From tech obsessed to customer inspired

“The insights from the CX Bootcamp completely changed how we do business”

Bose Employee

Founded: 1964
Category: Consumer Technology
Product: Audio
Key Markets: Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe

The Need

When fully leveraged, customer insights are incredibly powerful and useful. However, if employees don’t internalize and then act on it, the customer insight will have little to no positive business impact.

Employees need to connect with and derive meaning from insights to make them truly actionable. They have to feel it. When they do, employees build intuition about customers, and thus, those companies perform better.

That’s why the Bose Corporation, one of the world’s top audio technology brands with more than 11,000 employees worldwide, developed the Customer Experience (CX) Bootcamp. Designed for about 50 to 100 Bose employees at a time, this multi-day workshop allows employees of all levels and from various departments to focus on customers. The Bootcamp brings designers, marketers, researchers, insights professionals, and sales teams together to activate insights and build skills in the five key brand behaviors customers value most: openness, relevance, emotion, empathy, experience.

How We Cracked It

Arranged in five training modules, one for each of the brand behaviors, CX Bootcamp gives employees a toolkit of frameworks and a new customer-inspired mindset.

The CX Bootcamp is a repeatable, customizable, in-person workshop created to socialize customer insights and ground the entire organization in the needs of customers.

Bootcamp’s primary goals are to:

  • Build empathy for the customer
  • Align on common vocabulary for parts of the customer experience
  • Build skills in the five key brand behaviors that customers value
  • Promote a culture of customer-centric design across Bose

In the first 6 months, Bose trained over 400 employees, including line-level designers, store managers, and executive team members.

In addition to the CX Bootcamp, employees are invited to participate in additional customer insight activities. These activities include: shop alongs, retail lab tests, fireside chats, a customer insight portal, etc., exposing hundreds of employees to real Bose customers. The CX Bootcamp content then evolves with new insights, so that no two Bootcamps are identical.

This program is helping to build bridges between internal teams, improve processes, and remove churn by empowering employees to put the customer first. The CX Bootcamp is a catalyst for building a customer-centric culture and inspiring new ways of thinking about and solving problems at Bose.

The CX Bootcamp gives Bose employees a toolkit of frameworks and a new customer-inspired mindset that they can take with them and refer to when making decisions in their day to day work. Using a baseline of common vocabulary about customer research methods, customer personas, and customer journeys, employees can all start from the same “place” when thinking about, engaging with, and designing for every Bose customer.

Bootcamp is organized into five training modules, one for each of the five key brand behaviors:

  • Openness: a genuine interest in dialogue with your customers
  • Relevance: speaking the customer’s language and sharing their values
  • Emotion: creating a sense of belonging and making people feel smart and proud for being customers
  • Empathy: understanding customer needs and preferences and exercising better customer intuition than competitors
  • Experience: respecting a customer’s time, appreciating their loyalty, and making customer service everyone’s job

Following the Bootcamp, participants have ample opportunities to apply their new skills in the real world. They join the insights team in the field on shopping ethnographies. Or, spend some time in the retail lab to experience sales and marketing concept tests. They even participate in “fireside chats” with real Bose customers.


A customer-centric culture

“For me CX Bootcamp really was a watershed moment. I began to understand what it means to put the customer at the center of everything we do.”

Bose Employee

This Bootcamp has inspired people from across functions and roles at Bose to think about CX differently. It has helped to move the company from a product-centric culture to a customer-inspired one.

Ultimately, the CX Bootcamp is a catalyst for building and strengthening a customer-centric culture. It is meant to inspire new ways of thinking about and solving problems. It’s a creative approach to making the business more human, to feel what customers feel, and to infuse this knowledge into employees’ daily work at Bose. And in doing so, Bose employees strengthen their relationships with our customers and with each other.

Today, customers are helping Bose employees understand everything from how people use mobile and wearable products to how women vs. men shop for electronics differently.

Samantha Rothkopf
Vice President, Product Innovation

Aidan Borer
Associate Director