Greetings From Forrester’s Finance Forum In New York

Today was the first day of Forrester’s 10th annual Finance Forum. It was great to see a robust crowd again this year — over 500 people in attendance. Bill Doyle and Harley Manning did a great job as the forum hosts. Harley used a short video to showcase some great moments from previous Finance Forums and Bill used a version of “Seasons Of Love” from Rent (with new lyrics about our previous ten years) as part of his discussion about the agenda. Really fun start to the Finance Forum!

This year’s event is centered around my research on Experience-Based Differentiation. Given the topic, it’s probably not such a big surprise that I was the opening keynote speaker. The theme of my presentation was that…

Customer experience is a production

I openened my speech with some movie clips — got some laughs showing some really bad customer experiences. Then I introduced the metaphor that customer experience is like a film production. Customer interactions, like scenes in a movie, won’t consistenty turn into magical moments unless the entire producton crew — those in front of the camera and those behind the camera — are all working together. Your front-line employees (the “actors”) can’t do it all on their own. 

I also brought in sound clips from several movie characters to “help” deliver my material. My favorite was Morpheus (from The Matrix) — he’s a wise man! I used the following quote of his to help motivate the audience to head towards Experience-Based Differentiation

 “Sooner or later you’re going to realize, just as I did, there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

As a part of my speech, I also previewed results from a joint survey between Forrester Research and American Banker that looked at customer experience in North American banks. I’ll be publishing my first round of research from that survey on the Forrester Website tomorrow — the same day that American Banker highlights the results in a special Retail Delivery supplement. So, I’ll write more about that tomorrow. 

Written by 

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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