As organizations realize that the customer experience and relationship is the asset that leads to revenues, organisations will shift focus from the revenues themselves, to the customers that deliver it.

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For Top Management making this transition, it may feel like unfamiliar territory. Change is difficult for any organization and for the individuals involved. The creation of the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) role, is vital for the success of this transition. Here are seven tips for CCO’s who will be responsible for this transition.

1. Get Inside your Customers’ Skin
In order to align all the company’s functions with developing, maintaining, sharing and performing to detailed customer experience maps, the company needs to have deep personal relationships with its customers to truly understand them.

2. Relationship Determines Revenue 
Customers often value relationship more than the product or service. Find out how to invest in stronger relationships, understand customer budget bibles and match their planning cycles.

3. Break the Technology Addiction
Technology doesn’t have all the answers and it can’t auto-service the customer. Technology is a tool and we must know when and how to use it in communications and analytics to create better decision outcomes. Invest in these tools, but don’t let them replace in-person conversations and relationships with customers.

4. Revenue requires a Village
Customer-centric organizations are not natural homes for lone-wolf, “hail-Mary pass” producing sales folks. Chief Customer Officers need sales, marketing and support departments to understand the holistic experience for the customer and deliver their individual components with the same tone, cadence and channels outlined in a unified experience map.

5. Pay for Relationship Quality
People do what they are financially incentivized for. CCOs that are supporting a customer-centric transformation are replacing NPS and customer satisfaction scores with a measurement of each function’s role in delivering a customer experience that supports revenue. Instead of MBO, churn or close rates, consider performance metrics aligned with the customer experience story board, customer engagement and peer scoring.

6. Collaboration is your Lifeblood
Customer centric organizations are highly collaborative; it’s the secret sauce to delivering consistent, meaningful experiences and relationships. Only through enterprise-wide transparency, information sharing, proactive feedback, ideation and communication patterns that transcend hierarchical organization structures can teams respond to customer expectations and quickly resolve issues.

7. You’ll Never Know It All.
One of the biggest challenges facing CCO’s is that they don’t know or have experience in all the functions – marketing, sales, distribution, and customer service/support. At best someone might have deep experience in two but not all. That also means CCOs need to let go of tendency to ‘command and control’ and lead by example, enforce highest of ethical behavior standards, enable employees to their jobs to the best of their ability, and focus on building healthy teams.

Source: Christine Crandell