I know of a company that focused on building out the CEOs product vision, and keeping an eye on the competition but wasn’t listening enough to customers along the way. The company needed a greater focus on customer experience and listening customer needs. So, what happened in this case? The CEO spent hundreds of thousands of dollars (yes!) to create the product envisioned, but more than a year later they were still working to increase customer listening and a focus on customer experience (CX) to build up the business and sales. It would have been cheaper to do more listening and focus on the customer experience focus up front!

Good news is, it is possible your CEO knows to avoid this common pitfall (of internal vs. externa/ customer focus). In fact, a new research report from Walker called “The CEO View of Customer Experience” gives a very clear picture that CEOs know differentiation is key and Customer Experience is a best way to get it done.

Are you seeing the growing interest in CX, like I am? I’m seeing more and more top business publications like Harvard Business Review, McKinsey & Company, Forbes, Inc magazine and others. Inc offering CX articles on a regular basis. What you will see in those articles is the fact that it’s not enough anymore to have a high-quality product or service, that in fact, customer experience drives the success or failure (and growth) of your organization.

How can you capitalize on this recognition of CX and get your CEO to take note? Show them some facts and figures! The Walker research has shown that companies that are effective at leveraging CX see growth of 76% vs. 24% growth for those that are not as effective with customer experience. That might get their attention!

You can also share with your CEO that CX is the #1 way to differentiate, nearly two to one over the next biggest consideration when building differentiation. That is also worth noting!

Let’s say your CEO is on board, where should you focus your Customer Experience efforts?

The Walker report shows those most effective at CX are more likely to focus on two things: one, innovation (using customer co-creation) and employee morale. It’s not a hard leap to imagine customer experience is driven by engaged employees. Those less successful at customer experience meanwhile, focus on cost cutting (which is an internal focus, not a customer one).

One more nugget from the Walker report and a CX best practice is that the CEO and others across the organization must all own the Customer Experience, not one group, one person or one role. Think about your teams for support, strategy, marketing, product, sales and beyond.

It’s time for CX to be at the table at your company, and with your CEO. Want to talk about this more? Send me an email or post a note below. I love talking about CX and how to use customer experience as a method for business growth.