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Summary

Everyone knows that the best way to create customer loyalty is with service so good, so over the top, that it surprises and delights. But what if everyone is wrong?

In their acclaimed best seller The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and his colleagues at CEB busted many longstanding myths about sales. Now they've turned their research and analysis to a new vital business subject - customer loyalty - with a new book that turns the conventional wisdom on its head. 

The idea that companies must delight customers by exceeding service expectations is so entrenched that managers rarely even question it. They devote untold time, energy, and resources to trying to dazzle people and inspire their undying loyalty. Yet CEB's careful research over five years and tens of thousands of respondents proves that the "dazzle factor" is wildly overrated - it simply doesn't predict repeat sales, share of wallet, or positive wordof-mouth. The reality: 

Loyalty is driven by how well a company delivers on its basic promises and solves day-to-day problems, not on how spectacular its service experience might be. Most customers don't want to be "wowed"; they want an effortless experience. And they are far more likely to punish you for bad service than to reward you for good service.

If you put on your customer hat rather than your manager or marketer hat, this makes a lot of sense. What do you really want from your cable company, a free month of HBO when it screws up or a fast, painless restoration of your connection? What about your bank - do you want free cookies and a cheerful smile, even a personal relationship with your teller? Or just a quick in-and-out transaction and an easy way to get a refund when it accidentally overcharges on fees?

The Effortless Experience takes listeners on a fascinating journey deep inside the customer experience to reveal what really makes customers loyal - and disloyal. The authors lay out the four key pillars of a low-effort customer experience, along the way delivering robust data, shocking insights and profiles of companies that are already using the principles revealed by CEB's research, with great results. And they include many tools and templates you can start applying right away to improve service, reduce costs, decrease customer churn, and ultimately generate the elusive loyalty that the "dazzle factor" fails to deliver. 

The rewards are there for the taking, and the pathway to achieving them is now clearly marked.

©2013 Matthew Dixon (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"This is what every business book should be like: stuffed with practical advice, well supported by research, and written to keep you eagerly flipping the pages." (Dan Heath, coauthor of Decisive, Switch, and Made to Stick, from the foreword)

"Most current customer support and customer experience improvement programs are merely replays of age-old concepts with some new terminology thrown in. The customer effort research and approach recounted here is different. It is truly the first really novel idea that I've heard - and implemented - in a long time. This is an approach that drives innovative, significant improvement within my teams...actions grounded in solid data...actions that yield measurable, customer-visible results that we just couldn't achieve via other means. It really has changed the way I think about the support my team delivers." (Dan Rourke, director of software support, HomeAway, Inc.)

"A must-have for any true customer experience leader's library. Matt, Nick, and Rick are the MythBusters of customer experience, dispelling many commonly held but inaccurate beliefs around the drivers of disloyalty and delight and what will really drive true value to your business." (Lynn Holmgren, vice president, customer experience strategy, Frontier Communications)

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  • Debbie In Delaware
  • 17-08-20

Great content

I learned about this book in a Zoom seminar, and could not have been more delighted with the content. It was exactly what I needed for a new role. I will be listening again for things I may have missed the first time around.