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Exclusive Resources from the CCO Council

Customer Engagement Strategies

Studies and white papers have proclaimed that engaged customers are highly profitable. They tend to purchase more products, accept more company offers, spend more money and remain loyal longer. But how do chief customer officers help their companies achieve more customer engagement? What kinds of activity promote the greatest customer engagement? Are there models that help executives evaluate and prioritize customer engagement investments? Can customer engagement be effectively measured? This article explores these questions and provides insightful answers based on years of experience with the subject of customer engagement. It is the result of research, analysis, feedback, and discussion by a working group established by the Chief Customer Officer Council (CCOC).

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From the Ground Up and the Top Down

Building a true customer orientation is a challenging and far-reaching project. Organizations tend to resist profound change, even when it’s clearly in their own interest or a matter of survival. A systematic approach that builds on early successes can help CCOs overcome the challenges that will inevitably arise on the road to customer centricity. The transformation should be driven by an iterative process of defining goals, refining strategies, and tracking and measuring progress. Various roadmaps are possible, and CCOs must decide which track is appropriate for their organization. This article outlines a tried and proven approach based on the work of CCO Council member, Jasmine Green, Chief Customer Advocate at Nationwide Insurance.

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How Vulnerable Are Your Customers?

Your customers are vulnerable. With cuts made to sales, services, and programs, customer relationships are at greater risk than ever before. For perhaps the first time ever, your loyal customers may be listening to your competitors. What can you do to protect your most important asset: your best and most loyal customers? This article outlines the five critical steps you must take to ensure that you keep your best customers, protect the core programs and services they value most, leverage technology to maintain the relationships with scarce resources, and find prospects that may be trading downwards into your markets. With these elements as a core foundation for your customer strategy, you can protect profitable revenue, target profitable prospects, and thrive despite the current economic recession.

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Navigating the Storm: Successful Strategies for Managing Customer Crises

Customer crises strike without warning, leaving the unprepared struggling to regain control of the conversation. How can you be ready to meet the challenge? Over my years of experience I’ve found several valuable tools that should be in every chief customer officer’s arsenal; tools that can be quickly adapted to guide an effective response effort no matter what form your crisis takes. In this article, I share four proven practices in customer crisis management.

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Are You Experimenting At Your Customer's Expense?

Experimentation is both the lifeblood and bane of our existence. Through experimentation we have Penicillin and Post-it Notes, but also infomercials. Loyalty and customer centricity are both relatively new concepts. Models, best practices, and effective measures are only just beginning to emerge. Adapting these and creating new ones is one of the most important jobs of customer-facing leaders. Doing so requires experimentation and testing, coupled with close supervision and continuous refinement. This article explains how those of us in the customer care industry can continue to blaze an aggressively innovative path while minimizing negative consequences of such experimentation.

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Traditional Accountabilities of the Chief Customer Officer

What duties define the position of chief customer officer (CCO)? Members of a Chief Customer Officer Council were charged with delving deeper into the CCO models used across various organizations. This article sets forth a menu of the most common generally accepted accountabilities of today’s chief customer officers. It can be put to practical use today in developing the chief customer officer model that best advances a company’s competitive strategy and long-term success.

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The Six Components of a Customer Engagement Strategy

Three Steps to Manage Customer Crises

Who Cares Whether the CCO Tweets

Customer Experience Director is the Wrong Place to Start

Measuring ROI of Customer Centricity-Changes in Customer Value

Measuring ROI of Customer Centricity-Historical Correlations

How to Shape Customer Behavior?

The Tweet Heard ‘Round the World

Key Characteristics of the Successful CCO

Critical Success Factors for Chief Customer Officers

Five Strategies for Increasing Borrowed Authority

Four Strategies for Increasing Earned Authority

Six Key Challenges for the Chief Customer Officer

The Bingham CCO Authority Model

Seven Strategies to Streamline Customer-Centric Culture Change

Seven Measurements that Should Be on Every Chief Customer Officer’s Dashboard

Customer Engagement Models: Riot Games

Customer Engagement Models: Oracle

Customer Engagement Models: MetLife

Engagement: The Key Metric for the Future

Social Media has Thrown Companies Back to the Dark Ages

Will You Allow Customers to Trash Your Brand?

Assess the Scene

Customer Strategy Basics

Internal Customers Are Not Customers at All

The Chief Customer Officer is NOT a Customer Advocate

Has Social Media Grown Up Enough to Prove Its Value?

Do You Have an Executive Empathy Program? 

