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Required Reading

What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services by Anthony Ulwick

In a book that challenges everything you have learned about being customer driven, author Anthony Ulwick reveals the secret weapon behind some of the most successful companies of recent years. Known as "outcome-driven" innovation, this revolutionary approach to new product and service creation transforms innovation from a nebulous art into a rigorous science from which randomness and uncertainty are eliminated.

In What Customers Want, Ulwick demonstrates that all popular qualitative research methods yield well-intentioned but unfitting and dreadfully misleading information that serves to derail the innovation process. Rather than accepting customer inputs such as "needs," "benefits," "specifications," and "solutions," Ulwick argues that researchers should silence the literal "voice of the customer" and focus on the "metrics that customers use to measure success when executing the jobs, tasks or activities they are trying to get done." Using these customer desired outcomes as inputs into the innovation process eliminates much of the chaos and variability that typically derails innovation initiatives.
[More About This Book]   Apr-07-2013


The Customer Service Survival Kit: What to Say to Defuse Even the Worst Customer Situations By Richard Gallagher

Uh-oh! You know that panicked feeling when the customer is not just displeased or unhappy, but angry. Maybe even furious. And you know that the usual customer service protocols of courtesy and apologizing don’t help in these red-alert situations.

The Customer Service Survival Kit by Richard S. Gallagher is the first book packed with specific, step-by-step communication tactics tailored to steer potential disasters into calm, mutually agreeable solutions. Drawing from procedures rooted in behavioral science and used by crisis counselors and hostage negotiators, Gallagher explains:

  • How to defuse anger by "leaning into" criticism

  • Which well-intentioned "trigger phrases" make a bad situation worse

  • The secret to making upset customers feel deeply heard

  • A simple divide-and-conquer approach to delivering bad news

  • What to say when a situation is your fault, and what to say when it isn’t

  • [More About This Book]   Mar-24-2013


    Inspired People Produce Results: How Great Leaders Use Passion, Purpose and Principles to Unlock Incredible Growth by Jeremy Kingsley

    Inspired People Produce Results reveals the secrets to leading in these times of great change. Author Jeremy Kingsley explains the essential principles and skills for effective leadership in the twenty-first century: passion, purpose, loyalty, humility, patience, integrity, strong communication skills, establishing a safe working environment, and a commitment to giving personal attention to each team member.

    Inspiring your people is the key to unlocking your staff's potential. It's the ingredient that enables you to lead your team to unprecedented success. Your ability to inspire makes you more than a manager, it makes you a leader.
    [More About This Book]   Mar-17-2013


    Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business by Harley Manning, Kerry Bodine

    In an age when customers have access to vast amounts of data about your company and its competitors, customer experience is the only sustainable source of competitive advantage. But how to excel at it?

    Based on fourteen years of research by the customer experience leaders at Forrester Research, Outside In offers a complete roadmap to attaining the experience advantage. It starts with the concept of the Customer Experience Ecosystem -- proof that the roots of customer experience problems lie not just with customer-facing employees like your sales staff, but with behind-the-scenes employees like accountants, lawyers, and programmers, as well as the policies, processes, and technologies that all your employees use every day. Identifying and solving these problems has the potential to dramatically increase sales and decrease costs.
    [More About This Book]   Mar-10-2013


    Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours by Robert Pozen

    In Extreme Productivity, Pozen reveals the secrets to workplace productivity and high performance. His book is for anyone feeling overwhelmed by an existing workload—facing myriad competing demands and multiple time-sensitive projects. Offering antidotes to a calendar full of boring meetings and a backlog of e-mails, Extreme Productivity explains how to determine your highest priorities and match them with how you actually spend your time.

    Pozen shows that in order to be truly productive, professionals must make a critical shift in their mind-set: from hours worked to results produced. He helps people at all stages of their careers read, write, and make presentations quicker and more effectively. He provides professionals with practical tips on how to efficiently use their time in the office—while leading full and productive personal lives as well.
    [More About This Book]   Mar-03-2013


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