5 books to help you build trust across the customer journey
In the fast-moving world of customer experience keeping up to date with the latest thinking and ideas is vital. But with a huge range of books now available and a limited amount of time, how can you ensure you are reading the most important titles for your business and career?
To help, we’re therefore launching a new blog series profiling key CX, VoC and customer service books. We’ve asked a range of Eptica experts to share their recommendations, beginning with Olivier Njamfa, CEO and founder. Here are his five favorite books on the subject of trust and the customer journey:
1. The Power of Trust: How Top Companies Build, Manage and Protect It
By Natalie Doyle Oldfield
While brands understand the importance of trust, many struggle to quantify it. And that means it is seen as intangible, difficult to measure and therefore hard to manage. In this book, Natalie Doyle Oldfield, one of the world’s top thought leaders on trust, explains how it can be quantified and put on the balance sheet of every business.
Through a combination of analysis and real-world case studies, The Power of Trust explains the eight principles behind building and retaining trust. Of these, I’d particularly highlight Listening Carefully with Empathy, Be Honest and Transparent and Be Consistent, Predictable and Reliable – all areas that stem directly from customer service and customer experience.
2. Extreme Trust, Turning Proactive Honesty and Flawless Execution into Long-Term Profits
By Don Peppers and Martha Rogers
Don Peppers and Martha Rogers were one of the earliest writers on the importance of customer experience, and have justifiably earned a reputation as key thought leaders when it comes to professionalizing the sector. While I’d recommend all their books, Extreme Trust gets to the heart of what today’s consumers expect – they want brands to be open, transparent and to put their interests first.
Businesses need to go beyond being simply trusted to embrace “trustability” – proactive trustworthiness that benefits consumers, and ultimately the bottom line. There are lots of examples of how to make sure your brand achieves trustability – and I completely agree with the focus on putting in place the right culture and tools and that it has to come up from the bottom-up, not just the top-down.
3. Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business
By Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine
Based on fourteen years of research by customer experience analysts at Forrester Research, Outside In delivers a complete roadmap to attaining the experience advantage, and driving greater loyalty and revenues. Starting with the key point that you need your customers more than they need you, it outlines the financial impact of poor customer experience and the principles you can follow to build trust and customer experience maturity.
Recommendations include creating customer journey maps to overcome potential issues and making sure you are analysing unstructured data to mine vital customer feedback. While written nearly nine years ago, Outside In is still a great introduction to the importance of customer experience, and a great way to convince senior management that delivering poor service has an effect that can be measured on the company bottom line.
4. Effortless Experience Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty
By Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman and Rick Delisi
Anyone involved in B2B sales will have come across The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon’s bestseller about how to successfully navigate the changing sales need of businesses. In Effortless Experience, Dixon and his colleagues at CEB (now part of Gartner) look at customer loyalty and how to achieve it. Based on a combination of real-world research and analysis they come to a stark conclusion – going all out to delight your customers isn’t as important as getting the basics right, time after time. What we remember, and what drives loyalty is consistently receiving good service.
Adding to this, most times that consumers interact with customer service teams the experience is complex and frustrating, actually undermining loyalty even if the issue is sorted out. What is needed is to focus on delivering an effortless experience that understands the customer’s needs, values their time and generally makes it easy for them to achieve what they are looking for.
5. The Journey to WOW: The Path to Outstanding Customer Experience and Loyalty
By Shaun Belding
For my final recommendation, I’ve chosen The Journey to WOW. Written as a business novel, it covers how a fictional company moves its customer experience forward, increasing loyalty through a variety of key actions. Packed full of great examples, it combines being a page-turner with practical help.
Overall, it demonstrates how failing to truly understand the customer journey leads to ‘hidden killers’ – issues such as frustrating processes or impenetrable phone menus that cause consumers to leave, without brands even realizing that there has been a problem. For me, it demonstrates the importance of understanding the customer voice, even when it is delivered through unstructured data, such as emails or social media messages. Mining this information for insight is vital if your brand is to make the Journey to WOW, and build greater loyalty and revenues.
Read any of these books? Do leave your feedback in the comments section – alternatively, if you have other titles that you recommend let us know and we’ll look to review them in a future post.