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The Paradox of Today’s Customer Experience efforts
Earlier this week Temkin Group, a customer experience research firm, released a very interesting report titled, “Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2012.” The research was conducted in November and December of 2011 with results from 210 respondents from companies of more that $500 million or more in annual revenues. Focusing on their company’s customer experience results and future plans, there were a few very interesting nuggets in there that they have kindly permitted me to share here.
1. Company’s Customer Experience efforts underperform relative to their plans. Since this was an update of a study that was also conducted in 2010 we see that there was a significant negative-gap in what companies planned to achieve in 2011, vs. what they reported they actually achieved a year later.
2. Most companies seem to be focused on measuring, not improving. The majority of the respondents rate themselves as excellent or good in the area of customer insight & analytics. But the area rated lowest is “Employee communications and engagement.” Driving improvement in the customer experience REQUIRES that employees – especially those on the “font line” that are directly involved critical customer-touchpoints – be bought-in and engaged in the effort. By the way, not surprisingly the respondents here also report that their performance in actually running a “VoC Program” fell year-over-year.
I can’t help but to reference Stephen Covey, who famously tells us to “begin with the end in mind.” There’s no point in churning out analysis and reports without a clear set of business objectives, success measurements, and roadmap. Look for models from other companies that have done this successfully (here’s one or two to get started). The take-away in my mind is simple: Don’t hide behind data – get out and talk to people and use your data to tell a powerful business story.