The Chief Customer Officer: Customer Service Experience Is Now Part of the C-Suite

To be effective, customer service must go all the way to the top. It’s something I’ve been saying for a long time, and it’s catching on. In many companies, there is now a seat at the boardroom table for the Chief Customer Officer. The CCO has an important job – ensuring that everything the company does is focused on the customer, from the front line to processes behind the scenes that support the front line customer experience. This includes the obvious areas of customer service and customer experience, as well as a few not-so-obvious areas.

So what is the CCO responsible for within the management of the company? Who reports to the CCO, and who does the CCO report to? Depending on the company, there are varied responsibilities, but I think there are a few obvious ones. In my mind, there three important areas of focus for the CCO: culture, systems and customer advocacy.

As far as the culture of the company, it is the underlying basis for becoming customer-focused. Customer service and experience must be woven throughout the fabric of the entire company. Either a company is completely customer focused or it is not, and this comes through in the philosophy and vision of the company, and in how employees are hired and trained.

The systems that the company has in place encompass different types of work in different departments, and the CCO’s job is to ensure that all the systems are customer-focused and that everyone is working together in a unified way. It is the CCO’s responsibility to question the company’s systems and processes to align them in the direction of customer service. The CCO must constantly ask one basic question:

Is this a customer-focused decision?

Of course, this will lead to other questions and discussion. The idea is to challenge every aspect of the company to keep the focus on the customer. And this means everything – new products, policies, software, accounting programs – every part of the company should be reviewed to make sure it meets the requirement of being customer-focused.

The third area of responsibility is customer advocacy. The CCO manages the “Voice of the Customer,” reviewing and interpreting both direct customer feedback and data analysis. This involves an understanding of both the business and the customer to be able to sift through the data and ascertain the important elements.

The Chief Customer Officer must have access to all aspects of the company and a voice in the boardroom, asking the right questions and keeping the company focused. He or she must also be an advocate for the customer. It’s a balancing act between how a company operates and what a customer expects. An effective CCO creates a sense of harmony between the company and the customer.

New Bubble Rising: Sub-Prime Auto Loans

In the fall of 2007, the economic meltdown in America began, and proceeded to go sideways in a series of domino-like events. Yet before the crash, word on the street spread quickly as a real-estate buying frenzy took flight like never before. “Get it while you can” went viral, and those who otherwise would not qualify for a loan, took full advantage. Sadly, after a few years, everything changed; going from bad to worse as untold numbers of Americans started losing their homes to foreclosure.

Banking practices dubbed “foreclosure-gate” and “fraudclosure” were put under the microscope. On the front end, Americans started to find out that realtors had been racking up huge commissions and under-the-table lender bonuses while many back-end mortgage brokers turned a blind eye to underwriting documentation of inflated income levels, fake home appraisals, etc.

The rest is history.

Eventually, a larger deception was exposed; the financial industry well-understood there would be a high percentage of sub-prime-loan defaults and that they stood to profit either way. Despite this growing awareness that sub-prime loans were simply another profit center for the financial sector and not the little guy; in 2014, nothing but the names have changed!

Wall Street bankers carry on and the government continues to permit sub-prime loans only now under the guise of auto loans. The title of this October 7, 2014 article says it all, “The new sub-prime is in auto loans: One third of all new auto loans are of the sub-prime variety.” Repossessions are up 70 percent. It goes on to say,

“What is telling here is that much of this debt growth has occurred under the umbrella of recovery. If things are going so well, then why are so many loans being made to those with bad credit?”

Good point! Almost exactly four years ago on ABC News Today, the then Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, said (referring to housing foreclosures) that there does not seem to be any “underlying systemic problems,” while referring to his review of foreclosure-documentation-issues of specific lenders and banks who might not have followed the rules. Yet his “bad apple” approach could not be farther from the truth. The growth of sub-prime auto loans along with the inevitable rise in repossessions is nothing more than the last gasps of a broken debt-burdened financial system: a vampire-like, self-serving attempt to survive at the expense of its victims.

Baby Boomers find themselves in the most vulnerable position for taking on new debt given all they lost in the 2007-8 economic debacle and their dwindling time to replace it. The best advice, for all in this economy is to get out of debt and increase your number of revenue streams. That is, if you do not want to become another New-Normal statistic. It is all about getting re-inspired by finding and implementing age-appropriate cash-flow activities to ensure later-years financial well-being Reinspirementâ„¢, not retirement, is the key to the economic times we live in.

How To Become An Efficient Debt Collector

Debt collectors are much sought after by many different kinds of businesses. You can become a debt collector and you can operate from office or from home. The most important incentives for a money collection business owner is finding debtors and obtaining customers. Here are a few tips to become an efficient debt collector.

Experience and professional organizations

It is vital that you work within a money collection agency, to begin with, before you can start your own company. Aside from that, on-the-job training will also be provided to you. There are many international organizations that provide training. Debt collectors usually initiate contact by letter, emails, and by telephone. They offer credit contracts, and terms of service and sales. They also try to understand why there is a delay in the payments. Once a customer agrees to make the payments, debt collectors record the agreement. Money collectors check with the post office, the telephone companies, hospitals, department stores, etc. Some collectors work directly for banks, hospitals, and department stores.

Training required

Money collectors at least require having a high school diploma. Many employers prefer those applicants, who have some college training and some customer experience. Most employers give online training to the money collectors. Some money collectors get their certifications from top international organizations. You could also get some offline training in the field. Job prospects in the field should be highly favorable to those, who have the right qualifications and the right kind of work experience. If you want to become a money collector, you would also need to consider the kind of prospects it can have for you. Patience, judgment, motivation skills, etc. are very important for a person to become a debt collector.

Prospects as a debt collector

The employment of money collectors is expected to grow much faster as compared to the average professions. The job prospects should be favorable especially for those collectors, who have extensive experience. There will be many job openings for money collectors this year. It is important to think about what it takes and what is actually involved. A career as a money collector is an excellent choice for those, who are outgoing, and have an interest in oral communications and social skills. If you are seriously thinking of becoming a collector, then you would need to enrol in a college and get a career in the field immediately after that.

Is Payday Lending the Right Choice?

There are many people who find themselves in significant financial straits and do not know what to do about the situation. If such a person learns about payday loans through an online search or by driving past a storefront with a sign advertising this type of loan, a quick decision to pursue this type of getting fast money might be made. It is a frequent occurrence that a person applies for this type of loan without doing due diligence about the negative consequences. Local Credit Unions would recommend that other sources of obtaining some financial relief. Prior to applying for a payday loan, one needs to learn the pertinent facts about the loan.

BIG FEES WILL BE ATTACHED TO A PAYDAY LOAN

Most people are aware that any loan will have interest and require proof of income. However, one needs to know that the interest on a payday loan can come in at anywhere from 24 to 39% which adds up to a lot of money that one already doesn’t have available. Even if one lives in a state that has put a cap on payday loan interest rates, interest is still high. A person who gets this type of loan might not be able to pay it back on his/her next payday and extends the loan. When this situation occurs, interest fees have to be paid again. In addition, there are several high fee “administrative” fees for the loan that will have to be paid. It can happen that people who become involved with a payday loan find themselves seeking one payday loan to pay off another, the situation spirals out of control and financial ruin looms in the near future.

SIGNIFICANT FACTS TO REMEMBER

Those who get a loan fully intend to repay the debt. However, when one has a payday loan, it is to be paid by the next payday. However, one must remember that there are other bills to pay, food and gas to buy and the funds for the loan payment may not be there to repay the loan. For these reasons, one can become involved in a vicious cycle of trying to find more cash streams to meet all financial obligations. Such a cycle seems never ending until the outcome may have to be a bankruptcy filing. Declaring bankruptcy is something that most people want to avoid.

Dealing with the horrible cycle of debt will have an effect on the whole family. Worry becomes constant and the bill collection calls, letters and threats can result in overwhelming stress that can cause depression and other medical problems. Some people become unable to work and unable to take action or seek help to solve the financial problems. If people are fully informed about the negative ramifications of payday loans, they should be able to avoid this solution to lack of money.

OTHER OPTIONS FOR FINANCIAL HELP

Local Credit Unions would suggest that people having financial problems consider getting a low or no interest credit card that can be paid down gradually when household obligations are met. In addition, people should talk with representatives of local Credit Unions regarding any programs that they might offer that could help with family financial issues. Most of these agencies offer both secured and unsecured loan packages. In addition, one will find that payments and interest rates with credit unions are typically lower than with other financial institutions. It is in the best interest of anyone to avoid becoming involved with a payday loan and investigate the other avenues of procuring the needed money to assist with finances. There are viable alternatives to the highly advertised payday loan.