Several months ago, we wrote a post about the emergence of the Chief Customer Officer – a fairly new C-level role that was created to oversee a company’s customer service department, including customer service managers and their teams, as well as drive strategy across the organization for the customer experience. This role has picked up a lot of speed in the last few years. According to a study by Gartner , 90% of organizations have a CCO or similar role. Alternative titles are Chief Client Officer, Vice President of Customer Experience and – our favorite – Chief Experience Officer. We favor this title because it implies that the overall internal, as well as external, customer experience is a vital part of a company’s longevity, hence the need for a C-level executive to manage it.

If your business is considering adding this role to your C-suite or if you have already created this role and are looking for the right candidate to fill it, congratulations – you made an incredibly wise choice! Making the choice is just the beginning – you need just the right individual for this role, so this isn’t a position to be filled overnight. While you search for the right person, hiring an interim Chief Experience Officer could be a beneficial, and immediate, solution for your business right now. 

Why Hire an Interim Executive?

There are several reasons why a company decides to hire an interim executive. The most common reason is the temporary replacement of an executive who has left the company or the temporary filling of a newly created position until a long-term hire can be found. An interim executive knows how to jump right into the role to ensure that operations run smoothly and, after a period of observation, can even suggest improvements and help hire a long-term executive for the position. However, in some cases an interim executive is needed when a company is in a crisis such as:

  • Consistent negative feedback from customers
  • An online reputation crisis as a result of point #1
  • High employee turnover
  • Trouble recruiting quality talent
  • Low employee morale and engagement
  • Management issues
  • A significant drop in sales
  • KPIs not being met 

If your business has any of these issues, the danger is that the problems can not only compound but spiral out of control. With the dawning of our digital age and ability for both customers and employees to share their experience about a company, there is not a moment to waste! Time is of the essence if a business in this situation is to be turned around and saved. 

Even if your business is not in a crisis, hiring an interim executive with customer service expertise will prevent a crisis like these from happening, since their overall role is to help create, or build upon existing systems and processes that ensure an outstanding customer experience. 

The Role of the Chief Experience Officer

Let’s look at specific tasks and the roadmap typically followed by the Chief Experience Officer – as outlined by the Chief Customer Officer Council – and the ways in which it will benefit your organization:

1. Customer service strategy – The creation (or improvement) and execution of an internal and external customer service strategy that aligns with the company’s overall business strategy is a necessary first step.

2. Culture management – The company culture will be improved or modified to fulfill the customer service strategy so that it is customer-centric on all levels and across all departments.

3. Customer data analysis – The collection and analysis of customer data from all touch points along their journey provides a lot of insight into the customer experience and the greatest opportunities for improvement.

4. Customer relationship development – The nurturing of customer relationships and really knowing the customers enables even greater customer insight and understanding, which helps further solidify them.

5. Customer base leverage – Once customer relationships are positive and on solid ground, they can be leveraged for customer referral and customer marketing campaigns and programs. 

6. New customer acquisition – Really knowing and nurturing a customer base makes it possible to come up with creative ways to acquire new customers with similar attributes, characteristics, pain points and needs.

7. Product and service innovation – Last but not least, a customer-centric organization stays competitive by continuously improving and modifying products and services to meet the ever-changing needs of customers.

Bottom line – An interim Chief Experience Officer is the answer if your company doesn’t currently have one, but you know and understand the importance of this role. An individual in this role has the expertise, experience and management skills needed to communicate effectively across all divisions and levels and bring about a unified vision that focuses on the customer – who, as we know, is the key to your lasting success.

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Interim Chief Experience Officer

Maximize Your Customer Experience With an Interim CXO

The importance of a Chief Experience Officer (CXO) can not be overstated with customer and employee experience being the differentiator between companies that thrive and those that, well, don’t. It is imperative that there is a dedicated person to focus on all the moving parts across the organization. They’re there to ensure that the stakeholders, that ultimately define the success or failure of an organization, their customers and their team members are advocated for and considered in all decisions.

Check out this article from Harvard Business Review about Why Every Company Needs a Chief Experience Officer

How do I know if I need a CXO?

Our Role as your Chief experience officer

If your organization has determined that a CXO is something that will, or even may, benefit your organization, retaining the services of an interim CXO will help you determine if the need is there, whether that need will be full-time or part-time, assist with writing the job description (should you wish to hire your CXO), aide in assessing where your organization is currently and to help develop a playbook for an incoming CXO.

Perhaps your organization already has a CXO. What if the CXO has left? Or maybe there is a specific area your incumbent CXO needs additional assistance with. Our interim CXO services will come to the rescue. Our talented team members can assist in help continue to move critical and time-sensitive projects forward. They will also ensure momentum continues towards integration as a customer-driven organization.

Not ready to take on the expense of a full-time CXO? Perhaps you are a small to medium-size business that just needs a little direction in this area. Our interim CXO packages are designed to fit your organization’s needs and budget. Together we can work to determine what you specifically need, and we will assign the perfect interim CXO to work with you and your team on specific projects or specified time each month.

We often hear the phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know”. That is what we are here for. An interim CXO from the CSIA team can assess your organization to determine current customer experience and any internal areas that might need to be hindering your customers’ best possible experiences. We will provide a thorough reporting of our findings and from there, you can determine what the right solution is for you and your organization.

Chief Experience Officer Responsibilities

Overseeing and aligning all areas of the business with an eye specifically focused on customer and employee experience across various platforms and touchpoints.

Outlining and assessing all current customer journeys and their subsequent ‘Moments of Truth’.

Educating employees and internal teams on the importance of understanding the customer experience, their motivation to buy, and the lifetime value of the customer.

Bridging the worlds of employee experience (EX) with customer experience (CX).

Creating and reinforcing a culture of service excellence.

Advocating for the customer in the innovation, decision, development, and deployment of initiatives throughout the organization.

Championing both customer and employee points of view with strategic decision making, continuous improvements, and innovation discussions.

Working closely with all areas of the business to ensure initiatives consider any customer or team member impact.

Help educate leadership to the Financial Cost of Bad Service™ if not identified and actioned.

Determining, measuring, and tracking “metrics that matter” (KPIs) and using those results to determine the impact of initiatives on the customer and employee experience.

Driving deliberate, disciplined design and delivery of experiences to customers and employees.

Building a sustainable culture of service excellence across the entire organization.

Short-term and long-term planning and execution of strategic initiatives.

Assessment, and re-engineering, of the current process which no longer serves the company, team members, or customers.

Are you still unsure if you need a CXO?