Latest stats in customer experience reveal that companies hyper-focused on Customer Experience (CX) can see an increase in revenue up to 80%.

People stay in contexts where they’re treated right. 

Unfortunately, even in this current scenario, numerous leaders still can’t understand why great customer experience is actually a competitive advantage.

Despite its undeniable impact, CX remains ambiguous, often misunderstood and diluted by those who join the trend without truly getting its importance. 

This is why it’s crucial for every C-Level exec to contemplate adding to their boardroom a strategic thinker dedicated to shaping and enhancing the entire customer journey, one who considers the needs of both internal and external customers.

In other words – a Chief Experience Officer (CxO).

What is a Chief Experience Officer (CXO)? 

Long story short, the Chief Experience Officer – sometimes called the Chief Customer Experience Officer (CCXO) – functions as a synthesizer tasked with shaping unforgettable customer experiences that connect, motivate, inspire, and earn consumers’ hearts. 

Think of the CXO as an ambassador or even mediator, a person tasked with building meaningful customer relationships. The CXO tracks how your company interacts with customers, then identifies or creates methods to improve those interactions. 

Traditionally, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) was the one who managed the brand, but over the past two decades, the role has expanded into that of the Chief Experience Officer (CXO). 

CXOs now oversee all touchpoints of consumer interaction, understanding that loyalty is built through continuous engagement.

This evolution isn’t just theoretical; it’s driven by tangible business outcomes. 

Superior CX leads to loyalty, engagement, productivity, and financial performance. 

So, the CXO will use their skills to create value for customers, ensuring organizational relevance and sustainability.

Positioning in the Corporate Hierarchy

The CXO will typically hold a high-ranking position in the corporate hierarchy, often as a C-level executive. 

However, the position reflects the leaders’ recognition of the importance of customer experience in driving business success.

In terms of reporting structure, the CXO may report directly to the CEO or possibly to another top-level executive such as the Chief Operations Officer (COO) or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), depending on the organization’s structure and priorities.

Within the company structure, the CXO usually collaborates closely with other C-level executives,aiming to align the organization’s strategic goals with customer experience initiatives.

For example, the CXO works closely with the CEO to align customer experience strategies with the overall corporate vision and objectives. They collaborate on:

  • setting priorities,
  • allocating resources, and
  • monitoring performance metrics related to customer satisfaction.

At the same time, the CXO might work with the Chief Marketing Officer to develop integrated marketing campaigns that enhance the overall customer experience across different touchpoints.

Overall, the CXO plays a strategic role in driving customer experience initiatives across the organization and collaborates closely with other C-level executives to align these efforts with broader business objectives.

The Strategic Importance of the CXO Role

In recent years, the Chief Experience Officer (CXO) has emerged as a pivotal figure in corporate landscapes, playing a strategic role in shaping the overall business strategy and objectives.

This role is underscored by its impact on customer and employee experiences, long-term business growth, and market positioning.

Contributions to Overall Business Strategy

The CXO is instrumental in aligning organizational strategies with the ever-evolving demands of the market.

Traditionally, companies focused on product-centric approaches; however, the CXO introduces a paradigm shift by fostering a customer-centric culture.

Understanding the values and needs of both existing and potential customers, leads to decisions that resonate with the target audience.

This alignment improves customer retention and ensures that business initiatives are in harmony with customer expectations.

Driving Customer-Centric and Employee-Centric Strategies

One of the core responsibilities of the CXO is to champion customer-centric and employee-centric strategies.

The CXO plays a crucial role in improving customer retention by implementing initiatives that enhance the overall customer experience.

This involves strategies such as aligning the brand with customer values, resolving common complaints, and creating positive interactions at every stage of the customer journey.

Simultaneously, the CXO ensures that employees are considered an integral part of the business strategy, fostering a positive work environment and enhancing employee engagement.

Impact on Long-Term Business Growth and Market Positioning:

The CXO’s influence extends beyond immediate gains, contributing significantly to long-term business growth.

