Customer-Centricity at Marriott: Roy Barnes on What It Means To Be a Chief Customer Advocate

About this Podcast...

While Marriott’s former Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and later as Senior Vice President for Customer Experience Development Roy Barnes is a big fan of process effectiveness and efficiency, Barnes is an even bigger fan of maintaining a balance between the four competing interests of financial results, customer delight, and process effectiveness and employee engagement. Companies that can maintain an appropriate balance of these elements over the long term become great brands. Marriott figured out the elusive balance between operating effective business processes and enabling employees to the freedom to do their very best work. If an organization is willing to spend the time to get their processes right with the understanding that they are building those processes to be “finished” and delivered by bright, motivated people, they will crack the code on great customer service.

Most companies aren’t run by the CEOs or even senior management. Most companies are run by the people who show up every day to push the mission and vision forward. It is the employees, their interest, heart and engagement that drives customer satisfaction…in all but a handful of circumstances, it is the human side of company/customer interaction that proves the difference. Proof ultimately is in the numbers. It is in the levels of satisfaction and engagement that a company’s customers have that drive financial performance in the long term. At Marriott, Barnes was able to quantitatively prove the value of customer engagement to the profitability of the business. If you can, this is job one for the chief customer advocate. In this podcast Barnes talks about his time with Marriott and the new ideas for his new company Blue Space Consulting.

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