A Quote about the CCO Council from Curtis Bingham
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Curtis on…CCO Authority: 3. Earned Authority

Curtis N. Bingham, Founder and Executive Director of the Chief Customer Officer Council, explains what earned authority is and how CCOs can gain and increase it.

Transcript for Curtis on...CCO Authority: 3. Earned Authority

In this segment, we're going to talk earned authority. The most effective chief customer officers and those with the longest tenure in the world quickly earned their own authority.

Earned authority occurs as CCO-led initiatives are seen as successful both internally and externally. This type of earned authority is earned as the chief customer officer leads his or her peers, executives, and other employees to understand how customer centricity can be a very valuable part of their own jobs—everybody learning how they impact the customers and the impact that they can have on the revenue and profits of the company by focusing on the customers.

Earned authority of this type surpasses all of the other types of authority that a chief customer officer can have—the borrowed authority and the positional authority. It's the strongest and the most sustainable type of authority. The more the earned authority that you gain, it also enhances the positional and borrowed authority in this virtuous cycle.

So, how can you go about earning greater authority within your organization?

There are three things that are most important for you to start focusing on right now.

The first is to own actionable customer insight within your company. The more that you are able to draw customer insight from the customers, from the marketplace, and turn that into actions that can be taken throughout your company, the more authority that you're going to have, the more respect that you will have, and the more authority that you'll earn.

The second thing to focus on is developing very strong relationships with management, with your CEO, other members of the C-suite, your peers, employees, and customers. It's through these relationships that you begin to be able to exert influence over the organization.

We're not talking about the testosterone-laden, beat-the-drum or thump-your-chest type of authority. We're talking about the authority that enables you to say, “Hey, we have a customer who’s having a problem,” or “We're not treating our customers as well as we could. We need to fix this. Let's everybody work together to make sure that this happens.”

The third thing that you need to focus on is to demonstrate quantifiable results for every action that you do. It's no longer good enough to just do something because it's the right thing to do. We have to be focused on doing those things that are the right things to do and proving that it's the right thing to do for the company as well as the customers. So, we need to make sure that our results are tied to revenue and profitability.

We'll be talking more about how to go about earning this type of authority in coming segments. In the meantime, think about it in your own environment. What else can you do to increase your own earned authority?



"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