By building customer loyalty, the CXO enhances the customer lifetime value, providing a sustainable revenue stream over the course of the customer’s relationship with the company.

The emphasis on branding and consistency, facilitated by the CXO, solidifies the company’s position in the market.

In time, effective branding differentiates the company from competitors and increases its recognition and reputability, contributing to a strong market presence.

Real-Life Examples of CXO-Led Transformative Initiatives

An interesting case study is the success story of Airbnb, where Chief Experience Officer, Catherine Powell, played a pivotal role in revolutionizing the travel industry. 

She prioritized the guest experience and fostered a sense of belonging in the shared space of vacation rentals, transforming the way people travel and connect with local communities. 

Powell’s strategic vision propelled Airbnb to become a global leader in the sharing economy, disrupting traditional hospitality models along the way.

The CXO’s Toolbox: Roles and Responsibilities

So…what exactly will dis person do, during their day-to-day job?

As will see, quite a lot.

Key Functions and Day-to-Day Activities of a CXO

At the heart of the CXO’s role lie various functions and daily tasks aimed at shaping and enhancing the overall customer experience.

Firstly, the CXO needs to understand the customers’ needs.

They are tasked with gaining deep insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and pain points.

This involves leveraging customer data, conducting market research, and analyzing feedback to inform decision-making processes.

Then we get to cross-functional collaboration.

CXOs work closely with departments such as marketing, advertising, IT, and customer service to align strategies and initiatives that prioritize the customer experience.

Finally, the CXO must develop customer-centric strategies.

From designing seamless omnichannel experiences to implementing loyalty programs, CXOs ensure that every touchpoint in the customer journey is optimized for maximum impact.

Needles to say, all these must happen while the CXO also keeps a pulse on performance metrics such as customer satisfaction, retention rates, Net Promoter Score (NPS), and customer lifetime value.

Strategic Planning and Execution of Experience-Driven Initiatives

Strategic planning is central to the CXO’s role, as they chart the course for experience-driven initiatives that align with broader business objectives.

This means that CXOs must be naturally creative and courageous enough to innovate in their field.

They must identify opportunities to innovate and differentiate the brand through unique and memorable customer experiences.

Yes, no pressure.
We get it.

Keeping in time with the zeitgeist, CXOs embrace agile methodologies to adapt quickly to customer needs and market dynamics.

They prioritize flexibility and experimentation in their approach to strategy execution.

Job Description and Requirements for the CXO

Let’s break the theory for a second and imagine you want to hire a CXO now.

Fourthly, you’re going to have to craft a JD, right?

To that end, we wrote a Job Ad, for a fictive company – yet, the requirements are as real as they can get.

The CXO will be responsible for shaping and implementing our organization’s customer experience strategy, driving initiatives that enhance customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.

This role requires a strategic thinker with a passion for innovation and a deep understanding of customer needs.

  • Essential Qualifications and Skills

Advanced degree in a relevant field such as Marketing, Business Administration, or related disciplines.
Minimum of 5 years of experience in roles related to customer experience, marketing, or strategic management.
Proven track record of implementing successful customer-centric initiatives that drive business growth and profitability.
Strong analytical skills with the ability to interpret data and insights to inform strategic decision-making.
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively across departments and influence key stakeholders.
Demonstrated leadership experience, with the ability to inspire and motivate teams to achieve common goals.
Experience in developing and executing comprehensive customer experience strategies across multiple channels and touchpoints.

  • Personality Traits and Leadership Qualities

The ideal candidate will have a forward-thinking mindset and the ability to envision innovative solutions to complex challenges.
Since the CXO will work closely with cross-functional teams to align strategies and drive initiatives, we’re looking for someone with a collaborative mindset.
We’d love to work with an empathetic individual, as the role involves designing experiences that resonate with customers needs and preferences.
The CXO should possess strong leadership qualities and the ability to inspire and empower teams to achieve excellence in customer experience delivery.
Finally, adaptability is crucial. The CXO should be adaptable and resilient, capable of navigating change and driving transformational initiatives.

