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Customers Included (2nd Edition): How to Transform Products, Companies, and the World - With a Single Step Paperback – April 20, 2015
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About the Author
Mark Hurst is the founder and CEO of Creative Good, the New York-based customer experience consultancy he founded in 1997. He has spent his career consulting, writing, and speaking about how to create better products and services. Hurst's most recent book, "Customers Included" (2nd Edition), describes how teams and organizations can create successful products and strategies by including customers in the process. Hurst is also the founder and host of the Gel conference, which featured the first stage presentations of Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and other world-changing projects. Hurst is the creator of the Good Todo mobile productivity platform, the world's first cross-platform todo list, which he described in his first book, "Bit Literacy." Hurst holds bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from MIT and lives in New York City.
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It turns out you're not alone. Everyone from the Department of Homeland Security to Google (Wave, anyone?) has faced these epic fails. But no one has really explained why... until now.
Mark Hurst, in a simple and engaging fashion, lays out step-by-step how these colossal failures came to be. And more importantly, what can be done to prevent them in the future.
In other words, a must-read for anyone trying to turn the next "great" idea into a product that customers actually love...
Organizations often envision a product, a service or a new process by having employees brainstorm ideas around a conference table and then build something from there, too often on a short timeframe. The problem with that approach, Mark shows, is that when no one leaves the building and spends time with actual customers to learn what it is like to be them—the innovation can easily be a misfit for its intended audience and can result in multimillion dollar losses or even worse consequences.
Instead, starting with the customer and staying in step with the customer as a natural part of doing business, tends to result in substantial positive financial returns over time, and priceless benefits for customers and often for surrounding communities.
Mark realizes that user research advocates already present in some organizations can run into roadblocks when trying to stand up for the customer, as not everyone may grasp the value of what they are doing. Likewise, some executives may believe in a customer-centric approach but have not yet gotten all employees on board. Mark provides advice to help unify stakeholders at all levels throughout an organization to work for the customer within the larger business environment. Cross-functional team members who read and discuss Customers Included as part of transforming their organizations will be delighted to see that Mark has included key takeaways at the end of each chapter.
The subtitle of Customers Included says it all: “How to transform products, companies, and the world—with a single step.” Who wouldn’t want to do that? Customers Included (2nd Edition): How to Transform Products, Companies, and the World - With a Single Step
You do not need to be a "customer experience" professional to love this book. The advice is both practical and thought provoking for most all of us. Venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, start-up teams, CEOs, CMOs, product managers, UI/UX professionals and non-profit organizers all have something to learn from the real world examples Phil and Mark illustrate here.
If your business (for profit or otherwise) depends on customers, members, users, patrons or clients, Customers Included is a must read. The not-so-ironic attribute of this book is that it was written to be read easily, to instruct, to entertain and to be consumed. Phil and Mark have put their customers (their readers) at the center of their thinking when writing this book. Each chapter concludes with a Chapter Summary & Key Points section. The brevity, clarity and logic behind their thinking is refreshing.
This is a practical how-to guide for including your customers in your business design. It will challenge your current assumptions about delivering great customer experience and help you build a stronger, healthier and more vibrant business.