The Seven Greatest Challenges in Establishing Strategic Customer Centricity Metrics

Using Data to Prove Your Value

The New Silver Bullet for Growth and Customer Loyalty

Innovation Starts With Customers

Keeping It Real With Customers

Gaining Critical Insight to Grow Your Business

Loyalty is Dead, Long Live Engagement

Five Ways CCOs Can Save Innovation

Can You Prove Your Value in Two Years?

Are You Too Making a 100M Mistake?

Conversations with the CCO: First Year Strategies

Conversations with the CCO: Balancing Cost and Relationship

Conversations with the CCO: Earning Authority

Conversations with the CCO: Influencing to Action

Conversations with the CCO: Overcoming Resistance in the First Year

Conversations with the CCO: Personalizing Customer Engagements

Conversations with the CCO: Rebuilding Customer Trust

Conversations with the CCO: Customer Engagement Strategies

Cut Anything BUT Marketing

The Impact of the Chief Customer Officer

All Customer Feedback is NOT Created

Don't Go Where the Money is

Should the CCO be a Company Officer

The CCO Survival Guide

WHEN do you need a Chief Customer Officer

The Customer Conscience

 

 

The Six Components of a Customer Engagement Strategy

Whether you are designing, transforming or reinvigorating your organization's customer engagement strategy, ensure your plan is on track to be successful by answering the questions around six areas.
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Three Steps to Manage Customer Crises

When customer crises strike without warning, three key steps will help mitigate the damage.
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Who Cares Whether the CCO Tweets?

Four things CCOs need to be thinking about with regards to this powerful phenomenon.
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Customer Experience Director is the Wrong Place to Start

Your company cannot have a successful customer experience director without first having a chief customer officer, and here's why.
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Measuring ROI of Customer Centricity-Changes in Customer Value

Measuring expected change in customer value is a valuable means of demonstrating ROI. It enables top leadership to compare such investments against other priorities and make the best decision for the company.
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Measuring ROI of Customer Centricity-Historical Correlations

One of the easiest and most powerful ways for customer executives to demonstrate value is to examine historical trends of loyalty and revenue, especially for key customers.
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How to Shape Customer Behavior?

A business can make faulty assumptions about what motivates a change in customer behavior. Learn how Google and Microsoft failed where oPower succeeded, and be challenged to take a look at how you assess desireable behaviors in your own arena.
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The Tweet Heard ‘Round the World

Twitter user Hasan Syed made history after British Airways lost his parents luggage on a flight from Chicago to Paris. This article takes a brief look at the control this one customer had over a brand, and the clear challenge it presents to the rest of us in how we listen to and engage our own customers.
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Key Characteristics of the Successful CCO

Hiring a CCO is more than making sure someone has customer experience. CEOs and Boards of Directors should use these characteristics as part of their hiring criteria.
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Critical Success Factors for Chief Customer Officers

Cutting through the noise of the C-suite is a challenge. This article defines the self-evaluation criteria to improve your chances for success as a CCO.
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Five Strategies for Increasing Borrowed Authority

Executives without strong Borrowed Authority report spending nearly 50% of their time justifying their existence and soliciting support, instead of serving customers. This article explains what Borrowed Authority is, and five strategies for achieving it.
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Four Strategies for Increasing Earned Authority

Of the three types of executive authority (Positional, Borrowed, Earned), Earned Authority depends on the recognition of a CCO's value. This article discusses four ways to increase Earned Authority, so that tenure is not left to chance.
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Six Key Challenges for the Chief Customer Officer

This article identifies what the CCO's greatest problems are, and approaches to overcome them.
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The Bingham CCO Authority Model

The chief customer officer is the organization’s customer Authority, tasked with driving customer strategy at the highest levels. The Bingham CCO Authority Model shows how you can gain, increase, and leverage authority to influence and lead your organization.
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Seven Strategies to Streamline Customer-Centric Culture Change

Efforts to improve customer experience are meaningless without a considered effort to change the culture. Here are seven strategies that will help you overcome the resistance to change, and engage every employee in the business of serving customers.
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Seven Measurements that Should Be on Every Chief Customer Officer’s Dashboard

Significant progress is being made in correlating CCO initiatives to revenue and profitability, particularly in these seven key areas where the relationship is clear enough to be monitored and measured.
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Customer Engagement Models: Riot Games

In the gaming world, strategy is everything. This is a quick look at how Riot Games manipulates its League of Legends product to change player behavior and increase customer engagement.
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Customer Engagement Models: Oracle

This article looks at the extent to which Oracle engages its top customers—those accounts that when combined contribute to a clear majority of the company's revenue.
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Customer Engagement Models: MetLife

MetLife sponsors, maintains and engages a robust customer community. These are just a few of the stories that inform the company's understanding of what customers value and allow it to optimize marketing efforts.
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Engagement: The Key Metric for the Future

Customers expect great service, superb experiences, and more recently, have begun to demand involvement in the brand and its strategy. Welcome to the Age of Engagement!
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Social Media has Thrown Companies Back to the Dark Ages

Companies spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find dissatisfied customers.Is it hampering or helping forward momentum?
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Will You Allow Customers to Trash Your Brand?

