Customer experience is the new black.
If you haven’t already heard, experience is HOT. Every savvy marketer, designer, branding strategist, corporate leader, social media blogger and keynote speaker is now a customer experience expert. I say this not with total sarcasm (only a touch) but with some excitement around the way people are finally, painfully, starting to “get it.”
Brian Solis’s latest book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, is more than just an explanation of customer experience 101 or a diatribe to create better experiences. This is more than a book, it’s the first modern-day approach outlining how to approach experience in any business.
The book itself is beautiful. Brian would tell you he decided to rethink the experience of a book. I see that in the design, layout and visual power of how the information is presented. This is not last year’s story retold. This is a new story, told in a totally different way.
Here’s what I loved about this book.
The story is told in ways to both emphasize the real challenges of experience design and execution as well as exactly how to approach those challenges. There is nothing vague or half-baked here. Solis takes the reader through a journey from understanding what this is and why it’s important to the ultimate story told in experience – Apple.
He reached out to many customer experience leaders from the worlds of design, technology, user experience and more. He provides stunning visuals of journey maps, personas, and storyboards.
This is a book for the novice or the expert, which is a rare thing in today’s saturated market.
One of my personal pet peeves as a customer experience professional is when I hear someone claim it takes one tool to solve all ills. I’ve been in meetings where the executive just became aware of something like journey maps and starts to claim that is the ANSWER! We’ll make a journey map! That means we’ll be customer-centric! And it doesn’t help when certain books and publications reinforce that idea.
There is no one-size-fits-all tool to make meaningful experiences. It takes a complex ecosystem of customer feedback mechanisms, iterative designs, and frankly, some dumb luck and vision. The tools are only useful if the company has a certain DNA to provide the right ideas to spur action, too.
So I was so pleasantly surprised to read a book that was both practical and inspirational for readers. The images, the topics and the experts weave together a story of the future, and perhaps more importantly, how we can get there together.
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Designing, executing and continuously improving on customer experiences is no small thing. We all say we need to “bust up silos” and “really hear customers” to deliver exceptional experiences. But in reality, these rallying cries often lead to an exciting month-long rah rah session and little else.
The best organizations shake EVERYTHING up and understand true focus on the entire customer experience means you need to think very differently.
This book shakes everything up and helps readers think differently.
Kudos to Brian on this book and I hope you’ll take the time to not only read it but really enjoy it for the experience it is.
If you’d like to hear Brian himself explain how he thought of the book as a new experience, listen in to our interview with him on Crack The Customer Code, and remember to subscribe so you won’t miss our next featured author!