GLOBAL: Delivering on customer experience is one of the top priorities for US and UK chief executives, a new survey reveals, but a third report confusion over who 'owns' the customer.

According to figures from Calabrio, a software company working in partnership with research consultancy Morar, 100% of 844 executives from the UK and US reported that customer experience was a major focus of their organisations, while just 58% said the same for sales and revenue.

Commenting on the report in a blog post, CEO and President of Calabrio Tom Goodmanson noted that "smart businesses are prioritizing customer needs above all else, and putting the customer first is imperative for them to compete."

Yet, he suggested that priorities are not enough: "The challenge," he said, "comes in understanding how customers interact with businesses, particularly when it comes to the contact center."

With the customer front and center in the C-suite's collective mind, the Drum suggests that the study is illustrative of the changes taking place in the role of the chief commercial officer, one seen increasingly as that of a marketer.

Yet the study revealed tensions within the C-suite around who owns the customer, with 30% of respondents reporting confusion around who owns customer experience.

Though more brands are adding a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) role, Goodmanson observes "a lack of clear responsibilities and siloed data presents ongoing challenges for these incoming CCOs."

The research reveals that just 39% of CCOs surveyed believe it is their responsibility to use consumer insights to improve customer experience. In contrast, 39% of respondents from all positions agree that real-time understanding is the main reason for appointing a CCO, as Marketing Week points out.

Across every consumer sector, companies are adding CCOs to their top tables. Recently, Tesco appointed Alessandra Bellini as CCO. EasyJet have also moved their former head of marketing communications across to "director of customer."

Data sourced from Calabrio, The Drum, Marketing Week; additional content by WARC staff