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Four Key Qualities of a Customer Experience Leader by P. Cory Hogan

In the last three years as a Customer Experience
Strategist for Oracle, I've had the unique privilege of personally
discussing Customer Experience (CX) strategies with over 100 different brands. These companies have ranged from global
conglomerates to niche startups, in Financial Services, Retail, Healthcare, Entertainment,
Consumer Goods (CG) and High Tech.

Fortunately, many of the executives I've met with
truly appreciate customer experience as a point of strategic differentiation
as a company-wide goal. The CEO of one international CG manufacturer
told me, “eventually anyone
can sell
similar products – it’s
how we sell
those products that will keep us ahead.” The founder of a start-up fashion line in New York City made nearly the
same comment when she explained customers, “purchase our experience – and get a
nice product, too.”

However, while most savvy executives drive and
define the customer experience strategy, they are too encumbered with
traditional responsibilities to take the lead in developing and executing that strategy. To overcome this hurdle,
industry leading companies invest in Customer Experience Leaders. They also make certain that the individual
reports very near to the CEO, to break down internal barriers.

As more companies recognize the critical role of the
Customer Experience Leader, they will discover that the ideal CX candidate
possesses four key attributes: 

  • First, the
    Customer Experience Leader has high
    Emotional Intelligence (EI). With high self-awareness, EI allows the
    appointed individual to work delicately among tenured employees across multiple
    internal organizations, and with deep empathy. EI also keeps customer experience
    leaders concentrated on the real emotions of customers. 
  • Second, the Customer Experience Leader is Creative,
    as ingenuity and resourcefulness allow customer experience endeavors to be both
    unique and transformative. 
  • Third, the
    Customer Experience Leader is
    AnalyticalDesign thinking is critical in this capacity,
    but it must also be balanced with the ability to mine data, assess
    feasibility, evaluate ROI, and architect processes. Though not necessarily abundant, such right
    brain (creative) + left brain (analytical) leaders do exist, and selective
    companies will benefit from the unique combination. 
  • Finally, the Customer Experience Leader is EclecticThe
    broader the experience, the greater is the innovation potential. Industry experts are often prisoners of their
    own perspectives, and many companies will find the best Customer Experience
    Leaders come from outside their own company, frequently working in diverse

I challenge every company to align a commitment to CX
with a dedicated Customer Experience Leader, one who possesses the traits and
authority required for success. Our
research indicates that 86% of customers are happy to pay 25% more for a better
customer experience. A lucrative business
benefit will follow–and justify–a proper investment in a qualified Customer
Experience Leader.

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