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Bridging the Paradox: The Importance of Customer Science in Driving Business Success

The Importance of Customer Science for CIOs

Bridging the Paradox: The Importance of Customer Science in Driving Business Success

In today’s world, where every customer has the power to voice their opinions, meeting or exceeding customer expectations is crucial. The failure to do so can result in significant impacts, as seen with 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 poor service. The journey towards customer science is filled with paradoxes, such as 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.”

Questions arise 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. This approach highlights the importance of measuring and rewarding certain behaviors in order to drive desired outcomes. For example, at Boeing, production throughput compensation metrics were prioritized over safety considerations, leading to unintended consequences. Customer science can help in aligning everyone’s compensation with customer experience metrics in a calibrated and nuanced way.

Claes Fornell, founder of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, points out another paradox in customer science – the data paradox. Despite collecting vast amounts of customer data by organizations, they seem to know less about how to satisfy their customers. Addressing this disconnect between data collection and customer satisfaction is crucial in order to truly understand and meet customer expectations.

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