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Curtis N. Bingham
(978) 952-0047
Predictive Consulting Group, Inc
Founder, Chief Customer Officer Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          

Oracle’s Jeb Dasteel Awarded
2009 Chief Customer Officer of the Year Award
Announcing the formation of the Chief Customer Officer Council

LITTLETON, MASS., July 8, 2009 – Customer loyalty is the Holy Grail for many businesses, yet in most organizations, nobody is accountable for loyalty improvement in the executive suite.

“The key to business success, particularly in a down economy, is anticipating customer needs and continuously deepening customer relationships,” according to Jeb Dasteel, Chief Customer Officer (CCO) of Oracle, who was named the 2009 Chief Customer Officer of the Year last month at the first ever Chief Customer Officer Summit.

“Through a string of 55 acquisitions, Oracle has achieved nearly 100% customer retention,” Dasteel said.  “We’ve gotten really good at listening to customers, prioritizing feedback, and driving customer strategy at all levels.  The award is a great honor and a testament to Oracle’s executive leadership that has provided such visible support for the customer focus we’ve tried to achieve.”

Dasteel has been with Oracle for 11 years, five of which have been spent running Oracle’s Global Customer Programs and as CCO for the last year.

“Several years ago it became clear to us that the Chief Customer Officer role was a missing piece of Oracle’s strategy.  Our CCO has become a key part of the Oracle transformation.  The pay-off has been tremendous as we become more of a trusted partner to our customers,” said Charles Phillips, President of Oracle.

“Jeb Dasteel has made exceptional strides in improving customer relationships, driving profitable customer behavior, and in creating customer-centric cultures,” noted Curtis N. Bingham, founder of the Chief Customer Officer Council that awarded Dasteel.   “Unless you’re Disney where the customer is injected into the cultural DNA, you need someone to champion the customer cause.  Otherwise, opportunities are squandered, customers leave, and innovation is squelched.”

Most companies have neither the process nor the executive-level accountability to devise and execute customer strategy in order to increase loyalty and attendant profits.  “In fact, less than 25 of the Fortune 1000 companies have a Chief Customer Officer,” said Bingham.  “CCOs are the ultimate authority on customers and drive customer and corporate strategy at the highest levels of the company.”  The three greatest responsibilities of a CCO are: 1.) Creating customer strategy based on in-depth customer insight, 2.) Driving profitable customer behavior, and 3.) Creating a customer-centric culture.  CCOs are typically hired to resolve chronic customer crises, protect revenue derived from an organization’s current customer base, and establish competitive advantage.

Announcing the CCO Council

Last month, the 16 CCOs gathered at the Chief Customer Officer Summit agreed:

  • Increased transparency in product roadmaps, service agreements, and pricing is driving increased loyalty and stronger customer retention as well as acquisition
  • Improved customer intimacy, particularly during down economic times, is an extremely potent competitive barrier
  • In the current economy, CCOs are finding they must enable customer-facing functions to have different value discussions with customers and prospects.  Decisions are being made at a higher level, requiring additional executive-level insight.  Customers are trading downwards, requiring stronger value propositions than before.
  • The Customer Experience is made up of multiple touchpoints, and the greatest ROI can be obtained by identifying those touchpoints with the greatest emotional attachment for customers and resolving issues there first.

The CCOs all saw huge value in collaborating with their peers via the newly formed Chief Customer Officer Council to improve customer relationships and advance their careers.  Bingham founded the Chief Customer Officer Council based on the needs of more than 50 Chief Customer Officers with whom he has worked since starting in the field in 2003.  Curtis is the author of the forthcoming book entitled The Key to Customer Strategy: The Rise of the Chief Customer Officer to be published by HRD Press in late 2009. 

The CCO Council is dedicated to elevating the role of the CCO in establishing business strategy, helping its members grow professionally, and most importantly, helping drive solid, customer-focused results in member organizations.  Each year the Council recognizes with an award the CCO that has made the greatest strides on improving customer relationships, driving profitable customer behavior, and in creating customer-centric cultures. As well, the Council recognizes the CCO that has had the greatest impact on his or her peers in helping others achieve similar results.

Curtis N. Bingham is President of Predictive Consulting Group, a firm that helps companies increase customer acquisition, retention, and customer profitability through customer strategy.  He is also the founder of the Chief Customer Officer Council.  More information can be found at http://chiefcustomerofficer.com.

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