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If Your Employees Aren’t Happy, Your Customers Never Will be

Thursday, November 21, 2019


A major airline found their internal customer satisfaction ratings dropping. A VP, not entirely jokingly, said, “Send all the flight attendants to charm school!”

Charm school isn’t the answer. Unless you work for the DMV, employees typically WANT to do what is right for the customer. But often, internal policies and procedures are tying their hands.

What gets in the way of your employees serving and delivering greater customer value?

In the early days of Jeb’s tenure at Oracle, he found that employees desperately wanted to solve customers’ problems. But they didn’t always know which ones to focus on first and didn’t have a meaningful way to do so.

How can you engage employees in reducing customer friction and creating greater customer value?

Customer Performance

For the past few months, we’ve been writing about Customer Performance. We’ve created a comprehensive framework as a way to look at customers as your most essential asset: to systematically create value for them, and in turn, motivate them to be great brand advocates for you. The Customer Performance Framework systematically moves customers toward the realization of their objectives and towards advocacy of your brand. A Customer Performance focus engages employees to engage with customers in delivering greater customer value.

Employee Engagement

Do free lunches, pool tables, or afternoon keggers drive employee engagement? No, these perks are great for recruiting. But they are easily habituated and ultimately have no impact on employee behavior.

Doshi & McGregor  wrote that the most potent employee motivators are  Play Purpose , and  Potential Play  is when  the enjoyment of  the work itself provides the motivation to do the work.  Purpose  is fulfilled when we value the impact   or outcome of the work. And  Potential  is when we value the second-order outcome of the work—we do the work because it will eventually lead to something very important to us.



Sadly, most employers resort to applying  Emotional Pressure  as they use guilt and shame to compel employees to work. Or they use  Economic Pressure  as they set up compensation systems where employees act solely to win an award or avoid a punishment. Or the culture is one of  Inertia , and deviation is punished.

These latter three sources of motivation are entirely disconnected from the work itself. However, according to Doshi & McGregor, “ identity  turns jobs into callings; it unites your team with a  common objective , behavioral code, heritage, and traditions.”

Like Jeb found at Oracle, we need to provide opportunities to connect employees with customers and direct their intrinsic desire to serve customers.

Engaging Employees in your Ease of Doing Business Efforts

It has been our experience that front-line employees tend to know and feel what frustrates their customers and would love nothing more than to fix it. Similarly, back-office employees feel their disconnect from customers acutely and are hugely motivated by learning how their actions impact customers and understanding how they’re making a difference for customers.

Following a merger or acquisition, there is often a massive effort to integrate customers into the new systems, contracts, support, etc. This effort is a phenomenal and often overlooked opportunity to get employees from both companies engaged in a compelling shared goal. You can be very targeted about which employees you engage with, to build enthusiasm and purpose consistent with Doshi & McGregor’s model above.

Ease of Doing Business means creating process efficiencies that allow our employees to spend more time on real value-add activities that matter. How many employees know precisely what constitutes a great experience? Effort, however, is intuitive. Employees often know precisely how to make it easy for customers to do business with us.

Where can we engage employees in our efforts to increase Ease of Doing Business?

Identify the Ease of Doing Business Hotspots

The first and easiest is to help identify the Ease of Doing Business Hotspots along the customer journey. Front-line employees often feel their customer’s pain acutely. And you would be surprised by how valuable the back-office employees (legal, accounts payable, contracts, accounts receivable, etc.) are.

Odds are, if a process is cumbersome for front-line employees, it’s tough for customers as well. Improved employee experience almost always translates into an improved customer experience. But not always the other way around. And that’s because frequently organizations paper-over problems and cause more difficult employee experiences in an attempt to improve the customer experience. So, there’s an argument for starting with the employee experience and asking if that’s been improved.

Prioritizing Ease of Doing Business Hotspots

After identifying the Hotspots that cause customer friction and impair revenue/profits, we want to prioritize them based on how easy and inexpensive it would be to implement fixes versus the positive impact those fixes will have on customers and your employees. Employees can be invaluable in identifying hotspots that are easy to fix, inexpensive, and highly impactful to both customers and employees. You should tackle these first. We want quick wins that help us gain peer and executive support for future projects. Even more importantly, this involvement will increase the level of employee enthusiasm and engagement you will need to go after more substantial projects.

