The Customer Revolution
How to Thrive When Customers Are in ControlBook - 2001
You are no longer in control of your company's destiny . . . It happened in the music business and it will happen in yours. It's only a matter of time. Customers actually take control of an industry and reshape it from the outside in. Customers decide that the way they want to use an industry's product doesn't fit the current business model. Patricia Seybold, author of the influential, bestselling Customers.com would say that that's a revolution. Thanks to the Internet and to mobile wireless devices, both business and consumer customers are demanding that you change your pricing structure, distribution channels, and the way you design and deliver products and services. Your business must be transformed so that it is completely customer-centric, or you will be out of business. Her advice to companies facing the customer revolution? You can fight it if you want, just as Don Quixote fought imaginary windmills and thought he was winning battles. But naturally he lost the war and so will you. Better, says Seybold, to practice "sweet surrender," just as the music industry has started to come to terms with Napster. In the words of one music executive, "Thirty-eight million people can't be criminals." Many try to characterize the changes taking place as the New Economy, the Internet economy, or the information, knowledge, or bio-economy. There's a grain of truth to all of these descriptions, but they fail to get to the heart of the changes taking place. Simply put, what we now have is a customer economy and it's going to result in changes that you would not have thought possible even a few short years ago. Patricia Seybold has been on a worldwide quest to find the companies in North America, Europe, and Asia that are developing the state-of-the-art practices that will help them win in the new era of the customer economy. They're profiled and analyzed in case studies ranging from small businesses to multinational giants and range from manufacturers to retailers, and service firms. They include financial services giant Charles Schwab, the British Vauxhall Division of General Motors, Snap-on Tools, custom backpack manufacturer Timbuk2, Hewlett-Packard, Medscape, and W.W. Grainger. As she so ably demonstrated in Customers.com, Patricia Seybold is ahead of the curve. For most companies, the issue of customers in control is just coming onto the radar screen. In The Customer Revolution Seybold makes it plain that this can be either your biggest problem or your greatest opportunity. What she provides is not only a brilliant analysis but also a practical program for how you can make the customer revolution a profitable one. The companies that thrive in the customer revolution will be those that measure and monitor what matters to customers, in near real time.
Publisher: New York : Crown Business, c2001.
Characteristics: xvii, 395 pages ;,25 cm.