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Oracle News | March 22, 2016

Lessons from the Road to Customer Centricity

By: Jeb Dasteel | Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, Oracle

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We hear a lot about customer-centric and customer-obsessed organizations; but what exactly does customer centricity mean in today’s digital economy?

While there is no single answer, it is a fundamental question that we at Oracle focus on daily. Just as markets, industries, and organizations continue to evolve, so, too, must our ideas about placing the customer in the center of our business.

Since Oracle’s founding, the market and our customers have changed immensely. Ask a customer about their view of Oracle, and you may well hear “competitive.” You’re equally likely to hear “great products, great vision, and our most strategic technology partner.” Oracle is all of the above. The company is constantly innovating and pushing the envelope in one of the most competitive industries on the planet. As such, we must also be truly customer-centric.

Reggie Bradford, senior vice president of product development at Oracle, recently shared 10 technology-oriented priorities for customer-obsessed companies. His Forbes OracleVoice piece looked at how “the technology triumvirate that helped usher in the customer economy—mobile, social, and cloud—is also fundamental to creating such a customer-obsessed corporate culture.”

Reggie’s observations in terms of priorities are spot on, in my opinion. They also complement some of the broader lessons that we at Oracle have learned from our own journey toward customer obsession. These lessons range from the philosophical to the tactical.

Key Takeaways: The Oracle Customer Success Journey

  • Use the products and services you deliver—be your own best customer and build what you learn back into those products and services.
  • Communicate early and often that you will protect customer investments forever—and especially for acquired products.
  • Evolve and expand offerings in the context of a single, differentiated, and easy-to-articulate strategy .Be clear about how the strategy creates value for your customers—and communicate that constantly.
  • Orchestrate your account-level strategy and tactics to align with the customer’s business objectives, using the customer’s language and metrics.
  • Put equal emphasis on your business objectives and your customers’ attainment of their business objectives.
  • Place particular focus on the ease of doing business. This is especially important given today’s unique economics.
  • Align employee engagement and customer engagement efforts by showing your employees how their actions affect customers—positively and negatively.
  • Apply one common issue-resolution process and address underlying themes at the root.

Broadcast across your organization how you are achieving your customers’ objectives.

A company is only as successful as its least successful customer. We are committed to this as a foundation of our business—which drives our focus on continually evolving and refining our approach to customer success. The Age of the Customer is here to stay. Establish your foothold. Be an innovator. We’ll walk beside you on your quest toward achieving true customer engagement.

 

Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, Oracle

Jeb Dasteel is senior vice president and chief customer officer at Oracle. He is responsible for driving customer focus into all aspects of Oracle’s business. In this capacity, Dasteel serves as a customer advocate and works with the Oracle organization to develop and deliver customer programs that increase customer retention, value delivered, satisfaction, and loyalty. He has been with Oracle for 16 years in a number of corporate and field-based roles. Prior to joining Oracle in 1998, Dasteel worked as an IT strategy and business consultant at Gemini Consulting, helping Fortune 500 organizations define and implement IT strategies that supported their business objectives.

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