It is the era of the customer. Many consumers today prioritize the ‘customer experience’. This evolution of the customer and the ever-growing importance of bettering the customer experience (CX) has led to the creation of a new leadership role: Chief Customer Officer (CCO). If you are a customer service leader, the CCO role could be a natural progression in your career path. This article explores qualities you will need to cultivate and also what you’ll need to know as an aspiring Chief Customer Officer.
Important to consider, even aside from the job description, how closely tied to technology advances this role is, given the timing of the rise of this role. Today, in the age of artificial intelligence (AI), any good CCO would likely be expected to have some understanding and usage of AI to be successful at their job.
A great CCO will possess a skill set that includes technology, AI, and digital transformation savvy. The amount of customer data available today is so vast that it will require CCOs to have smart ways to extract valuable and actionable insights. In addition to discovering those insights, it is also the role of the CCO to identify and communicate any actionable customer insights across the organization to various teams, in order to best help the company succeed.
What is a Chief Customer Officer (CCO)?
CCOs oversee the entire relationship between the organization and its customers, and drive strategies that explore and evaluate customer experiences. Traditionally, several executives shared this responsibility. However, today’s customer-centric business approach emphasizes the need for a CCO or a CXO (Chief Experience Officer).
The Responsibilities of a CCO
The Chief Customer Officer is a C-suite position and is responsible for building a customer-centric culture at all levels of a company. In advocating for the customer, the CCO aims to enable an organization to consistently deliver the best possible customer experiences.
The CCO is also responsible for creating a comprehensive assessment of the customer and developing more profound insights regarding the customer’s needs, satisfaction, and overall experience. This may include recognizing gaps in customer experience and assessing how to improve customer satisfaction, whether in sales or customer service.
A successful Chief Customer Officer will also be instrumental in developing a customer strategy to grow revenue by increasing customer retention, encouraging referrals from profitable customers, and cutting customer churn.
Getting Promoted to a CCO Position
Generally, an individual needs to have several years of experience in different leadership roles before being promoted to a CCO position.
Here are some essential qualities and qualifications necessary for this role:
- A strong commitment to customer-centric business practices and solutions
- Leadership skills
- Strong communication skills
- An excellent understanding of current customer trends and behaviors
- Negotiation, stress management, public speaking, and problem-solving skills
Finally, the ability to build team loyalty and morale is crucial in a CCO. This is because they have to inspire, lead, and teach front-line employees to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Essentials of Being Promoted to CCO
A successful Chief Customer Officer is obsessed with everything related to the organization’s customers and prospective customers. It is not just enough to ensure customer satisfaction, it is also necessary to anticipate prospective customers’ needs and convert them into patrons.
Being customer-centric in approach and in practice are both key to being a successful CCO. The era of a customer being satisfied with a solution that solves their problem is past; today, customers require more. Today’s customers, when they interact with brands, want to be delighted and have an exceptional purchasing or customer service experience. Any organization that is able to provide this has the edge over its competitors. As CCO, you have to be truly immersed in the mindset of your customers to deliver exactly what they need, and also maybe things they weren’t sure they needed, but have the end result of delivering an exceptional customer experience.
Collaborating effectively with other C-suite executives is essential to being a successful Chief Customer Officer. One of your most significant responsibilities will be to unite your C-suite colleagues in seeing the customer perspective. It’s not just about putting forth the adage that the customer is king- but convincing them to put the customer first in organizational decisions. Such collaboration involves working and teaching others how to tackle challenges with a different mindset.
As CCO, you should always welcome feedback, especially from customers. Irrespective of whether the feedback is positive or negative, everything needs to be considered with an open mind before making new customer strategies. While accepting negative feedback may be difficult, the CCO’s decisions must be customer-centric. To a large extent, it is the responsibility of the Chief Customer Officer to convince other C-suite executives in the organization to be open to all kinds of feedback and changes for the growth of the business.
Aligning With Field Workers
It isn’t only kind to aim that all your employees, especially the front-line workers, are happy and in high spirits, it’s also a good business practice. The CCO can help accomplish this, by keeping their front-line team members up-to-date on new customer strategies and tell them how they and the organization can benefit from them. When the employees are assured that they are in the loop, they feel encouraged and can contribute better to the company’s growth. AI tools that assist agents during customer interactions, for example, are a great way to empower agents, and raise their work satisfaction levels. These solutions help support the agent in delivering great customer experiences and also reduce their stress of having to search for the right answers to customer questions.
Understanding Compliance Goals
Having a comprehensive understanding of compliance goals in any business process is another essential factor in being promoted to Chief Customer Officer. Achieving this understanding involves the skill set to assess risk and design internal controls and to ensure the customer service agents are performing consistently to the company and industry standards.
Challenges a CCO May Face
Awareness of some of the common challenges a Chief Customer Officer might face in the role can be useful in achieving success. Since the CCO role is a relatively new addition to the C-suite, some might not yet consider it a position of great significance, as compared with other more traditional C-suite roles. In addition, many C-suite executives lack sufficient understanding of the resources needed to convert the company’s culture to a customer-centric approach.
Realistically, any individual with direct customer service experience has the potential to be CCO. But being a CCO requires a commitment to continuous learning and an obsession with delivering the best possible customer experiences. Have these qualities, and you’re sure to be on your way to becoming a successful and effective Chief Customer Officer.
Customer-centric company leaders, such as CCOs and others, understand that increasingly there are new tools available, such as artificial intelligence tools, to help customer service agents deliver the best customer experiences. To learn more about Level AI’s solutions for the contact center, visit http://thelevel.ai today.