By the corporate definition, a chief customer officer (CCO) is the executive responsible in customer-centric companies for the total relationship with an organization’s customers. This position is relatively new addition in the C-suite, and was developed to provide a single vision across all methods of customer contact.
The CCO is often responsible for influencing corporate activities of customer relations in the call centre, sales, marketing, user interface, finance (billing), fulfilment and post-sale support.
In reality, the CCO role often requires a skill set that is difficult to either find or acquire within the context of a large corporation – understanding the needs and requirements of many different corporate departments and then filtering it through meeting the end goals of the customer; as well a strong understanding of diverse disciplines of corporate strategy, digital, operations, employee engagement, marketing, technology, etc.
The identification in the need of a CCO within an organisation can be considered difficult for a CEO or company Board of Directors given the relative originality of the role within the traditional C-suite players.
That being said, CCOs are charged with ensuring that an organization’s customer experience is considered by all departments, in all major decisions, at all times. He or she is the one executive whose job it is to represent the views and need of the customer within their organisation and drive the vision to consider the actions of the customer paramount within the company.
The trouble is the base directives of the CCO position are often at odds with the other edicts of the organisation, particularly the ones that are focused on cutting bottom line costs to make the numbers at the end of financial quarter.
These are the very cuts that often affect the customer experience. It is also something that usually doesn’t show an immediate pay off – there are no “quick fixes” when it comes to instilling a good customer culture as it is a continual on-going process.