CX Speak

Why a Chief Customer Officer is going to be more important than ever?

Written by Sonal Jaiswal | Evangelist, Customer Guru

The role of the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) is definitely on the rise. The CCO Council defines the Chief Customer Officer as “an executive that provides the comprehensive and authoritative view of the customer and creates corporate and customer strategy at the highest levels of the company to maximize customer acquisition, retention, and profitability.”

It is interesting to observe the growth of the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) role. The rise has been nothing short of meteoric and phenomenal. Until a little over a decade ago, there were hardly any C-level executives for those who actually drive the business – the customers. But things have changed since. The CCO council states that in 2003 there were fewer than 20 people in the world with this obscure title. However, today, there are more than 500 Chief Customer Officers in the world and perhaps hundreds more serving the same role but without the formal title. The council also states that 22% of Fortune 100 companies and 10% of Fortune 500 companies have adopted the role.

Source: 2014 CCO Study

Did you know that the first appointment to this role was Jack Chambers, the CCO of Texas New Mexico Power (TNMP), in 1999.

Why is CCO becoming an indispensable role for companies?

There are different opinions regarding the duties and responsibilities of a CCO, partly because the position is so new. Nonetheless, we at Customer Guru believe that the CCO is going to be one of the most important and sought after roles in this coming year. Here’s why!

Creates a customer centric culture

With customer experience being a key differentiator, the role of the CCO will revolve largely around creating a culture of customer-centricity in an organization. Not just for the customer-facing executives or only the management. The goal of a CCO is to make customer experience the DNA of the organization – to ingrain CEx into the culture of the company itself. Without that focus, any organization is doomed and it will lose business to the more customer experience focused ones.

Analyses data and applies it to processes

A CCO analyses data and feedback, identifies the customer trends and understand the pain points. Hence, one of his roles is defining and establishing the metrics to measure the relationship that an organization has with its customers. But that is not all! The CCO is well positioned to be able make effective use of the data and metrics to change existing processes so they are more customer centric.

Collaborates with other departments and with the rest of the management to deliver excellent CEx

A Chief Customer Officer owns the customer’s chair in the boardroom. One of his most important roles is to work across departments and ensure that everyone is on the same page with respect to customer centricity. It is as simple as the CCO starts with the customer and builds things upwards. Whether it is an organization’s product, app, service, mobile experience or social media strategy – the CCO will have the customer at the heart of everything. He will then transgress across departments, right from marketing to finance to research and L & D, to ensure that the customer has a consistent and amazing customer experience. He is the one who will set up the customer centric code in a language that all departments identify.

Establishes and builds new systems

As the definition of the CCO says, apart from tweaking old systems to make them more customer friendly, the role of the CCO is also to create better customer centric processes. Processes that are customer friendly, that prompt customer loyalty, increase retention and reduce customer churn .

Are there any other reasons for the chief customer officer rising to prominence? Do let us know!

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