Sign in

Frank Buckler, PhD.

Senior management loves benchmarking. They ask for it. With this, they do not do themselves a favor.

Yes, it provides an easy answer to the ultimate question, “Are we doing good or bad”. Yes, it provides relief when you meet the benchmark. And: Yes, it gives incentives to meet competitive performance.

So, what’s the problem?

Benchmarking is Dangerous

Professor Byron Sharp conducted the largest cross-vertical study to date on understanding drivers of loyalty. What he found was devastating.

The main predictor of loyalty and churn is simply the market position. …

Sometimes friends ask me what do I do, and then they ask what is customer experience research is for? The simple answer I give is that employees dealing with customers should get feedback on how the customer views the experience. Only this way they can learn and improve.

Simple, isn’t it? This idea is also referred to as the INNER LOOP. It is contrasted with the OUTER LOOP, which tries to initiate learnings from feedback and conclude strategic initiatives for change.

The Inner Loop is set up to make customer-facing employees learn how customers perceive them, give them praise in…

Why everything we learn from data or experience is heavily screwed by how human perception works? What does it mean to businesses and insights’ functions and what we can do about it?

Whenever I buy a new car it happens. It happens even before I buy the car model I have in mind. Suddenly everywhere on the streets, I see this car. Suddenly everyone seems to drive it already.

The reason is a small part of your brain called the Reticular Activation System (RAS). …

It was back in 2017 when David wrote me this email. He was heading insights for SONOS, and the company was bravely acting on their CX Insights. The problem: no improvement after all.

It was a mystery. Nearly 50% of speaker owners were reasoning their loyalty to the great sound. Every other topic was around or way below 10%. So the company was tweaking the sound experience for years. Result: None.

There was no problem in measurement, no serious bias, no categorization mistakes. The data was great. It was telling a clear story.

Still: the story was wrong. Because data…

Everyone communicates with facts and data to support a certain message. Politics is doing it, Media is doing it, Businesses are doing it. Lying with data has become a shady art, perfectionated by politics, cultivated by managers.

Even worse, business leaders fool themselves day in day out by drawing “obvious” conclusions from data.

Imagine we could make sure we do not fall for fake news, alternative facts, spurious correlations, and alike. Imagine we would have a checklist to see if an insight is legit?

How many trillions of dollars could be saved? How many lives could be saved? How much…

Storytelling is a crucial skill to “sell” insights internally, but it comes with a risk. Storytelling makes it irrelevant to produce true insights.

“It was a hot summer day when I got a call from David….” This is how I usually start my conference presentation and keynotes, simply because stories suck the audience’s attention. You merely want to know what’s next.

Like a pleasant song, it feels painful when it stops. Your brain sings the song along even then. Same with stories.

It was 2008 when I was traveling to Russia, and I was fortunate enough to join someone’s class…

Correlation, causation, statistics — all this sounds boring, complicated, and not practical. I’ll prove in this article that NONE OF THIS IS TRUE.

Since the beginning of humanity, we have roamed through savannahs and ancient forests and gained causal insights day in day out.

One tried to light a fire with sandstone — it didn’t work. One used a sharp stone to open the Mammut — worked. One tried these red berries — died within one hour.

Correlation works excellent in simple environments. …

There are 2 types of insights: The “famous” type of insights is delivered in 99% of cases. The “stepchild” type of insights is what businesses unknowingly looking for — but not getting.

“What’s an insight?” did I asked the audience at the INSIGHTS conference, beginning my keynote with an engaging question. It was surprisingly silent given that the conference’s name was “Insights”. I insisted and got some vague responses like “learn new things about the customer”.

Sure you can answer the question and categorize “insights” in many different ways. …

Frank Buckler, PhD.

Founder of and CEO of Success Drivers // Pioneering Causal AI for Insights since 2001 // Author, Speaker, Daddy

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store