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Posted by Paul Hagen on March 12, 2012
In our continuing research on the emerging role of the chief customer officer (CCO), we recently looked at the kinds of authority their firms vest in them to drive change across the organization. This authority can affect the activities they do, the composition of the teams that report into them, and the budgets they control. For firms considering putting this kind of senior customer experience leader in place, Forrester has identified three archetypal models that characterize the most typical modes in which CCOs operate.
Advisory CCOs Play A Coaching Role
Companies that are early in their customer experience transformations are often reluctant to commit too many resources or cede control of core company processes to a CCO. These firms tend to place CCOs in an advisory or coaching role for peers with operational responsibilities, particularly if the company has had past success with centralized teams to drive change management efforts. CCOs running these teams have little control over decision-making and execution and instead derive authority through their expertise and personal reputation within their companies. A mandate from senior leadership in a business unit, the executive management team, or the CEO bolsters these CCOs' ability to change behaviors in other departments. These CCOs:
Matrixed CCOs Create Accountability For Customer Experience Standards
Firms that have already built momentum for their customer experience efforts — or balk at establishing a standalone centralized team to drive change — still seek to drive additional accountability for customer experience performance standards deeper across departments and business units. These firms tend to put a CCO in a matrixed role, giving this leader the power over specific activities that affect the customer experience but no direct operational control over specific departments. CCOs in this model derive authority from a seat on the executive management team or as the head of a cross-functional steering committee that has a high level of buy-in from influential senior leaders. CCOs of matrixed organizations:
Operational CCOs Exert Direct Control Over Major Company Operations
As companies mature in their customer experience transformation, many recognize that they hit limits unless they reorganize their operational structure to more closely reflect customer needs. Other companies make a decision to change their business models from product-focused to services-focused models. These firms typically elect to put their CCO in an operational role, directly overseeing large parts of a restructured organization. CCOs in this model have far more direct control over experience execution than do counterparts in other models. CCOs acting under operational models:
Firms considering putting in place a CCO should treat customer experience as a long-term change effort and:
For more information, read the full report, "The Chief Customer Officer (CCO), 2012."
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