Why your company needs a chief customer officer

Why your company needs a chief customer officer (CCO)

By Chris Davis, Alex Kazaks, and Alfonso Pulido

Savvy leaders know that customer-centricity is a fulltime job.

Wanted: Seasoned executive to become a champion of the customer. Must be adept at breaking down organizational silos to create a persistent customer-first mentality across physical and digital channels. Requirements include diplomacy skills, an innovative spirit, customer-service excellence, and a data-driven mind-set.

If you’re thinking of posting this job description for a Chief Customer Officer (CCO), you’re hardly alone. Many companies are realizing the importance of reorienting and reprioritizing their business around customers.

But is it really necessary to make another addition to the already crowded C-suite of top executives?

If your organization happens to be one of the few with customer satisfaction and experience woven deeply into its culture, the answer is no. For most companies, though, this is not the case. While nearly every organization claims to be customer-centric, few really are. Just 39 percent of companies either have one or more senior-level executives leading the charge on customer experience or have a similar “customer-first” mandate.

There are plenty of well-documented reasons why now is the time to change this, first among them being that customers are demanding it. No longer are consumers valuing brands based narrowly on their experience with a product. They evaluate their interactions across every touchpoint and can easily assess a brand by how it stacks up against the best-in-class options. In addition, the wave of commoditization and shorter product cycles has made it harder for product-oriented businesses to stand out from the pack. In this environment, consistently delighting customers becomes a difficult-to-replicate competitive edge that gives resiliency to a company’s brand equity.

This article was originally published on Forbes.com.

About the author(s)

Chris Davis is executive director and leader of Russell Reynolds Associates’ Financial Services Practice. Alex Kazaks is a partner in the Marketing & Sales Practice at McKinsey & Company. Alfonso Pulido is also a partner in the Marketing & Sales Practice.
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