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The Customer Officer: A Key Strategy to Brand Leadership

“Strategy is about competitive advantage. Without competitors, there would be no need for strategy, for the sole purpose of strategic planning is to enable the company to gain –as effectively as possible– a sustainable edge over its competitors.”

-Kenichi Ohmae

I believe that customer experience excellence is absolutely critical to fostering new acquisition, retention, expansion, and loyalty, and to a company’s bottom line. Business value and price, are of paramount importance—but I would go as far as to say this: companies that create legendary value and service experiences for their customers stay in business longer, create sustainably higher revenues in their industry, and attain “leader board” status among their competitors. Enter, the Customer Officer (CO).

The CO’s responsibilities are foundational and far-reaching. These include establishing a customer-centric company culture; projecting and pursuing long-term customer profitability; listening to and acting on the voice of the customer; creating the Customer Strategy—and aligning the organization around that strategy. A well-conceived Customer Strategy enables a company to achieve the staggering economic and brand value that comes from keeping the right customers for a lifetime.

Companies such as USAA, Oracle, Nationwide Insurance, Dunkin Brands, and Jet Blue have hired customer officers who’ve mastered the art of customer experience strategy. Working within very different companies, these senior executives demonstrate significant commonalities, starting with evangelistic customer commitment. They log hours alongside staffers and listen in on call-center conversations to maintain a focus on the customer experience process at every company level. They foster a great working environment and offer perks to nurture the employee engagement that’s crucial to a consistently high-quality customer experience.

The role of the CO, in my view, is to envision and articulate a clear strategy, identify ways to streamline and simplify customer process, and follow through with improvements based on direct customer insight. Customer officers also garner influence with their peers in the company, enabling other functional senior leaders to understand and effect customer experience enhancement across the organization. Within every department, they collaborate on the design of customer-focused objectives, measurable performance, and performance incentives to directly or indirectly elevate the customer experience. This approach to focused, coordinated change results in measurable business impacts for the company.

Given current economic pressures and complexity—not to mention the serious need to “hold and expand” current customers—the CO is a company’s key strategic advantage in brand leadership efforts.

Stay tuned weekly as I delve more deeply into the rest of the best practices for higher customer retention identified in Mend the Holes in Your Leaky Bucket. This 10-article series will give you valuable insights and guidance as you plan, develop, and implement your own customer retention strategy.

Ready to move forward more quickly? Interested in personal assistance? Let’s chat. Please sign up for my complimentary one-hour Customer Insight Strategy Session by calling our office at 617.848.4589 or emailing info@loricarrassociates.com.

Lori Carr is a customer experience pioneer and expert. Working with Fortune 500 companies for the past 25 years, she helps recognized brands to dramatically increase retention, loyalty and profitable revenues.

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Mend the Holes in Your Leaky Bucket: 10 Best Practices for Higher Customer Retention

leaking-bucket-blogpost-1
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza.
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

I remember singing that old German song as a child. Well, I’m singing it again as a customer experience expert, and this time, it’s about business: the bucket is your company, and your customers are slipping away through the holes.

Whether you’re a mid-sized company or a Fortune 200 enterprise, high customer retention is a survival priority in today’s business environment, and increasing retention is a core strategy for remaining competitive. Need proof? Recent statistics underscore the tremendous value of loyal customers:

  •  “80% of your future business will come from 20% of your current customers.” (Gartner)
  •   “The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60–70% while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5–20%.” (Marketing Metrics)

Despite those realities, some company leaders assume that relationships with their existing customer base can coast along on autopilot after initial acquisition, without requiring ongoing investment on the company’s part; but that assumption is mistaken, and very costly.

If customers are not treated as your company’s most valuable asset—with the utmost attention paid to providing customer experience excellence and helping customers to realize maximum product value—they will leave, taking your predictable revenue and profits with them. In my view, that’s a compelling argument for a sound customer retention strategy.

