August 15, 2020


In a world where nearly everyone is always online, there is no offline.

customer experience management

Customer Experience Management cartoon

COVID-19 is drawing fresh attention to the promise of customer experience management (and all its ancillary marketing buzzwords shown in this cartoon).  

Yet there’s still a yawning gap between the shiny promise of technology to deliver a better customer experience and the old-fashioned analog organizational limitations that hold back that potential.

Brian Solis, Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, recently wrote a article called “In An Era Of COVID-19 Disruption, Brands Must Rethink Marketing As Empathetic Customer Experiences.”

Brian cited new Salesforce research that found 84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.  And also that 69% of marketers say traditional marketing roles limit customer engagement.

As he put it:

“Legacy roles that only focus on stages of the customer journey, in isolation, without coordinating with those who manage other connected touch points, will lose favor with customers …

Cross-functional collaboration is a mandate. As such, integration will become the new standard and will quickly become table stakes as every company rushes in this direction.”

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“If marketing kept a diary, this would be it.”
– Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs

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I experienced this disconnect just last week with Comcast, as a routine installation order devolved into uncoordinated interactions with multiple groups within Comcast, unaware the others had contacted me (a sales rep offering products I’d already ordered, a voicemail asking me to complete a required COVID-19 questionnaire before installation that could only discussed with a live agent but with no easy way to get past the phone bot, etc.)  In some cases, I could see how Comcast was trying to use technology to improve customer experience, but it was all isolated and scattershot.

All marketers are also at times customers ourselves, and it’s invaluable to pay attention to our own frustrating customer experiences to remember the limitations of the brands we work on.  These teaching moments help us get out of the marketing ivory towers that frequently blind marketers to what actual customer experiences are like.

The best customer experience management technology is only as leading-edge as the organization that uses that technology.  

Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years:

Digital Transformation” April 2020 (license this cartoon)

Digital Transformation cartoon

The Customer Journey” March 2018 (license this cartoon)

Customer Experience” January 2019 (license this cartoon)

Silo Mentality” September 2018 (license this cartoon)

Marketoonist | Tom Fishburne