Stop Customer Experience Benchmarking – Stop The Excuses


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So here is how the story goes. The client is asking to conduct a benchmark of their customer experience and compare it to their top 5 competitors. Alternatively we will be asked “so how does our NPS compare to others?”. “What is the First call resolution of telecommunication companies of our size located in the southern part of Vermont with customers over 50 years old?”.

Customer experience practitioners as many of their customer service or marketing counterparts are obsessed with benchmarking. And certain market research companies actually feed this obsession with expensive studies that graph your performance just few inches below your competitors from Florida and somewhat above your competition from Idaho. Now what?

Let’s be honest, when was the last time benchmarking actually mobilized your organization to act, let alone act faster? Over time I realize the truth. The request for benchmarking is not stemming from a sincere interest in creating greater value for customers. Or alternatively creating a “burning platform” for actions. If you are inferior to your competitors, you already know it. Your sales and profit margins will tell you that. Benchmarking is, simply put, a pursuit of excuse. A reason NOT to act.

After conducting the benchmark study, it can turn into one of two paths. If you scored above the competitors, then you have no reason to act and invest further you are already ahead. If you scored below the competitors, you will argue that it is an “industry” thing. Again, an excuse to say that every competitor face those “unique challenging” situation.

I found benchmarking a statement of lack of customer focus. It focus organizations on the wrong issue. The real question on the table should be what customers want? Not what competitors do. Your focus need to be on customer advantage not competitive advantages. The obsession with keeping up with the “joneses” takes your mind, attention, effort and investment off the real prize winning the customers hearts and wallets.
A customer centric organization that seeks to delight customers focus solely on them. All the attention need to be on the chosen, profitable customers and how to add value to them (and increase revenues and profitability).

In personal life you do not measure your relationship through a comparison of your spouse to the “competition”. (might be tempting for some, may be. But definitely inappropriate) Don’t do it in your commercial life either. Both your spouse and your customers demand and serve your total devotion.
Follow me @LiorStrativity

Lior Arussy
One of the world’s authorities on customer experience, customer centricity, and transformation, Lior Arussy delivers results. His strategic framework converts organizations from product- to customer-centricity. It is drawn from his work with some of the world’s leading brands: Mercedes-Benz, Royal Caribbean, Delta Air Lines, MasterCard, Novo Nordisk, Walmart and more.Arussy is also the author of seven books, including Next Is Now (May 2018)


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