Root Cause Analyses

As we embark on our journey to resolve the most critical Ease of Doing Business Hotspots, we need to engage process owners and front-line employees to help us perform root cause analyses. Employees typically understand the upstream nuances that result in significant issues downstream. Because they often acutely feel customer pain, they can enumerate the underlying issues that, if resolved, will ensure your solutions effectively reduce customer effort and make you easier to do business with.

Change Management Imperatives

The greatest strategies and action plans are useless without engaged employees. Countless Chief Customer Officers have failed because they cannot communicate their vision and convince employees to come with them on their change journey. 

Before embarking on each change management effort, you should consider critical success factors for change management. What are some of the risks or obstacles you expect to encounter? Who will help pave over those risks and help overcome political obstacles? 

Are there resources or capabilities that you don’t have within your group or even your company? 

How will your employees be involved in creating success? How will you include them in the analysis, development, measurement? 

Which employees do you need on your team? How will you convince them to participate in your efforts?


We cannot implement our grand challenges and plans without our employees truly onboard and committed.

According to  Gallup , only 33.1% of employees are actively engaged at work. Often, they lack direction and purpose. We have to create opportunities to engage them in increasing customer performance. We need to provide them formal opportunities to help solve customer problems.

If we’re successful, they’ll engage, and according to Gallup, companies with engaged employees drive 21% higher profitability and 20% higher sales. We’ll sign up for that.

Until next time,

Curtis Bingham & Jeb Dasteel

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Categories: Customer Retention | Ease of Doing Business | Employee Engagement

Your Journey to Ease of Doing Business

Thursday, October 24, 2019

We have already written extensively about Ease of Doing Business. And we will continue to do so. Why, you might ask? Because it’s that important. We see the challenges as pervasive—across virtually all the organizations we have spoken to, worked with, and researched. As a result, we want to highlight any approaches we can to help organizations score some quick wins by becoming systematically easier to do business with.

Love to Hate Journey Mapping

One such technique uses journey mapping. We just love to hate journey mapping—mostly because it’s so often viewed as a panacea for all things wrong with Customer Experience… and beyond. Your customers are dissatisfied? Journey map! Your user interface is rotten? Journey map! Too many service requests? Journey map! Loyalty scores are low? Journey map! Your revenue is down? Journey map! The business is under-performing? Journey map! If only it were that simple.

Journey mapping is a useful tool, but it has to be applied narrowly, for a very specific purpose. In the case of Ease of Doing Business, we apply bits and pieces of it to identify HOTSPOTS where friction is especially egregious.

Focus on Ease of Doing Business Hotspots

So far, in our Ease of Doing Business series, we have discussed exactly what it means, why it’s so importanthow buyers and sellers think about it differently, what the typical business drivers are, what sort of capabilities are required for an effective program, how to build a business case, and—most recently—some critical success factors in making yourself easier to do business with. We believe you can very effectively use journey mapping to quickly identify a handful of these hotspots where customers are especially at risk for defection to effect real change, really fast.

How to Do This In 7 Steps

  1. Identify and characterize prototypical buying personas. Typically, this would include the personas’ background, some demographic data, key identifiers, goals & challenges, and some discussion on what we as the seller can do to help to address those goals & challenges.
  2. Create the initial Ease of Doing Business Map, doing this with a view of the customer lifecycle and each of the most important channels to market. Lifecycle phases can take any form, but we typically use something like: define need; research fulfillment of need; select provider; buy; receive goods or services; use goods or services; maintain; and recommend to the next buyer.
  3. Identify the Ease of Doing Business Hotspots along this journey based on customer, front line employee, intermediary (as appropriate), back office, and management team input. You would be surprised by how valuable the back office (legal, accounts payable, contracts, accounts receivable, etc.) is.
  4. Rinse and repeat. Iterate the personas, the map, and the hotspots through a combination of interviews and workshops and reconcile the hotspots with the typical Ease of Doing Business Drivers seen in research.
  5. Prioritize the hotspots based on how easy and inexpensive it would be to implement fixes versus the positive impact those fixes will have on customers and your employees. Obviously, the hotspots that are easy to fix, inexpensive, and highly impactful to both customers and employees will be the first things you will want to tackle.
  6. Further test the most actionable hotspots by holding them up against your CEO’s vision and priorities for the business and make sure there is line of sight to enterprise operational and financial metrics as well. If you’ve been following along for the last several weeks, these are elements of the business case
  7. Lastly, select the critical few to turn into initiatives and build out a project plan for each, including change management imperatives and a scorecard that will help you gauge incremental progress. You will definitely want to assign tag teams, as discussed last week, to guide each initiative.