(Note to SaaS companies: Given a churn-vulnerable business model of services offered monthly, often without a contract, plus mounting pressure from Wall Street to increase retention and accurately predict revenue, I urge you to take advantage of the following strategies.)

As a business consultant, I focus on key steps to maximize true value for both customer and company. I want to help company leaders succeed in their customer retention efforts by sharing the approaches I’ve learned and created over my 25 years of professional experience. Here are my top 10 best practices that will mend the customer retention holes in your leaky bucket!

1. Exceptional Service for Current Customers. In a highly competitive, constantly changing marketplace with ever-rising customer expectations, I cannot overemphasize the importance of outstanding service to existing customers. Exceptional service—relationship-driven, value-focused, free of dis-satisfiers that drive churn—is the indisputable foundation of customer retention and a critical starting point in formulating your company’s retention strategy.

leaking-bucket-blogpost-22. Voice-of-the-Customer Program. Understanding what your customers think is essential to high retention. VoC research can inform all aspects of engagement as well as actions to improve the service experience and increase realized product value, but I see many companies using oversimplified methodology (hint: one question is not enough). Strategically designed surveys yield valuable insights into what really matters—especially unmet needs or weaknesses causing dissatisfaction and deflection.

3. Customer Journey Mapping. You need to know, from the inside out, how customers flow through your organization: is that flow logical, simple, and streamlined, and does it produce a high-quality, consistent, repeatable experience? Journey mapping identifies challenges that customers encounter, plus opportunities to make changes that create value and deepen engagement while trimming cost.

4. Customer Segmentation. I find that segmentation is powerful when tied to overall company goals and focused on increased value for customers. Categorizing customers into market or service groups points you toward winning and retaining “the right customers.” Customizing your service delivery to different segments also helps to utilize limited resources wisely.

5. Proactive Customer Service. Reacting to customer service requests is a performance baseline—but forecasting and responding to customer expectations proactively is an entirely different endeavor. For example, are you conducting site visits with your most valued customers to learn their needs, help them to realize product value, and gather insights for new product features? I highly recommend this type of anticipatory service approach.

6. Engagement and Retention Marketing. Proactive outreach is an uncommon but very promising approach for creating customer value and profit potential while preserving existing revenues. Interactions that educate current customers, stimulate use of your product, and resolve issues also foster an invaluable emotional connection. If conducted in a manner that respects your customers’ time and privacy, this type of marketing is a service experience differentiator, building the relationships that lead to loyalty.

7. Assistive Technology. The SaaS/Cloud technology roster used to support customer loyalty is changing everything. I advocate using customer health dashboards and social media scanners as well as other enabling technologies in the areas of VoC and customer intelligence, application adoption monitoring, and engagement and retention marketing. By purposely facilitating ongoing customer relationships post-sale, these tools provide a powerful competitive advantage.

8. Loyalty Rewards. Customers review where their money is spent and consolidate their purchasing under loyalty programs featuring rewards that they actually want. What are your loyalty program’s objectives, strategies, positioning, and value? For maximum appeal, offer customer-relevant reward options and a quick, easy redemption process.

leaking-bucket-blogpost-39. Customer Win-Back. Did some customers leave? Don’t let it end there. Reach out to understand what happened; tell them about the changes you’ve made to resolve the issues that led to their departure; share your exciting roadmaps and future vision; entice them to come back with a loyalty offer they’ll value—and then keep them with excellence.

10. Employee Engagement. Last but certainly not least, happy employees are a crucial prerequisite for happy customers: the relationship between employee engagement and customer engagement is undeniable. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that employees throughout your company are educated, encouraged, and empowered to promote and enact your customer retention strategy at all times.

Stay tuned weekly as I delve more deeply into the rest of the best practices for higher customer retention identified in Mend the Holes in Your Leaky Bucket. This 10-article series will give you valuable insights and guidance as you plan, develop, and implement your own customer retention strategy.

