Building Customer Loyalty with the Four Customer Experience Core Competencies

4 minute read
Dan Berthiaume avatar

Providing a consistently strong customer experience is key to building lasting customer loyalty. A new report from Temkin Group, suggests that to provide the type of customer experience which builds long-term customer loyalty, companies must develop these four core competencies.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these four core competencies outlined in “The Four Customer Experience Core Competencies,” that provide customer experience differentiation, starting with purposeful leadership.


Tempkin Group - 4 Core CX Competencies (taken from The Four Customer Experience Core Competencies)

1. Purposeful Leadership Hinges on Values

According to Temkin Group, operating with “clear and consistent values” creates purposeful leadership. This is opposed to traditional corporate leadership that ignores mission statements in favor of making decisions based on individual needs at the time. Values must go beyond making profit and also focus on what is best for the customer.

Ideally, Temkin Group recommends starting a purposeful leadership initiative by developing a clear mission that identifies what makes a company so unique that customers would want to spend their money there and employees would want to work there. The mission should also encompass corporate goals and beliefs (again, these must go beyond turning a profit).

Once the company has identified its goals, beliefs and unique value proposition(s), it then must ensure that all HR policies reinforce the corporate mission. Communications to employees must start by explaining why a particular task or assignment is important to the wider mission rather than immediately focus on what needs to be done or how to do it. And executive actions must also support the corporate mission, as well as their words.

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2. Align Employees with Organizational Goals to Create Engagement

Temkin Group research shows that engaged employees try harder, engage customers and drive business results. To develop employee engagement, management should follow the “five Is” of Inform (provide employees with necessary information about the company and its customers), Inspire (connect customers to the company’s values so they believe and take pride in them), Instruct (provide coaching, training and feedback), Involve (work with employees in creating job descriptions and problem-solving) and Incent (reward and reinforce positive employee behaviors).

3. Deliver on Brand Promise to Create Compelling Value

Companies must actually deliver on their brand promise, rather than simply make promotional statements, to create value that truly compels customers to do business on a regular basis. Temkin Group recommends three steps to creating compelling brand value -- make explicit promises about what your brand will deliver, communicate those promises to everyone in the organization so the entire company “owns” the promises and, of course, keep all promises. 

4. Infuse Customer Insight to Create Connectedness

Rather than relying on intuition or possibly outdated internal tradition, companies need to actively collect customer insight and then embed it in every part of the organization. This includes identifying customer segments -- including “psychographic” and behavioral segments as well as demographic ones, identify key moments such as a customer changing their address that present opportunities to offer deeper services, continuously listen to and act upon customer feedback, and use good design that takes the specific needs of your customers into account.

The Six Stages of Customer Experience Maturity

Temkin Group identifies six key stages of customer experience maturity:

  1. Ignore -- Customer experience is not seen as imperative. The key obstacle to getting past this step is generating interest and awareness.
  2. Explore -- Typically this stage involves the formation of an ad hoc group after an executive shows interest in customer experience. Key executives across the organization must align with customer experience goals to reach step 3.
  3. Mobilize -- The company assigns a senior executive and assembles a full-time customer experience staff, and may also start building customer journey maps and “voice of the customer” programs. Moving beyond this step requires making trade-offs with competing priorities.
  4. Operationalize -- The company redesigns operating processes, implements customer experience metrics and engages all employees. Middle managers who do not take action or cooperate are the main obstacle to moving past this step.
  5. Align -- Alignment involves the development of customer experience measurements and HR practices that reinforce positive employee behaviors. The company must remain focused on the customer to reach the sixth and final step -- embed.
  6. Embed -- The last stage of customer experience maturity is embedding customer experience into every aspect of operations and making customer experience a key facet of the company’s mission and stated brand value.