Congratulations on becoming the new chief customer officer of the organization. It is always great to reach a new pinnacle in your professional career. I suppose it took you a long time to reach this position. But now you are in this position; you must showcase that you truly belong to this position and can deliver the goods for the organization.
The biggest challenge you will face as the new chief customer officer is that the customer situation has shifted dramatically in the last couple of years. The reason is the COVID-19 pandemic. Meetings, onboarding, and processes for retaining customers have changed drastically. The fact of the matter is we may never go back to the old normal.
Hence, as a new chief customer officer, you must set a few priorities as you get started in this new role. We have tried to provide the information pertaining to these priorities in the form of questions that new chief customer officers need to ask themselves when they start off first in this role.
Questions the new chief customer officer must ask themselves
As a new chief customer officer, you might have certain questions in your mind that you need answers to. In this section, I have tried to address those questions for you.
Q 1: What is the organizational structure where I am designated as a new chief customer officer?
A: As a new chief customer officer, you must examine each of your functional organization’s roles, responsibilities, and success indicators. Explore how the various groups collaborate to produce your company’s client experiences and business results. Scrutinize any obvious gaps or functional silos and try to comprehend what triggered them.
Q 2: What is the best way to understand the growth drivers in the organization?
A: You must learn how all of your functional organizations affect the expansion and profitability of your business. Both direct and indirect effects are possible. To fully grasp the most crucial variables, go extensively into the P&Ls of each functional team. Assess your budget and the strategic plan for the current fiscal year. Try to search for a good finance business partner. They could be a significant asset for you and your company.
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Q 3: How does the leadership team in the organization work?
A: Consider how well your leadership team and their supervisors recognize the present business challenges and can internalize client needs and propel the outcomes for which you were hired. Pay attention to how committed they are to the principles and ongoing professional growth you want to nurture among your personnel. Invite them to participate in the creation of your future organizational plan.
Q 4: What is the best way to prepare the budget to meet customers in person?
A: In-person communication has declined during the past two years. Maintaining business with clients has been made viable by video conferencing on an equal footing (led by the company and the customer). Although technology makes engagement simpler, it is somewhat less likely to nurture long-lasting relationships than face-to-face interactions.
It’s crucial to consider your organization’s travel requirements for the workforce. It’s critical to pay attention to employee feedback and consider their comfort levels when establishing rules because uncertainty still exists and there is always a possibility of loyal employees leaving the organization.
Make sure you have a defined procedure for comprehending and adjusting to COVID protocols, which might change quickly and vary depending on the region. Additionally, travel expenses were virtually eliminated from budgets due to the pandemic. It’s time to add those expenses back in so they may be distributed as required.
Eventually, get ready to improve both your team’s online and in-person communication skills. To create enduring connections with clients and colleagues in this dynamic environment, put up a few best practice courses on how to make the most of attendees’ time at conferences, dinners, and workplace gatherings.
Q 5: Can we invest in automation and digital experience?
A: Although the goal of assisting more clients in realizing value faster is noble, one-to-many partnerships have their drawbacks. Investing in digital customer success is strategic and essential to promote scalability and efficiency. CSMs can confidently retain clients, encourage adoption to hasten value realization, and identify upsell opportunities thanks to automation and digital experience.
Digital transformation is based on different pillars:
- Digital Education: Self-paced and on-demand digital education v/s. instructor-led instruction
- In-app education: Encourage the use of the product by using the application’s automated engagement mechanisms. Best for using digital education and in-app guidance during onboarding and adoption to meet specific segments and consumer profiles.
- BI and AI: Understanding client usage—or lack thereof—is crucial to concentrating efforts and choosing the most effective initiatives to boost adoption. Prioritizing actions to increase value, retention, renewals, and upsells may be done by correlating all the data points, renewal history, risk factors, utilization, and engagements.
Q 6: Is there a way I can make the customer journey predictable?
A: The chief customer officer and customer success teams are in charge of offering suggestions and assisting in directing their clients toward adoption and success. To do this, you must comprehend what success looks like and discuss your consumers’ desired results.
As you design the customer journey, be sure to align with those insights. Additionally, collaborate with the customer to develop project plans and give them a clear product roadmap. It’s crucial to define the roles and duties of your staff and your client so that everyone knows who to contact when they face inquiries or problems.
Understand your customers, their behaviors, and their needs throughout the journey. Customers will better comprehend early on in the process that they can rely on the customer success team’s guidance and support if the trip is made more predictable. This transparency is essential and will assist customer success teams in winning over the client’s confidence and goodwill.
Q 7: What is the best way to project my team as a customer advocate and then work closely with the product team?
A: Working closely with the product and technical teams is essential for simplifying the customer’s experience. The teams responsible for customer success and the chief customer officer generally receive direct user feedback.
You owe it to the business and the client to represent the client’s interests and act as the client’s internal spokesperson. Your product will remain relevant with new, cutting-edge features and services that meet your consumers’ needs if you provide the product team with customer-driven feedback.
As your customers become brand ambassadors for your business, this will help reduce the customer’s pain points and result in additional sales or revenue streams.
Q 8: How do I enable cross-functional cooperation to break down silos?
A: The majority of businesses have isolated departments that do not collaborate. This usually results in an overemphasis on their own problems and a loss of sight of what is most crucial: the client.
To place the customer at the heart of everything, your role as a new chief customer officer is to ensure that all departments are working for a collective objective. With a united vision of a customer-centric strategy, marketing, sales, customer service, and even developers can benefit.
Q 9: What is the best way to manage loyalty programs and customer feedback?
A: As a chief customer officer, you are in charge of getting feedback and cultivating client loyalty. An individual who listens and gains knowledge from consumer feedback is sorely needed because it should be what motivates a company’s operations.
Customer-focused efforts would simply run in circles without a clear course without properly answered feedback. As a chief customer officer, you should always select the appropriate feedback tools to close the information loop.
Q 10: How do I develop new processes by incorporating the customer’s point of view?
A: Once the feedback has been gathered, as a chief customer officer, you can focus on analyzing it to understand the exact viewpoint of the client and introducing new procedures that take the data into account.
To ensure alignment with customer needs and rebuild outdated procedures, you need to introduce new processes that will assist in tracking and mapping consumer expectations.
A: As a chief customer officer, you must be very knowledgeable about your clients. Additionally, you must be able to examine customers’ interactions with the business at each touchpoint, provide teams with the resources they need to provide great CX and possess the knowledge necessary to create a roadmap for enhancing interactions across the customer journey.
Here are some of the tools you may give your CS team as the new chief customer officer:30
- CRM for customer engagement that offers a centralized interface for representatives to address inquiries from customers and resolve issues via conventional and digital channels
- Tools for conducting surveys that are simple to use and that measure the requirements, expectations, preferences, and experiences of customers
- Strong email automation to assist customer care representatives in drastically reducing handle times
- Digital self-service chatbot powered by AI that enables users to assist themselves and swiftly connects them to a live person when necessary
- Proven social media marketing and management tools that make sense of the millions of conversations happening there and highlight important postings that need your immediate attention
The field of customer success is constantly evolving. From the questions I mentioned above, you might have an idea of the different things the new chief customer officer needs to take care of. Once you prioritize your tasks and address these questions, it will bolster your customer success efforts. It will also fuel innovation and ensure that your team can build and sustain excellent customer relationships across the product journey.
Dattatraya Shetty is an IT Professional with 2 Decades of experience in areas of Product Development, Implementation & Service Delivery Management. As the Head of Implementations and SOC Compliance in Smartkarrot he is on a mission to provide relishing customer experience.
Published July 06, 2022, Updated February 28, 2023