For the past few years I've been quite active in the field of customer-centric marketing and management. I had the privilege of working with the likes of Philips, ING, Lexus, L'Oréal, Sanoma and many others on projects which touched every part of our globe.
Along the way I learned many things. But the most important thing I learned is that the journey to customer-centricity is the most rewarding but also the most challenging that any executive or company can undertake. It is rewarding because a truly customer-centric business grows faster and creates more profits than any of its competitors. It is challenging, because the desire to focus on the customer questions many existing corporate habits, beliefs and even industry orthodoxies.
But as I tried to explain the rules of this game to my colleagues and customers, I struggled to find easy points of reference for them. Take a look on Google and you'll find hundreds of books, articles and presentations on the theory of customer-centricity.
You'll find research models, academic frameworks and aspirational cases, usually referring to Apple, Zappos, Southwest airlines and Virgin. But you'll find very little about the practice of getting a business to become customer-centric.
So I called up some of my friends at the above companies as well as Orange Business, C&A and the World Economic Forum, and I wrote the book I wanted to read. Short, to-the point and packed with practical suggestions from a guy who's been there. I'm proud to announce that the result So You Want To Be Customer Centric? is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and an increasing number of other outlets (Click here for details).
But I'm even prouder to say that the book's message is starting a conversation. At Philips, Arne Van Wijdeven, Director Customer Experience and NPS has declared the book compulsory reading for the company's market customer experience leaders around the world. Satmetrix Systems apparently liked it enough to invite me to their London NPS Certification course as a guest speaker. More companies that I can't yet mention are also expressing their interest. And in the weeks running up to publication, requests have come in to discuss translated editions in Danish, Finnish, German and Spanish.
At a very personal level, this conversation is what the book is really all about. My personal mission is to do all I can to make the world more beautiful, happier and healthier. In a business context this translates in an objective to help make the world a more customer-friendly place. I know there are many people out there like me, and I want to reach out to them with the suggestions I've picked up, while learning from the knowledge they have acquired as well.
If you are one of these people, I invite you to go to Amazon and then join the reader's only group on Linkedin (titled: CustomerCentric). If we share what we know and act on this knowledge, we can all make a difference, one customer at a time.