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February CCO Council Meeting Agenda

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


We’ve just completed the February Chief Customer Officer (CCO) Council™ agenda, and it looks great!

The theme is “Igniting the Flame of Customer Centricity.” How do we ignite the spark around customer centricity and motivate organizations to act in our customer’s best interest? This effort to create a customer-centric culture is one of the most important of CCO goals, second only to driving more profitable customer behavior, and a strong factor in being able to deliver against the first goal. During our first Summit meeting last year, this issue was perhaps of the greatest interest but unfortunately it received the least attention.

Motivation is not simple; it must occur at multiple levels. To be successful, you may need to motivate your CEO and your Board. What role should you be playing in driving strategic alignment from the top down? You also need to effectively motivate your peers on the executive committee. One CCO told me how he creatively turned his greatest detractor, the CIO, into his staunchest ally overnight as he found the key to motivation that made the greatest difference. How can you create a shared sense of purpose rather than fighting turf wars at customers’ expense? Finally and most importantly, you need to motivate employees so they take pride in their work and delight in serving customers. How can you help each employee take ownership of customer loyalty, regardless of their role?

During this series of workshops and discussions, you will hear from renowned experts from Bates Communications, advisors to CEOs of Fortune-ranked companies such as Dow Chemical (#38), VF Outdoor (#335), Fidelity, and numerous others. In addition, you’ll learn what has worked for Jeb Dasteel, CCO of Oracle and recipient of the 2009 CCO of the Year award. Bob Olson will share his successes at GoDaddy & Homestead (an Intuit company) in turning tired, lackluster employees who could care less about customers into raving customer advocates, willing to do nearly anything for their customers.

During this intense meeting, members will have the opportunity to share success stories and most importantly, learn potential solutions to your immediate issues. As an attending member, you’ll walk away with a collection of new ideas, proven strategies, and a handful of best practices that will help ensure your success and increase your value to your organization, your CEO, and your customers.

I’ve appended below some of the highlights:

Creating the Customer Culture at Oracle (Jeb Dasteel, Oracle)

Jeb will share how he has been successful in motivating Oracle at all levels, and particularly how he has begun to use Oracle’s aggressive culture against itself to help everyone compete to become more customer-centric. Jeb will tell us how he’s managed to get his peers on board to eliminate turf wars or protective custody battles over customer ownership. Especially valuable, Jeb will tell us how he has created an environment where it is ok to experiment and fail, enabling significant customer breakthroughs.

Points for discussion:

  • Who provides your greatest obstacles to acting in your customers’ best interest?
  • What is the impact of their resistance on the organization and your customers
  • Is there one cultural theme that you could use to motivate people to change?
  • What happens to your customers if your employees are afraid to fail?
  • How do you make it safe for people to experiment?

The Modern Day Pied Piper: Getting People to Fall In Line Behind Customers (Bob Olson, MobileMini)

How can you get employees excited about your customers? How can you create a vision so compelling that they’re willing to do nearly anything for customers, including even taking a cut in pay? The modern day “Pied Piper,” Bob Olson is a veteran of numerous strongly customer-centric companies such as GoDaddy, Homestead Technologies (purchased by Intuit), and a recent work in progress, MobileMini. Bob describes how he’s created customer-centric cultures from the top down and from the ground up. He’ll share with us how he’s managed to co-create the vision with the CEO and his C-level peers, and especially how he’s motivated new and existing employees to shine forth. Bob will share some of the most impressive results he’s achieved in these companies, particularly in terms of profits generated as a result of such a strong employee focus.

Points for discussion:

  • How do your employees define their jobs? By their tasks and responsibilities? Output?
  • What matters most to your employees? A paycheck? Recognition?
  • How do you know if you have the right employees to achieve your vision? How have you connected employees to customers and vice versa?

