Four Reasons the Majority Of Customer Experience Management Initiatives Fail


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The road to hell is paved with good intentions. So is the road to elevating customer experience. Each day, a whole lot of CEM initiatives large and small go in the tank and are abandoned. Why – especially at a time when improving customer experience is more important then ever?

Unfortunately, for the same reasons so many well-meaning CRM initiatives failed (and I’m not referring to “technology-first” initiatives, which we’re so dumb they never had a chance). The four primary reasons are:

  • Failing to align process with strategies: Fine, you develop great sounding new customer strategies. But what converts these thoughts into actions affecting customers? Process. And if you don’t change your process, you get the same old company-centric work you’ve been doing.
  • Failing to align technology with process: You can’t effectively change process in the front and back office without changing systems architecture and application software (and I’m not just talking about CRM software). Not redesigning technology leaves you high and dry, with more unfulfilled good intentions.
  • Failing to change organizational design to deliver optimal customer experience: Having the wrong people do the right job, or having too many people trying to do the same job, degrades customer big time.
  • Believing that marketing, sales & service are responsible for customer experience: Organizational infrastructure plays as important a role as any of the three. So does process design. So does technology enablement. So does employee empowerment. So does change management. Elevating customer exp0erience takes a concerted, enterprise-wide effort.

I could add “changing customer experience without changing anything else” to the list. However, about no one reading this is still there. But their senior managers may be.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


  1. Good article, straight to the point, that illuminates some of the behind-the-scenes reasons that the customer experience fails. Every company, large or small, needs systems and structures for managing the customer experience.

  2. Good stuff Dick. I’ve been looking recently at work done by Gallup around engagement and the importance of the “emotional” components (passion, pride & integrity) as opposed to “rational” components (confidence & rational satisfaction) of customer engagement. We need to be carefull that “process” does not begin to feel exclusively rational rather than rational & emotional.


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