Senior Execs Are Not Fully Customer-Centric

As any regular reader of this blog knows, my research focuses on a concept called Experience-Based Differentiation (EBD). A key principle of EBD is to Treat customer experience as a competence, not a function. To achieve this principle, companies need to infuse customer-centric DNA into their culture. But this level of change requires a high degree of commitment from the senior executive team. I think this quote from Mario Andretti explains why:

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

Executive Commitment To Customer ExperienceIn a previous post I discussed how companies with customer experience leaders are progressing faster than other firms. The creation of that type of role can be a sign of commitment, but the president or CEO and all of her/his direct reports must demonstrates an ongoing commitment in order to change the culture.

My sense is that senior executives are intrigued with customer experience, but most are not yet fully committed to it.

8 Signs Of Executive Commitment

If a senior executive team is fully committed to customer-centricity, then it can answer yes to all of the following questions:

  1. Do senior executive staff meetings have a recurring agenda item on customer experience? (this does not include dealing with customer emergencies)
  2. Do internal communications from the CEO/President regularly include discussions of customer experience?
  3. Do external communications from the CEO/President regularly include discussions of customer experience?
  4. Is customer experience explicitly discussed (in some form) within the company’s strategic plan(s)?
  5. Does the executive team have a clear set of customer experience objectives?
  6. Do most of the executive team members have goals based on customer experience objectives?
  7. Is the compensation of executive team members tied to customer experience objectives?
  8. Does the organization believe that the CEO/President would trade-off some short-term financial results for longer-term customer experience gains?

The bottom line: Senior execs with less than full commitment need to be committed.

P.S. Download the free eBook: “The 8 Signs Of Executive Commitment.”

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

2 thoughts on “Senior Execs Are Not Fully Customer-Centric”

  1. I totally appreciate where you’re coming from in this article. I worked in a corporate managerial level position for one of the world’s top brands and always marveled at how disconnected the management was from the consumer.

    Thanks for giving us insight into your methods and I presume, madness! :*)

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