CEOs Need To Become Customer-Experience Evangelists

CEOs already have plenty to do, but Oracle chief Mark Hurd is suggesting they take on one more task -- becoming customer experience evangelists.

In a recent column, Hurd challenged conventional wisdom that argues once your customer satisfaction ratings hit the 95 percent mark itEUs a waste of money to spend more effort on that last few percent of the customer base. Conventional wisdom says those customers canEUt be pleased so you should just move on.

Hurd insists that conventional wisdom is antiquated. In todayEUs interconnected world, customers control everything and even a few unhappy customers in the lot can be costly. With all this in mind, Hurd is pushing the customer experience evangelist envelope.

Three Challenges

An Oracle survey revealed 81 percent of executives surveyed realize that active social media processes and culture are essential to their success, yet only 65 percent offer social channels for sales and service. WhereEUs the disconnect? The respondents pointed out three challenges: inflexible technology that canEUt handle modern social tools; siloed organizations that canEUt adapt to rapid external disruptions; and insufficient funding.

EUAs I look at those three obstacles -- core technology, organizational structures, and budget priorities -- itEUs clear that they canEUt be overcome by a feisty social team, or a hard-charging sales leader, or even by a forceful finance chief,EU Hurd said. EUNo, those barriers to becoming a truly social business that can deliver superb customer experiences can only be knocked down by the CEO.EU

As Hurd sees it, CEOs need to make customer experience a top priority across the company -- and central goal of transformational efforts that attack those three obstacles before they transform from inconveniences to dangerous and devastating threats.

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