Oracle’s Chief Customer Officer talks: Don’t change your culture – use it

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As Chief Customer Officer for Oracle, Jeb Dasteel is responsible for driving company-wide customer focus and improving satisfaction and loyalty for their 400,000 customers.

In this interview, we ask Jeb how he is utilizing Oracle’s data-driven culture to benefit customers and how CCOs can really make a difference to their organization.

TotalCustomer: When you started at Oracle back in 1998, it has been said that the culture was ‘engineering-oriented’. How did you approach the transformation to become more customer-focused?

JD: Yes, Oracle is a very engineering-oriented and data-driven organization. People often ask me how we change the culture at Oracle to be more customer-centric. My response is that it’s not about changing the culture; it’s  about applying the culture we have to solving problems. To create more customer centricity, what we do is play into the engineering discipline and our competitive zeal. We do this by presenting data – lots of data – that isimmediately actionable. Data and supporting customer anecdotes are constantly presented to the business. That combined customer input is the foundation for all of our customer centricity efforts.

Oracle 1 Quote

TotalCustomer: Customer loyalty is a particular focus for companies now as it is five times more expensive to acquire customers than retain them – what has made the biggest difference to customer retention at Oracle?

JD: When we look at all of our customer feedback, we identify the characteristics of the business that correlate most closely with overall satisfaction and loyalty. Invariably, those characteristics include customer perceptions of value realized for their business, how well Oracle is viewed as a trusted advisor, and how well we understand the customer’s business and place what we do for the customer into that context. We constantly work on these three things. When the needle moves for them, it moves for overall loyalty and retention.

TotalCustomer: Oracle is a market leader in Big Data analytics, how are you harnessing the power of Big Data internally to improve the customer experience?

JD: We apply Big Data principles and our own technology to examine the massive amounts of customer feedback and related operational data we have.  The analytics are what points us to the incremental changes that consistently improve customer experience.

Oracle 2 quote

TotalCustomer: How have you managed the link between customer focus and business results? What quantifiable improvements have you seen as a result of Oracle’s cultural transformation?

JD: As I suggested before, I don’t see any of this as a cultural transformation. The unique traits in our culture help us to be more customer-focused. It’s intuitively obvious to Oracle that if we help our customers to be more successful in their businesses, they will be more satisfied. If they are more satisfied, they will be more loyal. And loyalty means retention and ultimately future revenue for Oracle.  It also means that customers are increasingly willing to advocate for us. And, to come full circle, when the customers who advocate for us can do so by telling stories about how we helped them to be successful, that’s where the magic is.

Oracle 3 quote TotalCustomer: What is your top piece of advice for those starting out as Chief Customer Officers? How can they make a difference to their organisations?

1. Create a foundation for all of your customer centricity efforts by putting a comprehensive feedback program in place.

2. Establish a clear, universal customer segmentation strategy and apply that to everything you do.

3. Don’t try to change your company culture; use it.

4. Personally get VERY engaged with customers. There’s no substitute for firsthand knowledge and experience.

 

This interview was conducted in association with the Chief Customer Officer Connect taking place on 15th-17th June 2015 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami.

To request an invitation to attend, email: julie.coates@terrapinn.com

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