A Quote about the CCO Council from Curtis Bingham
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About the CCO Council

The first CCO was hired in 1999 at Texas Power and Light. In 2003 there were fewer than 20 people in the world with the obscure title of Chief Customer Officer. There are now more than 500 officially titled Chief Customer Officers in the world and perhaps hundreds more serving the same role but without the formal title. Fewer than 35 of the Fortune 500 companies have a CCO The CCO is responsible for profitably aligning the company's deliverables with strategic customer needs and values. It is far easier to install a CCO in a smaller company of perhaps less than $100M in revenue, often because the CCO can directly influence all the employees. The CCO role is the most fragile in the C-suite, with an average tenure of 29.4 months, with some notable exceptions on either side of the average. It takes at least two years for the CCO's activities to flow through the company and make a significant impact on top and bottom-line results. Approximately 60% of CCOs are promoted from within and the remainder is hired from the outside. The CCO has a three-fold mission: 1) increase profitable behavior, 2) increase customer centricity, and 3) drive sustainable growth. Jasmine Green, Chief Customer Advocate, Nationwide, named 2012 Chief Customer Officer of the Year, Read More The hallmark of the CCO is the ability to create and drive customer strategy across the company. The technology sector alone accounts for 26.7% of all CCO employment.

Frustrations Unresolved

During the late fall of 2008 a Chief Customer Officer told me something really surprising: “What I want more than anything else is to have someone who can review my strategic plan and tell me that I’m on the right track.” With that statement, everything that I had been hearing suddenly slammed into place: unlike every other member of the C-suite, Chief Customer Officers don’t have anywhere to turn for help.

The CCO role is still quite new. There is no HBR treatise or field guide to being a CCO and the role is still, unfortunately, very poorly understood even amongst the C suite and especially amongst customers. The CCO role is also quite fragile-- my research indicates the average tenure is only about 26 months.

Key Issues CCOs Face

Over the last decade, through the 150 Chief Customer Officers I’ve worked with, I’ve found that in addition to the job requirements, CCOs are personally concerned about the following questions:

  • "How do I learn what I need without experimenting at customers’ expense?"
    They know that they can develop their own best practices but are concerned because experimenting blindly can be harmful to customer relationships.
  • "Can I deliver results fast enough?"
    There simply isn’t time to reinvent the wheel, and surely, somewhere, somebody has been through this before.

The Chief Customer Officer Council

The Chief Customer Officer Council is the first of its kind -- a member-led peer-advisory network offering unparalleled insight into the critical issues facing CCOs. It was created to provide a safe environment where CCOs can share ideas, concerns, and build best practices that well help them, their companies, and especially their customers succeed. The Council includes CCOs from diverse industries, purposefully cross-pollinated with the most forward-thinking companies, large and small. Thus, the Council can be one of your greatest sources of innovation.

Issues the CCO Council is Addressing

The only sustainable competitive advantage is a unified customer strategy—which you as the CCO are uniquely qualified to establish and execute.

The CCO Council is committed to elevating this important role in business strategy, helping its members grow professionally, and most importantly, helping drive solid, customer-focused business results in member organizations.

In addition to addressing the personal questions listed above, the Council is addressing the following critical topics:

  • Driving (more) profitable customer behavior such as improved loyalty, greater share of wallet, decreased costs to serve, etc.
  • Creating a customer-centric culture by aligning employees and resources to rapidly and profitably meet customer needs
  • Delivering and demonstrating value to the CEO, the Board, peers, and employees

The Program

The CCO Council program is made up of five core elements: peer interaction, best practices, resources, research, and a sense of community.

1. Peer Exchange

To generate insight and build professional relationships, nothing else compares to the value of stimulating discussions on topics of personal and immediate relevance. The benefit cornerstones of CCO Council membership are therefore peer interaction and especially live meetings.

  • Monthly Strategy Roundtable – Held six times a year, the Strategy Roundtable is your opportunity to present your immediate challenges to your peers and learn from their collective wisdom. As well, you can review, adopt, and share successful customer strategies with each other.
  • Annual CCO Summit – Held in the fall of each year, the CCO Summit is the premier event for chief customer officers from around the world to benchmark their organization, learn leading-edge practices, and build valuable peer relationships. Summit registration is free for members (a $3500 value). Meeting agendas are co-created with the membership and co-chaired by Council members. A highlight of the CCO Summit is the awarding of the Council’s CCO of the Year Award, presented to the chief customer officer who has made the greatest strides in improving customer relationships, driving profitable customer behavior, and in creating customer-centric cultures.
  • Quarterly Executive Roundtables – The Council meets in-person twice and via webinar twice each year to promote the development of the CCO community and enable deeper dives into issues identified at the annual Summit. Attendees learn and share best practices; compare tried and tested tools and gain specific, targeted advice from peers to resolve their most critical issues.
  • Online Community – Members have access to a private and secure online community that provides convenient access to Council content, and a vehicle for ongoing discussions between meetings.
  • Direct Access to Members – In keeping with the core values of the Council, members are dedicated to educating and helping each other through dialog, resource sharing, recommendations, referrals, etc. Access to other members is perhaps the greatest benefit of Council membership.

2. Best practices

  • The CCO Roadmap – The Roadmap is a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind best practice resource intended to help simplify the sometimes-overwhelming complexity of the CCO role. The Roadmap provides a prioritized framework to help CCOs and other loyalty executives drive solid business results as they acquire and retain more profitable customers. By following the Roadmap, CCOs implement tried-and-tested programs without the risk of experimenting at the customers’ expense, and can shave years off the time required to achieve major customer success.
  • Strategy Review – As a member, you also benefit from a peer review of your specific strategy to make sure you’re on target before taking action.
  • Best Practices Evaluations – These include drill-down discussions on key aspects of the CCO Roadmap along with customized presentations and best practices presented by guest subject-matter experts.

3. Research

Members have exclusive access to regular research reports, best practices, guides, meeting syntheses and member-generated content produced by the Council. The Council will be conducting 1-2 major research projects each year on topics of particular interest to the Council membership.

4. Resource Library

Time is perhaps our most precious commodity, and the key to success is ready access to the right resources exactly when you need them. The CCO Council offers an unparalleled and growing resource library to help members be successful. Whether it be best practices, how-to guides, white papers, critical analyses, archived community posts, events, or other articles, the resource library informs members quickly and simply, so they can make the right decisions for their organizations and customers. Learn how other Council members have solved similar problems through CCO Process Checklists and CCO Success Criteria. Contribute best practices to help educate other Council members.

5. Recognition & Publicity

Council membership provides a valuable platform for members to gain recognition for their expertise. All new members are recognized in a news release prepared by the Council and distributed to national business and customer industry media. The Council sponsors a webinar series, “Conversations with the CCO,” which features different Council members being interviewed by Curtis Bingham on topics of interest to CCOs. The interview is recorded and archived on the Council’s website and of course available to all members as a learning tool.

Members also are featured on the Council’s website (www.ccocouncil.org) and are available to speak to the business and trade media as experts in their field as well as command high-visibility speaking appearances at industry events. Members may contribute articles that the Council may assist in promoting. Finally, every member is eligible to win the coveted CCO of the Year Award.

In Summary

Whether you are an experienced or new CCO, the Council can help you drive more profitable customer behavior, create customer-centric cultures, and increase the value you deliver to your customers. Being surrounded by the smartest CCOs helps you prevent experimentation at customer's expense. With access to time-saving best practices, it is perhaps the best time management opportunity you have available.

To discuss whether or not the Chief Customer Officer Council is right for you, please contact Curtis Bingham at 978-226-8675 or curtis@ccocouncil.org.


"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