You work hard to create a great customer experience. This article provides examples of companies that are and aren't taking ownership of that experience.
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Assess the Scene

In a crisis situation, customer-centric initiatives are often placed on the back burner. This article shares three tactics of successful customer executives during turbulent times.
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Customer Strategy Basics

This article defines basic customer strategy and provides examples of its components.
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Internal Customers Are Not Customers at All

The concept of “internal customers” is a logical fallacy that focuses attention inwards on policy and procedure, creates false success metrics, and derails strategy in the creation of customer value. Left unchecked, it can be fatal.
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The Chief Customer Officer is NOT a Customer Advocate

Are you a customer complaint officer (CCO)? Or a chief customer advocate? If so, you are doing your company and your customers a disservice. Effective handling of customer complaints is a critical process within the organization, but if the CCO owns it exclusively, it invites the wholesale abdication to the CCO of all customer responsibility. This article gives three reasons why a CCO is not a complaint officer or advocate.
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Has Social Media Grown Up Enough to Prove Its Value?

This article discusses the implications of a study published earlier this year that is one of the first to correlate the effect of customer engagement via social media with the firm's bottom line.
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Do You Have an Executive Empathy Program? 

One of the things that perpetually hampers CCOs and other customer executives in their efforts to become customer focused is the struggle for CEO buy-in. This article provides seven recommendations to expose senior executives to customer issues and create more passionate support for the CCO’s efforts on behalf of the customer and business.
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The Seven Greatest Challenges in Establishing Strategic Customer Centricity Metrics

With the leadership of chief customer officers and other customer executives, many companies are recognizing that the key to their continued survival is a strategic customer focus incorporated into foundational strategy, board commitments, executive officer objectives, and company-wide compensation. The enabler of this strategic focus is a universal metric that enables baseline measurement, prioritization of resources, and marked improvement to meet objectives. Yet there are at least seven big challenges in establishing a strategic metric upon which all are measured. This article examines those seven challenges.
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Using Data to Prove Your Value

In my interviews with successful CCOs, one central thread running through our conversations has been the importance of using data to prove the CCO’s value in those first two years. Even a seasoned executive can become overwhelmed or distracted by the job of managing and making data relevant, so this article offers three best practices to help ensure your data effectively improves your perceived value.
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The New Silver Bullet for Growth and Customer Loyalty

The CEO is uniquely responsible for shareholder return, the COO for cost-efficiency, the CFO for the company’s financial well-being, the CMO for market awareness, and the EVP of Sales for quarterly revenue. But what happens when nobody is accountable for customer value? If you want to grow your business while simultaneously increasing customer loyalty, the chief customer officer (CCO) might just be the silver bullet you are looking for.
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Innovation Starts With Customers

The new reality is that innovation must start with customers. In this age, customers are taking control of businesses, setting their own agendas, and rewarding those companies that can adapt and better serve them. Chief customer officers, with their intimate customer knowledge, are uniquely qualified to proactively discover customer needs, wants, and desires and help the organization profitably deliver innovations.
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Keeping It Real With Customers

Since stepping into her role as Vice President-and Chief Customer Advocate for Nationwide Insurance, Jasmine Green has helped the insurance and financial services organization focus on more personalized customer experiences, championing customers across all of Nationwide’s business units. In this article she shares best practices for building customer loyalty and creating a customer-centric culture.
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Gaining Critical Insight to Grow Your Business

If the customer is not in the driver's seat, your revenues, profits, and even your company may be at risk. The only way to guarantee increased revenues, stronger, longer, and more profitable customer relationships is to center strategic decision-making on actionable customer insight.
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Loyalty is Dead, Long Live Engagement

This article is a brief discussion of the virtues of customer engagement over customer loyalty as a preferred indicator of customer centricity and ultimately, profitability.
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Five Ways CCOs Can Save Innovation

Innovation failure rates are abysmal, ranging from 60-96%. One explanation is that customers are typically not involved early enough (if at all) in the innovation cycle, yielding expensive, colossal failures. This article discusses ways customers can be leveraged to improve a company’s innovation efforts and how CCOs are best positioned to champion customer involvement.
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Can You Prove Your Value in Two Years?

