Jeb Blount discusses why managing the customer experience is critical during a down economy.
What happens when your customers become DEVOTED customers vs. loyal or happy customers? This is question is answered in a new book by Chip R. Bell and John Patterson. These two guys know something about customer relationships. Between the two of them they have written whopping 18 books.
If you are in sales, their new book Take Their Breath Away: How Imaginative Service Creates Devoted Customers should be on your reading list. The book takes a fresh approach to interacting with customers and is designed to help sales professionals, managers and business leaders develop teams that do more than give good service and instead focus on customer experience.
I believe strongly that customer experience will be the key competitive differentiator in the next iteration of our economy. As we emerge from this terrible economic crisis a new generation of customers will have expectations that are different than those of the boom years of the late nineties and the early part of this decade. Sales teams and individuals that are inventive, imaginative and create experiences for their customers that lead to devotion will be the winners in the next economy.
In Take Your Breath Away Bell and Patterson draw a clear distinction between devotion and loyalty. I love the concept of devotion.
Loyalty is logical. Loyal customers come back and buy more because they get their needs served and problems solved. Which makes sense.
Devotion on the other hand is an emotional connection to you, your brand, your company, and your products. It is visceral. Devotion tweets about you on twitter. Devotion posts blogs about you. Devotion shouts your name from the roof tops. Devotion defends you when you make a mistake. Devotion is a walking talking advertisement. Customer devotion should be the ultimate goal of every business leader and Sales Professional.