The Chief Operations Officer (COO) is the second-highest ranking executive in most corporations. A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) provides the vision; the COO executes that vision.
It may seem odd to think of the COO role intersecting with the customer experience, yet that is exactly the vision CEOs are proposing. In our interconnected economy, every customer’s experience is shareable, valuable, and visible – making it more important than ever.
That’s why the customer’s experience is central to business success. CEOs have grasped this value and pushed the corporation to invest and measure the ROI around customer-centric policies. COOs, in kind, have shifted operational resources, business strategy, and metrics.
Why The Customer Experience Matters
Customer-centric business models are nothing new; in fact, as early as 1888, Sears hitched itself to transformative customer experiences – and that focus made Sears a leading corporation for the next century. In turn, by abandoning that customer-focus is one of the reasons for its downfall.
Customers today share their experiences, and they compare your organization to every other company. If it takes work to solve an issue – or worse, purchase a product – customers will go elsewhere.
Who Manages The Customer Experience Today?
No company is the same, and the responsibility for the customer experience falls on different roles depending on a company’s mission and structure. In some organizations, there is a Chief Experience Officer (CXO), though this is a rarity.
In most small-to-midmarket businesses, a Contact Center Director is more likely held responsible for this critical role. They help develop the metrics agents and customer-facing individuals must meet and enforce policies that improve the customer experience.
The Customer Experience And The Age Of Convenience
As we observed earlier, the CEO provides the vision the COO executes.
The CEO rightfully views the customer experience as integral to revenue, and, therefore, critical for growth. By pivoting towards a customer-centric, convenience-first business model, CEOs hope to position themselves as the simplest and best option for customers – almost regardless of industry.
Nowhere is this trend clearer than in the case of entertainment: television, music, and movies. For almost six decades, these forms of entertainment were only accessible through specific channels, such as cable networks, albums and CDs, and – oh dear – VHS and DVDs.
Today we have streaming services with Netflix, Hulu, and HBO and music streaming services like Spotify and Google Play Music.
Content is now convenient.
Remember when Netflix was initially founded in 1997? They rented DVDs. By mail. Today, Netflix is a $20 billion leading media-services and production company responsible for award-winning original content like House of Cards, Stranger Things, and The Crown.
The shift in the economics of entertainment centers on convenience and accessibility.
In the mood for light-hearted television comedy? Check out the latest options on Hulu. On the hunt for that one movie you watched your freshman year of college? Search on Netflix. Aching for some soothing classic tunes from your childhood? Explore Spotify.
Find what you want when you want it. The entertainment industry realized what many other industries are just starting to understand; predicting exactly what a customer wants is nigh impossible. Providing them the means to self-identify, easily browse, and digitally purchase – that’s within reach.
Where Do Operations And CX Intersect?
What does all that have to do with operations? A customer experience manager isn’t in charge of an organization’s strategic initiatives and resource allotment. That’s the role of the COO. For companies with leadership seeking to improve the customer experience, the COO must work with the CXO – or similar role – to identify actions and market opportunities for investment.
In essence, the COO helps achieve what the CEO and CXO only dream is possible.
The COO And The Customer Experience
While it is a shift for many organizations, across industries, the COO might find that helping deliver on an improved customer experience fits right into their wheelhouse. The experience customers have with your business speaks directly to the success of your operations department. Plus, COOs thrive on organized processes and robust, accountable structures – which is what works in quantifying and improving CX.
Technology also plays a role in this collision.
While surveying the many methods by which customers interact with and utilize your services or products, the digital realm must play a part. Customers today seek seamless experiences – wherever they are – and cloud-based technology facilitates those interactions.
Learn more about how to strategically invest in the customer experience with our eBook, The Role Of Cloud-Based Technology In The Contact Center Of The Future. Share with your favorite COO and embrace a customer-centric model.
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About The Authors
John Irey is a Principal Consultant at Mindsight focused on Cisco platforms. With nearly 20 years of experience in information technology, John has helped businesses of every size optimize the technology powering the contact center. He seeks to provide a consultative voice to contact center leaders and continues to focus on emerging technology, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Kleid Gjataj is a Principal Consultant at Mindsight focused on Genesys platforms. With nearly 15 years of experience in both domestic and international consulting, Kleid helps contact center s of all sizes bridge the gap between business and technology. His extensive experience with IVR, ACD, screen pops, omnichannel, speech analytics, quality management, outbound dialer, and custom applications is grounded in understanding the critical value of the customer journey.
Siobhan Climer writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. With over a decade of experience communicating complex concepts around everything from cybersecurity to neuroscience, Siobhan is an expert at breaking down technical and scientific principles so that everyone takes away valuable insights. When she’s not writing tech, she’s reading and writing fantasy, hiking, and exploring the world with her twin daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.