CX Myth #2: You Need A 360-Degree View of Customers

CX Myths: Debunking Misleading Beliefs About Customer Experience

Many common beliefs about customer experience are misguided, based on oversimplifications or a lack of consideration for real-world constraints. In this series of posts, we debunk these myths.


CX Myth #2: You Need A 360-Degree View of Customers

What’s Wrong: If companies had an unlimited set of resources to plow into their customer insights efforts and an equally unlimited number of people prepared to take action on those insights, then shooting for a 360-degree view of your customers would be viable. But this is not the case for most organizations. So striving to understand everything about every customer (360-degree view) pushes organizations to over-invest in data and squeezes out the critical focus on taking action on the insights.

What’s Right: Organizations need to focus their insights efforts in areas where they are prepared to take action. Rather than aiming for a 360-degree view of all customers, organizations would be better served with a more targeted approach, focusing their insights investments on understanding key customer groups during specific parts of their journeys.

What You Should Do:

  • Separate the notions of Detect and Diagnose, which are two parts of the Six D’s of a Voice of the Customer Program. You can track the high-level feedback from a large number of customers (“Detect”) and then use those insights to identify areas where you should dig deeper to drive action (“Diagnose”).
  • Identify the actions that your organization is prepared or willing to take based on customer insights. This includes items across all four action loops: immediate response, corrective action, continuous improvement, and strategic change.
  • Define the target customers that you need to understand in order to support actions. This should include the type of customers and the specific stages of their journey that you’re most interested in understanding.
  • Make it as easy as possible for people across your organization to use the insights. Tailor the information to the specific ways that people in your organization make decisions. Minimize the requirement for non-analyst users to interpret and manipulate the data to uncover actionable insights.
  • Whenever you’re presenting customer insights, try not spend more than 20% of the time discussing data. Use the majority of the time talking about what the data means,  implications, opportunities for improvement, and next steps.
  • Help stakeholders across your organization understand new and more impactful ways that they can use customer insights to drive action. They may not immediately understand how to best use insights, so you may need to help them evolve through seven stages to a data-centric mindset.

The bottom line: Focus on developing the most actionable insights.

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 (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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