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The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty [Hardcover]

Matthew Dixon , Nick Toman , Rick Delisi

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resonates in our environment just as The Challenger Sale did! 16 Sep 2013
By Joann - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My copy of the book arrived on Friday night after a long work week, I picked it up and like The Challenger Sale, I just kept reading ... so many insights backed by exhaustive research. The book uses many B2C examples which I still found applicable to my B2B environment. The idea of minimizing customer effort in resolving issues applies to all environments -- contact center, live service - it does not matter -- we all want less "hassle" factor in our lives, at home and at work!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Often We're Solving The Wrong Problem 12 Sep 2013
By David A. Brock - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Too often, we're solving the wrong problem! We think customers want a delightful customer service experience. We design our processes, train our people, measure them on delighting the customer. We implement self service tools, web conferencing, provide the latest in technology all in the spirit of serving the customer.

At the same time, we are trying to make our customer service organizations as cost effective and efficient as possible. So our customer service strategies are constrained, rightfully so, by our business strategies.

But is this really the right problem to be solving? Is this what customers really want. Yes, they absolutely want to be treated well, by skilled and polite people. But more then anything else, they want their problem solved---as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

And that's where we go wrong in so many cases. We are solving for the wrong problem. If we started focusing on effortless customer service experience, we would probably change everything we do. We would possibly reduce the cost of service delivery, more effectively drive customer loyalty, and so on.

This book turns much of our traditional thinking about customer service upside down. It provides data challenging old thoughts about a "delighted customer" is a loyal customer--both spending more and recommending you more.

This is a must read and think book for anyone in Customer Service. It's a must read book for every sales and marketing executive. It should stimulate everyone to question their assumptions, reframing what they do to create effortless experiences.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Effortless Experience is Delightful! 11 April 2014
By Steve Curtin - Published on
Earlier this year, I read the book The Effortless Experience by M. Dixon, N. Toman and R. DeLisi. The authors compiled some terrific research - really enlightening stuff - but in their zeal to write a provocative book that challenges conventional thinking, they've lumped every conceivable customer service action into the category of "delight" (which they translate into breathless, over-the-top service).

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the book (hence the 5-star review). I just thought it got much better after Ch. 1 - where the authors worked awfully hard trying to persuade readers that "delighting" customers was somehow a poor use of their time and energy.

Perhaps you're familiar with the customer service maxim to "treat every customer as though he/she is your grandparent"? Well, I put a slightly different spin on that. I think about serving customers as I would serve any other person in my life whom I value (friends, neighbors, children, spouses...).

With this in mind, consider the following paragraph from Ch. 1:

"But as powerful and compelling as (legendary customer service) stories are, what if you checked back with those same customers a year or two down the road to see how much more business they're bringing you? Because the data shows that in the aggregate, customers who are moved from a level of `below expectations' up to `meets expectations' offer about the same economic value as those whose expectations were exceeded."

Imagine applying this logic to your marriage: "Honey, from now on I'm going to focus on meeting your expectations as opposed to exceeding them. I read this great new book called The Effortless Marriage and I'm now convinced that there's no real value to exceeding your expectations by `delighting' you with love notes, roses, and that sort of nonsense. So, what's for dinner?"

In The Effortless Experience, the authors rebuke those service providers who "delight" their customers (for example, by expressing genuine interest in them or providing them with a pleasant surprise) as misguided. Instead, the authors advocate for reducing customer effort. As most reasonable customer service professionals understand, it doesn't have to be one or the other (delight customers OR reduce customer effort). It can be both.

In fact, as a customer myself, I'm "delighted" whenever a service provider reduces the effort I have to expend during a transaction. And I'm sure I'm not alone.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Insights on Customer Loyalty, Service and Support - Must Buy! 12 Sep 2013
By Douglas L. Schmidt - Published on
The Effortless Experience provides insights, case histories, and business analysis that will enhance and create improvements in customer service and customer loyalty in today's hyper-competitive markets and industry. One of the customer service myths this book exposes is that customers want to be consistently "delighted" in their interactions with companies today. Matt Dixon, Nick Toman and the CEB Team have provided a business analysis framework, case histories/examples and compelling evidence of what customers really want in most interactions - service and support that reduces the effort and friction points to get customer's service/ support issues quickly and efficiently solved. I expect this book to have the same impact - powerful insights backed by extensive research - on customer service and loyalty that The Challenger Sale book had on complex business-to-business sales. This book is a must buy!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Started useful, but then authors' tone changed 21 Dec 2013
By k2 - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book was an interesting read in the beginning, pointing out useful ideas to ponder for changing the way customers are helped with product or service obstacles.

There was switch in tone however, where the authors turned the book into a self-marketing asset to promote their consulting services. For example as they stated, "regardless of whether we do this for you or you do it on your own using the tools and methods described in this book" (p. 171).

And at one point, the authors made the comment about front-line support representative , "You're corporate. They're not" (p. 195). This seemed a bit divisive.

Take a read and then judge if it was really worth the investment.
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