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Rise of the CX Leader

New research reveals the benefits of long-term CX leadership


MyCustomer’s new research into the role of the customer experience leader reveals significant financial and customer satisfaction benefits for those leaders able to develop and embed their programmes for five years or more.

2nd Apr 2020
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A new research report from MyCustomer and Confirmit, Rise of the customer experience leader - a global research study revealing the skills and responsibilities of CX leadership, highlights the importance of customer experience leaders being given the time to develop and embed their programmes.

Via an in-depth survey of 75 senior CX leaders from across the globe, the research shows a crucial correlation between the length of time respondents’ have been in post, and business performance and customer satisfaction.

Of those who have been managing the CX programme in their organisations for over 10 years, 100% reported CSAT improvements. This was in comparison to 81% among those that had been in their roles for 2-5 years, and 47% for those that had been in their roles less than 2 years.

Elsewhere, 67% of those in post for 5 years or more reported reduced churn, compared to 45% of those who have been in their roles for 2-5 years.

Two-thirds of those in post for 5 years or more reported improved metrics compared to competitors, which dropped to just 26% for those in the 2-5 years group.

Experience matters

Whilst tenure clearly plays a key role in the success many customer experiences see from their CX programmes, tenure is not always guaranteed.

When respondents were asked how long they had been a CX leader within their current company, just 20% had been in post for longer than 5 years.

This was despite 63% of respondents reporting they had combined experience of longer than 5 years across all of the CX roles they had been in during their career.  

Rise of the CX leaderSource: Rise of the customer experience leader

These stats chime with recent research from the Chief Customer Officer Council, which states that CX leaders have one of the shortest tenures among job roles within the C-suite.

Forrester predicted at the start of 2020 that up to a quarter of CX leaders could lose their jobs this year as a result of not being able to successfully display the business impact they deliver; yet MyCustomer’s research highlights just how important being give time is to producing meaningful results.

Claire Sporton, SVP of customer experience innovation at Confirmit, believes CX leaders need to focus more on delivering financial results in the early stages of their tenure, in order to be able to be given more time to deliver greater impact on customer and cultural measurements alongside:

“The ability to deliver ROI is crucial. We need to challenge ourselves and ask if the short tenure in roles is related to CX leaders struggling in this area,” she says, upon commenting on the publishing of the MyCustomer research.

Just 20% of respondents had been in post for longer than 5 years.

Jim Tincher recently wrote an article on MyCustomer explaining why so many CX leaders were being predicted to lose their jobs, and agreed with Sporton’s sentiments around financial impact.

“Measurements are what the business cares about,” he stated. “But they are trapped in operational systems, making them messy and hard to nail down. Lost customers, reorder rates, order size, service costs, repeat business – those are all measurements with financial impact.

“That’s where you grab your CFO’s interest. You’re at risk if you don’t tie your programme into these measurements.”

CX leadership report

Rise of the customer experience leader

Despite the issues around tenure and business impact, plus the very obvious and current uncertainty all business leaders find themselves in with the ongoing concerns related to coronavirus, MyCustomer’s Rise of the customer experience leader report offers numerous reasons for CX leaders to remain optimistic.

Firstly, there is a clear desire in many companies to back their CX programmes with investment - around two-thirds (65%) of CX leaders report that their customer experience programme budget has increased during their tenure.

And 39% of respondents now state they report directly to the CEO in their company, further cementing the increasing faith business leaders have in CX as a catalyst for business success.

The report details numerous other developments in the CX leadership role, including the size of teams they now have at their disposal, the technology they rely on, the type of measurement they use to define success and their background and formal skillset.

“The role of the CX leader has evolved and matured in recent years, but still remains curiously undefined in many organisations,” adds Sporton.

“In this report, it is interesting to learn not only about the backgrounds of CX leaders, but also where within the business they currently sit."

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