Author: Jeanne Bliss
A well designed cover, an attractive title with foreword and afterword by CEOs of extremely customer oriented firms, made my pick this book on customer loyalty. I must admit that it took me a lot longer than usual to read through this 200 page book, even though full page actual content would fill only half the size. Can the feeling for a company that is providing service extend beyond the love one has for their precious canine – as the title suggest; is not really something that one can accept prima facie. But the author has given a number of examples in this book that proves it is actually possible
The book basically talks about five decisions that some of the companies studied have taken which made them have extremely loyal customers. The five decisions include:
- To believe
- Clarity of purpose
- Be Real
- Be there
- Say Sorry
At the face of it they look extremely banal and obvious, but the detailing of each decisions and the questions that the book encourages you to ask in the process of making that decision provides a slightly more detailed consideration.
There are a number of short stories in the book about how each of these companies referred to in the book went about building strong relationships with their customers. The decisions and the questions are more a generalization from the various stories and cases of these successful companies. The companies referred to are mostly young ones and hence their experiences may also have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
For a reader in this part of the world a number of these examples may be difficult to relate to, as these businesses may be geographically limited in their services. They would be better understood and appreciated if one is able to view them in the North American socio-business and cultural context.
While the book is a difficult read, the questions raised are a definite value addition. But many of these questions could also be asked in other business context as well, which makes them a little bit generic in nature. So if a person has to derive that extra value from the book he or she should be prepared to put in some extra work. This in no way brings down the quality of the effort.
Though the book has caught on a specific challenge that a number of businesses face and even more numbers who are going to face it in the future, the solutions offered are only the first step in that direction. The spirit behind the solution has been brought out pretty well – which is the intent behind building customer loyalty – but how does one actually go about doing it, seems open for investigation.