- Paperback: 234 pages
- Publisher: CustomerEDU, LLC; 1st edition (June 15, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0985390808
- ISBN-13: 978-0985390808
- Package Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,679,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer 3D: A New Dimension for Customers Paperback – June 15, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Today's successful business must be "customer-centric," Self argues in this challenging, if ponderous, primer. Just as three-dimensional photography changed the way we see images, three-dimensional customer service can transform the staid order-filling vendor into an organization dedicated to customer success and expanded consumer-business relationships. Developing an appropriate company culture is crucial to this effort, and Self acknowledges that new thinking, not superficial techniques, is key; he asserts that the rewards are great: focusing on making life easier for customers will result in loyalty and expanded opportunities. Self buttresses his theme with examples of companies that have thrived using this model, in large part owing to their willingness to challenge the status quo. Given that customer success is a nebulous and fluid concept, the solution is to build a relationship that demonstrates "you are capable of changing with them." The engaged customer will become your advocate and ultimately your partner. Self's enthusiasm for his proposals is evident, but his constant reiteration of the contrasts between the traditional 1D and innovative 3D models, and restatements of the virtues of the 3D approach, are tedious. A stripped-down manual might better convey the message that "pulling customers in to create a closeness" is the key to the future of commerce.
What does it truly mean to be customer-centric? Customer 3D challenges traditional thinking. In doing so, it forces you to look closely at the realities of your own organization - are you as customer-centered as you thought? Bill provides examples of customer-centricity, strategies to get there, and measurements to monitor progress. I recommend Customer 3D for any organization - to stimulate your thinking, re-energize your commitment to your customers, and define steps you can take. --Terry Callanan, Chief Quality Officer, Carestream Health, Inc.
Galileo shattered long-held doctrine. With painstaking calculation, he reinforced the idea that the Earth was not the center of the universe. And, he revolutionized our thinking! Bill Self is about to do the same to the universe of customer relations. Expect this engaging and passionate book to launch a new revolution because, really, customers should be at the center of our universe. --Brian A. Kane, President and CEO, Three Lakes Consulting
Finally, a book that takes the customer experience to a new level. Customer 3D is a must read for any company, organization or individual that desires to set themselves apart. Bill captures the essence of being customer centric while providing a process and methodology to achieve excellence. The stories and examples Bill uses are excellent learning tools and make for a fascinating experience. Read it and implement it to reap the many benefits of Customer 3D including sustained increase in sales, deep customer loyalty and better overall satisfaction of employees and customers. --Jim Ponder, President and CEO Turnkey Strategic Relations
Top customer reviews
For the employer/reader, the book outlines tangible ways to anchor your employees happily in a never ending stream of enlightened customer satisfaction and company improvement. This book approaches your employees as creative human beings able to make the best things happen for customers and your company.
My five star rating is based on how it has helped me quickly get back on the right track to success. That's how all providers should be rated.
Bill Self's book Customer 3D: A New Dimension for Customers clearly outlines the business philosophy, system, strategy and keys to sustainability that have led companies like Amazon, the Ritz-Carlton, Nordstrom, Jet Blue, USAA, The Cleveland Clinic, Zappos and others to symbolize high-performance and earn world-class status in their respective industries. Self would call those "3D" and organizations that "are originals - because they have developed authentic customer relationships that no one can match. While products can be replicated, a customer-centric culture can't be copied by the competition."
A customer-centric culture - one that thinks like their customers - is what differentiates high-performing and world-class organizations. "It is a fundamental shift, not in outcomes or goals, but in the path taken to accomplish those goals," Self writes.
Who should read Customer 3D? Anyone who wants to differentiate and build a world-class organization, increase profits, gain market share, create greater value for their customers and outperform their competitors.
I work at a hospital and am very interested in patient- and family-centered care and strategies and tactics that improve the patient and family experience. After reading close to 10,000 pages over the last three years on customer experience, customer-centricity, patient- and family-centered care and patient experience, admittedly I wondered if I would learn anything new by reading Customer 3D. What I found in Customer 3D is my go-to "handbook" and reference guide as I help lead my organization's efforts to improve the patient experience.
What's unique about Customer 3D? In all of my research, I have not come across another writer who made a connection between customer-centricity and abundance. Yet, at the core of the Customer 3D business philosophy is the fresh and powerful distinction that customer-centered organizations operate from a vision of abundance whereas product/service-centered organizations only see scarcity.
Section 1 (Do You Want to Know a Secret? How Being Customer-Centered Creates the 3D Organization) sets the stage for the definition and thinking of customer-centricity. What I found most helpful and timely was the relationship between 3D thinking and the benefits of a customer-centered culture to the employee-experience. Given that cultures of accountability drive organizational performance only so far, employee engagement and cultivating a culture of ownership are critical for long-term sustainability.
