I am excited to see so many talk about the importance of the Chief Customer Officer. Dedicating an executive on your team to customer success can significantly boost customer engagement, increase customer retention and ultimately grow customer lifetime value.
We have given the Jeanne Bliss book to several of our clients. We have also written about the rise of the VP Customer Success, a different name for the same animal.
In the last months there is a lot of momentum around the new position of the Chief Customer Officer:
Jeanne Bliss launched a forum for Chief Customer Officers: ”Chief Customer Officer 2.0 is a resource center built for practitioners by a practitioner “, says Jeanne Bliss, head of CustomerBliss. “Chief Customer Officers wrestle with customer leadership across entrenched silos. They must create a connection between customer experience and profitability, while exquisitely listening to the lives of customers. It’s a tough job and they crave resources and an opportunity to share ideas, challenges and solutions.” The new site includes tools, content and real-world materials, including the inaugural series on the Top Ten Aptitudes for Successful Customer Executives.
Desk.com blogged about the importance of a Chief Customer Officer: According to Jeffrey Henning, founder of the Vovici blog, ”Without a CCO, customer advocacy and action is dispersed and diluted. Marketing worries about the customer as a lead; Sales worries about the customer as a prospect; Service worries about the customer as a problem; but there is nobody to think about the customer holistically as they experience and engage with your brands, your products, and the legions of employees who represent your business on the front lines every day.”
Audrey Manring profiled the Chief Customer Officer in CRM Magazine. She is quoting the research of several analysts: ”All the forces of gravity suggest the chief customer officer (CCO) position needs to exist,” says Stephen Diorio, president of IMT strategies, an e-business strategy consulting firm and META Group affiliate.
While still only a small percentage of companies have a Chief Customer Officer, we believe this will change rapidly in the future, especially as the role will increasingly morph into the “Sales Team of the Future”. Once Customer Success and Customer Officers carry a quote for customer renewals and expansion sales, they will have found their true place in the C-Suite. Especially for subscription based businesses this is happening rather quickly as revenues from existing customers typically dramatically exceeds that of new users (the traditional realm of sales). A customer success team with more power than sales: now that is a world I would like to live in!