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The Customer Experience Edge: Technology and Techniques for Delivering an Enduring, Profitable and Positive Experience to Your Customers Hardcover – October 14, 2011
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"This excellent book makes it quite clear that your business has to focus on customer experience for 21st-century business success. It's more than refreshing to read the multiple case studies and well thought out approach and to hear the experienced voices of these authors. You've spent way too much time reaching this endorsement. Read the book instead. It's so worth it." -Paul Greenberg, author of CRM at the Speed of Light.
About the Author
Reza Soudagar is a Senior Director for global marketing at SAP, the leader in enterprise software. He has developed CRM technology and business strategies for clients at Accenture and Oracle and has played a key role in the creation of Oracle’s CRM suite.
Vinay Iyer is currently Vice President of global marketing at SAP after having cut his teeth in CRM at Siebel Systems. He holds an MBA from Wharton.
Dr. Volker G. Hildebrand, Vice President for CRM Solutions at SAP, is a pioneering researcher focusing on customer-centric business strategies and innovative CRM technologies.
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When you want to learn, you will never find a single author, a single course or a single experience that will teach you all. So you will have to approach the learning from different perspectives. Forums such as Amazon and the the social media are forcing authors and schools to adapt to ensure that they are creating a new customer experience edge by understanding that readers want a holistic experience in learning properly structured in a pedagogical manner. If the authors are paying attention, they will use this feedback to improve the future editions as I believe they are extremely knowledgeable and need to design a better customer edge experience for their audience.
The authors have built in several case studies that explain how other companies implemented this process primarily using an IT system and base their premise on the fact that IT Integration is the only way to achieve excellence in creating customer experiences. While an IT system definitely makes it easier to connect the dots, there are simpler ways of achieving this when you dont have the budget for an integrated ERP solution.
The book briefly touches on the hands on diagnostics and implementation process but I am sure that audience wants to read more on the "nuts and bolts walkthrough" rather than the philosophical approach of the text. I also must state that no body can do justice to the implementation process in a single book so perhaps more books will have to be written around this subject by the authors. On this note, this is a great reading and the audience of the current edition will have to search for more detailed answers elsewhere.
Here are my notes on the actual nuts and bolts of the implementation process.
1. Understand the objectives, limit the scope and start off on a pilot in one area before you undertake the whole company's transformation (unless of course you are a small business)
2. Map the current state processes using business process mapping. Identify, customer touch points, hand over points, compliance gateways touchpoints, systems touchpoints (IT systems). Carry out CEM (Customer Expectation Management) mapping. CEM can only be carried out by understanding what customers wants and usually by sitting across the table, surveys, analyzing complaints and by using other methods of information gathering.
3. All the process blocks are "causes of work" and all the the hand over points are causes of failure. All the customer touchpoints are causing of customer experience (good or bad). Customer touchpoints are called moments of truth (MOTs). Steve Jobs Mantra was "improve or remove" customer touchpoints.
4. Carry out risk assessment of the current state, arrive at a future state model by improving processes. Please keep in mind that you should be able to achieve triple crown benefits i.e improve revenues, reduce costs and improve efficiency in the process. CE (customer experience) is the differentiating model by which you can achieve triple crown benefits.
5. Test improved business processes manually. The rule is "Standardize, Test, Test, Improve, Automate"
6. Create a performance scorecard based on the above changes to align the organization with the new objectives. Launch Strategy Maps and launch Strategy KPI's (holistic scorecards). This will essentially modify or radically update your competitive strategy. Please note that rewards follow structure, structure follows corporate strategy and corporate strategy follows competitive strategy. Your new competitive strategy is to create a brand new, sustainable CE model.
7. If you want to go further, you can use the touchpoints to develop innovation landscapes and create new products based on that. This is how Apple came up with breakthrough products.
Hope this helps and once again, this book is a start point for those who want some immersion on the subject.
1. Define a vision for a customer experience that differentiates your company from the competition
2. Earn customer trust with the four customer experience essentials
a. Reliability (Live up to the promise)
b. Convenience (Offer choice, consistency and timeliness)
c. Responsiveness (Listen and respond quickly)
d. Relevance (Ensure that offerings and interactions are personalized and meaningful)
3. Get your technology house in order before trying to optimize the customer experience
4. Empower employees with flexible processes, accurate and timely information, and easy to use tools
5. Adopt new hiring and training practices for support personnel
6. Segment your customers and deliver differentiated experiences
7. Ensure multichannel consistency
8. Develop and use new, outside in metrics
9. Move beyond B2B and B2C to P2P, or Peer to Peer
10. Gather customer intelligence from numerous sources and incorporate these data into your processes and your product or service offerings
11. Identify your customers' moments of truth and excel at them
12. Design processes from the customer's perspective, not for internal efficiencies
13. Have clearly stated financial goals as a prominent part of the customer experience strategy
14. Think "Personalization"
15. Select new technologies to raise the customer experience bar