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Your Customer Rules!: Delivering the Me2B Experiences That Today's Customers Demand



Your Customer Rules!: Delivering the Me2B Experiences That Today's Customers Demand

Bill Price, David Jaffe

ISBN: 978-1-118-95482-9 November 2014 Jossey-Bass 272 Pages


What you need to know about your customers

Now more than ever, every interaction you have with customers is critical. Customers today have unlimited information at their fingertips—and can influence the purchase decisions and behaviors of millions of others. With this comes a shift in the balance of power, and every company must come to terms with the fact that the customer is in control. Interacting with customers in the way they want is an essential business strategy and in many industries, the key to business success.

Executives still refer to B2B and B2C business models, as though companies control demand by going to customers with products and services. But as Bill Price and David Jaffe (authors of The Best Service is No Service) show, a new business model is emerging in which the customer directs the relationship. It is becoming a world of "Me2B"—one in which the customer, not the business, dictates the terms of engagement. In order for your business to thrive, you must create positive experiences to fulfill a range of customer needs.

Though the mediums for customer engagement continuously evolve, Price and Jaffe show that customer needs remain unchanging. In Your Customer Rules!, they define a critical hierarchy of seven needs that your company can meet and apply as a methodology.

Throughout this practical guidebook, Price and Jaffe share examples of companies who succeed by meeting these seven needs, including Amazon, Apple, IKEA, Nordstrom, USAA, Shoes of Prey, Vente-Privee, and Yamato Transport, as well as those that didn't. Your Customer Rules! offers tailored advice for companies at every stage, from nimble startups to legacy firms with established customer service practices—and everyone in between.

With a simple, elegant solution for driving lasting value for customers, Your Customer Rules! is a clear guide for strengthening customer relationships and competing on more than price. It is essential reading for executives at all levels—business owners, marketing managers, and anyone who works directly with customers.

Preface ix

1 From B2C to Me2B 1

2 You Know Me, You Remember Me 13

3 You Give Me Choices 35

4 You Make It Easy for Me 57

5 You Value Me 83

6 You Trust Me 107

7 You Surprise Me with Stuff I Can’t Imagine 131

8 You Help Me Be Better and Do More 153

9 What Drives Me2B Leaders 175

10 The Foundations of Me2B Success 195

Epilogue: Don’t Wait to Act 219

Notes 221

Glossary 225

Recommended Reading 229

Acknowledgments 231

About the Authors 235

Index 237

“In Your Customer Rules!, Price and Jaffe have captured some really important insights into how companies can build lasting customer relationships, including focusing on making products that are engaging, easy to use, and entertaining. They also discuss the importance of corporate culture and how values can guide a company as it grows—valuable for its employees and for its customers.”—Michael Morhaime, cofounder, CEO, and president, Blizzard Entertainment

“Price and Jaffe have made it clear that all companies need to respond to a customer-driven Me2B world. The seven needs they define represent great building blocks for a customer-oriented business. Your Customer Rules! provides a great guide for all companies to develop their strategy.”
—Stephen C. Lundin, coauthor, FISH! series

“Price and Jaffe are shrewd observers of the customer experience scene, and in Your Customer Rules! they outline their findings on what may be the most profound transformation of commerce since the advent of markets. If you want your own business to survive even the next decade, you need to understand these concepts, and the sooner the better!”
—Don Peppers, founding partner, Peppers & Rogers Group, coauthor, Extreme Trust

“In Your Customer Rules!, Price and Jaffe adroitly capture how the digital revolution has changed consumer behavior. Vente-privee chose to bet on the human, placing customer service at the heart of its strategy.  As Price and Jaffe cover so clearly, it is necessary that brands consider the customer as an essential investment and not a cost, helping to build and maintain close ties with their customers and to create trust. In a world where information spreads at the speed of light and social networks give consumers a voice, customer relationship should embody the values of the company and turn a dissatisfied customer into a brand ambassador. Read Your Customer Rules! to find out how!”
—Jacques-Antoine Granjon, CEO and cofounder, vente-privee

