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Anticipate: Knowing What Customers Need Before They Do

ISBN: 978-1-118-35691-3
224 pages
November 2012
Anticipate: Knowing What Customers Need Before They Do (1118356918) cover image


Design and implement the ideal customer focus

Anticipate provides business readers with a practical how-to approach for taking their customer-supplier relationship to one that is more sustainable and more mutually profitable. Much of the discussion on customer experience has centered on the hospitality or retail industries and has showcased the discrete techniques organizations use to deliver better service and create more satisfied customers. Anticipate extends and integrates those techniques to deliver an end-to-end customer experience that can be applied in any industry, by any type of organization. Get proven guidance on how to design and implement a customer-focused journey that moves beyond the transaction and satisfied customers, to a relationship and culture that creates and leverages loyalty – and the profitability that comes with it. 

  • Explains proprietary methods—such as the Customer Focus Maturity Model ® and Value Chain Labs ® —that teach readers the steps and tools organizations use to create, drive and optimize their customer focus.
  • Authors Bill Thomas and Jeff Tobe have used their 10-point framework to guide Fortune 500’s, start-ups as well as non-profits in charting a customer-focused journey that matures, anticipates and delivers increasing levels of loyalty and profitability with their customers, and across their broader value chain.

Anticipate will provide you with field-proven steps, tools and examples that you’ll use to take your customer-focused strategy, execution and culture to the ideal level. 

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Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 Strategy—Creating and Destroying Customer Value 1

CHAPTER 2 Doing the Right Things for the Wrong Reasons 17

CHAPTER 3 Not All Customers Are Good Customers 33

CHAPTER 4 When Customers Speak—Who Hears Them? 45

CHAPTER 5 Input Is Vital—But Involvement Multiplies the Value 59

CHAPTER 6 It Takes Two to Be Engaged 77

CHAPTER 7 Customer Focus Is a Process—Not an Event 101

CHAPTER 8 Culture—The Soft Stuff Is the Hard Stuff 123

CHAPTER 9 Managing Change, Performance, and Talent 151

CHAPTER 10 Leveraging Your Culture and Value Chain 187

Index 209

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Author Information

BILL THOMAS is founder of Centric Performance, LLC, providing a strategic framework and practical tools to organizations committed to enhancing their customer focus and value chain partnerships. Thomas is the creator of the Customer Focus Maturity Model®, the first model to identify both the external and internal stages a company goes through, and techniques they use, to optimize the profitability of their customer/supplier relationships. Thomas has worked with dozens of organizations in their customer focus efforts and has designed and implemented long-term customer focus strategies and processes for many of them.

JEFF TOBE is a Certified Speaking Professional who was chosen as "one of the top 15 speakers in North America" by readers of Meetings and Conventions magazine. As the founder of Coloring Outside the Lines, Tobe teaches organizations how to think more creatively when it comes to designing and implementing the ideal customer experience. He is a frequent guest on business radio shows and podcasts and has been seen on NBC, Fox News, and local stations across the country.

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Press Release

October 31, 2012
Anticipate What Your Customers Need Before They Do

Most business owners are familiar with the all-star customer experience stories from companies like Zappos, Nordstrom’s, Disney, Starbucks, and other giants in the hospitality or retail industries. Though those stories are impressive and inspirational, they leave many executives wondering how they can apply those service concepts to their manufacturing businesses, financial services firms, startups, non-profits and other types of organizations.

In their new book, Anticipate: Knowing What Customers Need Before They Do Bill Thomas, founder of Centric Performance, LLC and Jeff Tobe, founder of Coloring Outside the Lines, offer a unique contribution to the customer service field by providing leaders--across industries and business cultures—a practical “how to” model for taking their customer experience to the next plateau.

More than theory, executives and entrepreneurs want guidance on how to move beyond satisfied customers to create customer enthusiasts, based on experience, to generate the highest return. Anticipate shows readers how to partner with and walk alongside a customer to build an ideal experience together—and eventually, to enjoy the profits of that partnership, with insight such as

  • How to apply the Ten-Point Customer Focus Framework, which outlines the key steps successful companies use to create a clear and compelling linkage between their customer focus, growth strategy, and results
  • The three levels of implementation as defined by the Customer Focus Maturity Model® and specific techniques to move your organization further along within a given stage, and from one stage to the next
  • How to differentiate among customer behavior, satisfaction, and loyalty, and why a repeat customer isn't always a loyal customer or one worth keeping
  • Strategies that create, and destroy, customer value
  • Managing change, performance, and talent internally
  • How to leverage a company’s culture and value chain
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