In your company, whose job is it to make sure that your customers are happy? Sales? Marketing? The CEOs? It turns out that all of these people have a role to play, but in the end it is the CIO who may end up having the biggest impact on just exactly how the customer ends up feeling about your company.
Say Hello To The Mobile Era
Remember back in the old days? Back then the only time that your company had to worry about making its customers happy was when they were in the store or when you were sending them something through the mail. Now fast forward to today: because of the importance of information technology, if the store is online, then the doors never close. Your customer can be dropping in at any time and you always have to make sure that they have a good time.
This was bad enough when your customer could sit at home and log into your store’s web site. However, things have gotten even worse now — with the arrival of smartphones your customer can use a mobile device to access your company’s store from anywhere at any time. Looks like the CIO is now going to be standing in the spotlight when it comes to finding ways to make sure that the customer always has a good experience when interacting with the company.
4 Ways To Create A Company That Is Focused On Your Customer
If we can agree that in the 21st Century the CIO position plays a major role in shaping how a customer sees the company, this now leads to the simple question: how? As with all such life questions, there is not just one thing that you need to be doing, but rather a whole range of activities that you need to be taking care of. Here’s the list:
K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple Stupid. The complexity of most IT departments can be mind blowing. In fact, if a CIO isn’t careful the IT department can end up spending most of its time trying to keep the various parts of the network talking to each other. Take the time to simplify how the network operates and you’ll free up time for the IT department to spend more time worrying about the customer experience.
Make A Friend: Your company’s customers want to buy its products through the channel that makes the most sense for them. The IT department needs to make sure that products and services that are available on one channel are available on all channels. Have the IT department staff take the time to develop a relationship with your customers based on the company’s ability to fulfill their buying needs.
Reduce Risk: No matter what industry your company is part of, there are undoubtedly rules and regulations that restrict what your company can do with all of the customer data that is has been collecting. The CIO needs to make sure that the IT department secures this data from potential data breeches and attacks. Do a good job of this, and your company will never have to tell your customers “we’re sorry”.
Use Your Customer Data Well: Just because the business has a lot of data about the company’s services and the customers that use it, doesn’t mean that you are using this data wisely. It’s the CIO’s job to help the IT department to find ways to put all of this data to work in ways that will make the customer’s buying and usage of the company’s products that much easier.
What All Of This Means For You
In every company, how the customer feels about the company has to be one of the most important factors in determining the company’s long term success. The CIO plays a critical role in how each customer views the company.
As the mobile era arrives, the CIO has four approaches that he or she can take to improve how the customer views the company. These approaches include reducing complexity, engaging the customer, managing risk, and properly using data.
The good news is that none of these four actions is impossible to do. The bad news is that all four need to be done at the same time. As CIO, ensuring the customers have a positive view of your company is another part of your CIO job. Now go make it happen!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™
Question For You: In order to simplify the CIOs life, do you think that you should ban employees from bringing their own mobile devices into the workplace?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
So CIO, what is your life like these days? Are you dealing with long hours at work, demanding peers and customers? An IT department who doesn’t want to talk to you let alone do what you need them to do? Unfortunately all of these things seem to be part of the modern definition of information technology. I guess the concept of finding inner peace must seem pretty far away most days. Over at Google, their IT workers are experiencing everything that you are experiencing – and more of it. How do they deal with the lack of peace in their lives?