Breaking Down the Paradoxes in Customer Science: How to Improve Customer Experience and Drive Desired Outcomes

The Importance of Customer Science for CIOs

In today’s interconnected world, the power of customer feedback is undeniable. Companies that fail to meet or exceed customer expectations risk significant losses, as shown by examples like Snapchat losing $1.3 billion in market value due to a tweeted complaint from Kylie Jenner, and US companies losing $1.6 trillion in 2016 from customer switching due to poor service.

One of the challenges in customer science is the organizational paradox of not having someone in the enterprise with the authority to ensure every interaction meets or exceeds expectations, despite the common saying that “Customer is King”. This raises questions about the roles of positions like the chief customer officer or chief experience officer in addressing this paradox. Glenn Laverty, former president and CEO at Ricoh Canada, resolved this paradox by tying every employee’s compensation to customer experience/satisfaction metrics.

Another challenge is the data paradox in customer science. Despite the vast amount of customer data collected by organizations, they seem to know less about how to satisfy their customers. Claes Fornell, founder of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, points out this disconnect between data collection and customer satisfaction needs to be addressed in order to truly understand and meet customer expectations.

Measuring and rewarding certain behaviors is crucial for driving desired outcomes. At Boeing, production throughput compensation metrics were prioritized over safety considerations, leading to unintended consequences. Customer science can help align everyone’s compensation with customer experience metrics in a calibrated and nuanced way. By addressing these paradoxes and challenges, companies can improve their ability to meet and exceed customer expectations in today’s interconnected world.

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