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Jon Picoult

Customer Experience and Leadership Expert; Acclaimed Speaker; Published Author; Founder, Watermark Consulting

Travels From:
Connecticut
Fee Range:
$15,000 - $25,000

Jon Picoult helps companies impress their customers and inspire their employees, creating raving fans that drive business growth.

Jon is the Founder of Watermark Consulting and a noted authority on customer experience.  His insights have been featured in dozens of media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, NBC News and Inc.

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Jon Picoult helps companies impress their customers and inspire their employees, creating raving fans that drive business growth. He is the Founder of Watermark Consulting and a noted authority on customer experience.

A sought-after business advisor and speaker, Jon’s insights have been featured in dozens of media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, NBC News and Inc. He has worked with some of the world’s foremost brands, collectively representing over 750,000 employees and $500 billion in annual revenue. Jon helps organizations capitalize on the power of loyalty – both in the marketplace and in the workplace.

Jon’s philosophy is simple: With every interaction, businesses win or lose share. Each touchpoint – be it with customers, distributors, or even employees – presents an opportunity to either build brand loyalty or erode it. He helps companies capitalize on this concept by creating end-to-end brand experiences that don’t just satisfy, but impress.

Prior to establishing Watermark, Jon held senior executive roles at Fortune 100 companies – leading service, operations, distribution, technology, sales and marketing. Early in his career, Jon earned the distinction of becoming the youngest executive officer in the over 150-year history of a leading, global financial services company.

Jon received his A.B. in Cognitive Science from Princeton University and his M.B.A. in General Management from Duke University.

Here are three key things you should know about Jon:

First, he’s walked in your audience’s shoes. Jon has addressed audiences around the world – but he’s not a career consultant or academic. Most of his professional life was spent as a senior executive at Fortune 100 companies, leading service, operations, technology, sales and marketing. So, when Jon shares his strategies for cultivating customer and employee loyalty, he’s not just speaking from a textbook… he’s speaking from experience.

Second, he’s a thought leader. Jon’s insights have been featured by leading media outlets and he has advised some of the world’s most admired companies. He is the author of one of the most widely-cited studies on the ROI of great customer experiences.

Third, he goes beyond platitudes. The most important day of your event is the day after it ends. Will people apply what they learned, or get distracted by the whirlwind of day-to-day business? Jon won’t leave your audience with platitudes – he’ll captivate them with engaging examples, entertaining business stories and actionable advice that they can truly put to use back in the office.

How do you get your business to stand out from the crowd?  Many sources of competitive differentiation can be fleeting – product innovations can be mimicked, technology advances can be copied, and cost leadership is difficult to achieve let alone sustain.


But as Jon Picoult describes in this presentation, a great customer experience can deliver tremendous strategic and economic value to a business, in a way that’s difficult for competitors to replicate.


Filled with compelling statistics and fascinating case studies, this program will give your audience specific, actionable ideas for enhancing their firm’s customer experience.  Topics covered include:



  1. What great companies know about the difference between “customer experience” and “customer service.”

  2. How great experiences boost financial results and accelerate business growth.

  3. The current state of customer experience in the marketplace and the competitive opportunity it implies.

  4. The link between a company’s employee experience and its customer experience.

  5. Time-tested principles used by legendary companies to actively manage and differentiate their customer experience.


Lots of companies fly the “easy to do business with” banner.  Few ever actually fulfill that promise, as most consumers can attest.


In this fascinating talk, Jon Picoult will challenge your audience to raise the bar – so they seek to make it not just easy for customers to do business… but effortless.


Using eye-opening statistics and amusing real-world examples, Jon explains why an effortless customer experience is such a rare and powerful competitive differentiator.  Topics covered include:



  1. What bad “customer effort” is and why it saps brand loyalty.

  2. How you can detect drivers of bad customer effort, in sales and service interactions.

  3. Why it costs less to deliver an effortless customer experience.

  4. How you can create a more effortless experience – quickly and cost efficiently.

  5. The critical connection between “employee effort” and “customer effort.”


Many businesses focus on what they do, but fewer focus on why they do it.


In this presentation, Jon Picoult opens people’s eyes to the concept of a purpose-driven brand – that is, an organization whose “reason for being” goes well beyond the traditional measures of success (e.g., creating shareholder value or growing revenues).


It’s an approach that’s worked exceptionally well for companies spanning a variety of industries – Patagonia, USAA, and Southwest Airlines among them.


The program includes mini case studies of those organizations and others which have established a compelling brand purpose that engages customers and employees alike.  Topics covered include:



  1. What is “purpose” and how does it differ from “mission”?

  2. Why is purpose so vital – to leaders, employees and customers.

  3. Why is purpose good for business?

  4. How should an organization go about defining its purpose?

  5. The “5 D’s” – a short list of essential principles for creating and fulfilling a purpose-driven brand.


Many businesses are routinely ignoring one of their most important customers.  As a result, they’re not only tarnishing their brand, but they’re also losing the war for talent.


Based on Jon Picoult’s popular New York Times feature, this presentation offers a compelling case for viewing employment candidates as customers.  It illustrates how companies can turn administrative recruiting touchpoints into persuasive marketing opportunities that help draw talented people into an organization.


The program also highlights the often overlooked connection between job applicants and actual customers, demonstrating how recruiting interactions can influence your company’s brand and shape consumer perceptions.  Topics covered include:



  1. Why the “applicant experience” is broader and more influential than you think.

  2. Why talent acquisition is a business like any other – product, provider and customer.

  3. What job applicants think of companies’ current recruiting experiences.

  4. What companies have to gain from a great applicant experience.

  5. How customer experience management principles can be applied to the recruiting arena.


It was the day Netflix customers saw red – July 12, 2011.  That’s when the company announced a series of changes, including an increase in prices and a spin-off of its DVD rental business.


Customers revolted against the moves, and Netflix employees weren’t too happy about it, either.  Within three months, the firm lost nearly a million customers and saw its stock price plummet by over 75%.


In this fun and interactive presentation, Jon Picoult uses the Netflix debacle to illustrate key principles for successfully navigating customers and employees through significant change.  Topics covered include:



  1. Why people typically reject change.

  2. Twelve essential strategies for helping people embrace change.

  3. How to inspire people to change, rather than force them through it.

  4. How personal leadership behaviors can remove obstacles to change.

  5. The importance of “choreographing” the change experience.


The mind works in mysterious ways.  When people interact with a business, their satisfaction and loyalty is shaped by how they perceive, process and remember those experiences.


In this fascinating presentation, Jon Picoult describes how companies can capitalize on cognitive science to create a stronger, more memorable customer experience.  From improving sales close rates to building positive word-of-mouth to enhancing employee engagement – you’ll find the principles outlined in this program to be invaluable.  Topics covered include:



  1. How memories are formed and then shape customer perceptions about your business.

  2. Why some business brands inspire intense consumer appeal, while others fall flat.

  3. How customers can be satisfied – even if your customer experience is far from perfect.

  4. How service failure can turn everyday customers into loyal brand advocates.

  5. How common cognitive biases can be turned into competitive business advantages.


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