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July 12, 2004

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects--Clued In

By: Jack @ 3:26 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Clued in: How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again by Lewis P. Carbone, Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 256 pages, $25.95 Hardcover, May 2004, ISBN 0131015508
Satisfying customers is one thing, but how can we keep satisfied customers coming back? We used to look at how customers perceived our brand, but Lewis Carbone tells us that customers value the experience with a business, and thats what they associate with the brand. He makes a clear distinction between brand management and Experience Value Management, and they should be managed differently. He explores the chasm between the old make-and-sell world we are all familiar with and the sense-and-response world, which is where the focus should be and where Experience Value Management is imperative.
I found Chapter 4 especially valuable, because it explains not only what Experience Value Management is but also how to practice clue math. Essentially this involves managing three variables: the customers expectations of what is about to happen, the actual outcome and the customers observations of everything that goes on in between. It is exactly these observations that make such a big difference. The way the whole experience smells, looks, sounds and tastes are clues that will play into the sum of how he/she feels about the product or service. Having a good product, with an affordable price, recognizable brand and even excellent customer service is not enough. Customers senses will tell them to come back.
To quote Carbone:
Customer loyalty is more a result of how customers feel about the overall experience they receive from you than what they rationally think about your individual products and services.
This means that customer loyalty ties in the customer emotionally, and plays a part in not only how the brand is perceived, but if they will come back. So let Carbone help you manage clues and give them an experience they will delight in and will want to come back to.