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Managing the Customer Experience: Turning customers into advocates Paperback – November 8, 2002

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Editorial Reviews


 "Refreshing and practical. Managing the Customer Experience shows companies how to build the power of their brand. Wheeler and Smith inspire your organization to deliver a different and more valuable offering to your targeted customers."

Bradley T. Gale, author of Managing Customer Value and President, Customer Value, Inc.

"Delivering customers a consistently superior set of benefits is probably the most important driver of value creation. This book provides a number of practical insights which will guide the reader on the difficult but fascinating path leading to great customer value delivery."

Jean-Claude Larréché, The Alfred H. Heineken Professor of Marketing, INSEAD

"A fascinating and insightful book which is equally relevant for the leaders of professional services firms looking to build ¿trusted advisor¿ relationships with their key clients."

Michael Bray, Chief Executive, Clifford Chance

"Managing the Customer Experience is an incredibly practical guide for building customer loyalty in the new century."

Marshall Goldsmith - Founding Director of the Financial Times Knowledge Dialogue and the Alliance for Strategic Leadership.

"Smith and Wheeler show us what the 21st Century Company has to look like if it is to be successful. They show that great brands are not primarily built through advertising but by the experience and value they offer customers."

Professor Peter Doyle, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

"This book shows how to unlock the full value potential of the customer experience, supported by a wealth of examples from world leaders such as Tesco and Harley-Davidson. The connection made between the Marketing, Human Resources and Customer Service functions is very powerful. This, combined with the emphasis on the role of leadership, makes Managing the Customer Experience required reading for CEO's, Marketing, Human Resource, and Operations Directors, and their teams."

William Gordon, Strategy Partner, Accenture and co-author of Brand Manners.

"In their book, Managing the Customer Experience, the authors bring forward the concept of loyalty and advocacy in customer experience in a very targeted way ¿ unearthing one of the most essential branding rules, which is to make your preferred customers your best ambassadors."

Marc Gobé, President and Executive Creative Director, Desgrippes Gobé Group, author of Emotional Branding: the New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People.

"If you are interested in increasing customer loyalty, Managing the Customer Experience is the book for you. Most books on the subject focus on your company's image and tell why it's important. This book makes the business case for branding but then shows you how to do it. Full of practical "how to" advice, illustrative anecdotes, and application exercises, it is not only a good read, but a significant investment in your future success."

Richard Whiteley, author of The Customer Driven Company

"Managing the Customer Experience provides a comprehensive blueprint for any organization that wants to deliver a customer experience that supports and builds its brand. Smith and Wheeler bring this intriguing concept to life through a well-researched variety of examples, insights, methods, and tools. Don¿t just read this book ¿ use it!"

Scott Timmins, Vice President, College Marketing, Millea Hall, Babson College


From the Back Cover

How much more profit could you make if you had customers who couldn¿t imagine doing business with anyone but you? In your dreams! Tell that to Virgin Atlantic or Harley Davidson.

How great would life be if 40% of your new business simply knocked on your door without you having spent a cent advertising for it? Impossible! Tell that to First Direct.

The companies in this book have managed to turn customers into advocates. Advocates who constantly refer their friends and colleagues to those businesses. Why? Because those companies have created a Branded Customer Experience®. They have managed the relationship to the point where customers can't imagine wanting to do business with anyone else.

How can you gain this unbeatable competitive advantage? Managing the Customer Experience shows you how. It takes you through the step-by-step process of creating Loyalty by Design. It shows you how to re-think your business from the customer¿s point of view and then design and deliver a customer experience that drives loyalty and profitability.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson FT Press; 1 edition (November 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0273661957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0273661955
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Actually, the title of this book is somewhat misleading because Smith and Wheeler have as much of value to say about how to create an appropriate customer experience as they do about how to manage it effectively. In fact, the two are not only connected, they are interdependent. The ultimate objective is to establish an ever-increassing critical mass of customers who are "advocates" or as Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba would characterize them, "evangelists."

Obviously, customer relationship management (CRM) is a multi-stage process which begins with obtaining sufficient and relevant information about the target customer (or customer segments), proceeds through the design and implementation phases, continues with refinement and modification based on rigorous evaluation of CRM initiatives and measurement of their impact. Effective marketing creates or increases demand for whatever is offered whereas effective CRM ensures that "customer satisfaction" becomes "customer loyalty" which, eventually, becomes and remains "customer advocacy."

At this point, it is worth noting that, in several dozen research studies on what customers consider to be most important, three attributes were almost always ranked among the top five: feeling appreciated, convenience (i.e. easy-to-do-business-with or ETDBW), and perceived value. Cost? Depending upon which research study is consulted, it was ranked 9-14 in importance. By the way, Warren Buffett once observed something to the effect, "Cost is what you charge but value is what they think it's worth." Marketers and service providers would be well-advised to keep that in mind.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
As the CEO of a software company, I have been searching for PRACTICAL advice for enhancing the experience for our customers. Most books I have seen are full of theory and are basically worthless. If you don't walk away from this book with a list of action items, then you obviously don't care about serving your customers.
I believe that this book will be on my desk as a reference for a long time. It will take a couple of years to implement all that I learned.
Definitely worth the read!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Annonymous on December 17, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this and several other books on this topic of a project at work. This so far has been the most comprehensive and thoughtful book on the topic. There are plenty of templates and workflows to help a team frame their customer experience goals and is supplemented with substantial facts and figures that resonate with executives. This book will provide me with much of what i need to clearly articulate these ideas to my leadership (as i build yet another powerpoint deck to do so).

My only gripe is that while many of these themes transcend time, we need a good 2008 version of this thinking that incorporates the huge changes in the internet and pervasive connectivity. References to technology were very light, i'm assuming so as not to seem outdated in this fast moving world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Ellsworth on November 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is definitely worth the read. It does a nice job of quickly building the case as to why delivering an exceptional customer experience is the key issue for many companies today, especially service firms. More importantly it provides a clear example of how to get it done, so for internal practioners this book can serve as a straightforward roadmap for implementation. I also thought the examples were good, especially as they related to the issue of senior leadership engagement. Overall I would highly recommend this book to anyone else interested in this subject since I have not found a lot of material that actually describes what to do to deliver a branded customer experience.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Larry Kwicinski on November 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a must-read book for executives and managers seeking to improve customer loyalty. The authors convincingly demonstrate how branded customer experience drives customer loyalty to create a sustainable competitive advantage. The book is well researched and contains dozens of examples of companies who have met the loyalty/branding challenge. The stories behind the success of Harley Davidson,, Virgin, Home Depot and many others are fascinating and highly instructive. The ideas and perspectives covered in this book are both insightful and pragmatic. It is an excellent resource.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Unlike others in the field, Wheeler and Smith lay out what you need to do to consciously design a business that consistently gives the customer an experience that lives up to their brand. In the rush to cost control, we often forget that it's easy to make life difficult for the customer, and the result is massive damage to the brand, even to the point of destroying the organization.
A must read, especially in uncertain times, where the tendency will be to cut, without regard for the customer.
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