I had the good fortune to win a copy of the brand new book Your Customer Rules! through Sharon Melamed and her company Matchboard a few weeks ago (thank you again, Sharon!).
Written by Bill Price (Amazon’s first Global VP of Customer Service) and David Jaffe (Consulting Director and founder of Limebridge Consulting in Melbourne) it’s a fantastic read filled to the brim with real life examples both good and bad – although the authors do save the bad companies embarrassment by not naming them.
The book starts by analysing the current environment. No surprises here: customers are more empowered, have significantly greater choice and are mini-broadcasters through the power of social media. Businesses on the other hand are larger, more complex and are no longer able to hide poor products and service.
The implication of this environment, they say, is that the traditional B2B and B2C models no longer apply. Customers hold the power, own the relationships and determine how they want to interact with businesses.
It means (and this is a key premise of the book) that the only business model that applies today is Me2B.
The companies that thrive in the current environment (Me2B Leaders) create experiences that don’t just deliver a product but recognise and satisfy seven fundamental customer needs:
(Interestingly, the authors often draw a parallel between these needs being not just those of your customer but of partners in loving relationships as well – there’s some food for thought!)
The needs are then placed in a hierachy based on the maturity required of the organisation that is attempting to satisfy them:
A full chapter is devoted to each need discussing how Me2B companies successfully meet them and the benefits of doing so. Along the way, Bill and David illustrate their points with examples from around the world. I was particularly impressed with the number of Australian examples included!
The final two chapters are devoted to studying what drives Me2B Leaders and the foundations of Me2B success.
I really enjoyed the book. It was easy to read, made some great points and included some rather humorous cartoons at the beginning of each chapter. It wasn’t jargony but for those that aren’t CX laypeople, it included a handy glossary.
Overall, I’d highly recommend it to anyone who works in the Customer Experience profession or who simply has an interest in improving their customer relationships.
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