Ashton Media
Marketing & Customer Experience Hub

Will the real CEO please stand up, please stand up?

Let me preface this piece by acknowledging two things when writing an article directed at CEO’s:

1. First point:

I have the utmost respect for CEO’s/MD’s, and don’t underestimate the amount of juggling, accountability and complexities that come with the top job.

2. Second point:

Obviously, taking aim at CEO’s (the role of) is a potential CLM (career limiting move). I accept such a risk.

The real CEO

Customer adaptation – a race to zero

Customers. In business, there is actually nothing else. As they say, there is no such thing as an ‘oil industry’ or ‘diamond industry’, just a bunch of  consumers with needs.

All too often though, we as businesses are too far removed from those needs, leaving customers having to adapt to how we run our business, which is simply  a race to zero.

We ignore end-to-end customer experience (CX) and operate in such modular businesses that it is near impossible for a customer to have a  simple, seamless and consistent experience with our businesses.

CEO = Chief Experience Officer. It is that simple

Whilst the marketing, sales, service, product, claims, loyalty, I.T. teams all play a pivotal role in delivering on the customer experience, the designing  and  strategy of the holistic CX must sit with the CEO.

And not as ‘just another’ task, it needs to be ‘the central’ task of what any CEO worth their salary should be investing an enormous amount of time on.

Do you have a map of  your customer’s journey?

If you are a CEO, ask yourself these questions:

–  Do you have a holistic CX strategy (cradle to grave, not just the service/sales/web teams)?

–  If not, in your current business structure, who ‘owns’ the customer, and/or is in a position to create a map/process/communications that spans across  all aspects of the customers journey (from sales, service, fulfilment, product, claims etc.)?

–  Have you, or anyone in your business conducted a thorough CX audit, and if not, why not?

If we, as businesses, can’t deliver the right communication/message to the customer at the right time, in the right way, based on a CX blueprint that has  all the major triggers and events mapped out, we can’t expect our customers to stay loyal.

Define  your approach to customer experience

What to do? The first thing that should be done is to swap out the word ‘executive’ and replace with ‘experience’ in our CEO’s title. Following that, get  together the right team and partners to develop the CX blueprint/strategy.

It won’t be a smooth journey, and the CX audit will hurt. It will highlight many holes and flaws, as well as amazing opportunities that will help define  your approach to CX.

As our products and services continue to become more commoditised, what separates us as brands is how customers interact/engage with us, and ultimately,  how they feel about the entire experience.

We as consumers are increasingly becoming frustrated with poor website experiences, especially non-mobile friendly sites. That lack of tolerance will  spread to the entire business, from communications, styling, consistency, pricing, wait times, claims processes, product design etc.

Whilst a solid CX blueprint humming along nicely does not guarantee success, it is hard to fathom how any business could succeed in the long-term without  one.

There is no finer link between the accountability a CEO has about driving growth/profit with driving a seamless and beautiful Customer Experience.

Aaron Fuller - Head of Digital, Hollard Financial Services About Aaron Fuller - Head of Digital, Hollard Financial Services
Having spent over a decade working within Direct Response Marketing, Aaron has worked for some of the world\'s largest brands including RedCross, HSBC & Virgin, as well as iconic brands locally such as IAG, ANZ & Hollard. Focussing on analytics and digital marketing & technologies, Aaron\'s focus is driving strategies that drive immediate returns for the businesses he represents.