Universally, when CCOs land on the ground in a company they realize that they need to be as productive as possible as soon as possible. Your role might look a little different from the next CCO’s, but the expectation is that you will achieve a deep understanding of what drives customer success and build or rebuild customer relationships accordingly. Our research shows it takes a minimum of two years to see positive results relative to the bottom line. If two years is the benchmark to prove your impact, then one thing is clear: you won’t get there without a personal mission to focus your efforts on a few—not many—strategic areas.
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Are You Too Making a 100M Mistake?

This brief article looks at how one company failed where a competitor succeeded. In order to successfully enter new markets and/or introduce new products, you must first understand your customers and what drives their purchases. There's simply no substitute for this knowledge.
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Conversations with the CCO: First Year Strategies

How can loyalty executives prove their value and get it right in the first year? This Conversation features a chief customer officer who was successful at doing just that. Appointed as Vendavo’s Chief Customer Officer in 2008 and promoted to SVP of Global Sales in 2012, Jennifer Maul brought twenty years of enterprise software and management experience to the role. Her expertise running the post-sales process of customer relationships made her a natural candidate to transition the company from startup mode to ensuring life-long relationships with customers. We discussed Jennifer’s first year initiatives and accomplishments, and lessons learned in proving the value of the CCO role.
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Conversations with the CCO: Balancing Cost and Relationship

In this excerpt from my conversation with Jay Topper – Rosetta Stone’s SVP of Customer Success at the time of our interview – we talked about the challenge of achieving balance between cost and customer relationship goals, which are often largely in opposition to each other. Jay’s background as CIO uniquely prepared him to be able to drive the change necessary for the organization to become more relationship-oriented. As the head of what became the largest department in the company, his time was spent bringing the voice of the customer into marketing and product development, while also being responsible for converting leads into sales in Rosetta’s sales call centers and driving renewal and retention.
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Conversations with the CCO: Earning Authority

There are three types of Authority: Positional Authority granted by virtue of the organizational chart; Borrowed Authority derived as a result of someone above you (e.g., the CEO) championing your cause; and Earned Authority that comes from repeated success in delivering against the goals and objectives of top management. Because Positional Authority is static and Borrowed Authority can sometimes wane, Earned Authority is the most reliable of the three. In this conversation I spoke with Jay Topper – SVP of Customer Success at Rosetta Stone at the time of our interview. Jay was particularly successful in leveraging transparency and peer collaboration to grow his Earned Authority.
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Conversations with the CCO: Influencing to Action

What gives the CCO the ability to excel with peers? The feedback I receive is that besides experience, the real key is the ability to speak the same language. This Conversation features Peter Quinn, CCO for Lawson, a global enterprise software developer that was acquired by Infor in 2011. Peter’s path to the CCO role diverged in multiple directions, but ultimately that diversity of experience is what he says gave him the ability to influence others to action.
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Conversations with the CCO: Overcoming Resistance in the First Year

As we continue to look to 1st generation chief customer officers across the country to inform best practices, this Conversation features Peter Quinn, CCO for Infor and a veteran executive in the technology industry. He established the customer experience office for Lawson (now Infor) in 2008, going on to lead as its chief customer officer in 2009. He leads initiatives to enhance customer experience and loyalty and is responsible for building on Lawson’s customer-centric culture. We discussed the opposition he faced during his first year and the strategies he successfully employed to win credibility and collaboration.
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Conversations with the CCO: Personalizing Customer Engagements

In this third and final excerpt from my interview with Jay Topper, former SVP Customer Success for Rosetta Stone, Jay shares his philosophy of customer engagement and strategies that have had the most impact in driving a relationship-centric culture. In a previous conversation, Jay emphasized that usage is king, and described the delicate balance of cost control relative to increasing product usage. Usage is a broad term that for all intents and purposes, Jay actually sees as engagement. Engaging customers individually, and personally to the extent he can, is what Jay is most passionate about, and what helped him drive his phenomenal success as VP of Customer Success.
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Conversations with the CCO: Rebuilding Customer Trust

Strengthening customer relationships is a complex mission in the best of times. But when a customer crisis strikes, this charge becomes critical to the organization’s recovery, as damaged customer trust threatens to overthrow the positive connections you’ve built over weeks, months, and years of careful strategy and execution. I recently spoke with one Chief Customer Officer tasked with the difficult mission of rebuilding relationships with customers devastated by terrible tragedy. In this Q&A piece, Helen Burt tells us about her strategies for repairing severely injured customer trust as PG&E sets out on the long road to recovery.
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Conversations with the CCO: Customer Engagement Strategies

