A CEO is first a CEO! 


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Today, the most important thing is it for a CEO to be customer centric. 

​A Chief Executive Officer is first and foremost a Customer Experience Officer. Both these designations are synonymous in today’s world of business; and if businesses don’t recognize this, they should, if they want to stay ahead in the game.

The savvy customer has reduced the effort of an organization to sell to them and in lieu increased their effort in greatly improving the customer experience. As digital communication entrenches itself deeper into our lives, the customer is comfortable to be personally detachment from the company (using apps and the internet to interact with the company), while their desire for a personalized experience is growing rapidly.
Here are some research survey findings that reflect the growing importance of customer experience as envisioned by businesses at the CxO level.

  • 89% of companies surveyed plan to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience by 2016” – Gartner 2014
  • 39% of respondents agree that the very definition of customer centricity is being established at the very top of the organization with the president/CEO” – CMO Council with SAP 2014
  • 93% say that improving CX [customer experience] is one of the top three priorities for the next two years; 97% state CX is critical to success” –  Oracle 2013
  • “Organizations are transforming the customer experience. Nearly 7 in 10 CxOs recognize the new imperative.” IBM 2013
  • Leading the customer experience, cross-functionally at all touch points, is the top investment over the next 2 years” – Gartner and The CMO Club 2014

These statistics reflect a change in mindset to the conventional methodology of business driven by sales and calls for a focused impetus to drive business with the perspective of customer experience. It’s a gutsy move to leave behind the tried and tested and venture into the unknown. Unknown, because businesses still struggles to compute the benefits of the intangible customer experience into tangible dollars. There is no surefire calculator of ROI for customer service, while with sales the math is simple. 
This change in vision and strategy needs an extremely strong mentor; a CEO that has the intent, understanding, aptitude and initiative to build, sustain and grow business by leveraging the customer’s experience and converting it into financial profits.
Stalwart CEOs, like Jeff Bezos, Tony Hsieh, and Steve Jobs, figured this out a while back. They understood the need to be Customer Experience Officers before being Chief Executive Officers. And look where this belief has taken their companies today.
The Chief Executive Officer must wear the dual hat of the Customer Experience Officer; this is no longer an option.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Sunil Panikker
Sunil Panikker is a business consultant specializing in customer service, operations and business strategy. He has honed his expertise over 30 years of experience, working in senior management positions, with companies having global footprints, and responsibilities that have been cross-functional & multi-locational. His blog shares the experience and expertise assimilated from managing customer experience across multiple diverse industries.


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