Problem 1: Unrealized Potential; the Top-level Issue

Problem 1: Unrealized Potential;
the Top-level Issue

Most corporate CX strategies fail to deliver meaningful results. We know why.

We have experience with over a thousand CX implementations. We have seen that most are not successful. They have little impact and fail to produce meaningful financial results.

The issues leading to failure arise in planning, implementation, and operation. After more than fifteen years, we have reached a deep understanding of the most common problems. We can identify their root causes, and how to resolve them.

This series of articles starts by outlining the most serious problems. It goes on to describe their causes. It then outlines the solutions we are certain work.

It’s about realizing true potential.

“The most common commodity in this country is
unrealized potential.”


The overall problem – unrealized potential

Customer experience is at the center of strategy for most enterprises. Or at least, that is what senior executives claim if prodded. Even if it is not a ‘top 5’ competitive element, almost all enterprises understand the importance of delivering on an experience that exceeds, or at least meets the competitive challenges of their market.

What happens when a company improves customer experience? Or, more importantly, what happens when it does so at a speed that is faster than competitors?

At a somewhat deeper level, what happens inside and outside a company when they set out to improve customer experience? What is easy? What are the challenges? What works? What does not?

Fewer than 5% of those implementing NPS achieve the kind of breakthrough results that they want.

15 years of experience

Over the last 15 years we have had a front-row seat while witnessing the adoption of CX strategies. We have seen the rise of the Net Promoter Score as a mechanism to calibrate performance. Since our team at Satmetrix created NPS in a joint endeavor with Fred Reichheld of Bain, over 6,000 companies formally adopted our methodology. Many more use some form of NPS in their business. It has become a standard in the marketplace.

The promise of NPS is that it is The One Number You Need to Grow. While that headline is an over-simplification, the message is clear: improving customer experience should deliver growth and superior financial returns.

Does it deliver? Let’s narrow that down: does implementing a corporate CX initiative and team deliver growth and financial returns that are better than those enjoyed by competitors?


We have the answers

We can answer that question, definitively. We have helped over a thousand companies with their CX implementations. Indeed, in some cases we have helped companies in the same industries to start their efforts. We have judged the results objectively, using data science. Our emotions quickly got involved: we became less and less happy.

Despite the obvious enthusiasm and management commitment, customer experience remains unrealized potential for most companies. We believe that fewer than 5% of those implementing NPS achieve the kind of breakthrough results that they want. Worse, disappointment causes many to abandon their efforts.

We were successful in introducing a powerful idea to business. But we have not yet succeeded in releasing its true potential. Why not? What’s the solution? Years of experience convince us that the problems are clear. The answers are within reach.

The next article in this series brings a surprise. Despite all the survey requests you receive; despite the thousands, even millions, of survey requests companies send out, the first major problem is data. 95% or more of the companies reading these words do not have the data that they need. Without the right data, companies can’t make decisions that bring the best financial results.

Check out our next article in this series Problem 2: Despite What You Think, It’s a Data Problem.


OCX Cognition delivers the future of NPS. We ensure customer experience success by combining technology and data science with programmatic consulting. In our Insights section, we present a comprehensive and evolving collection of resources based on our research and expertise, collected for CX leaders committed to delivering business outcomes.