**This post is part of a series with B/OSS Publisher Danica Cullins around pertinent industry matters, called "6 Questions." Invited responses to six uniform questions will be published regularly on the B/OSS website. Respondents will represent the full industry circle (service providers, consultants, solutions providers, etc.) First topic: customer centricity. Please click here to see how industry leaders from such companies as TELUS, U.S. Cellular, Pegasystems, TeliaSonera and ClickFox have answered the same questions.**
Respondent’s Name: Sheryl Kingstone
Respondent’s Title: Industry analyst
Respondent’s Company Name: Yankee Group
1. What role do you play at your company in driving the focus on customer experience, and how does your company practice customer centricity internally?
I have been an industry analyst at Yankee Group for almost 12 years, specifically focused on customer-experience strategies from software solutions to business process change management. I am a complete customer experience “junkie." I installed my first sales and service application in 1988, when the IT roadmap was to go from DOS to Windows.
At Yankee Group, one of my first reports in 2000 was all about defining customer centricity. I continue to do this today with specific emphasis on the communication service provider market. While we have refined the definition, fundamentally it has not changed. Yankee Group currently defines customer experience as a commitment to customer interactions that are consistent, dynamic and transparent across all four dimensions of brand, products and services, channel, and delivery and operations. The goal is to achieve competitive differentiation by viewing the world through the eyes of one’s customers and modifying interactions of the experience accordingly.
At Yankee Group, we strive to put the customer first. Our research material is continually adjusted based on our customers’ feedback. We regularly meet and engage with our customers to refine our products and services. We are investing heavily in new IT platforms to ensure that our customers can easily consume the research at any time through any device. Being a research firm, it is essential that we are a trusted source of information that is consistent in quality, dynamically presented and transparent to our customers.
2. As a consumer, can you point to specific customer-experience examples that have impressed you and say how service providers could do likewise? (Provide company names, if possible, from your experience.)