Who’s in Charge Here?

2357591Imagine this: You walk up to the reception counter with a problem you are having regarding this business or agency’s service for yourself or your loved one.  You have tried to get help through several departments and frustrated, you decide to ask: “Who’s in charge here?”

A group of employees are coming out of a meeting and one person approaches you and says, “I am. How can I help you – I am the CEO.” If you could hear the employees’ chat, you might hear “I hope I am not in trouble – I think that was my responsibility.”

Why this Interaction Matters to the Board – As a Board Director of this agency or business, you may be very supportive of the CEO’s hands-on approach, and even hear about this interaction in the “Quality” section of your next meeting agenda. Many organization are now including quality-results-client interaction data and stories in their Board reporting. And that includes the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – as it should. In fact, the ultimate responsibility for all results within a corporate-structured organization lies with the Board. The Board hires one employee – the CEO, and delegates responsibility to that individual, for all operations. That includes and should reflect first and foremost, client satisfaction – results – outcomes. However, all is not well in “who’s in charge” scenarios.


9171269The Research – Who’s in charge of client experience? The Economist Intelligence Unit conducted an extensive survey of how global companies manage customer experience systems. How the C-suite values client experience matters – and Boards know it. The study showed a direct correlation between customer experience – profitability and CEO engagement. When CEOs are in charge of customer experience initiatives companies:

  • 58% reported higher profitability; and
  • 59% reported improved revenue growth due to prioritizing customer experience ‘investments’.

However, 72% of CEOs reported they are in charge of leading customer experience transformation initiatives, while  only 27% of their colleagues believe this is the case. Many other similar results were reported, indicating much confusion in all ranks. This indicates a less than satisfactory system for ensuring client satisfaction and may contribute to corporate risk.

The bottom line is, that Boards should ensure their CEO clearly understands and is articulating his or her role as leader of client satisfaction. It is effective and the most successful companies and public service agencies already do it.

Gisele Guenard, RN MEd, Principal of VisionarEase & associates

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