A Quote about the CCO Council from Curtis Bingham
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Curtis on...How Customers Can Help Your Business Achieve Its Goals

Curtis Bingham, Founder and Executive Director of the Chief Customer Officer Council, suggests looking to your customers for innovation and for business solutions.


Transcript for Curtis on...How Customers Can Help Your Business Achieve Its Goals

I'm Curtis Bingham and I'm the founder and executive director of the Chief Customer Officer Council.

A number of years ago, I was working with a very large pharmaceutical distribution company, and they really wanted to decrease their customer support cost. They moved from a dedicated customer support individual to a remote call center.

The customers complained bitterly. They said, “We are in a relationship business with our customers. We expect to have a good, strong relationship with you; and by changing this model, you have destroyed our trust in you, and we no longer have a relationship.”

One customer, however, gave a brilliant suggestion. He said, “I know what you're trying to do, and here's a suggestion that will help you achieve the cost savings that you're looking for and, yet, help us maintain a relationship.

If you were to create a pod of five customer service representatives that serve a large number of accounts, we can have a relationship with a team of five people and have almost as good a relationship as the team of one that we had before; and we could have a high quality and a high trust that our needs would be met, the products would be delivered, and the problem would be resolved.”

This was brilliant. It was a phenomenal suggestion from the customer that enabled the company to achieve all of its goals—reducing the cost, reducing the head count and yet, still, retain the high-quality relationship that the customers desired.

So, the question for you to think about is, how many of your new product ideas or operational improvements have come directly from your customer or even your prospects?

We live today in a very goal-oriented and results-oriented society. We're trying to achieve these goals. We're trying to achieve these results. We're held accountable for them. And, sometimes, I think we overlook, perhaps, the greatest leverage that we might have in achieving some of these goals—our customers and our prospects.

Our customers can be the greatest source of insight and ideas as in this example. They can be our greatest advocates to help us drive new business and retain existing customers. They can also be the most powerful allies in overcoming political or legal challenges.

We saw a great example of this when Oracle was challenged by the European [Commission] in their acquisition of Sun Microsystems where they leveraged a number of customers who were advocating the merger. And who can argue with customers saying, “This is a great deal for us. This is not just something that a big monopolistic company is ramming down our throats”?

So, the question for you is, how can your customers help you meet your goals and objectives more effectively than you might be able to do on your own?


"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