From The Editor | December 12, 2017

Does Your Company Need A CCO?

Sarah Nicastro

By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
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I came across an article on Forrester’s blog today titled, “What Chief Customer Officers Talk About Over Dinner,” written by VP and research director Harley Manning. My first thought upon reading this headline was, I wonder how many field service organizations even have a CCO (chief customer officer)? If I’m being honest, CCO is a term that not too long ago I would have laughed off – especially specifically for field service. But as the focus on customer experience grows and grows among field service leaders, I realize that there is value in a CCO-type title taking charge of the customer journey (whether you call them your CCO or something else).

Think about it – like many other initiatives, truly transforming the customer experience is a mission that can take a back seat to a long list of other priorities if you don’t have a dedicated resource to get the job done. In this sense, there is immense value to a CCO – having someone at the executive level that has that particular objective top of mind in every conversation. Someone who can keep the company accountable to maintain its focus on the customers, and to make decisions with them in mind. Who can work to formulate specific strategies for gathering customer feedback and insights, develop action plans for improvement from those insights, and put that plan to work.

For any service-based business, staying abreast of what is most important to your customers and determining exactly how you’ll provide that is the only true path to success. Perhaps a CCO is a smart and strategic step. For some field service industries that tend to lag behind, it may even be a way to get ahead of your competition.

So going back to Manning’s blog, are you curious what exactly it is your CCO would be discussing over dinner? He lists three topics:

  • A customer-centric mission for employees to rally around and articulate
  • A focus on building empathy for customers among all employees, including back office staff
  • Creative ways to bring authentic voice of customer to all employees

These topics all point to the importance of having your entire team of employees bought into the importance of the customer experience, and on the same page as far as your company’s path to meeting their needs. Helping to reinforce the importance of customer experience to your workforce, creating a communication strategy for how to keep it top of mind, and working to align employee and customer needs are other functions a CCO could serve. Maybe a CCO is something your company should think about for 2018!