#1 Way To Fast Track Your Career To An Executive Position
by Duff Anderson, on Jul 23, 2015
Do you have your eye on the C-suite? Are you ready to make the shift in your career to an executive position? Do you possess the qualities that make a good leader and are looking to apply them? Championing a customer experience initiative will help you get there.
Today, digitally empowered customers interact with your brand when and how they want. This ‘on-demand’ mentality has created a customer that has increasingly high expectations. As a result, the customer experience is paramount. Jake Sorofman from Gartner said that, "In an age of exceptionally high consumer expectations, customer experience has emerged as the next competitive battlefield.”
Due to this the customer experience is now considered to be as critical as any marketing strategy. According to Hallmark's CMO Lisa Macpherson,
“Customer experience is now the fifth marketing P that needs to be managed as purposely and carefully as the product, and the price, and the promotion, the traditional Ps of the marketing mix.”
This presents an opportunity for ambitious marketers who want to take their career to the next level. By taking command and initiating a customer experience program you will lead your company towards a sustainable competitive advantage and at the same time propel your career forward.
Below are three reasons why spearheading a customer experience program will help get you closer to the C-suite.
Reason 1 – You will demonstrate company-wide leadership
The most successful customer experience programs are typically cross-functional and are implemented company-wide. According to a white paper by Harvard Business Review,
“Customer experience efforts need enterprise-wide visibility and focus.”
This means as a customer experience champion in your company you can get your hands dirty and demonstrate your leadership ability in a company-wide project. According to an article in Ivy Exec about the five skills you need to reach the C-suite,
“Corporations have lots of task forces and group projects; if you can get yourself staffed on a major cross-functional project with a big strategic component that will help your career in many ways.”
Therefore, heading up a strategic project like a customer experience program will highlight your leadership skills and get you noticed by the C-suite.
Reason 2 – You will have an impact on the bottom line
Customer experience programs achieve results. According to an Aberdeen Report, companies employing a Voice of Customer program improve annual revenue by 10.9 percent. They also outperform all others in year over year percent change of customer win-back rates, consumer referrals, cross-sell and upsell revenue all key drivers of increasing revenues.
Also Forbes found that 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. This means by aligning priorities to customer needs you can improve the customer experience and at the same time improve your company’s bottom line. Therefore, by taking the lead on a customer experience initiative you can contribute to what matters most to the C-suite, the bottom line.
Reasons 3 – You will become customer-centric
By championing a customer experience program you will become customer obsessed. You will shift to a customer-centric mindset by focusing on your customers’ intent, needs and experiences.
Today this is a critical requirement for many of the traditional and emerging C-suite positions. In a white paper by Ernst and Young, The CMO Perspective, Dr. Michael M. Meier, Co-Leader Global CMO Practice at executive search firm Egon Zehnder said that, “Successful CMOs speak with the voice of the customer and drive product innovation.” Furthermore, in a recent article by CMO.com they found that,
“As corporations across industries focus on digital transformation, top-line growth, and customer experience, marketing executives have become increasingly attractive candidates for CEO positions.”
Beyond the CMO and CEO, customer-centricity is emerging as its own unique C-suite position. Founder and Executive Director of CCO Council, Curtis Bingham explain in a recent Forbes article that,
“With accessibility and the consistency of customer experience in mind, many companies have turned to creating a chief customer officer (CCO) position in the C-Suite. This still-emerging and evolving role can be defined as: the executive responsible for the total relationship with an organization’s customers.”
With an understanding of how to leverage the voice of your customers, you will acquire a unique skill set that will set you apart from the pack and put you at the top of the list for a C-suite position.
Ambitious marketers who understand the customer experience is at the center of every customer interaction, are steps away from the C-suite. As the customer experience becomes a growing priority, those who stand out with a customer-centric mindset will put themselves on the C-suite short list.