Customer Obsession v. Customer Focused

Jeff Bezos encourages us to become Customer Obsessed (see video snippet) however Netflix’s journey to CX Obsession is less well known.

Here is an extract from a great article (link below):

From Gibson Biddle, former VP at Netflix and CPO at Chegg
In 2005, as I joined Netflix as VP of Product, I asked Reed Hastings, the CEO, what he hoped his legacy would be. His answer: “Consumer science.” He explained, “Leaders like Steve Jobs have a sense of style and what customers seek, but I don’t. We need consumer science to get there.”

Gibson Biddle, Former VP at Netflix

Reed’s aspiration was that the Netflix team would discover what delights customers through the scientific process. Forming hypotheses through existing data, qualitative, and surveys, and then A/B testing these ideas to see what works. His vision was that product leaders at Netflix would develop remarkable consumer insight, fueled by results and learning from thousands of experiments.

During my time at Netflix, and later at my next startup, Chegg, I learned to move from customer focus to customer obsession. In doing so embraced Reed’s notion of consumer science. Here’s how I think about the transition:


The full article here is great testimony to moving away from the soft and fluffy version of Customer Experience.
Let’s get more scientific about Customer Experience.

Contact Gibson here.

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CX Obsessed or just playing at it?
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The Shocking Truth about Customer Experience


The single biggest piece of advice I give to senior executives setting out on the Customer Experience journey is to STOP. Yes seriously, the vast majority of CX efforts are completely misaligned.

CX Efforts Misaligned

Don’t get me wrong the intentions are good. Unfortunately, it goes something like this:

  1. Top Team are listening and decide they need to get with this customer centricity/Outside-In/working backwards thinking.
  2. Senior Management makes noises that the customer is THE thing the business must focus on.
  3. The Executive engage the marketing and sales guys to get with it and start pushing the message.
  4. Functional leaders hear the noise and bluster. They start using the language, whilst thinking this is just more fluff and nonsense. They make the right noises for now but keep their heads down, because they know this will go the same way as so many other ‘strategic initiatives’.
  5. Fundamentally functional heads carry on working with the out of date reward system that promotes sub-optimal industrial age thinking and practice.
  6. The Executive see the usual inertia, results not coming through, apathy and indifference and decide their business isn’t really an Amazon.
  7. Top Team then reverts to just getting better at what we are doing, then when someone in ‘our industry’ proves it we will follow.
  8. Functional leaders breathe a sigh of relief and invest even more in industrial age systems and training. The illusion of doing something, in this case, is actually worse than doing nothing.
  9. The businesses failure is noted by customers who move to those who do understand and deliver Customer Experience success.
  10. The company becomes another footnote in the history books. Talked about at business schools and picked apart because of the failure to get the new Outside-In customer-centric mindset.

Making Customer Experience Successful everywhere all the time

This isn’t rocket science (unless you are NASA of course). Understanding that the structures and ways of working from the industrial age were NEVER designed to be customer-centric. They were established to make things faster by optimizing production lines.

And oh, don’t think because you are not in manufacturing you are OK. It is likely your complete ways of working will be making everything look like production management systems, with talk of leaning out, waste reduction, standardization, efficiency, productivity. Sound familiar?

Understanding this Customer Experience misalignment is fundamental.

I encourage doing three things before re-joining the CX road-march:

  1. Understand how big the gap is between what you are doing and what Successful Customer Outcomes you need to be delivering.
  2. Audit the current key performance indicators.
    Are they mostly about outputs?
    Usually, the balance will be 80% output metrics (like calls answered, Average Handle Times, Abandoned Rates, Projects completed on time to budget etc.).
    Meanwhile, the really important measures that tell you a Successful Customer Outcome is being achieved will only be a small proportion.
    What you measure is what you get and no amount of Customer Experience drum banging will work unless those measures of Outcomes become the most important.
  3. Create an awareness of what real CX success is all about.
    This isn’t just the stories. It is about the actual things on the ground that need to change. The WHY and the HOW go hand in hand. Often times upskilling a group of key players at all levels to make them Ambassadors for the Customer achieves way more than massive corporate investment in branding and image.

In conclusion, Customer Experience cannot be treated just like another corporate initiative. To achieve success requires a significant shift in mindsets, and when that is achieved the realignment of the Enterprise to Outside-In can really begin.

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Agile & Customer Experience, a marriage made in….

They start in different places, they talk different languages, however what is the truth of either?
Updated – www.agilecem.com


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Customer Experience Management – it is all about the customer stupid!

Customer Experience Management is defined as the total effort that goes into creating successful customer outcomes.
This includes customer interactions and the conscious experience the customer ‘sees’ PLUS all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes, the IT, the people, the internal processes and the rules that connect the dots through to customer success.

For example a visit to a Cirque de Soleil in Las Vegas is a wonderful experience. The artists, the lights, the music and the emotion. However that is only half the story. The complete experience is delivered through the hard work behind the scenes, the production process, the electronics, the costumes, the training, the marketing, accounting and so on. Both what the customer sees and what creates the experience is the complete customer experience.


Do you want to get in the picture? Join us soon at a session in a city near you…


Join us to learn the Secrets of Apples, Googles, Zara, Zappos and Amazons success

Certified Process Professional Masters  Champions (CPP-Master) Program

An internationally recognized program with proven track record delivered by been there and done it coaches more than 150 times, in 57 cities with delegates from 108 countries.
The program, now in its tenth year, utilizes the BP Groups approaches and framework to help you and your organization win the triple crown – simultaneously reduce costs, grow revenues and enhance service.
Producing Immediate and sustainable business results across any industry and sector.

Become a qualified CPP-Master and demonstrate your professionalism http://www.bpgroup.org/book-class.html