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Customers make bad witnesses to your Customer Experience Crimes

Updated: Apr 4, 2021


Think of a world where poor customer experience is a crime. A world in which the court of public opinion defines your crimes and punishment. That punishment is share of wallet or the ultimate price of closure of your enterprise.

The real world

Most "crimes" against the customer happen in plain sight of both your staff and your customers.

Some crimes are small like wasting customers time or being unhelpful, and some are very large like ripping us off or losing/selling our data.

Yes there are always villains but in general terms, most of it can simply be put down to imperfect organisation, misusing tools and training rather than villany. It happens all the time. None of us are perfect and we often don't mean to do it. We use the tools and training we have, and the CX Industry is notoriously slow to adopt new tools.and science

Investigation Rule 1 Observation is best.

If its a medical investigation or police we like to get observational data. Not so in Customer Experience. We are obsessed with surveys which are basically eye witness statements with built in bias.

Some years ago police investigators and courts had a rude awakening when DNA became a reliable tool. 79% of 239 convictions based on eyewitness testimony only were overturned in the USA Innocence Project. Because memory is not a video it's more like a series of observational fragments. Elizabeth F. Loftus (University of California), .......remembering, is “more akin to putting puzzle pieces together than retrieving a video recording."

We are more likely to trust what our customers say when asked to recall an event than to observe what goes on in an event. Even when we have a recording of the event. It a well known bais and our legal and scientific communities have been aware of it for years.

CX relies too much on biased importance placed on unreliable witness evidence as the basis of our CX Strategy.........or customer surveys as you might call them.

Investigators prefer recordings they can study again and again. Recordings they listen for context hesitation and they focus on understanding the conversation.

CA (Conversation Analysis) is the next step in customer experience. From understand speech and sentiment to understanding the conversation is the game changer.

CA produces hundred of data points from every minute of conversation or every turn in a digital experience. CA is high definition highly available, actionable and provable insight.


The Goal

Study what goes on every day and see how to improve it. It is the most reliable logical and efficient approach. It is also the most cost effective.


Compare what happens in an interaction in terms of outcome. What went well, what went badly and start from there.


Keep your metrics simple and grounded in real science. There are 14 types of behaviour to focus on that provide a clear picture that can be used to develop continuous improvement and transformation.


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