Customer Success | 6 MIN READ

How to Become the Chief Customer Officer (CCO)? A Guide for CS Professionals

Do you want to become a Chief Customer Officer (CCO)? If yes, check out this blog to get a clear professional pathway to reach your objective.

Niyathi Rao
Jan 7, 2022

how to become chief customer officer

how to become chief customer officer

This is the age of the customer where we are living in. While making the purchase decision, customers are now looking for positive experiences over price.  

With the continuous evolution of the CX domain on the bottom line, a new role has emerged to assist enterprises in setting up the next level of CX expectations – the Chief Customer Officer (CCO). 

Fact check 

According to Gartner, more than 90% of enterprises hire a CCO or executives with similar responsibilities.  

This fact showcases that the role of CCO has become more vital in today’s digital age.  

But the question is still: What exactly do CCOs (Chief Customer Officer) in this relatively new executive position do?  

Before we answer that question, it is important to know the definition of a chief customer officer. 

Who is a chief customer officer? 

A Chief Customer Officer is one who is responsible for the organization’s entire relationship with its customers. The customer officer needs to make efforts to elevate experiences for customers at every touchpoint in the customer journey. Other names of the title include- Chief client officer, Executive vice president, and Chief experience officer. The main goal is to improve customer experience by designing customer loyalty programs, training sessions, education sessions, and more.

The roles and responsibilities that make the journey of a chief customer officer colorful

The Chief Customer Officer reports to the CEO of the organization. He is the voice of the CS department and is responsible for driving the company on customer-centric values. The main roles and responsibilities of the CCO include-

  • Handling Customer-Facing Teams like customer support, customer success, customer operations, professional services, customer experience, and customer operations.
  • Collaborate across functions and teams to ensure a common customer-focused vision. These aids in building a customer-centric culture in the company.
  • Strengthening customer relationships by building effective processes, resolving tickets, support systems, and more. The CCO manages customer relationships and adds value to the organization.
  • Employee Training. A customer-centric culture requires that employees are trained to offer the customers the best experience. Employees need to know what customers want and work towards that. Hiring and training the right professionals is imperative to customer success.

Specific reasons for organizations to hire CCOs (Chief Customer Officer) 

There are specific reasons for organizations to hire a chief customer officer as more companies are shifting their focus towards CX. The reasons to hire CCOs are established in this blog on Chief Customer Officer.

Where do CCOs come from? Or Background?

A person in the role of CCO can be from any background or mostly a jack of all trades. A CCO could be someone who worked in finance, marketing, operations, or any field before moving into customer management. The people fulfilling the role of CCO come from several diverse backgrounds with the role of juggling around different functions at a single time. This diversity in CCO background can be helpful to impact customer operations and improve customer relationships.

How to become the Chief Customer Officer? 

Here are some of the tips that will help you to become the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) in an organization:

Being customer-centric is a no-option 

Every chief customer officer needs to be obsessed with customers. They need to interact with customers and offer benefits as per requirement. The CCO needs to drive home the fact that customers hold all the power.

An active trait of being a collaborator 

The CCO needs to collaborate with the C-suite regularly. CCO needs to collaborate with teams to ensure all teams are on the right track for customer success. Establishing oneself as a team player is important.

Being open to customer feedback 

The CCO is the one who needs to take in the most feedback- negative or positive. Customers will share positive experiences with brands on social media networks. Feedback can help create new strategies.

Showcase your worth by rising to the ranks 

CCO needs to rise by showing value. CCOs need to build loyalty and ascend in ranks in customers’ eyes. You need to know your customer base and their value for the company.

Have a perfect foundation for yourself even before you are hired 

A CCO needs to build a foundation by researching and setting goals beforehand. This is possible when there is a proper plan of action and goal chart to meet. This can be done in the C-Suite meetings to build a customer-focused strategy.  

Are there any challenges that CCOs (Chief Customer Officer) need to be careful about? 

Here are the top challenges the CCO can face while performing their duties.

  • Educating C-suite members on their individual responsibilities and collaboration duties. The goals and duties must be clearly stated at the time of strategy itself.
  • Having a clear plan of action will help create processes for leaders to ensure better outcomes for customers
  • Transparency is another challenge for CCO. Key stakeholders need to know if they are not meeting customer expectations.

Specific tools that can come in as a God-sent for CCOs (Chief Customer Officer) and their tool to achieve their objectives 

These tools can empower CCOs to deliver a positive CX and offer elevated experiences throughout the customer journey.

  • Customer success platforms like SmartKarrot
  • Customer Survey tools
  • Augmented intelligence chatbots
  • Email automation tools
  • Social media management solutions

These tools can help reduce customer handle times, solve customer problems, and increase customer bonds.

Final Thoughts 

You need to understand that your role as a CCO will continue to evolve and grow as per the expectations raised by your customers.  

Your role is to continue evolving and get an ace while proving your worth in customer-centricity.  

You need to cross a long road with considerable commitment to become a CCO of an organization.  

With the necessary, demanding work and obsession to add value to the customer experiences, you can always get the right value in an organization and deliver your best as a CCO! 

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Originally Published January 7th, 2022, Updated January 7th, 2022

Niyathi Rao

Niyathi is an experienced content marketer with a love for SaaS tech products. She reads a lot (mostly fiction) and is a huge news junkie. Niyathi loves exploring different forms of inbound marketing and taking on challenges.

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