Great Customer Experience Is Free, Part II

As the title of this post suggests, this is a follow-on to a previous post called “My Manifesto: Great Customer Experience Is Free” in which I drew a parallel between today’s customer experience efforts and the quality movement of the 70’s and 80’s.

My manifesto is based on a strong belief that customer experience needs as much fixing today as did quality in the 1970’s. Here’s some of what I’ve found through our research at Forrester that shapes this belief:

  • Customer experience is critical for firms... 85% of customer experience professionals (from Forrester’s Customer Experience Peer Research Panel) told us that customer experience will play a very important or critical role in their firms’ competitiveness over the next three years. And in a joint survey between Forrester and the American Banker, we found that 97% of North American banking execs see customer experience as very important or critical.
  • …but they just aren’t enjoyable to work with... We asked consumers how much they enjoyed doing business with 14 different types of firms. At the top of the list, 73% of consumers enjoy doing business with discount stores. But enjoyability drops off quickly after that — only 5 of the 14 industries are enjoyable to at least half of their customers. At the bottom of the list, less than one-third of consumers enjoy interacting with health insurers and cable TV providers.
  • … and they deliver poor experiences... Forrester applied its 57-criteria Cross-Channel Review methodology to the experiences at 16 firms – four of the largest credit card issuers, consumer electronics retailers, PC manufacturers, and wireless providers. While Dell and Circuit City received the top overall scores, none of the 16 companies received a passing grade.
  • because they lack customer experience discipline. When we asked customer experience executives to desribe their company’s overall approach to customer experience, only 11% said that they had a very disciplined approach and 31% said that they had a somewhat disciplined approach. But a total of 57% of firms said that their approach to customer experience was undisicplined.

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to join the cause. If so, here’s how you can you get involved:

  • Post your thoughts in this blog. Go ahead and tell everyone what you’re thinking. I’d like to promote a healthy dialogue.
  • Send around a link to this blog. Let’s raise awareness about customer experience by getting more people to read the manfesto.
  • Join our group on facebook. I’ve created a group on Facebook called “Customer Experience Is Free.” Join us!
  • Spread customer experience discipline. Keep everyone in your company focused on customers with an outside-in perspective. One good approach is to get people asking these three questions: Who are the target users? What are their goals? How are we helping them achieve those goals? (This is from Forrester’s concept called Scenario Design)

The bottom line: Welcome to this grassroots movement!

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.

One thought on “Great Customer Experience Is Free, Part II”

  1. Customer experience is one of the main reason I continue to do business with certain companies. It’s the reason why my personal business stays in business. I came across an interesting company called Mindshare. They focus on helping companies get back in touch with good customer service.

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