TLF Gems Newsletter January 2022

Your monthly CX and insight newsletter from TLF Research

You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology—not the other way around.

Steve Jobs

Happy New Year!

Whatever 2022 brings, you can be sure that keeping employees and customers happy is going to be crucial to the success of your organisation. As our Top Read this time shows, there's nothing new about that principle, although the details of employee and customer needs are changing all the time.

The new pressures that we've experienced over the last couple of years are not going to magically vanish, but opening a new calendar might just be the perfect time to make a significant investment in change. The right time to do something is now!

Thanks for reading,

Here are 7 things we think are worth you time this month

The Time To Start Is Now

I thought this was a great Twitter thread from deep learning expert François Chollet about the myth of first mover advantage, with some compelling examples. "There's never a bad time to start producing value for others and get rewarded for it."

Read: The Time To Start Is Now

Why New Year's Resolutions Work

"Really?" you may be thinking, but David Epstein shares research which proves that we're more likely to stick to changes after significant milestones like a New Year, a birthday, or even a Monday. "So while it might seem arbitrary, don’t waste a flip of the calendar!"

Read: Why New Year's Resolutions Work

Stop Asking For Feedback

Useful article in HBR about why (forward-looking) advice is more effective than (backward-looking) feedback. This is important to remember when asking for feedback from others, when giving it, and even when talking to customers (especially in B2B markets). "...when asked to give advice, people are more likely to think critically and specifically about strategies the person could do to improve."

Read: Stop Asking For Feedback

Why Retention & Recruitment Are So Hard Right Now

Interesting article from Lynda Gratton about a shift in the balance of power towards employees, and what employers will need to do to persuade them to join their businesses and stay. " every sector right now, there are outliers that are pushing at the margins of what they’re willing to do to find and keep talented employees."

Read: Why Retention & Recruitment Are So Hard Right Now

The Magic of Unboxing

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas? I hope so...but perhaps the moment of anticipation before you tore off the wrapping was part of the experience? This Design Lobster post talks about the neglected role of anticipation in the customer experience. "For me, the potency of the Unboxing moment reveals the way that consumer desire is as much about the anticipation of the thing, as the actual thing itself."

Read: The Magic of Unboxing

The Sonic Experience

A lot of my spare time is devoted to music, one way or another, so I was fascinated to see this conversation with two pioneers in the world of sonic branding and sonic experience. I can already feel some of you rolling your eyes, but if you think about the power that music has to move us I'm amazed how few brands are taking care with the sounds they use in their marketing and experiences. "Can sound finally be recognized as a design tool to enhance users’ experience and complete our relationship to products and services?"

Read: The Sonic Experience

Top Reads: Driving Customer Equity

You'd be forgiven for thinking that customer focus was invented in the last few years, but for me the golden age of strategic thinking about the customer was actually in the early 2000s. This is one of the classics from that time, and one of the first to show that segmenting on customer lifetime value could revolutionise the approach companies take to their customers, while focusing on products could be terminal. "To be truly customer-focused implies organizing the company around customer equity and its drivers."

Top Reads: Driving Customer Equity