When it comes to customer success, there are various roles in an organization, but the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) is of particular importance.
Chief Customer Officers occupy the highest position in any customer success department. Serving alongside executive board members, they drive customer success initiatives like creating customer loyalty programs and offering customer success training for employees.
Since customer success is a relatively new business function, the Chief Customer Officer is one of the latest roles to develop. Nevertheless, the CCO role has picked up speed in the last few years. According to a report by CCO Council in 2014, 22% of Fortune 100 companies adopted CCO roles.
Since the boom of SaaS industry, this role has seen a sudden upsurge. If you are looking to position yourself as a CCO, then you must know all its responsibilities and strengths.
Roles and Responsibilities of a CCO
The CCO reports mainly to the CEO of a company. Most of the time, they are responsible for drawing the attention of C-suite executives to customer-centric values. You can see this by looking at their specific, day-to-day responsibilities.
Supervising Customer-Facing Teams
All the teams with customer-facing responsibilities come under the purview of a CCO. These teams include:
- Customer success
- Customer support
- Professional services
- Customer operations
- Customer experience
(Especially when dealing with upsells and renewals, account management teams also sometimes fall under the scope of CCO responsibilities. Other times, they report to a sales head.)
Enabling Cross-Functional Collaboration
In the traditional setup, departments are siloed, working in isolation. In doing so, they forget the most important component of their business: the customer. It is the CCO’s job to align departments with a customer-centric culture.
When it comes to the customer, they expect a consistent and seamless experience from the brand. It is not possible to provide such an experience if departments work alone. The CCO ensures that all departments—whether marketing, sales, customer support, or even product management—are unified. They must have a common vision to help customers succeed.
Strengthening Customer Relationships
While sales and marketing teams busy themselves fulfilling their targets, the product management team concerns itself with building its products, and the support team is busy resolving tickets. You may wonder who then is responsible for maintaining the customer relationship? It is the CCO.
The CCO is the voice of the customer in an organization. They construct exceptional relationships with customers. These relationships form not just out of a goodwill but by adding tangible values. CCOs guide customer success departments to maintain such high-value relationships.
Infusing a customer-centric culture in an organization is not an easy task. Every employee must have proper training to give the best customer experience, and they must understand the difference between what customers want and what they need. CCOs design training modules toward such objectives.
They organize workshops and training modules for employees to ingrain customer-centric values. If required, they also hire the right candidates for customer-centric roles.
Building Loyalty Programs and Feedback
CCOs are responsible for driving initiatives for customer loyalty. These programs keep customer expectations in mind. Hence, customer feedback forms an important part of such programs.
Without feedback, customer-centric initiatives are blind shots in the dark. By gaining valuable insight from customers, companies can align their strategies and meeting customer expectations while equipping them with the tools for success.
CCOs ensure that their team uses the right tools for collecting feedback. Taking the proper actions closes the feedback loop.
How does the CCO achieve their vision?
CCOs are clearly involved in many wide-ranging responsibilities as they drive customer-centricity and instill a value-driven culture. Let us turn to the various methodologies they apply in achieving those visions.
CCOs often show their progress in the form of a gross retention rate. This metric shows the rate of revenue being generated from existing customers. These revenues include the following:
- Renewals of the subscription
- Account expansion through upselling or cross-selling
The net retention number also shows the number of customers retained in a given period.
Aligning Sales Teams
A CCO checks on the sales team to ensure they are selling to the right-fit customer. If the customer leaves before the customer acquisition cost is recovered, then it is a loss for the business.
They add a layer of qualification for the right customers whose predicted lifetime value surpasses their acquisition cost.
Helping Marketing Teams
The CCO helps marketing teams collaborate with customer advocates. They use these advocates to create case studies and put them in spotlight. In this way, prospects relate deeply with customer voices, and they eventually add to the sales funnel.
Enabling Product Enhancement
The CCO evaluates customer feedback on the product and take it forward to the product management team for implementation. They help product management teams strategize on the product to facilitate adoption and experience:
- Earlier adoption
- Easier features
- Better experience
These customer-centric dimensions to the product can only be added by the Chief Customer Officer.
Your customer acquisition strategies are essential for scaling your business. To ensure that you existing customers do not leave, you should consider investment in customer success.
Hiring a mid-management customer success team can help you to a certain extent, but a CCO can bring the power to influence departments and implement futuristic strategies toward better customer experience.