Where to Start

We like to start with a customer survey and a series of customer and internal executive front-line employee interviews. That will give you the starting point for the personas and for putting the actual journey map together. And, as always, we’re here to help. If you haven’t already, check out the Ease of Doing Business Accelerator. There’s a public version, where we bring 4-5 companies together for a session that benefits from sharing of best practices and lessons learned across businesses and industries. And there’s a private version where we do a deep dive for one company.

That’s it for now. See you again next week.

Curtis Bingham & Jeb Dasteel


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Categories: CCO Council | Customer Effort | Customer Retention

Five Critical Success Factors in Becoming Easier to do Business With

Monday, October 14, 2019

If you asked your customers, “How easy is it to do business with us?” what would they say? If you’re like many other companies, they’ll probably say, “Not very.” If you asked customers to compare you with Amazon or Lyft or USAA, they might say, “Not at all!”

How do we make it easier for our customers to buy from us?

Isn’t it just about improving the customer experience?

Turns out, the answer is “No.” Ease of Doing Business trumps CX. As the seminal article “Bad is Stronger than Good” points out, “bad emotions, events and feedback have more impact than good ones. Bad impressions are quicker to form and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones.” The badness of high customer effort, which ordinarily transcends multiple customer touchpoints, is not easily offset by the goodness of CX improvements, which tend to affect very specific moments. CX is meant to be all-encompassing, but in practice it almost never is. The persistence of rampant Ease of Doing Business challenges in virtually every organization we encounter is proof of that, given the enormous push for CX improvements over the past 10 years.

Ease of Doing Business is on the lips of many CEOs and Board members, and rightly so. The promise of reduced costsis huge. Reducing customer effort can save 37% in operating expenses and induce customers to spend 88% more. Customer effort impairs revenue growth and destroys profits. Ease of Doing Business is the single most important thing for companies to focus on. In earlier articles we listed some of the most common drivers of Ease of Doing Business, but there is a massive disconnect in buyer’s and seller’s perceptions of which drivers are really impacting a given situation.

We’ve watched businesses attempt to become customer-centric for the past decade. Some have succeeded wildly. Others have failed miserably. In an effort to understand why, we interviewed some of the most successful CMOs, CSOs, CCOs, etc. to learn what they did to shape customer strategy.

Based on these interviews and our own experiences, Jeb Dasteel, former chief customer officer of Oracle, and I have developed a Customer Performance Framework. It contains seven leading indicators. Executives who improve these guarantee increased revenue, profits, and job performance. Customer Effort, or Ease of Doing Business, is the #1 most important leading indicator. The Framework also includes 60+ programs that an executive can deploy against those seven leading indicators.

There are five critical steps you should take as you start down the path of making yourself easier to do business with:

  1. Establish Ease of Doing Business Metrics
  2. Understand Critical Drivers of Ease of Doing Business
  3. Develop a Baseline Perception
  4. Identify Ease of Doing Business Hotspots
  5. Establish a Customer Effort Tag Team

Let’s look at these one at a time:

Establish Ease of Doing Business Metrics

The most critical first step is to develop a set of metrics that measure overall Ease of Doing Business as well as transactional customer effort. We’ve found that many CMOs and CCOs are measuring NPS and CSAT, reading verbatims, polling sales teams, etc. to back into identifying processes that might be causing friction for customers. However, very few are formally measuring Ease of Doing Business or customer effort effectively.

A large energy distribution company in the US recently began measuring NPS. However, their customers are largely captive—they may only gain or lose 1 new customer in any given year. A “willingness to recommend” or other loyalty metric isn’t actually going to inform strategy. However, becoming Easier to do Business With is something that can minimize complaints, rescues, escalations, and complaints to regulatory bodies. And it will do more to protect profits and prevent that one lost customer than most any other activity.

