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Is the chief experience officer a ceremonial job?
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
Graham Hill has been a Management Consultant, Interim and Director for over 30 blue-chip companies, in 15 different countries, over the past 30 years. Most of his work has involved building complex service systems, directing their implementation and managing the resulting organisational transformation. He is an acknowledged SME in customer...