In many companies, CX is the focus of marketing, customer service, and operations managers. That is necessary, and certainly a great start, but it is insufficient. The C-suite traditionally pays scant attention to CX, being focused on higher level issues like strategy, profitability, and stakeholder management.
What if CX impacted strategy, profitability, and stakeholder management? The C-suite would then probably sit up and take notice.
Wait, you say? CX does impact the bottom line and future direction of the firm?
Of course, it does. And now, we have credible information to demonstrate to the C-suite that, while CX is a good thing, C-suite involvement in CX is a great thing. Research from The Economist Intelligence Unit (aptly titled “When The C-Suite Is In Charge of Customer Experience Initiatives, Business Performance Thrives”) included these important findings:
- Of the 500 executives in 21 countries included in the research, there has been a recent shift to increasingly accepting the benefits of CX to the bottom line and overall health of the business.
- 64% of companies reported much higher profitability than their competitors when the CEO owns the customer experience.
- 59% believe they have better revenue growth due to their company’s actual investment in its delivery of CX.
However, the benefits of C-suite leadership of CX do not end with revenue and profitability. There is more accountability when the C-suite leads the CX commitment of the company. That commitment and accountability leads to great success, because CX moves from being a campaign, to being part of the DNA of the company, complete with measurement, rewards, and recognition.
We still have a long way to go according to The Economist report. Executives report that only one-third of their companies measure CX and use that information in decision-making. Additionally, they report a lot of confusion about who really is responsible for CX. While 72% of CEOs say they “own” CX, their fellow C-suite members disagree. Only 27% of other C-suite members said the CEO leads CX. Obviously, lack of measurement and lack of accountability are probably closely related.
The Economist report ends by saying, “One in two companies globally will be boosting investment in customer experience by more than 10% over the next three years, a clear indication of the perceived contribution of the concept to financial performance.” That investment will go even further if companies can get their executive leadership involved in and committed to CX as a strategic imperative. By continually communicating about CX and measuring its impact on customers, line managers will be able to get the C-Suite to embrace and commit to superior CX.