Who Owns the Customer Experience?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
Whether it is a chief customer officer, chief omni-channel officer or another C-level executive, retailers are debating the advantages and disadvantages of assigning an owner of the customer experience.
A group of high-level retail executives discussed this and other omni-channel and marketing issues during the Retail TouchPoints RoundTable event in New York City in September.
A marketing director for a women’s specialty apparel company questioned the benefit of having a C-level customer experience executive.
"That person could be rendered ineffective because they don’t really have financial accountability. They have a position in name but they are not held accountable for profitability. It should be part of everyone’s job description."
To further dissect this issue, Steve Rowen from Retail Systems Research presented results from the firm’s recent Marketing Study. RSR found that retailers are all over the map when it comes to the owner, or owners, of the customer experience.
Close to half (43 percent) of retailers give the chief marketing executive responsibility for the customer experience, along with the CEO (38 percent) and the VP of Stores (35 percent). As many as 25 percent of retailers now have a title called chief customer experience officer, up from eight percent in 2012; and 35 percent said they have no explicit owner.
In his assessment of the topic, Mr. Rowen asserted: "What you end up with is this sort-of mishmash of people who kind-of have a toe in the water … but the left hand doesn’t always know what the right hand is doing. If you don’t have someone who has this catch-all title, that is familiar with what it’s like to shop you as a customer, then that’s when you have problematic inter-channel issues."
- Who Owns The Customer Experience? – Retail TouchPoints
- Who Owns The Customer Experience? [Full Roundtable Interview] – Retail TouchPoints
What are the advantages and disadvantages of assigning an owner of the customer experience? Who should bear the most responsibility and oversight over the customer experience at retail? Does omni-channel reach make such oversight more vital?