Over the past six years, an increasing number of US companies of all sizes have appointed a single executive who leads customer experience efforts across a business unit or the entire company, according to a new report by Forrester Research.
Among such firms, most (30%) call the customer-centric role a "chief customer officer (CCO)," 15% use the title "chief client officer," and 10% refer to the role as a "chief experience officer."
Whichever titles companies prefer, most customer experience leaders sit at high levels of power at businesses across a diverse range of industries, Forrester finds.
Below, other findings from the report titled "The Chief Customer Officer, 2012," based on data collected over the previous year using a variety of methods, including interviews, LinkedIn, and other online platforms.
Companies are tapping into marketing and sales departments to fill customer experience positions.
Prior to their assuming COO responsibilities, most customer experience professionals held senior-level positions at companies: 32% were general managers or presidents, 28% had a marketing role, 26% had experience in operations, and 20% had a sales role.
One in ten customer experience professionals (10%) had a strategy/innovation role prior to assuming COO responsibilities, while an equal number (10%) held a technology-related position in an IT department.
COO positions are still new: Most (50%) customer experience professionals have been in their jobs for two years or less, and 28% have been at their jobs for one year or less, according to Forrester.
About the data: Findings are based on data from 550 people identified via interviews, news announcements, and various online searches. Some 165 executives had roles in charge of enterprise-wide customer experiences.