More Companies Taking Cohesive Approach to Customer Experience

Ann All

There are several interesting short posts on the Temkin Group's "Customer Experience Matters" blog highlighting some insights from its newly published Customer Experience Survey.


A couple of the data points caught my eye. As Bruce Temkin notes, just 11 percent of respondents thought their company was a customer experience leader in their industry or across industries. But 65 percent of respondents think their executive team has a goal to be customer experience leaders within three years. As he writes, "this ambition highlights the focus that companies are starting to give to customer experience."


An additional 28 percent of respondents considered the customer experience at their companies "considerably above average" in their industry, while 26 percent felt the customer experience was average for their industry. Ten percent said the customer experience at their companies was below average.


I was interested to see 62 percent of respondents said their company had a senior executive in charge of customer-experience efforts across the company. Thirty-one percent said no senior executive was in charge, while 7 percent weren't sure. Two years ago, when Temkin was still with Forrester Research, I interviewed him about companies appointing executives to lead customer-experience efforts.


While initiatives to improve the customer experience once were isolated in individual areas such as the call center (and at some companies still are), Temkin told me it began dawning on companies that improving customer experience "needs to be a cross-functional, transformative effort."


Among the usual responsibilities of executives responsible for customer experience: tracking customer-satisfaction metrics, educating employees about customer-experience initiatives, mapping processes for customer-related activities and encouraging senior executives to keep the customer central to a company's strategic objectives.


Customer-experience executives must possess political skills, Temkin told me, "because it's a role that's about creating change through influence rather than a mandate." They also need to be process-focused and to understand how a company's processes work. The most important trait, however, is passion for serving customers. Said Temkin:

It's a high burnout role, because the work is really hard. At the end of the day, large organizations just don't change that fast.

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