10 Must-Reads for Customer-Centric Leaders

by Anne Reuss

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Our rallying cry for fewer ruined days continues.

We set out this year to help businesses become more customer-centric by asking eye-opening questions and making sense of customer emotions and behavior.

Now that we’re halfway through the year, we decided to find out which posts in 2014 our readers liked the best, and brought them together in a list of must-reads for those who want to stay on top as customer-centric leaders.

Are you game?

customer-centric leaders

1) What IS a Customer Touchpoint?: Ok, ok I’m cheating a little. This is a legendary post from 2013 but it remains the most popular post on our blog. We’re glad to see this amount of curiosity because mapping the touchpoints is critical to creating memorable experiences for customers, and it’s one of the things we do best.

2) Infographic: Emotion IS the Experience:  Emotion drives everything for humans – and last time I checked, your customers are human too! Sweating the small stuff – and engaging customers in creative and meaningful ways – can lead to “huge emotional dividends.” Customers will always remember your brand for how you made them feel.

customer-centric leaders

3) 5 Simple Customer Experience Improvement Tips to Jumpstart 2014: Recharge and revisit these tips! Why not finish the last six months of 2014 with a bit more meaning and vitality?

4) 13 Tough Questions to Skyrocket Customer Experience: Do you have leader grit? The most enlightened leaders embrace the hard truth so they can make changes for the better. As scary as some of these questions may seem, reflecting on the answers will help you drive customer experience innovation.

5) Customer Experience Is…What Exactly? Don’t turn to Wikipedia. As Amazon’s Jeff Bezos says: “Brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.” This is the perfect refresher blog. How can we become champions of customers?

customer-centric leaders

6) Are Your KPI’s Leading You to Disaster?: This was actually written in 2012 and reposted this year. How can your customers ever be your top priority if you neglect to make your KPIs customer-centric?

7) 5 Most Awful Customer Experience Solutions of All Time: What a ghastly list! Carol Lynn Rivera also suggested an excellent addition to the list. You should probably check this out just to be sure your organization doesn’t succumb to these quick-fixes that ultimately lead to failure!

8) Think You Know How Customers Feel? 13 Things They’ll Never Tell You: A hilarious but insightful photo post with statements such as #9: “I just played a exhilarating 26 minute game of Sudoku with your automated call center. (We both lost.)” You know you want to see the what the other 12 say!

9) 5 Spectacular Ways to Create the Worst Customer Experience: Too often, leaders ignore the small things that could be chasing customers away,  just because there’s no fancy data telling them what to fix. Studies show that 89% of us will hop over to a competitor after a bad experience. Beware of these five sure-five ways to drive customers away.

customer-centric leaders
This guy means business!

10) Big Shoulders Coffee is Winning the Customer Experience Battle. Are You?: Are you choosing the right battle? I met an actual, living enlightened leader – Tim Coonan of Chicago’s Big Shoulders Coffee – who will inspire you to stand out and commit to a unique experience regardless of how crowded your industry is.  Then maybe you’ll also create some fanatical customers who will put in a tad bit of extra effort to be your customers.

Lo and behold, my friends: 10 posts to upgrade your game plan for the rest of 2014!

Image credits: SethW via Creative Commons License

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