Metrics have to be informed by customers. Our research shows there is zero overlap in the top three things we as sellers think are important to fix vs. what buyers believe is important. Metrics have to help us accurately assess the key drivers from our customer’s perspectives. This is the only way we can ensure we’re focused on impactful initiatives. Furthermore, we need to balance customer desires with strategic imperatives and costs to deliver.

We recommend creating an overall Ease of Doing Business metric rolled up from other measures, as well as a transactional Customer Effort Score.

Understand Critical Drivers of Ease of Doing Business

What do your customers say makes you hard to do business with? Is it the sales process? Contracting? Collaboration? On-boarding? We have identified the 10 most common drivers of Ease of Doing Business. We would love to have you share your drivers and help us expand our repository of benchmarks. Can you take 3 minutes and share?

It is critical to establish these drivers using customer input. That’s the whole point of the exercise. Socialize them within your company and use these as a foundation for your Ease of Doing Business improvements.

Develop a Baseline Perception

At the core of any good change initiative is a solid baseline. The same holds true for assessing Ease of Doing Business. It must measure both internal and customer perceptions. We're using a diagnostic tool that measures perceptions and performance in eight broad categories of our Customer Performance Framework. This diagnostic is completed by specifically targeted line of business leaders, front-line employees, and key customers. The results are rolled up into an overall Ease of Doing Business Score.

Front-line employees often have a very good sense of where customer frustration is the highest. We often find alignment in perceptions between these employees and customers and then find gaps in perceptions between executives and those same customers. If carefully handled, bringing clarity to these different points of view can be a powerful motivator for change.

The overall Ease of Doing Business score should align with each of the critical drivers to allow for granular measurement of improvement.

Identify Ease of Doing Business Hotspots

Customer effort originated in the call center, because customers were 4x more likely to leave those interactions disloyal.

That is no longer enough. Ease of Doing Business has to be measured across the customer journey.

The root causes of increased effort can be found well upstream of the call center. A major insurance company experienced a massive increase in call volume within days of mailing monthly statements. Frustrations were extremely high. This surge of calls was caused by confusing billing statements accompanied by generic and irrelevant inserts.

Creating an Ease of Doing Business Hotspot Map can be very useful in pinpointing customer effort hotspots and prioritizing solutions. Evaluate each customer touchpoint and customer-impacting process through the lens of Ease of Doing Business:

  • Perceived ease: how hard do customers perceive the job to be done?
  • Actual ease: how much actual time is spent performing the job?
  • Competitive ease: how hard do customers perceive it is to do the same job with competitors?
  • Returned value: How much value does touchpoint improvement yield?

Even though a job to be done doesn’t actually take long, it can be perceived to be high effort. Filling out a supplier form in the vendor’s portal might take little time. But if it is the fifth time your customer has had to re-enter information it becomes high-effort and a source of friction. This friction is additive across many other interactions.

Establish a Customer Effort Tag Team

Customer effort is typically a result of decisions and processes far upstream from where customers say, “You’re hard to do business with!” A single executive rarely has complete span of control over all the drivers of Ease of Doing Business. Therefore, successful customer executives create a cross-functional team. They ensure the team has the explicit permission to examine all processes across the organization.

While at Oracle, Jeb orchestrated cross-functional teams to address the top 10 sources of customer friction. Members of his own team served as consultants to passionate employees from business units that owned the sources of friction. Members were trained and emboldened to make change. Group membership changed based on the initiatives underway.

The Tag Team provides leverage as they work within their respective organizations to address the biggest obstacles to Ease of Doing Business. As well, they help their organizations adhere to standard best practices along the drivers of Ease of Doing Business.


Ease of Doing Business is one of the most important (and overlooked) components of business success. If you’re hard to do business with, customers don’t care that you have made point-in-time or transactional CX improvements.

Armed with the metrics, critical drivers, a baseline customer perception, and Ease of Doing Business hotspots, you and your team have all you need to establish priorities and create an action plan to engage employees in resolving real issues. We just wrote about how critical it is to create a business case to demonstrate and then measure value—even for something as seemingly obvious as Ease of Doing Business.

If you Want Help

If you’d like assistance in developing these and additional capabilities, we’ve created an Ease of Doing Business Accelerator. You can attend a public accelerator and benefit from cross-pollination with other non-competing companies or you can bring it in-house to work exclusively on your own strategies.

If you’d like to learn more or join us at the accelerator, please select a convenient time for a brief call.

