Jon Picoult

A Revelation From Ryanair: Service Might Actually Matter

The company that pioneered ultra-low cost, no-hospitality air travel is encountering some turbulence with its strategy. For years, Ireland's Ryanair has prided itself on being the ultimate no-frills airline with unapologetically poor customer service. They lead with low fares, and then layer on an...

The Chicken and Egg of Employee Engagement

Are happy, engaged employees a driver of business success, or merely a consequence of it? Lots of studies have identified a link between employee engagement and company performance. Happy, engaged employees appear to drive better business financial results. But the one vexing question...

We Want Your Feedback (Well, Not Really

There are plenty of companies that don't take the time to solicit feedback from their customers. And that's bad. But what is perhaps even worse are those companies that say they want your feedback and put instruments in place to collect it, but then...

The Watermark Consulting 2013 Customer Experience ROI Study

What's a great, differentiated customer experience really worth to a company? It's a question that seems to vex lots of business executives – many of whom publicly tout their commitment to the customer, but then are reluctant to invest in customer experience improvements. As a…

Finally! An Airline Brings Some Humanity To Air Travel

Earlier this month, a major U.S. airline did the unthinkable – it actually showed some heart. Even more surprising: this glimmer of hope, in an industry consumers love to hate, came from United Airlines – not exactly a poster child for customer-centricity. You might recall,...

You Can’t Advertise Your Way to a Great Customer Experience

What would it take to convince consumers that your business delivers a great customer experience? For Microsoft, the answer appears to be $1.5 billion. Forbes recently reported that the software maker would spend an estimated $1.5-$1.8 billion on the marketing campaign for Windows 8,...

The Best Customer Service Story of 2013

With 2013 less than a month old, I realize it's a bit early to come out with the "best" awards. But when I saw this story about LEGO's interaction with one of its young customers, I was willing to go out on a...

Goals Gone Wild

The goals you set for your organization might be sabotaging the very success that you're trying to cultivate. That's the message from Professors Maurice E. Schweitzer, Lisa D. Ordonez, Adam Galinsky and Max Bazerman – all of whom should surely win an award for the...

What’s The First Thing Your New Employees Hear?

I've written in the past about the importance of new employee onboarding and how it can shape people's earliest impressions about a work environment (see "The Worst Onboarding Indignity… Ever!"). While formal employee orientation programs are but one component of onboarding, they do offer a...

Why Customer “Relationships” Are Overrated

If you're trying to build a relationship with your customers, you might be starting off on the wrong foot. That's the takeaway from a new Corporate Executive Board study, which found that the vast majority of consumers (77%) had no interest in developing a "relationship"...

An Airline Gets On Board With Simplicity

Delta Airlines has done something novel. They've rolled out a boarding pass travelers can actually understand. The airline boarding pass is one of those classic examples of customer communications gone wrong. It's something used by every traveler on every trip, yet airlines seem...

Customer Segmentation Comes to

Few people associate hospital emergency rooms with customer experience excellence. But some hospitals are working to change that. If there's something consumers associate with ERs, it's long wait times and crowded quarters. But as reported in The New York Times this week...

Perhaps The Worst HR Idea Ever: Employee Term Limits

A new Atlantic City casino has announced that it will set "term limits" for its front-line staff (read NPR's coverage here). When your term's up, you need to reapply for your job, competing against all other internal and external candidates. The casino argues...

The ROI of a Great Customer Experience

What does a company get by investing in a high-quality customer experience? That was the central question behind Watermark Consulting's very first Customer Experience Stock Performance Analysis, conducted back in 2009 and described in the article "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Return On Customer Experience."…

The #1 Risk Facing Businesses Today

The biggest risk facing businesses today is also one of the most manageable. That's my conclusion after reading Lloyd's of London's newly released 2011 Risk Index report, which ranks the top concerns of companies around the world based on a survey of over 500 C-suite...

Twas The Night Before Earnings Release

Outrageous service fees. Rude staff. Unintelligible correspondence. What would Santa say to all those businesses that are naughty to their customers? With a nod to Clement C. Moore's "A Visit From St. Nicholas," Watermark Consulting Founder Jon Picoult wishes you Happy Holidays...

Sticker Shock: Customer Experience Customization Gone Wrong

 In their quest to deliver a warm, personalized customer experience, some companies cut corners and end up tarnishing their brand instead of enhancing it.   Take, for example, this information folder from a division of the world's fourth largest bank.  It's given to customers who…

Why Your Net Promoter Program Is Failing

Has the Ultimate Question turned into the Ultimate Letdown for you? Lots of businesses, large and small, have jumped on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) bandwagon as a means to gauge and improve their customer loyalty. They embed the Net Promoter "ultimate question" into...

The Top Ten Ways To Spook Your Customers

What are you afraid of this Halloween?  That your customers might disappear like ghosts?  That your competitors might pick them off like vultures?  That it's all going to drive you batty?  In the spirit of All Hallows' Eve, Watermark Consulting brings you The Top...

The Half-Life Of Customer Feedback

Do you remember what you ate for lunch a week ago? Probably not. Yet many businesses seem to think that consumers have such incredible powers of recall. Take, for example, the hotel I stayed at earlier this month. One week after I checked out,...

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