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New Years Opportunities For Customer Success

Updated: Dec 31, 2021

This year is all about action and opportunity - if you are willing to take charge and hold yourself and your team accountable for meaningful goals.

You will doubtless see dozens of "best of" and "New Year Predictions" posts over the next few weeks and most are just a shot in the dark. Don't be fooled by those 3,000 word articles that abound with exposition and fanciful language - my goal is to get to the meat of the issue (or tofu if you are vegan) and on the path to results.

Before we go any further, I want to say thank you - thank you to the first responders, essential workers, and front line teams who have been stretched to breaking point these past 2 years. It has been hard and many of you have stepped up in a way no one could have expected, but which we all appreciate.

I've been out living Customer Experience across the country working with restaurant groups, travel industry companies, technology firms, chambers of commerce, and professional organizations - and I've been talking directly to guests for 4 months solid asking them the only question that matters.

What do you want from the brands you do business with and what would make you more loyal to them.

As I collected this data, I spoke to leaders in all these different industries and asked them one simple question.

How the heck are you going to do that?

What follows is the culmination of these conversations, along with an eye toward execution and the lens of sustained execution. In other words, my advice on how you can get there.

The risk with these predictions is that they tend to be vague, overly strategic, and offer little in the way of actionable steps. If you're looking for nonsense move along, because this is about abandoning the excuses and finding a way forward.

Remember the Pandemic and external pressures will continue to kick you in the face this year - it's just the reality of what's coming. But how you handle those external forces will determine your level of success in 2022.

There is no room for excuses as you move into the new year - and here is what you can do to focus on driving success rather than explaining what went wrong.


There is a cost to providing fast, effortless, consistently amazing customer experiences. The fight for better, faster, and cheaper has taken it's toll on the domestic workforce and now there is a reckoning when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent. There has been an exodus from the service industry in particular because many were not treated well in the quest to provide outstanding service at lower prices.

It is popular to say that employee satisfaction goes beyond pay - but ignoring what you pay your workforce doesn't work either. There is, of course, a limit to what you can pay employees at each level of your business, but make sure you are staying in line with the caliber and experience needed for the role. It is easier than ever to know what the going rate is for a position, and your team won't be bashful about moving to achieve their financial goals.

That said, money is never enough. Flexibility, purpose, training, leadership, and communication all play a role in recruiting and retaining star talent.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Understand that your employee experience will drive your customer experience - and commit to actually do something about it. Ask yourself if you need to be the cheapest to win your industry channel. Think about how you and your leaders engage with team members and associates. Without appropriate pay, training, recognition, an understanding of purpose, and a path to advancement you will continue to see the quantity and quality of your workforce diminish.


We all know that supply chain has been a challenge - and depending on your industry and volume it has had varying levels of impact on your business. Customers know this is happening in the marketplace, but most think it doesn't apply to them or that they have selected companies that know how to work around it.

Customers become the most anxious when something they take for granted stops working for a moment - we learned that during the shortages we encountered early in the pandemic.

The reason those shortages were so concerning to consumers is because, at least domestically, we haven't encountered them in a while. Also it hit so quickly and so dramatically that reaction times by brands were painfully slow.

Customers have no appetite to continue hearing about supply chain challenges going into 2022 - they want alternatives.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: This is a time for planning. Opening the umbrella after it starts to rain doesn't do a thing to keep you from getting wet - and the same goes for supply chain shortages. Look ahead to what may give you availability headaches and plan your response in advance. Customers are not shy about moving on to another provider when their preferred company can't deliver what they need. Are you sourcing alternatives and are you ready to make recommendations to customers based on what you can provide in the moment? Now is the time to plan that path to alternative purchase so that you are seen as a problem solver rather than an excuse maker.


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The pandemic has changed many things about customer experience and hospitality. This goes beyond the obvious of becoming more comfortable with self service, embracing chatbots, and falling even more in love with delivery.

People are hungry for the familiar - and they are looking for experiences that deliver on the basics while finding just the right amount of surprise to keep things interesting. There is a general sense of fatigue with the pandemic and the restrictions that s