  This included breaking down silos to bring multiple analytics teams together with the purpose of establishing a single voice of the customer. Chris saw how too many teams were using a single source of data rather than a complete view. Aggregating all the unstructured customer channel data in Topbox gave him and his stakeholders a true voice of the customer, as well as the insight into what their priorities should be.

The voice of the customer program Chris built eventually achieved company-wide adoption and nearly every business function received the reports produced by the rich and compelling data set. The work became so invaluable that it eventually became its own function and a focal point of analytics.

The program’s purpose was not only to provide insights but to ensure the proper teams took action on the insights that were being provided. The results from these actions not only improved the customer experience but also greatly increased revenue.

Chris’ clear vision of the value of omnichannel analytics, coupled with his interest in NLP, machine learning and automation, led him to pursue a position with Topbox. He brings deep experience and an unbridled enthusiasm for moving the bar, and Topbox is excited to have him leading the Solutions Engineering team.

Moving forward, Topbox is excited to help Customer Experience professionals like Chris to evolve their organizations and leverage disruptive, new technology to ensure the best customer experience possible.

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