The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences

These ten simple guidelines have stood the test of time, helping thousands of people worldwide create easier, more enjoyable experiences for their millions of customers.

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  • Great customer experiences Strongly reflect the customerʼs identity
    Great customer experiences
    Strongly reflect the customerʼs identity

    We choose brands, products and services that express our values, beliefs and social group, so we naturally prefer experiences that reinforce our self-image too.

    Take any opportunity you can to reflect your customer’s identity. Simply showing some awareness of their history with your business can make customers feel more valued, and not just a number on a spreadsheet.

    Great customer experiences
    Strongly reflect the customerʼs identity
    Graphic icon of a generic person head and shoulders
  • Great customer experiences Satisfy our higher objectives
    Great customer experiences
    Satisfy our higher objectives

    As the great Theodore Levitt once remarked, “People don't want to buy a quarter inch drill, they want a quarter in hole in the wall.”

    Every interaction is just a means for customers to achieve their goals. Paying constant attention to your customer’s highest objectives is essential to creating deeply satisfying experiences.

    Great customer experiences
    Satisfy our higher objectives
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  • Great customer experiences leave nothing to chance
    Great customer experiences
    leave nothing to chance

    Over half of most customer experiences are left to chance because brands prioritize a handful of major interactions, forgetting the rest.

    Look beyond the obvious stages of the customer journey and you’ll discover a treasure trove of opportunities to surprise and delight your customers.

    Great customer experiences
    leave nothing to chance
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  • Great customer experiences set and then meet expectations
    Great customer experiences
    set and then meet expectations

    Our satisfaction with anything depends on our expectations. As obvious as this sounds, few pay much attention to how expectations are set and met along the customer journey.

    The great news is a little expectation management goes a long way. Often just doing what you say you’ll do (when you say you’ll do it!) is enough to stand out from the competition.

    Great customer experiences
    set and then meet expectations
    Graphic icon of the letters E and X
  • Great customer experiences are effortless
    Great customer experiences
    are effortless

    Interactions that soak up our time and energy, are quickly put off or replaced with those that are less demanding. Few things generate more goodwill and repeat business than being effortless to deal with.

    Look out for opportunities to reduce time on task, use simpler language and improve convenience and you’ll reap the rewards.

    Great customer experiences
    are effortless
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  • Great customer experiences are stress-free
    Great customer experiences
    are stress-free

    We all instinctively avoid stressful situations, especially when it comes to customer experiences.

    Eliminate stress from customer interactions by making choices easy, preventing errors and keeping people informed. You’ll be rewarded with a peerless reputation, and an advantage over rivals who are busy driving their customers up the wall.

    Great customer experiences
    are stress-free
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  • Great customer experiences indulge the senses
    Great customer experiences
    indulge the senses

    Whether eating delicious food, listening to relaxing music or gazing at a beautiful sunset, our five senses are a source of great pleasure for all of us.

    Beautiful products are also perceived as easier to use, a phenomenon called the aesthetic-usability effect.

    Customer experiences that delight the senses win our hearts and have us coming back for more.

    Great customer experiences
    indulge the senses
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  • Great customer experiences are socially engaging
    Great customer experiences
    are socially engaging

    The importance of cultivating personal relationships with customers cannot be over-stated: we more readily buy from a friend than a stranger.

    Those experiences that elevate our status — making us feel special or important — are often the most highly valued of all.

    Great customer experiences
    are socially engaging
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  • Great customer experiences put the customer in control
    Great customer experiences
    put the customer in control

    A sense of autonomy is a fundamental psychological need. So it’s no surprise we love experiences where we feel in control.

    Give your customers more say over where they do things; when they do them; how much they spend; or what a product or service looks like, and watch the needle jump on your metrics.

    Great customer experiences
    put the customer in control
    Graphic icon of the steering wheel of a car
  • Great customer experiences consider the emotions
    Great customer experiences
    consider the emotions

    Maya Angelou once remarked “People may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.” She wasn’t delivering a keynote on customer experience, but she could have been.

    Carefully considering the feelings we want to evoke — like joy, trust, or relaxation; and which we don’t — like rage, frustration or fear — is a simple yet powerful technique that yields major improvements.

    Great customer experiences
    consider the emotions
    Graphic icon of a heart

The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experience book

Described by readers and experts alike as the definitive book on customer experience, it’s the only book on the topic to win Management Book of the Year.

Photo of the The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences book standing up showing front cover and spine
Photo of the The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences book standing up showing front cover and spine