What’s On My 2009 Research Agenda?

First of all, Happy New Year (or bonne année, xin nian kuai le, prost Neujahr, felice anno nuovo, akemashite omedetô, shana tova, etc.)!

I often get asked about my research agenda (at Forrester Research). As I did in a post last year, I’m going to take a look back at my research before I look ahead to my 2009 agenda.

I really enjoyed my last year’s research. And it was particularly gratifying to see that Forrester clients also liked what I published. I was the most-read Forrester analyst again in 2008, my readership was more than 30% higher than the next analyst on the list. Here are my 20 most-read research reports from last year:

  1. Young Gen Yers: Fun-Loving, Social, And Wired
  2. The Business Impact Of Customer Experience
  3. Obstacles To Customer Experience Success, 2008
  4. The Customer Experience Journey
  5. The Experiences That Satisfy Consumers
  6. Experience-Based Differentiation
  7. The Gen Y Design Guide
  8. A Closer Look At Customer Experience And Loyalty
  9. The Customer Experience Index, 2007
  10. Customer Experience Innovation In Three Steps
  11. The Strength Of Customer Relationships
  12. How Consumers Research, Buy, And Get Service
  13. The Chief Customer/Experience Officer Playbook
  14. Eight Steps For Keeping Customer Experience Momentum During An Economic Downturn
  15. Online Consumers Go Across Channels
  16. Lessons Learned From 1,001 Web Site Reviews
  17. The Customer Experience Index, 2008
  18. Gen Y Is Truly Different; Design Accordingly
  19. Banks’ Cross-Channel Experience, 2008
  20. Customer Relationship Snapshot: Banks

My 2009 Research Agenda

My core focus is to dramatically improve the customer experiences that large organizations deliver. This encompasses three core components: 1) Insights into what drives consumers; 2)  Best practices for designing good experiences; and 3) Enterprisewide programs for creating a customer-centric DNA

Based on these core elements and the response to my 2008 research, here are the research themes that I’m planning to focus on in 2009:

  • Experience-Based Differentiation (EBD). This “big idea” continues to resonate with most people who hear it. EBD requires firms to take multi-year enterprisewide transformation journeys. So I will focus on best practices across the three principles of EBD and identify ways for firms to measure their progress towards EBD.
  • Managing in a recession. I’ll continue my focus on helping organizations navigate through these difficult economic times; without losing focus on customer experience.
  • Voice of the customer (VoC). This is an element of EBD, but I’m breaking it out separately since it is so important. I’ll look into how firms can better infuse the VoC into their efforts.
  • Cross-channel experience design. I’ll keep looking at multi-channel best practices. Several other members of Forrester’s customer experience research team and I will be publishing our annual “Best & Worst Of” series that looks at Web, phone, email, IVR, and agent experiences across 4 industries.
  • The Customer Experience Index (CxPi). I definitely plan to issue redo CxPi in 2009. In addition, I’ll be taking a closer look at that data to drive even deeper insights into how customer experience drives consumer behavior.
  • Designing for Gen Y. Our Gen Y research remained very popular this year. So I will continue to help companies apply the principles we defined in the “Gen Y Design Guide.”

Here are some research reports that are already in the works for early this year (subject to change):

  • The Link Between Customer Experience And Loyalty. Im already doing the analysis to repeat research from last year (The Business Impact Of Customer Experience); looking at the connection between customer experience and loyalty (and how it has changed) across 12 industries. Here’s a sneak peak: Customer experience has bcome even more important during the recession.
  • Obstacles To Customer Experience Success, 2009. I will once examine data from customer experience professional about their outlook for customer experience in 2009.
  • Voice Of The Customer Best Practices. I’ll look at the trends and best practices in developing a voice of the customer program.
  • The Strength Of Customer Relationships. I’ll once again examine how customer loyalty varies across 12 industries as well as looking at how loyalty differs across large firms within each of those industries.
  • Satisfaction With Web, Phone, and In-Person Experiences. I’ll examine how satisfied consumers are with different types of experience across 12 industries as well as looking at how satisfaction differs across large firms within each of those industries. 
  • Customer Experience Index Snapshot: Retailers. I’ll be publishing a snapshot on all 12 industries in the 2008 Customer Experience Index. I’ve already published about banks and wireless carriers and retailers are next on the list.

The bottom line: I’m looking forward to this research — hopefully you are too!

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.

4 thoughts on “What’s On My 2009 Research Agenda?”

  1. Hi Bruce, Happy New Year to you too! Just ‘discovered’ your blog recently and love the content and point of view. I am also looking forward to your 2009 research, having just read the orginal Experience Based Differentiation paper.

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