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Business strategies are becoming more customer-centric with 55% of those responsible for driving transformation citing changing customer behaviours as their main priority, according to the 2016 state of digital transformation.

CIOs are using digital technology to personalise the customer experience and keep up with the changing demands. CIO UK looks at why a CIO should personalise their customer service to suit the needs of the consumer, with comments from executive leaders on how they can drive a change within their organisations. (See also: How technology can create a better customer service)

How to personalise the customer journey: Work with the CMO

CIOs should collaborate with the Chief Marketing Officer in using digital tools to understand their consumers' behaviour as well as future business growth.

In the 2016 CIO 100 list NHS Property Services, Home Office and Save the Children are some of the organisations which are using data analytics to help gain a better understanding of their users.

Ownership of leading the change has seen 34% of CMOs having the rights of digital ownership within their organisations, compared to the CIO and CDO with 19% having led technology customer roadmaps, according to research.

Chief Marketing Officers are paving the way to a change in the business strategy, with a CIO often aligning their focus with the CMO and using their expertise of the customer's journey.

Productive Customer Journey

A CMO and a CIO should collaborate and make an investment in digital technology for a productive customer journey.

Tailoring the experience to the customers’ needs can identify new ways to increase the reach, revenue and impact its has on the business. Over half of organisations have a customer research programme in place to help gain a better understanding of their users' behaviour.

The collaboration of departments can help re-evaluate how the business is engaging with its customers. An investment in digital products can enhance the customer contact in giving feedback to the business.

A personalised approach –such as newsletters and welcome emails will demonstrate further opportunities for the CIO, in how the business can manage its customer communications.

How to personalise the customer journey: Walk the shop floor- meet the customers

In many organisations, a customer-focused strategy has been placed at the core of the business roadmap.

According to the 2016 Harvey Nash survey, 15% of respondents said customer engagement was more of a priority than it was the previous year. This was the only responsibility that had increased.

CIOs should communicate with their customers' first-hand and experience the products they are using.

A concern for CIOs has seen 27% of the digital leaders finding disruptions in implementing technology to enable an efficient customer service, according to research.

In building relationships with the consumers it can improve the brand loyalty with delivering digital technology being a cost effective and personalised way to meet the customers' requirements.

Delivering a personalised approach through utilising digital technologies has been cited by a number of organisations, and CIO Jane Moran at Unilever has analysed Big Data as a way to interact with its customers.

“Through social listening and Big Data we can deliver a deeper insight and build a rich consumer-profile of data which can enable our business to adapt to our products and to the changing tastes of our consumers," she said.

The strategy, led by Moran, has seen Unilever put customers at the “core” of everything they do and implement future digital technology for the organisation.

“These insights allow us to personalise and contextualise our consumers' digital experiences with our brands. Our IT tools provide the e-science capability to design the next generation of products,” she said.

"It's really important for me and Unilever to work together as an organisation and be active in our digital approach in keeping up to date with what's happening outside in the technology space,” she said. “Having first-hand knowledge of the business problem we are solving, it will make a positive difference in how we apply the technology and customer experience.”

The delivery of a personalised service is something a CIO’s role has adapted to in supporting the needs of the customers and the overall business strategy. (Read next: How CIOs are creating a better engagement with their customers)