I’m a Jeanne Bliss fan. We’ve become friends over the last few years because we share a common passion for customer experience. I’ve recommended her book, Chief Customer Officer, many times to my clients.
Well, she just published a new book called “I Love You More Than My Dog.”
The book is about five decisions that companies make that lead to extremely loyal customers. It’s an excellent read — full of case studies and very thought-guiding frameworks.
Now that her new book is out, I asked Jeanne to answer a few questions:
How has customer experience management changed since your days at Lands’ End?
“Back when I was at Lands’ End (1983-1992), “Customer Experience Management” was not a discipline, let alone words anyone used. “Service” was the term. Then, the paper (and ultimately the book), “Moments of Truth” was written by Jan Carlzon, who was president of Scandinavian Airlines at the time. I embraced that methodology with rigor and passion and we immediately set into motion defining the Lands’ End Moments of Truth (there were 122) and in defining what I called at the time, the “tangible” and “intangible” aspects of the experience we would deliver to customers.
But as far as there being any type of “methodology” or discipline to this back in 1985, there was none! We did what made sense to us. We were guided by our passion, and by our rigor in quality and living up to our guarantee.”
What were some of the most enjoyable experiences of writing the book?
“During the writing of this book, meeting the passionate leaders and people inside the “beloved” companies has been the gift. Colleen Barrett, President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines, says in her forward, that she’d like to sit around a campfire telling exemplary customer service stories with all the people in the book. A circle of kindred spirits. That would be amazing, I understand why she said that completely.
Finally, when the book emerged and the five decisions took shape and consistently were validated by the research…that was a great moment.”
What were some of the least enjoyable experiences of writing the book?
“For me, the editing process is a tough and conflicting experience. A great editor makes a book so much better, but sometimes initially it’s hard to take. Think about if you and your wife just had a baby. You are overjoyed. But when your new baby is returned to your arms after being examined and cleaned and wrapped in a blanket, your child has red lines and circles all over its body, showing where nature could be improved. Having your manuscript go through editing is a bit like that. You passionately work and think about something for months to have it returned with the equivalent of red circles and lines all over it.”
What are your goals for the book? What would you consider “success?”
“Like a good leader who asks more questions than they give answers, I wanted this book to be a reflective journey, so that the reader could find an answer through reflecting and evaluating their own decision making so they can reach a solution that best suits their business – rather than prescribing a “one size fits all solution.” This book is filled with 45 case studies with examples and specific decisions and actions that companies made to become “beloved” that the reader can understand and use to change their course, if their course needs changing.
There is so much emphasis and focus on social media today and “getting” the rave of customers. I wanted to create a book about how beloved companies “earn” the rave. How they make decisions that create zealot customer fans who grow their businesses for them by telling everyone they know about their experiences, their people, and about how they feel when they come in contact with these companies.”
The bottom line: Your decisions can create another beloved company.