Special CCO Program Development (Disney Institute)

For over 20 years, Disney Institute has offered over a million alumni the opportunity to benchmark the philosophies of The Walt Disney Company. As a special bonus, the CCO Council & the Disney Institute are co-developing a program uniquely tailored to your needs as a CCO that will be delivered at the Fall CCO Summit. This program will help you not only create a spectacular customer experience, but also develop and lead a phenomenal customer-centric culture. During this session you’ll learn of the programs, approaches, skills, and practices that have helped make Disney an international standard in motivating employees to deliver an exceptional customer experience. You’ll work with a Disney representative and your peers to develop an in-depth course that exactly meets your needs.

Igniting the Spark: Practical Tools to Creating a Firestorm of Customer Centricity (Craig Bentley, Bates Communications)

In your role as CCO, you need to ignite the spark of customer centricity, fan the flames of a customer-centric culture. How do you get the organization’s attention? How do you get everyone onboard? How do you keep them energized and focused—at all levels?

To do this successfully, you must be able to persuade, influence, and motivate all levels within the organization, from corporate leadership to the back office, and through to the front-line. In this interactive session, Craig Bentley of Bates Communications will introduce a few simple tools and techniques that will help you:

  • Discover that spark that gives the organization purpose around customers
  • Learn tools to accelerate the spark by connecting with your senior management peers and others in the organization
  • Be certain that your most important messages are being heard

Fan the flames by motivating your most important audiences to get the commitment and resources that you need to be successful

Overcoming Your Greatest Challenges (Peer to Peer Roundtable)

What is keeping you from being as successful as you desire? What would you most like to change about your role, your organization, your company, or even your customers? Come prepared to share the details of one or two critical issues and learn from your peers who’ve “been there, done that” and can tell you from experience exactly how they overcame similar problems—and the pitfalls to avoid. Brainstorm unique and innovative solutions with your peers that will help you turn these challenges into your next opportunity.

Points for discussion:

  • What (or whom) is hampering your efforts to drive results for your customers?
  • What strategy have you been wishing you could get input on?
  • What frustrates you the most—that you don’t feel like you can share with your peers?
  • If you could change one thing about your job, responsibilities, accountabilities, etc., what would it be?
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Categories: CCO Council

Look what’s coming for the CCO Council!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Chief Customer Officer Council is gaining huge momentum with the recently completed CCO Roadmap, potential partnerships with Disney Institute and Gallup, and a number of new members.

Within about 2 weeks we’re launching an entirely new website with public and members-only forums that will provide a lot of CCO-specific and Council-generated content that will help you as a CCO be more successful in your role

Here’s a quick update on the things that are happening:

CCO Council Snapshot:

  • Membership is growing! We’ll be joined at our February meeting by Bob Olson, former CCO of Homestead Technologies (an Intuit Company) and GoDaddy, in addition to Jeff Lowe, the CCO of Telus (Canada’s largest telecom company).
  • We’re arranging a partnership with the Disney Institute to create a customized curriculum expressly for CCOs that teaches you not only how to create a spectacular customer experience, but also how to develop and lead a phenomenal customer-centric culture. This will be a major component of the 2010 CCO Summit, to be held in October.
  • We’re exploring a potential partnership with Gallup around the notion of Human Sigma, helping you achieve the appropriate balance of customer and employee focus as part of your overall strategy.
  • We’re booking a special engagement in April with Amir Hartman of Mainstay Partners, who will share the results of Oracle’s commissioned study of benchmark customer reference programs from around the world. Jeb Dasteel, CCO of Oracle, engaged Amir last year to perform a similar study and Amir has graciously agreed to share his updated results with the Council.
  • We’ve just completed the CCO Roadmap that details nearly 100 activities that you as a CCO need to ensure are implemented in your organization to ensure success. This roadmap is being expanded every month with best practices from the greatest experts on each topic in the roadmap.
  • We’re engaging in another major research project that aims to make explicit the connection between employee engagement and customer engagement, so you can decide how best to invest precious resources in your employees and know that it’ll have the greatest impact on loyalty. We’ve had some great input from Gallup around their Human Sigma model, incorporating their CE11 and Q12 metrics.

The Chief Customer Officer (CCO) Council™ helps you learn from your peers so you can drive customer centric business results–without experimenting at your customers’ expense.

