Jeanne Bliss is one of the world’s leading customer experience visionaries. Having been Chief Customer Officer for companies including Microsoft, Mazda and Land’s End, Jeanne went on to become an architect of the customer experience movement, an author, a keynote speaker, and host of The Chief Customer Officer Human Duct Tape show. Her client list includes names like Zappos, Citrix, Symantec, Adobe, and Yahoo. In this episode, Jeanne describes the evolution and current state of CX, and shares her vision of where the industry is headed.
Jeanne also talks about:
- What customer experience looked like in the 1980s
- The common qualities in people who excel in CX delivery
- Convincing company leaders to invest in quality CX
- Defining customer experience success
- Founding the Customer Experience Professionals Association
- The ways we can keep the heart in CX
In the following extract from the interview, Jeanne discusses characteristics that define the making of a great CX leader.
“I help a lot of organisations as they try to figure out how they are going to move this work as part of a tenant of the growth of their business, whether they are going to name someone to the role or figure out in their organisation what their version of [CX] is and to embed this customer-driven approach to the business.
“If you’re naming someone to the role or moving somebody forward, there is a set of skills that I have found through practice of almost 35 years in doing this work – in both practical and personal experience – which are the following:
“We find that the most successful people [in CX] have run a business operation, whether it’s P&L where they’re running a product, whether it’s running a call centre or whether they’ve run finance. We’ve also had people leading this work from IT, some CIOs or HR. But it’s critical to have been part of the business operation and the reason for that is that it’s the ‘in the weeds’ work around relationships and how to do the heavy lifting of an organisation that gives you context. If it’s looked at just as strategy and not getting into the bones or the underbelly of the business, then it will lay on top of it and it will never get in.
“So that’s number one and that’s about credibility. The second piece of that is credibility from the standpoint that this person has always led almost intuitively from a customer-driven standpoint. They are great leaders, they ask the right questions. They’re guiding in a way.
“The next thing is if you’re picking someone from inside of the organisation, they have great credibility in terms of the way they have built relationships. They are a collaborative leader. They are a person who can check their ego at the door because this work, unlike our traditional ways to succeed in business, is not about shining the light on our individual work but rather bringing all the facets of the organisation together, establishing a viewpoint and insights so that people get to highlight any recognition of how the work gets to go together and then shining the spotlight back on success that’s been achieved through people coming together in a different way than before.”
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If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to check out some of our other episodes such as our interview with Conall Laverty, a Forbes 30 Under 30 founder who is helping makers build IoT devices. For more from Jeanne Bliss on the art of customer experience, visit her website.