Assessing Customer Experience from the Outside In

What Are Your Customer Experience Vital Signs?

February 26, 2014

To truly achieve a customer-centric focus, you must look from the outside-in. Consultant Andrew Spanyi encourages you to figure out what matters to customers, measure against those priorities, and be sure to manage your end-to-end processes to support those metrics. In addition, you must reward your people for improving customer experiences in order to change your company’s culture to one that is truly responsive to customer needs.


Consultant Andrew Spanyi encourages companies to take a customer-oriented focus on their end-to-end business processes. And how do you do that? You begin by shifting your attention from internal metrics to the critical Moments of Truth and associated metrics that matter most to your customers.

A Simple Model of Customer-Critical High-Level ProcessesMonitoring the right stuff is vital, but just as important is instilling a customer-centric culture within the organization. And such a cultural shift is dependent on what the organization measures, manages, and rewards.

Andrew advocates taking an outside-in approach, from the customer’s point of view, to make sure your business is linking customer experience priorities to business process monitoring and making that a key part of your senior management team’s daily scorecard.


Having a CCO Isn’t Enough!

A recent article in The Economist stated, “Companies hope that “chief customer officers” will provide better service. Yeah, right.” According to the article, not only have some firms started appointing chief customer officers (CCOs) to serve the customer more attentively, but that some of these CCOs have assistants such as  a “vice-president of customers-for-life” ( ), or a “vice-president of customer advocacy”( NetApp), and even a “director of customer listening” (Cisco). Add this to the slate of Vice Presidents, Customer Experience at companies such as Fidelity, Intuit, Healthy directions and others, and it’s pretty clear that the race is on.

While appointing key executives to take charge of assessing customer experience is certainly a step in the right direction, there are grounds for a healthy dose of skepticism. Although the idea that the primary purpose of business is to create and retain customers goes all the way back to Peter Drucker’s 1954 book The Practice of Management, many organizations have struggled to shift management attention from traditional financial metrics to the critical few measures that really matter to customer. And it’s not just about metrics; you also need fundamental changes in culture to achieve optimum results. Thus, action has lagged rhetoric.  A company needs to figure out what customers care about, measure that, and commit to doing something about it.

Measure from the Customer’s Point of View

The first step to successfully accessing your customers’ experiences requires viewing the business from the customer’s point of view. And that involves measuring and monitoring how well your firm is doing in delivering what customers really want.

So, what do customers want? In my experience, I’ve learned that customers really want... (more)

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