What would summer be without another summer reading list? In the past weeks, I’ve seen several posts about summer reading on LinkedIn from colleagues and well-known technologists alike. With so many distractions competing for my attention during the summer months, I’ve committed to 30 minutes of quiet reading in the evenings – with my phone on silent and in another room.
Coming up with a list was not difficult, but keeping it short enough to be achievable was a challenge. Some of the books aren’t necessarily light reading, and should be consumed with an eye towards how it may be applicable to the challenges we face in the customer experience part of our roles.
Through the lens of a practitioner in the B2B customer experience field, here is what is going to be keeping me company at the pool, commuting, or while trying to adjust to the late sunsets and early sunrises we have during the summer months.
A summer B2B CX reading list for B2B customer experience practitioners
“The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty” by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick DeLisi – The lead author, Matthew Dixon, has been influential in the B2B space for some time with his previous book, “The Challenger Sale”. In this book, Dixon provides advice on how to get to the core of what a good customer experience is and what it is not. Dixon and his colleagues argue that customer experience design should focus on effortless experience and less on flashy designs. I like this as it reminds us about what really matters in the B2B experience space.
“Would You Do That to Your Mother?: The “Make Mom Proud” Standard for How to Treat Your Customers” by Jeanne Bliss. Bliss has written other books about the role of the “Chief Experience Officer” within organizations. In her latest book, Bliss presents a five-step plan organizations can execute to delight their customers through improved business processes. Plenty of case studies are provided which helps to ground Bliss’s guidance with real-world results. Translating this work into an actionable plan should be easily accomplished.
“The Wallet Allocation Rule” by Timothy Keiningham, Lerzan Aksoy, and Luke Williams. This book debunks some of the current beliefs and overreliance on NPS as an indication of an company’s success in growing their business. The book provides recommendations for discovering the metrics which really impact a company’s top-line revenue. Taken together with some of the other titles on this list, there is a complete toolkit for making improvements to customer experience and effectively measuring those improvements.
“The Commonwealth of Self Interest: Business Success Through Customer Engagement” by Paul Greenberg. I met Paul briefly at a book signing at a partner conference in Las Vegas. Greenberg is well-known in academic cricles and the industry for his book, “CRM at the Speed of Light,” which continues to be used as a textbook in Management Information Systems courses at universities. In this new book, Paul tackles changing trends in B2B consumer behavior and provides recommendations on what businesses should be doing to win in this new reality.
Well there it is. I’ll revisit the topics raised in these books sometime later in the year after I have had time to digest them and hopefully see the ideas at work with some of my own customers. Through their research and resulting books, these authors have captured the essence of what’s critical for a great B2B customer experience.
With the C-Suite being more aware of experience than ever before and the gap between the customers’ view of that experience and that of leadership, it will be interesting to see how these ideas are brought to life across manufacturers and distributions in the coming years. Happy reading!