Those were the words of a chief customer officer in a recent discussion about trends in customer experience management. It reminded me of the many challenges facing customer experience professionals as they strive to bring about real change within their organizations.
Here's the context of their comment. The discussion took place with a dozen or so chief customer officers and the conversation focused on the way customer service will continue to be more sophisticated in the future. The group agreed that companies will need to leverage customer intelligence to understand each customer's situation and address issues in the most efficient and proactive manner. In other words, customer expectations are skyrocketing and companies must be prepared to exceed those expectations.
In the midst of this conversation one participant shared a particular challenge when customer demands conflict with financial concerns. They cited situations in their organization where they are encouraged to process returns and claims slowly so that they can hold on to their customers' money just a bit longer.
Unfortunately, others shared similar situations at their company which prompted the comment, "The CFO has been in charge far too long."
It almost goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway), for a company to be truly customer focused it must embraced throughout the organization. It should be mentioned – this is not a statement about all CFOs. No, there are plenty of great CFOs that place customers as top priority. However, this conversation demonstrates how determined customer experience professionals need to overcome obstacles within their own organization.