Samuel Stern

Principal Analyst

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Predictions 2019: Employee Experience Moves To Center Stage

Samuel Stern November 5, 2018

Companies and executives are paying attention to employee experience as never before. There are good reasons for this attention. Chief among them is the historically low unemployment rate, which gives employees options that they are taking advantage of. Employees are quitting their jobs at the fastest rate since 2001.[i] What’s more, companies that care about […]

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If You’re Not Prioritizing Employee Experience Improvement, You’re Doing It Wrong

Samuel Stern October 19, 2018

There is ample evidence that improving employee experience leads to better business results. Briefly, firms that improve employee experience find that they get better work performance and more discretionary effort from employees.[i] Discretionary effort makes companies more effective and efficient, according to this study published in Harvard Business Review.[ii] Better employee experience also leads to lower employee turnover […]

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Five Things We Learned About The Untapped Potential Of Loyalty Programs To Improve CX

Samuel Stern September 10, 2018

In Episode 154 of The CX Cast (subscribe!), we were excited to have our colleague, Principal Analyst Emily Collins, join us to talk about loyalty programs and their influence on customer experience. Here are five things I learned during our conversation:  Airlines started it. Loyalty programs started 30-plus years ago in the airline industry as a reaction to deregulation. Without strict […]

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Five Things We Learned About The Untapped Potential Of Loyalty Programs To Improve CX

Samuel Stern September 10, 2018

In Episode 154 of The CX Cast (subscribe!), we were excited to have our colleague, Principal Analyst Emily Collins, join us to talk about loyalty programs and their influence on customer experience. Here are five things I learned during our conversation:  Airlines started it. Loyalty programs started 30-plus years ago in the airline industry as a reaction to deregulation. Without strict […]

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Calling All CX Pros: An Opportunity To Get Data And Participate In Forrester’s Research

Samuel Stern April 19, 2016

Everyone I talk to has internalized the importance of improving customer experience delivery in the age of the customer. But in today’s hypercompetitive business landscape, and with ever-rising consumer expectations, actually delivering better experiences is a tall order. To help understand how companies are tackling this challenge, we’re conducting research on how some of the […]

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Customer Obsession Is An Employee Engagement Strategy, Too

Samuel Stern February 23, 2016

CX pros: What’s better than delivering experiences that delight customers? Doing so, while helping your colleagues feel more engaged with their work. That’s a nice thought, and few would dispute the importance of engaging employees to deliver better experiences. In fact, most execs have internalized the ideas laid out more than 20 years ago in […]

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How To Measure The Customer Impact Of CX Projects — And Get Them Funded

Samuel Stern May 29, 2015

No one disputes that treating customers well is the right thing to do: Virtually all respondents in a Forrester survey of CX professionals said that executives at their companies consider customer impact to be at least somewhat important when making business decisions. But compared with hard return on investment (ROI) numbers in business cases for […]

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Finding The Right Inspiration To Transform Your Customer Experience (Updated With Podcast)

Samuel Stern April 3, 2015

A few years ago, The Mayo Clinic wanted to design separate consultation and exam rooms to reflect the reality that most appointments consist mainly of conversations between doctors and patients, with less examination time. But there wasn't enough floor space to accommodate the number of separate rooms that it envisioned. Then, inspiration struck from the […]

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CX Pros Are Blind To The Line Of Visibility

Samuel Stern March 13, 2015

A few years back, FedEx learned that "the leaning tower of packages" at its retail locations was making many customers uneasy. Store employees would take a customer's package and place it on the messy pile. Based on that simple visual cue, these customers worried that their package might very well get lost in their seemingly […]

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Voice Of The Employee Can Cure Broken Customer Experiences, But You Need An Effective Program To Mine It

Samuel Stern January 25, 2015

Last week, many of our customer experience (CX) analysts — including me and my colleague Maxie Schmidt — were glued to their computer screens, watching a presentation by a big bank. It had introduced a tool to capture and manage ideas from its employees on how to improve the customer experience. This presentation mattered to […]

