Ten Customer Experience Resolutions For 2009

Last year I used a TS Elliot quote to introduce 2008 resolutions for customer experience. But this year, I’m using this unattributed quote that I found:

Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.

Although most companies will need to deal with an economic downturn in 2009, they can still break the habit of delivering poor customer experiences. With that in mind, here are 10 New Year’s resolutions that your company should consider making about its customer experience efforts…

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  1. We shall not let a recession take our focus away from customers
  2. We shall not let a recession eliminate our desire for innovation
  3. We shall better understand the needs of our target customers
  4. We shall solicit more, and respond quicker to, customer feedback
  5. We shall re-establish clarity in our brand, and its promises
  6. We shall create a strong sense of purpose for our employees
  7. We shall make steps towards a more customer-centric culture
  8. We shall improve the usability of all self-service interactions
  9. We shall communicate more clearly with customers across all channels
  10. We shall give customer experience the attention that it deserves
  11.  

If you’re on board for these resolutions, then chart your course on the Customer Experience Journey.

The bottom line: Put customer experience on the top of your 2009 agenda!

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 (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

9 thoughts on “Ten Customer Experience Resolutions For 2009”

  1. Bruce,
    You’ve hit the nail on the head! Since the most important asset IS the customer it only makes sense, in these downward-trending economic times, to protect and improve upon your service to them.

  2. Bruce: your blog is always in my top preferences for sources. I write in spanish language; but I always do trackback for your posts. I find a lot of inspiration in your thinking and I try to share it with my readers. Your resolutions for 2009 will be the central point of my next post. A great follower for you.

    1. José: Thanks for the postitive feedback; I’m thrilled that you find my blog so valuable! Feel free to “repurpose” any of my content. My hope is to inspire people to improve customer experience. Since your blog is in Spanish, it helps spread the word to an even larger group of people. Happy New Year!

  3. Bruce,

    I just found your blog in trying to find links on what has become the newest buzz word, ‘The Customer Experience.’ Probably because the NRF named their special pavilion that at the convention this year. They have also launched a magazine by the same name. I am dismayed by this, as somehow the high-tech industry has taken a term, which to people who care, means so much more then interactivity, electronic distractions, and closer scrutiny of the customers’ actions, which is accomplished by these new tools. Coming from the store design industry, I have learned in over 35 years of working with all sorts of retailers and with about every type of merchandise, that the customer experience is not about gadgets or how use them to find out more about what the customer will do next, it is about satisfying promises made to the customer by a retailer’s stated mission, or advertising. It usually involves getting good value for money spent, and not wasting the customers’ time. And finally, it is treating them with respect. It probably also means putting up with a demanding customer, one who has been disappointed before with other shopping experiences – yes poor previous retailer performance created that monster yelling in your face!

    The technology represented by much of the equipment touted as, improving the Customer Experience, moves the retailer even further away from the customer, using electronic gadgets as a buffer. I will repeat a quote I once heard and continue to use in my own stumping for a reality check on the subject, “Tell me again why you don’t want to hear directly from the customer?”

    I will continue to write and speak outwardly to bringing the responsibility on improving the customer experience to the level it needs, person-to-person, staff-to-customer, and clerk to buyer. Technology should only be used to improve the store’s efficiency and remain invisible.

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