Author, Speaker, Creative Catalyst
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A blueprint for customer experience 2.0?

13th Jan 2011
Author, Speaker, Creative Catalyst
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"We are tired of the entertainment," is the statement we heard from a chief customer officer of a major European mobile provider. It was a message of frustration from an executive who has been engaged in customer experience efforts for several years but has very little to show for it. He engaged consultants who sold him cool stories about Disney and Starbucks but failed to provide a recipe to turn HIS employees into those customer loving evangelists.

This message, in different iterations, is what we hear these days among customer experience practitioners. Top management is getting anxious and is demanding return on their investment. It would be safe to say that we are witnessing the end of customer experience 1.0. The era of why we need to do it, peppered with exciting stories about Zappos and the like, is coming to a close. Customer experience 1.0 helped raise awareness –which was its biggest achievement. However, it failed to produce too many organisation-wide successes.
For many organisations, the case was clear and teams were established. It is the "How" that was missing. "How" do we actually do it? Welcome to customer experience 2.0. 
Aha moment
My latest book Customer Experience Strategy (4i 2010) was dedicated to establishing a disciplined blueprint for organisation-wide success. The book is based on dozens of strategies we successfully designed and deployed. It provides insight into the "How" of customer experience strategy – from the initial diagnostics up to and including training the last employee.
I was recently conducting a customer experience assessment at an organisation that had already been on the journey for several years. As executives explained their definition of customer experience to me, I had an 'Aha!' moment. All of their definitions associated customer experience with customer complaints and broken processes. In many ways, customer experience was associated with what the company is doing wrong. 
As such, a certain formula evolved: customer experience = broken promises. In essence, this means that we are a dysfunctional company. In reality, the company did many things right and delighted millions of customers regularly. However, the customer experience team, misguided by customer experience 1.0 thinking, led the company to believe that they were all failures. In the process, they created an environment of resentment and lack of cooperation from their peers in the other functions. After all who wants to speak or work with the people that keep on reminding you that you are not good enough?
This is a classic mistake. We have seen many organizations fall into the trap of associating customer experience with the hygiene factor. The hygiene factor is important but insufficient to drive true customer experience.
Customer experience 2.0 examines the customer experience initiative in a disciplined manner, taking all the required factors for success into account. It takes a holistic view and involves the entire organisation. Customer experience 2.0 is committed to measurable results. Above all, it celebrates customer experience and creates an inspirational platform that every employee and executive WANTS to volunteer for. How many volunteers do you have to support your customer experience efforts? It is time to create a great internal experience for our employees and executives so they will come on board voluntarily. 
Welcome to customer experience 2.0. Let’s take the disciplined path to success.
Learn More at Lior’s Customer Experience Boot Camp – Ten Free webinars. Register today at

Lior Arussy is the founder and president of Strativity Group, a global customer experience research and consulting firm specialising in design, innovation and deployment of differentiating, profitable customer experiences. His books include Customer Experience Strategy: The Complete Guide From Innovation To Execution.

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