Why it matters

‘Delightfulness’ is not a concept that cuts much ice in the boardroom but a poor customer experience has real business costs, in terms of metrics like purchase consideration, price elasticity and customer lifetime value. Being able to put a figure on “experience debt” can persuade management of the value of investing in a better digital customer experience.


  • Be open and honest with customers when releasing half-finished upgrades; explain why you’re doing it and how you’ll make it better over time.
  • Make “experience debt” a non-confrontational term to help address poor decisions.
  • Devise a way to track such debt and quantify it in order to aid boardroom decision making.

Why should it be that large corporates, with all their advantages of resources in terms of people, time and money, so often produce “tangibly less pleasing experiences” than much smaller outfits? Ramzi Yakob has spent a couple of years thinking about this and has come up with the notion of “experience debt” which he defines as “the costs that you create when you knowingly compromise your customers’ experience without due care and consideration”.