Consider the employee-experience for a moment: For which of the following organizations would you find it most exhilarating and engaging to work? An organization ("1D") that is reactive, problem-solves to bring customers "back to even" and believes that its ideas are limited and therefore need to be safely guarded from its competitors and customers? Or, an organization ("3D") that systemizes excellence and sets "the standards for their industries because they are never satisfied until customers are asking competitors whether they are `doing it like (their company name) does it?'"
Employees in 3D organizations "begin to redefine their role from a functional `doer' to a caretaker, a leader, a consultant to customers."
In Section 2 (You Say You Want a Revolution: How to Become 3D) - the book's longest section - I greatly appreciated the compare and contrast approach regarding the fundamental differences between 1D and 3D organizations. With a more in-depth understanding of the basic beliefs, behaviors, standards and practices of 1D and 3D organizations I am now more easily able to assess where my organization currently excels at and has its next-opportunities to deepen customer-centricity.
In addition, Section 2 outlines the systemic elements needed to convert a 1D organization into 3D. 1D (and even "2D") organizations are unable to create consistently world-class customer experiences because they approach purchases, services and interactions as individual transactions. In contrast, the 3D organization "views everything involved with customer connections as a system rather than a sum of individual transactions. Organizations with an organic system in place continuously improve their products and services by pulling customer needs in, owning those needs, and taking care of them."
Organizations should care because their very survival is at stake: "Companies that transform themselves from product-centric to customer-centric are the organizations that will survive and thrive for years to come."
The final section of the book introduces The Customer 3D Index, which "measures the gaps between reactive behaviors in response to customers and delivering an exceptional, proactive strategy for customers across the organization." Customer 3D presents concrete measures meant to establish an initial baseline for comparison as the 3D culture develops.
I especially like two aspects about this section. The first is a point-system for assessing performance across ten essential subcategories correlated to customer-centricity and the 3D system and creating a balanced scorecard to guide their transformation.
The second aspect I greatly welcomed was Customer 3D's four-page summary of the four key steps for developing the Customer 3D System in your organization - something that I can use almost as a action worksheet.
In the end, Bill Self's dedication best describes who will benefit from reading Customer 3D: "Dedicated to all organizations that believe the success of customers is the most important outcome of their work." Customer 3D: A New Dimension for Customers
With more than 25 years of customer research and business leadership experience, Bill Self has devoted his career to studying how topperforming companies separate themselves from their competition by being exceptionally customer-centered.
Today, he concentrates on helping companies learn how to transform their organizations into market leaders by focusing on the success of their customers.
For the sake of full disclosure: I got a review copy from the author.
As a gesture of appreciation I promised to share my thoughts with a wider audience.
What is customer 3D about?
First consider it to be a strategy that leaders are following to outperform traditional business models.
It is also a system (a systematic approach) to transform product-centric organizations into customer-centric organizations. Product-centric also includes service organizations. Customer centric implies that customers are at the center of every activitiy, working from a customer-directed set of goals and a fully understood customer strategy. Customer centric implies that an organization puts the customers' best interest first.
An organization that is 3D-customer centric communicates with customers pro-actively not reactively.
The essence of an organization that is customer-centered is its willingness to thing like its customers. When companies focus on customer solutions, their range of vision opens up and they begin looking for opportunities that were all along, but were unnoticed.
The Customer 3D system links all of the component parts of an organization around a primary purpose: customer success.
It is also a movement that will strengthen the way companies connect with their customers. It is often stated that there will be more changes in the forthcoming decade than there have been in the previous decades. As leaders need to gather and apply information that will help their organizations to adapt and thrive. No one can assume that the success of the past will continue in the near future. Fostering an environment in which customers and organizations can co-evolve and truly co-exist can boost the performance. That's why communities (and being part of them) and leadership in industry associations is that important. To operate effectively, one must operate outside the four walls of your business.
My appreciation 4,0 on a scale from 0-5.
It is my true belief that the best professionals have that magical gift for finding creative solutions to problems one did not realize they existed. In a professional and personal way Bill taught me how to catch these insights and turn in into a true solution-creating process.
And the results?
A better future for your customers, your organization and yourself.
The author refers to Harvard professor Ted Levitt. He defined the process for developing new products and servcies more that 40 years ago. He made a distinction in four categories - generic -, - expected -, -augmented - and - potential -.
The insights in this book impacts your potential, reflecting on what is possible and what remains to be done
In the book there is a also reference to Edward de Bono`s Six Thinking hats. This book is a magic hat for professionals, managers and entrepreneurs. After reading you will find inspiration for adapting your organization and functions.
To be honest, the book described tools that are already used by successful practicing professions. But the focus on the customer and adding elements like Levitt, de Bono, design thinking creates a fine example of a practical service design thinking approach.
The book is a personally crafted fusion of a inspired point of view and a framework - based on experience an current insights - for understanding how one can more effectively step to Customer 3D.
Other books and concepts on the same topic offer techniques, this book makes you think in a more fundamental way about underlying drivers and how you approach each situation. I plan to read it again as a self check in a few months.