Howard Lax

Customer Experiences and the Theory of Relativity

What does Einstein's theory of relativity have to do with customer experience? I don't have a fancy formula, but let's try this: Assessments of customer experiences = Memory of the experience relative to a frame of reference. That formula is based on two key observations...

How Do You Exceed Customer Expectations? Ask Nicole.

Dateline: Flemington, NJ; October 30, 2012; second day without power, heat or running water following the onset of Super Storm Sandy We continue to receive a barrage of email solicitations (readable on BlackBerry and Droid) from retailers of every stripe for books, music, clothing ....

Add 1 Tablespoon Experience, Blend and Serve: The Experience-Loyalty-Value Connection

The buzz in the Customer Sat world is all about Customer Experience. Great customer experiences can help solidify customer relationships — while bad experiences can undermine customer relationships, increase churn and harm brand reputations through negative word of mouth. Despite its importance, however, the customer...

You Gotta Play Defense: Focusing on the Fundamentals of Customer Experience

The verdict from neuroscience is in: While a pound of feathers may weigh the same as a pound of nails, a "pound" of bad experiences and disappointments outweigh a "pound" of good experiences and delight. This "negativity bias" is inherent in people. For anyone charged...

Bad is Stronger than Good: Lessons for Customer Loyalty & Experience

It seems that your mother's admonishment that "if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything at all," may have been counterintuitive and running against the grain of human nature and neuroscience. "Bad is stronger than good" (the phrase is borrowed from an...

Behavioral Economics, Marketing, Loyalty and the Customer Experience

Conversations about consumer buying decisions invariably turn to behavioral economics. Behavioral economics essentially is the study of the impact of non-economic factors on economic decision making. Homo Economicus – consumers as rational, information processors making optimal decisions that maximize their economic well-being – has...

The Seven Heavenly Virtues of VOC Research

The full version of this article appeared in Quirk's Marketing Research Review; to download a PDF of the original, click here. Having written an article last year about how not to conduct voice-of-the-customer (VOC) research, I've often been asked for the flip side: What are the...

The Customer Loyalty/Customer Experience Conundrum

Marketers and marketing consultants all too often make the mistake of equating customer loyalty with the customer experience. Whether out of laziness or sloppiness, this is a critical miscue in the measurement, analysis and management of customer loyalty and experiences. Loyalty is a relationship concept....

The “To Do” List: The Seven Heavenly Virtues of Customer Research

Having written about how not to conduct Voice of the Customer (VoC) research programs (see http://www.gfkinsights4u.com/the_seven_deadly_sins_of_voc_research.html) I often have been asked for the flip side: what are the right things to do when designing an effective program? A list of things not to do...

Generation Gaps and Myths in Customer Loyalty: Does Generation Matter?

Marketers have long recognized the significance of generational differences in branding and the use of media and advertising. Branding and advertising aside, however, is there a generational effect when it comes to customer loyalty and satisfaction? How do the generations compare in terms of...

The Generational Effect: Customer Loyalty Across The Generations

Downloads: The Generational Effect: Customer Loyalty Across The Generations Marketers have long recognized the significance of generational differences in branding and the use of media and advertising. Everything from concept and message to color and design, from music and jingles to spokespeople and endorsements, from...

“Don’t Bother Wowing Your Customers” – Really?

The recent HBR Management Tip ("Don't Bother Wowing Your Customers," October 20, 2011) and the larger article on which it is based ("Stop trying to Delight Your Customers," HBR, July/Aug 2010, Dixon, Freeman and Toman) is both eye catching and thought provoking – and...

Wouldn’t It Be Great To Be In The Customer Experience Business?

While I know it is chic to talk about "The Experience Economy," I think it is critical to appreciate the differences between being in the Experience business (capital "E") and designing the customer experience (small "e") as a means for pleasing customers and facilitating...

Dear CEO: Focus on Shareholders AND Customers AND Employees AND Society/Environment

But Who Comes First? Not to get lost in a seemingly philosophical debate, but what is (or should or can be) the central purpose of modern business? While this might seem like a navel-gazing exercise, the answer provides the core principle around which to organize...

Put Your Money Where Your CUSTOMER’S Mouth Is: Linking Executive Comp to VOC Metrics

IF you accept the following premises incentives motivate behavior customer loyalty or delight with their recent experience is good for business THEN the conclusion is inescapable that a company's leadership should have incentives tied to strengthening the customer relationship/experience (QED or quod erat demonstrandum in…

When the Customer Experience Fails: What Might Howard Do?

Stuff happens. No matter how customer-centric a firm is, no matter how attentive, no matter how disciplined, some number of product/service/experience failures are inevitable. Even if strong, loyal customer relationships provide some support to help weather performance failures, how companies handle a botched...

Why “We Suck Less” is Not Enough for Customer-Centric Success

While perhaps not the most noble or customer-centric statement of competitive advantage, this somewhat tongue-in-cheek quote from one of my favorite all time clients, masks two subtleties of which she was keenly aware in designing the customer loyalty and experience research for her firm. First,...

David vs. Goliath – Round II: Challenging Fred Reichheld on the Economics of Loyalty...

The verdict is still out on my last challenge to Fred regarding the issue of whether or not there is a loyalty price premium (see previous blog: David vs. Goliath I) or price discount. While we differ on the question as to whether loyal...

David vs. Goliath I: Challenging Fred Reichheld on the Economics of Loyalty

Before I take out my slingshot, let me say that I think of Fred Reichheld as the dean of the school of customer loyalty. His Loyalty Effect is a true classic. He is one of the field's defining figures and certainly its best known....

The seven deadly sins of VOC research

"You can only manage what you measure." —Peter Drucker A natural corollary to this truism is that mismeasurement will lead to mismanagement. To a large extent, this is a restatement of the garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) axiom: The wrong inputs or measures will produce...

New Posts

CustomerThink