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Here’s Why Every CMO Needs to Be a Customer Champion First

Customer-centric companies often have an advantage over competitors. Businesses can create deeper relationships that ensure loyalty and retention by placing value on the customer’s needs and wants. This philosophy requires a customer champion, and CMOs (chief marketing officers) are ideal for this role.

So, what’s the value of being customer-focused and championing for them? And what processes and technology should CMOs implement to make this possible? Let’s find out.

What Is a Customer Champion?

A customer champion is someone who acts as the voice of the customer. They have the authority to work across an enterprise to ensure that the company listens to, understands, and acts in accordance with the customer’s voice.

Your organization could have multiple customer champions in different departments. Having the CMO as the leader of this strategy expresses how crucial it is to a business. It demonstrates that the improvements and optimizations that you strive for always keep the customer top of mind.

With customer champions, organizations can move more toward customer-centricity, and that can deliver many benefits.

What Are the Benefits of Customer Centricity?

It may seem obvious that advocating for and listening to your customers can create benefits. Here’s what you can achieve.

  • Understand the buying cycle: Knowing how audiences make decisions in the funnel enables you to enhance touchpoints with targeted personalized messaging. As a result, you can acquire and keep customers.
  • Improve profitability: In ensuring the customer is part of all aspects of your organization, you can generate more revenue. A study revealed that customer-centric companies were 60 percent more profitable than competitors.
  • Reduce costs to serve: Having a robust contact center to support customers will always be necessary. However, when your company culture focuses on customer-centricity, you have better informed and prepared customers. As such, you could see declines in contact center volume, which equates to cost savings.
  • Build brand loyalty: If customers feel you value them before, during, and after the sale, they’ll be more loyal. As a customer champion, CMOs can optimize touchpoints and communications to nurture and foster this loyalty.
  • Increase employee engagement: Those who have interactions with customers—sales, customer success, support, etc.—are customer-centric by nature. CMOs that take this approach demonstrate to others that the customer matters. That positivity can improve employee engagement, as they feel they have a true purpose.
  • Enhance product development: Mining your contact center software for trends on why customers contact you can be valuable to product managers. It provides an accurate view of where a product misses the mark. You can’t get that kind of feedback internally.

To realize these benefits, you’ll need to create a customer champion strategy. That requires processes, culture shifts, and technology.

How to Be a Customer Champion

So, how can CMOs be customer champions? Here are some tips for developing your approach.

  • Make it a collaborative effort: CMOs can lead the way, but many other parties need to be on the customer champion team. That ensures you get different perspectives because all roles interact with or think about customers differently.
  • Determine how you’ll “hear” the customer: To create a culture of customer-centricity, you’ll need ways to receive feedback. You can do that by surveying them directly after a purchase, then at least annually. Your contact center can facilitate some of this with post-support surveys and a platform for outbound notifications through text or email.
  • Analyze data to capture insights: All the data you have on your customers tells a story. Aggregate it and learn from it. Use it to create a customer journey map and identify the roadblocks and challenges customers have. Are they frustrated with long queues to answer simple questions? Are trends in how they contact you changing? What you learn can turn into actionable goals.
  • Create roadmaps on those goals: Once you have an action plan, you’ll need to address how to execute it. What kind of process changes will be necessary? Do you need better technology? For example, integrating contact center software with your CRM (customer relationship management) tool gives agents fast, accurate information about customers. As a result, customers feel more important and spend less time resolving issues.
  • Empower customer-facing roles to deliver great experiences: Ultimately, no matter how great your product or service is, people make buying decisions based on emotions. You’ll build a stronger relationship if they feel that you listen and care. That’s only possible when those that interact with them can create exceptional customer experiences. They can only do this with robust contact center software, autonomy to make things right, and a culture that puts the customer at the center.

Key Technology Necessary for Customer Champions

Contact center software is the foundation for becoming a customer-centric organization. There are lots of options. So, what features do you need?

  • Advanced reporting for both historical and real-time numbers 
  • Ability to export analytics to explore them further and use them with other data sources
  • Outbound notifications to send a variety of proactive customer communications
  • Interactive voice response (IVR) to route inquiries effectively and efficiently
  • Integration options for CRMs and other customer software products

You can find these features and more with Intermedia Contact Center. Explore all it offers and why it should be part of your customer champion strategy.

 

About Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson is Intermedia's Chief Marketing Officer, and is responsible for Intermedia global marketing, including product, brand, direct, channel, demand, and digital marketing, as well as internal/external communications.