“THERE IS ONLY ONE BOSS. THE CUSTOMER. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” Sam Walton (Walmart)
Clearly, no business can exist without customers. That’s why every company needs to figure out how to win and – maybe even more importantly – keep customers in order to survive … and that’s why companies have invested in ‘CRM’ initiatives and technologies – with more or less success.
CRM has always been about winning and keeping customers. But today, rapidly emerging technologies have changed the game and empowered customers, who are digitally connected via social media channels, have changed the rules of engagement. In a world of anywhere-anytime access to information, proliferating channels, mobile devices, consumerization of technology, and digitally engaged customers organizations need to explore new ways to stay relevant for their customers as industries transform.
According to IBM’s Global CEO Study conducted in 2010, “getting closer to customers” is the #1 priority for CEOs in the next 5 years.
A 2011 Bloomberg Businessweek survey revealed that “delivering a great customer experience” has become the new imperative: 80% of the companies polled rated customer experience as a top strategic objective.
However, only 20% of these companies believe that they, themselves, are actually doing a good job.
So the key question is: How can organizations create a customer experience that is truly differentiating and provide them with a sustainable competitive advantage?
With two of my colleagues, Vinay Iyer and Reza Soudagar, I have launched a project to dig deeper and to find answers to this question.
By leveraging research conducted in collaboration with Bloomberg Businessweek, our combined experience of 60 years in the CRM space, and interviews of over 60 companies (many of them customers of SAP) plus renowned CRM thought leaders, we took on the challenge of addressing this highly relevant topic and concluded our findings in “The Customer Experience Edge”.
I am proud to say that “The Customer Experience Edge” has now been published by McGraw Hill. In the book we:
Discuss why and how focus on the customer experience has become a strategic competitive differentiator in all industries (B2B and B2C)
Identify the four essentials of customer experience: reliability, convenience, relevance, and responsiveness
Provide a ‘framework of excellence’ that can serve as a blueprint to achieve a customer experience edge
Demonstrate, through fact-based research, that departmental (silo) approaches hinder Customer Experience initiatives
Provide many examples and a number of detailed case studies of several customers who have succeeded by implementing the right organizational and technology strategies
Make the case that the right technology is key to achieving a Customer Experience Edge – profitably and sustainably
The book has already received rave early reviews from key influencers like Paul Greenberg, Professor Henry Chesbrough of Haas Business School, and companies (customers) like CEMEX and Cardinal Health.
Here are quotes:
“This excellent book makes it quite clear that your business has to focus on customer experience for 21st century business success. It's more than refreshing to read the multiple case studies, the well thought out approach and to hear the experienced voices of these authors. You've spent way too much time reading this endorsement. Read the book instead. It’s SO worth it.” Paul Greenberg, author, CRM at the Speed of Light, 4th Edition.
“This book not only unpacks the key components of a great customer experience but also provides a blueprint for how to make it happen. With insightful examples, the authors outline the key factors that enable some organizations to achieve success by making a superior customer experience a central element of their offering.” Ranjay Gulati Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
“The Customer Experience Edge provides practical guidelines with detailed real-world examples on intelligent use of technology and services to win and keep customers the effective way—through a focus on providing an excellent customer experience.” Ellen Brasse, Head of Marketing and Sales at coop@home
For more information on the book please check out the book Web site where you can find news and reviews and download customer case studies from Lego, Coop, Synopsys, Cemex, Colmobil, and Akbank, and also comment on the book and the topic of customer experience.
McGraw Hill also issued a press release for this book, a privilege they extend to only a few business books every year.
Of course you can review and buy the book on Amazon.com, or get it at Barnes and Noble book stores throughout the US.
If you’d like to hear more about the book before you buy, check out the interviews on youtube with Vinay and myself.
Let us know your thoughts. Reza, Vinay and I are curious about your feedback and point of view and we would like to start a discussion with you – either here on SCN/BPX or the book website.