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Managing the Customer Experience: Turning Customers into Advocates Hardcover – 4 Sep 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; Tuttle and Revised ed. edition (4 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0273661957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0273661955
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


 "Refreshing and practical. Managing the Customer Experience shows companies how to build the power of their brand. Wheeler and Smith inspire your organization to deliver a different and more valuable offering to your targeted customers."

Bradley T. Gale, author of Managing Customer Value and President, Customer Value, Inc.

"Delivering customers a consistently superior set of benefits is probably the most important driver of value creation. This book provides a number of practical insights which will guide the reader on the difficult but fascinating path leading to great customer value delivery."

Jean-Claude Larréché, The Alfred H. Heineken Professor of Marketing, INSEAD

"A fascinating and insightful book which is equally relevant for the leaders of professional services firms looking to build ‘trusted advisor’ relationships with their key clients."

Michael Bray, Chief Executive, Clifford Chance

"Managing the Customer Experience is an incredibly practical guide for building customer loyalty in the new century."

Marshall Goldsmith - Founding Director of the Financial Times Knowledge Dialogue and the Alliance for Strategic Leadership.

"Smith and Wheeler show us what the 21st Century Company has to look like if it is to be successful. They show that great brands are not primarily built through advertising but by the experience and value they offer customers."

Professor Peter Doyle, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

"This book shows how to unlock the full value potential of the customer experience, supported by a wealth of examples from world leaders such as Tesco and Harley-Davidson. The connection made between the Marketing, Human Resources and Customer Service functions is very powerful. This, combined with the emphasis on the role of leadership, makes Managing the Customer Experience required reading for CEO's, Marketing, Human Resource, and Operations Directors, and their teams."

William Gordon, Strategy Partner, Accenture and co-author of Brand Manners.

"In their book, Managing the Customer Experience, the authors bring forward the concept of loyalty and advocacy in customer experience in a very targeted way … unearthing one of the most essential branding rules, which is to make your preferred customers your best ambassadors."

Marc Gobé, President and Executive Creative Director, Desgrippes Gobé Group, author of Emotional Branding: the New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People.

"If you are interested in increasing customer loyalty, Managing the Customer Experience is the book for you. Most books on the subject focus on your company's image and tell why it's important. This book makes the business case for branding but then shows you how to do it. Full of practical "how to" advice, illustrative anecdotes, and application exercises, it is not only a good read, but a significant investment in your future success."

Richard Whiteley, author of The Customer Driven Company

"Managing the Customer Experience provides a comprehensive blueprint for any organization that wants to deliver a customer experience that supports and builds its brand. Smith and Wheeler bring this intriguing concept to life through a well-researched variety of examples, insights, methods, and tools. Don’t just read this book ― use it!"

Scott Timmins, Vice President, College Marketing, Millea Hall, Babson College


From the Back Cover

How much more profit could you make if you had customers who couldn’t imagine doing business with anyone but you? In your dreams! Tell that to Virgin Atlantic or Harley Davidson.

How great would life be if 40% of your new business simply knocked on your door without you having spent a cent advertising for it? Impossible! Tell that to First Direct.

The companies in this book have managed to turn customers into advocates. Advocates who constantly refer their friends and colleagues to those businesses. Why? Because those companies have created a Branded Customer Experience®. They have managed the relationship to the point where customers can't imagine wanting to do business with anyone else.

How can you gain this unbeatable competitive advantage? Managing the Customer Experience shows you how. It takes you through the step-by-step process of creating Loyalty by Design. It shows you how to re-think your business from the customer’s point of view and then design and deliver a customer experience that drives loyalty and profitability.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book builds on the original thinking by Pine and Gilmore in the book "The Experience Economy" (also recommended) which sets out the ground-rules for making a service into an experience for the customer.
Smith and Wheeler offer some good examples from companies like Richer Sounds, First Direct, Carphone Warehouse, Harley Davidson and Pret a Manger - loved the quote from CEO who said "greet the customer when they arrive, look them in the eye when you put the change in their hand, make sure you say something when they leave, but more than anything else, be yourself". That is really the essence of the book. On the downside the airline instances were less convincing. If you are after practical examples of companies who are winning in practice also check out the book "Customers that Count"
I liked the idea that a brand is less about what is said in the ads and more about how they act with customers. The model of head, heart and hand is good - your employees must know what is expected of them (head), they must want to deliver the experience (heart) and they must have the skills, tools and empowerment to deliver (hands). The checklist on page 161 on creating a product experience is useful as is the customer touchline model on page 233.
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Format: Hardcover
Managing the Customer Experience is full of great practical examples and advice with a good mix of US and UK companies featured. I really saw the potential of Triad Power and now view the concept of customer experience as a whole company initiative as opposed to just led by Marketing or Customer Service. The appendix of tools at the back is invaluable.
I definately recommend reading this in conjunction with Shaun's first book, Uncommon Practice as you can see how everyday simple practices can reinforce the experiences you provide customers.
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By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER on 8 Jun. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Actually, the title of this book is somewhat misleading because Smith and Wheeler have as much of value to say about how to create an appropriate customer experience as they do about how to manage it effectively. In fact, the two are not only connected, they are interdependent. The ultimate objective is to establish an ever-increassing critical mass of customers who are "advocates" or as Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba would characterize them, "evangelists."

Obviously, customer relationship management (CRM) is a multi-stage process which begins with obtaining sufficient and relevant information about the target customer (or customer segments), proceeds through the design and implementation phases, continues with refinement and modification based on rigorous evaluation of CRM initiatives and measurement of their impact. Effective marketing creates or increases demand for whatever is offered whereas effective CRM ensures that "customer satisfaction" becomes "customer loyalty" which, eventually, becomes and remains "customer advocacy."

At this point, it is worth noting that, in several dozen research studies on what customers consider to be most important, three attributes were almost always ranked among the top five: feeling appreciated, convenience (i.e. easy-to-do-business-with or ETDBW), and perceived value. Cost? Depending upon which research study is consulted, it was ranked 9-14 in importance. By the way, Warren Buffett once observed something to the effect, "Cost is what you charge but value is what they think it's worth." Marketers and service providers would be well-advised to keep that in mind.
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