Time to shine for Customer Experience Execs

According to stats from the recent Gartner Customer 360 conference there are about 400 people in the world with the job title head/director/VP of Customer Experience. And the number keeps on growing, in fact you can make that 401 with the announcement in late June that global car giant Vauxhall is to appoint a customer experience director.

Any organisation will tell you that customer experience is important, but how many are able to give an accurate and concise definition of what this entails? Is it how well your website performs? How quickly your company reps answer the phone? How long a customer remains a customer?

With so many possible definitions, it was refreshing to hear Gartner’s VP and distinguished analyst, Ed Thompson, provide some clarity on customer experience, defined as: “The customer’s perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effects of interactions with a supplier’s employees, systems, channels or products.”

So how does that translate into the realities of the job for the 401 customer experience tsars across the globe? For Andy Gilson (the new man at Vauxhall) the role, “will focus on driving (no pun intended, their words not ours) Vauxhall customer satisfaction and developing new strategies for the company.”

Providing a good customer experience is now becoming a point of differentiation for organisations making them more competitive. But, it must also deliver tangible results with a clear financial return.

On our recently launched Adobe Experience Delivers blog, John Knightly, VP of enterprise marketing, who also attended the Gartner Customer 360 Conference, offers further thoughts on the importance of customer experience.