Who is Advising Executives on Customer Experience?

A few years ago I wrote an essay on “Strategic Delivery Points” to try and show how great product/service design, customer service, and other points where we deliver service to a customer can actually be a strategic advantage. There’s nothing new about this idea, of course, except that the emphasis on this approach is more important now more than ever, and why we read so much about design in the business press. Where before the product design or customer service was the responsibility of a low- or middle-manager, executives are now focusing on it.

Does that sound like hyperbole? Stop rolling your eyes and read this:

Robbie Bach, head of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, admitted that Windows Mobile isn’t losing market share because of sales or marketing or distribution or feature set, but that, “Our experiences aren’t as rich as they need to be.

This one is better:

The engagement with our users wasn’t there. One of the things we’re focused on is relentlessly improving the user experience.
— Owen Van Natta, a former Facebook executive who replaced Chris DeWolfe as chief executive of MySpace six months ago

Interesting — we’ve now got CEO’s talking about the strategic importance of user experience.

So who’s advising them?

Meanwhile, Nokia’s attempt to match the iPhone, with the N97 launched in June, has failed to impress. Credit Suisse analysts gave the N97 a score of 63 out of a 100, compared with 91 for the iPhone.

Credit Suisse? Yes, I’m sure they can hire for UX expertise, but when thinking of core competencies is a bank the one you go to for UX expertise? Or even for a quote in the Financial Times?

People, fill this gap.