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WaterRemarks -- July 2023

News and views from customer experience advisory firm Watermark Consulting

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A Message From Watermark Founder Jon Picoult

What's the worst 800-line phone greeting you've ever heard? Whatever it was, I bet I can top it with the one featured in this month's newsletter.

I was reminded of this 800-line greeting after personally encountering quite a few really awful customer experiences over the past month. But what was notable about those bad experiences is that they were largely "self-inflicted."

The companies involved weren't dealing with overly challenging circumstances. They were simply doing foolish things that stoked customer frustration -- things that could have been avoided if someone in the organization had just taken a step back and asked the most fundamental of questions: How might this interaction be making our customer feel?

I encourage you to ask that question frequently in relation to your business. Because if you don't, you'll likely end up with customer touchpoints that'll feel a lot like that dreaded 800-line greeting you're about to listen to!

Best regards,

Jon Picoult

Founder, Watermark Consulting

Author, From Impressed To Obsessed

P.S. Customer Service Week 2023 is less than 90 days away! This annual October event is a great opportunity to refocus and rally your teams around customer experience. Learn more.

The Worst Customer Service Phone Greeting... Ever!

The Worst 800-Line Phone Greeting... Ever!

We've seen a lot of strange things in the world of customer experience, but this particular example really made us question the sanity of today's business leaders. Who could have possibly thought this 800-line greeting was a good idea? Take a listen to this clip from a Jon Picoult keynote that focused on the concept of "effortless" customer experiences. [3 minute video]

Watch The Video

Throwback: WSJ Features "From Impressed To Obsessed" As A Top Summer Read

It was a year ago this month that Jon Picoult's book -- "FROM IMPRESSED TO OBSESSED: 12 Principles For Turning Customers And Employees Into Lifelong Fans" -- was among those featured in a Wall Street Journal article about top summer reads. Haven't read the book yet? Click below to learn more.

About The Book

Do Loyalty Programs Really Create Loyal Customers?

In this LinkedIn post, Jon highlighted recent remarks from the CEO of Airbnb which underscored the limitations of traditional points-based loyalty programs. [1 minute read]

Follow Jon On LinkedIn

You Can't Market Your Way To A Great Customer Experience

When he was a guest on The Marketing Book Podcast, Jon reminded listeners (using a story about Microsoft's $1 billion advertising campaign for Windows 8) that -- no matter how much you spend marketing your product or service -- it's the customer experience that'll ultimately shape people's perceptions about your business. [1 minute video]

Listen To The Interview Clip

ICYMI: IKEA's "Inconvenient" Truth -- How To Turn Hassles Into Happiness

Furniture retailer IKEA is thriving despite offering a customer experience that’s hardly effortless. In a world where “ease of doing business” is prized, how is IKEA still successful? The answer offers lessons for any business seeking to build customer loyalty. [4 minute read]

Learn More
Calendar flipping

Last Month's Edition Of WaterRemarks

Did you miss out on last month's edition of WaterRemarks? No worries, here's a link to access the newsletter and its lead story: "4 Leadership Lessons From The Ouster Of CNN's CEO."

Read More

"I always believe that the best loyalty program is people loving your product and if they love your products, they come back."

-- Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, explaining why Airbnb doesn't have a points-based loyalty program like many other travel and hospitality firms.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (July 19, 2023)

Watermark helps companies impress customers, inspire employees and improve brand loyalty. Contact us to learn more.