The Rise - and Flutter - of the Chief Customer Officer
Paul Hagen featured on 1to1 Media
Date : March 17, 2015

By Tom Hoffman

Corporate leaders are beginning to recognize that the lines have blurred between the brand and the customer experience. This revelation is prompting a growing number of companies to establish a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) role and bring a more unified approach to customer centricity. According to The 2014 CCO Study conducted by the Chief Customer Officer Council, 22 percent of Fortune 100 companies have adopted the role. While that's an impressive milestone, it's clear that the industry is still early days in establishing a CCO position. Indeed, just 10 percent of the Fortune 500 and 6.7 percent of the Fortune 1000 have embraced the role, according to the CCO study.

I spoke last week to Paul Hagen, former principal of the customer experience group at Forrester Research who is now the senior principal and head of customer experience & innovation strategy at West Monroe Partners for his take as to why so many companies have been slow to adopt the role and other trends he's seeing in this area.

As Hagen sees it, many companies that haven't acted to create a CCO role continue to struggle with defining just what the customer experience is. Another reason many companies have been slow to install a CCO is that those companies that have been laggards in implementing customer-centric practices have also struggled with determining the ROI of customer experience. In addition, some companies see the CEO as the organization's customer champion, so why create yet another C-level position?

These are all valid points. But as Hagen also notes, those companies that have created a CCO role recognize the distinction between the roles and responsibilities of both the CEO and the CMO and why there's a void that the CCO needs to fill.

"The CMO has a lot of control over the brand but they don't own the brand experience and where it happens," says Hagen. "With a CCO, you now have someone who is accountable for the customer experience."

The CCO is also more focused on designing customer experiences, for helping managers and employees to gain a holistic view of the customer, and for overseeing how the customer experience is being measured across the organization.

I'm not an advocate for adding new titles simply because they sound customer-friendly. Meanwhile, many companies are still struggling to figure out whether the CMO or someone else should be responsible for the customer experience. But for many of those companies that have made this demarcation and have created distinct responsibilities for the CCO, there are strong benefits that can be extended both to customers and to the company.

To read this article as it originally appeared on 1to1 Media, please click here.

The CandEs Shop Talk Podcast on candidate experience
View More
Related News
Date : February 2, 2017
Will Hinde explains how healthcare organizations can best utilize communication technology to improve patients' customer experience via Healthcare Business News.
Chris discusses the importance of seamless customer experience with the emergence of grab-and-go retail
Date : January 31, 2017
As Walmart takes a major step forward with its Scan & Go platforms and the Amazon Go store makes headlines, a significant upset might be coming to grocery retail now that these major players have the keys to push the grab-and-go strategy forward.
Chris Althoff and Bryan Komornik discuss five ways healthcare providers and insurers can strengthen the patient-provider connection in the height of the digital age.
Date : January 12, 2017
The healthcare customer experience is rooted in the patient-provider connection. A recent Gallup poll found that U.S. citizens rank nurses, pharmacists and doctors as the top three most honest and ethical professions. But while this trust serves as a solid foundation, patient-provider relationships are only as strong as the lines of communication between these two groups.