Customer-centricity is the need of the hour for B2B SaaS (Software as a Service) companies. It is considered the only way to provide a positive customer experience and improve customer loyalty. It needs more than simple customer service. Customer-centric organizations have grown to deliver amazing value and are important to create a truly ‘digital-native’ ethos.
Chuck Robbins, the Chair and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of CISCO has a prominent role in promoting customer-centricity. The focus of Cisco is now on improving customer experience at every touchpoint. By hiring an expert to lead the customer experience efforts, Cisco is now on the right path to innovate and improve customer life cycle with technology.
The need for a customer-centric executive team in a B2B SaaS organization has grown with the COVID-19 pandemic. The customer has more power than before and multiple options at their fingertips. Deloitte estimates that by 2027 half of the listed 500 firms will be replaced if they do not adapt to the digital processes and customer success.
Steve Jobs once advised to get closer to customers. He suggested getting so close that you tell them what they need. This means anticipate and plan for customer needs.
To ensure long-term growth of businesses, they need to develop a customer-centric mindset. The first thing to do is create an exemplary plan with a visionary leadership that will channelise teams to focus on customers.
Here are the key roles that need to make a company truly customer-centric and meet challenges.
Key C-Suite roles required to make a customer-centric executive team
The customer is not a single CS professional’s responsibility. The entire C-suite is responsible for the customer. The C-suite needs to exude customer centricity with the CEO at the helm of affairs.
CCO (Chief Customer Officer) – Leading the customer grievances to the top management
Chief Customer Officer or CCO is the latest addition to the C-suite responsible for spearheading and managing customer relationships across the lifecycle. The CCO keeps the customer at the centre of all actions and strategies. The idea is to offer an optimal customer experience in a collaborative manner. They look to transform the company culture and set the engagement process for the strategy. The CCO role leads to increased profit, higher revenue, reduced costs, and customer retention.
- CCO looks to drive the company from a traditional point of view to a customer-centric focus.
- The leader adapts the company with the customer in mind.
- The CCO defines customer value and helps focus decisions in a customer perspective.
- The CCO also ensures goals are achieved as per Net Promoter Score, Customer satisfaction, and Customer Effort Score.
The CCO supports common language and consistency in all function heads and addresses growth goals.
Like what you are reading?
Sign up for our newsletter
CEO (Chief Executive Officer) – The catalyst in adopting the role of a change agent in an organization
The CEO dons many hats in the company across departments – sales, marketing, product, and customer success. One of the primary roles is adapting all teams to the company vision and developing it to take the company forward. The CEO also assembles talent and ensures cooperation. The CEO needs to be clear that the customer is the core personnel of the organization. The CEO needs to make the organization culture as customer centric as possible. Using data analytics and intel, they need to understand the customer better to empower them.
The roles and responsibilities include-
- Communicating with the public, shareholders, and government entities
- Ensuring high social responsibility in the business
- Creating and leader company vision and strategy
- Maintaining awareness of expansion opportunities and market landscape
- Managing risks and ensuring they are minimized
CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) – The side hero who supports CCO in their activities
The Chief Marketing Officer is one who influences and aids the CCO in his job. The CMO knows the voice of customer and can manage the customer marketing operations accordingly. Establishing a collaboration between CCO and CMO is important to set metrics, create goals, and measure progress. The CMO and team set the messaging that drives the organization vision. The CMO responsibilities are-
- Listening to the market and voice of customer
- Define marketing strategies to meet goals
- Liaising with other teams to meet market demands
- Plan the marketing operations and functions to project voice
CIO (Chief Information Officer) – Drives a certain level of automation to scrutinize the level of data and information available to the organization
The chief information officer is one involved with redesigning business processes, orchestrating IT processes, finding new capabilities of tools. The CIO uses the company’s knowledge resources to meet solutions. CIO can help engineer the digital drive and derive business value from IT assets. They drive technology projects to meet company goals and objectives into a customer-centric manner. The CIO blends business skills with tech skills to meet growth goals.
The CIO anticipates trends and drives the business through these trends with the right planning and strategy. The CIO is a core member of the team and engages with other functions for collaboration and information. Some of the roles of the CIO are-
- Establish IT processes, policies, and strategies
- Ensure business value
- Develop technology budgets and futures
- Approve IT architecture and vendor platforms
CDO (Chief Digital Officer) – Accountable for generating new business opportunities and growing revenue from the company’s digital assets
The chief digital officer is responsible for digital business models and delivery of digital assets as per management policies. Government, banking, and insurance are the sectors with CDOs. The CDO is responsible for the customer experience on the digital platform. They manage the omnichannel experience and create new opportunities in the field. The CDO is responsible for strategic renewal and optimizing customer-facing solutions. The roles include-
- Develop new revenue digital streams
- Maintain a fresh strategy with innovation
- Break down data silos and enhance the digital technology platform
- Empower customers with corporate and branding messages
CSO (Chief Security Officer) – Responsible for the security of the company, including business systems and communication systems
The chief security officer is the seniormost employee in a company responsible for creating a strong, secure framework for business operations and cybersecurity policies. The chief security officer needs to build a bunch of programs that identify risks, meet standard protocols, and oversee operations.
The chief security officer needs to-
- Set certain processes for the security structure of the company
- Conduct requisite training sessions
- Evaluate the current state of operations
- Inspect how certain programs will impact the security fabric of the company
CFO (Chief Financial Officer) – Accountable for all the financial aspects of the company- managing and responsibility
The Chief financial officer is responsible for creating financial plans that work for the organization. The CFO needs to invest company funds in areas that will lead to growth. The CFO must chalk plans keeping the company’s business objectives in mind. The Chief financial officer must-21
- Report all financial statements to the top management
- Prepare financial cases and create sound financial policies
- Focuses on return on investment
- Managing cash flow
- Creating a system of education, communication, and more.
Moving towards curating a customer-centric executive team requires time and effort. It is a long and complex process. Being customer-centric can open new avenues for B2B SaaS companies as it helps them value the customers even more than ever before. The shift to becoming customer-centric requires you to unlock customer value. Customer-centric teams are the requisite for customer success. Minimizing customer effort and maximizing customer value is the need of the hour. Is it time for you to curate a customer-centric executive team for your B2B SaaS organization? Do let us know by commenting below.
You might also like:
- 15 New C-Suite Titles: Hype or Here to Stay? – There are lots of new C-Suite titles emerging as we write. In this blog, we discuss whether these titles are mere hype or here to stay for long.
- To understand how SmartKarrot can helps SaaS companies keep and grow loyal customers, Request a Demo.
Shivani is a talented CS manager with the skillsets to elicit, scope and manage end-to-end B2B SaaS project delivery. She has a keen interest in depicting her learnings in customer success by writing resourceful blogs and articles.
Published April 21, 2022, Updated March 02, 2023
- C-Suite Executives,
- customer centric,
- Customer-Centric Executive Team,
- Customer-Centric Team