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Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business Hardcover – August 28, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Why read Outside In? Because a focus on customer experience and an outside-in perspective are the cornerstones of business success. The strongest client relationships are built on trust, mutual respect, and really listening to each other. Those are the kinds of relationships that can last a lifetime."
— Vanguard Chairman and CEO Bill McNabb

"This eye-opener gives you a comprehensive, need-to-know look at how smart companies achieve sustainable success in dealing with customers.  Hint:  It involves the entire organization, not just those on the 'front lines.' The GPS-like guidance provided here is invaluable."
— Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes
 
"Enjoyable, Easy, Meets Needs. This is Manning and Bodine’s Customer experience pyramid, listed in order of importance for the customer. Yes, it’s hard to make the changes needed to deliver on these promises. But there is a simple first step: read this book.
— Don Norman, Nielsen Norman Group, author of Living with Complexity

"Manning and Bodine understand that a good customer experience is actually less expensive to provide than a poor one and customers will pay more for a good one than for a bad one. Nothing drives profitability like an excellent customer experience does."
— Dan Hesse, CEO, Sprint

"I define customer centricity as simply ‘the one who pays you money placed at the center of everything you do.’ If you buy that definition, then buy this book, for Manning and Bodine provide a blueprint for doing just that. Following its prescriptions will yield enjoyable experiences for your customers by understanding them — from the outside in."
—  B. Joseph Pine II, co-author, The Experience Economy and Infinite Possibility: Creating Customer Value on the Digital Frontier
 
"Looking forward, healthcare organizations need to make patient experience part of their strategic plans. It’s as important as quality and safety. Manning and Bodine show why creating a great experience is important for any organization, and how to drive the change needed to make it a reality."
— Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, MD, CEO, Cleveland Clinic

"Here at Virgin, our brand is all about a great customer experience. Outside In provides the discipline to turn that thinking into successful business practices."
— Paul Sands, Head of Customer Experience Management, Virgin Atlantic Airways

"Today’s consumer has more information and choices at their fingertips than ever before. The ability to deliver a fast, effective and trustworthy customer experience is often the difference between success and failure. OUTSIDE IN details the tangible disciplines a company can master in order to differentiate itself from the competition through the customer experience."
— Kathleen Murphy, President, Personal Investing, Fidelity Investments

"Here’s a simple recommendation: if you have customers, you should read this book."
—800-CEO-READ

"CIOs who want to travel down that path [of success] but need a bit of guidance should look at Outside In…By looking closely at the problems customers experienced that led them to call customer service, some of these companies either slashed costs by billions of dollars or generated billions in new revenue."
The Wall Street Journal

From the Inside Flap

What simple innovation brought billions in new investments to Fidelity? What basic misunderstanding was preventing Office Depot from achieving its growth potential? What surprising insights helped the Mayo Clinic better serve both doctors and patients?

The solution in each case was a focus on customer experience, the most powerful—and misunderstood—element of corporate strategy today.

Customer experience is, quite simply, how your customers perceive their every interaction with your company. It’s a fundamental business driver. Here’s proof: over a recent five-year period during which the S&P 500 was flat, a stock portfolio of customer experience leaders grew twenty-two percent.

In an age when customers have access to vast amounts of data about your company and its competitors, customer experience is the only sustainable source of competitive advantage. But how to excel at it?

Based on fourteen years of research by the customer experience leaders at Forrester Research, Outside In offers a complete roadmap to attaining the experience advantage. It starts with the concept of the Customer Experience Ecosystem—proof that the roots of customer experience problems lie not just with customer-facing employees like your sales staff, but with behind-the-scenes employees like accountants, lawyers, and programmers, as well as the policies, processes, and technologies that all your employees use every day. Identifying and solving these problems has the potential to dramatically increase sales and decrease costs.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: New Harvest; 1 edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547913982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547913988
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark P. McDonald VINE VOICE on August 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Outside In is a solid book on the increasingly important subject of the customer experience. Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine provide a comprehensive view of all of the major aspects related to the importance, design and creation of compelling customer experiences. Overall this book advances the state of customer experience strategy, processes and approaches. Recommended if you do not know what customer experience means or your current customer experience is in need of transformation.

The author's six disciplines of a mature customer experience organization provide a basis for thebook. Each discipline is its own chapter covering

Strategy
Customer understanding
Design
Measurement
Governance
Culture

These disciplines, coupled with a part 1 that discusses the need and financial implications of poor customer experiences constitute the bulk of the book. The book introduces a number of tools from a definition of the customer journey, to the idea of a customer experience pyramid, ecosystem and four adoption levels of customer experience practices. These tools cover the full lifecycle of a customer experience program.

Overall the book represents a solid and in depth addition to the discussion of customer experience, its importance and design. It's a solid book as it reflects an understanding that builds on and extends current practice. Its not a book that will redefine what customer experience means, but it will give people without a definition a powerful resource to move them forward.

Strengths

Frequent, personal and illustrative case stories, rather than case studies, that bring the book's concepts to life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outside In is a great book for businesses and other organizations who want to understand and utilize the power of customer experience. If your company has any kind of interaction (digital, over-the-phone, face-to-face, or otherwise), you will benefit from applying the principles it contains to your business.

But that's not why I bought the book. I've taking a different perspective, that of a non-profit volunteer leader who wants to provide great GUEST services to our "customers." From my viewpoint, Outside In is an excellent guide to first introducing, and then providing a road map, for organizations who want to focus on providing a WOW! Guest experience program.

As a student of Guest Experiences, I was well aware of the book before its publication, reading a sample chapter and following the discussion by its authors Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine on the Forrester blog. I pre-ordered it from Amazon, and was delighted when it showed up one day after the book's release. After skimming the contents, I promptly canceled the rest of my day's appointments and read the book through.

I won't duplicate the table of contents here - that's what "Look Inside" is for. I'll just say that after one reading, I've began to go back through with a pen and highlighter. The book is marked up, notes are in the margin, and it looks like a highlighter has run wild.

It's that good - and a practical tool for your use.

I will be using this in my own organization, putting it to use in a consulting role, and referring it to all my clients. Want to understand the Guest (er, customer) experience? Order it today, put it into practice tomorrow.
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Format: Hardcover
Development of the concept of customer-centrism predates Barbara Bund's business classic, The Outside-In Corporation: How to Build a Customer-Centric Organization for Breakthrough Results (2005). However, it was while reading that book that I gained a deep understanding and appreciation of the power of customer-centrism. Curiously, there are no references to Bund and her work in Outside In, co-authored by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine. As Bund explains in the Preface, "The primary objective of this book is to help business managers use [her various] insights effectively in practice. It is to share the outside-in discipline -- to provide a road map for managers to follow in creating and leading outside-in corporations, even in organizations where the unfortunate inside-out perspective has prevailed in the past." (page xviii) Whereas Bund invokes the "road map" metaphor, Manning and Bodine focus on what they characterize as "the customer journey," based on experiences that occur on three levels: an experience that meets a customer's given need(s), is easy for the customer to complete, and is en enjoyable experience as well.

The best business books are research-driven and that is certainly true of this one, given the nature and extent of Forrester Research's resources. To their credit, Manning and Bodine also provide a wealth of information, insights, and counsel that are anchored in real-world situations. They insert dozens of micro-case studies throughout the narrative, sharing lessons from a diverse group of companies that include Barclaycard US, BBVA, Boeing, John Deere Financial, Ecosytem Maps, FedEx, Fidelity Charitable, Holiday Inn, Mayo Clinic, Vanguard, and Walgreens.
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