A Customer Syllabus

Stride for stride with Forrester, others have been doing excellent work describing the emergence of the empowered customer. Here's a very short list of notables:

1) Gavin Newsom, the Lieutenant Governor of California,  describes how empowered customers (citizens in this context) will change society when they flex their newfound muscles in the political arena. Citizenville shows how the populace's power will not be restricted to the commercial world.

2) Jim Blasingame has written a prescient book describing how the age of the customer will impact small businesses and what they should be doing to prepare for those changes. Here's a great quote from Jim:  "It's okay to fall in love with what you do, but it's not okay to fall in love with how you do it."

3) It's not out yet, but Harley Manning at Forrester is reading a draft of the book, "Service Fanatics:  How to Build Superior Patient Experience the Cleveland Clinic Way" by Dr. James Merlino. Merlino is the Chief Experience Officer at the Clinic and Harley thinks that his book will be the guide to how empowered patients will change medical care. It should hit Amazon by the end of the year.

4) Conventional wisdom suggests that companies will deploy big data to control their customers. But if you think about it, customers exert much of their their power through big data -- it's a potent signaling system for what people want. There's a lot of fog in the market on the topic, but Gene Leganza at Forrester thinks that the book "Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think" gives the clearest picture of how more information will amplify customer power.

I've probably missed many other great sources -- comment back with your recommendations.


Empowered Patients

Really interested to see the recommendations coming out of Manning's "Superior Patient Experience" book. Healthcare is so ripe for innovation in experience management that administrators and project managers should be clamoring for a good step-by-step guide to improving their patient satisfaction.

Customer Experience is relevant EVERYWHERE

The first example shows just how all-encompassing customer experience really is -- it's all around, in all industries, in all market sizes, and in our basic lives.

We are experiencing it everywhere

I have multiple examples of customer empowerment in the digital change but my recent experiences with Uber stands out as a huge win.

With services like Uber, customer is in control on the both sides. Traditionally you were totally dependent on non transparency of taxi services. Today with services like Uber:
1) Customer gets the service and and when needed with ability to track, know who that person is and the ratings.
2) Choice to choose between different services on the fly.
3) Ability to rate the driver and service. Driver's are always under huge pressure to keep their ratings up as there is a Uber limit. All this leads to good service, happy customer.
4) A consumer can cancel the service anytime they desire
5) The icing on the cake is that the cost is cheaper than a normal taxi. e.g. From Boston Seafront to downtown a taxi charged me $27 and Uber costed me $12 while coming back (no traffic both times). From SFO to my home a Taxi charged me $177 and last time I took Uber it costed me $87.
6) You get more perks with more rides and more stars
All this leads to customer empowerment.

On the other side if you see the Uber drivers they are also a different type of Uber customer. They are empowered to:
1) Rate the customer back
2) Get more rides in the area they are, more efficiency
3) etc.

Other than Uber the other great customer empowerment examples are the airline apps. While walking to the terminal you can change the seat, upgrade and much more. While you are in the airplane you can access all those movies on your ipad instead of watching on the airline monitors. All saves time, brings efficiency and empowers the customer.