10 Customer Experience Resolutions For 2011

For the past three years (2008, 2009, and 2010), I’ve published customer experience resolutions and it’s time to do it again. These Walt Disney quotes provide a good overview for 2011 objectives:

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
“All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.”

Many companies have customer experience efforts underway and it’s time for them to embed customer experience management into the rhythm of their business — making it a fundamental part of how their organizations operate. Here are my 2011 resolutions for companies that have the courage and resolve to get to that next level:

  1. We shall not treat all customers equally; recognizing that different groups of customer have different needs. We need to map the journey for our key segments and develop a strategy for how we treat all of their “moments of truth.” (see It’s All About Your Customer’s Journey)
  2. We shall energize our brand promoters; doing more than just fixing problems. While we must keep working to eliminate detractors, we also need to find ways to make more customers love us and encourage them to spread the word. (see A Loyalty And Satisfaction Misconception)
  3. We shall stop ignoring new customers; ensuring that they don’t get lost during — and beyond — the on-ramping processes. We can no longer think of the point of sale as the measure of our success, we need to actively guide customers to the point where they get the value that they want and expect from us. (see Customer Engagement Phase Is Completely Neglected)
  4. We shall get comfortable with text analytics; tapping into the immense volume of unstructured customer feedback data from sources like comments on surveys, inbound emails, and social media conversations. We need to let go of our over-reliance on answers to multiple-choice survey questions and extract richer insights from other forms of feedback. (see It’s Time For Text Analytics).
  5. We shall disseminate good design; getting our organization to focus on the little things like instructions, terminology, and conversational approaches that can dramatically change our customers’ experience. We need to make sure that we invest in design improvements after launching new customer-facing efforts like Websites, retail outlets, and call center scripts; hunting for and eliminating the things that make customers struggle. (see The Design Of Little Things)
  6. We shall make customer-insightful decisions; embedding insights from voice of the customer (VoC) data in the day-to-day activities af many, many more people. Our market research organizations needs to facilitate this by focusing less on creating bar charts and statistically significant findings and focusing more on getting VoC insights into the hands of people at the right time in the right form to make good decisions. (see Improve “Customer Connectedness” In 2011).
  7. We shall engage our employees; relentlessly communicating and celebrating customer-centric behavior. We need to continuously keep in mind the 4th Law Of Customer Experience: Unengaged Employees Don’t Create Engaged Customers and embed customer-centricity into how we hire, train, and promote employees.  (see Improve “Employee Engagement” In 2011)
  8. We shall clarify and embrace our brand; articulating our brand promise to customers and instilling it in the hearts and minds of our employees. We need to identify ways that we can more effectively keep those promises during every customer interaction. (see Improve “Compelling Brand Values” In 2011)
  9. We shall celebrate our progress in 2010; taking time to recognize all of the great things that we’ve accomplished and acknowledging all of the people that have helped make it happen. We need to continuously look for — and applaud — successes so that people contributing to our customer experience transformation feel good about their efforts.
  10. We shall take another step in 2011; overcoming whatever hurdles get in the  way of advancing our evolution towards becoming a customer-centric organization. Since the number one obstacle to customer experience success is “other competing priorities,” we need to keep our executive team focused on keeping this multi-year journey a top priority. (see Improve “Purposeful Leadership” in 2011)

The bottom line: Put customer experience on the top of your 2011 agenda!

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 (CXPA.org), 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: www.linkedin.com/in/brucetemkin

4 thoughts on “10 Customer Experience Resolutions For 2011”

  1. Bruce,

    Number 7 is my favorite because it’s so often overlooked. If employees aren’t engaged, you can’t deliver a great customer experience.


  2. Bruce,
    Couldn’t agree with you more on #4 and #6! In our 20 years of helping companies measure their customer satisfaction through web and phone surveys, we see all too often that the rating is the only piece of data being used to measure a successful customer satisfaction program. I hate seeing all that wonderful useful data that is hidden from their eyes going to waste. Companies need to start using that comment data and not letting it “expire”.

    Am looking forward to reading some of your other posts.

    Allen Bredeson

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