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Customer Retention And Role Of CIO

CIOs and IT leaders need to therefore recognize their growing role in meeting customer expectations and therein step up and take charge

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Customer experience (CX) occupies pride of place in modern-day businesses, in which the role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) steps into the spotlight. While the CX-CIO association seems like an unusual tango at first glance, it is highly relevant if a business is looking to offer superior customer experience. 

Traditionally, CIOs were far removed from any customer-centric role or vision because it was, simply put, not in their job description. Organisations who are committed to digital transformation and offering a seamless technology-enabled experience to their customers can no longer afford to work in silos. The CIO is a key driver of enhanced customer experiences because they can provide businesses with the technology and IT support, while also offering data-rich insights on what the end-user is looking for. 

Redefining the role of the CIO

Mapping and analyzing customer journeys and enhancing engagement are no longer luxuries; they are critical to building customer loyalty. The customer of today is constantly connected, switches frequently between multiple devices and platforms, and expects a business to understand unarticulated pain points or problems and provide quick and clear solutions.

The onus is on the brand to understand these expectations and test their customer journey to ensure it is simple, smooth and satisfactory. The CIO as has emerged as the architect of the Customer Experience journey, simply because technology is today pivotal in building any business of scale. 

As a result, CIOs have begun to take a look at the challenges and opportunities of this new paradigm closely. According to the Gartner 2018 CIO Survey, 93 per cent of CIOs at top performing organizations ‘lead adaptable and open-to-change’ IT organizations, thanks to the ongoing transformation to digital business.

Furthermore, according to Insights from the 2018 Gartner CIO Agenda Report, CIOs are shifting from IT-outcome-focused to business-outcome-focused; from IT-risk focused to business-risk focused; from cost-controlling to revenue-building, among others.

The question CIOs need to ask is how they can make optimal use of new technologies and bring in automation or robotics and AI into their existing IT ecosystem. This is not so companies can do away with a sizeable workforce and infrastructure costs, but instead to empower and enable them to work in a more efficient, innovative, and creative manner. 

Omnichannel Omnisolutions

All these new bells and whistles might be impressive, but if they are not connected and integrated in a way that provides a frictionless experience for the customer and empowers agents to make swift, sensible decisions, then they will fall short of expectations. Companies should look to deliver a truly unified and seamless experience for customers through an omnichannel approach.

Empowering CIOs to drive CX

From a CIO’s point of view, adopting product APIs that are efficient and can seamlessly communicate with all your channels are a crucial step towards digital transformation, and driving innovation. And it is well established that digital transformation is the step that eventually leads businesses to the final goal of enhanced customer experiences. 

Amidst the growing conundrum, there is no doubt that Customer Experience is the biggest differentiator for businesses; low prices and the best services/products are not the key determinants of customer loyalty anymore. CIOs and IT leaders need to therefore recognize their growing role in meeting customer expectations and therein step up and take charge. A unified vision for a unified experience is the need of the hour!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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KT Prasad

KT Prasad is the Country Sales Director for Zendesk, India. Since joining the Indian office of the San Francisco based SaaS Company in September 2016, he has been responsible for Business growth with a focus on helping customers transform their customer service into meaningful customer engagement with beautifully simple solutions.

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