What Are Customer Experience Best Practices?

Summary of Our Findings from the APQC Total Customer Experience Benchmark and a Report Card for You

April 28, 2005

The advantage of being a “subject matter expert” in a benchmarking study is that you gain first-hand access to detailed questionnaires and site visits to best practices companies. After pouring over all the data collected during the 5 month Benchmarking Collaborative in Managing the Total Customer Experience conducted by the American Productivity and Quality Council (APQC) between October 2004 and April 2005, Patricia Seybold distilled a set of “findings” from the data. Here are the practices that seem to differentiate the “best practitioners” from the rest of the pack when it comes to delivering, and reaping the benefits from delivering a good total customer experience across touchpoints, channels, and throughout the customer lifecycle. We include a Customer Experience Report Card you can use to rate yourselves.


In April 20-21, 2005, we delivered the results of a 5-month Total Customer Experience Benchmarking Study performed by the American Productivity and Quality Council (AQPC). I was the subject matter expert for the study. In this report, we offer a summary of our findings from the study. In future reports, we’ll delve into some of the specific best practices and case studies.


APQC’s Total Customer Experience Study

On November 18, 2005, the Houston-based American Productivity and Quality Council kicked off a multi-client consortium-sponsored benchmarking study, entitled, “Managing the Total Customer Experience”—ensuring a consistent, positive customer experience across access channels, customer touchpoints and across the customer lifecycle. The detailed results of the study have been provided to the sponsors of the research. The complete study results will be available for purchase by non-AQPC sponsors and members during the summer of 2005.

Who Participated in This Study?

The best practices “partners” for this study—the companies who were recruited by AQPC and who presented their best efforts and lessons learned to the rest of us—were: Air Products and Chemicals, Caterpillar Finance, Cisco, Harrah’s, and Lands’ End.

The sponsors of the study—those who shaped the detailed questionnaire and who also filled in the same questionnaire to participate in the benchmarkking were: Bank of America, British Telecom, Citicorp, Direct Energy, Eastman Kodak, John Deere, United States Postal Service, Sears, Servicemaster, Sun Microsystems, TIAA-CREF, USAA, Verizon Wireless, Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo Mortgage.


The sample size of companies volunteering to be studied was pretty small—five companies in five different industries. On the other hand, there were significant differences between the responses on the detailed questionnaires from the “best practices” volunteers and the questionnaires of the companies sponsoring the research...


For more information about the Managing the Total Customer Experience study, see http://www.apqc.org/ portal/apqc/site/generic2?path=/site/products_services/research_reports/cs_prop_tce.jhtml.


Sign in to download the full article


Be the first one to comment.

You must be a member to comment. Sign in or create a free account.