#44 – Watermelon problems, Behavioral Economics, and more


Welcome to the 44th edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. Watermelon problems
  2. New Net Promoter System podcast – Behavioral Econonomics
  3. Latest blog posts
  4. Notable items from other sites
  5. Looking forward
Watch out for ‘Watermelon problems’

While I was in LA last month, I spoke with the customer experience leader of a Fortune 100 company. He used a striking metaphor. He described ‘Watermelon problems’. These are situations where all of your performance indicators are superficially green. But when you dig deep into what is going on, you discover it is bright red.

Watermelons are quite common in deep relationship research with your largest customers. They arise when you only manage to speak to customer executives who have positive views about your company. The best way of ensuring you avoid this particular type of watermelon is to use the customer’s organization chart to list the decision-makers, decision-influencers, and of course the end users of your products and services. Make sure you get a representative set of responses. People who refuse to talk to you probably don’t have many positive things to say.

Watermelons are normally tasty and refreshing. In customer research, they are just the opposite.

For some reason, this story inspired my brother to think of a certain movie by Ridley Scott, starring Sigourney Weaver… As my friend Dr. Jamie Borderick said on seeing this “As a watermelon customer, no one can hear you scream.”

Drawing by Peter FitzGerald – Enjoy much more of his work in ”So Happy Here” – Available on Amazon

New Net Promoter System podcast – Behavioral Economics and CX

I recorded a series of six podcasts with Rob Markey way back in June and July. The final one just went live. Rob and I both love Behavioral Economics, and the writings of Daniel Kahneman and Dan Ariely in particular.

We cover the relevance of their work to customer experience. We give examples of when to use the ‘Peak-End’ theory, ‘Loss-aversion’, and the power of apologizing, among other things. I hope you enjoy it.

The podcast should have appeared automatically in your iTunes feed, or wherever you get your podcasts. It is also available on the Bain netpromotersystem.com/podcast page.

Our latest blog posts

Here are the latest posts. Older posts are still available on the blog page.

image The Net Promoter System® is defined and documented in one single way – Everything else is fake news

I have been trying to work out why most Net Promoter System implementation I see are missing even some basic things. The root cause, I believe, is lack of common understanding about the reference source of information about what the system actually is…

image Journey mapping – The Main Customer Experience Measurement and Improvement Systems – Part 7

This is the final article in a series of seven about CX measurement and improvement systems. I hope you have enjoyed them, and that you learned at least a little.…

image The main customer experience measurement and improvement systems – Part 6 – Proprietary systems

Various consulting companies propose proprietary measurement systems. Your company may have its own composite metric too. The Temkin Group, for example, has both the Temkin Loyalty Index and the Temkin Experience Rating. They are useful examples…

Notable customer experience items from other sites

Promoter.io – 13 Hopeful (but absurd) Customer Success Predictions for 2018

Yes, we occasionally get a good laugh. Dana Severson wrote this list to bring in the new year at Promoter.io. (You may remember them as among the first companies that provided technology to allow embedding of the NPS rating question directly in outbound feedback requests.) Personally, my favorite prediction is number 11. There are one or two I don’t understand, but maybe this is because I am not American. The predictions are here.

Quora – Useful from time to time

I regularly read and contribute to some topics on Quora. It is a site with a general principle: you have to ask a question. About half the time, the questions are asked and immediately answered by people who are trying to sell something. The other half tend to be more useful. Among others, I follow the Net Promoter Score feed, and the Customer Experience feed. Why not have a look?


Looking forward

I have been invited to be the chairperson for a January 30th public webcast about AI and its importance for customer experience. More details next week!

It is still January and there is still time to think about your professional goals for 2018. What about doing something for your customers? But what? Our books can help! Here are links to each on Amazon.com. If you use a different country site, you can just open the link, then edit .com to .co.uk, .de or whatever:

Customer Experience Strategy – Design & Implementation

Net Promoter – Implement the System

Customer-centric Cost Reduction

“So Happy Here”: The Absurdist but Essential Guide to Better Business (Color edition)

“So Happy Here”: The Absurdist but Essential Guide to Better Business (Black & White edition)

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