Mobile devices are dominating the technological landscape, and busy consumers are leading increasingly connected lives that allow them to interact with companies and brands both online and offline. As a result, more businesses are placing focus on the customer experience (or CX) to ensure shoppers and clients are satisfied and keep coming back. This trend has led to the development of one of today’s most in-demand executive roles — the chief experience officer (CXO).

In practical terms, CX is the overall feeling or opinion a consumer has based on the total of their interactions with all facets of a brand or organization, from marketing strategies and mobile apps to support services and brick-and-mortar stores. The customer experience starts at the time advertising is first encountered and continues until a product or service is purchased or engaged and — in some cases — is no longer needed. It is the responsibility of the chief experience officer to ensure each step of the buyer’s journey and customer life cycle is positive, user friendly and productive.

The role of the chief experience officer is new to the C-suite, having only begun to emerge in recent years. That newness can mean dynamic responsibilities, making for an exciting career that’s both challenging and rewarding. 

Are you interested in someday becoming a CXO? Read on to learn what you need to know, from the requirements of the job to earning potential.

Duties and expectations

Chief experience officers must continually evaluate business practices, methods and strategies to improve customer interactions. They must boost the overall impression of and trust in a company, business or brand.

Specific duties in a typical chief experience officer job description include:

  • Overseeing a team of designers, developers and researchers dedicated to improving user experience
  • Emphasizing to employees and internal teams the importance of understanding consumers and their motivations, the ease of their encounters and their takeaways 
  • Fostering an understanding throughout the organization of the buyer’s journey and customer life cycle
  • Working across marketing channels to develop and launch campaigns that help improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and brand image
  • Advocating for consumer needs in the development and deployment of projects and strategies throughout the organization
  • Measuring and tracking acquisition, retention and overall customer sentiment

Fostering positive CX through employee experiences

Factors such as advertising and online interactions are not the only touchpoints that influence consumers. There is also the experience they have when working directly with a company’s employees — either in person, over the phone or in online chats handled by humans. Since CXOs want these encounters to be positive for the consumer, they try to enrich the employee experience at their firms. The CXO does this by ensuring employees are engaged, satisfied and hopefully even passionate about the company’s products and services so that this spirit comes across when working with customers.

There’s another, perhaps roundabout, way the CXO can enhance the employee experience. As they advise other departments in the customer experience aspects of digital transformation, they play a role in technology taking over routine jobs and freeing up employees to focus on more complex initiatives. This can boost employee satisfaction as staff are increasingly allowed to apply their own unique set of skills, knowledge and talents to their work.

Experience and skills

Unsurprisingly, a strong marketing background is a must in order to thrive as a CXO. Most employers will require a master’s degree in marketing, public relations, business administration or a similar field, along with at least 10 years of relevant work experience. 

Additionally, CXO candidates must possess a complete understanding of the buyer’s journey and customer life cycle, as well as a proven record of being able to optimize and enhance the consumer experience. 

Many chief experience officers will play a role in the management of digital assets — like e-commerce sites and apps — and should have solid working knowledge of web development best practices. CXOs must be comfortable conceptualizing improvements and translating their ideas to design and development teams. 

Experience across various digital marketing channels — including email, social media and display advertising — is often required. Depending on the industry, a background in more traditional marketing and advertising methods, such as direct mail, television and radio may be a plus.

Along with these technical competencies, chief experience officers should possess common soft skills, including exemplary written and verbal communication abilities, leadership prowess, an aptitude for problem solving and expertise in multitasking to keep up with project demands.

Chief experience officer salary

While the chief experience officer job is a relatively new position, the growing demand for this role has resulted in significant earning potential. So, what can you expect to make as a CXO? The midpoint base salary for a chief experience officer is around $165,000, though this can vary depending on experience, location and company size. In some cases, these executives may earn up to $198,000 per year.

High demand now, higher demand later

The management of the consumer experience — and by extension, employee experience — may be relatively new to the executive table, but the CXO position is likely to last. As the emphasis on customer satisfaction rises, companies will continue to rely on talented professionals who understand consumer needs and motivations and can develop business strategies that retain customers, increase sales and grow the bottom line. 

Watch this video to find out more about how digital transformation is impacting creative teams and professionals.