Harley Manning founded Forrester’s customer experience research practice, and today he leads a team of analysts that cover enterprise-level customer experience topics. Kerry Bodine leads Forrester’s research on experience design. Kerry’s analysis and opinions appear frequently on sites like Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Advertising Age.
Think about the last time you had a bad customer experience. Maybe you bought something that didn’t work as promised. Maybe you struggled to get help over the phone (“Thank you for calling Clueless, Inc. Press 1 to get frustrated!”). Or maybe a sales associate, bank officer, or service technician treated you like an idiot.
How did that make you feel? Disappointed? Angry? Like you’d rather eat nails than do business with that company ever again?
For the last 14 years we’ve been doing research into the causes of poor customer experience, and how delivering a poor experience hurts a company’s bottom line. We’ve also studied organizations that deliver a superior customer experience to find out why and how they do it.
What do companies that focus on customer experience get out of it? Fidelity found that clients who said they'd had a good experience put four and a half times more cash into their accounts. Sprint saves $1.7 billion per year by systematically finding and fixing customer experience problems.
It’s those results that make us so excited to create a book about the things we’ve learned.
Outside In is a series of stories about people who improved customer experience at their organizations. People like Kevin Peters, the president of Office Depot North America. He visited dozens of his own stores around the country –- in disguise, no less –- to find out what was really going on, all because he didn’t trust the "mystery shopping" scores he was getting. Then there’s Dr. Jim Merlino, the chief experience officer at Cleveland Clinic. The experience his father had as a patient when he was being treated for cancer changed the way Jim practices medicine, and set him on a mission to transform the way other people practice medicine, as well.
Many of these stories are inspirational – and some of them are also fun. Take the Mohawk-sporting phone service agent at U.S. Cellular who shaved his head to show solidarity with a customer. (Believe it or not, there’s an important lesson in that case study.) Or consider the three-time Olympic athlete, former sports commentator, and commercial pilot who created the customer experience measurement program at JetBlue.
Getting to know these people through our research was an honor, and sharing their stories with our readers is a privilege.