With the need to get the customer experience right so pressing, many companies find themselves looking around asking, “Who owns customer experience?”
Despite this, there’s little consensus on who actually does own the customer experience (CX).
Just over one-third of respondents (34%) to one survey said the CEO is in charge, while 12% said the customer service department, whereas another 12% said the marketing department.
But asking “who owns CX?” isn’t a particularly useful question. It implies that absolute control over the creation and implementation of CX strategies sits in one place. In all likelihood, if you’re asking this question, there’s a disjointed approach at your company.
A better question is: “Who should take the lead on customer experience?” This places emphasis on spearheading a collective effort instead.
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Which departments are involved in customer experience?
It may be tempting to think that CX includes just those aspects of the business that are directly client-facing. But given it involves every single touchpoint customers have with your brand, it’s clear delivering a good CX depends on all the different departments within your company working together.
Leadership should not monopolize CX, however, they do play a key role in driving CX efforts forward. By determining the direction a company takes, leadership can encourage a culture with the perfect conditions for improving CX, bringing the focus entirely on what can be done for the good of the customer.
Unless every team contributes, you’ll fall woefully short of the mark. Everything must work as a cohesive whole, with each part maintaining a well-functioning consistency, coming together for the greater good of the customer.
Why is customer experience important?
It may seem like a daunting prospect to get everyone on board and pulling in the same direction, but it’s very much in the interest of your company. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Customer loyalty: Choice is at unprecedented levels. With so many other companies champing at the bit to pick up unhappy customers, a unique CX provides a reason for customers to stick around. Interactions with brands act as a manifestation of their values and provide an opportunity for them to show their personality. If customers like it then they will come back, because ultimately, it makes them feel good.
- New customers: Loyal customers go on to become your advocates. By leaving positive reviews across a variety of sites they help build your brand reputation online. This is especially important in our hyper-connected modern world, where customers share opinions across huge audiences at the push of a button.
Getting customer experience right
There are a number of approaches you can employ to make sure you are working towards the same goal of providing the best possible experience to your customers:
- Act appropriately on insightful data: Properly listen to customers with the help of technology, using live chat, chatbots, and customer surveys to communicate effectively and collect useful data. Be sure to put into practice what the data shows.
- Create a customer-centric culture: From leadership down, make customers the focus of everything. Create a customer-centric narrative and infuse that into everything your company does, through your mission statement to how you conduct company meetings.
- Adopt an omnichannel strategy: Businesses that go omnichannel create better customer experiences because they treat customer interactions in multiple channels (e.g. social media, smartphone, chatbots) as part of one unified customer journey.
Who really owns the customer experience?
As everything flexes to meet the demands of the customer, in the long-run, technology will enable customer experience to become individually tailored to such an extent that every customer’s experience will become truly unique to them.
Perhaps the real answer as to who owns customer experience then is the customer.
After all, it’s ultimately their own preferences that direct the nature of the experiences companies provide for them. If they don’t like those experiences, then they’ll vote with their dollars. The true power lies with customers.