Clued In - PCC - ebook

Good, bad, or indifferent, every customer has an experience with your company and the products or services you provide. But few businesses really manage that customer experience, so they lose the chance to transform customers into lifetime customers.  In this book, Lou Carbone shows exactly how to engineer world-class customer experiences, one clue at a time. Carbone draws on the latest neuroscientific research to show how customers transform physical and emotional sensations into powerful perceptions of your business... perceptions that crystallize into attitudes that dictate everything from satisfaction to loyalty. And he explains how to assess and audit existing customer experiences, design and implement new ones... and "steward" them over time, to ensure that they remain outstanding, no matter how your customers

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Main Idea

Every business exists for just two reasons:

1. To make money for the firm —by selling products and services for more than they cost to make or deliver.

2. To make customers —by doing something so well people are prepared to pay for the added value being created.

In recent years, most industries have focused more on the make-money side of the equation than they have on the other side, make-customers. That's understandable, but somewhat short-sighted. Unless businesses balance the things they're doing to make more money against the things they're also doing to create greater value for their customers, their efforts are likely to be short-lived. The key to creating value for customers is not to sell them more products and services, but to provide them with a distinctive and well-engineered experience which will add value (from their perspective) to the products and services they already purchase.

Customers always have an experience whenever they deal with your firm, whether you want them to or not. Instead of letting this experience be a random by-product of circumstances, it makes sense to actively manage it. If you can systematically craft and then deliver a great experience to your customers, you differentiate your firm in the customer's mind, even if your products and services are comparable to those offered by your competitors.

To grow your business, therefore, don't look for more cost cutting ideas or creative ways to charge more for what your customers already buy. Instead, look for ways to enhance your value proposition by developing internal systems which will enable you to design, manage, deliver and leverage the total customer experience.

Key Thoughts

"As product and service attributes become commoditized and evened out, experiential elements and their value are rapidly coming to the fore. The quality of the customer's total experience is being increasingly recognized as the new differentiator."

Lewis Carbone

The Business Case for Managing Customer Experiences

The rules of differentiation are changing. At one time, products and services could stand out from the crowd on the strength of their features (particularly quality) alone. Today, the customer's experience is the focal point of the value proposition, which in turn means managing the customer experience has the potential to be very important from a strategic perspective. This is precisely what forward-looking organizations are doing to gain a sustainable competitive advantage.

The business case for managing customer experiences intelligently and deliberately is:

The Business Case For Experiences 1   Understand how the value proposition has evolved

Most companies start out as simple product retailers before they discover the advantages of selling total customer experiences. For example, Starbucks opened its first location in Seattle in 1971 as a bean shop selling gourmet roasted coffee beans which people took home to brew and consume. The experience of actually consuming the coffee was considered to be a by-product of the sale transaction . . which was where the company planned on creating and capturing value.

It wasn't until Howard Schultz joined the company in 1982 and then went on a trip to Italy to attend a housewares show a year later that things began to change. While in Italy, Schultz wandered into an espresso bar where he was inspired by the way drinking coffee was made into a rich, sensory experience. He returned to the United States with a passion to bring this experience to his customers.

Key Thoughts