Curtis Bingham

Jeb Dasteel, Former chief customer officer, Oracle

View Curtis Bingham's profile on LinkedIn


Categories: Customer Effort | Customer Loyalty | Customer Retention | Ease of Doing Business

Ease of Doing Business: Do You Know What’s Driving Your Customers Away?

Monday, September 23, 2019



Ease of Doing Business: There is quite a lot written about this at the macroeconomic level. The World Bank measures Ease of Doing Business for 190 countries, based on detailed characteristics including how hard it is to start a new business, labor market regulations, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, trading across borders, paying taxes, and enforcing contracts. This follows the whole lifecycle of a business in each of these countries:

Source: World Bank “Doing Business 2019” Report, 16thEdition, The World Bank Group

It struck us when we looked at this that there are undeniable parallels here to the individual firm and how we look at ease of doing business at the microeconomic level—from the firm perspective and how it relates to the firm’s customers. Starting a business roughly equates to initiating the relationshipbetween buyer and seller. Getting a location translates to establishing the basic infrastructurefor doing business together (how the goods or services will flow). Accessing finance means establishing commercial terms and putting contracts in place. Dealing with day-to-day operations is pretty much just like it sounds: it’s all about transactions and interactions. Lastly, operating in a secure business environment is about dealing with issues and assuring business continuity.

Let’s look at the typical Ease of Doing Business drivers and organize them this same way:

Time and again, as Jeb and I have spoken to or worked with clients, we see these same drivers. In Jeb's experience as chief customer officer at Oracle for 11 years, when he made big improvements in contracting, relationship management (specifically account management), and issue resolution, Oracle made a substantial difference for its customers. Meaning, those tend to be the big levers from a customer perspective.

While we do see a high degree of consistency in what impacts customers, there’s every possibility we are missing something. We’d like your input on what you are experiencing in this one-question survey. Are there Ease of Doing Business drivers we’ve missed in the above list? How would YOU prioritize these? Which ones have the greatest customer impact?

These drivers are the center of our methodology in working with organizations to make them easier to do business with. We’ve worked with and interviewed scores of executives who’ve asked for help in becoming easier to do business with—so we’ve created an Ease of Doing Business Accelerator for top executives and 3-4 members of your cross-functional team to create a specific action plan for YOUR challenges. Join our upcoming session on November 13-14 in Seattle, where we will:

  • Define and prioritize ease of doing business challenges
  • Link each of the Ease of Doing Business drivers to the operational and financial metrics most essential to your CEO
  • Develop an action plan: specific initiatives to address the top priority Ease of Doing Business challenges
  • Create a process for root cause/corrective actions to address Ease of Doing Business needs by customer segment on an ongoing basis

The World Bank's objective is to "drive inclusive, sustainable economic growth.” While we of course want the same thing, our goals are a little simpler—and arguably more achievable. We want to help you understand your Ease of Doing Business drivers and create an action plan that will create greater value for your customers and for you.

We hope to see you in November!

Curtis Bingham, founder and CEO, CCO Council

Jeb Dasteel, former CCO, Oracle

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Categories: Customer Effort | Customer Engagement | Customer Retention | Ease of Doing Business

Why go digital? Because it is all about the Value of Customer Engagement

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Customers with the best experience generate 140% more revenue. Digital transformation enables greater customer engagement, and therefore greater revenue.

What is the business value of an improved customer experience? CEOs have never responded well when chief customer officers (CCOs) say “Trust me, this is the right thing to do.” In fact, the average tenure of a CCO is only 27 months (recent CCO Council research). Why is this so low? One reason is that some customer executives struggle to demonstrate quantifiable ROI for customer initiatives. When the CEO and CFO are making priority decisions they simply can’t compare the returns for investing in CX improvements with hiring another salesperson.  Or worse, when the company hits a revenue road bump, the CCO’s initiatives and sometimes even the CCO herself are the first to be cut because their value cannot be quantified.

According to research published in HBR by Medallia, customers with the highest CX scores generate 140% more revenue than those with the lowest.

Medallia examined in depth two companies, one transactional and one subscription based. Transactional companies typically measure return frequency and average spend per visit. Subscription-based companies typically measure duration of repeat business, typically through retention, cross-sell, and upsell. They examined customer feedback and experience scores at a point in time, and then actual behavior for the subsequent year. This is important, as one of the downfalls of NPS measurement is that it measures nebulous intent and not actual behavior.

