Reinventing the Wheel: The Science of Creating Lifetime

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Senteo Rating 2.5
04/27/23
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Author:Chris Zane
04/27/23
views 4123
comments0
Author:Chris Zane
DIAMOND
RATING
Senteo Rating 2.5

Reinventing the Wheel: The Science of Creating Lifetime
Chris Zane, BenBella Books, 2011
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Reinventing the Wheel: The Science of Creating Lifetime Customers places its full focus on customers and how they should be the focus of any business. Using his business as the foundation of the study, Chris Zane writes of customer centricity and how businesses find success through emphasis on creating a positive customer experience. The primary focus is shifted away from the sales aspect and towards the treatment of the customer so that they are not just physically engaged in the shopping experience, but emotionally as well. Paraphrased in a few words, the author’s aim can be found in the phrase, “in order to sell effectively, you need to be asking questions to learn what your customer is looking for.” While not groundbreaking information and strategies, the author blends techniques from a multitude of sources and shows that through careful customization these borrowed techniques can be fitted for any industry.

This book highlights the success that can come from a relationship centric company culture. The concept of the novel is clearly noted in the statement, “…we’re not in the business of selling stuff but in the business of selling experiences.” Customer centricity is a big focus of the book and echoes the objective of Senteo. Throughout the book, Zane promotes the necessity of businesses to connect with their customers and focus on creating a culture and environment that customers want to share. Rather than focus on the immediate benefit the customer offers, the author points out that the lifetime benefit is of far greater importance, making a longstanding relationship worthwhile.

There are limitations to the application of the author’s techniques, especially outside of relatively small scale industry that Zane’s Cycles operates within. While standard operations such as estimating the lifetime value of a customer or maintaining customer records becomes easier with scale, the relationship building that Zane’s enjoys is lost. For a bank dealing in hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue, keeping track of all but the most important customers is troublesome. There is little opportunity to create a bond or revolutionary customer experience when a majority of banking is done through self-service channels, meaning that most customers will never experience anything more than a cold, lifeless point of contact. Additionally, there is little in terms of peripheral products that may bring a customer back into the business, especially considering that accounts, loans, and deposits are usually single purchase products with no real need for replacement.

When Chris Zane bought his bicycle shop at age 16, his business struggled until he discovered the secret that catapulted his store into one of the largest in the country. His secret? Provide unbelievable, over the top, excessively generous customer service.

Chris Zane isn’t a management consultant or professor preaching a theory of customer service; he’s a hands-on entrepreneur whose customer service approach has yielded enormous success. Zane has become a business celebrity, including being featured in the most recent round of American Express television ads.

Featured in the New York Times and in Associated Press articles and bestowed numerous awards for its unique business practices and outstanding customer relations, Zane’s Cycles has produced ideas thought by many to be pie-in-the-sky. But these counterintuitive concepts have proven to be hard-headed and effective. For example, Zane’s offers a trade-in program for families who can turn in bicycles their kids have outgrown for a 100 percent credit toward new ones. Initially thought impossibly generous, this program has proven to be good business. Experience and a clear understanding of the lifetime value of a customer makes this program, and many others Zane’s implements, work.

In Reinventing the Wheel, commonly overlooked elements that make a business exceptional are revealed. Zane produces a case study unlike any other—one that shows the importance of investing in customers and employees and how businesses are really selling experiences, not products. His philosophies and tried-and-true methods of guerilla marketing will show entrepreneurs and business owners how to knock out the competition while thriving in any kind of economy and doing good for the community along the way.

Zane has written a book that is essentially a print adaptation of his strategies and methodology for approaching the customer through a business. This case study is solely a study of the tactical application of customer centric techniques that they author applied within his business and how this model can be reapplied to any industry or business setting.

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Zane has written a book that is essentially a print adaptation of his strategies and methodology for approaching the customer through a business. This case study is solely a study of the tactical application of customer centric techniques that they author applied within his business and how this model can be reapplied to any industry or business setting.

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    Reinventing the Wheel: The Science of Creating Lifetime
    Chris Zane, BenBella Books, 2011
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