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Want to be more profitable than your competitors? Why don’t you truly place your customers at the heart of your business? Everyone claims to do it, but who really does?

Customer-centric businesses are 60% more profitable than those who don’t focus on the customer, according to research by Deloitte. If we go back to basics, it is the customer who ultimately determines a business’ success; so why wouldn't they be central to everything that a business does? Customer experience has never been more important – the always-on customer has information and choices at their fingertips and wants everything now. But who manages this within your organisation? Is customer experience spread across silos within your business, all working separately and to different goals?

If this sounds like your business, it’s time to change. Appointing a Chief Customer Experience Officer (CCEO) is essential to drive your business forward, and here’s why:

Happier customers spend more

Research states that loyal customers spend 13% more during each transaction (Source: Forrester Research). Giving your customers the products, services, and experiences they want from your brand makes them happy, engaged, and most importantly keeps them coming back.

Whilst your CCEO is there to understand your customers and give them the best experience possible, ultimately you want to see what your investment in them is delivering.

Their efforts around the customer experience will enable better capture of data, which provides you with actionable insight to drive customer behaviours. Data driven marketing is completely measurable; resulting in a better ROI of your marketing spend, and ultimately growing your profit.

They will start with the customer in mind, not the product

Unlike the other siloed departments within your business, the CCEO will work from the customer up. They will be the one who understands what your customers want, and will then collaborate across teams from Product Development through to Marketing and Finance to interpret and deliver to customer demands. Their actions to align your business around the customer will translate into everything you do – from vision, values, culture, people and processes.

They will ensure a consistent customer experience

Customer experience is not just customer service, but is about giving customers a consistent experience across all touch points; whether they’re on your app, on-premise, or online; your brand should act and feel the same. Your CCEO will manage the experience across the entire customer journey and post-purchase; minimising customer effort and making processes and journeys more streamlined. Their commitment to reinforcing and maintaining a culture of customer-centricity through training and monitoring ensures that all staff are always focused on the customer.

They are the voice of the customer within your business

The sole purpose of the CCEO is to stand up for your customers’ best interests. They will be listening to customers across all channels from social media, reviews, through to call listening or premise visits; seeking feedback; and understanding consumer behavioural trends. From this, they not only anticipate needs but will also surprise and delight customers by giving them what they want (or didn't even know they wanted). Showing customers you understand them is a major factor in building loyalty.

They will use data-driven insight to increase efficiency

Customer experience should be driven by data. Ensuring that the data you collect adds value to your customer proposition, the CCEO will work across teams to draw out the data that allows you to better understand customers and ultimately drive the desired behaviours. Your CCEO wants to know how customers interact and engage with your brand (what works and what doesn’t), and will share this across the organisation so that you can better spend budgets on the channels and campaigns that work. Data-driven marketing is measurable, so they’ll be able to show you the ROI of every pound invested.

They know how to retain customers and keep them loyal and engaged

It goes without saying that the CCEO knows your customers better than anyone else in your business. Knowing why customers love your brand, but also why they leave you means they can create a strategy for acquisition, retention and loyalty to reduce your churn rate and retain existing customers. They know the value of your customers and why it's so important to invest in keeping them loyal.

In a nutshell, the CCEO really knows what matters to your customers; and with this knowledge they can successfully sustain and drive your business’ future growth by ensuring that your customer experience and marketing budget is spent efficiently and effectively to deliver maximum ROI. So, if you want to continue to build your business by deeply understanding your customers’ needs and wants, invest in hiring a CCEO.

By Barry Smith, Business Line Manager for Partners, Sales & Marketing, Ikano Insight