The changing role of the chief financial officer (CFO) has seen them play a growing part in stewarding their organisation’s customer experience – a mandate traditionally viewed as one of the chief marketing officer, according to Dun & Bradstreet.
The business services company reports that as positive business results are often fuelled by great customer experiences, CFOs are increasingly using data and analytics to become customer-obsessed to ensure that customer strategy is rooted in insights that will drive favourable outcomes.
D&B commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey finance executives – CFOs or executive vice presidents (EVPs) of finance – in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific across companies in multiple industries generating annual revenue of at least US$150m. The survey generated 250 responses from this group, with just over half (53%) saying they were responsible or accountable for customer-focused initiatives.
‘The Customer-Obsessed Finance Leader’, a study based on the survey feedback, found that 36% of CFOs surveyed were identified as customer-obsessed leaders, making customer-focused initiatives a top priority this year and reporting increases in customer acquisition, retention, and satisfaction.
This group reported year-over-year increases of 10 to 30 percentage points greater than their less advanced peers in revenue, profitability and cashflow, while data and insights-driven companies are seen as 39% more likely to report year-over-year revenue growth of 15% and more.
Seventy-nine per cent of customer-obsessed leaders indicated that their organisation is likely to increase spending on technology applications to support customer engagement.
D&B says that successfully implementing a customer-obsessed strategy requires mastery of seven data competencies that must be aligned across people, processes, and technologies.
“CFOs, with their leadership position, cross-organisational perspective, and ability to understand complex sets of data, are uniquely positioned to implement insights-driven behaviours and processes within their organisations,” the study concludes. “Investing in the right tools and technology, as well as augmenting internal data with third-party data and analytics are some of the key actions leading finance executives are taking.
“Challenges to becoming truly customer-obsessed persist; disconnected strategies within the organisation, disparate data, inconsistent metrics, and a lack of investment in technology are among respondents’ most cited obstacles.”
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved LedgerX as the first regulated clearing house for derivatives contracts settling in digital currencies.
The European police agency recorded an 11% increase in incidents worldwide over the 12 months to March this year.
Businesses must have a broad investment portfolio and a range of trading relationships to survive in today's volatile economic climate.
Government intervention means that new regulations pave the way for a competitive regulatory and tax regime.