Why CIOs Play a Vital Role in Customer Experience

by | Aug 31, 2022 | Digital Transformation

There is a saying in the restaurant industry that goes something like this: Great food cannot save poor customer service, but excellent customer service can save a mediocre meal. No matter how you word the phrase, the meaning of the message is clear.

Proving great service represents the foundation of attracting and retaining loyal customers.

Cultivating repeat business is the goal of successful companies that feature delivering outstanding customer experiences as the cornerstone of the business models. From boutique hotels to the manufacturers of auto parts, providing personable, knowledgeable, and accountable customer service often makes the difference between turning a handsome profit and reviewing an income statement soaked in red ink.

How does a CIO impact the customer experience? Not many of us expect the CIO of a company to play a pivotal role in developing positive customer experiences that result in repeat business. Yet, behind the veil of information technology, a CIO represents one of the primary drivers of delivering superior customer experiences.

Digital technology is the conduit that connects businesses with their customers. The CIO of your company ensures the conduit remains perfectly functional through every step of the customer experience.

How Has the Role Changed for CIOs During the Digital Era?

In the most straightforward definition, a CIO represents the executive responsible for managing every IT process for a company. With the transformation of doing business in person to completing transactions remotely, a company CIO has emerged as one of, if not the most important leader in an organization for building strong, long-term customer relationships.

According to a report recently released by Foundry, improving customer experiences is the number one priority of nearly 60 percent of the CIOs surveyed for the study. More than 80 percent of the CIOs polled have implemented new technological strategies to enhance the interactions their company has with customers.

Customer interactions have changed, and CIOs play one of the most important roles in ensuring the changes in interactions have improved the customer experience.

Installing the Most Customer-Friendly IT Infrastructure

From designing a user-friendly website to creating a mobile-friendly online store, the CIO of a company is ultimately responsible for recruiting the most talented team of programmers to build an IT platform that makes it easy for customers to shop and purchase products online. This entails creating easy-to-navigate web pages that take a customer from the first step of the buying process to the last step when a customer submits the information required to consummate a transaction.

The IT infrastructure approved by a CIO must allow customers to browse products quickly, without compromising the amount of time customers have to review different product choices. With the share of mobile eCommerce sales increasing by nearly 40 percent since 2016, CIOs play a huge role in developing mobile-friendly websites that allow customers to shop on the go.

If your company wants to capture three out of every four dollars spent online, the CIO must lead a team of IT developers to create the most user-friendly mobile website in your operating niche

Providing Leadership for Cybersecurity Issues

Customer preferences have changed during the digital era when it comes to shopping. Yes, product quality remains the most important factor that determines the success of your company. However, shopping online also involves delivering a convenient shopping experience that protects the sensitive information submitted by customers. This is especially true for highly sensitive personal data such as contact information and credit card numbers.

Today’s CIO/CISO plays an important role in leading IT teams to develop highly-secured digital shopping experiences that do not fall victim to malicious software that accesses customer data for nefarious uses. Although a convenient shopping experience is what matters most to customers, a breach of a digital platform shatters the trust built between a customer and your company.

The CIO/CISO of your company must provide the leadership required to deliver the most secure online shopping platform. Learn more about top CISO priorities.

Establishing Real-Time Customer Support

In the infant stages of digital technology, companies provided customers with an email address to submit questions, as well as discuss any issues that customers faced during their shopping experiences. Now, real-time customer interactions online are not only mandatory for companies to survive the intense competitive climate, but the real-time interactions must be flawless to enhance the customer experience.

Integrating software that automatically processes a customer through online interactions helps companies respond to customer inquiries in real-time. Nonetheless, CIOs make a difference in improving the online customer experience by developing a customer response system that relies on the human touch of a live customer service representative. This means not only installing the most advanced customer service IT platforms, but also recruiting seasoned customer service representatives to handle the high volume of incoming customer inquiries in real-time.

The Bottom Line – IT and Customer Experience

Service always has been the pivotal factor for customers to decide where to shop. In the digital era, customer service responsibilities have increasingly become an integral part of a CIO’s job. From installing the most advanced digital technology platform to ensuring the use of the easiest navigation tools during the buying process, CIOs have turned from a minor player in establishing the customer experience to one of the most important roles a company has to attract and retain loyal customers.


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