Customers are a company’s biggest asset. In recent years, innovative and forward-thinking businesses have become increasingly aware that they can gain significant competitive advantage by giving their customers a strong voice to champion their cause.
As a result, the role of Chief Customer Officer was created. Initially some five years ago there were only a handful of cutting-edge companies such as Cisco Systems, Monster.com and Sun Microsystems who embraced the idea of a Chief Customer Officer. Since then there’s been growing recognition among businesses that the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) role fills a gap that can’t be plugged by more traditional customer-serving roles.
The customer support team may be too bogged down in the details of sales, refunds and customer retention. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) may be distracted by focusing on sales, generating demand, creating brand awareness, and implementing technologies and strategies for digital channels. Customer-relationship management (CRM) systems are great for managing customer relationships by monitoring, tracking and analysing data but you have to dig down deep to extract contextually meaningful information.
That left a hole in management where companies could gain huge benefit from recruiting a CCO to join the executive-level team, ideally reporting directly to the CEO for maximum effectiveness. A chief customer officer should have the buy-in and backing of the entire executive C-suite team in order to facilitate real change in company culture and focus. Recent studies have revealed that 10% of Fortune 500 and 22% of Fortune 100 companies have already adopted the CCO role.
While CCO recruitment has grown from its infancy to become a more mainstream idea, Intelligent People has been ahead of the game. Intelligent People is a specialist Chief Customer Officer recruiter whose consultants have been finding exceptional candidates for chief customer officer vacancies since the concept of customer engagement and customer-centric business began. Intelligent People was familiar with the recruitment needs for the CCO role right at the outset, and our consultants understand the unique forces that have governed the rise in popularity of this role.
Market acceptance within organisations has changed from resistance to acknowledging a need for such a position, followed by the recent dramatic rise of recruits to fulfil an upward-spiraling number of emerging chief customer officer vacancies. Even though the job title may vary from company to company, encompassing alternative terms such as ‘chief client officer’, or ‘chief experience officer’, the role of chief customer officer will include functions that customer support chiefs and CMOs can’t easily provide – someone uniquely responsible for driving customer perspective throughout every action the company takes.
Gaining familiarity with and knowledge of your customers is becoming more complex as the number of ways of interactions between business and customer expands to include multiple digital channels such as mobile devices and social media platforms. There’s more ways to learn about and buy a product than ever before.
The consultants at Intelligent People appreciate that a CCO should reach across all these touchpoints to understand a customer even better than they know themselves. CCO recruitment involves finding an individual who can form strong relationships with customers to understand their needs, collaborate with them to gain their feedback and then drive company behavior proactively to meet those demands. By identifying the most valuable customers and using that knowledge to implement a customer-focused strategy that influences customer behavior, a CCO can boost customer loyalty, acquisition and retention and have significant positive impact on revenue and profits.
The experienced consultants at Intelligent People know that the role of CCO requires transformational thinking and powerful leadership skills. If you’re a potential client looking to recruit a dynamic, innovative and motivated CCO, contact Intelligent People to accelerate your search.
You could be a potential candidate for a CCO job vacancy if you have the ability to understand, listen to and empathise with customers, and are passionate about helping them be successful. Essential recruitment criteria for a CCO role also include proven management skills, experience of optimizing processes to increase customer acquisition and retention, plus the ability to analyse trends and produce accurate forecasts.
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