Raconteur

Digital Transformation 2020

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D I G I T A L T R A N S F O R M A T I O N 06 doption and rollout of emerging technologies used to be the sole responsi- bility of the chief information officer or chief technology officer, but a new digital transformation champion is emerging in the C-suite: the chief customer officer (CCO). Why the chief customer officer is quickly becoming a key driver of digital transformation Putting the customer front and centre And this comes as no surprise, since changing customer expectations drives 80 per cent of all digital trans- formation initiatives, according to a recent McKinsey & Company survey. "This role should be thought of as the advocate in the company for the customer," says Rabia Qureshi, CCO at ecommerce agency GPMD. "The CCO is there to remind the business to factor in what the customer wants. Otherwise, money and time can be wasted in correcting mistakes and backtracking key decisions." Rapid advancements in technol- ogy mean consumers now have the power to dictate the rules and con- trol their relationships with brands. CCOs must ensure their companies are able to keep up with these expec- tations about quality and speed of service, as well as the data that arises from these behaviours. "The task of the CCO is to ensure customer feedback is not only sought after and heard, but also actioned upon, to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty," says Conny Kalcher, CCO at Zurich Insurance. Libby Duane Adams, CCO of desk- top-to-cloud platform Alteryx, adds: "Listening to customers and learn- ing from what they tell you is vital for success in 2020." As a digital transformation leader, it is essen- tial for the CCO to highlight to the rest of the company the range of tools that can give greater insight into customer needs. This includes using text analytics to review the sentiment of social media or survey responses and keeping up to date with the company's net promoter score, she says. Furthermore, the understand- ing of these analytics should not be restricted to just one or two teams internally. "The everyday data worker who is usually equipped with little more than a spreadsheet should also be able to use these data analytics tools," she adds. Caring about customer experience should be woven into every department. "The ultimate ambition should be to create a seamless experience that allows the customer to choose when, where and how to engage with us," says Kalcher, pointing to the recent Zurich website revamp in collabora- tion with Sitecore, an expert in dig- ital experience management. The idea of "putting the customer jour- ney at the heart and building the whole website around it" was cen- tral to the project, she says, adding that it is important "to delight cus- tomers" to stand out from the crowd and build brand loyalty. GPMD's Qureshi says: "During the coronavirus pandemic, firms that didn't have a strong online business to start with had to quickly ramp up their offering or go bust. The virtual touch needed to become the personal touch and fast. Not knowing how to leverage social and email channels to drive sales, not providing an opti- mised mobile experience and not having a fast-performing website in place all became severe roadblocks," as consumer behaviour changed rap- idly and in unpredictable ways. Sue Goble, chief customer success officer at Sage, says her role as a dig- ital transformation leader enabled her to advise the company to invest in "the end-to-end customer expe- rience, through new ways of work- ing, more efficient processes and improved technology". When the pandemic started to change offline life in March, the business could react quickly. "We launched a digital coronavirus hub, full of straightforward advice on a range of subjects, including the Job Retention Scheme and government funding," she says. "Almost 500,000 customers attended COVID-19 webi- nars in March, April and May." With more than two million cus- tomers in 23 countries around the world, the webinars were valuable in strengthening the relationship with almost a quarter of the firm's clients, by providing advice and a sense of community during an unprece- dented time. But change doesn't happen over- night and leaders should view the transition to a customer-led culture as a journey rather than a quick fix, according to Kalcher. As a digital transformation leader, the CCO has to get buy-in from the rest of the business to centre the customer experience at the heart of company change. "It is important to involve the internal teams in defin- ing the future vision, while at the same time create systems, platforms and ways of working that facilitate the transformation and help us get closer to customers," says Kalcher. The CCO is asking colleagues to work in a new way and that can be disconcerting. "I've seen it more times than I care to admit to; resist- ance evolves into fear, which pre- vents innovation and cannibalises experience. The cycle continues," says Duane Adams at Alteryx. "The trick is to not be afraid of analytics. Amid uncertainty, many organi- sations will shy away from making changes and seizing opportunities for growth, but there is no better time to embrace data and analytics." Data is at the heart of a solid digi- tal transformation; insights arising from tracking customer needs and behaviour are essential information for a business adapting to the digital age. Perspicacious use of this vital knowledge fuels the rise of the CCO role, which is now clearly emerg- ing as a key digital transformation leader in the C-suite. 01 Bim/Getty Images The task of the CCO is to ensure customer feedback is not only sought after and heard, but also actioned upon Suchandrika Chakrabarti A L E A D E R S H I P Salesforce 2019 Salesforce 2019 GLOBAL SURVE Y OF CONSUMERS AND BUSINES S BU YERS 56% of customers expect to find whatever they need from a company in three clicks or less 45% can generally find whatever they need from a company in three clicks or less CUS TOMER ENG AGEMENT HAPPENS IN RE AL TIME Survey of consumers and business buyers 57% won't buy from a company that can't ship quickly and cheaply 59% will take their business to Amazon if a company can't match their shipping speed and cost The experience a company provides is as important as its products and ser vices One extraordinar y experience raises their expectations of other companies Willing to pay more for a great experience 83% 89% Consumers Business buyers 69% 82% 59% 82%

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