April 18, 2017
The Coca-Cola Company recently announced a number of senior leadership changes, merging the role of Chief Marketing Officer into a new position combining marketing, customer and commercial strategy - the Chief Growth Officer.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard the mantra “putting the customer first”. Yet in truth, the customer is often behind the pursuit of new business, product development or shareholder value. Customer Service is often a separate after-sales role, used to handle complaints or technical issues. Coca-Cola has recognised that putting the customer first requires a holistic view of customer experience (CX) and that CX plays an integral role in driving business success. What’s more, it can be quantified. Our own research with global customer experience experts, Smith+Co., reported that a 5% lift in customer loyalty can increase profits by up to 85%.
Coca-Cola is one of the world’s most iconic brands, built on pioneering marketing techniques. The fact that it has taken the step to combine the Chief Marketing Officer role with the customer to achieve growth should make organisations in all industries sit-up and take note. CX is not just about sophisticated websites, apps and big budget campaigns. True CX is shaped by the experience of simply doing day-to-day business with a company.
Things like complex payment processes, hidden costs, issues with the delivery of an order or a poor experience contacting a company have a lasting impact. Taking a complete view of an organisation and investing in making processes easy, fast and secure, ensures customers remain as engaged as when they first chose one brand over another. It drives repeat business, referrals and ultimately commercial success.
We’ve taken a similar approach in our business. Our own Chief Marketing Officer has become the Chief Marketing and Customer Officer. He has been tasked with leading a programme to make sure our CX is consistently good at every interaction and function within our business. From Sales to Finance. It is built into personal development plans, appraisal processes and designed into our products and services, like Coca-Cola, we understand CX equals company growth.