The Counterintuitive CEO

A Customer Syllabus

August 14, 2014

Stride for stride with Forrester, others have been doing excellent work describing the emergence of the empowered customer. Here's a very short list of notables:

1) Gavin Newsom, the Lieutenant Governor of California,  describes how empowered customers (citizens in this context) will change society when they flex their newfound muscles in the political arena. Citizenville shows how the populace's power will not be restricted to the commercial world.

2) Jim Blasingame has written a prescient book describing how the age of the customer will impact small businesses and what they should be doing to prepare for those changes. Here's a great quote from Jim:  "It's okay to fall in love with what you do, but it's not okay to fall in love with how you do it."

3) It's not out yet, but Harley Manning at Forrester is reading a draft of the book, "Service Fanatics:  How to Build Superior Patient Experience the Cleveland Clinic Way" by Dr. James Merlino. Merlino is the Chief Experience Officer at the Clinic and Harley thinks that his book will be the guide to how empowered patients will change medical care. It should hit Amazon by the end of the year.

4) Conventional wisdom suggests that companies will deploy big data to control their customers. But if you think about it, customers exert much of their their power through big data — it's a potent signaling system for what people want. There's a lot of fog in the market on the topic, but Gene Leganza at Forrester thinks that the book "Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think" gives the clearest picture of how more information will amplify customer power.

I've probably missed many other great sources — comment back with your recommendations.

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