The Council focuses on helping you succeed in three major areas:

  • Drive profitable customer behavior (ie. customer loyalty
  • Create customer-centric culture
  • Deliver solid business results that prove your value to the CEO, Board, and your peers

If you’re interested in learning more about the CCO Council and how it can help you succeed in your role, please feel free to contact me at 978-226-8675.


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Keynote Presentation: NACCM Customers 1st Conference, Nov 2009

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Curtis Bingham and three Chief Customer Officer Council members were Keynote presenters at NACCM 2009: Customers 1st Conference, sponsored by Institute for International Research. The presentation was called: “The Ultimate in Customer Centricity: Chief Customer Officers Describe How Everyone Can Be A Loyalty Leader”

The CCO Council Panelists were: Tammy McLeod, Chief Customer Officer, Arizona Public Service; Bob Olson, Chief Customer Officer, Homestead Technologies, an Intuit Company; and Rudy Vidal, former Chief Customer Officer, InContact.

At the end of the session, the audience was asked to list their most valuable ‘take-aways’ from the session. Here are the top answers:

Top take-away strategies from Keynote session:

  • Support local establishments
  • Find unlikely allies
  • Have dissatisfied customers talk to management
  • Understand what emotions I want to drive, rather than what process to follow
  • You cannot separate employee engagement and customer loyalty
  • Make it everyone’s job

Below are media files of the session; to read a text transcript of the session, visit the Customer 1st blog linked below.

Audio only: NACCM Keynote Presentation Audio File (MP4)

Link to conference Homepage: http://www.iirusa.com/naccm/event-home.xml

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Oracle’s Jeb Dasteel Awarded 2009 Chief Customer Officer of the Year

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Oracle’s Jeb Dasteel Awarded
2009 Chief Customer Officer of the Year Award

Announcing the formation of the Chief Customer Officer Council

LITTLETON, MASS., July 8, 2009 – Customer loyalty is the Holy Grail for many businesses, yet in most organizations, nobody is accountable for loyalty improvement in the executive suite.

“The key to business success, particularly in a down economy, is anticipating customer needs and continuously deepening customer relationships,” according to Jeb Dasteel, Chief Customer Officer (CCO) of Oracle, who was named the 2009 Chief Customer Officer of the Year last month at the first ever Chief Customer Officer Summit.

“Through a string of 55 acquisitions, Oracle has achieved nearly 100% customer retention,” Dasteel said. “We’ve gotten really good at listening to customers, prioritizing feedback, and driving customer strategy at all levels. The award is a great honor and a testament to Oracle’s executive leadership that has provided such visible support for the customer focus we’ve tried to achieve.”

Dasteel has been with Oracle for 11 years, five of which have been spent running Oracle’s Global Customer Programs and as CCO for the last year.

“Several years ago it became clear to us that the Chief Customer Officer role was a missing piece of Oracle’s strategy. Our CCO has become a key part of the Oracle transformation. The pay-off has been tremendous as we become more of a trusted partner to our customers,” said Charles Phillips, President of Oracle.

“Jeb Dasteel has made exceptional strides in improving customer relationships, driving profitable customer behavior, and in creating customer-centric cultures,” noted Curtis N. Bingham, founder of the Chief Customer Officer Council that awarded Dasteel. “Unless you’re Disney where the customer is injected into the cultural DNA, you need someone to champion the customer cause. Otherwise, opportunities are squandered, customers leave, and innovation is squelched.”

Most companies have neither the process nor the executive-level accountability to devise and execute customer strategy in order to increase loyalty and attendant profits. “In fact, less than 25 of the Fortune 1000 companies have a Chief Customer Officer,” said Bingham. “CCOs are the ultimate authority on customers and drive customer and corporate strategy at the highest levels of the company.” The three greatest responsibilities of a CCO are: 1.) Creating customer strategy based on in-depth customer insight, 2.) Driving profitable customer behavior, and 3.) Creating a customer-centric culture. CCOs are typically hired to resolve chronic customer crises, protect revenue derived from an organization’s current customer base, and establish competitive advantage.

