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As the internet continues to shatter traditional business models, customer-centric initiatives become more important to businesses. The C-suite is bursting with new positions and officers to accommodate these; the chief customer officer role is one of the newest.
So, what does a chief customer officer (CCO) do? The idea, in the emerging multichannel business landscape, is to unify all customer contact under a single banner -- face to face, email, telephone, text, social media and online chat. And it's no easy task to unify brand integrity, message, continuity of contact and quality of service across half a dozen channels or more. Introducing personalization into the mix complicates it even more.
But it isn't just about dashboarding customer contact for a company's employees. It's also about creating a consistent and enterprise-wide view of the customer, profiling them in the way that best suits both the business model and customers' needs and making the necessary data available across channels and lines of business. The chief customer officer role recently expanded to include oversight of customer experience, an ongoing enterprise program gaining popularity, whose goal is to ensure the continuity of CX and customer expectations management.
The nature of customer contacts is just as important as the channels involved. A CCO has oversight not only over sales -- both new and ongoing -- but over service and support contacts, which include all manner of contact, such as webchat, interactive voice response and offshore tech support.
The importance of all this work is such that a CCO generally reports directly to the CEO.
So, how does one fill a chief customer officer role? The CCO role is still new enough that there are few certifications available and no graduate-level programs. There is, however, certification available for CX, by way of Forrester, Customer Experience Professionals Association and others.
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