The Rise of the Chief Customer Officer
We are increasingly hearing about the role of the CCO — the chief customer officer — who has the authority to ensure that the organization provides a unified and seamless customer journey/experience across all customer channels and guides the adoption and dissemination of CX practices and technologies. But just how standard is the role of the CCO among organizations?
Figure 1 illustrates that the current use of CCOs (or someone with an equivalent title formally charged with overseeing the adoption of CX practices into the organization) is relatively popular. Twenty-seven percent of surveyed organizations have made such an appointment. It also appears that organizations are interested in establishing CCOs in the future, although I would not call that interest “high.” Overall, 46% either already have a CCO, are planning to designate one within the next 12 months, or are strongly considering appointing one at some unspecified time in the future. Many organizations, however, have yet to buy into the idea of the need for a CCO; about 40% of surveyed organizations have no plans in the foreseeable future to appoint a CCO (or equivalent).
Some respondents explained their answers as to why their organization did not have a CCO or equivalent, indicating that leadership shared such a role. Those cited by survey respondents include business leaders hailing from a digital transformation team, innovation team, CX management team, or marketing, customer service, or other group. Others told me that their organizations would likely incorporate CX leadership within a new department or functional area:
“We have a VP who is referring to herself as a CCO. However, that is not her official title internally. This is causing confusion.” — Business architect, telecommunications
“The organization is considering a product management organization and incorporating CX into that area.” — Product coach & CEO, financial services consulting
Based on my conversations with people involved in corporate CX efforts, those organizations with an already-appointed CCO (or someone with equivalent authority) tend to be further along with their CX initiatives or have, at least, established detailed plans governing how they intend to carry out CX adoption.
[For more from the author on this topic, see “CX Management in the Enterprise, Part II: Budgeting for Initiatives and the Rise of the CCO.”]