The Journey to Becoming a CXO

Becoming a Chief Experience Officer (CXO) requires a combination of education, experience, and continuous learning. Here’s a breakdown of the typical journey to attaining the CXO position:

Educational Background and Career Pathways

Many CXOs hold advanced degrees in fields such as Marketing, Business Administration, Public Relations, or related disciplines.

A solid educational foundation provides the necessary theoretical knowledge and strategic frameworks to understand customer behavior, market dynamics, and organizational leadership.

These people often begin their careers in roles related to marketing, customer experience, product management, or strategic planning. Think of roles that provide valuable hands-on experience in understanding customer needs, developing marketing strategies, and driving business growth.

From the beginning of their careers, CXOs might progress to positions such as Marketing Manager, Director of Customer Experience, or Vice President of Marketing.

This step is all about gaining experience in leading teams, shaping strategies, and driving results.

Professional Development Learning

As with any job nowadays, CXOs are also expected to be in a continuous learning state.

They should be informed about emerging trends, best practices, and industry benchmarks through industry publications, conferences, and networking events.

Moreover, CXOs should invest in developing their leadership skills, including communication, collaboration, decision-making, and emotional intelligence.

CXOs should continuously seek opportunities to expand their knowledge, acquire new skills, and stay ahead of industry trends. This may involve pursuing advanced certifications, attending relevant workshops or seminars, and participating in executive education programs.

Finally, it’s a great idea to seek mentorship and guidance:

Mentorship can be invaluable for aspiring CXOs seeking guidance and advice from seasoned professionals in the field.

Mentors can provide valuable insights, share experiences, and offer career guidance to help individuals navigate their journey towards the CXO position.

Internal Recruitment vs. External Hiring: Finding the Right Fit

In the pursuit of finding the right person for important roles like the Chief Experience Officer (CXO), companies often face a big question: Do we promote someone from within our team or look for fresh talent outside?

It’s like choosing between familiar faces and new beginnings.

Promoting someone from within has its perks.

These people already know the ins and outs of the company—they understand its vibe, how things work, and what makes it tick.

So, when they step up, they can hit the ground running.

Plus, it’s a morale booster for everyone else, showing that there’s room to grow right here.

Finally, promoting internally usually saves money because you’re not starting from scratch with training and all that.

However promoting from within isn’t a perfect solution.

Sometimes, insiders can get stuck in their ways, and they might not bring fresh ideas to the table.

That could hold the company back from trying new things. Also, while they might be great at what they do now, stepping up to a bigger role like CXO might need some extra learning.

On the other hand, bringing in someone new can shake things up—in a good way.

They bring in new perspectives, ideas, and experiences that could give the company a real boost. Plus, you get access to a wider pool of talent, so you can find someone with exactly the skills you need for the CXO role.

But there are downsides to hiring from the outside too.

Newcomers might take time to get used to how things work here, which can slow things down.

And sometimes, it’s tough for them to fit in with the team or understand the company culture. That can lead to some bumps in the road.

Finding potential CXO candidates from your existing team takes a bit of thinking ahead.

Look for people who’ve shown they’ve got what it takes to lead, and give them chances to learn and grow. Keep the conversation going about where they want to go in their careers, and give them opportunities to take on new challenges.

And it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for who might step into bigger roles down the road.

In the end, whether you promote from within or look for fresh talent, it’s all about what’s best for your company. By weighing the pros and cons and investing in your team’s development, you can find the right fit for the CXO role and set your company up for success in the long run.

The Rise of Fractional CXOs

Fractional CXOs represent a modern approach to executive leadership.

These professionals, known as fractional Chief Experience Officers, are seasoned executives hired on a part-time or contract basis to provide strategic guidance to businesses.

With expertise in areas like finance, marketing, operations, or technology, they fill crucial roles, offering specialized insights and direction for specific projects and initiatives.

