I’m getting ready to head off on my family summer vacation. Every year we go to a little cabin on a lake and hang out. I load up a stack of books I’ve been meaning to dig into, but never find the time or the ability to concentrate without distractions. Most of the books tend to be fiction. After all, isn’t vacation a time to unwind and forget about the professional side of our lives. It is, but for me, it’s also a time for me to stop all the noise and think. We don’t give ourselves enough time just to think and I know some of my best ideas have come from sitting on a screen porch, sipping a beer and watching a beautiful sunset. What about you? What’s on your reading list? What are you thinking about? What will keep your mind off politics?
Here is a list of articles, reports and books I ‘ve found particular informative, thought provoking and which provide insight that I can bring to bear on broad world of customer experience and digital transformation. Let me know if you agree with some of my selections, if I’ve missed any you think I should look at or simply if you want to comment.
The Mobile Mind Shift: Engineer Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment by Ted Schadler, Josh Bernoff and Julie Ask, from Forrester Research. In the last decade, every year was going to be the year of mobile. Finally, it arrived, but now that it’s here, what is it really and what does it mean for the way we communicate. I’d argue that the book isn’t really about mobile at all, but is about context. Customer experience takes place within a context. That context is a combination of who, what, where, when, how and why. Mobile has been thought of mostly in the sense of where and how. But in The Mobile Mind Shift, you start to see how the world is quickly transcending the where and how and is becoming more about the why.
Your Three Second Window: Changing Everyday Moments Into Extraordinary Opportunities for Success, by Darby Roach. In full disclosure, I have known Darby for over 15 years. When I met him, he was a creative director. Prior to that he taught at the Rhode Island School of Design. And he’s a novelist, a featured contributor to Huffington Post and spent a couple of years bicycling around the world on his own. Darby’s premise is that first impressions are more than skin deep. There are very profound activities going on in the brain, which can be tracked and understood by science to help us understand why we like something and dislike something else.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnemann. What does a Nobel prize winning economist have to do with customer experience? Not unlike Darby Roach above, Daniel Kahnemann looks at how we think and the way we solve problems and make decisions. This should be a core text for anyone studying customer experience. Yes, it is intellectually hefty, but it is also a riveting read.
These are all great books, but I will understand if not all of us add five hundred page hardcovers about how the mind works in our beach bags. For those of you who don’t have the time or inclination to read whole books relating to CX this summer, here’s a selection of articles and reports that I think you will find fascinating and give you something to think about when you get back to the office.
When Harvard Business Review tackled customer experience as business phenomena, they came to the following conclusion, “organizations able to skillfully manage the entire experience reap enormous rewards.” Take a peak to learn The Truth About Customer Experience, by Alex Rawson, Ewan Duncan and Conor Jones.
I hold the title, Chief Marketing Technologist at Tahzoo. I live at the intersection of marketing and technology, both applied to changing the way people and brands engage through customer experience. The term was coined by Scott Brinker in a great Harvard Business Review article aptly named, The Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist. In the article, Scott, outlines what the role is, how it has emerged and why it’s critical for companies who want to succeed in the digital world of constant disruption.
While I don’t usually plug something produced by one of Tahzoo’s competitors, I have to make an exception for a great thought leadership piece Accenture Interactive commissioned Forrester Research to produce. It makes one of the strongest cases I’ve seen for why companies need to invest in digital transformation and why customer experience is so important in the age of the customer. Even if you just scan some of the charts, you will find the level of detail that make the case for digital transformation enlightening, Digital Transformation In The Age Of The Customer.
And finally, I want to point out a new blog published by our CEO, Brad Heidemann. Now before any you shrug and say, not another CEO blog, I challenge you to check out Lets Go Be Great. Brad writes all of the articles himself and addresses topics as wide ranging as “It’s not all digital marketing,” to an examination of one of the most profound shifts in society, that we’re just beginning to understand, the emergence of the experience economy.
Well, it’s time to pack the sunscreen, buy a case of beer and head to the lake. Whatever you are doing this summer, enjoy it, relax and recharge your engines for the next roller coaster ride we call customer experience.