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Why CEOs must become customer-experience evangelists

Mark Hurd, president of Oracle | Oct. 17, 2013
Conventional wisdom has lately been taking a terrible beating from modern technology as today's natively social and mobile generation relegates big chunks of traditional business strategy to the junk-heap of irrelevance.

That's why CEOs have to make it their mission to completely re-architect how they think about the core applications that run their core business processes, from purchasing all the way out to customer experience. Because the demographics of business have been turned upside down: instead of business technology defining the rules of engagement, today's marketplace is dictated by consumers wielding powerful new technologies and wildly new buying habits that are being absorbed by all age groups. Plus, it's happening across the globe.

And, it won't be enough for CEOs just to play catch-up, because the pace of change and innovation isn't slowing down — in fact, it's accelerating. What changes in mobile experiences and online payments and web commerce will emerge over the next two or three years? How can CEOs help future-proof their companies from being blindsided by those?

It's a complex set of problems, to be sure, but I would recommend that the best approach for CEOs is to begin by focusing on the customer and what they want and how they buy, and how those are likely to evolve in the coming few years. CEOs need to build organizations and cultures and processes that let their companies move as fast as their customers and, in turn, can engage with those customers via whatever channels or combination of channels those customers choose.

And that's why the CEO needs to become a hair-on-fire customer experience evangelist. The journey won't be easy, but it will surely be worth it.


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