Are Chocolates on the Pillow Enough?
Posted by Becky Carroll on March 20, 2007
I just finished my review copy of Jonathan Tisch’s new book Chocolates on the Pillow Aren’t Enough: Reinventing the Customer Experience. The book is a great primer on thinking through the customer experience. As Tisch writes,
“It is no longer enough to manufacture fine products or provide good services. We need to help our customers improve their lives – one experience at a time.”
Jonathan Tisch knows a thing or two about helping customers improve their lives. As Chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels, it has been his passion over the years to consistently create great customer experiences through the travel and tourism industry. In this book, Tisch and co-author Karl Weber outline what it takes to impact your customers at various stages and touchpoints of a relationship.
My favorite aspect of the book was that it shared example after example of companies doing it right. It is chock-full of stories, from In-n-Out Burger to eBay, Build-a-Bear Workshop to Stamps.com. The wide variety of companies profiled helps the reader see how re-imagining the customer experience can assist them in strengthening their own customer relationships. One of the stories I really liked was that of Anthropologie. In a quote from the book, Tisch relates their philosophy of welcoming customers. As described by Kristin Norris, the visual director of Anthropologie:
“I think of everything [in our stores] as a story… A bedding story isn’t just about linens and comforters. It’s about the feeling of night-time and a sense of place…We try to create little environments that tell a story.”
This is a wonderful example of putting the customer in the story and crafting an experience that helps the customer feel like they belong.
In addition, each company profile has a section following called Your Big Aha’swhere the concepts being shared are listed, along with a short description. This makes it easier for the reader to apply the lesson to their own organization. For example, one of the Aha’s for the Anthropologie story above is this: Start with your customers, not with goods or services. This has been one of my mantras! Some of my other favorite Aha’s are the following:
- Think about all the touchpoints where you connect with customers and work to make each one better. (Dell story)
- Rules should serve the business, not vice versa. (Commerce Bank story)
- Don’t be afraid to learn from seemingly unrelated businesses. (health-care story)
- Customize the features your customers actually care about. (Build-A-Bear)
- Start building your future with your existing customers. (Harley-Davidson)
Throughout the book, Jonathan Tisch does a fabulous job of applying his knowledge of customer experience to the business world. It is an easy read and one which I recommend.
After you have read this thought-provoking book, come back to this post and let me know which are your favorite Aha’s. Add some info on how you plan to apply it, and we can reinvent the customer experience, one blogger at a time!