An engaged and supportive CEO is the most important success factor for any customer experience (CX) transformation. We’ve identified five roles for company leaders that can give pace and power to the project.
Consensus Builder- Convincing Key Constituencies to Go Along: Domino’s Pizza CEO Patrick Doyle used to research and analysis in 2010 to get buy-in from franchisees across the US for a major improvement in the customer experience and the product. Since then, the initiative has tripled revenue and lifted the company’s share price 20 times.
Unifier- Getting Everyone on the Same Page: When struggling UK apparel retailer Burberry turned to CEO Angela Ahrendts, she played the role of ‘experience unifier’. Burberry’s products and store experiences had become highly inconsistent. By centralizing the design function, she reinvented the product range, transformed the store experience, and created a unified and compelling online presence for the 150-year old brand.
Influential Designer- Putting a Thumbprint on the Experience to Come: Design thinking was important to PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi too. She reinvigorated the beverage and snack food company by appointing a chief design officer – a first in the company’s storied history. User experience hadn’t been part of Pepsi’s thinking. Together with Italian design honcho Mauro Porcini, she’s overhauled the customer experience and introduced design thinking across all areas of Pepsi’s business.
Customer Advocate- Placing the Customer in the Design Room: As a ‘chief customer advocate’, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has built a business that is not competitor obsessed but rather customer obsessed. You can learn some of the tricks he used to make sure the customer’s view is considered in all meetings.
Thought Leader- CEO as CX Expert: Founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson has become an icon of brand management and a ‘thought leader’ for customer experience. “We all buy planes from the same manufacturers. But there the difference stops. If you fly on a Virgin plane, you know you’re going to have a completely different experience,” says Branson. Learn how customer experience has been a central tenet for all the companies that carry the Virgin brand.
In Krishnan Ramanujam’s article ‘How the CEO can Propel a CX Initiative,’ he looks in detail at these five roles and dissects the factors that brought transformative results.