If you think of customer experience broadly, it encompasses every interaction point a customer has with an organization. That includes far more than customer service. Also in the customer experience ensemble are products,
billing, shipping, mobile apps, marketing communications, the website,
social interactions, and more. Each of these areas tends to have its own "owner." In fact, if you consider the vast number of disparate customer touchpoints, it seems impossible that any one person could oversee it all in a meaningful way. That said, it's essential for most organizations today to have an executive in charge of the customer experience--a maestro who ensures that all elements of the customer experience work together to create a symphony instead of a cacophony. In a growing number of organizations that person is the chief customer officer.
During the recent Forrester Customer Experience Forum, Forrester Research Vice President and Research Director Harley Manning moderated a thought-provoking panel session (here's a video excerpt) on the rise of the chief customer officer. Inspired, I headed to the exhibit hall to ask other industry insiders to give their thoughts on whether companies need an executive in charge of the customer experience, whether the title is CCO or something else. Here's what they had to say: