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Hardcover The Customer Revolution: How to Thrive When Customers Are in Control Book

ISBN: 0609607723

ISBN13: 9780609607725

The Customer Revolution: How to Thrive When Customers Are in Control

You are no longer in control of your company's destiny . . . It happened in the music business and it will happen in yours. It's only a matter of time. Customers actually take control of an industry and reshape it from the outside in. Customers decide that the way they want to use an industry's product doesn't fit the current business model. Patricia Seybold, author of the influential, bestselling Customers.com would say that that's a revolution...

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Customer Reviews

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Creating Valuable Customer Relationships in the Internet Age

Patricia Seybold and her co-authors, Ronni T. Marshak and Jeffrey M. Lewis, have taken the familiar concept of establishing customer relationships as the basis of a company's success and updated the notion into the current day and its new technology, the Internet. The book is soundly based on lasting principles about successful customer focus, and details what that means now in many interesting and detailed examples. The book is strengthened by critiques of the weaknesses of some of the most successful companies, such as Charles Schwab and Grainger.Here are the principles:(1) Customers are in control. This point is made with the example of Napster, and the way this enabled people to change the way they acquired and used recorded music. Customers are going to reshape businesses by their behavior, and you had better be ready to respond. The recording companies were not, and great economic harm ensued as well as a slow down in the development of new acts.(2) Customer relationships count. The book points out that your economic value as a firm is related to how many customers you can attract and keep, and profitably supply. The authors argue that this will become a formal part of security analyst reports in the future. That would be progress over the way they value companies now!(3) Customer experience matters. This section focuses on how people feel emotionally about how they are being treated, and contains an interesting example of the on-line financial institution, Egg.The book then shifts into eight areas to focus on that supplement the list from their last book, which I have paraphrased:(1) Memorable, compelling, and desirable brand personalities(2) Smooth, continuous customer experience across channels and points of contact(3) Genuine caring about customers and the outcomes they experience(4) Measure how you are doing in what matters to customers(5) Improve your operational excellence(6) Make careful use of customers' time(7) Integrate customer preferences and information into the company and its interactions(8) Create products, services, and processes that can be quickly transformed as customers shift their focus.The book addresses how all of this can be better managed, and proposes a "flight plan" approach managed by a "Customer Flight Deck" that keeps the enterprise focused on what is most important. Essentially, the Customer Flight Deck is the customer focus part of a Balanced Scorecard. In fact, you would do well to read this book in conjunction with The Strategy-Focused Organization for the most benefit. The book has several Customer Flight Decks written out about the key examples employed by the authors. I thought these were well done and helpful for applying the authors' concepts and advice.The book is rich in quotes that help focus your attention. Here are a few of my favorites:" . . . [R]unning a business in today's Internet-enabled era is like trying to fly a plane [while] . . . replacing the engine.""Customers have taken control of o

This Book Is Worth Reading! It's NOT restating the obvious.

When was the following proclaimed?"We hold these truths to be self-evident"…that all people have a right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."America and its schools have promoted this democratic principle for centuries. Right?But did this "obvious" truth help our country resolve the complex social conditions that galvanized the civil rights movement in the 1960’s? Of course not. We’re still working on the race issue—despite the fact that so many American "leaders" say they get it.Or what about "the obvious" truth that "people are our most important asset?" We’ve heard that one from business leaders for decades. But how many management teams have truly executed that vision consistently, with integrated HR policies and practices in their organization, especially during downturns? Not many.My point is this. Just because something is obvious doesn’t mean that it’s real or that you can easily execute it. And that’s where Martin’s assessment falls short. In his criticism of "The Customer Revolution," Martin say’s it’s obvious that "customers are, and always have been, the lifeblood of any company…If you are a successful business you already know the significance of customers."But talk to some of those successful businesses, some of which are discussed in this book, and it will be quite obvious to you that managing the quality of your customer relationships is a complex, imperfect and at times painful undertaking, especially when you have multiple organizations and product lines. It’s not as obvious as you think, Martin.For example, I just installed Symantic’s industry-leading pcAnywhere, so I could download files from my office onto my laptop while spending time on Cape Cod.When it’s not crashing, it runs like a snail. My 4-year-old daughter is more effective at helping me cope with my frustration than the support I’ve received from Symantic’s customer service department, which I find pathetic. Gone is my summer dream of simple file sharing on the Cape! So, do you think I’m going to do business with this "successful" company again? As Martin would say, "Duh?"As for other businesses, perhaps less successful, capturing the "hearts and minds" of customers for the long haul is even more arduous. Many businesses today operate without any well-thought-out strategy for selecting and developing leaders throughout their organization--leaders who truly understand the requirements for managing customer relationships. Nor have they implemented the right business practices, IT strategy or infrastructure to succeed.And that’s why "The Customer Revolution" is relevant for anyone who wants a more sophisticated understanding of the multiple issues you face when building a "customer-centric" business. This book adds value in two key ways:1) First, it defines the extent to which power relationships have shifted in favor of customers over suppliers. Martin is right to say that the Internet has streamlined existing B2B relationships and saved c

THE CUSTOMER REVOLUTION IS LIKE A ROAD MAP TO SUCCESS

As a teacher and counsellor in business management and having assisted over 2,000 businesses in my lifetime, either through diagnostic assessment, financial analysis and/or business plan development, I highly recommend this book. When it comes to your customer, this book is what might be referred to as the "Businessman's Bible."Without a customer, you do not have a business - the customer is the backbone of your business. The customer is paramount! Simply put in layman's terms, it is not a matter of what you want to sell to the customer that is important. It is what the customer wants to buy and how you satisfy that customer's needs that is critical to your company's success. The customer is doing you a favour by coming to you, the business owner, with money in hand ready to purchase your product/service. It is irrelevant whether you are selling over the internet, in a retail facility, from your home or door-to-door, the same basic business principles of customer service apply. This book takes some recognized standard concepts and expands on these to keep up with modern technology. The author has presented a wealth of knowledge on building long-lasting, positive customer realtionships in today's modern world. "The Customer Revolution" is a must-read book for anyone in business today.

Creating Valuable Customer Relationships in the Internet Age

Patricia Seybold and her co-authors, Ronni T. Marshak and Jeffrey M. Lewis, have taken the familiar concept of establishing customer relationships as the basis of a company's success and updated the notion into the current day and its new technology, the Internet. The book is soundly based on lasting principles about successful customer focus, and details what that means now in many interesting and detailed examples. The book is strengthened by critiques of the weaknesses of some of the most successful companies, such as Charles Schwab and Grainger. Here are the principles:(1) Customers are in control. This point is made with the example of Napster, and the way this enabled people to change the way they acquired and used recorded music. Customers are going to reshape businesses by their behavior, and you had better be ready to respond. The recording companies were not, and great economic harm ensued as well as a slow down in the development of new acts.(2) Customer relationships count. The book points out that your economic value as a firm is related to how many customers you can attract and keep, and profitably supply. The authors argue that this will become a formal part of security analyst reports in the future. That would be progress over the way they value companies now! (3) Customer experience matters. This section focuses on how people feel emotionally about how they are being treated, and contains an interesting example of the on-line financial institution, Egg.The book then shifts into eight areas to focus on that supplement the list from their last book, which I have paraphrased:(1) Memorable, compelling, and desirable brand personalities(2) Smooth, continuous customer experience across channels and points of contact(3) Genuine caring about customers and the outcomes they experience(4) Measure how you are doing in what matters to customers(5) Improve your operational excellence(6) Make careful use of customers' time(7) Integrate customer preferences and information into the company and its interactions(8) Create products, services, and processes that can be quickly transformed as customers shift their focus.The book addresses how all of this can be better managed, and proposes a "flight plan" approach managed by a "Customer Flight Deck" that keeps the enterprise focused on what is most important. Essentially, the Customer Flight Deck is the customer focus part of a Balanced Scorecard. In fact, you would do well to read this book in conjunction with The Strategy-Focused Organization for the most benefit. The book has several Customer Flight Decks written out about the key examples employed by the authors. I thought these were well done and helpful for applying the authors' concepts and advice.The book is rich in quotes that help focus your attention. Here are a few of my favorites:" . . . [R]unning a business in today's Internet-enabled era is like trying to fly a plane [while] . . . replacing the engine.""Cust
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