Ready to move forward more quickly? Interested in personal assistance? Let’s chat. Please sign up for my complimentary one-hour Customer Insight Strategy Session by calling our office at 617.848.4589 or emailing info@loricarrassociates.com.

Lori Carr is a customer experience pioneer and expert. Working with Fortune 500 companies for the past 25 years, she helps recognized brands to dramatically increase retention, loyalty and profitable revenues.

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Social Media’s Impact on Customers

Support channel preferences are changing rapidly and social media is making a huge impact on service and branding strategy.  New generations are clear on how they want to buy and seek product support, and their desires are changing the way you interact with customers. Today, social networking is a key component in formulating a service strategy.  Leading social media technologies, like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, YouTube and LinkedIn, are becoming the top channel choice for communicating with the current generation.

The customer experience is inextricably linked to brand experience, and both are key to company success.  This is true even more so now because the speed at which a customer’s experience is shared using social networks sets the perception for hundreds of thousands of prospective buyers immediately.  See our recent post on Greatest Customer Story Ever Told where a popular restaurant chain gleaned $800k in earned media coverage by responding to just one prospective customer’s Tweet in a very unique way. The story went viral and was viewed by millions of people within days. Imagine an impact like that from just one initial Tweet from a prospective customer and a savvy response from this very fortunate (and smart) company.

Social networking creates interactive communities that enable people to support and inform each on an ongoing basis.  Take a look at the company-wide social strategy Best Buy deployed with their Twelpforce initiative.  Best Buy encourages all 2,600 of their Twelpforce employees to “engage” with customers and create a superior experience.

Social media plays a key role in how customers discover, research and share information about products and services.  In various studies on consumer buying, research shows that nearly 65% of consumers list customer ratings as their preferred source of information when purchasing products and services.  Customers who have a great or a poor experience use social media to spread the word to very large audiences instantly AND prospective customers use this information to decide whether or not to purchase your products.

Social media can transform the perceived customer experience for a company literally overnight.  That scenario cuts both ways though, and if you are not responding in a genuine and effective way to resolve customer inquiries, you can tarnish your brand experience just as quickly.  If customers use social media to say great things about you, your revenues grow faster, they grow higher, and customers stay more loyal to you.  Period.

The way you interact with customers and your ability to provide an exemplary customer service experience has never been more important to the future of your business.  If you don’t have a social networking service strategy and presence today, you’ll need to build one because your competitors are and you are losing business to them.

Stay tuned weekly as I delve more deeply into the rest of the best practices for higher customer retention identified in Mend the Holes in Your Leaky Bucket. This 10-article series will give you valuable insights and guidance as you plan, develop, and implement your own customer retention strategy.

Ready to move forward more quickly? Interested in personal assistance? Let’s chat. Please sign up for my complimentary one-hour Customer Insight Strategy Session by calling our office at 617.848.4589 or emailing info@loricarrassociates.com.

Lori Carr is a customer experience pioneer and expert. Working with Fortune 500 companies for the past 25 years, she helps recognized brands to dramatically increase retention, loyalty and profitable revenues.


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Customer Experience Journey Maps… Destination: Success

Many executives believe they understand their customer and their customers’ experience. In reality, few truly do… and that discrepancy is what leads to customer service breakdowns, less-than-optimal customer experiences, weak customer loyalty and—ultimately—lost revenue and decreased long-term growth.

Customer service and the customer experience have become the competitive battleground for businesses. Nearly 90% of consumers today are ready to stop doing business with a company after just one poor customer service experience. Now, more than ever before, a thorough understanding of the customer experience along with a commitment and culture to support exceptional performance is crucial to a business’s long-term success.

At Lori Carr & Associates, we help organizations analyze and create detailed maps of the customer experience.  Mapping, along with customer and employee interviews, provides companies with a full-service experience composite. There is no greater way to resolve service issues than to map a customer’s complete journey in terms of an organization’s people, process, policies, technology, information and key intersections. Where are the breakdowns that lead to customer frustration? Is your organization hemorrhaging potential revenue because of customer defection AND are you missing crucial cross- and up-selling opportunities that often result in multi-millions of dollars in revenue annually?

