Should You Have a Chief Customer Officer? Bliss

posted Sep 27, 2011, 1:40 PM by Michael Hoffman
How do you pay for a Chief Customer Officer? was my reply to Jeanne Bliss's question on the Customer Think email and blog link.

I am obsessed with the Chief Customer Officer conundrum. Putting an individual in charge of all things customer related seems like the right thing to do. It feels right. But customer management spans nearly every function in a company, which includes too many areas and disciplines for any individual, other than the CEO, to be accountable, let alone masterful.

Why aren't there Chief Customer Officer jobs on LinkedIn, Monster, etc? Will there be? 

Should a company have Chief Customer Officer?

My immediate answer is "no," unless the company can cost justify the position. 

Adding a position responsible for contrived metrics across sales, service, advertising/brand, marketing, operations, IT that has no authority in any of the functional silos is doomed to failure. Contrary to passionate CCO's and customer experience executives aspirations (and customer experience advocates and authors, Forrester, Aberdeen, 1to1, Bliss, Tempkin, et al), no company will nor should re-organize and go through massive change to become "customer centric". 

Every company needs a Chief Customer Officer  responsible for reporting and advising departments on customer centric metrics across each department and function. 

The Chief Customer Officer position should be self funded through innovations and programs that add measurable value: 
  • Revenue increases per customer
  • Revenue per interaction
  • Net new customers
The Chief Customer Officer is responsible for the customer dashboard that monitors customer performance across the customer's lifecycle and the lifecycle's intersection with each of the company's functions and interaction points. The Chief Customer Officer is responsible for the outside-in perspective of the business, customer advocate and business method, process and outcome adviser. 

Companies have yet to tap the deep pool of innovation and revenue opportunities resident in their customer's experience (the culmination of every customer interaction across the customer life cycle).

Customer experience is the largest under performing asset at every company and remains the prize for companies striving to become customer worthy