The latest book by John Goodman offers a view of how industry will look at customers in the future. While industry continues to see customers through the eyes of customer service, Goodman shows us the new world of the Customer Experience. His new book uses the concept of the customer experience (CE), first developed by Pine, Smith, and Bliss, to provide a primer for the novice as well as the experienced executive with a clear path into the future world of the customer.
No longer are the aspects of customer service seen as separate entities; the silos of customer interactions for a product are replaced by a strategy that encompasses all aspects of the relationship between a product and the customer. The relationship is referred to as the customer experience and includes all contacts with the customer from the first awareness of a product until the final disposition and use of the product.
The book consists of three parts. The first part describes the customer experience in terms of setting expectations, how to achieve those expectations and then identifying a methodology for measuring the financial impact.
The second section provides the blueprint for designing the customer experience. It breaks the design into four parts beginning with the how to do it right the first time by using customer mapping. The second part stresses the need to get customers to make contact. The third part describes how to provide caring service by dramatically expanding the role for the service function. Finally Goodman describes how to listen and measure how well your design works. In this final step he emphasizes the voice-of-the-customer with financial information necessary to precipitate action.
The final section of the book provides insight on where to focus. The successful implementation of CE requires leadership that keeps the many aspects of CE in balance.
I strongly recommend this book for its clear and logical explanation of how to take customer service into the next generation. Companies that continue to think of service in terms of silos may find themselves not able to meet the needs of the evolving customer.