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Chief Listening Officer: Job Description & Salary

A career as a chief listening officer may appeal to individuals interested in consumer engagement. This article will cover the education and skills needed to become a chief listening officer as well as the job outlook and salary.

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Career Definition of Chief Listening Officers

Chief listening officers specialize in monitoring both external and internal communications about organizations. Their primary focus is on gathering information from customers and employees in order to develop ways for an organization to enhance their relationships with both.

Chief listening officers may work for a variety of organizations, including global chain companies. These officers can utilize traditional customer satisfaction tools, like surveys or focus groups, to gather information; however, they need to see what customers are saying in real time about an organization. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, allow chief listening officers to see how an average customer feels about an organization. The feedback obtained by chief listening officers allows organizations to gauge how they are doing and implement improvements. Chief listening officers play an integral role in developing an organization's marketing campaigns and overall business strategy.

In addition to listening to consumers, chief listening officers are tasked with listening to employees. The goal is to gauge employees' happiness and how they feel about an organization's operations. Employees can provide valuable insight into how external and internal processes can be improved. Feedback gained from employees can also allow an organization to improve its customer service as well as create an environment that retains talented employees. Chief listening officers must be able to effectively communicate feedback to organizational management and encourage the value of listening to customers and employees.

Educational Requirements Master's degree
Job Skills Excellent active listening skills, strong analytical abilities, effective persuasive abilities
Median Salary (2016)* $181,210 (Chief Executives)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* -3% (Chief Executives)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Required Education

Individuals will typically need a master's degree in business administration, communications, marketing, or a related discipline to work as a chief listening officer. A strong background in various social media platforms will be beneficial.

Required Skills

Excellent active listening skills are the most essential asset for chief listening officers, as they must listen impartially to both customers and employees. These officers should also have strong analytical abilities in order to evaluate consumer and employee feedback and make appropriate recommendations. Lastly, chief listening officers should have effective persuasive abilities in order to successfully convince organizational management to implement their recommendations.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report information on chief listening officers; however, it estimated a 3% job decline for chief executives overall during the 2016-2026 decade. This decline is due to enhanced office technology and fewer new organizations being created compared to years past. In May 2016, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $181,210 for chief executives.

Related Careers

Individuals interested in working as a chief listening officer will find there are other management positions they can pursue. Related careers range from a chief learning officer to a chief marketing officer.

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