Senior Execs Are Not Fully Customer-Centric

As any regular reader of this blog knows, my research focuses on a concept called Experience-Based Differentiation (EBD). A key principle of EBD is to Treat customer experience as a competence, not a function. To achieve this principle, companies need to infuse customer-centric DNA into their culture. But this level of change requires a high degree of commitment from the senior executive team. I think this quote from Mario Andretti explains why:

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

Executive Commitment To Customer ExperienceIn a previous post I discussed how companies with customer experience leaders are progressing faster than other firms. The creation of that type of role can be a sign of commitment, but the president or CEO and all of her/his direct reports must demonstrates an ongoing commitment in order to change the culture.

My sense is that senior executives are intrigued with customer experience, but most are not yet fully committed to it.

8 Signs Of Executive Commitment

If a senior executive team is fully committed to customer-centricity, then it can answer yes to all of the following questions:

  1. Do senior executive staff meetings have a recurring agenda item on customer experience? (this does not include dealing with customer emergencies)
  2. Do internal communications from the CEO/President regularly include discussions of customer experience?
  3. Do external communications from the CEO/President regularly include discussions of customer experience?
  4. Is customer experience explicitly discussed (in some form) within the company’s strategic plan(s)?
  5. Does the executive team have a clear set of customer experience objectives?
  6. Do most of the executive team members have goals based on customer experience objectives?
  7. Is the compensation of executive team members tied to customer experience objectives?
  8. Does the organization believe that the CEO/President would trade-off some short-term financial results for longer-term customer experience gains?

The bottom line: Senior execs with less than full commitment need to be committed.

P.S. Download the free eBook: “The 8 Signs Of Executive Commitment.”

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

2 Responses to Senior Execs Are Not Fully Customer-Centric

  1. Malena Perez says:

    I totally appreciate where you’re coming from in this article. I worked in a corporate managerial level position for one of the world’s top brands and always marveled at how disconnected the management was from the consumer.

    Thanks for giving us insight into your methods and I presume, madness! :*)

  2. Pingback: Presidents & CEOs: Become a new customer every year

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