Seems a bit funny to give a single year such an important title. As a matter of fact, if you look back over time, we probably knew more about our customers 100 years ago before technology became a part of our shopping experience. If we go back 100 years ago the store owner knew his/her customers by name. He/She probably knew what his/her customer bought the last time they were in the store and probably had a good idea what he/she will buy this time. The store owner knew the kids names, the profession of the customer and maybe even his/her birthday. So when you think about history, small businesses had the first Chief Customer Officers and relied on customer experience feedback before technology ever played a part.
Now on to reality, while there are a few small town shops today where everyone knows your name, it is not how most of us conduct business. So who in a business owns the customer experience? The truth is, for decades this question has gone virtually unanswered. Most organizations believed everyone should own the customer experience but as we all know when you have two many cooks in the kitchen, something or someone gets burned.
In a small business where C-level executives do everything from unlock the doors in the morning to making payroll at the end of the day, who should own the customer experience? And, what does this mean?
It doesn't mean that each role in the organization is off the hook. In fact, it means that every role in the organization should be accountable for their part. In the end it doesn't really matter which department head or person in the organization is named the CCO or given the responsability but one person should be driving and monitoring the overall strategy, even in a smaller company, even if it is the CEO/President. Here is what this person should be responsible for:
Defining the customer journey
Defining the customer experience from the customer's point of view
Communicating the customer voice to decision makers
Making sure each person in the organization is communicating customer feedback to a central source
Looking at how each company decision impacts the customer experience
Monitoring and share customer loyalty stats and how it impacts the company's bottom line
Acting as an advocate for customers if something in the organization needs to change
Breaking-down silos in the organization that have a negative imapct on customer experience
Putting programs into place that improve the overall customer experience
Businesses need to rely on customer retention more than larger organizations. A positive customer experience for just one customer can mean the difference between growth and shutting the doors. If everyone in the organization is doing their part to make sure customers are happy but no one is responsible for making sure of it, you will end up reacting to bad experiences vs. proactively trying to create good ones.
My name is KC DeKorte-Cox and I am a demand generation marketing expert with over 15 years of experience focused primarily on helping businesses with marketing and sales alignment strategies aimed at driving growth. I help design marketing and sales programs that scale by leveraging the power of technology, specifically CRM and Marketing Automation.