“Customer Experience is not just about

passion. It is about profitable results.”

~Lior Arussy

What Taylor Swift Doesn’t Know She Knows About Customer Experience

Posted: Jul 10, 2014 by Dalya Arussy

Taylor Swift is likely not your first choice customer experience guru. However, that doesn’t mean she can’t teach you a thing or two.

Taylor, like most of us, is struggling with the changing world of technology. We all try to update our look and keep up with ever-evolving trends. We do this partially for ourselves but mostly because it’s how we stay relevant to our fans or to our customers – which can be stressful.

But don’t worry, Taylor Swift is feeling the pressure too – only she’s optimistic about the whole thing.

In a recent op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Taylor Swift talks about the future of the music industry and staying relevant as an artist. She explores ways to build and maintain a relationship with her fans, something that can easily be seen in the context of customer experience. 

Taylor describes 3 typical relationships and how they translate into those between fans and their music. They’re not too far off from the relationships you have with your customers:

  1. Passing fling.” This is the type of relationship that is fun during its short lifespan but is easily forgotten. We all have songs that we connect to in this way. Similarly, we have organizations with which we do business and think about in these terms.
  2. Seasons of our lives.” There are some relationships that have us committed over a longer period of time but end at a certain point. They had a specific time and place and now that time and place is gone. It’s better than a passing fling but do we really want our customers to leave us at some expiration date?
  3. The one.” Pretty self-explanatory. And likely the ideal customer-company relationship. But hard to achieve.

So how do you make sure you’re “the one?” Taylor has some ideas:

Don’t Forget the Surprise

Thanks to technology, we have everything at our fingertips. For Taylor, that means all her fans have already seen her show on Youtube. She explains that she always feels the urgency to surprise her fans. Otherwise, why would they pay to attend her concert when they have free access online? Think about your customers and what they’ve seen. Every stage performance is the equivalent of every customer interaction. If you want your customers to pay, you have to continue to innovate and surprise.

Power Up With Popularity

Getting a record deal was once followed by a fan base. Today, you need to have a fan base in order to land a record deal, Taylor explains. This is a new environment for aspiring musicians and companies alike. Word of mouth, recommendations, Tweets, Yelp, etc… all become the basis of an organization’s future success. You need to get people to talk about you before you make it big. That’s why startup founders from The Muse to Reddit have faked popularity in order to convince people to take them seriously. For a company to really “make it,” they have to be popular first. Get your customers talking about you so that people see that you’re the real deal.


It’s difficult to keep re-adjusting with every new trend. And finding “the one” is hard enough as it is. Now we have to convince someone else that their search is over and that we, in fact, are “the one?” Yes, says master of the songs about past relationships, Taylor Swift. Take notes from her because it may not be easy, but then again, how else are you going to win seven Grammy Awards?


Read more on the Strativity blog: 

The No. 1 Enemy of Customer Experience Transformation

The Journey to Excellence or Excellence as a Journey?

The Top 3 Company Culture Fixes That Don’t Work

A Tale of 2 Companies: Contrasting Customer Experiences

5 Customer Experience Lessons We Can Learn From Wisconsin

Creating a Culture of Employee Delight

Evolving Customer Experience – Businesses Can Embrace a Culture of Feedback

Get Outside the Box: Employee Training in the Mud