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The Customer Experience Curriculum

Samuel Stern January 6, 2015

Companies with customer-obsessed cultures — think USAA or Southwest Airlines — differentiate themselves in their industries and earn major financial benefits as a result. But customer-obsessed cultures don't just happen: To help transform a culture, customer experience professionals must develop a training and coaching curriculum that touches all employees. In my recent report, "The Customer Experience Curriculum," I write about how companies […]

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Standardize Great Customer Experience Delivery

Samuel Stern September 30, 2014

In my last report, "Standardize Great Customer Experience Delivery," I look at how companies create, share, and assess customer experience (CX) standards. Done well, CX standards prevent avoidable customer experience mistakes, ensure consistent experience delivery, and set a high bar for customer experience quality. But bad CX standards are worse than no standards at all. […]

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Find Your Partner On The Path To Customer Obsession

Samuel Stern September 8, 2014

Companies that were founded on customer obsession — like Southwest Airlines, Vanguard, and USAA — derive significant financial benefits as a result. That’s because a customer-obsessed culture helps customer experience professionals deliver high-quality, on-brand, consistent experiences that drive loyalty. Fortunately, even companies that weren’t founded on customer obsession can transform their cultures and see big […]

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How PURE Insurance Built A Customer-Obsessed Business

Samuel Stern July 23, 2014

My latest report, “Case Study: How PURE Insurance Built A Customer-Obsessed Business,” is a case study of a company using its customer-obsessed business model to stand out in the insurance industry. Since its start in 2006, PURE has grown more than 40% each year and has one of the highest Net Promoter Scores in any […]

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How Hampton Hotels Built And Sustains Its Customer-Obsessed Culture

Samuel Stern July 7, 2014

My latest report, "How Hampton Hotels Built And Sustains Its Customer-Obsessed Culture," is a case study of the hotel chain. The brand has been on a nearly 10-year journey to differentiate its hotels from competitors on the basis of exceptional guest experiences. It all started back in 2004. As part of the brand's 20th-anniversary celebration, […]

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The Innovative Tool That’s Transforming Customer Experience Training

Samuel Stern July 7, 2014

Companies want customer-obsessed cultures that will help them differentiate in the age of the customer. But transforming a culture can be a challenge: It requires all employees to understand who their customers are, how customers perceive their interactions with the company, and what roles employees need to play in delivering the overall experience. Enter learning maps, which […]

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Customer Experience Rooms: What Are They? Should Your Company Create One?

Samuel Stern June 13, 2014

In the age of the customer, companies must transform their cultures from product-centric to customer-centric. But that is easier said than done. Customer centricity requires all employees to understand who their customers are, how customers perceive their interactions with the company, and the roles employees play in delivering the overall experience. Customer experience (CX) rooms — immersive, […]

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5 Steps To Create And Sustain Customer-Centric Culture

Samuel Stern April 17, 2014

My latest report, 5 Steps To Create And Sustain Customer-Centric Culture, is now live on Forrester.com. The report answers the question I hear most often from clients: What are the steps in the process to actually transform organizational culture to be customer-centric? We interviewed companies that have successfully completed this transformation, and companies that are […]

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How To Build A Customer-Centric Culture

Samuel Stern March 19, 2014

In my latest report, "How To Build A Customer-Centric Culture," I describe how customer experience professionals use three tools to embed customer focus in their organizations: Hiring. Firms need to attract customer-centric candidates, screen out applicants who lack customer focus, and onboard new employees in a way that reinforces their customer-centric DNA. Socialization. Companies must […]

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Drive Customer-Centric Employee Behavior With Rewards And Recognition

Samuel Stern February 25, 2014

In my latest report, "Drive Customer-Centric Employee Behavior With Rewards And Recognition," I describe how companies modify their reward and recognition programs to drive more customer-centric employee behaviors. Many companies tie rewards to a rise in either Net Promoter Scores (NPS) or customer satisfaction scores. Unfortunately, that's exactly the kind of mistake that leads employees and […]

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