By Kris McKenzie
Do we all need chief customer officers to bridge a gap between marketing and tech?
Consumers are more connected than ever, and with that connectivity comes sky-high expectations about their experience with a brand. This shift isn’t just changing the tools businesses use; it’s also changing the C-suite.
The roles of the CEO, CMO and CIO are more complex than ever before. CMOs and CIOs, in particular, are tasked with transforming massive amounts of customer data into increased revenue and topline growth. As these roles continue to evolve, success hinges on a key addition to this duo: The Chief Customer Officer (CCO).
Today, many CMOs have sole ownership over the customer experience. Not only that, to increase acquisition and combat customer churn, many CMOs now control or heavily influence customer-focused technology spend.
This blurs the lines of ownership in the C-suite and can infringe on the CIO’s domain. As the traditional technology-enabler who oversees deployment, security and support, the CIO has the power to stop a new customer experience technology implementation dead in its tracks.
Given the power struggle, it’s no wonder that 47 percent of CMOs say that they lack the right tools to understand customer challenges.
Conquering those challenges requires more than technology and data; it requires companies to listen to customers.
While CMOs and CIOs have access to massive amounts of customer data, from website activity to order history, that data alone doesn’t tell a story. That story is locked inside the voice of the customer, and it’s the CCO that holds the keys.
Contact centre agents are on the frontlines of customer relations and loyalty building. Every day, customers reach out with questions or issues, and it’s contact centre agents who act as brand ambassadors on the other end of the line.
The best part? They learn what customers want and need directly from customers themselves.
Unfortunately, many companies aren’t capitalising on those interactions: 56 percent of senior leadership say they only sometimes or occasionally use data from the contact centre to inform decisions.
A recent report from McKinsey stresses the importance of customer interaction analytics, and notes that these insights can build customer loyalty, improve the employee experience and drive revenue increases of five to 10 percent.
Companies can’t afford to ignore contact centre insights. The CCO is the missing link who will finally bring the true voice of the customer to the C-suite.
Not only that, in 2018 alone, the number of communication channels is expected to grow from nine to 11. For companies that want to create a great customer experience, that’s 11 channels to hear what customers have to say.
However, it’s also 11 ways through which companies must create the right experience. Whether they reach out via phone, email, chat, social or any other method, it’s contact centre agents who best understand customer sentiment.
However, without the help of an internal champion, the customer’s thoughts and feelings never make it to the C-suite. As the CCO takes control over the entire customer experience, data silos will be destroyed, unleashing powerful customer insights on both an individual and aggregate level.
As the C-suite power triangle forms with the introduction of the CCO, he or she will bridge the gap between the CMO and CIO, allowing voice-of-the-customer data to become a fundamental driver of customer experience strategies.
CMOs will be able to quickly measure customer reaction and make informed decisions based on customer sentiment, while CIOs will be empowered to make technology decisions based on customer data and insights.
It’s a customer-centric world and companies must keep up with consumer demands. As the importance of the customer experience continues to grow, the roles within the C-suite will also change.
Data is more important than ever to driving this change, but CMOs and CIOs can’t manage the influx of data alone. It’s the CCO who can extract the voice of the customer and tell the story in all the noise.
With these customer insights, companies will ultimately increase customer acquisition, build brand loyalty and decrease churn. With the addition of the CCO, this new power triangle can transform the customer experience.
By Kris McKenzie
Kris McKenzie is general manager for EMEA at Calabrio. He is responsible for Calabrio’s EMEA operations and go-to-market efforts. He oversees sales, operations, strategic partnerships and customer success.