Recommended Reading

Managing the Customer Experience (Shaun Smith & Joe Wheeler)



How much more profit could you make if you had customers who couldn’t imagine doing business with anyone but you? How great would life be if 40% of your new business simply knocked on your door without having spent anything on advertising for it?

The companies in ‘Managing the Customer Experience’ 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 distinctive 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 competitive advantage for your organisation.‘Managing the Customer Experience’ shows you how. It takes you through the step-by-step process of creating loyalty and advocacy. 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.

FANS! not customers (Vernon Hill)
In the words of Tom Peters who wrote the foreword, ” Writing this foreword is easy – and impossible.  The ‘easy option’: Just include every page of the book in my bit here.  That is, I didn’t find anything not worth reading, in fact ingesting, nary a ‘non-Wow’ in sight. Writing a foreword to this book is impossible: There is so much I want to say and in detail – and commend.This is for all those who have got tired of sloppy, slow, unfriendly and inefficient service.  Vernon Hill’s business model is a huge breath of fresh air – and a wake-up call for business.


Empowerment A Way of Life (John Tschohi)

This book focuses on one simple, yet powerful, principle:Empowered employees will give excellent customer service…turning unhappy customers into happy, repeat customers.  Moreover, happy, empowered, fulfilled employees are less likely to leave the company – reducing turnover. Solving a customer’s problem quickly benefits everyone, and that is why the key to a company’s success lies in empowered employees.

John Tschohl, the internationally recognized service strategist, is founder and president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Described by USA Today, Time, and Entrepreneur as a “customer service guru,” he has written several books on customer service and has developed more than 26 customer-service training programs that have been distributed throughout the world. John’s monthly strategic newsletter is available online.


Marketing to the Ageing Consumer:  The Secrets to Building an Age-Friendly Business (Dick Stroud and Kim Walker)

This new book is the first and most comprehensive account of physiological ageing affecting consumers’ minds, bodies and senses.  With many examples including Apple, Tesco’s, Sky TV and M&S, the authors explain how companies can respond to physiological ageing by adopting the 200+ touch points used to interact with their customers.The book answers the fundamental questions: ‘How will early-adopter companies translate age-friendliness into competitive advantage?’; ‘How can internal silo barriers be overcome?’ and which industries and global regions will lead the way?'”Marketing to the Ageing Consumer is a much-needed pioneer. There is virtually no literature that documents the changes that are necessary to make the market environment more age-friendly. This book does exactly that. It is thorough, well-written and to the point, and a must-read for marketing executives and anyone interested in consumer economics.”  Christopher Pissarides, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, 2010; Professor, LSE“As the world’s population of over 60’s doubles by 2030 and almost trebles by 2050, societies will need new coping mechanisms, and companies will need to adapt to a big shift in the structure of their consumer markets. Dick Stroud and Kim Walker take an important and innovative approach to show why and how.”  George Magnus, Senior Economic Adviser, UBS Investment Bank, London“Being somebody who is (very) firmly in the 50+ bracket I have a clear sense of how, and how not, to be marketed to. This book will be of great value to anybody who wants to reach me….”Dominic Proctor, President, GroupM Global 


“Outside In” The Power of Putting Customers at the Centre of your Business  (Harley Manning & Kerry Bodine)

Customer experience is a fundamental business driver. It’s your only source of sustainable competitive advantage. But how can you master it? Based on 14 years of research by the customer experience leaders at Forrester Research, OUTSIDE IN offers a complete road map to attaining the experience advantage. You’ll see how the roots of customer experience success or failure lie deep within your company, not just with customer-facing employees. And you’ll learn about the six disciplines that customer experience leaders must master: Strategy, Customer Understanding, Design, Measurement, Governance, and Culture. Worth a read for those serious about driving their business through improved customer experience.


The Jelly Effect’  How to make communication stick (Andy Bounds)
Do you find networking difficult, but know that you have to do it…and do it well, if you want to move on with your business or in your career?  If so…this book is for you!  Personally, I have always struggled with networking and been annoyed with my struggles.  I’m personable, friendly, know what I’m talking about – most of the time…and yet when I walk into a room full of people I don’t know I’m like a little girl in the playground on her first day at a new school.

This book, which also covers how to sell more, achieving referrals, and making memorable presentations, demystifies the art of networking, and provides us with a step by step guide to making it work for us.  Andy’s pretty unique slant on communication stems from the fact that his mother is blind, giving him a lifetime of explaining things from someone else’s point of view, and teaching him to communicate only what is relevant and helpful.  There is something in this book for everyone, and I highly recommend it.


The Go-Giver’  A little story about a powerful business idea (Burg & Mann)
I loved this little book.  It struck such a chord with me and was a great reminder that ‘no matter what your training, no matter what area you’re in, YOU are your most important commodity.  The most valuable gift you have to offer is you’.Written as a parable about Joe, the ambitious young go-getter, it can at times get a little cheesy, as parables often do.  But the messages –  people do business with those that they know, like and trust; as long as you’re trying to be someone else, you have no possibility of truly reaching people; the point is not what you do, not what you accomplish, it’s who you are – are simple, but powerful, and at the very least they make you think.  Another one to buy, read, and take what you need from it.  Enjoy!