Is the chief experience officer a ceremonial job?

6th Jul 2021

This is part of a series on 'Rethinking the Service Experience'.

Few Chief Experience Officers have the authority, resources or influence to make a difference to the customer experience. It is a ceremonial job title.

A recent article in The Economist magazine, 'Hail to the Chiefs: An Epidemic of Corporate Roles' highlights the rapid growth of new 'Chief Officer' roles, for example the Chief Revenue Officer, Chief Growth Officer and Chief People Officer.

Another one of these Chief roles is the Chief Experience Officer (CXO). According to Gartner, the number of companies with a CXO has increased from 60% in 2017 to 90% in 2019. Unfortunately, there is ample evidence that this is another case of 'too many chiefs and not enough indians!'

As the diagram shows, if you look at the end-to-end customer experience it goes from: creating awareness, through generating demand, closing the sale, helping the customer configure the product, using the product over its lifetime, asking for help to get the most out of the product, paying for the product and at the end of its lifecycle, disposing of the product.

All of these activities already have a Chief who is responsible and accountable for delivering them: from the CMO, through the CSO, and the COO, to the CFO. The CXO is not responsible or accountable for delivering anything. Indeed, they often have so few resources they are hardly even consulted or involved either. The CXO bears all the hallmarks of a ceremonial job title.

If you want further evidence of the CXO's emasculation, you only have to look at Jean Bliss' 'The Chief Customer Officer Job Description'. The CCO is a similar voguish job title to the CXO. In the description Jean talks abut the CCO's goals as being about engaging, focusing, collaborating and supporting. These are all well and good, but they are far removed from the day-to-day activities associated with the existing Chiefs responsible and accountable for delivering results. And with the matching resources to deliver them.

The CXO is largely an emasculated ceremonial job title, with, as executive headhunter Korn Ferry describes in The Economist article, 'no authority, resources or structure' to influence the customer experience.

What do you think? Is the Chief Experience Officer a ceremonial job title?

#ServiceDesign #CX #CXO #CCO

Where is the CXO in the customer lifecycle?
Dr. Graham Hill

Replies (3)

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Dr. Graham Hill
By Dr. Graham Hill
07th Jul 2021 15:21

Further Reading:
For further details of the growth in Chief Officer roles see...
The Economist magazine,
'Hail to the Chiefs: An Epidemic of Corporate Roles'
And NetImperative
'LinkedIn reveals the top 5 fastest growing C-suite roles in the UK'

Thanks (0)
Dr. Graham Hill
By Dr. Graham Hill
07th Jul 2021 15:22

More Further Reading:
The CCO is a very similar role to the CXO.
For further details of Jeanne Bliss' CCO job description see...
'The Chief Customer Officer Job Description'

Thanks (0)
Dr. Graham Hill
By Dr. Graham Hill
07th Jul 2021 15:22

Yet More Further Reading:
Although some CXOs see their jobs as being temporary, hardly surprisingly, many CXOs see themselves as being part of the C-Suite for some time to come, as MyCustomer's Neil Davey describes...
'Should CX leaders be aiming to make their role obsolete?'

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