Through the development of comprehensive maps that detail a customer’s experience at every touch point with the organization, opportunities for improvement become crystal clear. What are your customers’ functional and emotional needs? How are you meeting—or failing to meet—those needs? How cohesive or disjointed are customers’ experiences across your organization and what will you do about it?

These outside-in maps identify the customer lifecycle experience within every service channel—from phone to online to self-service to social media. Journey maps set the stage to layer key performance metrics and most accountable responsibility around the customer experience, working to ensure internal clarity and accountability at every service stage of the process.  Journey map outcomes also detail highlights and lowlights, and enable leaders to create long- and short-term prioritized roadmaps to optimize the experience, create significant revenue growth and cost reductions while providing consistent, repeatable customer experiences.

It is clear from our work as consultants that many companies are still at the earliest maturity level in providing a superior customer experience, and that achieving higher maturity levels leads to better performance and results like increased retention, more referrals and higher customer spending. Customer experience journey mapping is part of a larger service strategy that enables companies of every size to live up to their brand image, maximize their revenues and optimize costs.

Stay tuned weekly as I delve more deeply into the rest of the best practices for higher customer retention identified in Mend the Holes in Your Leaky Bucket. This 10-article series will give you valuable insights and guidance as you plan, develop, and implement your own customer retention strategy.

Ready to move forward more quickly? Interested in personal assistance? Let’s chat. Please sign up for my complimentary one-hour Customer Insight Strategy Session by calling our office at 617.848.4589 or emailing info@loricarrassociates.com.

Lori Carr is a customer experience pioneer and expert. Working with Fortune 500 companies for the past 25 years, she helps recognized brands to dramatically increase retention, loyalty and profitable revenues.

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Customer Retention is a Shared Responsibility

Seasoned customer experience executives are well aware of the importance high customer retention plays on the impact of brand perception, loyalty, and customer lifetime value. The topic of customer retention continues to gain momentum as we more clearly understand the direct link between customer experience and revenue preservation and growth. Responsibility for customer retention usually falls to the most senior service executive, chief customer officer or sometimes to the marketing chief, but I think responsibility and accountability needs to be shared by leaders across the entire organization.

It’s important that a c-suite member is publicly accountable for overall customer centricity, which includes culture, loyalty and certainly the retention strategy, but spreading accountability across the organization makes good business sense. In my consulting practice, we continually advocate for broader customer accountability because the customer experience is impacted positively or negatively throughout the entire organization. Shared areas of responsibility include branding, pricing, process, policy, technology and, of course, talent… especially customer-facing talent.

Expanding responsibility for the customer experience across the organization is a key component of transforming company culture to one of customer-centricity. It also establishes linkages between departments for shared performance results. Shared responsibility is a powerful prescription that increases teamwork, effectiveness and performance. I’ve noted a few important areas of focus below.

Branding: Understanding what customers expect and want from your product and service is key to meeting expectations and delivering the brand promise. In an earlier post, I mentioned how a company brand is tied more to what customers say to each other than what the company says to customers.  See our blog titled Social Media’s Impact on Customers.

Pricing: Price isn’t the only thing customers consider when making a purchase decision; the price-value relationship is very important. It can be even more important after purchase if the customer experience is not stellar. Service experience can help to avoid buyer’s remorse for those more costly purchases.

Process: There is nothing like a poorly designed process to create a negative customer experience. If you have not taken time to experience your end-to-end customer process from their perspective, I urge you to try it. You will discover aspects of your process that are frustrating, outdated, broken and difficult to navigate. Hopefully this will instill a sense of urgency to review a customer journey mapping process.  For more , read our post on  Customer Journey Mapping, Desitination: Success to understand customer experience process improvement and how to make it easier to do business with your company.

Company Policy: Policies that don’t make sense can be maddening to customers. Think about Best Buy’s policy which requires customers to pick up merchandise at a local retail store after they’ve ordered a product online. Seriously, is that not incredibly inconvenient for customers? Polling your front line call center agents and customers to help you understand broken processes and outdated policies is a most valuable exercise. Prioritize the feedback, organize a team to create a roadmap and change those frustrating policies.

Technology: Technology is meant to enable a process, policy, or make work actions easier and simpler. While this is true much of the time, work process and customer preferences change so frequently that employees and customers find themselves doing “workarounds” or are forced to use technology in a way that makes the service experience more difficult. For example, customers want multiple support channels (email, chat, self service) so you need to provide them. Studies show that companies with multiple channels have better retention and higher levels of purchase.

Talent: Hiring and training the right employees to provide exceptional service experiences is foundational. Beyond that, employees must be engaged and empowered to serve customers, encouraged to innovate and aid leaders to understand customer process that blocks, impedes or hinders a great experience. Leaders must make employee engagement and feedback a priority, resource their improvement recommendations and remove service impediments.

As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Customer Experience Strategy: The Path to Excellence

The single most important focus for any organization is the unrelenting pursuit of superior customer experience, supported by crystal clear strategy and transparent performance accountability at every level.

How do you get there? In this presentation, we thoroughly examine, explore and explain the seven key elements of successful customer experience strategy.

 

Customer Experience Breakthroughs

In an ever-changing consumer society, one does not need to look far to identify the brands that—despite a turbulent global economy and the myriad of competitors in the marketplace—have managed to achieve outstanding revenue growth by establishing themselves as icons of customer experience. By creating a passionate emphasis on making the customer the center of their organizations, and focusing on service transparency and accountability, companies like Apple and Oracle have propelled themselves to leading not just their prospective categories, but business as a whole.

Focused on creating a loyal customer base, successful companies like these have revamped process and technology, and created detailed maps of the customer experience—allowing them to initiate change to address any or all breakdowns. As a result, they’ve unlocked and materialized unseen revenue and reduced operating costs.  With similar breakthrough service strategies, these results are not only feasible, but 100% attainable for any company.

Without question, every organization strives to provide their product or service in such a way that transcends that of their competitors. However, taking a brand from question mark to benchmark requires more than just intention—it requires vision, action and real change. Apple, for example, created high-level brand recognition by simplifying and adding “fun” and “wow” to the way people interact with technology. Reporting a net profit increase of 94% over last year, Apple has redefined the performance expectation of each category they enter. While their product alone is powerful, in creating a sales and customer service environment that mirrors their technological innovation—catering to the needs of each visitor the moment one walks into one of Apple’s retail outlets—they’ve set the bar for breakthrough customer experience strategy.

Achieving such customer experience strategy requires several key things: innovation, leadership, transparency, performance accountability, and aligning all departments around their impact on the customer experience. Additionally, companies must embrace the practice of aggressive customer data mining. Instilling the practice of collecting the most complete information from existing customers ensures understanding of how to better meet their needs, which maximizes the opportunity for loyalty and referrals. Data mining can also provide a new window of sales opportunities, and the highest potential for revenue gain.

For multinational software purveyor Oracle, higher levels of accountability on all fronts has been key to their results. In maintaining a list of the top dissatisfactions experienced by their customers, high-level executives are given the task of eradicating service experience blocks within a defined window of time. By identifying the most challenging barriers between the provider and consumer, Oracle has instilled a powerful voice within the organization, and vows to address any arising concern along the way.

Customer service leaders like Oracle and Apple implement a series of intuitive practices that create measurable success when applied at any level. This requires the C-suite to reexamine the core values of the organization, and assess whether or not their current practices are a direct reflection of their customer-focused initiatives. This is a process that Doug Meyer, the Chief Customer Officer tasked with improving business performance of global software developer Sage North America swears by, stating that the importance of putting an increased focus on providing a superior customer experience has always been a big part of Sage’s DNA. Quite simply: “Happy and loyal customers create more happy and loyal customers.”

Retention + Referrals = Loyalty Growth

The revenue potential of implementing such breakthrough customer experience strategy is tremendous. For instance, DELL reported a 20% decrease in customer support costs after listening to their customers.  Additionally, electronics manufacturer Panasonic found that their most loyal customers were five times more likely to repurchase from the brand, and that further satisfying each tier to create loyalty amounted to a staggering gain of $33.3 million in annual incremental gain. Simply put, repositioning company initiatives to be further aligned with customer needs creates monumental gain.

We are well versed in assisting companies to define and achieve breakthrough service results and realize their value proposition. Identifying these core ideals allows our clients to further connect with their consumers, and maximize on both new and existing profitable ventures. For more information, please contact us at Lori Carr & Associates.

Using Customer Experience Capability Maturity Models to affect Customer Experience Change

As companies increasingly recognize the criticality of the customer experience in achieving long-term growth and revenues, the decades-old Capability Maturity Modeling methodology is being adapted to customer experience functions or process. Like other pioneers in Customer Experience Maturity Modeling (CEMM) we find that many companies are still at the earliest maturity level as it relates to customer experience, and that achieving higher maturity levels leads to higher performance and results like longer retention, more referrals and higher customer spending.

The original Capability Maturity Modeling was developed in 1984 by Carnegie Melon University for the U.S. Department of Defense to evaluate contractors and, ultimately, improve performance and ROI. Like that gold-standard Capability Maturity Modeling, CEMM uses a set of structured levels to describe how well the behaviors, practices and processes of an organization can reliably and sustainably produce required outcomes in the customer experience process. Focusing on deepening customer insight, strengthening customer interaction and improving marketing performance, CEMM results can be used to understand and compare a company’s current customer experience maturity in these specific areas with leader board companies within or outside a company’s industry. Other areas to measure capability maturity include service process, technology, talent and information to name a few. Understanding information and using it to make iterative or leap frog change to reach a higher level of maturity and improved outcomes is the goal.

Capability maturity ranges from the first level—Chaotic—where processes are undocumented and reactive; through to the fifth level—Optimized—where processes are defined, documented and adaptable to particular outcomes or projects; and the focus in on continually improving process performance. Research by SAS shows that companies with a high level of customer experience maturity are more likely to outperform their key competitors. A higher percent of those companies executing a strong CEMM strategy report a competitive advantage versus those whose CE strategy is weak. Customer experience capabilities, combined with a strategy to use them effectively, significantly improves a company’s competitive advantage. Products and price are commodities; in today’s experience environment, service is the key differentiator.

However, few companies have key capabilities in all the right areas to enable the creation of customer experiences in response to their preferences, analyzing behavior to understand customers preferences, linking customer attitudes and perceptions to purchase behavior, aligning customer metrics to employee incentive programs, and measuring employee performance against customer metrics.

At Lori Carr & Associates, we utilize CEMM processes to improve performance across the entire customer experience by identifying organizational gaps that inhibit an exemplary, consistent and repeatable customer process. From there, we define change initiatives and develop roadmaps to support changes, based on a clearly defined vision statement and planning process. We implement roadmap initiatives over time to achieve increasing maturity levels through cultural and process change and, as such, create an increasingly positive customer experience.

Call us to discuss how we can similarly lead your organizations in implementing CMM to achieve performance goals across your end-to-end customer experience.

Marketing & Customer Service are Critical to Healthcare Revenue Growth

While marketing and customer service have long been critical components in the success of any business, few industries have had to overhaul their processes to implement both as quickly—and so publicly—as hospitals and health systems have in the past decade.

Historically, hospitals relied on superior medical technologies to attract better physicians who would, in turn, bring in new patients. A myriad of changes—from insurance overhauls to a societal shift toward superior customer service expectations—has forced hospitals and health systems to drastically change their business models in order to remain competitive, grow revenues and attract new valuable patients.

As noted by USA Today many hospitals are adopting marketing and customer service strategies used for decades by the retail, travel and communications industries and, as a result, attracting higher-paying and loyal customers. Using their patients’ health and financial records—along with detailed information from consumer marketing firms—hospitals are conducting targeted marketing to attract new patients, save lives and grow revenue.

St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis, for example, uses patient data to personalize mailings with an individual’s name and a picture of someone of similar age or gender. It is more expensive, but the strategy results in better response rates. From October 2010 through July 2011, St. Anthony’s spent $25,000 on a targeted mailing to 40,000 women for mammogram screenings. The letters led 1,000 women to get the test, which generated $530,000 in revenue from screenings, biopsies and other related services

At Lori Carr & Associates we’ve worked with several health systems that are clearly and quantifiably proving marketing ROI with such activities, leading to significant revenue growth and brand recognition. Our areas of focus include preparing health system call centers to effectively handle a marketing campaign’s call to action, identifying cross selling and up-selling opportunities among new and existing patients, and new patient conversions. Also, because a positive customer experience is vital to converting these marketing efforts into long-term growth, we overhaul processes to create a culture of service excellence.

That excellence in customer service has ramifications not only in attracting new patients but, also, starting next year will directly impact insurance payments for clinical care. Medicare will use patient satisfaction scores to determine nearly one-third of the performance-based pay hospitals will receive. Private health insurers are following suit. From delivering Emergency Room wait times to cell phones to minimize inconvenience for patients, to VIP suites to gourmet food and valet parking, hospitals across the country are responding by implementing customer service amenities and strategies.

While marketing efforts may bring a new patient to a hospital, if that patient does not encounter seamless service after their initial encounter, that opportunity is lost. For example, does the patient receive a clear instruction on next steps? When that patient calls for follow up procedures as suggested, is there a clear channel of service, or are they passed around to various departments—ultimately ending in frustration. Is there a defined, customer-friendly process for booking appointments and facilitating payment? Is staff trained properly to cross and up sell services?

The bigger a health system, the more opportunities there are for disconnections among departments. We work with hospitals and health systems to ensure a seamless customer service experience supported by a cultural and organizational shift that puts the customer experience at the center of the entire organization.

Inspirational Innovator: The Chief Customer Officer Council

Since its inception in 2008, the Chief Customer Officer Council has been the sounding board for individuals in customer service leadership roles across the globe. The position of Chief Customer Officer (CCO) is relatively new and innovative in its own right, making customer service strategy a priority at all levels of a company. The CCO Council serves to support and inspire those CCOs in their quest for superior customer service. This was the concept that lead Curtis Bingham—Founder of the CCO Council—to create a forum where individuals serving in CCO roles could exchange ideas that maximize not only the productivity of their firms, but also their understanding of consumers as a whole, allowing them to unlock new and unique ways to reach them. Today, the CCO Council has become a resource that is widely recognized and highly regarded among CCOs at brands like Oracle, Microsoft, Merck & Rosetta Stone (to name a few), who implement customer service strategies that originate here.

The common thread that binds the numerous members of the CCO Council is the amount of time saved by avoiding the trial & error phase often associated with the execution of new customer service strategies. Within the council, members contribute to a unique peer-to-peer exchange with other members in an effort to resolve “chronic customer issues, create sustainable competitive advantage, help retain profitable customers, and drive profitable customer behavior through the effective customer strategy.” The CCO Council has proven its worth to the numerous customer-conscious companies who realize not only the benefit in creating a CCO position, but implementing fresh and innovative business solutions.

The CCO Council also provides countless useful resources for non-members, and sheds light on to topics such as customer vulnerability to competitors, building and maintaining customer loyalty, as well as customer advocacy solutions from highly recognized members of the organization.

For its work to support and further develop the role of the Chief Customer Officer by serving as a resource and providing a sounding board for CCOs around the world, the CCO Council joins our list of Inspirational Innovators.

Click here to learn more about the critical role of Chief Customer Officers in organizations.