Reading is an important part of Centric’s culture – we’ve found that learning from the experiences of others is one of the best ways to be inspired. Good books and insightful lessons are shared frequently within the Centric walls – whether that be through team emails, via Twitter or in personal conversations. So, we thought we’d take a moment and bottle up some of the great reads that have impacted our own lives and thought processes. Below are 13 books recommended from Centric’s leaders. Take a look and enjoy! And let us know if you have comments on these books or others to recommend. We’d love to hear from you.
Book #3: Read “I Love You More Than My Dog” and learn how to make good company decisions that build customer loyalty
By: Andy Park, Centric Cincinnati Practice Lead
People are bound by emotion in life and in work. We are all bound to the things we love, like a dog lover is bound by the limitless joy when reunited with their best friend, their pet’s caring nature, and constant outpouring of affection and devotion. That’s the premise for this book, “I Love You More Than My Dog: Five Decisions That Drive Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad” by Jeanne Bliss. But it gets better than that, even in the first paragraph of the introduction: “This book is about earning the right to have customers tell your story. When you make decisions that respect and honor your customers, you will earn their admiration; eventually even love. Then customers will begin to grow your business for you.”
This is inspirational to me. It speaks to relationship building with our clients, but more than that – it’s about doing it in a way that transcends traditional acquaintances and transactions. It is a personal experience.
Throughout the book, Jeanne taps into examples of how companies have made unusual, sometimes impractical, but very impactful decisions that are game changing in the way employees and customers engage in business. She ties that into a series of five key decisions that companies intent on building extreme customer loyalty have (and should) consider in their quest for implicit trust and admiration:
- Decision 1: Beloved Companies Decide To Believe – they believe in the good judgment of their people, they trust in the integrity of their customers, and in transparency with both. They believe in living the “half-full” mentality. They challenge their historical way of thinking, and are open to customer and employee ideas about how to make positive change a reality.
- Decision 2: Beloved Companies Decide With Clarity of Purpose – they believe in authenticity and consistency in pursuing a purpose for the greater good. The author talks about creating memories (moments of magic??) driven by imagination and by doing “the right thing.”
- Decision 3: Beloved Companies Decide To Be Real – they share humanity with their customers like experiences with kids, community service and hobbies. Customers know when someone is genuine, selfless, and has their best interest at heart. The messages are not “vanilla.” Much of this decision 3 topic deals with the underlying company culture, which really resonated with me as a Centric person for almost 11 years.
- Decision 4: Beloved Companies Decide To Be There – they work hard every day to earn their customer’s trust, in good times and bad. They seek to know their customers, delivering a continuity of experiences, not transactions, and they go over the top to inspire. I liked this quote: “The middle of the road is where the white line is, and that’s the worst place to drive” – Robert Frost.
- Decision 5: Beloved Companies Decide To Say Sorry – they know humility and take accountability for their actions. They are willing to step up to the plate and admit fault, quickly followed by solutions. Sincerity carries the day. I liked the Netflix blurb in this section; a very proactive apology, and very quick recovery.
While this is a very abbreviated synopsis, you get the gist. The company experiences / outcomes stories are really good! I remember growing up to the advice, “Never mix business and pleasure,” or even better, “never tell someone all that you know because they will have your job someday.” Times have changed. By some amazing fortune, I’ve found a company, people to work with, and clients to help that live for the types of experiences Centric is designed to bring…. because we choose to make the types of decisions Jeanne Bliss writes about. I’m looking forward to her next book!
I remember growing up with the advice, ‘Never mix business with pleasure,’ or even better, ‘never tell someone all that you know because they will have your job someday.’ Times have changed.