By Ross Popoff-Walker – Researcher, Customer Experience, Forrester

When does your firm need an executive position focused just on customer needs?  While improving customer experience is key to many companies, 57% of firms reported they lack a disciplined approach to managing their customer
experience. So while companies
have figured out the path, that experience is key, many have yet to figure how to walk the path. (And yes, we’re evoking Morpheus from the Matrix here).

To Forrester VP Bruce Temkin the path is Experience-Based Differentation (EBD), which he defines as: "Interacting with target customers in a
manner that consistently builds loyalty." EBD focuses on three

  • Obsess about customer needs, not product features.
  • Reinforce brands with every interaction, not just communications.
  • Treat customer experience as a competence, not a function.

Jeanne Bliss, author of "Chief Customer Officer," joined Bruce for an open Q&A with the audience.  A few key takeaways:

  • A company has to be at right place for a CC/EO, both in terms of their goals (eg: "we need to differentiate in the marketplace"), and their culture.
  • That said, the CC/EO role is an "evangelical" one, because attitudes and processes will need to change regardless of current culture.
  • The right CC/EO is not someone who thinks in terms of "I" — it is someone who check their ego at the door.