How to Evaluate CCO Positions: 5 Steps to Ensuring the Right Fit

In my Daily Dose video series, I explore the topics that chief customer officers must grapple with on a daily basis. Join me as I discuss what I’ve learned over the course of my 35-year career, so that you can more effectively do the work that needs to be done.

The following is a lightly edited transcript of the video below.

On today’s Daily Dose, I want to talk to you about how to suss out potential roles/positions that comes across your desk. Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of calls from recruiters for very, very high-level CX leadership roles. So if you’re interested in one of these roles, let me know, because I have quite a few in my pocket that I’m helping people find C-suite candidates for.

Moreover, if you are interested in one of these roles and are interviewing for one of them, let me walk you through several things that I—and the C-level executives I interview in my podcast—recommend that you do to make sure the job is real and that the commitment from the company to take CX seriously is real.

1. Does the Job Description Go Beyond Tactics?

This may seem silly, but read the job description very specifically. Look for language around leadership engagement, culture, and that your role is defined beyond tactics. If it’s just talking about voice of customer, journey mapping, or the specific tactics—but it’s not really around transformation, and business change, and values, and helping to instill those things—you maybe looking at a technical role, but not necessarily a transformative role.

2. Do Your Due Diligence

Go deep on the company’s background. Look at leadership decisions that have been made. Go through the papers and background materials, and look to see what has impacted major company decisions, so that you have an indication of the kind of company it is. People (and organizations) don’t change overnight to suddely become customer-focused. Look for the breadcrumbs of the kind of groundwork and the kind of leadership that already exists. You want to know what you’re walking into.

In addition, you can go online and read reviews about that employees have left, but we find, sometimes, you have to take some of those with a grain of salt.

3. Get Into the Underbelly

The third thing that people have been suggesting, and I love this, is: Ask to speak to a lot of employees of the organization, not just the people in your interview process.

You want to do is get deep in the underbelly and really talk to the people doing the work.

4. See What the Customer Experiences Now

Then, of course, conduct a “be the customer audit.” Go through a number of the steps/experiences that customers have to go through when dealing with the business to understand the baseline that you’re walking into.

5. Get to Know the Leadership Team

Then, finally, get a very clear picture from the leadership team that you’re dealing with on how they see their own skin in the game, as it applies to customer experience. How do they define the role? And most importantly: whether or not they see themselves as true partners with you. Are they looking at passing this off to you as something to execute versus a partnership that’s about to begin?

When evaluating a potential CCO position for fit, ask: Does the company's leadership team see themselves as partnering with you? Or are they passing off responsibilities for you to execute? Share on X

Furthermore: ask them to define the future state. What are the values of the organization? And what are their goals for improving customers’ lives?

Ask them the simple things: For example, “What are the non-negotiables? What are things that you would never, ever do to customers? What are things you would always do for customers?”

What’s interesting is they may not have thought about it, but their answers are going to give you an indication into the organization, the culture, and the psyche of that leadership team and the company.

I hope that you’re getting some of these great offers. Let me know if you want to hear about more of them. And, hopefully, these tips for interviewing will serve you well.

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