Wanted: Customer Crusader to Drive Growth Strategy

May 13, 2020 Share this article:

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Having a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) has become a badge of honour for customer-centric companies – proof-positive that your organisation is serious about seeing things from a customer’s perspective, ensuring that you deliver on the trifecta of product, price and experience. So why aren’t there more of them? Read the full article here

So, you’ve got a board mandate to differentiate based on customer experience, and you’ve done the necessary internal work to break down silos and flatten structures. Here’s our checklist for the ideal CCO to champion your customer-driven growth strategy.

Internal vs external: This is one position that needs to understand the full workings of the company which explains why the majority of CCOs tend to be internal hires who have significant history in their industries and companies : eight years is the median. About one quarter of CCOs formerly held operations positions in their companies.

Domain skills: Cross-border specialist with a strong tech bent. Has a background in one or more core corporate activities, such as Corporate Strategy, Operations, Marketing, IT, Product Development, Legal, HR, Sales, Finance or Digital.

Top Skill: Cooperability and inclusivity. Has proven skills in leading cross-discipline teams.

Best known for being: Change Agent and Trend Spotter.

Super power: Active listening, including harvesting and mining data. Obsessed by: Cross functional alliances and accountability.

Leadership style: Influencer, collaborator.

Networking ability: Expert. Must be able to inspire and rally the organisation around a vision.

Numerate: Knows their way around a balance sheet. This is not a touchy-feely role, but one designed to pull profit levers and measure the impact accordingly.

C-Appeal: High. This Executive Committee appointment needs high levels of C-appeal (charm, charisma, courage, connection, confidence, credibility and clarity) to be able to influence how the company prioritises and spends resources and to persuade colleagues to change the way things have always been done.

Must speak tech: Needs to work closely with the CIO to re-engineer the business to meet customer demands and streamline the customer experience. Must be able to master data and technology and understand the tools and systems in place across the organisation, from the marketing technology stack to CRM and analytics tools.

Chief KPI: The only reason to reorganise around the customer is because it makes commercial sense. If it doesn’t accelerate growth, something is wrong.

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