TITLE

A Focus on Customers

AUTHOR(S)
Johnson, Craig R.; Schultz, Don E.
PUB. DATE
September 2004
SOURCE
Marketing Management;Sep/Oct2004, Vol. 13 Issue 5, p20
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article deals with the creation of the position of a chief customer officer (CCO) by business organizations to boost customer value. The first to appoint a CCO was from the utility sector in 1995--United Illuminating Co. Reflecting the company's long emphasis on customer service, the CCO function included integrated oversight of all major activities touching the customer, including customer sales and service, billing, communications, and the customer contact center. The food and beverage sector has seen a number of CCO titles in recent years, from Quaker Oats in 1997 to firms such as Kellogg Co. and Sargento Foods Inc. For companies that historically have organized by product line, realigning against the customer can be a daunting task--particularly at firms with decades of success in product-led growth. But it is neither an impossible task, nor one that must be accomplished overnight. In fact, a step-by-step approach can be effective even under traditional marketing organizations. Naming a CCO is an important early move. Another key step is creating an initial accounting framework that can capture the operating contribution of at least the largest customers, leaving complex overhead allocations for a later refinement. Both steps send strong signals of the kind of culture change at hand. Make no mistake, truly transforming successful product-focused organizations to a customer-centric strategy can require sharp change in cultural norms, in terms of process, priorities, and definitions of success.
ACCESSION #
14370948

 

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