Yahoo! Focus On CX Starts With Employees

Yahoo! was once the poster child of the Internet age, but the company has lost ground over the last several years. How does the company hope to turn things around? Customer Experience. According to an article in the Technology Spectator,  CEO Marissa Mayer said that Yahoo’s new strategy will focus solely on customer experience. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Ms Mayer is also set to make two internal reforms at Yahoo!. The first is a new employee goal setting system that will align goals and targets throughout the company and its various departments. The second is a pledge from Ms Mayer that the company will be more transparent in divulging board decisions on the company’s strategy to its employees. 

My take: I’m not sure that Yahoo! can succeed with a single-minded focus on customer experience. As I’ve said over-and-over again, you need to deliver the customer experience that supports your business and brand strategy. I think that Yahoo! probably needs to redefine its business and brand strategy. What does it want to be?!? After that is sorted out, customer experience can likely play an important role.

While the sequence may be off, I want to applaud Mayer for how she is attacking customer experience: employees first. Our employee engagement benchmark study shows that customer experience leaders have 2.5x the number of engaged employees. As our employee engagement virtuous cycle shows, engaged employees are an important starting point.

Hopefully Mayer will get her HR department to be actively involved. As our recent report shows, customer experience leaders have stronger support from their HR groups.

The bottom line: Engage employees to deliver the CX that will achieve your strategy

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:

One thought on “Yahoo! Focus On CX Starts With Employees”

  1. Agree with your bottom line: “Engage employees to deliver the CX that will achieve your strategy.”

    It’s great to have engaged employees, but engaged doing what? We have all visited stores where the employees were chatting with each other, having a great time. Or remember the dot com days when VC money funded perks like free lunches and games, but the business failed to provide services customers would pay form

    Surveys might show these emploee were “engaged” right up to the time their companies went out of business.

    High-level correlations of employee and customer engagement may mislead people to conclude that increasing employee engagement will drive customer engagement. It may, but only if focused properly.

    It’s also possible the effect is the other way around… engaged customers drive engaged employees. The feedback from happy customers makes employees happy so they work harder to make happy customers…

    Personally, I like the term “empowered” employees — meaning they have the skills, tools and aptitudes to provide a great experience while meeting business goals. In CustomerThink’s past loyalty research, we found customers want to deal with empowered employees, not just engaged.

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