In the recent times, we have started to see a lot of organizations pay a lot more attention to their customers and have inducted Chief Customer Officers into their C-Suite. The rationale being that organizations need to be much more customer centric and need to understand their customers better and having someone responsible for this will go a long way in creating the necessary f0cus within the organization to achieve great customer service.
However, in my opinion, having a Chief Customer Officer in place does more harm than good! Listening to customer’s and acting on it becomes someone else’s responsibility and also creates a scenario where everyone else in the organization is let off the hook from keeping customers in the focus all the time.
This strategy can only work on one condition – the CEO, re-designates himself as the Chief Customer Officer; with no remains of a formal CEO!
This when coupled with a change in the attitude and the topics that the CEO, now the CCO does on a day-to-day basis, will clearly show that the customer is really at the centre of the world for the organization.
However, true customer centricity will still elude the organization, if the compensation plan changes along with these changes. How employees performances are evaluated and how their compensation increases plays a very strong role in re-enforcing the culture that any organization tries to build.
So, if you are thinking about become customer focused organization, here is your step-by-step plan:
- CEO to formally re-designate himself as the Chief Customer Officer and changes his roles and responsibilities as well.
- Everyone else in the organization still continue to report to the CCO.
- Change the compensation plan for the organization to ensure that customer centric behavior is rewarded (both monetarily and through promotions).
Do you agree with my opinion here? Pls do leave your comments and we can continue the discussion!
You could also tweet your opinions to me @rmukeshgupta.
PS: Some very interesting resources that I have seen around this topic are :
- A 8 part series on “What the CEO Needs to Do to Ensure Chief Customer Officer Success.” (1 of 8)
- There is a YouTube Channel called – The Chief Customer Officer Council.
- Coca Cola recently announced a Chief Customer Officer. Some information about it @ http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120912-707812.html.
- Interesting book written by Jeanne Bliss called – Chief Customer Officer – Getting past lip service to passionate action