Announcing the CCO Council

In June 2009, the 16 CCOs gathered at the Chief Customer Officer Summit agreed:

  • Increased transparency in product roadmaps, service agreements, and pricing is driving increased loyalty and stronger customer retention as well as acquisition
  • Improved customer intimacy, particularly during down economic times, is an extremely potent competitive barrier
  • In the current economy, CCOs are finding they must enable customer-facing functions to have different value discussions with customers and prospects. Decisions are being made at a higher level, requiring additional executive-level insight. Customers are trading downwards, requiring stronger value propositions than before.
  • The Customer Experience is made up of multiple touchpoints, and the greatest ROI can be obtained by identifying those touchpoints with the greatest emotional attachment for customers and resolving issues there first.

The CCOs all saw huge value in collaborating with their peers via the newly formed Chief Customer Officer Council to improve customer relationships and advance their careers. Bingham founded the Chief Customer Officer Council based on the needs of more than 50 Chief Customer Officers with whom he has worked since starting in the field in 2003. Curtis is the author of the forthcoming book entitled The Key to Customer Strategy: The Rise of the Chief Customer Officer to be published by HRD Press in late 2009.

The CCO Council is dedicated to elevating the role of the CCO in establishing business strategy, helping its members grow professionally, and most importantly, helping drive solid, customer-focused results in member organizations. Each year the Council recognizes with an award the CCO that has made the greatest strides on improving customer relationships, driving profitable customer behavior, and in creating customer-centric cultures. As well, the Council recognizes the CCO that has had the greatest impact on his or her peers in helping others achieve similar results.

Curtis N. Bingham is President of Predictive Consulting Group, a firm that helps companies increase customer acquisition, retention, and customer profitability through customer strategy. He is also the founder of the Chief Customer Officer Council.

Contact:Curtis N. Bingham
(978) 952-0047
Predictive Consulting Group, Inc
Founder, Chief Customer Officer Council

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Categories: CCO Council | Chief Customer Officer | Customer Loyalty | Customer Retention

Chrysler’s Customer Experience Efforts Backfire

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sometimes the brilliant efforts to gather customer insight simply backfire.  Consider for a moment the experience of buying a car.  Your feedback can make or break the dealership’s performance rating, and it is so important that many dealerships have resorted to cheesy gimmicks like, “If you had a perfect experience today, please fill out a form.”

Chrysler is clearly taking it further and bypassing some of this chicanery to get to the heart of the matter.  Yet they blew it, and may have ruined the overall experience with one mistake.

A colleague forwarded this to me:

Dear Mr. ZZZ:
Congratulations and thank you for buying your 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee from Dealership Inc. Jeep and Dealership Inc appreciate your purchase.

It is important that we provide you with the best possible ownership experience. To help us do so, we invite you to complete our brief survey regarding your recent purchase experience. Your feedback is a valuable tool to help improve the experiences of our customers as well as guide future product development efforts. Your participation in the survey process is completely voluntary.

Please complete the survey at https://survey.cdjcustomersat.com. If you are prompted for a password, please enter the following: ZZZ

Thanks again,
Douglas D. Betts
Vice President & Chief Customer Officer
Chrysler Motors

My colleague was interested in sharing a decent experience–nothing stellar, but nothing bad either.   However, when he went to fill out the survey, he received the error message that the survey had expired, a mere 10 days after the receipt of the survey email.

I thought it was admirable that Douglas signed his name. However, his name has been besmirched.  The customer decided that Chrysler really didn’t have its act together.  And Chrysler spoiled a potential loyalty-building opportunity.

Don’t let simple mistakes ruin great opportunities to build loyalty, because when you reach out like this and blow it, you cause more damage than if you’d never said a thing.

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Highlights of the 2009 CCO Study

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Nearly 6 years ago when I first began to study the relatively unknown role of Chief Customer Officer (CCO), I found fewer than 20 in the world and I spent time with half of them, including Marissa Peterson of Sun Microsystems, Doug Allred of Cisco, and Jeff Lewis of Monster.com. The insights these luminaries shared were incredible, and were included in the Predictive Consulting Group Executive-Level Customer Champions Report I published through 2006.

