By Tim Glowa, Founder of Bug Insights
Right now two worlds are colliding. The systematic, nerdy and detail oriented world of the CIO, where certainties are assured and solutions can be found at the click of a mouse, is crashing head-oninto the emotional, creative, imaginative and seductive world of the CMO. How on earth is that going to pan out?
What’s been happening to bring these seeming opposite sides of business together? Put simply, big data. Now we can measure, understand and communicate with people in multiple ways. With nearly 70% of new business generated–or at least influenced–through word of mouth and social media, customer experience has become a vital for businesses.. The online video of a delivery company employee tossing a monitor over a fence has racked up 9.5 million views and counting on YouTube, andeveryone has heard that ‘United breaks guitars’ song. People communicate constantly using their smartphones, via social media, SMS, instant messaging, and emails. Gone are the days when the occasional overripe corporate banana could be forgotten. If their experience is out of the ordinary, chances are consumers are going to let someone else know about it. Companies need to be much more aware of their customers’ experience–it is no longer an option to simply manage a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. customer complaint line.
Consumer interaction has historically been the demesne of the CMO – understanding the customer and developing brands and communications to appeal. Yet in the age of the connected customer, when clients can share all their experiences, businesses are rethinking their operations. Companies need continuous customer feedback in all business areas. It’s technology shaping every touch point with the consumer. Enter the CIO.
In a recent survey, Gartner found that analytics and business intelligence, mobile technologies and customer relationship management are now in the CIO’s top 10 priorities.The CIO now has a role in disseminating relevant customer information throughout the business, and in managing multiple systems and customer information databases. Suddenly they’re being asked to decide on investment in customer experience programs. Companies can now obtain customer feedback systemically and continuously, share information across the organization in real time and provide the tools for immediate action –so they can respond to customers swiftly and when needed.
The CIO might understand the technological ins and outs, be able to evaluate their relative advantages and costs from a business perspective, but are they able to understand how best to connect with customers, to engage and communicate so data gathered is useful, effective and powerful to the business?
The best way to for CIOs to understand and implement a successful Voice of the Customer programme is for them to be involved in the process from the outset. Thy need to use his or her knowledge to help design a program that takes advantage of existing customer information throughout the business, in order to help create a complete view of the customer journey. In doing so, the CIO is able to understand how customers experience brands at every touch point,support analysis and synthesis of data to detect trends,and empower relevant interaction with the customer. Excellent customer experience is rooted in combining these crucial elements, along with ability to distribute the information to key stakeholders in real time.
At Bug Insights we use several different methodologies to not only understand how to optimise the interactions customers are having with organisations, but to predict how to maximise the ROI on those interactions. It’s sophisticated technology that helps us do that, not intuition and gut feel. Ultimately, this future is here and now. Companies that don’t embrace the opportunities afforded by new technology will be left behind. And CIOs need to jump in at the deep end. Those who do will help their companies prosper by keeping more customers loyal, winning more customers and increasing customer profitability.