Customer Service Trends

Recommended read: the CCO report 2018


The rise of customer-led thinking and the Chief Customer Officer

• It’s been 21 years since the idea that creating customer differentiation would drive competitive success – it’s been over 60 years since customer experience was identifiedas a commercial driver.

• Many organisations face a gap between customer expectations (in a world where those expectations are becoming ever more entrenched and vocalised) and the ability to deliver against those expectations.

• For all three roles covered within this report, there are a number of contextual issues:

• None of the roles has a standardised definition of either the person or their responsibilities.
• In many cases the responsibilities are new to both the person and the organisation.
• The roles are all looking at fundamentally changing an organisation’s relationship with its customer.
• This is not only about deploying technology – it’s also about understanding needs, creating sustainable and appropriate solutions and services, and changing the culture of an organisation through effective leadership.

• This report builds on the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) report from 2017 and extends its remit to include other customer titles (Customer Success Director and Customer Experience Director).

The Chief Customer Officer’s profile

• The CCO’s role can be described ata high level as to:

• act as the voice of the customer in all internal conversations
• create the end-to-end experienceto consider the customer at every point
• ultimately drive commercial performance through acquiring and retaining customers.

• A business appointing a CCO has to expect that they will change how it operates across many, if not all, parts of the organisation.

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• There is more and more data showing that being customer-led is a profound differentiator and commercial driver.

• The number of CCOs in the UK increased exponentially from 90 in 2017 to 169 in 2018.

• Customer executives in B2B have caught up with B2C.

• A large number of CCOs are stepping into a new role in their organisation and are undertaking it for the first time. This creates challenges for the individual and the employer.

• In gender diversity, the CCO world matches but does not exceed the UK boardroom averages.

• In 2018, CCOs are coming from more diverse backgrounds and are representing a larger number ofsectors.

The Customer Success Director profile

• The research identified 60 Customer Success Directors (CSDs), all of whom are in the SaaS-based platform organisations.

• Within that sector, CSDs predominantly have customer service backgrounds.

• CSD roles are predominantly focused on retention and renewal.

• CSD roles are being created as a strategic imperative in response to needing earlier engagement with customers and recognising that creating great experiences is essential to commercial success.

• In tenure terms, CSDs broadly match CCOs – indicating the relative newness of these appointments at board level.

• Businesses need to be aware of the requirement to support new CSDs in new roles as they create a process of innovation and cultural change.

The Customer Experience Director profile

• The Customer Experience Director(CXD) role arose from the need to extend good experiences beyond immediate point of sale. It is the oldest of the three roles defined.

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• CX is often linked to conversations about multi- and omni-channel.

• Research identified 65 board-level CXDs in the UK.

• CXDs are significantly more likely to be in B2C sectors, reflecting a recognition within B2C of the need to deliver great experiences at scale.

• The CXD role (at least in a foundational way) is likely to be better defined and understood in an organisation than the other two roles.

There is more and more data showing that being customer-led is a profound differentiator and commercial driver.

Source: management summary in the report


It’s a real pleasure to write the foreword for this, our second annual report  on the state of the customer function within British business. This year the report is substantially more wide-reaching than in 2017. We have expanded our research into a broader selection of senior customer titles.
This reflects the truth that there are many people involved at a senior level, with a responsibility for making their businesses more customer-led, who do not have the Chief Customer Officer title.
The other way in which this year’s report is different is that we have partnered with our sister company – Comotion – to provide substantial amounts of thought leadership.
This comes from both the Comotion internal team – where it is a reflection ofthe agenda-leading thinking that typifies the Comotion approach – and a series of in-depth interviews from some of the UK’s

customer giants.

It’s an exciting time to be consulting in, and recruiting for, businesses that wish to become more customer-centric. 2018 has seen another exponential growth in the number of C-level customer roles.
This report shows that they are coming from a broader set of backgrounds and represent an increasing number of sectors than ever before.

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The research and thought leadership clearly explains why appointing such a person offers new challenges for business. The new combination of responsibilities, technologies and internal functions that might be affected by such an appointment requires new thinking from both the organisation and the individual going into the role. In Talecco, we delight in helping both sides of this equation, finding the right people for the roles and helping engender the cultural changes required to ensure that they (and therefore the business) will thrive.

I hope you enjoy the data, interviews and articles contained in this report and – more importantly – that they help you develop your thinking about both the people you might wish to hire and the role you need them to be doing.

Nish Kotak

Source:  report

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