Fast-forward to today: there are now over 200 officially-titled Chief Customer Officers in the world, and hundreds more with similar titles, and I’ve worked with or interviewed nearly 30% of them. The role is evolving dramatically and spectacularly, with some particularly impressive results. Companies as large as Oracle, Cisco, SAP have Chief Customer Officers as do many mid- and small-cap companies. For these companies, the CCO role is crucial to establishing and executing an effective customer strategy. CEOs of companies large and small are recognizing that customers are truly their most valuable asset and are exploring the possibility of appointing a Chief Customer Officer to help nurture and grow this asset.

Here are some of the fascinating highlights from CCOs around the world:

  • The CCO role is growing in popularity at an increasing rate, particularly in the mid-cap market. It is surprising to see how many CCOs there are in the industry today.
  • CCOs are becoming more generalized: The demarcation between the three types of CCOs that I identified in my 2005 Business Strategy article (http://predictiveconsulting.com/articles/HBS-2005-Hottest-New-Title2.html) is blurring. Many CCOs are no longer focusing solely on customer satisfaction and retention, and are beginning to focus on leveraging customer insight to drive the customer acquisition activities as well.

While the reasons are varied, CEOs hire a CCO for one of three primary reasons:

  • Address unresolved customer crises: They are experiencing unresolved customer crises that they have not been successful in fixing on their own, such as extremely dissatisfied customers due to chronic product issues, customer lawsuits arising from unmet expectations, etc. larger companies tend to fall in this group.
  • Create Competitive Advantage: In small- and mid-cap companies, CEOs recognize that they need to differentiate themselves from their (sometimes larger) competitors and appoint a CCO to prove to their customers and prospects that they are singularly committed to customer success. Many a deal has been inked after a visit from the Chief Customer Officer.
  • Retain existing customers: Customers were defecting, revenues were plummeting. The Chief Customer Officer was able to provide operational stability by focusing on retaining customers to protect revenue.
  • Big differences between CCOs in small vs. larger companies: CCOs in small- to mid-cap companies typically have line ownership of customer-facing functions including marketing, sales, support, and professional services, whereas those in larger companies have vast matrix authority and limited line ownership.
  • Interestingly, numerous CCOs were hired by a newly-appointed CEO that had come from a highly customer-centric company. These CEOs wanted a partner to change culture and help them reach their growth goals.
  • An increasing number of CCOs have a sales or technology background: When I first began this research I was adamant that someone from sales or IT had no place in the CCO role. I’m pleased to find that I’ve been proven wrong! There are a number of CCOs that have come up through the sales organizations and are being very successful. Charlie Isaacs of Kana is also the company’s CTO and is unique in his ability to advocate for the customer with his in-depth understanding of their technology needs.
  • There is a proliferation of Executive Advisory Councils and Customer Advisory boards: Some companies have numerous executive councils and hundreds of customer advisory boards. The challenge for some companies remains in ensuring that the advisory boards are more than focus groups and provide significant input to the overall strategy.
  • One finding that surprised me was the number of public utilities that have a CCO, including PG&E, Arizona Public Service, 407ETR in Canada, and others. In a later blog article I’ll talk about the reasons why a near-monopoly would want to embark on such a journey.
  • The vast majority of CCOs are tied in some fashion to either the creation or preservation of revenue. When I first started the research six years ago, many CCOs were embroiled in a battle with their Utopia and reality. They quickly realized that focusing on the customers simply because it is the right thing to do cannot survive an economic downturn. Thankfully, most of the CCOs I’ve worked with recently are tied to revenue and therefore more immune to cuts than before.
  • A number of similar titles are cropping up that aren’t truly meaningful, like Chief Experience Officer, Customer Satisfaction Officer. These job functions are subsets of the Chief Customer Officer and focus too much attention on customer satisfaction/retention and not enough on the overall customer strategy.

There are many, many more insights yet to come, so stay tuned for future updates!

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