The team at Interaction Metrics loved Bob Thompson’s Hooked on Customers. We thought the overall premise—that companies need more than “strategies,” they need the right habits—is correct. As customer experience auditors, we come across lots of companies who pride themselves on satisfaction, but what counts is execution, day in and day out. Bob drives this point home.
While there’s a lot to say about each Habit in Bob’s book, we particularly resonated with Habit 1, Listen. He explained, “Is there one ‘ultimate question’ that will effectively measure customer loyalty for all businesses? No. The ‘ultimate answer’ is that you must figure out the right [customer experience] metrics for your business” (Hooked on Customers, 36).
We agree. We find that great companies listen, really listen, to what their customers are telling them about their particular business. One way they do this is they replace the same tired questions that other companies are asking with questions that are customized and specific. Also, great companies listen by taking customers’ comments seriously. To us, that means they don’t rely on generic software solutions for interpreting the meaning of comments; they allow meaning to emerge by applying research intelligence and hand-coding customers’ comments.
Overall, we think that Hooked on Customers is a worthy read—and companies that pride themselves on customer satisfaction will benefit from adopting Thompson’s habits!