In today's video, I discuss the value and the benefits of creating and socializing a list of top customer challenges your company faces, in order to overcome them and to gain greater authority in your role.
Over the past decade, I've had scores of chief customer officers ask me—what are the most important things for me to really get right as a chief customer officer?
There are a number of CCO essentials. And, today, we're going to talk about the top 10 customer dissatisfiers. No matter where you are in your journey, whether you're brand new to the role or you're very experienced, you could always create a list of the top handful of things that drive your customers crazy and, worse, may drive them away.
Oracle uses a top 10 list, and this list is gathered from the annual loyalty survey; it's gathered from sales people; it's gathered from the call centers and a number of other sources. And it's all bubbled up into this top list that is presented to Larry Ellison.
Nationwide has the top five by complaint volume, but it also includes the top five kudos, or the top five operational issues that need to be addressed as well.
As I've said before, the number isn’t truly important; but the fact that it exists and that it is recognized as an authoritative view of the top dissatisifiers is what's truly important here.
These top priorities should be collected and prioritized based upon an agreed-upon strategy. It could be complaint volume. It could be the key drivers of customer defection. It could be the big issues that are causing public or social media backlash. It could be anything that's preventing sales or hampering profits.
What do you do with this list?
The most important thing is to get the CEO to adopt this as his or her metric. This is a huge way of borrowing greater authority within the organization because the CEO is now championing your cause and banging the drum towards customer centricity.
At Oracle, Larry Ellison uses the top 10 list on the agenda for many of his staff meetings. He goes through and reviews this and asks for progress and status updates from those people who are accountable for fixing these problems. And, believe me—you do not want to be on that list for more than a quarter.
The thing that's very important is to assign ownership for the resolution of some of these dissatisfiers. Somebody needs to be responsible for making these problems go away. You need to set a time frame, typically, one quarter or less.
There are some issues that will certainly take longer than one quarter to resolve. But, by and large, most of these issues should be targeted for resolution within one quarter; and then, other issues that are bubbling up to the top could be used to replace these on this top 10 list.
The other thing that you need to do is to make it available to employees. It's incredibly valuable in helping you earn authority if you are socializing this information and making it available to all employees so that they know how they can impact some of these top 10 issues.
One thing that's incredibly valuable here is going to the executives who are going to be responsible for resolution of some of these issues before sharing it with the executive team. That helps them prepare for the sit down with the CEO that inevitably comes when they see a new item on the list. The executive here can then say, “I got it. It's under control. We're working on it, and here's the strategy for resolution.” You help them save face and you help you earn significant authority within the organization.
I encourage you over the next number of months to think about how you can go about identifying and helping the organization adopt the top customer dissatisfiers within your company. Whether it's top 10 or top 5, it doesn't matter. Find out what it is that's driving your customers crazy or driving them away; and figure out what you can do to help the organization focus on solving those issues.