Service Excellence

Customer Experience: Expert Predictions for 2017

Nishita Roy By Nishita Roy Consultant Marketing Manager, Dell Chief Customer Office January 23, 2017

Many companies are in the midst of their strategic planning for the year. One area of business that cannot be ignored is the importance of customer experience (CX)—in fact, Gartner predicted that, by 2017, 89% of marketers expected customer experience to be the primary differentiator (Source: Gartner).  Clearly, CX matters.

The question is where should companies focus their CX efforts this year?

To gain deeper insight on this question, we asked four prominent CX industry leaders from Temkin Group, Walker, Technology Services Industry Association, and Dell to share their perspectives.

Here’s what they have to say…

Bruce Temkin, Customer Experience ExpertExpert Advice: Bruce Temkin, CX Transformist & Managing Partner, Temkin Group @btemkin

 “Focus on the human element—emotion”


“For 2017, I’d like to see customer experience efforts more clearly acknowledge that customers are human beings. I know that sounds a bit odd, since what else are customers if they’re not human beings?!? All too often, however, I see customer experience activities that implicitly assume that customers aren’t actually human beings. How? They regularly neglect emotions, motivations, intuitive thinking, and individuality.

Temkin Customer Experience Ratings

2016 Temkin Experience Ratings show that emotion is lowest scoring area of customer experience.

Customers who have a very positive emotional experience are more than 15 times as likely to recommend a company, more than 7 times as likely to make additional purchases, and almost 7 times more likely to forgive a company if it makes a mistake. In most cases, emotion is the largest driver of loyalty, yet the Temkin Experience Ratings show that emotion is the lowest scoring element of an experience. That’s not a surprise, since our research also shows that companies are not good at measuring or designing for human emotions.

So, for 2017, let’s explicitly remember that our customer experience efforts (including our work on employee engagement) affect real people who have a unique emotional response to everything we do, are motivated by intrinsic goals, and often make intuitive, not rational decisions.”

Bruce’s Recommended Resources:

  • Visit to find out more about how to cater to your customers’ emotions
  • Visit for access to many free Temkin Group resources
  • Visit to connect with a worldwide community of customer experience professionals

Expert Advice: Sean Clayton, Senior Vice President, Walker

“Align your CX strategy with CEO needs”



“CEOs today overwhelmingly believe in the power of CX to differentiate their company and create an advantage in the marketplace. Walker believes companies need to seize this new found visibility by aligning CX programs with CEO needs. CX programs are typically focused on identifying tactical customer issues that need fixing.  What CEOs want are strategic initiatives that drive growth, profitability and a competitive advantage.

CEO View of Customer Experience

Source: Walker 2016 “CEO View of CX” Report (survey of 550 CEOs)

A key opportunity for CX in 2017 is to evolve from just pinpointing break-fix problems that cause customer pain to also determining which aspects of the customer journey could be redesigned to create breakthrough outcomes, in the form of memorable experiences that truly differentiate your company (for real life examples of this, take a look at what Silvercar and Amazon Go are each doing to the car rental and grocery store experiences respectively).

CEOs tell us that innovation is both part of the customer experience and essential to business success.  Companies that have successfully leveraged CX into a competitive advantage are steered by CEOs who prioritize innovation over cost-cutting initiatives.

In 2017, take a fresh look at your company’s CX strategy and rethink your current CX practices in order to innovate.  Designing and delivering an exceptional experience isn’t quick or easy, but it is the best way to create the sustainable competitive advantage that your CEO expects from CX.”

Sean’s Recommended Resources:

Vele Galovski, Customer Experience ExpertExpert Advice: Vele Galovski, Vice President of Research, Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) @vgalovski

“Focus on customer outcomes”


“Traditional business models that have been geared to making, selling, and shipping product are under significant pressure. As product margins compress and product revenues decline, company revenue streams are becoming more service intensive (see TSIA Service 50 Index). Unfortunately, traditional support, education, and professional service offerings are losing their enamor with customers since they were designed to implement technology and keep it running. What customers really want is help optimizing their use of technology.

Total Service & Product Revenues

The TSIA Service 50 Index shows the growing importance of service revenue

This is giving rise to new classes of services such as Adoption Services (help the customer move from low to effective adoption of your technology), Managed Services (help the customer optimize ongoing operational costs), and Outcome Services (help the customer achieve specific business outcomes).

These new outcome-based offers demand a heightened level of CX since:

  1. They require an in-depth understanding of the customer and the business outcomes they are hoping to achieve.
  2. They require service organizations to systematically drive technology adoption within customer accounts, and
  3. They require accelerated customer spending and you cannot cross-sell / upsell a dissatisfied customer.

