Howard Lax

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...

Learning from Machiavelli: Loyalty is Rooted in Self Interest

First, let me ask for a little latitude with my metaphors. Perhaps I could have chosen a philosopher with a more benign, more altruistic image than Machiavelli, the cold realist typically associated with "the ends justify the means" school of thought. Yes, the counsel...

Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Loyalty ? Experience ? Satisfaction ? Advocacy ? Promoter

I'm taking off the gloves and issuing a challenge to practitioners and students in the arena of Customer Loyalty research. I'm not a language "priss", and I know that outcomes and actions are what matter and always will trump debates about definitional purity. But am...

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