Reading time ( words)
In honor of this month’s topic of sales and marketing, I’m providing a review of five books that can directly influence the way we think about sales, marketing, customers and customer service. When selecting these books, I considered the following criteria:
- I wanted the books to be relatively new—no older than 24 months
- I wanted them to represent a new way of thinking
- I wanted books with innovative ideas
- I wanted books that could make a sales and marketing person better
What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint
Author: Nicholas Webb Amacom, 2017
Customer service is out and customer experience is in. It’s not enough to deliver great customer service any more—you must instead deliver an entire customer experience and a great experience at that. Customers want to feel good about the very act of working with you. They want to feel that you are on their side and that you have their best interests at heart. This book goes beyond traditional thoughts about service. In the first part of the book, the author discusses something we have all become aware of and that is creating customer value. He points out that it is much more effective to keep a customer happy than it is to get a new customer. From the book: “…probability of selling to a new prospect is 5 to 20 percent, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent.” Mr. Webb goes on to explain just how we can provide value to our customers. He describes in detail how to create customer confidence in you, your company and your products and services. This is one of those books that inspires great thoughts and ideas by giving the reader “triggers” that encourages thinking about customers in a way you have not done before. He shows you how to put yourself in their place and grow your understanding of how they view you and your company, and most importantly, what they expect from you. I especially like the section entitled, “Make an upset customer a lifelong customer in five easy steps.” From the book:
1. Affirm: Create a complete understanding of the problem and what it means to the customer.
2. Listen: Yes, shut up and listen and hear exactly what the customer is saying to you.
3. Confirm: Repeat back to the customer what the problem is so that he understands that you understand…that you get it.
4. Fix: You know what the problem is, now fix it.
5. Follow up: Yes, follow up to make sure that the problem is solved and the customer is completely satisfied.
I would add one of my own and that is to do all of this as quickly as possible so that the situation is alleviated in the blink of an eye. Doing this will in fact make the customer respect you for life. There is much too much in this book to cover it all. There is valuable information, from learning everything you can about your customers to getting referrals and recommendations. This is a must have for anyone who is serious about customer service and retention…and who isn’t?
To read the complete list which appeared in the December 2016 issue of The PCB Magazine, click here.