TLF Gems Newsletter September 2023

Your monthly CX and insight newsletter from TLF Research

There is a gap in the market. But is there a market in the gap?

Tom Goodwin

From the point of view of most organisations I know, the answer is "pretty demanding"...and yet one of the things that fascinates me when I look at customer survey data is just how many 10s there are. Even an average company probably has 10-20% of customers scoring overall satisfaction or NPS 10 out of 10, and for an organisation in the top quarter of our league table it'll be more like 40%.

When was the last time you had a 10 out of 10 experience as a customer?

Either I'm unusually grumpy (surely not?!), or customers in general are actually remarkably generous in their scoring. The reason, I think, is that so many customer experiences are annoyingly bad that customers are shocked into giving a 10 by simple competence.

Reading that last sentence back, perhaps I am just grumpy after all - what do you think?

Thanks for reading,


Here are 6 things we think are worth your time this month

Time Well Spent

Customer effort is a really important concept, and it's crazy how willing organisations are to waste their customers' time, but it falls down when thinking about customer experiences that customers actually enjoy. This article suggests a really useful way of thinking about how you are creating value for customers by letting them use their time well. "Companies can create value for customers by eliminating activities that waste their time; saving their time when so desired; offering experiences where time is valued; and even helping customers to wisely invest their time."

Social Value White Paper

A white paper from Arup that’s well worth reading for anyone thinking about social value, particularly when it comes to larger projects. "We believe that taking this ‘theory of change’ based approach is a powerful framework that enables us to focus on real change."

Consumer Duty

Interesting post about the new Consumer Duty legislation. and just how routinely insurers are breaching its rules (I doubt banks are any better, to be honest). "Two weeks into Consumer Duty and who is going to get fined first?"


Sick of hearing about LLMs? Me too, but this one is actually interesting. Google's TextFX is pitched as an experiment to help writers (i.e. a tool to enhance human creativity, not replace it), created in collaboration with rapper Lupe Fiasco. It features 10 tools that do things like build acronyms, find connections between words, and suggest similes like this one: "TextFX is like a paintbrush for words, letting you add flair and personality to your writing."

Goodhart's Law

Goodhart's law is an important idea to wrap your head around (it'll change pretty much everything about how you think performance in an organisation should be measured and managed), and this illustration from Sketchplanations gets it across nicely. "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure."

Top Reads: R for Data Science

I'll start this recommendation with a disclaimer: this will not be for everyone. But if you've got an analytical bent, and you're interested in seeing what R can do for you, then this book is a brilliant introduction to the practicalities of doing data science in R using the tools of the "tidyverse". It's accessible, complete, and really well written. "Data science is an exciting discipline that allows you to turn raw data into understanding, insight, and knowledge."

If you'd ever like to have a look at our list of past Top Reads, they're all catalogued on the CX Insights Hub here - enough reading to keep anyone going for a while!