Customer experiences are more difficult to track, manage, and deliver than ever before. Buyers no longer take linear paths from awareness to purchase. They can interact with your brand at any time and any place – across multiple platforms and social touchpoints.
As a result, enterprises are changing their structures and processes to better engage consumers and deliver more personalized experiences.
In a new research report, Sprinklr and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services surveyed 600+ leaders from the world’s biggest brands. According to the study, 86% of respondents believe customer experience is important to success, and 69% plan to increase their investment in customer experience in the next two years.
The question is: Who will be in charge of this process? Do executives need to be involved? If so, how much responsibility should they have?
These are tough questions for many marketers. They need to be answered, however, if enterprises want to dominate the market and keep up with changing audience behaviors.
If marketers want to out-earn competitors, they need executive buy-in for their customer experience initiatives.
According to the report, leading companies – just 12% of respondents – have strong support from senior management, drive more revenue growth than their competitors, and deliver superior customer experiences. They’re also 3X more likely to change their processes to meet new customer journeys.
With support from the C-suite, leading companies can stop treating customer experience as a service challenge, and start seeing it as a fundamental competitive advantage at every customer touchpoint.
Let’s break down the C-suite into specific roles. CEOs are most likely to be in charge of the customer experience – especially in leading companies.
As Douglas Palmer, a principal at Deloitte, said: “The customer and brand image is essentially part of everyone’s job. When customer experience is a top agenda item for the CEO, it assures appropriate focus on the part of company leads across functions and business units.
Still, some believe that responsibility should fall to the CMO. For example, Frank van den Driest, author of The Global Brand CEO, notes that marketing can combine customer service with advanced analytics to generate keen insights about customers.
In the end, however, the decision of who leads your customer service mandate will depend on your organization’s unique set-up and needs.
Regardless of who leads the charge of customer experience management, responsibility for the initiative is ultimately spread across multiple functions. For example, marketing, customer care, product support, and sales all have a role in delivering superior customer experiences.
If a company is committed to putting the customer first, there should be no question about this web of responsibilities. All strategies should be mapped to customers’ interests and needs, and each department should understand exactly how it can serve the customer experience. Only then can an enterprise truly drive value for its customers and out-perform its competitors.
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