This is the second of two articles that discuss how to hire a Chief Customer Officer. The first article focused on understanding the needs of the company – i.e. where are your business today, where do you want to be tomorrow and how fast do you want to get there. This article focuses on the individual – i.e. what type of profile should your company be hiring based on the needs that you have defined. For more information on Article 1 – click here.

Rare new breed

But isn’t a CCO just a CCO? Isn’t this a role like CFO or a CEO – well-defined with plenty of hungry candidates to choose from?

Well actually no. Companies looking to hire a CCO at the moment face two main frustrations.

Firstly, this is a new role within business and so there is a very small pool of existing talent to choose from. As a result, businesses often to go out to market and find candidates that only partially fit the profile, focusing on future potential rather than past experience.

Our recent white paper into the state of the CCO in the UK market illustrates the point:

  •  At the end of March 2017 there were only 100 CCOs in the UK.
  • Most of these CCOs come from a Marketing background, with 21% from Digital but only 2% coming from a customer services role
  • 84% of these people are new to role – i.e. only 16% of them have been a CCO before.

Secondly, the CCO role is not a well-defined job function. As seen in Part 1 of this blog, companies at different stages of maturity will require different things from the CCO role. Without a clear understanding of what kind of CCO a company needs, briefs can be misleading leading to frustrated candidates that often end up rejecting the position, or staying only for a short-time once they realise that the business is either not ready for the role, or has made promises that it cannot keep.

The Five CCO Profiles

The key to success is matching the right individual to the needs of the company. At Talecco we run one of the most active CCO networks in Europe through which we have identified five clear CCO profiles presently in the market.

The Rising Star has previously been in a Head of … role, rather than a full CCO, but is a natural internal champion for the customer and has shown enough results to be taken seriously. He/she tends to work well in small teams and is often an internal hire within very immature organisations.


The Operational Guru has come through a customer services or operations background and is the practical, “get things done” type that can roll up his/her sleeves, and build functions from scratch. They are often numbers driven and very delivery focused, so are a great fit for less mature businesses that need to “prove by doing”.

The Process Practitioner has less of a pure customer background, and may be more techie in nature. He/she understands business well and can link Ops to Tech and Commercial. Again practical in nature they tend to think about the end-to-end journeys so are more interested in larger scale programmes. They work well within companies that are mid-level on the maturity scale.


The Engagement Expert has a strong marketing, sales or digital background and is keen on selling into the heart as much as the mind. They tend to have experience of running a CX function, leading on insight and believe in the lifetime value of customers. They tend to work in businesses that are more focused on cultural change, and that are therefore high on the maturity scale.

The Group Influencer is more of a hybrid, working across business units within a larger, complex organisation. This individual needs to engage with the board, inspire the business and cajole the staff into new ways of working as they often tend to have only a small team and very limited budget to play with.

Each of these profiles offer a different set of skills to the role of the CCO. By understanding these skills and matching them against the needs of the organisation, both business and individual stand a much greater chance of success.

There is obviously a lot more detail behind the scenes in terms of building a view of the right individual for your company that cannot be covered in an article. If you are interested in knowing more about how to hire a CCO, or would like to join our CCO community, please get in touch with me at If you would like to have a free copy of our UK report on the Rise of the Chief Customer Officer in the UK, please click here.


 About Us has been set-up as the dedicated talent and resourcing business for the Customer Function. We run one of the largest and most active Chief Customer Officers communities globally and provide both talent and consulting support for companies focused in this space. For more information, please go to

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