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'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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