Are your executives kicking the customer experience can down the road?
People in the U.S. are upset with their politicians because the current budget crisis/government shutdown is being “resolved,” yet again, by kicking the can down the road in an effort to end the shutdown and beat the October 17 deadline. Don’t worry, this post isn’t about politics!
On the heels of my post from a few weeks ago about helping executives understand the value of focusing on the customer and the customer experience, I thought the concept of “kicking the can down the road” perhaps applies to those executives, as well. Why? Let me digress for a moment and share some details from a presentation I heard earlier this week.
Many of you know that I’m one of the CXPA SoCal Local Networking Event team leads. On Tuesday, we held a Local Networking Event in Irvine at Cisco’s offices. Our speaker was Jeofrey Bean, and he talked about the research he and Sean Van Tyne had done for their book, The Customer Experience Revolution. The topic of Jeof’s presentation was “Customer Experience: Winners, Losers, and the Ones to Watch.” Here’s how he defined those three categories, based on a conversation he had with Gary Tucker, formerly with J.D. Power and Associates.
The Winners. These are the 5%ers, the customer experience leaders. They get it. They dominate their industries and are more profitable and sustainable. They have pulled away from the “vortex of commoditization,” as Jeof refers to it, i.e., they are not relying on a go-to-market strategy with products and services where the only levers are really just price and perhaps messaging and features that are/can be modified.
The Ones to Watch. These are the 25%ers. The bottom of this segment pays lip service to customer experience bringing value to the business and wants to learn more. The companies at the top of this segment are not Winners yet but know that customer experience is a differentiator; they want to learn and do all they can in order to move into the Winners bucket.
The Losers. If you do the math, you end up with this group being known as the 70%ers. Wow! 70% of companies don’t believe that customer experience matters, despite the clear and obvious success of the CX leaders that are around today.
What’s wrong with these companies? Why have they kicked the customer experience can down the road? Like lawmakers, are they waiting for…
- “the problem” to disappear?
- someone else to care, focus, do what’s right, etc. later?
Are they putting off one crisis until another one happens down the line? These 70%ers are in crisis mode right now. If you’re not focusing on the customer experience, you lose. Need proof? Check out this recently-published graphic from Watermark Consulting.
By putting off until tomorrow what needs to be done today, you’re not doing right by your customers, and as a result, you’re hurting your brand and your business. The longer you wait, the worse things will get – the harder it will be to regain the trust of your customers, which you know has been lost.
Oscar Wilde is credited with saying, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow just as well.”
Kicking the can down the road is not a wise strategy on your CX Journey. Thomas Jefferson provides better advice:
Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today.
Thanks for sharing such an informative post.
To mix my metaphors…
If you kick the can down the road you will reap what you sow
I was stunned the first time I saw that graphic with CX leaders and detractors. Great post and I hope we can move into the 5% one day.
Thanks, James. You're very skillful at mixing metaphors. 🙂
I agree, Jeremy. That graphic is an eye opener! The fact that you aspire to be in the 5% puts you one step ahead of a lot of companies.
Whilst I think you make a good case, my fear is that graphic does not tell the whole story. I think there are leaders in the CX space but there is not yet enough competitive pressure or pain across all industries to inject a sense of urgency and movement into the 70%. Or, maybe it's an evolutionary thing and the 70% will just hang out, not notice or not want to notice the signs, and wait to expire or be replaced.
Ah, I agree with you, absolutely. I spoke to a friend yesterday, and he basically told me that, in his industry, his company "sucks the least." No pressure there to focus on the customer experience – just to keep selling more crappy services that are only slightly better than the rest of the pack. Sad, really.
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