Two Truths and a Lie: Customer Insights & Understanding

By Stephanie-Marie Sullivan, CCXP posted 02-22-2023 07:30 AM


Whether it’s sanitary precautions against COVID-19, perceptions of inflation, or an airline’s passenger experience, Customer Experience (CX) is much more than a buzz word spanning the globe. It’s a set of values and methodologies that formulate a common understanding of what it means to embrace feedback, reimagine how we do business and proactively plan for the future. And although organizations recognize CX’s involvement in the success of companies like Amazon, as a CX practitioner, your role likely still has an element of breaking preconceived notions about what it means to be a customer-centric organization. 

The CXPA’s Book of Knowledge helps to arm practitioners with the tools (and dare I say, knowledge) to explain the ROI of investing in customer insights and understanding. This is done while appreciating the various points of maturity each organization may be operating from, and provides tips and tricks to navigate the common hesitance that comes with building a formalized CX discipline.

While reflecting upon the first section of this book, I found myself formulating an understanding that is best described through the notorious icebreaker “Two Truths and a Lie” – breaking the myths of what it means to build a strong understanding of our customers. Here are a few examples of what you’ll gain from reading this first section of the Book of Knowledge:

VoC Programs

  • A VoC Program is the coordination of measurements and observations across multiple sources
  • A VoC Program requires strong top-down relationships
  • A VoC Program is a robust survey program (hm, not quite)

While a VoC Program may include the management of surveys, it is a much more comprehensive orchestration spanning multiple means of qualitative and quantitative feedback capture. It has the ability to formulate cross-functional goals while providing additional context into the value of measuring transactional moments from the customer’s point of view. And although a successful program does require strong top-down relationships, equally as important are the bottom-up partnerships to learn from associates who have direct access to what’s working well (or not so well) for our customers.

Journey Maps

  • A Journey Map helps unite the organization around common language
  • A Journey Map should evolve based on customer needs and expectations
  • A Journey Map is a process map (well…)

A VoC Program is only as successful as the strategic planning that goes into it. And while a process map certainly has its place in the organization, a Journey Map helps to tell the story of which “Moments of Truth” are most important to understand, from an external perspective. Journey Maps are tools to ignite customer insights and understanding into a centralized artifact. As an outside-in view into how internal processes, technology and people are being interpreted by end consumers, Journey Mapping acts as the common denominator across potentially siloed departments. It amplifies the need for consistent and cohesive language and definitions of “what good looks like” and helps to illuminate opportunities that require cross-functional involvement. 

Customer Pain Points

  • Journey Maps bring awareness into unknown customer pain points
  • Customer pain points can be measured in terms of frequency, severity and impact on other metrics
  • Solving customer pain points should always be the priority (controversial, let’s discuss further)

Solving customer pain points does not mean ignoring business priorities. The majority of customer pain points will have mutually beneficial outcomes for both the end consumer as well as internal stakeholders (i.e., greater efficiencies, less phone calls, stronger retention). It’s important to recognize that tools like Journey Maps can help an organization prioritize which customer pain points will produce the greatest impact, and that evaluating on terms like frequency and severity will also help to generate an understanding of operational value. A VoC Program enables real-time monitoring of these pain points and allows us to recognize how internal decisions impact the end experience.

The CXPA’s Book of Knowledge is a wealth of information that would benefit all CX practitioners, regardless of an organization’s maturity. Personally, the section of Customer Insights and Understanding has helped me to frame the value of investing in (and acting upon) a VoC Program in a way that clarifies both the humanistic and financial benefit for all parties involved.

A VoC Program is much more than capturing surveys; the potential a successful program has to inform, measure and innovate strategic priorities requires a thoughtful approach. I strongly encourage all of my fellow CX professionals to challenge their organization and consider the impact a formalized VoC Program may have on their degree of customer understanding. Whether it be an evaluation of where and how VoC is being captured today, or an eye-opening game of “Two Truths and a Lie,” the CXPA’s Book of Knowledge is sure to be your armor as you continue striving toward what it means to be a customer-centric organization.

Stephanie-Marie Sullivan, CCXP is the Customer Experience Manager at SageSure. She is also a 2022 winner of CXPA’s Emerging Leader Awards. The first edition of CXPA's Book of Knowledge is available for free online reading to CXPA members at Not a member? Learn more and join today.





02-22-2023 10:42 AM

I really appreciate you taking the time to check it out (and, your kind words), Danielle!

02-22-2023 09:51 AM

Love this title! You are a brilliant writer, Stephanie.