#17 – Blog reactions, measurement and emotion, relationship between CX and revenue


Welcome to the 17th edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. Reactions to my post on the work of the customer experience leader
  2. Measurement and emotion
  3. Latest blog posts
  4. Notable items from other sites
  5. More book reviews – thank you

Reactions to my blog post and LinkedIn article on the work of the CX leader

I wrote up my thoughts on the work of the Chief Customer Officer or customer experience leader in a blog post on Tuesday. It is at the top of the list of three blog posts below. I also posted an almost identical article on LinkedIn the same day. I was surprised to discover that this is the most popular topic I have written about since writing about the non-relationship between employee and customer satisfaction.

Based on comments on LinkedIn and emails I have received, I feel I should clarify one point. Yes, all companies of all sizes should have a person who is explicitly in charge of customer experience. Unless you only have a few employees, this should generally not be the CEO. There are exceptions to the CEO rule. For example, the Telstra CEO in Australia is clearly passionate about customers and appears to talk about customer feedback almost as much as financial performance. If you go to the Telstra website, you will see that some business unit managers also have the title Chief Customer Officer for that business unit. The position does not need to be full-time, but it does need to be explicit.

I do have an open question about people with titles like Chief Customer Officer. Can they really be credible if there is no way for customers to contact them directly? I feel it is a sanity check. If you see a person with that job title listed on a company website, is there at least an email address associated with the name? Yes, you can guess email addresses in many cases, but why should you have to? If you are a company customer experience leader and are visible on your company website, how about at least setting up a second email address for people who want to contact you directly?

 Measurement and emotion

Semi-official speed traps are quite common around where I live. The most common example is small villages on straight roads who put up automatic signs that indicate your speed. Most, but not all, also display a smiley emoticon if you are under the speed limit, and an unhappy face if you are over the speed limit. There is no follow-up, so you know you will not be fined, no matter how quickly you drive. My own reaction mirrors what behavioral economists have found: I always try to get a nice green smiley face to appear. I surprised myself this morning when I saw a new speed trap that showed that I was driving slightly too quickly. There was no unhappy face. I just kept on going at the same speed.

The reason I am writing about this is that I believe the same applies to reporting of customer experience metrics. Why not try associating happy or unhappy faces with your scores when you are reporting them inside or outside your company? Be selective. Nobody will pay any attention to a report that only has unhappy faces. Many other things matter when you are trying to communicate results effectively, but almost nobody tries to include emotion. Try it and see!

Our latest blog posts

Older posts are of course still available on the blog page.

image Here is how to think about the work of the customer experience leader or Chief Customer OfficerI would like to propose a way of thinking about the work of the customer experience leader. It has four elements: Core work Supporting work Coordinating work Strategic work. I also cover the work for which the CX leader is not responsible.
image Virgin Atlantic and how to over-recover Detractors

All of this talk about the United Airlines customer experience fiasco reminded me of the opposite experience Virgin once gave a colleague… Don’t be afraid to over-recover Detractors. Note that my former DEC colleague has just confirmed that all of what follows is 100% true……

image I suppose it all started in a bathtub in 1981

A story about my first great learning experience about customer research. If you think you already know what customers want, you are probably wrong. At the time, was was working for the Wrangler jeans parent company in Paris. My job title was ‘Quality and Engineering manager”. My boss, meanwhile, was in his bathtub…

Notable customer experience items from other sites

Forrester blog post on the relationship between customer experience scores and revenue

One of my favorite subjects is the mathematical relationship between improved customer experience performance and financial results. Laura Garvin Tramm has blogged about this for Forrester. Now, Forrester is of course trying to promote the use of their composite ‘Customer Experience Index’. Nevertheless, the way Laura documents it all is interesting, though I think she misses one critical point. She says Forrester has found three relationships: linear, decreasing returns, and increasing returns. Decreasing returns, for example, means that as CX scores improve, there is an a less than proportional improvement in company revenue. The point she misses completely is competitive comparisons. What matters most is relationship between your CX trend and that of your key competitor. I don’t have access to Laura’s data, but suspect the three different relationships she found are in fact due to performance of a key competitor. Laura’s blog post is here.

CustomerThink article on how to measure relationship between CX and financial outcomes

In the same general subject area, Dr. Howard Lax has written a nice and detailed article for CustomerThink. He outlines the factors that are worth taking into account, and expresses surprise that so few companies do so. He discusses the links to various types of outcomes, both financial and those related to customer behavior. The article is worth the few minutes it will take you to read it and is here.

Thank you again for the kind book reviews

“Working directly within the Customer Experience field highlights to me what a gem of a book, and the other two in this series, truly are.”

“A really good book, both for experienced customer experience professionals and for those who are getting into the customer experience field for the first time.”

Reviews do not seem to cascade between Amazon sites, so what you see locally may vary. If you have read any of the books, please write a few sentences to review them, no matter what you think of them. All feedback helps us to learn, and of course helps visibility and sales on Amazon. By now most of you should know that we do not have annoying subscription or other popups on our website, and you should believe us when we say that we do not ghost write any reviews. You can visit my Amazon author’s page here. Links to the reviews are at the bottom. This is the US site, and I have also set up author’s pages on a few others.

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You can also email me, Maurice FitzGerald, at mfg@customerstrategy.net.

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