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 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:

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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