Jon Picoult

Why Your Customer Research Is Flawed

U.S. pollsters got quite a surprise in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016. That’s when it became apparent that their sophisticated voter research had completely failed to predict the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election.  Longtime Republican political strategist Mike Murphy went so...

How to Bottle a Great Customer Experience

Someone’s figured out how to bottle a great customer experience. No, this isn’t a magic elixir that, when applied to any customer interaction, turns disappointment into delight.  This is, quite literally, a bottle that delivers a great customer experience. It’s called “ClearRx” and it was developed…

Why Uber Just Made A Wrong Turn

Uber Technologies last month took action to heal a rift with its drivers, but it may have inadvertently created a rift with its customers. The company announced a class action settlement with its California and Massachusetts drivers, who had sued Uber for classifying them as independent...

Behind Chipotle’s Woes

It’s not just the food that’s making people sick at Chipotle. The restaurant chain’s workplace policies might also be to blame – and therein lies an important customer experience lesson. Last fall, Chipotle grappled with an E.Coli outbreak that sickened dozens of customers across multiple…

We Want Your Feedback (Well, Not Really)

What do you do when a company asks for your opinion… and then refuses to let you voice it? A few years ago, I wrote about how companies often inadvertently make it difficult, if not impossible, for customers to provide feedback.  Common culprits include things...

Olive Garden Serves Up A New Recipe For Success

Last October, when activist hedge fund Starboard Value ousted the entire board of Olive Garden’s parent company, the newly installed Directors probably never imagined where their new role would take them… Straight to the kitchen. That’s right – the company’s new CEO, and everyone on…

Why Revenue Growth Is A Poor Measure Of Customer Experience ROI

In their zest to demonstrate customer experience ROI to skeptical business leaders, some customer experience evangelists are getting too revved up over revenue growth. But how could revenue growth be a poor measure of success? Profit Is Paramount There are two important drawbacks to using…

A Surprising Way To Achieve Price Competitiveness

How can a company liberate itself from the death spiral of product commoditization? Competing on price is generally a losing proposition – and a very exhausting way to run a business.  But when a market matures and customers start focusing on price, what’s a business...

Why Health Insurers Make People Ill

*          *          * ‘Tis the season for health insurance open enrollment, which can mean only one thing…  My blood pressure’s going up. Health insurers talk a lot about how they’re my “wellness partner,” helping me “live a…

Is Your Company On The Naughty List?

Outrageous service fees, unintelligible correspondence, poorly organized websites, overly complex products, inept staff, long hold times…  What would Santa say to all those businesses that are naughty to their customers? With a nod to Clement C. Moore’s poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” Watermark Consulting Founder Jon...

Need To Cut Costs? Deliver A Better Customer Experience.

If you want to deliver a great customer experience, you better be prepared to pay up…  right?  Maybe not. Conventional wisdom suggests that with an enhanced customer experience comes greater expense.  But that’s not always the case.  The fact is, a better experience and lower...

Why Framily Failed: 3 Customer Experience Lessons From Sprint’s Latest Misstep

It looks like Sprint needs some Framily counseling. This past January, the wireless carrier introduced (with much fanfare and an expensive ad campaign) its “Framily” plan – which was essentially a family-shared wireless plan that could be adapted to groups of friends.  The more people...

The World’s Leading Industry For Tone Deafness

There isn’t a lot of love out there for financial services companies. This was underscored most recently with the release of The Reputation Institute’s annual survey of consumer perceptions.  For quality of reputation, financial services came in dead last out of 17 industries — scoring...

Starbucks’ Brew For Effective Employee Training

On one winter evening in February 2008, Starbucks closed all of its U.S.-based stores and insisted that its 135,000 employees take a coffee break. Well, not really a coffee break…  but a break to relearn how to make great coffee. It was one of several…

A Surprisingly Simple Way To Engage Your Employees

For all the talk about the importance of employee engagement in the workplace, there are decidedly few specifics to act on. When management gurus extol the benefits of engagement, they tend to speak in platitudes:  keep employees informed, involve them in decision-making, instill pride in...

A CVS Prescription You’ll Want To Fill

Are your company’s core values worth $2 billion?  The answer appears to be “yes” for CVS, the second-largest pharmacy chain in the United States. Last month, CVS announced that it would stop selling all cigarettes and tobacco products nationwide before the end of this year,...

A Bold Prediction For 2014

It’s that time again, when all the customer experience gurus come out with their predictions for the coming year. So what customer experience trends do the gurus foresee in 2014?  What do they predict organizations will focus on?  Here’s a sampling of their ideas, culled...

Proof That It Pays To Be America’s Most-Loved Companies

Bloomberg Businessweek ran an article a few days ago ("Proof That It Pays To Be America's Most-Hated Companies") that claims to demonstrate customer service performance has no relevance to stock market returns. They took the most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) scores for publicly-traded...

One Airline’s Great Holiday Surprise

During the holiday season, it seems the best surprise most airlines can muster is a flight delay. Or, if you're really lucky, a flight cancellation! And that's part of what makes this story from Canadian airline WestJet so striking. For the second year...

Why Costco Said “No” To Black Friday Creep

Remember the good old days when U.S. consumers actually took the time to celebrate Thanksgiving – and retailers let them do it? It used to be that Black Friday sales began at 9am on the day after Thanksgiving. That lazy consumers would wait so...

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