Here are three questions to kick-start your internal customer outcomes discussions:

  1. What types of new pricing models are your customer’s looking for today?
  2. What are the customer business outcomes we can help impact with our technology?
  3. How are customers going to be consuming technology five years from now?

Your ability to show a cause and effect relationship between your services and the customer’s business outcome will ultimately determine the success of your company.”

Vele’s Recommended Resources:

Carolyn Muise, Customer Experience ExpertExpert Advice: Carolyn Muise, Vice President of Voice of Customer Analytics and Intelligence, Dell.

“It’s all about the data—predictive analytics, visualizations and governance”

“In 2017 and beyond as we become a more digital world, it is increasingly important to focus on customer experience. To strengthen customer relationships, companies need to invest in strategies and tools to unlock the power of Big Data. Predictive analytics, data visualization tools and a comprehensive data governance program are three of the most important areas to focus on this year.

Predictive analytics allows companies to extract information from existing data sets in order to determine patterns and anticipate future outcomes and trends. Companies that leverage predictive modeling as part of their strategy will see a significant increase in their profitability in the coming years—Gartner notes up to 250% ROI for companies who utilize it (Source: Gartner).

Data visualization tools allow data scientists and business experts alike to easily compare and show macro trends across the global customer base as well as provide customized views for an individual account. It is imperative that companies hire and train employees who can both perform the challenging data analysis work but also translate key insights into compelling and consumable stories.


MyService360: Powered by the secure Dell Data Lake and available at no charge, this tool delivers near real-time personalized data & actionable insights to customers.

Data governance provides a ‘single source of truth’ about customers. And the growing importance of governance is clear around the world—IDC says: ‘by 2017, two-thirds of Asian-based CIOs will initiate a data transformation and governance framework to turn information into a competitive business differentiator’ (Source: IDC). By investing in a company-wide data lake and ensuring that the information housed here is secure, accessible and accurate, you can transform the way you sell and service your customers by proving that you truly know who your customers are and what they need.

When you embrace and activate data, you can deliver a more personalized and consistent customer experience and win customer loyalty for the long-term.”

How Data Quality Impacts Business Process

Image Source: Back Office Associates (


Carolyn’s Recommended Resources:


The New Year brings new opportunity. If you have not yet ensured that your business strategy encompasses your CX focus, well, it’s time you do so. And if you need a little help to make your CX business case—just draw on the lessons from four of the industry’s top CX leaders—Bruce, Sean, Vele and Carolyn—who share an unwavering belief that the ultimate competitive differentiator will be the customer experience and show how a focus on emotion, CEOs needs, customer outcomes and data will win your customers in 2017 and beyond.

Nishita Roy

About Nishita Roy

Consultant Marketing Manager, Dell Chief Customer Office

Nishita Roy-Pope leads strategic marketing initiatives to drive external and internal awareness of and engagement around Dell’s award-winning customer experience program and capabilities. She started her career at Dell in 2012 and led high visibility global marketing programs and projects for the global services organization to drive external thought leadership, employee engagement, sales revenue and customer awareness around the company’s proactive, self-service capabilities leveraging the online community network. Nishita is committed to increasing diversity in STEM fields and is the founder of a Dell-sponsored internship program to provide high school young women students with hands-on work experience. She also proudly serves on the Board of Directors of Girls Inc. of Worcester, a non-profit organization that serves 2,000 girls annually. Prior to joining Dell, Nishita worked as a field consultant in the Middle East region for several non-profit organizations and a small software company. Nishita holds a bachelor’s degree in Government and International Relations from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Texas A&M University. Her personal passions include running, traveling and spending time with her husband and son.

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4 thoughts on “Customer Experience: Expert Predictions for 2017

  1. Great summary of the trends in CX and how emotion, access to insights through Bid Data and an outcomes based approach is needed to customer conversations. Thanks for sharing CX team.

    • Thank you, Duncan for your comments. You are definitely a key driver of Dell CX as one of our global customer service leaders — you have such an important job in ensuring our customers stay happy and loyal.

  2. Pingback: Expert Predictions: How to Win customer Experie...

  3. 100% agree with Bruce Temkin! Sometimes going above and beyond requires a good amount of time and energy. But those who relate well with others don’t spend extra hours each day doing it. It’s not about how much time you spend, but how quickly you can demonstrate your commitment and concern. It’s about how quickly you can manage your customer’s emotions and at the same time establish a relationship.

    Emotional connections can determine the strength of your relationship with a customer. An emotional connection drives passion, loyalty and advocacy.

    Thanks for sharing, I will definitely pass this along to my CS Team!