Customer Connectedness Rises To The Top

In a previous post, I asked people to vote for one of the four core customer experience competencies that they most wanted Temkin Group to research.

Here are the results from that poll…

I’m not surprised that Customer Connectedness came out on top. Most customer experience efforts generally center around this competency. What surprised me, though, was the incredibly low interest in Compelling Brand Values. My research has shown that building a customer centric culture requires all four competencies; companies are only as good as their weakest area.

One might assume from the responses that companies are doing a great job with Compelling Brand Values. But that’s not the case. Large companies ended up with the most “very poor” ratings in this competency area.

Here’s how I will use the results: Prioritize research around Customer Connectedness best practices and find ways to raise the visibility of Compelling Brand Values.

The bottom line: Thanks for the feedback!

Build Customer Experience Competencies In 2011

At this time of year, many companies are beginning to plan for next year. So many of my upcoming blog posts will focus on that planning process; making sure that customer experience is appropriately covered in your 2001 plans.

To begin with, companies must understand that sustained customer experience excellence does not come from some superficial projects; it requires mastering four core customer experience competencies:

  1. Purposeful Leadership.
  2. Compelling Brand Values.
  3. Employee Engagement.
  4. Customer Connectedness.

I highly recommend that you start the process by completing Temkin Group’s Customer Experience Competency Assessment. Then examine your results in a number of ways:

  • What was your company’s rating; overall and for each competency?
  • How consistent were the results across the people that took the assessment?
  • What appeared to be the most significant problem areas?
  • Does the current competency level match your firm’s ambitions?
  • What do you need to do to get where you want to be?

As you can see in this data from the research report The Current State Of Customer Experience, most companies have a lot of opportunity to improve across all competencies.

Over the next week, I’ll be publishing individual posts for each of the four competencies — providing more data as well as advice in each area. Stay tuned!

The bottom line: It takes strong competencies to drive long-term success.

The Current State Of Customer Experience

We just published a new Temkin Group Insight Report, The Current State Of Customer ExperienceThis report, which is based on a survey of 140+ large North American companies, provides insights into the progress that companies are making on their customer experience journeys.

It looks at topics like the adoption of voice of the customer (VoC) programs and Net Promoter Scores, the use of social media activities, and the goals, obstacles, and ambitions for customer experience. Here’s the executive summary:

Using the Temkin Group customer experience competency model, we found that only 3% of firms were “Customer-Centric Organizations” while 33% of firms were “Customer-Oblivious Organizations.” While companies rated highest in the area of Purposeful Leadership, only 16% received “very good” ratings in that competency area. This data highlights that companies are still in very early stages of customer experience maturity. We expect the results to improve over time; as 65% of respondents want to be customer experience leaders within three years.

Download report for $195

The report has 20 figures; with lots of data. Here are some interesting factoids:

  • Only 16% think they always or almost always delight customers getting customer service online.
  • 95% want to improve profitability, but only 43% want to improve the work environment for employees.
  • 37% have had a customer experience leader for at least 12 months
  • 71% identified “other competing priorities” as a significant obstacle to their customer experience efforts; the most commonly selected of the 11 obstacles we asked about.
  • 57% have a formalized voice of the customer (VoC) program
  • 45% that have a formalized VoC program tie compensation to customer feedback scores; one of the 15 VoC activities we asked about.
  • 32% have been using Net Promoter Score (NPS) for at least 12 months; 19% are not familiar with NPS
  • 31% analyze conversations in social media sites like Facebook and Twitter; the most commonly used of 11 social media activities we asked about.
  • The customer experience competency assessment showed a wide range of results across the 20 questions:
    • Highest scoring: Senior executives regularly communicate that customer experience is one of the company’s key strategies
    • Lowest scoring: Marketing does as much brand marketing inside the company as it does outside the company

In addition to the data insights, the report has a number of self-assessment tools that you can use to compare your efforts to the 140+ respondents:

  • In the Temkin Group Insight Report, The Four Customer Experience Core Competencies (free download), we introduced an assessment tool for our competency model. This report allows you to compare your results with 140+ other companies.
  • A tool for gauging your voice of the customer (VoC) activities
  • A tool for gauging your social media activities

Download report for $195

The bottom line: Customer experience management is still immature


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