Companies Lack Customer Experience Competencies

In a recent research report, we introduced the Four Core Customer Experience Competencies:

  • Compelling Brand Values
  • Purposeful Leadership
  • Employee Engagement
  • Customer Connectedness

To help companies identify their strengths and weaknesses across these components, we created a 20 question assessment for this competency model. In recent research report The Current State Of Customer Experience, we examined data from 144 large North American firms that completed the assessment. Here’s some of what we found:

Companies have a long way to go to master all four competencies. They performed the poorest in Compelling Brand Values, where 61% of firms ended up with “poor” or “very poor” ratings. Only 44% of companies ended up with “very good” or “okay” ratings in the highest performing area, Purposeful Leadership.

The results from that assessment also showed that only 3% of these companies are what we call “Customer-Centric Organizations.” That leaves a lot of room for improvement for a lot of companies.

Where is your company on its customer experience journey? Download our competency assessment and use the results to gauge your strengths and weaknesses and as a topic to discuss with your peers.

The bottom line: Companies need to build customer experience competencies.

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.

3 thoughts on “Companies Lack Customer Experience Competencies”

  1. Not surprising that companies perform poorest in “compelling brand values.” In the pure ether of advertising (logos, slogans, TV ads, landing pages), brand integrity is easy to maintain. But in an operational setting, when the brand needs to be expressed in tangible form–things like human kindness, empathy, going the extra mile, commitment to service, etc–walking the branding walk can be one of the toughest things to do. I think some of these well-heeled branding czars should put in a couple of shifts in the pressure cooker of a call-center or a returns counter and see how hard it is to keep one’s branding resolve up when one is dealing with stress, anger, disappointment, insults, and/or low pay.

  2. I agree with you Michael, meaningful brand values are more than just words, they are both the words and the actions. I think Tempkin’s stats reflect the business community at large. I empathize with both the customer and those providing services, the lack of trust and integrity in today’s world lends itself to this double edged sword. Customer experience shaped values is an essential element to any corporate environment. Companies do need to build their customer competencies. Values driven actions and words breed respect and loyalty from your employees and customers. This was the topic of my post today What Are Your Corporate Beliefs?

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