John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog


The Customer eXperience Executive Academy

Wanted: Chief Customer Officer – The fastest growing C-level position popping up in the corporate world is CCO- Chief Customer Officer, also known as the CXO- Chief eXperience Officer (see past eService Who is losing sleep at night over the Customer). With the old paradigm, the Customer service duties were left on the plate of the director of training, HR, or the chief marketing officer. Regardless of your company’s size, someone in your organization has to be in charge of the Customer eXperience and all that goes with it. I am not talking about the head of the Customer service department-that is, call centers. I am talking about someone who oversees the entire company’s Customer service, every department. That someone should not be the president, CEO, or owner, but someone who reports directly to them. Companies have heads of operations, marketing, accounting, sales, and human resources, but our second biggest asset (other than our employees) is our Customer. Their happiness is determined by the Customer eXperience we deliver. Until recently, the vast majority of companies had no one in charge of the Customer or their eXperience. Regardless of your company’s size, you need to have someone who loses sleep at night over the Customer and how every department and all employee-training affects the Customer eXperience.

 

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Top 8 reasons why your Customer service may be failing

The top 8 reasons why your Customer service may be failing 

 

1. Lack of Executive Sponsorship – It is a proven fact that any big initiative, project, or revolution has to have the support of the senior leadership team. Otherwise it will be considered flavor-of-the-month or management-by-bestseller. The senior leadership team has to provide the necessary resources to create long-lasting change. Customer service has to be as important as finance, sales, operations, and technology. It needs to be talked about at board meetings and strategic planning sessions, with leaders and everyone else in the company including front-line employees. See past eService Executive Sponsorship

 

2. No CXL – Regardless of your company’s size, someone in your organization has to be the Customer Xperience Leader; the person in charge of the Customer experience for the entire company. I am not talking about the Customer service reps or call center. That person should not be the President, CEO or owner, but someone who reports directly to him/her. 

 

3. No CX community – One of the most effective initiatives developed by our consulting clients is an internal Secret Agent Team, made up primarily of non-management staff, to support the Customer service initiatives and help gain momentum throughout the front-line employees. See past eService Secret Service Agents 

 

4. No key metric – Companies need to see the impact that Customer satisfaction has on their key metric drivers (i.e., Customer retention, average ticket, re-sign rates, referrals, average contracts, frequency of visits). This demonstrates the ROI, as well as allows management teams to hold employees accountable for providing a great Customer experience at every level of the organization. Measurement tools can be anything from Customer surveys, third-party companies that measure Customer satisfaction, secret shoppers, to statistical benchmarks (such as the average ticket or the number of referrals. These provide a benchmark to measure the impact of the new systems and to determine whether they are being consistently executed. 

 

5. Your business is not special – If you ask 100 leaders why delivering superior Customer service is so difficult, you will hear the same answers over and over again: “Our business is unique.” “In our industry it is so hard to find employees, let alone ones who care about service.” “We can’t afford to pay enough to get quality people.” “We have a totally different Customer, it is much more difficult.” Every business is dealing with the same dynamics, trying to un-commoditize their service or product from all their competitors and not get sucked into price wars. 

 

6. Lack of hospitality training – On average, a company devotes more than 90 percent of its training to hard skills (such as technical and operational skills and product knowledge) and less than 10 percent to soft skills (such as hospitality, relationship building, service recovery, and experiential training). 

 

7. Low Service Aptitude – The quality of your Customer service comes down to the Service Aptitude of every employee you have. From the CEO to the account executive, sales clerk, call center, receptionist, corporate office support team, to every front-line employee — it’s all about Service Aptitude!!! No one is born with it; it is not innate. The vast majority of the workforce has extremely low Service Aptitude. It is not the employees’ responsibility to have high Service Aptitude, it is the company’s job to teach it to them. See past eService Service Aptitude

 

8. Lack of purpose motive – Too many companies underestimate the power a purpose provides to front-line employees, which is critical for having high morale in a workplace. See past eService Purpose maximizers & Service Vision

 

 

Johnism

 

Companies spend millions creating and advertising their brands,
yet the Customer’s experience is what drives Customer loyalty
 

 

John R. DiJulius III best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices. Learn more about The DiJulius Group or The Secret Service Summit, America’s #1 Customer Service Conference.



Who is losing sleep over the customer?
November 14, 2012, 8:19 am
Filed under: CCO, Customer Experience, Customer Service, CXO, Secret Service

 

Who is losing sleep at night over the customer? During the 2012 Secret Service Summit one of the most often discussed topics was, who is in charge of the customer service department? Regardless of your company’s size, someone in your organization has to be in charge of the customer experience and all that goes with it.  That someone should not be the President, CEO or owner, but someone who reports directly to them.  We have heads of operations, marketing, accounting, sales, and human resources, but our second biggest asset (other than our employees) is our customer.  How happy they are is determined by the customer experience we deliver. Until recently, the vast majority of companies had anyone in charge of the customer experience. If you are a mid-to-large company, then you may want to consider creating a position, i.e. Chief Xperience Officer (CXO) or Chief Customer Officer (CCO). 

 

Fastest growing C-Suite position is the CCO/CXO – “More and more companies are reconfiguring their C Suites to accommodate a new kind of chief: the Chief of Customer.”  Here’s an article in Inc. magazine titled, “Make Room for the Chief Customer Officer.”

 

What should a CXO/CCO be responsible for? The CCO should be an executive who provides a comprehensive and authoritative view of the customer and creates corporate and customer strategy at the highest levels of the company to maximize customer acquisition, retention, and profitability. They should influence strategies of all areas of the business that impact the customer, and ensure the service strategies are built around, and for, the customer.

 

What does a CXO/CCO look like?  One of the biggest mistakes I have seen companies make is hiring, promoting or delegating the CCO position to people who have zero genuine hospitality characteristics.  This person has to live and breathe hospitality, internally, externally, and in all areas of his/her life.  If they do not meet the criteria below, PASS! It is so much better to leave the position vacant than to fill it with a mismatched person.

  1. Passionate customer experience and the customer
  2. Extremely high Service Aptitude
  3. Lives World-Class Hospitality personally and professionally

What if you are not a large organization? Now if you are a small company or a start up, I don’t suggest creating a brand new position dedicated to the customer experience, but you do need to have it be a major part of someone’s job title and responsibility.  For example, at John Robert’s Spa, we promoted a rising star, a manager in training, to Director of Secret Service. Her responsibilities are to manage and monitor all aspects of the customer experience and lead JR’s internal Secret Service Agent team.

 

CXO/CCO Job description – In the book What’s The Secret? I focus on what a Chief Xperience Officer’s job description could look like.   You can download that here: Chief Xperience Officer 

 

2012 Secret Service Summit – The Summit is over, and it was incredible! The energy, passion and knowledge that were shared for two full days by 12 speakers and 403 attendees (400 was a sellout, don’t tell anyone we went over by three) were remarkable.  If you were not one of the 403 attendees, I will be doing a recap on the takeaways on the speakers in next week’s eService. Order the entire Secret Service Summit Audio Series here.

 

Watch the highlight clip from the 2012 Secret Service Summit!

 

 

 

 

 

Johnism

 

 If a policy makes perfect sense to you
but is difficult for your client to comprehend — change it. It’s not worth it.

John R. DiJulius III best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the President of The DiJulius Group, the leading customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on customer experience trends and best practices. Learn more about The DiJulius Group or The Secret Service Summit, America’s #1 Customer Service Conference.

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