The “Doing” of Customer Experience


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Listening to some popular business speakers, you’d think customer experience work is glamorous. It’s all about making customers happy…so what could be more fun than that? Personal attention, better customer service, and boom: happier customers. Why not just add a little something extra? Why not just smile more? C’mon – have some fun! Your customers will love you for it.

* Applause. *

Psst…can I tell you the dirty little secret? It’s not that sexy. It’s not that glamorous or fun some days. It’s real work.

And yet, time and again, companies devalue the real work of customer experience by talking, thinking some more, discussing endlessly and yet never assigning real action to it.

There are real activities to move the talk of a superior customer experience into action. Activities that require fortitude, dedication and most of all, honesty.

Next time someone wants to discuss the customer experience of your organization, I challenge you to ask one of the following questions:

  • What have customers said recently? Do we have real responses from customers to review?
  • Why are our customers leaving for the competition?
  • How does this compare to what we expect to happen, based on the customer experience journey map? (Don’t have one? That’s a good place to start on action.)
  • What have we learned recently by listening to the social channels?
  • How does our retention rate compare with last month/quarter/year?
  • What should we learn from experiences outside of our industry?

Each one of these questions is actually about action you should be taking to stay on top of your customer experience strategy. It’s not a one-off thing or something to think about, it’s something to do consistently.

Consistently taking action on a customer experience strategy is as vital to your business as tracking financials, yet so many organizations skip this completely. Are you on track to deliver? What’s missing to DO? Get to it!

Photo credit: Will Vanlue via Creative Commons license

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeannie Walters, CCXP
Jeannie Walters is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a globally recognized speaker, a LinkedIn Learning and instructor, and a Tedx speaker. She’s a very active writer and blogger, contributing to leading publications from Forbes to Pearson college textbooks. Her mission is “To Create Fewer Ruined Days for Customers.”


  1. Bravo, Jeannie! You are absolutely right. When you take all of the fancy ribbons and paper off of the Customer Experience package, it boils down to translating the rhetoric into daily operations. And, as you suggest, that starts with a service organization asking itself some very pointed and serious questions. It also means creating and accepting accountability for the right results at all levels of the organization. Finally, it means having the necessary conversations with the right people who can help change things that are not contributing to the Customer Experience. Sometimes this is the toughest part…having those pointed dialogues. That, of course, means talking with service reps about their performance in touchpoints with customers. But, as you point out, it also means honest conversations with owners of systems, processes, polices and products when those dynamics do not support the Customer Experience. Thanks for keeping it real!

    Dr. John R. Miller
    Pretium Solutions

  2. Thanks for the comment, John. It’s going to take some more education, but I believe we’ll see more strides soon!

  3. I appreciate the discussion you’ve started here!

    Customer service certainly is hard work. And I agree that most of the time it’s not as easy as it sounds. There are lots of roadblocks to providing the perfect experience – but if you build your company around customers from the get-go, you can work to remove those roadblocks.

    Building a company around customer feedback takes a lot of focused effort, but it is possible. I’ve been referring to this philosophy as customer-centricity, and it’s something I’ve worked hard at building into my business from the ground up. It’s time consuming, but it’s effective – and the rewards are great, both for you and for your customers. I believe it’s the best way to do business.

    A few of your questions are ones I ask on a daily basis: What have customers said recently? Do we have real responses from customers to review? It’s important to have a robust feedback loop, where your growth is based upon feedback. Customer feedback can be used to perfect a product, but many business owners don’t pay close attention, and instead, build a product based on what they think, rather than their customers.

    This business model almost requires a great organizational tool, as well as the right people, to handle your customer relationships. Businesses need to listen on all fronts, respond to customers personally, and reach out to ask questions frequently. Great service can turn your customers into advocates.

    John-Paul Narowski, founder – karmaCRM


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