A Quote about the CCO Council from Curtis Bingham
Join Your Peers and Share Your Insight. Become a Member
Already a member? Click here to sign in

Key Success Factors

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.

CCO Must Report to the CEO

Without this direct linkage, the CCO is hamstrung in his or her ability to affect change inside the company on behalf of customers. Companies where the CCO doesn’t report directly to the CEO but is instead buried in a marketing or service organization are not serious about the role or the customer-centric function it offers. They are merely paying lip-service to their customers and when customers find out the CCO is powerless, their relationship is at risk of terminal failure.

Vocal and Visible Support from the CEO

If there was one thing that every single CCO agreed upon it was that the CCO must have a very visible mandate from the CEO to act for and in behalf of the customer. One relatively new CCO said that he was spending nearly 50% of his time justifying his value to executives and business functions. Clearly, customers are not getting the value they deserve and the company isn’t generating the results for which they hired the CCO. With extreme support from the CEO, the CCO doesn’t need to spend inordinate amounts of time proving value and can focus on driving profitable revenue through effective customer strategy.


"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