CIOs Feel Ripple Effect of Chief Customer Officers

The new C-level executive in charge of 'customer experience' will have a profound effect on application development for all channels.

Getting closer to the customer: We hear and read about it all the time, and for good reason. Companies that do it well have superior customer loyalty and a steady flow of sales.

The challenge for CIOs is in the way the new corporate preoccupation with customer experience, or CX, affects their world. One result is the emergence of the chief customer officer.

When this newly minted C-level official arrives to rework the customer experience, the ripple effects eventually end up on the CIO's desk, and you need to be prepared.

While delivering better customer experiences is all the rage, it's easier said than done. The invention of a new C-level role is a typical response to vexing challenges--appoint an executive to drive change.

As Forrester Research defines it, the chief customer officer is "a top executive with the mandate and power to design, orchestrate and improve customer experiences across every customer interaction."

You'll hear those three verbs--"design," "orchestrate" and "improve"--often in any discussion about customer experience and the chief customer officer. After all, ensuring that any point of contact with customers ("touch points," in the CX vernacular) yields the kind of experience you want customers to have means consciously designing and orchestrating that desired outcome.

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