Forrester’s New Book, Outside In, Is Released Today!

My coauthor, Harley Manning, and I are thrilled to announce that our new book, Outside In: The Power Of Putting Customers At The Center Of Your Business, is released today! We encourage you to read this book if:

  • You want to figure out what the heck customer experience really is.
  • You need to make the business case for customer experience.
  • Your company understands the power of customer experience, but you’re not sure where to start.
  • You’ve got some customer experience initiatives underway, and you’re ready to take your efforts to the next level.
  • You want rigorous, battle-tested customer experience tools that have been implemented by companies around the world.

If you’d like to know more about the ideas in Outside In or would like to engage directly with Harley and me, please:

  • Bring your questions to our #OutsideIn tweet chat next Wednesday, September 5, from noon – 1PM Eastern time.
  • Join us for one of two free Webinars on Wednesday, September 19. If you miss us at 9AM Eastern, you can catch an encore presentation at 2PM Eastern.
  • Download the first two chapters of the book for free.
  •  Check out outsidein.forrester.com for author videos, book images, and suggestions on how to go further with the ideas in the book.
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Culture: Why Your Company Needs Customer-Centric DNA

No matter how solid your strategy is or how carefully you design your customer experience, it’s simply impossible to plan for every single customer interaction at every last touchpoint. At some point, you need to put your trust in your company’s most valuable resource, its employees, to do the right thing for customers. Similarly, sharing customer insights, measuring the results of your work, and introducing customer experience governance programs will only get you so far if your company’s workforce — from your top execs down to entry-level staff members — isn’t ready to embrace new ways of working.

That’s why building a customer-centric culture is critical to customer experience success.

In Forrester’s soon-to-publish book, Outside In, Harley Manning and I illustrate the importance of a customer-centric culture through a case study about John Deere Financial, one of the largest providers of financial services to agricultural and construction customers in the US. Like many companies, it had a product and process focus for decades. Then, as part of a recent call to action to become more customer-focused, the company developed a new set of customer promises:

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Measurement: How To Quantify The Quality Of Your Customer Experience

Despite the fact that measurement is deeply embedded in business functions like finance and IT, companies still struggle with measurement when it comes to customer experience. In fact, I was chatting to a seasoned executive next to me on a plane a few weeks back, and he said, “This customer experience stuff is so important. But you can’t really measure it, right?” Wrong! Customer experience can be measured — you just have to know how.

In Forrester’s soon-to-publish book, Outside In, Harley Manning and I illustrate the importance of measurement through a case study about JetBlue. The JetBlue customer experience was designed to “bring humanity back to travel” with features like more legroom, seatback TVs, and snacks that people actually want to eat. But for many years, the young airline didn’t measure how well it delivered on all that — and as a result, JetBlue employees really had no way to assess how well they performed their jobs every day.

To remedy the situation, JetBlue implemented a comprehensive set of measurement tools. The workhorse of the program is an email survey that asks passengers to grade each part of their end-to-end travel experience, starting with making a reservation and continuing on through the end of a flight. When the survey responses come back, an internal system attaches operational data like what channel the customer used to book her flight and whether that customer experienced any problems on board, like a broken TV. In addition, JetBlue looks at what customers say they’re going to do as a result of their experience, like fly JetBlue again or recommend the airline to a friend.

These are the three building blocks of a solid customer experience measurement framework:

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