Stat of the week: Struggles with differentiation


Share on LinkedIn

We’re nearing the end of my stat of the week series. We’ve had quite a ride learning from the leaders I call Haves – those from our research who said YES, here is a definition of customer experience that is well understood throughout their organizations.

This week we learn from the Have Nots – those who said NO, there is no such understanding of customer experience across their organizations.

I don’t present this view to bash the Have Nots, but to show how not having a defined customer experience makes getting a performance payoff the decisions made across your organization much, much more difficult. And really, who wants difficult?

Photo by: ellie

We asked 644 leaders about their organization’s performance on this statement: ”We effectively differentiate ourselves from our competitors.”

Just 17% of Have Nots said they were clearly differentiating themselves from their competition.

Only 10% said they were using product or service features to demonstrate how they solve the prospect’s needs.

Think about it for a second. Over 80% of the Have Nots do not clearly differentiate themselves from their competition. Mind boggling, isn’t it? If they had done the work to define their customer experience (and along the way the need they are solving best for their target customer), they’d have a clear guide line for daily decisions. They would be able to differentiate themselves by designing products and services, customer touchpoints, pricing, and operations actions to deliver on the target experience.

When I see stats like this, it makes me think, “No wonder organizations with a well-defined customer experience are twice as likely to beat their profit targets.”  What does it make you think?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Linda Ireland
Linda Ireland is co-owner and partner of Aveus LLC, a global strategy and operational change firm that helps leaders find money in the business performance chain while improving customer experiences. As author of Domino: How to Use Customer Experience to Tip Everything in Your Business toward Better Financial Performance, Linda built on work done at Aveus and aims to deliver real-life, actionable, how-to help for leaders of any organization.


  1. It sounds like you are treating survey data as reality, which we know is not the case. There is a difference between perceptions of something, and the “something”. This is a mistake virtually ALL customer service and social media pundits make about research numbers.

    Besides, differentiation is in the eyes of the customers, NOT the executives.

    I’ve written a book chapter on this related to social media. At the moment it’s only available on the Kindle for about 3 bucks.


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