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Passionate and Profitable: Why Customer Strategies Fail and Ten Steps to Do Them Right!

ISBN: 978-0-471-71392-0
204 pages
March 2005
Passionate and Profitable: Why Customer Strategies Fail and Ten Steps to Do Them Right! (0471713929) cover image
"I’ve always said that education without execution is just entertainment – and Lior illustrates this beautifully in his book. It is important to learn HOW to implement a successful Customer focus strategy and you need knowledge and process to do it well. Read this book and learn."--Tim Sanders, Author of "Love is The Killer App"

"Lior brings original thought to the world of business, ideas drawn from reality, based on solid observations with the clear objective of helping people make money. Read this and profit."--Jerry Vass, Author of "Soft Selling in A Hard World" and President Vass Consulting

"You might not like this book. It's not filled with easy shortcuts and feel-good platitudes. BUT, when you're ready to walk the walk and not just talk the talk) about treating your customers right and growing your business, Lior's book is a fine place to start down that rarely-followed, very profitable path."--Seth Godin Author, Purple Cow & Free Prize Inside

"Lior Arussy is a true customer advocate. This book is a must-read for anyone who knows that the only sustainable competitive advantage is to create a unique and meaningful customer experience."--Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief, CRM magazine

According to Strativity's 2003 CEM global study, 45% of executives surveyed do not believe they deserve the customer’s loyalty. Following a decade of customer-centric books, the market is in a state of crises with over 50% customer focused projects fail. Passionate and Profitable is a new book that takes a critical look at the state of the companies’ commitment to customers and exposes the fatal mistakes companies make and the lip service they pay to their customers.

Full of examples and statistics, Passionate and Profitable argues that customer strategies success depends on making serious tough choices and not cosmetic works. It is those tough trade offs that will help companies unleash their passion for customers and in return, increase their profitability and sales.

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Introduction: The Top Ten Crucial Mistakes in Customer Strategies xiii

The Graveyard of Good Intentions xiv

Failure Factors xvii

Chapter 1 Understanding the Fatal Mistakes 1

Fatal Mistake 1: Culture of the New 2

Fatal Mistake 2: Lipstick on the Pig 2

Fatal Mistake 3: Passion Loss 3

Fatal Mistake 4: Real Cost of Cost Reduction 3

Fatal Mistake 5: Failure to Operationalize 4

Fatal Mistake 6: You Get What You Pay For 4

Fatal Mistake 7: Management of Change 5

Fatal Mistake 8: Lack of Leadership 6

Fatal Mistake 9: Unstructured Relationship 6

Fatal Mistake 10: Technology Shortcut 7

Critical Choices 8

Chapter 2 Critical Choice 1: Who Are We, Customer Pleasers or Efficiency Crunchers? 11

Lack of Definition and Criteria 13

Intention to Execution Gap 14

Price of Efficiency 16

Corporation–Customer Experience Aptitude Survey 19

Chapter 3 Critical Choice 2: What Is the Role of the Customer in Our Existence? 25

Inherent Conflict 25

The Efficient Relationship Paradox 28

Corporations at a Juncture 31

What Customers? The Second Tough Choice 33

Congratulations, You Are at Par: The New Four Ps 35

Chapter 4 Critical Choice 3: What Defines Our Total Experience? 39

Customer Strategies and the Art of

Customer Experience Management 42

Demystifying the Experience 46

The Emotional Customer 49

Developing the Experience 50

Customer Experience Analysis 52

Customer Experience Mapping 55

Reengineering the Experience Guidelines 58

Power to the People: The Difficult Shift 61

What Is Your Core Experience? 62

Chapter 5 Critical Choice 4: What Customers Do We Neglect? 67

Customer Selection Guidelines 70

Characteristics of Desirable and

Undesirable Customers 72

Customer Role 74

Customer Job Description 75

Company's Job Description 77

Chapter 6 Critical Choice 5: What Kind of Relationships Do We Seek? 81

Symbiosis versus Competitive Relationships 82

What Is the Essence of a Customer-Desired Relationship? 83

Different Relationships with Different People 91

Segmentation Criteria 93

Tailoring the Customer's Experience 97

Chapter 7 Critical Choice 6: How Do We Change Our Organization to Avoid the Silo-Based Customer Trap? How Do We Assume Complete Customer Responsibility? 103

Managing Across All Touch Points 103

Touch Points Analysis Mapping 104

Obsession with Tools 107

Organization-Focused Customer 109

Customer-Focused Organization 110

Assembler Keeps the Money 114

Chapter 8 Critical Choice 7: Do We Employ Functional Robots or Passionate Evangelists? 117

Attitude, Not Skill 118

Employee Experiences 119

Employee Loyalty Leads to Customer Loyalty 122

Employment Hierarchy 122

Guidelines for Employee Experience Reengineering 127

Training Is for Dogs—Education Is for People 132

Delight Them: They Are Human Too 135

Compensation: Follow the Money Trail 136

Chapter 9 Critical Choice 8: Post-Sales Dialogue and Service—Do We Really Care? 139

Culture of the New 140

Taking Customers for Granted 140

Four Checkpoints for Delivering

True Experiences and Relationships 141

Required Tools 151

Complete Relationship Account 153

Visualizing Value 157

Culture of Excellence 159

Chapter 10 Critical Choice 9: What Do Our Measurements Say About Us? 163

Actions, Not Perception 164

Measuring Success: The Customer Style 165

Measurement Guidelines 167

Identifying Business Drivers 167

True Assets 169

Nurturing Rather Than Managing 170

Chapter 11 Critical Choice 10: How Long Do We Milk Our Products? 173

Consistency Is Boring 174

Success Breeds Complacency 175

Innovation Compass: "Wow Me Now" 178

Chapter 12 The Ultimate Choice: Customer Strategies—A Mutual Lifetime Commitment 183

Stop Staring 183

Complete View of a Successful Customer Strategy 186

Organizational Commitment 186

Change the Rules through Amazing Experiences 187

Experiences Build Defendable Market Leadership 188

Employees Experiences: The Customer Experience Enablers 189

The Never-Ending Date 190

Appendix An Open Letter to the Smart Customer 193

Index 197

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Lior Arussy is the founder and President of Strativity Group, Inc. (StativityGroup.com), which works with both Global 2000 companies as well as emerging businesses around the world. Prior to establishing Strativity Group, Arussy held executive positions at NICE Systems and Hewlett-Packard as well as various start-up companies. He is the author of several publications, including The Experience!: How to Wow Your Customers and Create a Passionate Workplace, as well as more than fifty articles in such international publications as Harvard Business Review. Arussy's syndicated column "Focus: Customer" reaches more than 350,000 readers worldwide every month. He also has a bimonthly column for CRM magazine, is the winner of the CRM Influential Leader 2003 award, and is the author of the course "Developing and Executing Customer-centric Strategy" (American Management Association).
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"This is a provocative, thoughtful guidebook for executives who are struggling with the complicated questions that surround today's sophisticated buyers." (Monitor, 3/8/06)

“…clearly laid-out…frequent excellent diagrams to illustrate a point…” (Media Week, 16th August 2005)

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