Unlike traditional full-time executives, fractional CXOs work flexibly, often collaborating with multiple clients simultaneously.

This unique arrangement allows them to bring diverse experiences and perspectives to their roles, maximizing their impact across different organizations.

When and Why Companies Might Opt for a Fractional CXO

Fractional CXOs provide companies with the flexibility to access high-level expertise without committing to full-time hires.

This adaptable approach enables businesses to scale their leadership resources according to their evolving needs.

Moreover, hiring full-time executives can be financially burdensome.

Fractional CXOs offer a cost-effective alternative, allowing organizations to tap into executive-level talent without incurring the full expenses associated with permanent hires.

As industries become more specialized, there’s a growing demand for executives with niche expertise.

Fractional CXOs bring tailored skills and knowledge to the table, addressing unique challenges and opportunities within organizations.

Through their interactions with various clients, they establish valuable connections and insights that can benefit organizations.

An expanded network enhances collaboration and fosters innovation, driving business growth and development.

The rise of the gig economy has reshaped the way businesses approach talent acquisition.

Fractional CXOs are part of this evolving landscape, embracing flexible work arrangements while delivering valuable expertise to organizations seeking strategic guidance.

Compensation Insights: The CXO’s Earning Potential

Here’s where it gets a little tricky.

The salary of a Chief Experience Officer in the United States can vary widely depending on factors such as the industry, the size of the company, the location, the level of experience, and the specific responsibilities of the role.

However, CXOs typically earn competitive salaries commensurate with their executive-level responsibilities.

After consulting career portals such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn, we concluded that the salary range for CXOs in the United States can start from around $100,000 to well over $250,000 per year or more, depending on the aforementioned factors.

In some cases, CXOs may also receive bonuses, stock options, and other forms of compensation in addition to their base salary.

Additionally, compensation packages can vary greatly depending on the specific organization and its financial situation.

Technological Proficiency: Essential Tools for the CXO Position

CXOs should be well-versed in a variety of technological tools and platforms that drive customer-centric initiatives and streamline internal operations.

This includes CRM systems, which enable organizations to manage interactions with current and potential customers, providing valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences.

Additionally, CXOs should leverage data analytics and business intelligence tools to extract actionable insights from vast amounts of data, informing strategic decision-making and driving personalized customer experiences.

Embracing emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Natural Language Processing (NLP) allows CXOs to automate repetitive tasks, personalize interactions, and anticipate customer needs in real-time.

Finally, cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions offer scalable and cost-effective infrastructure for delivering seamless digital experiences across multiple channels.

Famous CXOs and Their Contributions

On June 5, 2022, Under Armour’s CEO, Patrik Frisk, shared insights into the company’s growth strategy. Under Frisk’s leadership, Under Armour has focused on redefining its approach, with a keen eye on consumer needs and innovative product development.

The company’s growth strategy revolves around key platforms:

  • Consumer Centricity: Understanding athletes’ needs and evolving alongside them.
  • Product Engine: Developing industry-leading innovations that blend performance, style, and functionality.
  • Go-to-Market: Balancing product creation, storytelling, and consumer engagement across channels.
  • End-to-End Planning: Streamlining processes to create an efficient ecosystem for growth.
  • Omni-channel Excellence: Delivering a seamless, premium experience across all touchpoints.

Frisk’s vision has propelled Under Armour toward sustained success, focusing on consumer-centricity, product excellence, and operational efficiency. As the company continues its journey, these pillars will shape its future endeavors, driving innovation and engagement in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

Wrap Up

Just like you need specific C-Level execs to oversee the finances, products, and operations side of your business, you will also need one dedicated individual to oversee everything related to customer experience. 

It’s rather simple and obvious – people return to places where they feel understood and pampered. 

However, unless there’s someone who’s whole job revolves around creating this type of environment inside your business, this task will fall through the cracks. 

The only question that remains: can you afford to ignore customer experience anymore?