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Introducing The Experience Operating System (XOS)

Published April 30, 2024

A Future-Proof Framework for Experience-Led Growth

Companies are taking customer experience more seriously than ever. 

Markets, technologies, and customers are evolving more quickly than ever. The ways we manage the experiences we design and deliver to our audiences need to evolve as well; and organizations are taking note. Over recent years, the ranks of experience executives such as chief customer officers, chief experience officers, and senior or executive vice presidents of customer experience have grown by more than 1,000 percent.

These leaders are being hired because companies see that intentionally managing experience creates a competitive advantage and the measurable benefits it can have on their bottom line. Yet, while nearly everyone believes customer experience is important, many have a hard time executing it and proving its value.

This is why organizations and their leaders are asking how to become more customer-centric and how to build customer experience management into the ways they operate their businesses while driving bottom-line impact. 

Unlocking human-centered success with the Experience Operating System (XOS). 

The discipline of experience management can help any company leverage experience to predictably meet its business goals. But consistently delivering great experiences is hard work; in part because everything customer experience related is interconnected... but today, managing experience inside most organizations isn’t. Things like organizational silos, legacy technology, and entrenched ways of thinking and working make it difficult to change.

This is where the Experience Operating System (XOS) comes into play. The XOS works across an organization, leveraging existing and helping build new capabilities to ensure that every journey and interaction resonates, delivers value, and keeps the needs of people—employees, partners, customers—at its heart. It’s a holistic, integrated framework designed to “unlock” the value of being experience-led. 
The XOS is powered by 8 Keys that fit together in ways that allow your organization to better understand and operationalize…


  • Where you’re going: The Strategy and Vision Key ensures your organization is pointed in the same direction so everyone can execute on the same vision.
  • How you manage internally: The Alignment and Accountability Key helps to instill focus and accountability to keep everyone aligned, understand roles and responsibilities, and do the right things in the right ways.
  • How you continually learn and improve: Together, the keys of Customer Understanding, Design & Innovation, and Measurement & Metrics provide framework for driving a cycle of continuous learning and improvement across the XOS, and for your entire organization.
  • What enables experience delivery: The Business Processes and Technology, Digital, & Data Keys help to optimize and operationalize experiences across channels and journeys, making them “real” for your customers and employees.
  • How you work: Arguably the most important Key, Culture brings the XOS to life in ways that change the ways your people think and work with each other and across your business to better organize around and focus on your customers.

The good news is that you don’t have to start from scratch; virtually every organization has (in some cases significant) relevant capabilities and competencies already in place. Organizations usually haven’t looked at these capabilities from the perspective of enabling customer experience, and don’t understand precisely how to bring them together to effectively cut across silos to enable the consistent delivery of better experiences.

Your XOS can help do this, tying things together in ways that drive progress toward, and value against, your goals. Together, the 8 Keys of the XOS bring business capabilities together to deliver systematic, consistent, experience-led success at scale across complex organizations, markets, and ecosystems.

Getting Started: Leverage the XOS to enable your people and better serve your customers. 

The XOS is based on decades of hands-on work leading successful experience transformations in organizations of different sizes across industries. It draws on the collective insights of myriad businesses that have navigated these waters successfully and interviews with over 100 experience leaders from around the globe. 

In addition to uncovering the common threads and capabilities that guide experience-led success, we learned how different organizations approach this challenge. While the Keys and capabilities may be common, their approaches are different. 

The reality is that every organization is unique, with different priorities and needs. Leaders must ask themselves “Where is our greatest pain or opportunity?” Unsurprisingly, the answers they get are dominated by the ‘care abouts’ of leadership and their priorities and are heavily influenced by their Experience Capabilities and Competency maturity. After all, every organization can only do what it can.  

That said, many organizations start with the Keys of Customer Understanding, Culture, and Measurement & Metrics. But you can begin anywhere, as long as it’s the right place for you. The most important thing is to start. 

The Experience Operating System (XOS) is not a theoretical framework.

The XOS is a catalyst for genuine transformation. By anchoring itself deeply in the culture and aligning strategy, management, and technology, the XOS provides a comprehensive roadmap for businesses to not just adapt to the changing landscapes of customer expectations but to actively help respond to and shape these changes. 

Looking forward, the insights, adaptability and continuous improvement embedded in the XOS will become increasingly crucial. Organizations that embrace this holistic approach will be better able to consistently and systematically deliver great customer experiences that satisfy and engage. 

Implementing the XOS allows you to begin a journey toward more effective and empathetic customer interactions, gradually reshaping your business's approach to experience management in ways that prioritize the people that drive value for your business.

Michael Hinshaw and Diane Magers are co-authors of the best-selling book Experience Rules!, which introduced the Experience Operating System (XOS) as a best-practice-based framework for helping organizations become more customer-centric and experience-led.

Michael Hinshaw headshot BW circleMichael is the Founder and President of McorpCX, and a best-selling author on digital transformation and customer experience. He is on over a dozen “Global CX Thought Leaders” lists. He's also a Teaching Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at The Haas School of Business.

Bios  (2)Diane is the Founder and CEO of Experience Catalysts, an McorpCX Advisory Director, and the former CEO of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA). She brings over twenty-five years of experience in building and growing experience-led differentiation with brands like VMWare and State




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