Five CXOs share their biggest challenges and how they overcame them
As the CXO or customer experience executive in your organisation, you are essentially the “change agent”. Ultimately your job is to drive change within the company i.e. culture change, customer experience change, and more.
Regardless if you’re new to the role and the organisation or simply new to the role, you’re going to encounter challenges along the way. The key is how you overcome these hurdles when they come along.
Our new eBook "The Rise of the Customer Experience Executive", authored by CX expert, Annette Franz, features exclusive interviews with five Chief Customer Officers across the globe. Here are some examples of what these individuals have had to face, and how they dealt with each situation.
Having to align customer priorities
Christine Corbett is the Chief Customer Officer at Australia Post, the country’s national postal service with a retail network of over 4,400 stores.
“My biggest challenge has been aligning customer priorities and focusing on the critical things that will make a demonstrable difference for our customers,” explains Christine. “It has meant looking at the entire customer journey, not just individual touch points, so we can discover the customer pain points we need to address. For example, our small business customers told us that only providing support during standard business hours didn’t work for them. As a result, we now offer 24/7 support via a customer contact centre for our My-Post business customers.”
Not communicating on a consistent basis
Nick Frunzi is the Chief Customer Officer at Esri, an international supplier of geographic information system software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications.
For Nick, his biggest challenge was a personal one.
“My biggest challenge is that I’m an introvert, so one of my natural tendencies is not to consistently share what we’re doing and our successes,” states Nick. “The way I’ve mitigated this has, in fact, been one of my greatest accomplishments. I have enabled others to be successful in serving our customers. I have been able to bring understanding of the customer experience discipline to staff across our organisation, enabling them to put the customer first and lead initiatives in their areas of business without my direction.”
Dealing with naysayers
Ingrid Lindberg has steered four corporations through the customer-centric transformation process. In all four cases there was a common challenge she had to address.
“With every transformation I’ve led, there have been derailers, i.e., people who say “Yes” to the CEO’s face but then actually are subversive in their behaviors,” recalls Ingrid. “I wish I could tell you that there is a one-size-fits-all answer, but there isn’t. The reality is, you have to figure out what they care about and show them how driving the customer experience strategy will help them get to their goal. And frankly, sometimes you just have to fire people.”
Sustaining the momentum
When Isabelle Conner joined General Insurance as their CCO and CMO, the “customer” was not on the agenda.
“Like most large insurance groups, we have an intermediated distribution model, which means that our customers/clients are managed by our agents and brokers.”
Setting the customer-centric focus in motion wasn’t the challenge. Sustaining it was.
“Starting the movement to customer-centricity was relatively easy; we actually have 28 business units on board. Sustaining the momentum (keeping it fresh) across 28 units spanning the globe is more challenging. It means keeping customers top of mind at all meetings, calling back detractor clients consistently within 24 hours and, most importantly, eliminating pain points.”
Even so, Isabelle finds dealing with the challenge rewarding.
“Driving this continuous change across numerous markets, channels, touchpoints, and functions is hard work but immensely gratifying, especially when we see the retention numbers rise!”
To explore more of the challenges your fellow customer experience executives are facing and how they are dealing with them, grab a copy of The Rise of the Customer Experience Executive (it's free!).