Eric Bauer, VP of Employee Experience and HR at SBI, takes a look at the benefits of instituting a Chief Customer Officer within your company, specifically in the area of revenue growth.

The Chief Customer Officer is one of the newest roles to join the C-Suite in the past few years. Their charter is to drive customer-centricity throughout the enterprise. They are a customer advocate who cares about providing a good customer experience that results in revenue growth, higher retention, and increased satisfaction. But if you don’t already have a CCO, how do you know if it is the right time to hire one?


Here are three ways to know that it is the right time to hire a CCO:


  1. There’s no representation of the customer in the C-Suite


    • A lack of executive representation for the customer at the C-level is a mistake. CCOs make it their purpose to be the voice of the customer and represent their perspective to their peers. They use data, research, and customer interactions to gain unique knowledge and expertise that may be lacking on the executive team without a customer champion.


  2. Hiring a CCO will give you a competitive differentiation


    • A customer champion gives companies a valuable understanding of their customers, from their needs and wants to their daily lives. This understanding translates to products designed with customers at the forefront which is a clear advantage, especially in industries that don’t traditionally focus their energies on customers first. Doing so may set you apart from your competition and make your company a more attractive alternative in the market.


  3. Your product roadmap is driven by an inside-out perspective


    • What you need is an outside-in perspective. CCOs are the lighthouse amidst the storm of data and customer analytics. They can help the C-Suite make sense of the data and guide the product development and innovation process toward what’s best for customers by being their voice in the board room.


For more specific insights on the role of a Chief Customer Officer, download this sample role description.


The goal of a CCO is to put the customer first, internally and externally.


Your CCO has two primary goals – to represent the voice of the customer and unify internal organizations to think and act differently with a customer-first perspective. Traditionally, companies have asked the Chief Marketing Officer or Chief Digital Officer to provide key customer insights to the executive team.


While this can be successful, hiring a CCO makes a distinct statement to the market. A CCO in your C-suite sends a signal to customers that your company is serious about putting their needs first throughout every interaction they have with you. A CCO can motivate the C-Suite to focus on an outside-in perspective to prioritize strategic initiatives and investments that will bring tangible benefits to their customers. Being intentional about customer needs is essential to maintaining revenue and generating growth. In fact, per an EY survey in 2016, 73% of Chief Customer Officers were confident that using customer feedback helped “develop the business.”


How does a CCO contribute to revenue growth?


By focusing their efforts on the needs of the customers, and representing those priorities to the C-Suite, a Chief Customer Officer positively impacts revenue growth in three distinct areas:


  1. Retention rate. Customers who feel that their needs being met are less likely to look for alternative solution providers. They have longer and more profitable relationships with your company as a result.


  2. Margins. When customers are satisfied with their experience with your company through all their interactions, they are usually less price-sensitive than less satisfied customers who commonly seek price concessions before making a purchase decision.


  3. Gross revenue per customer. Customers tend to consolidate their spending with a few key suppliers that they are most satisfied with. This improves your share of wallet and lowers your overall cost of sales.


Today’s consumers assign value and preference to brands based on their experience across a wide range of touch points. For product-oriented businesses, the increasingly elusive goal of a consistently engaged and delighted customer is compounded by global competition, shorter product lifecycles, increased customer expectations, and price pressures resulting from commoditization. A CCO is a crucial resource to help direct the C-suite towards a better understanding of their customer and achieving that competitive edge to secure a sustainable market advantage.


To get started, download this tool, a sample role description for a Chief Customer Officer and customize it for your specific business. Hiring a CCO could be the key to growing revenues profitably and reliably.


If you would like to participate in a custom workshop, bring your team to engage with a hand-picked team of experts in Dallas at The Studio, SBI’s executive briefing center. 



Additional Resource


For additional help evaluating your strategies, click here to take SBI’s Revenue Growth Diagnostic.


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