Customer Experience Grows Up

In a recent Webinar called The Current State Of Customer Experience, I made the point that customer experience is in its early days of maturity. To get a sense of this situation, I’ve pulled together a few key datapoints:


People have been talking about customer experience for a while, but they’ve only been doing something about it for a short period of time. So I expect that many organizations will start moving higher on Forrester’s customer experience maturity model.

The bottom line: The best of customer experience is yet to come

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I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

10 thoughts on “Customer Experience Grows Up”

  1. Thanks Bruce, great data. It would seem logical that the current economic environment will continue to drive this up on the sr executive agenda. At a time when there are less dollars available for purchasing goods and services, those that offer a differentiated experience will outperform those that don’t.

    In our most recent study with CMO Council (Giving Customer Voice more Volume), we found that while 80% believe customer experience is important to business performance and 67% said that customer listening improves the customer experience, on 25% have a formal voice of the customer program.

    We have a long way to move from awareness to action.

  2. Bruce – Seems like a strong upward trend which is great, but I was wondering if you have seen any quantifiable results from those that were early adopters to this idea and have had a senior executive and formal procedures in place for a while?

  3. Great – I will keep up to see if you do add it. Like most things at some point I tend to think the question will be asked about quantifying the return on having a senior executive position dedicated to this. In fact if I was the executive, I would be thinking about that very early in my tenure.

    1. James: I’ve advocated for companies to think about a Chief Customer Officer (or any related position) to be a temporary one that is focused on customer experience transformation. Any company which is undergoing a transformation needs dedicated leadership for that effort. So the question for me is simple, is your company trying to transform it’s customer relationships? If so, the effort needs a leader. This is also true for any type of cross-organization transformational effort that might be underway.

  4. It is definitely one of those cases where if you are the Exec and you really get it right, you work yourself right out of a job because what you are advocating has become part of the company’s cultural fabric. The key return is more along the lines of exceptional customer experience across all touch points earns customer loyalty and loyal customers reduce churn and provide a higher customer revenue value. Would you agree?

    1. James: I agree. Ultimately, once customer experience “grows up,” then it becomes part of the company fabric. So there’s no need for a separate focus in this area. My guess is that anyone who successfully leads their company towards customer-centricity (and out of a job) will be sought after for many other great opportunities.

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