CIOs are becoming increasingly integral to achieving business objectives. No longer just IT back office admins entrusted with ‘keeping the lights on’, these senior IT leaders are now being asked by management to enable business change through digital technologies. Improved internal efficiencies, better customer service and even new revenue streams are all within scope of the modern CIO, who is charged with enabling digital business transformation.
And it’s customer service where boards see a big opportunity. Indeed, in one recent IDG study, 15% of CIOs said that customer attraction and retention was now one of their top three business priorities for them in the year ahead. Separately, according to the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey, 60% of UK CIOs said that senior management were looking at IT to help enhance customer experience.
So how do CIOs get customer-centric? And how do they get to the point where they work with the wider business to provide relevant, personalised customer experiences that not only satisfy customers, but which ensure they stay loyal to the brand for years to come?
Part of the answer lies in collaboration with the business (including the CMO and the marketing department) on digital technologies which can solve customer problems and drive better experiences. As an example, take Trainline’s CTO Mark Holt who’s innovations around data analytics have helped customers find seats on busy trains, obtain better prices and save customers time by predicting the journeys they are likely to take.
But alongside digital innovation, the ‘decisioning’ technique could also help CIOs improve customer journeys.
Decisioning - or decision management - is a technique that blends big data together with business rules and predictive analytics (or analytical models) to enable customer personalisation to make smart decisions about what to talk to customers about, and where, at any one time. In the omnichannel world, where data is king, it’s essential that CIOs and CMOs come together to get a consolidated view of their customers’ needs and desires.
The danger is they don’t, is clear. A Gartner report last week found that brands risk losing over a third of companies because of poor marketing personalisation efforts.
“Creating personalised messages and experiences requires intimate knowledge of customer journeys, relevant content that drives action, and technology that helps deliver and measure experiences,” said Martha Mathers, managing vice president at Gartner.
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