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Who owns experience management? A look at the teams and roles responsible for building and implementing experience management strategies

Successful experience management is a team effort and involves participation at all levels, from the CEO to the front line employees who work directly with your customers.

A comprehensive experience management strategy covers a broad range of responsibilities, from defining and managing critical customer journey touchpoints to building impactful employee experience programs that drive employee engagement and satisfaction. With so much to oversee, it can be difficult to determine who owns the full scope of experience management duties within an organization, especially as employee experiences become more critical to a business’ overall success. 

Depending on the size of an organization, experience management (XM) strategies are likely owned by two different groups — or business leaders — within an organization. For the digitally mature companies, customer experience initiatives belong to the Chief Experience Officer (CXO). If a company does not have someone in the C-suite solely focused on CX, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is often responsible for driving a majority of the organization’s CX efforts. 

In enterprise-sized organizations, Employee experience (EX) programs often fall to the Chief People Officer (CPO) or head of human resources. At Experience.com, we have named a Chief People and Culture Officer to build an intentional culture based on employee experiences that align with our overarching business strategy. Forrester recently highlighted the growing importance of the employee experience and its impact on business objectives. 

“CMOs are fully aware of the importance of customer data to personalize experiences. The employee data tsunami is less obvious, though. Expect the lines between employee and customer experiences to blur,” writes Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Thomas Husson, “To understand the importance of the convergence of brand, customer experience, and employee experience (EX), consider what happens when it’s lacking. There are many examples — from United Airlines to Uber — where lack of alignment damaged the brand and the performance of a business.” 

As an Experience Management platform (XMP), our data proves Forrester’s findings: Employee experiences are becoming more integral to achieving business objectives. Enterprise organizations that are able to build integrative employee experience and customer experience programs will gain the upperhand and lay the foundation for long term success. 

But how do you determine who owns these two central components of Experience Management? To help, we’ve put together a high-level overview of the roles and business units responsible for designing, managing and implementing both Employee Experiences and Customer Experiences.

Who owns Experience Management in an enterprise organization? 

CEO: As with all company culture, the CEO’s approach to CX and EX impacts how the rest of the organization approaches employee management and customer management practices. A CEO who prioritizes an integrative experience management strategy will set the bar for how the rest of the team 

CXO: The Chief Experience Officer is the primary owner of the organization’s experience management tactics. This role develops the strategy, implements programs and manages all aspects of experience management, including the tools that enable a compreh

CMO: The CMO works with the CXO to ensure best in class customer experience tactics are integrated into critical touch points throughout the customer journey. The CMO also leads both external and internal brand messaging, making sure experience management is top of mind across all communication channels. 

CPO (Chief People Officer): This role is focused primarily on the employee experience, ensuring it aligns with the company’s overall experience management strategies. Some companies may have a Human Resources VP (who reports to the COO) or an HR Director. All of these positions play an integral role in a company’s experience management program, overseeing the full scope of employee experience programs. 

Human Resource Representatives and Recruiters: Your human resources staff and the teams that lead workplace culture initiatives play a vital role in experience management. They are often the first point of contact an employee has with your company and set the stage for employee engagement. They are also often tasked with building and implementing employee experience programs. 

Sales Representatives: Your sales force may not support customer care initiatives, but they directly impact the customer experience, acting as guardians during the initial stages of the customer journey. 

Account Managers: For B2B businesses, the account management team often owns a large segment of the customer experience, managing your customers throughout the customer lifecycle. 

Customer Service and Support Teams: Long before business leaders were focused on CX, customer service and support teams were the original customer experience owners. Now they play a crucial role within the customer journey, not only making sure customer issues are managed in a timely manner (or escalated if necessary), but flagging any ongoing challenges within the customer lifecycle to help create seamless customer journeys.

Marketing Organization: The marketing department covers a wide range of responsibilities, from content and advertising to branding and communications — all efforts connected to customer experience. Marketing messaging and communications also play a key role in employee experience programs, as much of this content includes how brands talk to their workforce. 

Compliance Department: Financial firms, real estate companies, insurance carriers and mortgage brokers are just a few of the businesses that include a compliance department — an essential component of the customer experience. It’s the compliance team’s job to ensure advertising, customer communications, contracts, client assets and more follow strict regulatory measures. 

Front-line Employees: For B2C businesses, front-line employees are arguably the most important piece of your customer experience strategy. Healthcare professionals, the staff managing the registers at local grocery and department stores, restaurant employees — they are all key to creating exceptional customer experiences. 

The full list of teams and roles who own your brand’s experience management strategy may differ depending on the size of your organization and the audiences you serve. The key to running a successful, comprehensive experience strategy is making sure some owns both the employee experience and the customer experience — and that those two groups work together.

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