The Importance of CIOs on The Success of a CX Project
The connection between customer experience and IT solutions is growing by the day. The huge demand for online services – particularly since the 2020/21 pandemic – has put CX at the forefront of business strategies. Since every single touchpoint that defines the customer journey from marketing through to aftercare is tech-enabled, it makes sense that CIOs should be more involved in delivering an outstanding customer experience. This meeting of tech and customer experience presents a significant opportunity for both teams to work together to deliver great customer support and accelerate business growth.
Download the Cut the Wait Playbook for a useful, implemental 5-step guide to improve your customer service.
The Role of a CIO
The role of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is to develop and lead an organisation’s technology strategy. Despite its technical designation, the role has become more focused on driving innovation and digital transformation alongside their C-suite colleagues. They oversee the organisation’s technical infrastructure and manage internal relationships between the technology department and the wider business. CIOs also assess current processes, recommend software upgrades, contribute revenue-generating ideas and direct the executive team on best processes.
Many companies do not have an official CIO role, and in that case, there is usually a team responsible for planning and implementing the organisation’s technology strategy. In the absence of a team, most companies outsource these duties to an external partner or team of specialists.
How Collaboration Between the Head of CX and The CIO Can Positively Impact CX Projects
The need to put customer support first is crucial to the success of any business. Customer experience is a key focus because it directly impacts the organisation’s revenue. In the past year, the focus on CX has grown exponentially due to the increase in online demand, which is part of the CIO’s remit. According to a Gartner survey, businesses have invested 24% more in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) during the pandemic. A further 75% of IT professionals will continue or start new AI initiatives post-covid.
Even outside of crisis situations, teams depend on their technical peers for guidance and support. The Head of CX and CIO should be in constant collaboration, but each team has traditionally tended to work in silos, potentially causing disjointed customer experiences. There is a disconnect between everything from tools to KPIs, which need to be unified to better serve customers. Today’s customer journeys involve a series of digital touchpoints, which need the input of CIOs to run smoothly.
Consequently, the role of CIOs is becoming less technical and more operational, and that can only be a positive development. With the execution of marketing and customer service functions now so dependent on technology, it’s essential to involve IT on a strategic level. CIOs should be encouraged to share their technical insights and knowledge with the CX team to make sure the customer has a seamless experience. The CIO can implement the right back-end technology to support digital tools that provide high levels of CX and future-proof the company.
How Collaboration Can Deliver a Critical 360-Degree View Customer Experience
Collaboration between the IT and CX teams is essential for providing a 360-degree view of the customer. CIOs can support the CX team by deploying real-time personalisation and customised analytics. They have a holistic view of where the data is stored and access to the tools and systems used by other business functions. They are in the perfect position to integrate these disparate systems and put themselves in the customers’ shoes.
CIOs can see how technology can help with each step and – in collaboration with the CX team – they can map each touchpoint. This overview of the customer journey is critical to resolving all potential bottlenecks and other issues. CIOs are integral to CX because they can utilise big data at scale and expand the reach of a business to meet your customers on their terms.
Focus on The Benefits to Add Value to The Customer Experience
The collaboration between CIOs and CX teams delivers maximum benefits to the customer. Namely, a quick and seamless multi-channel experience that cuts waiting times and makes customers feel valued. The strength of this cross-functional alliance is in the balance it provides. For example, CIOs can get excited about specific new tech innovations, but sometimes these tools are not appropriate for the customer persona; in which case, a CX manager can step in and bring back the conversation to more suitable solutions. Collaboration can help you create meaningful interactions with your customers and avoid investing in numerous tech solutions that no one ever uses.
The Value of Involving Your CIO in CX Projects From the Start
The timing of CIOs involvement in CX could make or break a project. The earliest possible involvement of CIOs results in a higher chance of success. Unfortunately, they often get brought in at the last stage, which can be extremely disruptive. They might reveal that certain tools the customer service team has spent months researching are not compatible with a larger IT system the organisation is adopting.
Another potential scenario that can arise from involving CIO’s too late in the process, involves multiple teams having duplicate tools, meaning they’ve wasted their budget on something that could have been avoided through sharing data. The CX team needs access to the CIOs wider technology strategy (and vice versa) at an early stage to avoid these problems.
The Role of Data in Successful CX Projects
CIOs can help with choosing the right customer experience IT solutions for your business. They can make sure that any tool is compatible with the company’s existing IT systems and ensure data sharing capabilities in line with your specific requirements. Besides selecting tools with multi-view data, the right integrations, security and visibility between teams, CIOs also have strategic knowledge of privacy and compliance regulations.
Assess the Involvement of Your Company’s CIO Function in Your CX Projects
Freshworks is a user-friendly tool that can support collaboration between your IT and CX teams. The integrated platform supports multiple channels and features AI to speed up customer service and improve customer experience. Download the Cut the Wait Playbook for a 5-step guide to improving speed in customer service.
CX is more important than ever in the current business climate. Online demand is putting a huge strain on technical infrastructures, so you must involve your CIO or technical team equivalent in your customer support strategy.
Are you looking for a centralised platform to improve your CX? Freshdesk is the future of customer service.
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