As consumers we all can recall the experiences that have left us feeling abused and mistreated by companies we have selected to give our money to. In some instances I promised to myself never to come back for more and kept my promise – I would rather go back to dial-up ISP than deal with Comcast.
According to the research of Bruce Temkin, former Forrester analyst and an authority on Customer Experience management,
In Forrester’s 2010 Customer Experience Ranking of 133 companies, Comcast came in 126th for it’s Internet business and 125th for its TV service. It also came in 105th/109th out of 114 companies in the 2008 rankings and 95th/101st out of 112 firms in the 2007 rankings.
The point of this writing is not to bash Comcast, even though it definitely deserves bashing, but to ask an important question: Does the Customer Experience (or Customer Satisfaction) really matter if in spite of its miserable scores a company like Comcast can produce healthy profits?
These financial statements show steady growth in revenues and profits over the same periods, and the numbers do not provide any evidence to support the belief that mistreatment of the customers is a good business practice.
I have posed this question to Bruce and his response
“@piplzchoice Good question. Cust exp is a long-term asset. Comcast (and others in the industry) are squandering it. It will catch up to them.”
This response is encouraging, but not entirely satisfying because it appeals to emotional belief (faith). I would prefer some empiric evidence of correlation between profitability and customer experience ratings or reputation.
I have heard about Claes Fornell of CFI Group who has done very interesting work in that field, but yet to learn more about that methodology.
To be fair, one example, particularly of a company that operates in rapidly growing market with very few competitors, does not offer any meaningful insight and I would love to find some other, more representative examples.
Woody Allen once said – “I would gladly accept existence of God if he would give me some evidence of his existence, like transferring $5M to my Swiss bank account”. Please let me know if you are aware of any definitive studies and/or methodologies that quantify and/or predict financial performance based on the Customer Experience – I am still faithful, but yearn for evidence.