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The rise of the Chief Experience Officer

Considered “unconventional” in the early 2000s, the Chief Experience Officer (CXO), or the Chief Customer/Client Officer (CCO), are relatively new positions at a senior executive level. They were originally only considered relevant to customer-centric companies. However, in this post-COVID world, where the customer experience is the main differentiator, companies ignore this important position at their peril. Indeed, the Harvard Business Review argues that all companies should have a Chief Experience Officer.

While Chief Experience Officer describes the job of ensuring that customers’ needs are met, the title belies the bigger picture, including the importance of the employee experience that Chief Experience Officers should consider under their remit. Gartner’s 2019 Customer Experience Management Survey illustrated the growing trend, revealing that in 2017, more than 35% of organizations had neither a Chief Experience Officer (CXO) or Chief Customer Officer (CCO) or equivalents. By 2019, only around 10% of companies lacked one or the other.

Why do companies need a CXO?

We no longer live in a service economy. These days the world operates around experiences and the so-called experience economy is its successor. We already know the main differentiator between companies is the experience customers get. To attract, convert, and retain customers companies need to get their customer experience right first time. And they need to be able to adapt and grow in response to change.

Experience is not just about marketing, although there is overlap. The customer experience officer overlooks the entire customer journey, including people, places, and technology and how they interact with each other. They should ensure the company is providing seamless, personalised, low-friction experiences.

How does the CXO create and maintain exceptional customer experience?

A good customer experience begins with good design. By approaching a company holistically, rather than looking solely at current customer touchpoints it becomes much easier to work out how and where to make improvements. 

For example, automation and digitisation can help deal with simple or common issues more quickly and effectively. They can help save money and improve the customer experience while providing useful data. However, those parts of the process that should be automated or digitised will depend on a company’s products, services, and processes.

Customers are looking for personalised experiences, so it is vital to understand the full customer journey. And any direct contact with employees will be key to a customer’s experience

How does service design help with the customer experience?

Service design —a creative, collaborative process— can determine how an existing service can be improved or how new technologies, products, or services can be best offered to customers. It can be used to design the best experience possible based on the way the company’s processes are already set up or can be used to identify where changes can be made to optimise the entire process.

A great customer experience needs designing based on the right information. Given the complex nature of customer and employee experiences and how they are intricately bound up in company and industry legacies, practices, procedures, no two companies’ customer journeys will look the same. Companies that provide the best CX have purposefully designed it to help them attract and retain loyal customers.

If you or your Chief Experience Officer would like any information on service design and how Engine Service Design can help you deliver a better customer experience, please book an appointment with a service design expert below.

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