Forrester asks execs to mark first CX Reality Day by playing ‘undercover customer’

The market research firm suggests business leaders should check to see if there is alignment between what's promised and what's true

Forrester is challenging business leaders to do some primary research of their own by designating July 15 as “CX Reality Day” and putting some of their customer experience promises to the test.

First teased during its recent CX North America virtual event that was held last month, Forrester on Tuesday coupled the formal announcement of CX Reality Day with a tip sheet and a background video with its chairman, George Colony.

In the video, Colony suggested executives take a cue from TV shows such as “Undercover Boss” and become a customer for their own firm. They should try to resolve a difficult problem with a product or service, he said, going through the customer support process or add a new product or service to their existing contract.

“Let them go to lunch, and at 1:00, reconvene the group via Zoom and talk about, ‘Is the brand promise alleging with the reality of the customer experience you’re delivering?’” he said. “You will find, in many cases, that you are not delivering on the promise.”

The point, obviously is to identify areas of friction or obstacles in order to bolster CX within a particular organization. The exercise reflects the fact that while a lot of customer journeys sound good in theory, they can fall apart in practice.

“Logging your emotions is important: Forrester’s CX Index™ data consistently shows that brands must ensure experiences delight their customers in order to boost loyalty,” the tip sheet says, referring Forrester’s annual benchmark of top-performing companies’ CX strategies. “Unsurprisingly, feelings of annoyance, disappointment, and frustration alienate customers.”

Not all outcomes of CX Reality Day exercises will be negative, Colony added, citing firms like Apple who have great offerings like Apple TV but who aren’t necessarily marketing it well enough.

“You may find that the experience is better than what is promised in the brand,” he said. “You may not be showing all the good things you’re doing.”

This is not the only time in the calendar that the importance of customer experience is elevated or celebrated. Each year on the first Tuesday in October, for example, the CXPA marks CX Day with chapter events and online content. In 2020, CX will take place on Oct. 6. SurveySensum and CustomerThink have created lists of ways to make the most of such occasions.

While CX Day may focus on CX practitioners, though, Colony said CX Reality Day should be an opportunity to identify whether or not there is alignment between CX leaders and those in the C-Suite.

“They can’t look away,” he said. “They have to look at the experience dead in the eyes.”

Forrester encouraged those participating to use #CXRealityDay to share what they’re done on social media.

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