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Build for Change: Revolutionizing Customer Engagement through Continuous Digital Innovation Hardcover – June 3, 2014

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118930266
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118930267
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A lot of companies across the globe are going to die over the next few years, not because of macroeconomic stress but because there is an entire emerging generation of customers who hate doing business with them. These companies are going to die from some form of customer stressa customerpocalypse.
—Alan Trefler

In Build for Change: Revolutionizing Customer Engagement through Continuous Digital Innovation, Alan Trefler reveals a nascent generation of emboldened customers that are turning the tables on brands and companies that market to them. These customers don’t want to be “sold” to. They engage only when they sense transparency, authenticity, and trust. Today’s loudest fans can become tomorrow’s noisiest detractors. They are active users of online social channels and can influence thousands and even millions of consumers.

Build for Change offers a warning to companies that are failing to see the coming customerpocalypse, and practical advice and examples to those that are grappling with how to survive in a radically new customer engagement paradigm. It concludes that given the viral speed with which customer behaviors are changing, organizations need ways to predict customer desires, adapt in the moment to new changes, and be so reciprocal and contextually aware that both customers and staff will trust them, respect them, and want to engage with them.

This kind of customer engagement will be omnipresent and transformational. It is embodied in a new software layer that represents a company’s DNA. It will be more important than physical offices and retail stores. It will actually empower customers to engage, while directing how they are served, informed, and rewarded. And because it is DNA, it cannot be outsourced or found on some shelf.

Adopting the Build for Change approach to surviving the future means revolutionizing the customer experience and re-thinking technology, all with businesspeople at the forefront. It is the true promise of digital innovation and a call to action.

From the Back Cover

A digital organization’s survival guide for customer engagement

In Build for Change: Revolutionizing Customer Engagement through Continuous Digital Innovation Alan Trefler shows what it takes to make the necessary and dramatic changes in how a business thinks about its customers, its people, and its technology, to ensure it can survive beyond the twilight of the brands.

“[W]hat is new is the approach to the digitization of the enterprise that this book lays out. . . . It is time to think radically about how technology plays and works in your enterprise.”
—From the foreword by James Champy, Coauthor of Reengineering the Corporation

“Alan Trefler has painted the clearest vision on what the customer experience of the future can be. This book should be required reading for everyone, especially those working on improving global health, looking to redefine customer experience through innovation and the smarter application of technology.”
—Dr. Mark Boxer, EVP and & Global CIO, Cigna

“We all know that the amount of data out there and the dramatic shift in what customers expect have put a huge strain on companies. What Alan does is identify what you have to do with the technology and the processes to not only meet those increased expectations, but also flourish in this changed business world—and he does it convincingly. If you have a business and are trying to figure out how to handle 21st century commerce, read this. You’ll not only feel better, but you just might know what to do. So, go. Now. Read.”
—Paul Greenberg, Author of CRM at the Speed of Light

“Alan Trefler is the rare high-tech CEO who both foresees the direction of business and builds the systems to enable the agile enterprise. Build for Change will inspire the imagination of everyone hoping to drive digital business innovation.”
—Michael Maoz, VP and Gartner Distinguished Analyst, Gartner, Inc.

Build for Change does a great job summarizing the issues every business needs to address when it comes to dealing with today’s connected and digitally empowered consumer. The lesson is clear: in the digital age consumers rule, not businesses.”
—Don Peppers, Peppers & Rogers Group

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Customer Reviews

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This is useful material to bring the story of the author to live.
Trefler describes a new generation of consumers who want to discover great companies and products, and who expect excellent service.
He does all this in the midst of winning chase games and now he comes up with a book!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The title of my review correctly indicates Alan Tefler's purposes in this book: to provide the information, insights, and counsel that leaders of organizations need to "revolutionize customer engagement through continuous digital innovation." It should be added that most of the material (if not all of it) is relevant to the needs, interests, resources, and strategic objectives of almost any organization, whatever its size and nature may be.

For decades, parents and other adults have told children to "mind their Ps and Qs." In this book, Trefler tells his readers to "mind their Cs and Ds." That is, cultivate consumers who comprise the C and D generations. The "C" refers to CONTENT. "Despite its relative youth, this group influences every aspect of our lives and wreaks havoc on many businesses. Gen C accounts for about 75 million people in the United States alone. Still growing in size by leaps and bounds, largely now from the emergence of new economies in much of the less-developed world and changing economies in places such as Russia, China, and India, Gen C is fast becoming the largest group of consumers in the world."

With regard to "D," it refers to DISCOVER, DEVOUR, and DEMONIZE. "Gen D does not want to be sold to. Being sold to is like being controlled. No, the seamless experience they desire with your business, to which they would probably never admit, is based on wanting to discover you and your product or service...They want [begin italics] radical authenticity [end italics], and when they discover something they like, they devour it...Gen D customers want nothing short of trust, transparency, and total openness. If they want loyalty, and expressed it as such, they would say it is [begin italics] your [end italics] loyalty to [begin italics] them [end italics]...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cslnh on August 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As an inveterate online shopper and user of digital channels, I’ve had lots of customer experiences with companies that are just plain stupid. (Why do I have to keep repeating my information? Why do I have to call a different phone number get an answer this question? Why are you assaulting me with canned offers during the online chat? ) It would be really nice if companies stopped making me do business their way and started doing it my way.
This book provides an innovative take on this problem. It examines the relationship between the online, connected and “social” customer and what corporations need to do in order to successfully engage with them. The focus is on what these customers expect, how companies need to address these expectations and what types of technology will be required in order to deliver the kind of experiences customers really want. While there is a fair amount of technical detail, particularly in the discussion of how traditional technology techniques get in the way of really understanding and responding to customers, it’s done from a business perspective so that you get how technology can hinder instead of help. It’s well worth a read and (hopefully) will galvanize those of you in the business world who are focused on the customer experience to start questioning your current way of interacting with customers and how you can make it better.
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Format: Hardcover
I came across this book by coincidence and it caught my attention because it was written by the CEO of a company that does not just merely talk about the coming of Digital Darwinism but someone that actually works with major companies to help face these challenges.

The author writes dutifully from the outside-in, the perspective of customerpocalypse, as it were and welcomes the reader to the familiar "nightmare" It is the right starting point for the book because it covers well what we are really facing, and that is disruption due the changes in consumer behavior (Generation C and D). Unlike the oft-quoted discussion that disrupts industries and categories, this chapter correctly talks about how changes in the consumer environment really disrupts industries and those changes are strongly influenced by technology but also by other factors.

The book then lays our the role of data and that a company's major challenges is, but only in part, to manage the data that emanates from the change in the consumer environment. The author so correctly points out that understanding customers only through data is like looking at the equivalent of an old, fuzzy, black-and-white TV. I think this metaphor is quite aptly chosen.

Great case studies on the following chapters throughout. Farmers Insurance, PNC Financial Services on next-best-actions, or Vodafone. I also liked the description of OCBC Bank in Asia. Very good chapter also on customer processes with additional real useful case material such as BB&T, Prudential, American Express, Telerx. This is useful material to bring the story of the author to live.

I personally liked Chapter 5, it is a great summary of how software evolved and where we are today.
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Format: Hardcover
I read Build for Change shortly after it came out. It was one of those books that I, admittedly, went into with a bit of skepticism. To my delight, I quickly found that many of the topics on which Alan wrote resonated with my views on technology, data, and our evolving world. In chapter 2, he wrote about “Death by Data” and the impact big data has had on our personal and professional lives. Specifically, he mentions “creepy data gathering” on page 38, which really hit home. Since the revelations about the NSA programs and snafus from Facebook and other companies, there has been customer backlash as they start to understand what data of theirs is is being collected and how it’s used. This all leads to a decision point, a pretty critical one, that companies must face: How do you collect data without alienating your customer base?

It’s a paradox of course. Data collection is an activity that is critical to businesses’ understanding of their customers, yet that very activity is one that can easily make your customers very uncomfortable. It’s great to hear the head of company that deals with significant amounts of data advocate for its smart collection and intelligent use, rather than dragnet collection and nonsensical – even creepy - use. The two strategies give way to radically different results: The former engenders loyalty among customers who appreciate your service, your knowledge of their individual preferences and ability to “lightly read their minds”; the latter would take take your promoters (specifically Gen D) and turn them in to detractors.
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