3 Trends in CX, High-Impact Customers and PeopleMetrics Update

High-impact customers require a different experience than the masses. Yet, the CX industry largely has treated them the same as everyone else, using AI...

Sean McDade, PhD

Sean McDade, PhD

Founder & CEO, PeopleMetrics

As we enter our 22nd year at PeopleMetrics, I thought it was time for an update on where we are, where we are going as a company and my perspective on the CX industry.

As always and forever, we are obsessed with helping our clients measure, understand and create better experiences for their customers (clients, members, patients, guests) and their employees.

I started PeopleMetrics with this goal and I continue to be incredibly excited by it.

We made our first acquisition late last year when the extremely talented team from the Center for Strategy Research (CSR) joined PeopleMetrics. This team brings important capabilities to PeopleMetrics that I am excited to share (more on that below …).

But first, a quick perspective on the CX industry. Over the past few years, I have noticed 3 key trends that have shaped the work we do going forward:

  • Massive investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) – from text analytics to automated service recovery, the CX industry has embraced AI.

  • All customers being treated the same – in CX programs, customers are often treated equally despite clear evidence that some customers contribute more and their expectations are different.

  • The convergence of CX (VoC) and research – as we setup listening posts around key touchpoints, research questions continue to emerge that are either integrated into CX measurement or setup as separate studies.

These trends have created what I believe is the next frontier in CX – high-impact customer experience. High-impact customers are those that companies simply cannot afford to lose. This embodies the 80/20 principle – that a small % of your customers (20%) account for a large proportion of your sales (80%). That 20% consist of high-impact customers.

You can also think of certain industries where all your customers are potentially high-impact such as B2B clients, rare disease pharma patients and 5 star hotel guests.   Yes, 80/20 still applies to them, but the total number of customers are so small, it’s worth focusing on every one of them.

High-impact customers require a different experience than the masses. Yet, the CX industry largely has treated them the same as everyone else, using AI driven analytics and service recovery algorithms.

This leads me to the future of PeopleMetrics – helping companies better understand and retain their high-impact customers. We can help in three ways:

  • Customer Experience Management – this is the core of what we do today with our software platform and supporting services. Continuously measure CX after key touch points, empower action to be taken after each high-impact customer response (including service recovery), real-time results, benchmarks and helping you make sense of it all with world-class reporting and storytelling. We also offer help with journey mapping and training your people to deliver the differentiated experiences high-impact customers expect.

  • Customer Advisory Boards & Research – via the CSR acquisition, we are excited to offer high-impact customer advisory boards and research. Advisory boards consist of a sample of your high-impact customers (usually 30-300) that commit to providing feedback for a certain period of time (usually a year). Think of it as having your best customers at your beck and call to provide their perspective on key strategic issues. This feedback is both qualitative and quantitative. Every company should have a high-impact customer advisory board, it’s so worth it!   Also, we now offer comprehensive research services (quall and quant), from study design to fielding to analysis/reporting.

  • Employee Experience Management – PeopleMetrics started out as an employee research firm and to this day, regular employee feedback is critical in delivering a customer experience that is differentiated and memorable. We offer point-in-time and regular pulse checks to assess the engagement of your employees and to ensure they are delivering the best possible experience to your customers.

I am wildly excited about helping you better understand and retain your best, most impactful customers. I am confident that together, these three solutions will help you get there.

Our product roadmap has exciting new features planned this year around the theme of high-value customer understanding and retention. Our “Snapshot” feature means instant real-time results (no dashboard creation necessary!) as soon as your study is in the field … and you can drill down to individual responses in a snap. “Longitudinal view” will allow analysis of individual response or account data over time (think tracking NPS of a B2B key account or high-impact customer over time). Finally, we will have an updated, self-service survey engine released this year!   Fire away those ad hoc surveys!   There’s a lot more on the roadmap, more to come soon.

You will also see fresh content this year around high-impact customers and how to best serve them. If you are interested, my new book, Pharma Customer Experience, focuses largely on the experiences of rare disease patients (a high-impact customer group for sure). And my first book, Listen or Die, has numerous B2B examples and a chapter devoted to the differences between B2B and B2C CX.

High-impact customers will be a regular topic on PeopleMetrics LIVE!, our weekly webinar on all things CX, with our first one on Tuesday, February 1st at 12 noon (EST). We will have a special guest for that one, stay tuned! 

I will conclude this update by thanking the PeopleMetrics community, especially our clients and team members.

Wishing everyone the very best in 2022!



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