Camille Harrison is the Group Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for Florida Blue. She has been in the role now for almost 40 months. Starting many years ago as a customer service rep, Camille has been in the “service” lane her entire career. In our conversation we discussed her successive roles, and why in particular the Chief of Staff role prepared Camille for the Chief Customer Officer role.
What’s interesting about the Chief of Staff role is that after years of running operations, it gave Camille the ability to strategically think for the organization. It also gave her the comprehensive view of the business — a critical element for a successful Chief Customer Officer as well. In our conversation, Camille walked me through her three years of maturing the role. We also discussed the indicators that moved the role from more of a grass-roots effort to one with major significance for the organization as a whole.
About CamilleAs the Group Vice President, Chief Customer Officer at Florida Blue, Camille has accountability for facilitating the delivery of an optimum customer experience and is responsible for one third of the Florida Blue employee population. She partners closely with our executive team to drive a persistent focus on the most critical customer initiatives, investments and strategies. In addition, she is accountable for the continuous improvement center of excellence and the Service Operations area — as well as being responsible for a significant portion of customer, provider and hospital interactions, transactions and issue resolution.
Previously, she was Chief of Staff. In that role, she was was responsible for assisting the CEO plan and coordinating the strategic, cross functional activities of the executive office, including managing executive committee efforts. She ensured decisions were communicated and that action items were coordinated between divisions and completed. She was also accountable for defining issues and decisions that required focus or involvement from the CEO’s office.
What Should Year One In The Role Look Like?
“I was a one woman show.” Camille mentions this a few times — and, of course, it’s not uncommon. In this period of work, Camille (like many CCOs) depended on “zealots” in the company to join the effort. But they already had day jobs. She got people involved at a grass roots effort.
What About Year Two?
This was a pinnacle year for the work. At one company offsite, the role of customer experience was revealed to be a major strategic difference-maker for Florida Blue. Now Camille had the leadership mandate and engagement. This became a pivot point that enabled three key things to occur. This gave the work significance and put her on the path to driving real strategic change and transformation. Those of you doing this work, look for and seek these things with your role:
- Funding: Camille was able to get outside support to help identify in an objective manner both the work to accomplish and a true barometer of the current experience. In the “grassroots” year, the internal folks were making that determination — and we all know how that sometimes goes.
- In this period, Camille was then able to bring data together to establish the return on investment and connection to customer experience and growth.
- She also was given the funds to establish and hire a team with customer experience skills – so that she could establish a center of excellence around customer experience and human-centered design.
Year 3: Advance, Implement, And Transform
Now that Camille has a framework in place and resources, this is where she navigated to:
- Key customer experiences are being redesigned as the customer would experience, not as silo initiatives. One example: the on-boarding experience.
- Mobilization from the top of the company and throughout the organization is occurring with common language, leadership accountability and communication.
- The lens for decision-making is united around the customer experience, and leaders and the organization are gaining clarity and strength on making those differentiated decisions.
- The leadership team is leading by example. Goals are set and aligned. Priorities!
The “Pay-It Forward” Question
I ask all my guests this one: What do you know now that you wish you knew then? If you’re listening to any episode and are earlier in your career (or new to CCO work), this question is designed to give you context on how to grow in a role. Camille noted:
- Just having passion IS NOT ENOUGH. You can’t overcome operational and organizational gaps, data requirements and build new skill sets required with just passion.
- You must have top-down support and engagement to make true change occur.
- You must lead with a true strategy that is aligned throughout the organization and connects to the operation and business goals.
- You need dedicated people because this work requires new skill sets to be embedded in the organization.
- Don’t give up! Learn to deliver the message differently as needed, depending on your audience.
- Put the customer’s’ voice in the ear of your leaders – make sure they regularly listen to customers.
Give the whole episode a listen. Camille is great. We’ll be back Thursday with a new post, too.