The Chief Customer Officer has become widespread at companies of all sizes. The notion of a creating such a position in the C suite began to take hold about a decade ago. Today CCOs exist at 40 percent of $1 billion-plus enterprises, 46 percent of enterprises with less than $250 million in revenues, and about 15 percent of mid-sized companies, says Curtis N. Bingham, founder and executive director of the Chief Customer Officer Council, who just completed a study revealing these numbers.
This would appear to be great news for business and its prospects for growth and customer satisfaction. Indeed, Bingham says some CCOs are already making their mark at such high-profile companies as Nationwide and Oracle. Of course, creating a new post is one thing; changing company culture and processes so the organization operates in a way that truly takes into the consideration customer needs, and delivers best results for both customer and company as a result, is something altogether different. That said, hiring a CCO seems to be a good start.
“The CCO post is rapidly becoming well entrenched in the business culture and is becoming a source of competitive advantage for many companies,” says Bingham.
One of the best CCOs in Bingham’s estimation is Jeb Dasteel of Oracle, whom Bingham says is taking a systematic approach to changing company culture.
“Rather than changing culture he’s using it against itself by changing the rules of competition,” Bingham says. “Competition used to happen on sales; now [they’re] competing on customer loyalty and engagement.”
Jasmine Green of Nationwide also has done a good job of working within her culture to leverage people’s basic desire to care about customers, Bingham says.
Companies have been talking about and implementing total quality management and voice of the customer for a lot time, but Bingham says many of those efforts were managed and executed at low levels within organizations so systemic change never happened. Bringing a CCO to the table brings to the executive suite someone who embraces voice of the customer across the entire organization.
Edited by Rich Steeves