With Customer Experience firmly cemented in the consumer consciousness, and the key differentiator for brands in the modern retail landscape, a raft of new titles are hitting bookshelves in a bid help businesses craft their CX offering according to the advice of experts.
Following in the footsteps of established authors such as CX Masterclass leader Ian Golding (whose Customer What? The honest and practical guide to customer experience is now required reading for any customer-focussed professional), is a new league of writers keen to share their secrets, and guide readers towards a better understanding of what they should – and shouldn’t – do when it comes to being customer-centric.
Among these is Naeem Arif, who having joined United Carpets Group in Birmingham back in 2006, knows a thing or two about rolling out the red carpet for customers. Puns aside, his new book, Customer First, sees Arif pack his two decades-plus experience in management consultation, and his own razor-sharp retail acumen, into a concise tome that offers digestible insight using case studies, exercises, and good old-fashioned expertise.
The book guides us through the various stages of the Customer First transformation journey, while also offering a portal into the mind of a customer – how they think, feel, and react to your engagement. Readers are walked through techniques used to create advocates out of consumers, but as any CX professional will tell you – it isn’t going to be easy, and many fall by the wayside before getting close to the level of customer centricity they need to survive.
As Arif states: “It’s not a short route; it needs planning, persistence, and professionalism”.
Thankfully, Customer First has professionalism in spades, and your planning and persistence will enjoy a boost after the inspiring author takes you through key levels such as understanding your customer through methods such as profiling and creating customer ‘avatars’.
The whole journey is here: from customer loyalty programmes, utilising social media platforms in a meaningful way, and dealing with the difficulties caused by complaints, while an outstanding later chapter looks at how a business can create its own unique Customer Service Strategy using simple steps.
Arif also encourages the reader to remember something that is all too-often forgotten: “Your objective is to keep customers on the journey – there is no end.”
CX texts that offer fast, practical help are always a favourite here at Customer Experience Magazine, and Customer First is one of the best we have read in terms of providing the kind of immediate advice regularly sought by brands, big and small.
So don’t be fooled by its slim spine – Customer First punches above its weight, and will no doubt be well-thumbed in boardrooms around the UK and beyond before too long.
Customer First, by Naeem Arif, is available now from Writing matters Publishing.