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Voice of the CCO: Rudy Vidal on the CCO Council's 2011 Annual CCO Summit

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rudy Vidal, member of the Chief Customer Officer Council and former CCO of inContact, shares one of the issues discussed at the 2011 Annual CCO Summit and how it will benefit attendees.




Video Transcript

In this particular meeting here in New York, we talked a lot about automating the top issues of the organization and how to prioritize them and how to bring them to a sense of what kind of effect do they have on the bottom line. So really, how to take the Chief Customer Officer Council role of identifying key customer issues and how they affect the bottom line really gives us power in our organizations to have our upper management give credence and relevance to what we do.

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Voice of the CCO: Vicky Stennes on the CCO Council's 2011 Annual CCO Summit

Thursday, May 24, 2012

In this video, Vicky Stennes, VP of Inflight Experience for JetBlue, shares why she enjoyed the Chief Customer Officer Council's 2011 Annual CCO Summit in New York City and what tangible benefits she received.

Video Transcript

This CCO Summit has been probably the best day and a half that I have spent in a really long time. From the moment I walked in the door I was struck by the openness, the transparency of the members, the quality of the discussion, the candor and a sense of genuinely trying to help each other.

I was also extremely impressed by Curtis's leadership and facilitation skills. He has a great way of drawing everyone into the conversation: provocative yet has some really good, strong summary skills so you can take all of that, drill it down and say what were the key messages, what were the key points.

An additional but very important benefit that I gained from the last day and a half was real actionable ideas; discussions and ideas that, regardless of our industries, we can translate into ideas and activities or actions that we can take back into our respective workforces.

I would sum it up by saying a lot of passion in the room -- a lot of energy -- and I think we learned some great dialog around how that passion actually becomes magic. So I would describe it as a magical day and a half. Thank you for having me. It was a delight.

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Curtis on...CCO Authority: 3. Earned Authority

Thursday, May 17, 2012

In this video, I explain what earned authority is and how CCOs can gain and increase it.





Video Transcript

In this segment, we're going to talk earned authority. The most effective chief customer officers and those with the longest tenure in the world quickly earned their own authority.

Earned authority occurs as CCO-led initiatives are seen as successful both internally and externally. This type of earned authority is earned as the chief customer officer leads his or her peers, executives, and other employees to understand how customer centricity can be a very valuable part of their own jobs—everybody learning how they impact the customers and the impact that they can have on the revenue and profits of the company by focusing on the customers.

Earned authority of this type surpasses all of the other types of authority that a chief customer officer can have—the borrowed authority and the positional authority. It's the strongest and the most sustainable type of authority. The more the earned authority that you gain, it also enhances the positional and borrowed authority in this virtuous cycle.

So, how can you go about earning greater authority within your organization?

There are three things that are most important for you to start focusing on right now.

The first is to own actionable customer insight within your company. The more that you are able to draw customer insight from the customers, from the marketplace, and turn that into actions that can be taken throughout your company, the more authority that you're going to have, the more respect that you will have, and the more authority that you'll earn.

The second thing to focus on is developing very strong relationships with management, with your CEO, other members of the C-suite, your peers, employees, and customers. It's through these relationships that you begin to be able to exert influence over the organization.

We're not talking about the testosterone-laden, beat-the-drum or thump-your-chest type of authority. We're talking about the authority that enables you to say, "Hey, we have a customer who's having a problem," or "We're not treating our customers as well as we could. We need to fix this. Let's everybody work together to make sure that this happens."

The third thing that you need to focus on is to demonstrate quantifiable results for every action that you do. It's no longer good enough to just do something because it's the right thing to do. We have to be focused on doing those things that are the right things to do and proving that it's the right thing to do for the company as well as the customers. So, we need to make sure that our results are tied to revenue and profitability.

We'll be talking more about how to go about earning this type of authority in coming segments. In the meantime, think about it in your own environment. What else can you do to increase your own earned authority?

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Curtis on...CCO Authority: 2. Borrowed Authority

Monday, May 14, 2012

In this second of three videos, I explain the authority that a CCO derives from the extent to which the CEO champions customer centricity.




Video Transcript

Here's a question for you. Who is your greatest champion in your company? Who opens doors and paves the way for you? If that person were to leave tomorrow, what would happen to your job or your role within the company?

If you think your job might be at risk, then, you have significant borrowed authority, which is the topic for this segment. Many CCOs find themselves (as they've come into a new position) with the positional authority that we talked about previously or the influential authority based on title or their position in the organizational hierarchy. This is valuable but it's static, as we talked about previously.