After controlling for other factors that drive repeat purchases such as affinity or natural consumption cycles, Medallia found a strong correlation between CX and revenue. Revenue generated by each customer increased significantly with higher CX scores. The customers with the best past experiences generated 140% greater revenue than customers with the worst past experiences.

For the subscription business, customers having the poorest experience stood only a 43% chance of being a member a year later, and were only likely to remain a member for a little over a year. Conversely, those with the best experiences were 74% likely to remain a member a year later, and were likely to remain a member for six years.

Done right, digital transformation promises improved customer engagement, a better experience doing so, and decreased costs to serve. And that’s a compelling argument.

How are you demonstrating the ROI of your customer initiatives and CX programs to your CEO?

P.S. Next question: Would it be valuable to have a discussion about where you need to go next in your digital transformation?

I've created a comprehensive digital assessment that benchmarks against the world's leading companies in six critical dimensions and gives you a prioritized roadmap going forward. I've partnered with Bob Taylor, former CCO of Samsung SDS and present CDO of from.digital, a digital transformation agency to bring this to you.

If you'd like to discuss, please call me at 978-226-8675 or email curtis@ccocouncil.org.

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Categories: Chief Customer Officer | Customer Centricity | Customer Engagement | Customer Insight | Customer Loyalty | Customer Retention

Design Thinking-Deeply Immerse Yourself in Your Customers' World

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


"Our customers are leaving in droves. Those that stay are killing us in price negotiations. We need your help to fix it."

A major pharmaceutical company asked me to understand how, despite spending millions in marketing, advertising, and sales, low-cost generic competitors were eating their lunch in a particular segment. They had slick brochures that promised great benefits including higher inventory turnover, lower COGS, enhanced cash flow, highest returns on investments, high-tech inventory management programs, and more. Yet revenue was sliding. Customers seemed to only care about low price. Salespeople were negotiating away margin, and over-servicing customers to make up for what seemed like inflated prices. The dots weren't connecting.
I sat down with an elderly Mr. Wong in the cramped backroom only barely separated from the noise and hustle in the front of his small NYC pharmacy. When I asked about his experience in working with my client, he told me that he hadn't seen his sales rep in four years. He had never seen the brochures detailing the bevy of programs that my client offered. He admitted, in fact, that he didn't didn't know what COGS was (cost of goods sold). I came up empty as I tested all of my client's assumptions.
Flummoxed, I asked Mr. Wong, "What is really important to you in running your business?" His answers were surprising:
  1. I want to spend more time with my customers
  2. I have to grow volume. 
  3. But I can't do either because the insurance companies are squeezing everything.
  4. I'm looking ahead at retirement and I need help in getting my son ready to take over the business. 
I repeated these interviews in many, many different pharmacies across the US. The answer was shockingly consistent: customers were clamoring for help. They were willing to pay more for greater value. But they didn't understand what my client was telling them. My client was providing glossy brochures designed for the CVS and Walgreens of the world. But the small pharmacists didn't understand COGS, inventory turn, ROI. They were pharmacists. Who were forced into running a business.
In the absence of real value, they turned to price-the only thing they had left. I suggested four key hot-button issues that marketing and sales could use that actually met customer needs. And sales increased by $20M. Each year. 
One of the foundational tenets of design thinking is deep immersion in your customer's world. Like my client, without this deep immersion, you are stuck with supposition and belief-which may be completely wrong and may have damaging financial ramifications.
What if you were to deeply immerse yourself in your customer's world? What if you were to simply ask your customers, "What are you trying to accomplish? What is important? Why?" There are any number of methods to formalize this process from simple phone interviews to "follow-me-home" visits to full ethnographic research.
But what if you started with a direct conversation with a couple of your best customers and asked, What? And Why? Whom can you call tomorrow?
Take the first step in applying design thinking by deeply immersing yourself and your team in your customers' world. 

We're focusing exclusively on design thinking in our upcoming CCO Council meeting on April 12. Brilliant conversations with brilliant CCOs. If you think you should be there, call me @ 978-226-8675. 

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Categories: CCO Council | Customer Insight | Customer Retention | Design Thinking