Is EBD Controversial? I Hope So

There was an article by Alan Cane in the Financial Times earlier this week called “IT nears its limits on customer satisfaction” that focused on my Experience-Based Differentiation (EBD) research (see my previous blog post for more on this concept). 

It was interesting to see the research positoned as controversial as it was. Here’s an excerpt:

“So when Bruce Temkin of the US-based consultancy Forrester stirred the pot recently with an article in which he lambasted vendors for mediocre customer service and advocated what he called Experience-Based Differentiation (EBD) the CRM industry sat up and took note.”

I’m not sure that I actually “lambasted” anyone in the research, but I don’t mind the way that EBD was positioned. Why not? Because EBD is meant to challenge the customer experience status quo — which is pretty bad in some cases. So it should make many execs feel uncomfortable! Maybe that’s a required first step on the way to recovery from poor customer experience (Do we need to start a chapter of PCEA — Poor Customer Experience Annonymous?).

Thank you Alan for letting your readers know about EBD — and for stirring up the pot a little bit!

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I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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