The announcement on the department store’s public address system said: “If you own the red convertible with the top down, it just started raining. Towels are in aisle five.”

Reading a rocket company’s job description for an “Astronaut Experience Manager” I knew they were really looking for a customer experience manager. That’s exactly what I had done for over 15 years as owner and operator of a vintage aircraft sightseeing business that had become the oldest and largest in the U.S.—but my customers were flying in 1920’s open cockpit biplanes, not 21st-century rockets.

We were really in the entertainment business, we knew, and customer experience was everything. But, despite the extraordinarily good weather where we operated in Southern California, we did occasionally need towels for our “convertible” too, to improve the customer experience.


After traveling 1000 miles from San Diego on the southwest border of our country to Seattle on the northwest corner, and after a fun and exciting day of interviews, I’m now waiting for the company to interview two other candidates and believe I have a very good chance of getting the job.

But I came home realizing I have no formal education in customer experience management. Indeed, it seems to me that so-called CXM is just corporate-speak for how any good company should be run.  So to up my game, I decided I needed some book learnin’ too.

I found a  graduate-level course titled “Understanding Customer Experience” offered online by Karlstad University Business School and Karlsdat Service Research Center in Sweden, located midway between Stockholm and Oslo. A few years ago I’d taken online courses for a Master’s Degree in Astronomy from Western Sydney University in Australia. Scandinavia is just as close as Oceania online, so I decided to try to complete the 20-week course before mid-June.

I signed up weeks after the course started, but here I am playing catch up by fulfilling the first course assignment: create a blog and post an introduction to yourself. So…

“Hi! Wonderful to meet you! May I offer you a towel?”


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