Jeanne Bliss Jeanne Bliss Customer Experience Expert & Speaker
The 5 Customer Leadership Competencies

The 5 Customer Leadership Competencies

Getting the right leadership and operating model to deliver outstanding customer experiences remains one of the enduring challenges for many service-oriented businesses. Here, Jeanne Bliss, named one of SAP’s top Customer Experience Influencers of 2014, presents the first chapter of her book exploring the virtues of the Chief Customer Officer role, and how it can deliver for your customers and your business alike.

For customer experience efforts to become valued and considered critical to driving growth they must rise above the fray of being defined as problem solving or chasing survey scores. The work must be defined as building your customer-driven growth engine, with the CCO role as the architect of that engine. From being a practitioner in the rinse and repeat cycle to coaching CCOs and the C-Suite, I knew I had to find a way to break that cycle. To create a system that shows a clear and simple connection to a return on investment, and gives the CEO that legacy that he or she wants to leave as their mark. That system is these five competencies that will, over time, build your customer-driven growth engine.

The 5 Customer Leadership Competencies connect to growth. They deliver constantly updated information to unite leaders on the most impactful customer priorities, and they shift attitudes from chasing survey scores to caring about and improving customer lives to earn the right to growth. Here are the benefits of this five-competency business engine:

  • They establish the connection to business growth. The five competencies elevate customer experience efforts from getting a score to ‘earning the right’ to growth.
  • You build them at your own pace, with actions that are most potent for your culture, your leaders, and the company’s ability to take on the work within each competency.
  • They build an engine analogous to the familiar process of product development, with distinguishable steps and metrics and performance requirements. These five competencies provide an equal discipline for focused customer experience development.
  • They drive a one-company focus on customer experiences by uniting leaders in investing in the most impactful priorities. Competency five, for example, builds a monthly process (called a customer room) to step people into the shoes of the customer, uniting the company to focus on a few critical actions rather than having every silo choosing many tactics separately from one another.
  • They specify actions that demystify the role of the customer leadership executive (CCO, CXO, etc.). The role becomes clear, as architect and facilitator of the engine, uniting leaders to make decisions that improve customers’ lives and lead to business growth.

I call these Customer Leadership Competencies because they define the behavior of world-class organizations focused on customers and employees. They impact how these organizations decide to grow, how they lead in unison, how they identify and resolve issues, and how they collectively build a one-company experience.

This excerpt was taken from Jeanne Bliss's Chief Customer Officer 2.0 - Chapter 1: Chief Customer Officer Role Clarity. The read the chapter in full, download the PDF here.