“In theory, it's a great time to be a customer, with an endless array of brands, choices, and deals. In reality, it's a frustrating time to be a customer, with a long list of hassles, headaches, and disappointments. In this important and engaging  book, Price and Jaffe offer a set of messages and a collection of case studies that show business leaders how to thrive in an age when customers have more power—and higher expectations—than ever. Your Customer Rules! will help you deliver for your customers.”
—William C. Taylor, cofounder and founding editor, Fast Company, and author, Practically Radical

“One of the best features of Price and Jaffe’s new book is the simple and straightforward recommendations for how to determine and address core customer needs. Building on their first book, The Best Service is No Service, readers this time will come away with powerful new insights and a big list of effective actions they will need to implement. If you are truly motivated to deliver exceptional customer experience and drive loyalty, don’t put down Your Customer Rules! until you reach the last page.”
—Gudrun Scharler, CEO, E-Plus Customer Support

“As Price and Jaffe cover so well in Your Customer Rules!, the concept of ‘the customer is in charge‘ requires alignment throughout the entire organization, including support partners. They share many great stories that you can apply to make it easy for customers to work with you, positively surprise them, and address their other critical needs.”
—Bert Quintana, chairman and CEO, Sitel

“Price and Jaffe bring to light a much needed and modern view of service strategy in a world where customers have unprecedented power and employee engagement is more important than ever. In the Me2B world, service flaws become magnified, viral, and destructive. Leaders and organizations can’t hide. Your Customer Rules! will enable the delivery of a service experience that customers demand and employees will embrace using new mediums, technologies, and strategies.”
—Scott Tweedy, vice president, customer service, T-Mobile

“Placing the guest at the center has always been Hyatt's focus, removing the roadblocks for our customers and for our associates. With Your Customer Rules!, Price and Jaffe capture seven critical customer needs to make this work. Their stories and frameworks will become the building blocks for other companies to sustain great customer experiences and increase customer loyalty.”
—Sara Kearney, senior vice president, operations, Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotel Corporation

“As Price and Jaffe so clearly describe in Your Customer Rules!, many businesses have forgotten who pays the bills. While the customer is not always right, the goal is to ensure that each customer is valued and provided with a great experience that makes them believe they are the central focus of the company. Price and Jaffe demonstrate the importance of the customer-centric focus with well-presented examples. They help provide ideas, tools, and measures that will help businesses of all size begin, sustain, and deliver on the benefits of a customer-centric focus.”
—Jeff Robison, COO, WorldPay

The Best Service is No Service became a brilliant icon for leading and guiding the consumer customer experience community. In Your Customer Rules!, Price and Jaffe address the customer side of businesses, flipping the old B2B model with fresh insights from global customer experience leaders. Open at any place and you'll come away with solid ideas to improve how your company operates .... a new icon in the making!”
—Gary Hagel, chief commercial officer, Vodacom South Africa

“Price and Jaffe continue to challenge business thinking on how to interact with customers. Your Customer Rules! is essential reading for the changes in business today.”
—Jane S. Hemstritch, board member, Commonwealth Bank Australia, Santos, and Lend Lease

“Building on the success of The Best Service is No Service, Price and Jaffe have come up with an equally challenging concept in Your Customer Rules!:  why, and how, to reorient the entire company to recognize that the customer is (and always was) in charge. Using fun cartoons, good (and bad!) stories, and clearly laid-out steps, they give hope that the successful company types outlined in this book can create great customer experiences.”
—Jardon Bouska, chief operations officer, SafeGuard

“The service industry needs to learn the clear guidance and inspiration in Price and Jaffe's new book, Your Customer Rules!, especially now in the era of mobility and integrated, interconnected platforms. The explosion of multichannel contacts and the change of customer behavior and expectations in this multi-contact channel, mobile, and social network world must be managed in totally different ways.  The management of customer expectations will have a new meaning and importance for companies in the future. Service is what customers want to talk about, and they now choose their preferred channel and provide the requirements of their needs based on service.”
—Vicky Giourga, senior vice president, customer service, Home Shopping Europe