Critical as it is, customer experience (CX) wouldn’t offer competitive differentiation if every brand was successful at delivering strong CX—and sometimes companies can get in their own way. For one, many are organized in a product- or channel-centric way, hamstringing their ability to easily reorganize to foster good CX.
Some sectors are lagging in their understanding of the value of CX. “I work in an industry where they don’t all get it,” said Suzanne Mehta, chief experience officer of commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. “I’m three years into a job that didn’t previously exist. We have a lot of clients that absolutely get it. And we have some clients we have to do a hard sell to.”
Mehta has noticed that her clients who do get it report to human resources, as opposed to the CFO. The takeaway is that CX might be underappreciated if the team responsible for it reports into finance.
CX success is often tied to having a cross-functional team and budget, according to Bohb Blair, global chief experience officer at media agency Starcom Worldwide. “You need the ability to work across those various budgets that are funding those areas,” he said. “Some organizations are set up for that right away, and they love it. And for some organizations, it’s painful to get that done.”
“The elements that constitute the experience funnel tend to live in different divisions and silos, and there is no one charged with orchestrating it,” said Todd Unger, chief experience officer at the American Medical Association. “Today’s digital environment demands an operating leader who understands the new paradigm and can lead that orchestration—and has the authority to do it.” Unger considers himself fortunate, as he leads the aspects of the organization that allow him to deliver seamless CX but notes that most customer experience leaders are not enabled in the same manner. “Normally, you find a lack of alignment across these areas, or a CX organization that sits outside the line operating structure.”