Jeb Blount in People Love You: The Real Secret to Delivering Legendary Customer Experiences (Wiley & Sons: 2013) masterfully sets out the most important customer service issue facing sellers today: “There is no loyalty when everything looks the same.”
From the customer’s perspective, Blount argues, virtually all products and services are identical. Further, if you do happen to have a truly unique product or service, it will only be a very short time before similar products and services begin to compete with you.
If customers believe your product or service is like every other, how can you create a customer experience that will retain them when a competitor offers them a cheaper price or another color or a prettier package or better service or more bells and whistles?
People Love You offers a concrete answer to how to retain customers in an age where not only products and services are virtually interchangeable, but every company and every seller promises world class customer service and to exceed their expectations.
I know, at first glance it sounds silly.
But it isn’t.
People Love You isn’t a pie in the sky gooey piece of sugar floating above reality in an ivory tower. Blount builds a solid basis on how to create a customer experience with your business clients that results in an unbreakable relationship built on trust, solving real customer problems, and creating positive emotional experiences.
Blount lays the foundation for the book on Seven Essential Principles of Customer Engagement:
- You need your customers more than they need you
- Customers are people
- You are always on stage
- Customers act on emotion and justify with logic
- Customers do things for their reasons—not yours
- Customers don’t do illogical things on purpose
- Always give more than is required
With the foundation laid, People Love You then dives into the real crux of the book, The Five Levers of Customer Experience:
- Put customers first
- Solve problems
- Build trust
- Create positive emotional experiences
The majority of the book is dedicated to fleshing out the five levers of customer experience and this is where the book really gets down to the nitty gritty of building a customer experience that will differentiate you from your competitors.
Blount says his goal in People Love You is to “teach you techniques for interacting with customers in a way that creates deep, enduring relationships.” To that end “you must learn how to step into your customer’s shoes and to feel and see things from their point of view.”
Blount has written the book to deal specifically with the customer experience in the business-to-business marketplace and he succeeds masterfully in doing that. But don’t think the book isn’t just as applicable to the business-to-consumer seller, for it is.
Whether you agree with Blount or you vehemently object to his argument that your product or service from your customer’s point of view is no different than your competitors, you cannot afford not to pick up the book and implement the lessons you’ll learn.