Chief Customer Officer 2.0 | Jeanne Bliss

Summary of: Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine
By: Jeanne Bliss


Dive into the challenges and solutions of turning a company into a customer-driven growth engine through the book, ‘Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to Build Your Customer-Driven Growth Engine’ by Jeanne Bliss. Learn why customers often evaluate an entire company, not just one department, and the obstacles businesses face in prioritizing customer experience. Discover the importance of understanding a company’s ‘power core’ – the values, culture, and priorities set by top management. Uncover examples of how to merge customer-oriented activities into daily operations and the strategies employed by successful chief customer officers (CCOs) to maintain the customer’s best interest at the helm of an organization.

The Challenge of Prioritizing Customers

Chief customer officers (CCOs) face an uphill battle when advocating for customers and trying to change company policies that may affect revenue. To make changes in favor of customers, managers must understand their perspective, but this is often easier said than done. Companies tend to assume that customers evaluate their experiences based on a relationship with a single department, when in fact, they evaluate the entire company. When customers are transferred between departments, they often experience weaker operations, and it’s up to them whether they stay or leave. Studies show that two-thirds of customers who stop doing business with companies do so because of bad service. The challenge of prioritizing customers falls on the shoulders of CCOs, as CEOs consider customer loyalty their third biggest challenge after sustained growth and consistent strategy execution.

Prioritizing the Customer Experience

Many companies claim to prioritize the customer experience, but in reality, they only address problems as they arise. This is because these companies lack a customer-based power core, which should be at the center of any successful loyalty program. Without the support of the power core, efforts to improve the customer experience are doomed to fail. Instead, a company’s culture, values, and decisions are typically influenced by one of six types of power cores, each with its own set of priorities. These include product-based, marketing-based, sales-based, specialty-based, information-technology-based, and customer-based power cores. Most companies have one predominant type of power core, and this often determines the direction of the firm. Aligning this power core with a customer-focused approach is key to implementing a successful loyalty program.

The Problem with Business Silos

Businesses face a core problem where silos dictate behavior rather than the customer. This results in odd practices, such as a company sending an empty box to meet fulfillment goals. The root causes include poor motivation, inadequate measurement of the problem, and difficulty implementing solutions. Businesses prioritize basic functions or product production instead of customer service.

The Power Core of Customer Service

Companies often misunderstand the challenge of customer service, as they believe that the opinions of their customers are formed by individual departments rather than the company as a whole. Unfortunately, customer satisfaction responsibilities are rarely rewarded or incorporated into the power core. To implement an effective customer loyalty program, the power core must not be changed; instead, its different values should be stressed in customer-oriented activities. The ultimate goal is to incorporate customer relationship management and profitability into the power core. Polaroid and Microsoft serve as examples of companies that have understood the importance of the power core. While Polaroid focused on instant photography and failed to develop digital photography, Microsoft developed software that allowed customers to send real-time error reports back to the company. By incorporating that data into product development, Microsoft effectively utilized its power core to enhance customer experience and loyalty. Companies must recognize the role of the power core in customer service and actively work to merge customer-oriented activities into daily operations.

Achieving Customer Loyalty

This book section emphasizes the importance of a customer-focused business strategy for long-term success. It highlights the role of Senior Management in resolving customer problems, the need to develop the necessary skills and resources, and the importance of measuring and monitoring customer satisfaction. The section also introduces the idea of a joint sales-service team and the role of Chief Customer Officers (CCOs) in leading customer-centric efforts. Through examples from Lands’ End and CATS measurement system, the author provides actionable insights on managing the entire customer experience seamlessly.

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