Customer experience is growing as a requisite in the digital world. The fact that customer experience is now a priority calls for a guide to handle transactions and ensure the process is maintained. Chief Information Officer or CIO is a C-Suite executive whose importance and role has risen in recent times. CIOs played a crucial role during the global pandemic to keep the employees and their families safe. In the last year or so, the priorities have drastically changed. Secure and speedy connections, workplace information access, and data security are some aspects that CIOs need to deal with in today’s remote work culture. Today there is a need for digital adoption by CIOs in B2B SaaS companies.
In traditional terms, a CIO is one who would respond to information on the website and effective management of the IT support. The role has evolved to accommodate the unanimous increasing influence of customer experience. Let us learn how the role of the CIO has grown to implement customer experience initiatives in the company.
How has the role of CIOs evolved in the digital era?
The CIO as we know is an executive responsible for the IT processes in the company. In the wake of the remote working structure, the CIO has become responsible for creating an IT structure that is functional and customer centric. Any B2B SaaS company needs to focus on CX to improve business outcomes.
This has led to the CIO role expanding to include customer experience. The CIO, apart from day-to-day infrastructure processes also disseminates customer information across the business. Customer experience is now a priority for the CIO as per a report from Foundry (formerly IDG Communications). For 57% of CIOs, improving customer experience is a priority while 81% of the CIO respondents admitted to implementing new technology for customer interactions.
Customer interaction has changed, and customers feel happy when their needs are met. CIOs who lead digital and IT systems can play a vital role in allowing this to happen. Along with the Chief Customer Officer, CIO can enable customer loyalty and experience is maintained.
Need for instant connection with the CX teams
The CIO needs to use data intelligence to create high-level customer experiences to win over competitors. The CIO needs to ensure the company uses cutting-edge technology to form a connection with the CX teams. The CIO can ensure there are no blind spots in the customer journey. They can notice the gaps and siloed data which can be corrected. The CIO is the one responsible for ensuring authentic interactions occur along the customer journey.
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This is a real deal-breaker for CIOs. CIOs need to interact with other teams to keep the customer experience at the center. Intuitive customer intelligence is at the core of what every CIO executive needs. They will network based on the customer experience. Customer success teams, product teams, IT teams, and marketing need to work together to ensure the ultimate customer experience. CIOs need to dismantle these departmental silos and ensure a cohesive, consistent customer experience focused on data, processes, and people.
CIOs and CMOs (Chief Marketing Officer) the new buddies in the B2B SaaS company
The best way to move forward is by uniting the efforts of the CMO and CIO. Here are three ways how the CIO and CMO can work together. The CIO needs to champion the use of technology and data insights to reach better processes for both – employee and customer. A unified customer journey is the intention of both the top-level executives.
The initiators of driving employee experience
The CMO or the chief marketing officer is one who leads all the customer experience programs from the planning and implementation standpoint. They are responsible for customer marketing and content distribution. Engagement is one aspect where CIO and CMO can collaborate. The two C-suite executives are also responsible for employee engagement and experience. Good technology leads to better employee experience as they are more satisfied with the high-quality systems and products in place.
Embracers of cutting-edge technology
CIO and CMO are driven by effective technology. Old technology can be cumbersome to deal with. There can also be a ton of manual processes that make the experience redundant. It is difficult to succeed and thrive in an age where technology is important. This is why CMO, and CIO executives need to adapt to evolving technology and processes. Customer intelligence and automation is one such technology that can be helpful to improve customer experience. The CIO also needs to ensure data security and privacy of users are safe while focusing on customer experience. AI can deliver excellent customer predictions so that businesses know the activities they need to focus on.
Measuring the level of positive experience derived by the customers
Measurement is a core component of customer experience. Customer experience helps customers transform from the journey of awareness to advocacy and loyalty. The CIO needs to keep track of the multiple touchpoints that make the customer journey what it is. For example- emails, app features, customer support chats, emails, social media messages, and more. The idea is to measure customer experience through a set of KPIs and metrics. These include Net Promoter Score, CSAT, and CLV. CIO professionals can know how to improve the process to enhance outcomes. This needs good understanding of IT enterprise data and connections.
In today’s dynamic and changing business environment, CIOs need to be on their toes. C-Suite executives like the CIO need to observe trends and adopt digital-first strategies to stay on top of the competition. The future is when all teams work together to include customers as core in every strategy. CIOs who can embrace new digital technologies will make their companies more prosperous by keeping more loyal customers, winning more customers, and increasing the organization’s revenue. CIO and other C-level executives need to keep the customer experience at the core of any activity they do. Everything done must be carried out keeping the customer in mind. Customer feedback is the backbone of this customer experience strategy to engage in a personal fashion and change processes accordingly.15
Are you keen to adopt this new challenge as a B2B SaaS organization CIO? Comment below and let us know your views and opinions.
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 March 10, 2022, Updated March 02, 2023