Customer Experience Leadership Programme


The real imperative for business success in the experiential age of the customer

’The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous’, the aim of experience is to make marketing superfluous” (Pine & Gilmore, 2002).

We are all in the customer experience business - whether you know it or not. According to Forrester Research Group: “For most companies customer experience is the single greatest predictor of whether customers will return or defect to a competitor. It’s so critical that even virtual monopolies like cable providers and health insurers suffer when they fail at it. Customer experience goes to the heart of everything you do -  how you conduct your business, the way your people behave when they interact with customers and each other, the value you provide. You literally can’t afford to ignore it”. Why? Because if you don’t understand what customer experience is and why it’s important, you risk losing your customers to companies that do (Manning & Bodine, 2012).

But what is customer experience? A customer experience is: “An interaction between an organization and a customer. It is a blend of an organization's physical performance, the senses stimulated, and emotions evoked, each intuitively measured against customer expectations across all moments of contact” (Shaw, 2005).


Customer experience should be carefully designed and managed. Is the experience your company delivers deliberate, planned and consistent? Successful companies follow a holistic approach to achieve exceptional customer experience. This course is the only course at a business school in South Africa that deals with best practice theories, tools and techniques essential to restructure and design the organization to deliver exceptional customer value through better customer experience.


Peter Drucker pointed out already years ago that the purpose of a business is to create and keep customers, and international and local companies such as Amazon, Apple, Southwest Airlines, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Virgin, Sanlam, Capitec Bank and FNB have clearly demonstrated that putting the customer and their experience at the centre of the business leads to hugely improved business results. This course focuses on achieving customer experience excellence as a business strategy. The aim of the programme is to enable students with the necessary insight and skills to successfully develop and implement strategies that will increase customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and customer lifetime value for the organisation.


Themes dealt with:


  1. The essence of successful services marketing and customer management;
  2. Customer centricity versus product centricity;
  3. The customer journey;
  4. Service concept and experiential design;
  5. The customer satisfaction system (including blueprinting and flowcharting, service goals and standards, and managing demand);
  6. Customer relationship management (CRM);
  7. Customer experience management (CEM);
  8. The service recovery system;
  9. The service retention system (including measurement and classification of defections, retention strategies and relationship marketing);
  10. Measurement of service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty; and
  11. Leadership and management for service quality excellence (including visionary service leadership, structure and culture and internal marketing).


Outcomes of the module/programme

On completion of this short course the learner should be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Have a clear understanding of the most important principles, practices and terminology of services marketing and customer experience design and management;
  • Have an understanding of the essential elements involved in successful services marketing strategies;
  • Have an understanding of the dynamics involved in the creation of customer experience, client satisfaction, loyalty and the measurement thereof; and
  • Be able to recognize how customers' expectations develop prior to service engagements, how customers think and feel during service delivery, and how to manage service recovery and client retention to develop competitive advantage.


NQF level

  • NQF level 6.


Duration of the module/programme

  • 2 Full days.


Methods of facilitating learning

The course has been divided into eight sessions. The format of lectures will consist of a short introduction to a particular topic, concept or model, followed by an in-depth class discussion, focussing on its practical application. This will be supplemented by the use of case studies and group exercises. Learning activities will include:


Formal lectures in order to highlight specific concepts;

  • Case studies to illustrate practical application of marketing concepts;
  • Discussions in class;
  • Group exercises; and
  • Screening of videos.


Prescribed and recommended learning resources

Prescribed resources

  • Pre-reading material
  • Mini case studies (handed out during sessions).
  • Copies of slides.


To ensure that the formal classroom sessions provide a learning experience, participants are expected to prepare adequately for them in advance. The preparation and reading to be done for each classroom session, is indicated in the course content.


Recommended resources

In addition, it is strongly recommended that you keep abreast of contemporary services marketing issues by reading Financial Mail, F&T Weekly and relevant articles in the daily press and on the Internet.


Detailed description of the learning sessions




Topics covered in

each session

Outcomes per session

Prescribed reading


Session 1:

The basics of services marketing and experience excellence

  • Introduction
  • Customer centricity
  • Concepts of services marketing
  • Customer lifetime value
  • The building blocks of experience excellence


  • Understanding customer experience

Case study:

  • Southwest Airlines


  • The Experience economy

Session 2:

Service concept and design


  • Market opportunity and target market(s)
  • Market research (client needs and expectations)
  • Service concept
  • Service design (core and supplementary services) and delivery strategy
  • Servuction system design (including the physical setting)
  • Customer experience design



  • The customer experience: a road-map for improvement

Case study:

  • Capitec Bank video

Session 3:

The customer satisfaction system

  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Customer experience management (CEM)
  • The integrated gaps model of service quality.


  • Can I help you
  • Customer experience journey
  • Welcome to the experience economy
  • Towards the ‘ perfect’ customer experience


Session 4:

The customer satisfaction system

  • Blueprinting, flowcharting and moment mapping
  • Internal service quality
  • Service goals, service specifications and standards
  • Managing demand


Case studies:

  • Musica video
  • Sanlam case




Topics covered in

each session

Outcomes per session

Prescribed reading


Session 5:

The service recovery system


  • Measurement and classification
  • Resolving client complaints
  • Compensation systems

Video case

  • United breaks guitars

Session 6:

The customer retention system


  • Customer profitability segments
  • Attracting and retaining customers
  • Measurement and classification of defections
  • Retention strategies (pricing, service guarantees, loyalty programmes)



  • Lessons in loyalty
  • The loyalty connection
  • Cultivating customer advocates

Session 7:

Leadership and management for service quality excellence


  • Visionary service leadership
  • Internal marketing - The communication and interaction process between various levels of client and employee structures
  • Structure
  • Culture
  • Physical work environment
  • Benchmarking the performance of your company


  • Putting the service profit chain to work
  • Customer experience, organisational culture and the employer brand

Case studies:

  • AVIS video
  • Apple case study

Session 8:

Summary and conclusion


  • Crafting and implementing successful customer service excellence strategies
  • Metrics - measurement of service quality, customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty
  • Assignment


Case studies:

  • Evaluating a model for analysing methods used for measuring customer experience
  • RIP Customer experience



Methods of assessment

Individual assignment:

Choose any already established, or new service division or service organisation; and

  1. Briefly describe the service concept;
  2. Conduct a customer experience audit;
  3. Revisit the brand - its promises and gap areas and make suggestions for alignment;
  4. Design the customer experience journey (using flowcharting for the most important client interactions - front and backstage);
  5. Describe how you would ensure alignment and engagement of the employees with the brand promise and designed experience;
  6. Describe how you would align your marketing communications to the new strategy.

Submission date: As agreed


Alignment to unit standard(s)

No relevant unit standards exist for this course.



TBD as it dependent on the number of request we receive.



The Bill Venter Academy in Midrand.

In the regions classes can be scheduled - dependent on numbers we receive.



To be determined.