CX Journal header
Lessons From Steve Jobs
October 2011


I usually highlight a new piece of research in the Journal, but this month I'm focusing on a couple of very recent events: The passing of Steve Jobs and National Customer Service Week.  


Jobs' passing had a more profound impact on me than I would have expected. I had never met him, but I feel like I knew him, having studied Apple over the last several years. So I was driven to write a blog post on the evening that he died.


Customer Service Week, on the other hand, was an opportunity to rejoice last week. It's great to take the time to acknowledge such a critical component of the overall customer experience mix. 

Remembering Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, R.I.P. 

Steve Jobs was a great visionary, designer, architect, and technologist... he changed the world for the better. I learned a great deal from him. 


Thank you, Steve, Rest In Peace.   



When Jobs stepped down as CEO in August, I wrote a couple of blog posts. The first post, Customer Experience Lessons From Steve Jobs, listed a number of his quotes that I thought were valuable for customer experience professionals. Here are a few of them: 

  • "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
  • "That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple."
  • "You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." 
That last quote inspired me to write a post called Stop Listening To Customers... Sometimes which I highlighted in September's CX Journal. It defines a model for loyalty and shows where you can use traditional customer feedback mechanisms and where, as Jobs describes, you can't count on what customers have to say.

Last week when Jobs passed away, I wrote a post called
What I Learned From Steve Jobs. It highlighted these themes:
  • Passion can be an extremely powerful transformational force.
  • Great architecture requires a singular vision to align the 1,000s of little decisions.
  • Design isn't something you can just layer on to a product; it needs to be integrated throughout the process.
  • Great design can motivate people to try new things.
  • Customers can't easily articulate their desires, especially for new technology.
  • Simple and easy is a wonderful design goal.
  • Every device has a primary objective that should never be compromised.
  • When it comes to design, every little thing counts.
Celebrating Customer Service Week

In honor of Customer Service Week, I wrote a post called
Kudos To Customer Service Leaders which highlights the top firms in the 2011 Temkin Customer Service Ratings. Here are the top 25:
Top 25 in 2011 Temkin Customer Service Ratings
Focus On Employee Engagement

One of the four customer experience core competencies is Employee Engagement. Over the last month, I've written a few posts on this important topic:

  • Don't Rely on Empathy looks at an article by David Brooks in the New York Times which says that empathy does not affect how people behave. A strong implication of his thesis is that companies can't rely on empathy from employees to drive their actions. 
  • Don't Just Empower Front-Line Employees discusses new research suggesting that empowered front-line employees may be more likely to act negatively towards customers if they feel that their role at the company is relatively low in status. The post discusses implications of the research and includes a video clip with Jay and Silent Bob.
  • CX Mistake #6: Ignoring Employees highlights one of the problems in CX efforts: the lack of focus on employees. In this entry from the series about CX mistakes, we describe five ways to avoid ignoring employees.
Customer Experience Matters Blog

CXPA Update

The Customer Experience Professionals Association ( community has grown very quickly to over 900 people. It's wonderful to see so many people excited about the profession.

I'm really excited about our Members Insight Exchange in Boston on October 19th and 20th. It's just about sold out. During lunch on the first day we'll be announcing the 1to1 Customer Champions and we'll be spending the second day at Fenway Park.

I'm also thrilled to announce the election of the CXPA's first full board of directors. It's a great group of professionals that will help lead the CXPA into the future. Look for an upcoming announcement from the CXPA.
Temkin Group Update

We have exciting research coming out over the next month which includes the 2011 Temkin Trust Ratings. We have also just about completed our research for Customer Journey Mapping Best Practices and have closed our survey on Customer Experience Metrics and will issue our findings shortly.


If you're looking to accelerate your organization's customer experience transformation efforts, here are a number of ways that

Temkin Group can help:
  • Assessments of customer experience efforts, to identify gaps and opportunities to accelerate your transformation efforts
  • Speeches and webinars on a wide range of customer experience and leadership topics
  • Interactive workshops for executive teams or other groups to gain alignment around key customer experience principles and priorities or to develop plans in areas such as voice of the customer programs
  • Educational curricula to establish and reinforce an understanding of proven customer experience principles across an organization
  • Strategy reviews of marketing and product plans for vendors who want to help companies transform their customer experience
Drop me a line at, visit our Website at, or give us a call at (617) 916-2075.




Bruce Temkin
Customer Experience Transformist
& Managing Partner
Temkin Group

Chair, Customer Experience Professionals Association

Follow me on Twitter  

In This Issue
> Remembering Steve Jobs
> Celebrating Customer Service Week
> Focus on Employee Engagement
> Customer Experience Matters Blog
> CXPA Update
> CX Tidbits
Temkin Group
We are a research and consulting firm that combines thought leadership with a deep understanding of the dynamics of large organizations to help senior executives accelerate their customer experience transformational efforts
CX Tidbits 

> Only 14% of firms target marketing campaigns at their brand promoters 


> Vanguard, Fifth Third, Citizens, Travelers, USAA, and Quest receive the most negatively-biased feedback  


> 85% of consumers who trust credit card issuers are likely to recommend them


> 63% of B2C companies have a senior CX exec compared with 51% of B2B firms

Quick Links

Temkin Group Website 


CX Matters Blog 


Temkin Ratings  


CX Professionals Association 

Join Our Mailing List