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How to get your ceo on board of your cx strategy

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It can be difficult for CX leaders to gain senior management buy-in, so what are the key considerations to take when talking to your CEO?

Dr. Phil Klaus is a Professor of Customer Experience and Marketing Strategy. His award-winning research has appeared in a wide range of journals and he is a frequent keynote speaker at public and in-company seminars and conferences around the world.

He advices blue-chip companies on CX strategy and has written the best-selling book ‘Measuring Customer Experience - How to Develop and Execute the Most Profitable Customer Experience Strategies’.

In this article for CX Network he draws from his expertise to expose the often conflicting relationship between customer experience leaders and their CEOs – and what you should and shouldn’t do to gain senior management buy-in.

http://www.cxnetwork.com/article-how-to-get-your-ceo-on-board-of-customer-experience-strategy

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How to get your ceo on board of your cx strategy

  1. 1. How To Get Your CEO ‘On Board’ Of Your Customer Experience Strategy It can be difficult for CX leaders to gain senior management buy-in, so what are the key considerations to take when talking to your CEO? Dr. Phil Klaus is a Professor of Customer Experience and Marketing Strategy. His award-winning research has appeared in a wide range of journals and he is a frequent keynote speaker at public and in-company seminars and conferences around the world. He advices blue-chip companies on CX strategy and has written the best-selling book ‘Measuring Customer Experience - How to Develop and Execute the Most Profitable Customer Experience Strategies’. In this article for CX Network he draws from his expertise to expose the often conflicting relationship between customer experience leaders and their CEOs – and what you should and shouldn’t do to gain senior management buy-in. Being engaged with CEOs on the one hand and CXOs/CMOs one the other, I am often left with a feeling of disconnect between what they perceive customer experience (CX) is and what it should do for, and bring to, the firm. To be more precise, CEOs often see CX as simply a tick in the box, or as one CEO puts it: “it seems to be required, so we now have a CX Manager too”. The vast majority of CEOs, while acknowledging the strategic importance of CX, don’t really put their money where their mouth is. The fact is, CEOs hire CXOs, not vice versa, so let’s focus on what a CXO can do to overcome his/her #1 obstacle - gaining support from the CEO for the firm’s CX programme.
  2. 2. The number one challenge remains ‘to be heard, and taken seriously’ by their CEOs. I cannot recall how often a CX manager told me that ‘yes, my CEO gets it (CX), but I can’t even get a slot in his/her agenda to talk about our CX programme’. Does this sound familiar? CX managers’ most burning question to me is always the same, ‘how can I get face-time with my CEO to tell him/her about the importance of CX?’ Regrettably, CX managers are doing a poor job of reaching their CEOs for multiple reasons. CEOs often see CX as simply a tick in the box, or as one CEO puts it: “it seems to be required, so we now have a CX Manager too”. CEOs often perceive customer experience and marketing managers as a) missing accountability, b) being obsessed by tools, toys and technologies, and c) lacking strategic vision or impact. This in turn leads CEOs to distrust CX managers. Armed with this information, CX managers need to turn their attention towards what benefits, experiences and solutions their CEO is looking for. Now take this thinking, often regrettably applied only to the external customer, and look at the CEO as your customer. Ask yourself, what is he/she looking for, what is his/her reputation based upon, what are his/her aims, how is he/she being remunerated, etc. So do your market research and combine this information with what we already know ‘will not fly’ with CEOs. To make it simple I have created this list of items to ‘avoid’ and ‘highlight’ when talking to your CEO.
  3. 3. AVOID… HIGHLIGHT… Talking marketing jargon by using measures that do not deliver any true value to a CEO - e.g. NPS, customer satisfaction, brand value, Customer Effort Score, webpage hits, etc. - or using terms that a CEO cannot link to profitability. How CX relates to purchasing behaviour by increasing share-of-wallet, and share-of- category. Speak the language of the board – dollars and sense, not ‘voice of the customer’. Talking about social media, software, and big data. (Don’t forget what might be ‘hot’ for you, might not be hot for the CEO.) How CX insights relate directly to purchasing behaviour and profitability (e.g. by using EXQ). Talking about all the investment needed for the CX programme. That by using CX measurement directly linking to customer purchasing behaviour and profitability, such as EXQ, cost-cutting opportunities will emerge. Tell the CEO that CX is a good thing, because your customers will value it. Demonstrate how CX delivers accountable, measurable results directly linking to the CEOs KPIs, such as sales, revenues and profitability. Focusing only on the customer. Focus on the firm’s aims. By taking into consideration these ‘avoids’ and ‘highlights’ when talking to your CEO, you can ensure that customer experience will take a prime spot on the company’s strategic agenda. About CX Network CX Network is the global network for customer experience leaders. On the website you’ll find features, interviews, reports, infographics, white papers and more, for and by customer experience experts. To stay up-to-date with all the latest news you can sign up for our weekly newsletters, follow us on Twitter and Join our LinkedIn Group.

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