How can you leverage your customer research to create winning engagement strategies? This Conversation features a chief customer officer who is doing just that. Appointed Chief Customer Officer and Senior Vice President of Pacific Gas & Electric Company in 2006, Helen Burt is a recognized expert in the utility industry and a sought after speaker on customer service, marketing, and quality assurance both nationally and internationally. Here we discuss Helen’s initiatives and lessons learned in driving customer centricity and engagement at one of the nation’s largest utilities.
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Cut Anything BUT Marketing

Marketers are faced with huge budget cuts, yet across-the-board cuts are clearly more detrimental in the long run than other cost-savings methods. Research has shown that when companies hold the line or even increase their marketing spend during recessions, they achieve significant gains in revenue and market share both during and especially for two to three years following the recession. This article outlines key recommendations from chief customer officers that help shorten the time to success with your innovative programs as you avoid the mistakes of others and experiment in ways that truly, positively enhance customer and company value while enriching the customer experience.
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The Impact of the Chief Customer Officer

The emerging role of the chief customer officer (CCO) is defined as: the executive responsible in customer-centric companies for the total relationship with an organization's customers. Today's customer requires access in many forms of media to meet their preferences and lifestyle. A consistent customer experience across all methods of access is required by customers, who often choose to change vendors if they do not get the support they require to meet their expectations. This article covers why consistency and accessibility of the customer experience have become an essential component to winning competition for customers as companies realize the financial benefit of customer satisfaction as its proportionate relationship to loyalty and profitability.
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All Customer Feedback is NOT Created

Customer feedback is a gift-especially from disgruntled customers, because they represent customers that care enough to tell you what they really think rather than being frustratingly neutral in all of your surveys. So, how do you take advantage of it? This article covers three ways to protect your customer and your profits.
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Don't Go Where the Money is

Too often sales people waste a lot of time trying to go where the money is, using cold calling, direct mail, or other standard tactics to reach decision-makers they hope will buy from them. But to be really successful, sales people should instead go where the relationships are by seeking out people who have established relationships with the decision-makers to whom they wish to sell. Through these intermediaries they will ultimately reach the decision makers faster and close significantly more business. In this article, we take a look at how sales people can best go about identifying and leveraging relationships with such trusted advisors and as a result close bigger, better, and easier sales.
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Should the CCO be a Company Officer

Within the C-Suite, each executive is uniquely accountable to a specific audience and for specific, measurable results. The CEO is accountable for shareholder value, the CFO for financial performance, the CMO for marketing awareness, and the VP of sales for quarterly revenue. In this traditional model – despite every company's claim that it has its customers to thank for its success – there is no accountability for increased customer value. Nobody owns customer relationships, nor does anyone own the task of growing the value of the customer franchise. In the absence of ownership and accountability, it becomes nobody's job.
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The CCO Survival Guide

The CCO role is a lonely place. There are fewer than 500 people in the world with this title, and the average tenure is a mere 26 months. Yet the impact CCOs can have on a company's bottom line can be profound. They address customer centricity in its primary forms – customer satisfaction, customer retention and customer loyalty – and help develop profitable customer strategies that work for your company because they work for your customers. CCOs have mastered the following three key elements of corporate survival...
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WHEN do you need a Chief Customer Officer

As Executive Director for the CCO Council, I am often approached by senior level executives and asked if their company really needs a chief customer officer. Their thought process often revolves around the idea that there are those companies that have a need and require a CCO and those that do not. My answer is often in the form of a correction, as they are asking the wrong question. The right question is "When do you need a CCO?" because hiring a chief customer officer is not an issue of if, but of when.
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The Customer Conscience

Do organizations have a customer conscience? Are there voices within corporate structures today that demand to be heard, insisting that customers' needs be considered at every turn? Is it actually anyone's job to provide balance to the traditional cost cutting and revenue-growth strategies? Though there are a multitude of responsibilities that a chief customer officer or other executive-level customer champion could have, depending upon the organizational goals, growth plans, structure, and market segments, all of the executives we interviewed shared 4 common critical goals. Learn more about these goals in this article.
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Testimonials

"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
organization’s
strategic initiatives."

Brian Study
CCO
SAVO Group

Conversations with a CCO

CCO Council 2017 Spring Meeting

CCO: To be determined
April 11, 2017  |  8:00 am ET
Employee Engagement: The Key to Customer Engagement.