Borrowed authority, on the other hand, is the strong, vocal, and very visible support of the CEO. Let's face it. When the CCO speaks, everyone pays attention. If the CEO champions customer centricity, it creates a halo effect over the CCO and enables that chief customer officer to have much greater influence over the rest of the organization. If the chief customer officer is known to speak for the CEO when it comes to matters of the customer, everybody is going to listen.

Borrowed authority is especially strong and especially necessary in the early days of the appointment of the CCO. It's almost imperative. One of the key success criteria for a chief customer officer is to have the significant borrowed authority; part of the reason for this is that any culture naturally resists change.

The need for this borrowed authority is huge to overcome the organizational inertia that exists that many times must be changed in order to become more customer-centric and put the customers at the center of the organization.

Despite starting strong, sometimes, the borrowed authority wanes over time. In the early days of the CCO appointment, the CEO and everybody else is jumping on the bandwagon, beating the drum of customer centricity.

However, as time goes on, another flavor of the month may crop up. The CEO's interest may wane or he or she may be overwhelmed with other priorities, and the amount of air time that customer centricity gets may wane; and with that comes, sometimes, a very significant drop-off in the borrowed authority that a CCO may have.

It's very critical to heavily leverage borrowed authority in the early days of the chief customer officer's tenure. It's important to use this halo effect, if you will, to gain momentum very quickly to make culture change as quickly and rapidly as you can, and to burn some of the bridges behind you so that there's no way to go back to the way that things were before this new focus on customer centricity.

One of the biggest things to focus on is using this borrowed authority to help gain earned authority which, by far, is the most powerful and longest-lasting form of authority that we'll talk about next.

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Voice of the CCO: Jasmine Green on the CCO Council's 2011 Annual CCO Summit

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Jasmine Green, Chief Customer Advocate of Nationwide Insurance and the Chief Customer Officer Council's 2012 CCO of the Year, recommends attending the Council's Annual CCO Summit for the benefits and opportunities it provides to CCOs.



Video Transcript

I truly enjoy attending the [Summit]. It’s something that every chief customer officer I would recommend to attend. You get a lot of rich information from your peers across many industries and you learn that you don’t need to go it by yourself. We can take information from others and learn from others and still do a wonderful job in our roles, as well as developing each other and helping each other along the way.

One thing about the Chief Customer Officer of the Year Award that’s very near and dear to my heart is that it gives some credibility to the thing that I’ve always lived my life for, and that’s making a difference in someone else’s life. It’s not always about what you do, it’s about what you do for others and that’s each and every day. That’s what we, as chief customer officers and advocates, can do across the enterprise and across the different industries. So I would challenge each and every person in any customer service role, to give, give, give, give and do something for someone else when they never know that you can.

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Curtis on...The Bingham Advisory

Friday, May 04, 2012

This video, from last October, announces publication of a new periodical of strategic advice for CCOs, CEOs, and Boards of directors: The Bingham Advisory.




Video Transcript

The chief customer officer role is only about a decade old. It's the youngest in the C-suite and it's the most fragile role. The average tenure of a chief customer officer is only 29.6 months. The role is relatively poorly defined. There's no business school course that you can take and there's no dummies’ book that you can buy that teaches you how to become a better chief customer officer.

You can't afford to experiment at your customers’ expense; and, yet, the chief customer officers are responsible for customer loyalty and customers, as we would all agree, are one of the most valuable assets of any business.

So, where do you go to learn how to become a better chief customer officer?

I'm pleased to introduce the Bingham Advisory, strategic advice for chief customer officers, CEOs, and boards on matters of customer strategy.

The first Bingham Advisory is titled “Eight Strategic Imperatives for the Chief Customer Officer.” There are a couple of key elements within this advisory. The first is—what is the ideal reporting structure for a chief customer officer and why is it critical to get this one thing right? 

What are the three types of authority that a chief customer officer can have and how can you go about increasing that authority and that influence over the organization for customer success?

What are the key characteristics of the chief customer officer? If you, as a CEO, are looking to hire a chief customer officer, what should you be looking for?

As a CCO yourself already, what are the kinds of things, the characteristics, and the skills and abilities that you need to be working on developing?

Every CCO seems to be wrestled with six key challenges. What are they and how do you overcome them within your organization?

What are the nine things that should go on your dashboard?

Do you know the seven most important culture enablers?

What do you, as the CCO or the CEO, need to do in order to facilitate and enable culture change so that you can become more customer-centric?

The Bingham Advisory is for you if you want to improve your customer experience, drive profitable customer behavior, create a passionate customer-centric workforce, and, most importantly, if you want to drive real, tangible business results within your organization.

The “Eight Strategic Imperatives for the Chief Customer Officer” is now available through the CCO Council website.

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Categories: Chief Customer Officer