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.
Throughout their journey with your brand, customers engage with you across a range of touchpoints and devices. During this time, they form an overall impression on the quality of their interactions. This overall impression is known as the customer experience.
It’s clear that businesses care about CX. In fact, 81% of companies view CX as a key competitive differentiator. And they’re right to. Customer experience is at the forefront of customers’ minds when it comes to deciding which brands they want to do business with. A quick look into Google Trends shows just how much customer experience has increased in popularity as an online search since 2004:
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.
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:
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:
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.
Benedict Clark is a psychologist and writer, having previously spent 8 years in the digital marketing industry. With a master's degree in Business and Occupational Psychology from Kingston University, he writes about the interplay between customer experience and psychology for Acquire.