Where are Customer Experience Success Stories?

Where are CX success stories.Companies cannot control how their customers perceive their experiences with their products and services. However, they can and they must optimize their processes to deliver the best experiences from their customers perspective, profitably. Some would argue that doing this is critical to a company’s longevity.

In developed markets the quality of customer experience quickly becomes the primary competitive differentiator. Recent studies found that 90% of executives say that customer experience is central to their strategies, and 80% want to use it as a form of differentiation. The problem is that 86% of these executives do not expect to see a significant uplift in business resulting from it. As long as this is the case, nothing will change, and the customer experience mantra will remain just empty words, while their companies continue to compete on price on the race to the bottom.

This will linger on as long as business leaders put the interests of short term share traders ahead of the interests of customers, employees and investors. The focus on quarterly growth of earnings per share benefits only day traders and corporate raiders. All the while the company’s longevity is being compromised. Companies exist to serve customers profitably. The executives, that cannot see “a significant uplift in business results” from customer experience investment, should closely examine what business results they pursue and a time frame they expect the results to occur.

The business results to be expected as a return on customer experience investment made skillfully include, but not limited to:

  • increase in revenue per customer
  • growth of customer lifetime value
  • increase in their market share
  • decline in marketing costs
  • decline in customer support/service costs

However, these gains typically start to make impact on the earnings per share (EPS) two or three years after the first round of the customer experience investment was executed successfully.

Customer Experience Management (CEM or CXM) is a relatively new discipline. A Google search of the term finds the first relevant reference on the second page as the very vague Gartner definition:

” the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed customer expectations and, thus, increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”

Given the association of Gartner with the software industry, and the most of subsequent search results point to technology companies, it is easy to assume that customer experience management investment means buying and implementing technology. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, technology is never the solution to your customer experience management challenge. The solution is an investment of effort and money into the rethinking of your business processes and practices from your customer perspective. Only after this is accomplished, modeled and tested, may you want to use a technology to speed the proliferation of the results throughout the company.

Specific methodologies and best practices for successful customer experience strategy implementations are very hard to find. Each success came after multiple failed attempts and is unique to the market in which the company operates. When a company considers customer experience to be a competitive differentiator, the last thing it wants to do is to share their hard earned customer competency with their competitors. Over 90% of our clients insist on strict non-disclose conditions before we start any work with them. This experience is not unique.

That is why successful implementations of marginal technology solutions will be publicized and imitated ad nauseum. The successful implementation of customer centricity strategy may see a lot of publicity, but its specifics would always be left for public guesswork and folklore.

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11 Responses to Where are Customer Experience Success Stories?

  1. Minas Dermatis says:

    Any sales team – organization, that truly cares about its customers, should take more than seriously “Customer Experience”

  2. Kennedy Christopher Seda says:

    A society of instant gratification where most executives are focused more on daily share price and ROI than the people who work for them. The benefits of Great Customer Service don’t come to fruition fully ’till at least 2-4 years down the road and god forbid we should have to wait.But there is more to this formula and it starts with are you ready for this one, wait for it, here it comes….Happy Employees=Happy Customers

  3. Joan Sardà says:

    Great CX is not a question of plug and play what others learnt. It’s company specific and requires a customer discipline.

  4. Ganesh Jayaraman says:

    Excellent Point of View – Customer Experience Management is not about technology but rather bringing in transformation in the company culture in terms of rewarding the right people and ensuring superior empathy and responsiveness to customer feedback (formal or informal) in defined policies and processes. It will be insane to attempt a big bang approach, instead choose your top 10 strategic customer, give them superior Customer Experience and allow the best practices to trickle down

  5. Colin Devine says:

    Revolves around thinking about your customer and not about yourself. Can’t wait for a client to share their CX metric with me it seems car businesses all want instant results. Appreciate your comments on 2-3 years that’s more like it. I’m afraid a change in business process in the car business is going to be at least 2 years until the replacment comes up.

  6. Manu Neelakandhan says:

    Someone who “say” they give superior customer experience when they dont, is less worrisome. Most of them “believe” so and parade around like the emperor in new clothes. That’s frustrating, both for customers and well wishers.

  7. Kathy Doering says:

    I was just talking about this very thing the other day. Really good post and one which every CEO should read and consider. Everyone knows the stellar companies out there- Amazon is one example of how effective good customer service can be. They are the leader in their market. Many brands spend millions of dollars on advertising to get people into their stores, restaurants, etc. but don’t know exactly what the customer experiences when they DO visit. Seems odd and unfair to the stakeholders. I would also add that it starts with a company’s culture and employees. Technology is great, like you reference but in the end it is still people interacting with people that make the difference.

  8. Tinha Sethi says:

    very true about the statistics…so there is strong belief among leaders that we have to enhance customer experience but then belief in this is not much when it comes to tangible gains in business or profits due to better customer experience

  9. Kadri Kinkar says:

    Interesting post and very relevant of course! I can see the same problem – many companies try, but they struggle with realizing any financial benefits. We have started to investigate this issue in more detail with a few key hypotheses at this point (eg the fact that companies who have very clear, detailed and realistic segment-based targets for their CX initiatives seem to do better, or that sustainable financial results require continuous monitoring and frequent tweaking and adjusting of the touch points). Do you have any other key hypotheses that you think can determine the success or failure of CX management (besides people and culture which someone mentioned)?

  10. Gregory says:

    Thank you Kadri. Focus on learning who are your “best” customers – from customers point of view, not company’s. Companies sometimes differentiate their most profitable customers and it’s an excellent practice. I touch on this subject here http://blog.cx-iq.com/the-gospel-of-customer-centricity/

  11. Gregory says:

    Excellent point, Manu

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