The Customer Experience Journey To Oz

My opening keynote speech at Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum was titled “Charting Your Customer Experience Journey Through Tough Times.”  I made a lot of references to Dorothy’s journey in The Wizard Of Oz.

Dorothy had to overcome a lot of obstacles (flying monkeys, cranky witches, etc.). It turns out that the key ingredients to her success are also the key ingredients for a company’s customer experience efforts in these tough economic times:

  • Heart (Tin Man): These economic times are unsettling for customers and employees. So companies need to raise the bar on their empathy to cater to the changing needs of customers and to build engagement with employees.
  • Brains (Scarecrow): It’s easy to make sweeping across the board cuts to respond to a tough economy. But companies need to think more deeply about their business to distinguish what’s really important (and shouldn’t be cut) from those things that are not important (and can be cut).
  • Courage (Lion): While the natural tendency is to get into a defensive mode during a recession, companies need to prepare for the future and strengthen their business. I referenced this quote from John F. Kennedy:

The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity.

There’s some debate as to the accuracy of JFK’s interpretation of the Chinese characters, but the sentiment is absolutely correct!

I ended my presentation with a rewritten version of the song “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Here are the lyrics:


There was a lot more in my speech, like the Yellow Brick Road of customer experience maturity. So I’ll be writing more about my comments and other parts of the forum over the next week.  Stay tuned!

The bottom line: Don’t wait for a wizard to improve your customer experience

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, marketing, interaction design, customer service, and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

10 Responses to The Customer Experience Journey To Oz

  1. Pingback: The Customer Experience Journey To Oz « Fredzimny’s CCCCC Blog

  2. Design Humor says:

    Bruce: would appreciate your comments on our blog “corporate fortitude”. We use many references to OZ. Great myth and parallels for business. Mary Witte

  3. The linked ppt file has no embedded audio (the icon links to a wav file located on Your C:/Documents and settings/…)
    By the lyrics it has to be so good. Where can it be listened?

  4. Pingback: The Yellow Brick Road To Customer Experience Maturity « Customer Experience Matters

  5. Pingback: A Yellow Brick Road To Customer Experience Maturity « Fredzimny’s CCCCC Blog

  6. Claudia says:

    Nice take. I like how you’ve incorporated every day experiences with a reference anyone can relate to. I’ve read some of the Gen Y articles (working for/with) that generation and I think this example does very well across the board.

    Who hasn’t seen Wizard of Oz? We can all relate.

    Thank you.

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