Progressive consumer-facing companies are creating customer experience teams to figure out how to deliver experiences that are distinctive, not just different. Beyond pleasing the customer, they strive to exceed expectations. To be successful, organizations need to foster a culture of innovation that weaves everything from the design of products and services into the overall purpose, vision and strategy of the company. The following consideration points will ensure companies are set up for success in terms of attracting leaders who can define how their brands deliver personalized customer experiences and power a customer-centric culture.
1) Reporting Structure – Customer Experience leaders need to report directly to the CEO. Given that transformative, disruptive change requires the CEO to be a tireless champion of those efforts, desirable executive hires will look to the reporting structure of the Customer Experience function as a barometer for measuring that organization’s level of commitment to change.
2) Functional Scope – Sophisticated leaders look for three key components to be embedded in the scope of the Customer Experience function including the ability to: (1) author enterprise-level strategy related to customer experience; (2) lead the implementation of that strategy to ensure flawless execution in partnership with their cross-functional peers; and (3) define and measure the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that demonstrate the impact of their initiatives. Strategy, execution, and measurement embedded in the Customer Experience function give targeted candidates confidence that they can transform a company’s existing brand experiences into ones that best connect with consumers across all touchpoints.
3) Talent – Hospitality and entertainment industry brands have built the most integrated and dedicated Customer Experience organizations to date. They have effectively differentiated their brands by blending the functions of marketing, human resources, on-site and digital experience, training and employee relations to create a new way to think about "experience" that touches the employee base first and then translates to brand loyalty from the end consumer.
4) Required Resources – Resources are often allocated to engage third-party services such as a design thinking firm or a customer survey organization to gain insights into the customer base. A few, astute companies understand that to truly know their customers’ experience with the brand, investments need to be made upfront to enable their in-house Customer Experience team to embed themselves within the company’s customer base. This often translates into investment in the form of additional headcount.
5) Compensation Considerations – To attract the most desirable Customer Experience talent at the top of the function, companies should be prepared to offer a compensation package commensurate with its other C-level executives. The law of supply and demand is at play - seasoned talent is scarce given the novelty of an established and formal Customer Experience function within most organizations.
Herbert Mines Associates has partnered with progressively-minded retail, consumer and hospitality clients to think about how they can take the first steps to establish world-class Customer Experience organizations; and has hired several key executives to lead the function for those brands. We have unique insights into the challenge of attracting top Customer Experience talent as well as access to the thought leaders.
We invite you to begin the conversation with us so that we might share our expertise and help craft an approach that is customized for your company. To connect live, contact Jennifer Snapp at firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 652-0338.