Managing the Customer Experience: Turning Customers Into Advocates

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Senteo Rating 3.5
04/27/23
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Author:Shaun Smith, Joe Wheeler
04/27/23
views 2444
comments0
Author:Shaun Smith, Joe Wheeler
DIAMOND
RATING
Senteo Rating 3.5

Managing the Customer Experience: Turning Customers Into Advocates
Shaun Smith & Joe Wheeler Prentice Hall, 2002
Senteo’s Review information

The authors begin by defining what they call a “Branded Customer Experience” as a service experience that is intentional, consistent, differentiated and valuable. The book advocates that creating a customer experience that is synonymous with your brand is increasingly recognized as a vital driver of corporate performance.

As with many books on the subject, it covers multiple themes such as creating customer advocates, the evolution model from commodities to the experience economy (see The Experience Economy) and then introduces their own framework of the Branded Customer Experience management model. This framework involves people, product/service offering and process into the customer experience, which influences customer behavior and in turn should influence ongoing customer growth goals. Loyalty must be created by design and a well-conceived customer experience strategy that is consistent across all channels.  Designing the customer experience process is broken down into four steps of mapping the customer experience, identifying customer expectations, validating draft with employee input, and creating the final BCE blueprint. Implementation of the Branded Customer Experience is a four-step process of defining customer values, designing the branded customer experience, equipping people and delivering consistently, and sustaining and enhancing performance. The book concludes with a 50-page appendix devoted to a survey of 20 leading companies identifying the practices they engage in to deliver a differentiated and outstanding customer experience.

This book provides many real-life examples of developing the customer experience strategy and implementation. For example, the authors provide a bank example of designing the customer experience process by mapping routine transactions in branches. They also provide a “loyalty by design” self-assessment to give readers an idea of where they score before going on to define the importance of leadership in the process and the components to developing the customer experience. The authors devote three chapters to stressing the importance of employee buy-in: a new brand of leadership, creating “triad power” (marketing, human resources, operations), and “people first,” or the importance of training and creating an incentive system. It covers the importance of measurement and ongoing management/ improvement of the customer experience. The appendix is useful for its practical research, examples and tool kit.

The authors focus on branding the customer experience, with seems to give the brand element undue weighting. In fairness, they do devote chapters to the importance of employee buy-in, creating the (branded) sales experience and what they call “putting the ‘e’ in experience,” which talks about multi-channel consistency. However, the focus on brand throughout seems to distract from what the authors are saying about the importance of the other elements in the experience. The book is also outdated in terms of covering the Internet, social media and other technological advances since 2002.

How much more profit could you make if you had customers who couldn’t imagine doing business with anyone but you? In your dreams! Tell that to Virgin Atlantic or Harley Davidson.
How great would life be if 40% of your new business simply knocked on your door without you having spent a cent advertising for it? Impossible! Tell that to First Direct.
The companies in this book have managed to turn customers into advocates – Advocates who constantly refer their friends and colleagues to those businesses. Why?  Because those companies have created a Branded Customer Experience®. They have managed the relationship to the point where customers can’t imagine wanting to do business with anyone else.
How can you gain this unbeatable competitive advantage? Managing the Customer Experience shows you how. It takes you through the step-by-step process of creating Loyalty by Design. It shows you how to re-think your business from the customer’s point of view and then design and deliver a customer experience that drives loyalty and profitability.

This is a useful book for understanding the customer experience, self-evaluation, and implementation of a strategy. It provides many examples and case studies, with a customer experience assessment survey, steps to developing a CE change strategy, and useful tools like scorecards, internal communications audit, and tactics for connecting to customers and employees.

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This book focuses on development and implementation of a customer experience strategy and gives a methodology and theoretical background on customer experience. There is also mention of ongoing measurement and management, however for more focus on this subject readers might refer to CRM at the Speed of Light.

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    Managing the Customer Experience: Turning Customers Into Advocates
    Shaun Smith & Joe Wheeler Prentice Hall, 2002
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