And Now, a Word from Our Customer

by Jeannie Walters

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Over the last several days, I’ve been watching the Net Promoter Score conference #NPS2010 tweets and updates. (Not familiar with NPS? Check it out here.) Just the tweets themselves have been filled with insight and education, so I can only imagine how great the conference was!

One well-tweeted bit of wisdom came from the Steve Bonner, CEO of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA).

What was so remarkable that many attendees felt compelled to share with their networks? This simple idea:

Cancer Treatment Centers of America starts every board meeting with a visit from a patient.

This isn’t about a technology or a new survey technique or about anything else. It’s about real connection.

Why this simple idea is so powerful:

  • Data is great, but it’s not human. It’s easy to tell yourself stories about what it means.
  • A real, live human telling you specifically about his or her experience with your organization connects on an emotional level.
  • Insights gained from a STORY are typically better retained and internalized than those reviewed in a lofty report.
  • Inviting all your stakeholders to take a minute before plowing through an agenda to connect with the real cause of your organization provides a focus for the entire team.
  • The leaders of your organization can share a story with their team easier than sharing data.

This is one of the areas I enjoy most about customer experience: it’s about people. We are all trying to get through days that have too many complications, too much frustration, and typically lacking enough joy. Our experiences as customers matter. And organizations let us down over and over and over again, even when they have a 98% “satisfaction rate.”

CTCA of course has patients that are facing daily challenges few of us can imagine. So the organization takes responsibility for making their experience as great as it can possibly be. They share tons of data daily, too, but this little piece of their customer experience puzzle is remarkable for the simple way it connects leadership with the people they are truly there to serve. Kudos to them.

What can you do to connect your leadership with customers? Not through data, but through real, live interactions?

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators™ by 360Connext, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, a Forbes Coaches Council Member, a C-Suite Network Advisor, a LinkedIn Learning and Lynda.com instructor, and a TEDx speaker. Learn more here.

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