Here, Armijo describes what it means to be a chief experience officer.
Why did Amplify create a chief experience officer role? What are your areas of responsibility?
Stacy Armijo: Amplify wanted to align responsibilities for creating and delivering upon the brand promise. This position entails direct responsibility for marketing, communications, and social impact as well as close collaboration with retail, IT, and HR.
We aim to ensure that service delivery in branches, by phone, and online matches the marketing messages we send, that employee communications are in place and clearly aligned to prevent the departmental siloes that kill consistent member service, and that we connect our members and employees to the reason we work so hard, which is our social impact in the community.
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What qualifications make you a great fit for this job?
SA: I bring a blend of communications, marketing, and community leadership experiences, which do not fit a traditional hiring profile for a credit union executive. Interestingly, however, I’m finding them to be very applicable to what I believe can move us forward.
In my view, member experience is all about setting expectations and consistently delivering. Doing that requires a shared vision and common priorities across every department that plays a role. That’s been the aim of most of the strategic planning and employee communications programs I’ve led. It’s also why some of my first initiatives at Amplify have not been member-facing but employee-focused. I’ve created a team member engagement plan, taken an active role in our annual team member opinion survey, and led the creation of cultural attributes that describe our core values in action day to day. With foundational elements like these in place, our team is better equipped for the new ways we must collaborate to create cohesive experiences for members.
I’m also an enthusiastic community leader and have been able to leverage my community relationships and knowledge to create stronger intersections between our value for members and our impact in the Austin community. It’s been so rewarding to see that enthusiasm reflected among Amplify’s employees and members, the potential for which we’re only beginning to realize.
What’s your daily routine?
SA: Knowing I’m walking straight into a cliché, I’ll say it anyway: There isn’t one.
Today, my day began with coordinating a large social impact endeavor we’re debuting this month. Then, I worked with the marketing team to understand the data behind trends among our depositors. Around lunchtime, I caught up with our chief lending officer to discuss how we could leverage our ranking as Austin’s second-largest locally based SBA lender and fleshed out the narratives for our 2019 business plan. I’ll close out the day teaching a class on “Strategies in Public Relations” at the University of Texas at Austin.
I’ve discussed everything from expectations for the market and key staffing considerations to practices for sending holiday cards. When your job is “experience,” almost anything can be within it, so it’s up to me to make smart choices about what needs my attention, and that’s not usually a straight line. Some days it’s system-oriented — such as how we can gain maximum value from an enterprise system like Salesforce — and others, it’s people-focused — such as adapting team responsibilities to create subject matter depth and career paths.
Coming from life at a PR and marketing agency, I’ve always enjoyed fast-paced jobs filled with variety. Working as an “experience executive” is certainly that.
How do you track success in your job?
SA: Like any executive, my success is gauged by the organization’s effectiveness in making progress in our strategic plan and achieving the yearly goals within that. Nearer term, I look at indicators in marketing, employee engagement, social impact, and other areas where I have the most involvement.
Who do you report to? Who reports to you?
SA: I report to our executive vice president. The following divisions report to me: marketing and communications; retail, including branches and the contact center; and payments and operations.
How do you stay current with topics that fall under your role?
SA: I’m heavily involved in the American Marketing Association and currently serve as the chair-elect of the national board of directors. Through that involvement, I stay up-to-date on trends in marketing and experience design.
Since joining the credit union industry this past summer, I’ve also begun to attend industry events like those put on by Raddon, CUNA, and the Cornerstone Credit Union League. I also engage in the general business community through involvement with Vistage International and serve on the board of directors for the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
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