Build Your Customer Experience Muscle


Share on LinkedIn


Ever wonder what the secret is to deadlifting 1,000lbs? I do.

It’s not that I want to do it myself, I’m just relentlessly curious about the systems that people use to become the best at what they do.

I’m always amazed at how often the secrets to success come down to doing the fundamentals consistently over time, and incrementally improving and tweaking as you go.

You might think that the secret to becoming a beast that can lift 1,000 lbs involves doing insane workouts that leave you exhausted and crying for mommy. The truth is actually the opposite.

Turns out that if you want to get strong – really strong, the recipe is simple:

  • Stick with the basic lifting exercises: Squats, Deadlifts, Kettlebell swings, pullups.
  • Never exercise to failure. That means when you are done with your workout, you still feel like you have gas in the tank. Give yourself time to recover between exercises.
  • Consistency is key. Keep doing these exercises 4 days a week, and increase your weight a little bit each time.

This simple and basic approach has been repeatedly shown to be the best for building strength. It’s what Olympic power lifters do, and no one can argue that they are the strongest people in the world.

The same is true if you want your organization to build its bench strength in becoming more customer-centric.

Do the simple, basic activities: Have actual conversations with your customers in which they are doing most of the talking and you are doing most of the listening.

Do this consistently, with incremental increases: Slowly over time increase your feedback collection from customers – talk to customers a little more often, add in some social media, add a quick and simple survey. Each new increment should feel relatively painless.

Don’t exhaust yourself with the effort: If you do a customer feedback project and your organization feels depleted afterwards, you haven’t done yourself any favors. It likely means that you’ve done research with recommendations that you won’t implement because you don’t have any gas left in the tank. Building a organizational capability is like building a muscle. There is no big mystery to it but it takes time, and consistency.

It is not progress if every customer feedback process is big, expensive, and pulls people from the jobs that they are already doing. Do this, and your company will feel that this “customer feedback thing” is just too hard and will quit before seeing any real results. Don’t be like those people who flood the gyms in January filled with good intentions only to abandon the effort after three weeks.

The point is this: If you want to win at the Olympics of Customer Experience, keep your customer feedback process simple, and do it consistently.

Photo credit: Pascal (Creative Commons Commercial License. You should check out his utterly charming series on Lego mini-figures)

Jana Sedivy
Jana Sedivy is Founder and Principal of Authentic Insight, a consulting practice specializing in Voice of Customer research and strategy for B2B tech companies. Over the past 17 years, she has lived at the intersection of people and technology and holds 21 patents about how to make that interaction as smooth as possible. She helps tech companies take the guesswork out of product decisions by helping them understand their customers better, providing market insights throughout the product life cycle. She is also deeply uncool but has finally made peace with it.



Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here