We’re all familiar with the C-suite, packed with experts of the distinct departments of a business, leading them toward the organization’s future. CEOs, CFOs, and COOs are commonly understood roles, along with CMOs. CXOs, on the other hand, are fascinating, remarkably vital roles rising in popularity across various industries. 
The role of the Chief Experience Officer can be interpreted differently for different industries in terms of span and scope, but an “experience” mindset is crucial to continuous innovation and growth. The CXO is responsible for developing, maintaining, and strengthening an organization’s relationship with its customers and overall customer experience (CX) and is often at the forefront of growth and transformation within an organization. These executives must have strong strategic and financial business acumen, an excellent understanding of the company's operations, an acute marketing and sales awareness, and, above all else, strong communication and analytical skills to understand and develop innovative solutions in concert with her peers. 
Before I became the (first) CXO at Party City, I had previous experience as a CXO and a Chief Marketing Officer; though, in my opinion, being a CMO isn’t necessarily a precursor to being a successful CXO. My marketing experience, coupled with my business acumen and partnership with IT and operations did, however, embolden the data-led, customer mindset that is necessary to be an effective CXO. While the roles of CMO and CXO both focus on customer interaction, they differ in the way they integrate customer insights into a brand’s vision and day-to-day functions. In my experience, the CMO is the branding and media expert, the loyalty and customer analytics owner, and the general “Voice of the Customer” leader in the C-suite. In contrast, the CXO collaborates with each member of the leadership team to map the customer journey, whether B2B or B2C, ensuring that the organization’s identity is cohesively CX-aligned. The Chief Experience Officer builds partnerships and touches upon every aspect of the business.
Because the CXO is responsible for customer experience, ensuring customer satisfaction is a core responsibility and goal of this role. Managing customer satisfaction is an “always on” job—satisfaction is an individual perception and requires a great deal of personalization. While aggregating customer satisfaction into a simple score is commonplace, earning true customer happiness and loyalty is a deeper goal, and CXOs must find and leverage their tools to engage each customer in the way they desire. Marketers have a vast amount of information on customer behavior, both in general and, if customers opt-in, at the individual level. As such, aligning an organization’s mission with the desires of their customers is continually becoming more and more seamless, especially when an organization is CX-driven. For instance—at Party City, our vision was straightforward, formed with CX in mind: Make Joy Easy. So, delivering joy guided every action, strengthening our fulfillment to customers.
I love being a Customer Experience Officer because it is a role that cannot succeed without the strong partnership and collaboration of the rest of the C-suite; it is truly a team role. Further, looking at the bigger picture, the CXO is crucial in guiding brand strategy as well as the overall business strategy and growth. At the end of the day, if your decisions are not furthering the customer experience, they’re likely the wrong decisions. CX can make or break a business, and customer loyalty is key, especially in today’s competitive market.


Julie Roehm