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Chocolates on the Pillow Aren't Enough: Reinventing the Customer Experience Hardcover – 27 Mar 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (27 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470043555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470043554
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,140,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"The secret to running a good hotel is making guests feel welcome, providing a memorable experience, and ensuring both physical and psychological security, 24/7. Those principles can be applied to any business trying to attract and keep customers, according to Jonathan Tisch, chief executive of Loews Corp. Hotels, part of the Tisch family business empire created by his uncle Larry and father Robert (both now deceased). With co–author Karl Weber, Mr. Tisch shares tips for forging lasting connections with customers in Chocolates on the Pillow Aren′t Enough." ( Wall Street Journal)

"An insightful primer on crafting your customer experience. I don′t care how good you are there′s a tweak or two that you can make to your customer′s experience. Let Tisch′s stories inspire you to do it a little better." (The Marketing Minute)

"In the book, author Tisch gives examples of companies that are ′doing it right′ and breaking out from the crowd of competition to offer a memorable customer experience which leads to customer loyalty a rare commodity in this over crowded commercial world." (Bizinformer)

"Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels, shares valuable lessons about customer service gleaned firsthand from his many years in the challenging hospitality industry. Tisch explains how to exceed expectations of good customer service and provide customers with exemplary and fulfilling experiences to keep them coming back. He offers insights into how to use technology and still keep the human touch, how to master "the art of welcome" and how to address customer concerns about physical and psychological safety. Tisch buttresses his tips and ideas with stories drawn from experiences of companies in several industries." (Fort Worth Star–Telegram)

There are a lot of great stories in this book stories we can all use to become great, not better, at creating meaningful experiences for our customers. And by combining the stories with well–thought strategies and insights, Mr. Tisch has created a winner with Chocolates on the Pillow Aren′t Enough." (InBubbleWrap)

"This is not a book about hotel guest service. It′s a book about building brands, strengthening relationships, customizing the client experience, leveraging technology, and achieving both security and transparency for clients in today′s world. Tisch offers examples and lessons from every conceivable industry sector. It′s extremely well crafted. Chocolates on the Pillow Arne′t Enough is one of those rare books you should not only read for yourself; you should share it with every person in your organization" (Client Service Insights)

"Tisch is one smart cookie and this latest book by him is a must read for anyone involved in marketing." (DownWithTyranny!)

"Tisch hits the nail on the head in describing the evolving power of ethnic and minority consumers as not only a stateside phenom, but a sign of global change in Chinese, Japanese and Indian markets. It really gives perspective to the number of customers and preferences up for grabs." (AdvertisingAge)

"Tisch pinpoints the major stresses facing many kinds of business that are making it harder to retain customers:" (USA Today)

From the Inside Flap

In today′s world, organizations of every kind from for–profit businesses to government agencies and nonprofit groups are experiencing huge difficulties in attracting and retaining clients. With competition intensifying, consumers becoming more demanding, and old ways of creating loyalty losing their impact, it′s no longer enough to offer just a good product or a useful service. Today′s consumers are looking for something more an experience that will truly enrich their lives.

As the Chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels and a global leader in the travel and tourism industry, Jonathan Tisch establishes strong and lasting connections with countless customers every day, by providing them with experiences that are unique, memorable, and deeply rewarding. And now, in Chocolates on the Pillow Aren′t Enough, he wants to help you do the same.

In an appealing and personal style, Tisch with the help of business writer Karl Weber distills the important customer relation lessons that he has learned from his successful career in the hospitality industry, and discusses how these lessons can make any organization more customer–centric. Chocolates on the Pillow Aren′t Enough will also show you how to improve every customer touch point; understand what customers really want and need; and design organizational structures to meet those needs. These ideas are brought to life through stories of triumphs achieved and challenges faced by organizations ranging from In–N–Out Burger, Commerce Bank, and Urban Outfitters to the Children′s Hospital at Montefiore, Santa Fe′s Georgia O′Keeffe Museum, and New York City′s 311 system.

The proven insights that fill these pages will help you:

  • Use technology to create intimate connections with customers without losing the human touch
  • Find ways to expand your organization′s offerings beyond the basic product or service you′re known for
  • Recognize your customers′ needs for physical and psychological safety, and develop innovative ways to meet those needs
  • Perfect the "art of the welcome," in both physical and virtual spaces
  • Balance the growing demand for transparency with realistic needs for security and confidentiality
  • And much more

Blending thought–provoking ideas with down–to–earth advice, this engaging book reveals why creating an intimate, positive, and long–lasting connection with customers is the key to success for the twenty–first–century organization, and illustrates how leaders in any field can accomplish this goal. Entertaining and informative, Chocolates on the Pillow Aren′t Enough offers a detailed look at how the right customer experience can produce long–lasting success for any organization.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Taylor on 6 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
The book has two main sections - a problem/solution statement and a (much longer) section on "Reimagining the Customer Experience". Each chapter has a "Big Ahas" section at the end to summarize the critical points Jonathan is trying to make and the book is generally well-written and an easy read. It is a little hotel- or hospitality-industry centric but not more than you would expect given his background.

The first section lays out why the authors think that customers are more fickle and harder to please than in the past. Arguing that there is no way to turn back the clock, they talk about "getting back to basics" and creating stronger, longer-lasting ties to customers. He quotes the CEO of Proctor and Gamble "People remember experiences. They don't remember [product] attributes." The book talks about engineering the total customer experience as the solution, starting by focusing on the totality of the customers experience across every touchpoint. Among his solution ideas are looking for ways to give your customers both simplicity and flexibility, thinking about all the touchpoints your customers have, linking with customers directly even if you are not selling directly and that customers are a moving target.

