Faces of Customer Experience: Mike Wittenstein


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Meet Mike Wittenstein!

avatar_mike_wittenstein_2014.jpegTwenty five years, 25 countries, 400 clients, $1.5b in measurable impact. | IBM eVisionary. Founder/leader at Storyminers, one of the world’s first experience/service design consultancies. | Focus > Retail and Store of the Future initiatives. | English, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian. | Love time with friends/family, new things, travel, woodworking.

False Dichotomy

We know that the answer is often somewhere in between, but the fun of this section is that you have to pick just one!

Paper > Plastic

Personalization < Privacy

 In-Store Shopping < Online Shopping 

Transactional > Relational

Mac < PC

Customer Service > Customer Experience

 Captain Kirk < Dr. Spock

Talk < Text 

 Dog < Cat

Movie Theater < In-Home Rental

Tell Us More About Yourself…

What was your first job and what did you learn about customer service in it?

I made and sold kitchen utensils and candlesticks door-to-door in my neighborhood. I learned that it never hurts to ask, that a smile goes a long way, and that just showing up on time to make a delivery is good service (for a kid).

Tell us how one outside influence impacted your customer service or customer experience thinking. (For ex. book, movie, sporting event, relationship, travel)

Lou Carbone (Experience Engineering) introduced me to customer experience as a way of creating value. Stephan Haeckel (IBM) taught me how to make a business agile by design. David Ing (ISSS) helped me think through combining the two.

I know this question was to give only one answer, but it was truly the combination of all three mentors’ teachings that helped me understand how to make the methods I use ‘lean’ and to simultaneously shape an organization’s experience, service, business, and culture design.

In your own personal experience, has customer service gotten better or worse in the past five years?

It’s gotten better. More companies are choosing to compete on experience and service — and they’re getting better at it. Now that I’m more sensitized to better experiences, when I don’t get them what used to feel just average, truly appears to be worse.


> I consider it a bad customer experience when I am placed on hold for more than 2 minutes.

> In five years, the most important social media channel for customer service will be mobile video support (like Mayday but two-way).

> The best book I read in the last twelve months was Abundance by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler.

To connect with Mike Wittenstein further visit him at mikewittenstein.com.


Special Note: A happy and safe July 4th weekend to our U.S.-based community!


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Toporek
Adam Toporek is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast. http://beyourcustomershero.com


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