A Quote about the CCO Council from Curtis Bingham
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Curtis on…Successfully Installing a New Chief Customer Officer

Curtis talks about the three types of authority all new CCOs need to establish in order to be successful.


Transcript for Curtis on…Successfully Installing a New Chief Customer Officer

If an executive were to consider becoming a chief customer officer, I would say that there are three things that need to be put in place in order to ensure their success.

The first thing that needs to be put in place is the notion of authority. There are three types of authority. There’s Positional Authority, there’s Earned Authority, and there’s Borrowed Authority. The Positional Authority has to do with how much authority do you have as a result of where you sit on the organizational chart. So, those CCOs that are the most successful are those who are typically reporting in to the CEO or perhaps one level down into the organization. They need that Positional Authority so that everybody in the organization recognizes them as someone that they need to pay attention to and follow.

The next thing that they need to focus on is that of Borrowed Authority. So often, chief customer officers end up trying to go it alone: “I’m smart. I know what I’m doing. I’ll figure it out.” And they do eventually figure it out. But the problem is that it just takes too long. And so what they need to do is figure out how to go about borrowing authority from other executives so that they can be far more effective far faster.

One of the things that it’s most important to do is to recognize that the CEO is someone who can advocate for you and who can open up doors. When Jasmine Green, the Chief Customer Advocate of Nationwide was introduced by the CEO at an all-hands meeting, the CEO said, “This is Jasmine Green. She speaks for me.” All of a sudden she had huge Borrowed Authority. Everybody knew that she was the one who was speaking for the CEO and she needed to be paid attention to.

The next thing that a chief customer officer needs to focus on is that of Earned Authority, and this comes over time through the delivery of consistent solid results; where people begin to recognize that this person, you, have the customer’s perspective in mind, as well as being able to balance the business needs and perspective. And so they begin to trust that you are going to be the advocate of the customer, and you’re balancing everybody’s needs and goals and objectives and metrics. So, we’re doing what’s right for the customer, but we’re balancing that with the needs of the business.


"At SAVO, we are dedicated to our customers' success. We have organized our teams around it, developed programs to promote it, and we measure ourselves based on their success. I look forward to working with other members of the council to explore innovative ways to drive the imperative
of customer success to
the forefront of an
strategic initiatives."

Brian Study
SAVO Group