The second part has a series of chapters, most of which had some great points. These range from discussion of the power of personalization and customization in making customers feel in control and happy to buy, to the challenges of providing security. He is a big proponent of transparency, arguing that what one customers knows all will soon know and that you can get real benefits out of being more transparent. He argues that even big organizations can think small in terms of welcoming customers that you should build your future with existing customers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good clear read. A revitalizing look at customer experience. 17 Mar. 2007
By D. Stuart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Tisch is passionate about how to transform "customer service" which tends to be a series of isolated deliverables (answering the phone quickly, chocolates on the pillow...) into a much more rounded, holistic concept called Customer Experience. He is also a lively, entertaining raconteur who knows a great story and how to pepper it with apt case studies and examples. So this makes a great read.

What I especially like here is the major focus on the hospitality industry - not because I work in this sector, (I'm a market researcher who investigates customer relationships for a broad range of clients,) but because hospitality is the perfect metaphor for anyone: whether they're in banking or building supplies. When they read this; even the accountants will "get it" when it comes to that connection between the customers' experience and the bottom-line realities that come when you win to-die-for loyalty and a raving fan-base of passionate customers. This is a good value read that charges you up. Tisch does a good job here.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Better than eating chocolate! 6 Mar. 2007
By Jay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I read this book cover-to-cover in one sitting and found a lot of helpful information and fun examples. I have a small business and it's so easy to get too caught up in selling and marketing. What really brings customers back to embrace your brand is the whole experience. The book has examples of all kinds of companies and how they find creative ways of making their customer feel special--that's what good business is all about. I learned a lot from this book. Most importantly: when the customer has a great experience, your business will take off and it's a win-win situation for everybody. If the customer just feels sold to, they'll probably go to the other guy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Give Your Best, Then A Little Bit More 5 Jun. 2007
By Thomas M. Loarie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jonathan Tisch's "Chocolates On The Pillow Are Not Enough" is a must read for anyone who is in the business of serving people - whether in the private, the non-profit, or the public sectors. (I have extrapolated the application of Tisch's ideas to organizations that are not commercial enterprises). Tisch translates his years of experience and observation as a hotelier to address both the why and the how of "meeting a challenge that never ends." It is the challenge of creating deeper, richer, more satisfying connections to your organization in today's complex, rapidly changing world. While you can get closure on a number of key management tasks, you can never declare "mission accomplished" when connecting with customers,employees, or donors. Like other relationships in life, a relationship with any stakeholder is a long-lasting, evolving, living entity.

Themes and practices in "Chocolates" are drawn from some of the world's smartest and most successful organizations including In-N-Out Burger, McDonalds, Dell, Sephora, Commerce Bank (NJ), Virgin Healthcare, Revolution On-line (Steve Case), Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Target, E-Z Pass, 311 phone exchange, Harley Davidson, and EBay. Any reader is bound to find one, two, or three exciting ideas that can be applied immediately in his/her own organization. Tisch adds "Big Aha's" at the end of each chapter summarizing the key thoughts/actions making the book a useful reference.

Tisch provides the hotelier's secret (people remember the experience not the attributes), and answers to the question "What happened to my customers?"(in world beset by discord, inequality, hyper-partisan politics, and the threat of terror). He helps us to re-imagine the customer experience and focuses our attention on creating customers who are happy to buy.

A most valuable part of the book for all will be the sections on the "The Art of Welcome." This is something most companies (and in particular, non-profits) do not give attention to, whether with customers, new employees, or suppliers. Tisch warns us to pay attention to the decompression zone, where people enter, and THEIR threshold resistance. We must learn to understand what makes people feel welcome, comfortable and relaxed. If we do, they want to buy (the customer), or make a significant contribution (the new employee, supplier, or donor).

"Chocolates" highlights why the art of the welcome is crucial to all organizations. And Tisch chides us to give our best, and then, a little bit more.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Lots of solid customer experience know-how 8 May 2007
By James Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book has two main sections - a problem/solution statement and a (much longer) section on "Reimagining the Customer Experience". Each chapter has a "Big Ahas" section at the end to summarize the critical points Jonathan is trying to make and the book is generally well-written and an easy read. It is a little hotel- or hospitality-industry centric but not more than you would expect given his background.

The first section lays out why the authors think that customers are more fickle and harder to please than in the past. Arguing that there is no way to turn back the clock, they talk about "getting back to basics" and creating stronger, longer-lasting ties to customers. He quotes the CEO of Proctor and Gamble "People remember experiences. They don't remember [product] attributes." The book talks about engineering the total customer experience as the solution, starting by focusing on the totality of the customers experience across every touchpoint. Among his solution ideas are looking for ways to give your customers both simplicity and flexibility, thinking about all the touchpoints your customers have, linking with customers directly even if you are not selling directly and that customers are a moving target.

The second part has a series of chapters, most of which had some great points. These range from discussion of the power of personalization and customization in making customers feel in control and happy to buy, to the challenges of providing security. He is a big proponent of transparency, arguing that what one customers knows all will soon know and that you can get real benefits out of being more transparent. He argues that even big organizations can think small in terms of welcoming customers that you should build your future with existing customers.

All in all a good and worthwhile read. You might want to consider The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More also.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great examples of companies that innovative with customer experiences 7 April 2007
By Ted Demopoulos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I got off to a slow start reading this book, stopping and restarting several times, but eventually once about 25% through the book it drew me in with its superb examples. It's made me rethink a couple things about my business as well!

This book may be frustrating for people in any kind of customer service at companies where they cannot improve the customer experience because of "rules" and mindset, but may encourage them to leave and go somewhere they'll be appreciated more.

For anyone in a position of any authority at an organization with lots of customers, especially less than very happy customers, this book is a great and insightful read.
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