Henry Kissinger said, "The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been." This year's 1to1 Customer Champions are doing just that. Their enthusiasm to improve the customer experience, and their willingness to try new tactics for organizational adoption, underscores why they were chosen as exemplary leaders who drive their companies' customer experience forward.
Take Gina Bruzzichesi, senior vice president of strategic customer leadership and customer care at Avis Budget Group. She celebrates employees' success through innovative programs. Ramon Icasiano, vice president for player advocacy and service at Zynga, connects game developers with the players for greater insight. And Mark Krolick, managing director of MileagePlus Marketing at United Continental Holdings, revolutionized the airline's loyalty program.
Successful leaders have a vision of how to move their customer experiences forward and these Customer Champions are no exception. But it's not enough to have a vision; leaders must also share it with the organization and ensure everyone's acting on it. The 2012 1to1 Customer Champions understand the tactics, processes, and strategies needed to achieve their vision for a customer-centric organization.
In addition to successfully implementing their customer experience visions, these champions have another characteristic in common: the ability to listen. Thomas Martin, director of corporate development at Downtown Decorations, reviewed customer feedback dating back to 1999 to help improve the quality of the company's products. And Shelly Stotzer, executive vice president and CMO of Highlights for Children, implemented a voice-of-the-customer program with the aim of helping everyone in the organization to understand customer needs.
Whether it's a customer feedback program or an initiative to surprise and delight customers, these 1to1 Customer Champions prove that innovation combined with solid leadership deliver results. We salute their efforts and wish them continued success.