Jeanne Bliss pioneered the role of the Chief Customer Officer, holding the first-ever CCO role at Lands’ End, Microsoft, Coldwell Banker and Allstate Corporations. Today, she runs CustomerBliss where she helps companies all over the world, “build their customer-driven growth engine.”

For over 20 years, Jeanne has helped business leaders connect the dots between improving their customer’s lives and increasing profitability. Jeanne is a globally recognized authority on the subject and is the author of three best-selling customer experience books, (Chief Customer Officer, Chief Customer Officer 2.0, and I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad).

Recently, I had the chance to catch up with her.

John White: In terms of customer experience, what do you see startups neglecting and what would you recommend prospective entrepreneurs do instead so they can get it right from day one?

Jeanne Bliss: The key is to find the time to think through – what will be your “marquee” moments that you alone can deliver? Deliberately craft the type of people you do and do not want serving your customers. Know and execute on your “voice” or tone in communications. These are the things that set companies apart. Yet, it takes time and the ability to find that time that is often elusive to startups.

What advice would you give to startups about scaling their customer experience?

Jeanne Bliss: When I was at Lands’ End in the early days (we were about $100 million in sales, growing forty percent a year at the time), founder Gary Comer said to us over and over again, “think small, getting bigger will take care of itself”.

What he meant was attitudinally to take care of one customer at a time, which was a critical approach for the human-centric catalog and phone service model Lands’ End was.

To read the entire interview, click over to my column on Inc.

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