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Booklist: Creating the Customer Experience

Selections offered by Dianna Brodine, managing editor

Plastics Business

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Providing service that creates customer loyalty is more than the responsibility of one department within a company. The customer experience winds through each and every department – from sales and quoting to engineering, billing and shipping. With competitors eager to move in, teaching the principles of customer service to every employee is not just smart; itís a necessity.

Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service

Author: The Disney Institute, Theodore Kinni
Release Date: Nov. 8, 2011 (revised)

Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. Now, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the original Be Our Guest, Disney Institute, which specializes in helping professionals see new possibilities through concepts not found in the typical workplace, is revealing even more of the business behind the magic of quality service. During the last 25 years, thousands of professionals from more than 35 countries and more than 40 industries have attended business programs at Disney Institute and learned how to adapt the Disney approach for their own organizations.

The Amazement Revolution: Seven Customer Service Strategies to Create an Amazing Customer (and Employee) Experience

Author: Shep Hyken
Release Date: April 5, 2011

Customer service isnít a department – itís a philosophy that includes every person and aspect of the best and brightest companies. In a tough, competitive and price-sensitive economy, customer service is one of the most essential tools to separate your business from the competition. In this sequel to the bestseller The Cult of the Customer, Shep Hyken delivers seven powerful strategies that any organization can implement to create greater customer and employee loyalty.

  1. Membership: What if you treated the people you serve like members instead of customers?
  2. Serious FUN: What if your employees felt a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment that made them loyal to you and your customers?
  3. Partnership: What if your customers thought of you as a partner rather than just another vendor?
  4. Hiring: What if you could implement innovative hiring processes to support your customer-service mission?
  5. The After-Experience: What if you could create a memorable, positive experience after someone did business with you?
  6. Community: What if you could create a community of evangelists – loyal customers who brag about you to their friends and associates?
  7. Walking the Walk: What if every person in your company didnít just deliver, but lived and breathed your vision for amazing customer service?

Hyken shares more than 100 insightful examples from 50 role-model companies that prove these strategies can and should be implemented immediately by any organization, large or small.

Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business

Author: Harley Manning, Kerry Bodine
Release Date: Aug. 28, 2012

What simple innovation brought billions in new investments to Fidelity? What basic misunderstanding was preventing Office Depot from achieving its growth potential? What surprising insights helped the Mayo Clinic better serve both doctors and patients? The solution in each case was a focus on customer experience, the most powerful – and misunderstood – element of corporate strategy today.

Customer experience is, quite simply, how your customers perceive their every interaction with your company. In an age when customers have access to vast amounts of data about your company and its competitors, customer experience is the only sustainable source of competitive advantage. But how to excel at it?

Based on 14 years of research by the customer experience leaders at Forrester Research, Outside In offers a complete roadmap to attaining the experience advantage. It starts with the concept of the Customer Experience Ecosystem – proof that the roots of customer experience problems lie not just with customer-facing employees like your sales staff, but with behind-the-scenes employees like accountants, lawyers and programmers, as well as the policies, processes and technologies that all your employees use every day. Identifying and solving these problems has the potential to dramatically increase sales and decrease costs.

The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty

Authors: Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, Rick DeLisi
Release Date: Sept. 12, 2013

Everyone knows that the best way to create customer loyalty is with service so good – so over the top – that it surprises and delights. But what if everyone is wrong?

In their acclaimed bestseller The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and his colleagues at CEB busted many longstanding myths about sales. Now theyíve turned their research and analysis to a new vital business subject – customer loyalty – with a new book that turns the conventional wisdom on its head.

The Effortless Experience takes readers on a fascinating journey deep inside the customer experience to reveal what really makes customers loyal – and disloyal. The authors lay out the four key pillars of a low-effort customer experience, along the way delivering robust data, shocking insights and profiles of companies that are already using the principles revealed by CEBís research, with great results. And they include many tools and templates you can start applying right away to improve service, reduce costs, decrease customer churn and ultimately generate the elusive loyalty that the ďdazzle factorĒ fails to deliver.

Book summaries provided by the publishing entity.