The turn in the narrative regarding Tony Hsieh’s death has been striking over the past few days as stories (like these in the Journal and Forbes) began to come to light based on accounts from those who knew him better than the rest of us who had merely admired him from afar. While the universal impression remains that it’s a shame to lose such a great mind and spirit who had so much left to offer, those who have revered Tony as an inspiration (not only to CX and business in general, but also his philanthropy, sense of community, and overall joie de vivre) having never known him personally may be left wondering: What was that all about? (more…)
The concept of a Chief Customer Officer (CCO or, sometimes, CXO) is still pretty fresh for a lot of organizations. I’ve even posted a video to go over some of the simple questions like, Why should you have a CCO and what are the benefits? But just what a CCO is sometimes feels foreign, even though the responsibilities are pretty simple to analogize to other leadership roles in any organization. As with these other positions, the job can be broadly broken down into two main hats the CCO wears: one as a leader and representative of an important part of the organization on the leadership team, and the other focused functionally and inwardly.
If that sounds familiar, it should. In much the same way as the Chief Finance Officer is responsible not only for the day-to-day keeping of the books but also for bringing insights from that bookkeeping into the leadership team in order to offer guidance and expert opinion on what those finances are saying and what we should do about it, the Chief Customer Officer likewise has a team of CX experts deriving Customer-centric insights and acting on them (day-to-day functions), while also representing that part of the business in a collaborative effort to make the best strategic decisions as a leadership team on behalf of the organization.
When it comes to the CCO functional responsibilities, they fall into three categories: the Voice of the Customer (VoC) program, Process Engineering (PE), and Customer-centric culture. These all work together to create an ecosystem from which the CCO draws insights to inform the rest of the leadership team (the other part of the CCO’s job) about how decisions they make will impact the Customer and the impact that will have on the organization as a whole. (more…)
Where is your CX function located?
That’s a common question often used to kick off conversations on many webinars and conference chats. For a while I found it mildly interesting as a survey question and as an icebreaker or a means of getting people engaged right off the bat. But the more I found the answer to be “within the Customer Support organization,” the more puzzled I became:
Isn’t the goal of CX, to a degree at least, to drive support out of business? (more…)
I once had a mentor whose cubicle walls were covered in certificates and evidence of completion of training and qualification. People considered him a bit of an egotist and obsessed with certifications. Credentialism is a thing, after all. But I asked him once about all his accreditations. He said, “Some people say, ‘Sure, well you’re just good at taking tests,’ and I say, ‘Yea, I am, I guess.’” Point being, he was pretty humble and casual about them, but wasn’t kidding himself that lots of folks take them to heart. In his mind, it didn’t hurt that some people weren’t impressed—he likely wouldn’t lose favor with any of them for being credentialed (he was, it should be said, supremely smart and talented too…that always helps). But for those who did care, why not jump through a little hoop here and there to get your foot in the door? I’ll just say, it served him well.
I wrote recently about hiring your CX leaders from outside of your industry. I understand that that’s quite a plunge to take for some folks: You mean you want me to go with a complete novice in our industry and trust that person with our Customers? Our entire CX program? You must be nuts. (more…)
There’s a meme going around LinkedIn these days about a job posting that requires of the ideal candidate experience that’s physically impossible: a history of use of a platform or programming language that’s longer than the language’s existence in the first place. There’s even been a mocking job posting put up with a cascade of similar impossibilities as requirements.
But that led me to thinking: As I’ve written about before, I sometimes browse through job postings on LinkedIn and Glassdoor in the CX field. What I mentioned in that previous post was how disparate the actual jobs are that are all listed as “CX” in some way or another. But the joke about a job requirement for experience that’s literally impossible to have acquired set off a bell in my mind that reminded me of another thing a lot of these CX job postings have in common: They almost universally require extensive experience in the hiring company’s industry. (more…)
There are articles all over the place and books overloading shelves in the business section of the stores having to do with strategies and branding. One of the theories that I find appealing is that, when it comes to strategies and visions and missions, it’s important to leave your products or services out of these guiding statements altogether. A company that determines its goodness or place in the lives of its Customers based simply on what they produce or do is missing a bigger piece of the puzzle: Why a Customer should care in the first place.
It has repercussions on the ground: If you make men’s shoes, that’s great. But your brand and your vision should likely be more than simply, “we make good/great shoes.” One reason for this is if the maker of “good/great shoes” were to go out of business tomorrow, a competitor would simply come in and buy up whatever is left of value—be it the supply chain, the raw materials, the cobblers (or elves?), the brand logo—and run on with whatever they’d been doing all along regardless of any greater purpose the recently out-of-business company may have had. In short, the erstwhile shoe maker wouldn’t be missed. (more…)
Here is the final post in a series about building a world-class CX program in your organization. I introduced the component parts here, expounded on aligning your CX strategy here, delved into the Voice of the Customer here, and showed how to put it into action with your Process Engineering program here. Now it’s on to building and supporting a Customer-centric culture.
“Well, culture’s a tricky one.” So a guru once said to me about this ever-important aspect of corporate success. And it’s obviously true. HR departments and ‘climate committees’ spend lots of time and energy spinning up theories and ideas about how to improve and foster a great corporate culture. It’s one of those things that’s easy to identify if it’s absent, but it’s challenging to identify steps toward achieving. (more…)
I’m honored to be invited to participate in the Employers Association of the NorthEast’s WOW (Webinars on Wednesday) program.
Check me out coming up next week on how to identify Waste in your day. And check out the other offerings in this series while you’re at it: