THE customer is king. So some firms have started appointing chief customer officers (CCOs) to serve the king more attentively. These new additions to the (already crowded) C-suite are supposed to look at the business from the customerâ€™s point of view. They try to focus on the entire â€œcustomer experienceâ€, rather than on individual transactions.
An article by The Economist reflects on the matter, and refers to the book â€œOutside Inâ€ (Amazon) by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine of Forrester Research, who observe that customers are growing more powerful.
“The internet makes it easier to shop around and share complaints with a wide audience. Yet poor service persists. Mr Manning and Ms Bodine have been asking customers about their experiences with American companies for years. In 2012 a third of the 160 firms they asked about were rated â€œpoorâ€ or â€œvery poorâ€. Health insurers and cable companies fared worst.”
The article ends with this hilarious recommendation: “Phone a firm that has appointed a chief customer officer and see if you can reach a human being. If not, that CCO might as well be tossed from an executive-floor window, no doubt clutching his collection of ‘journey maps’ and ‘customer archetypes’.”