REVIEW: Brad Cleveland — Leading the Customer Experience (BOOK)

Modern day business and the industry sector as a whole have seen a considerable, seismic shift not just in terms of continued, technological innovation but also in terms of fundamentalist ideals. For maybe the first time ever, ethics and success aren’t bad words when in the company of each other. If anything, with the rise of social movements like #TimesUp, the MeToo movement, advocacy for equal pay, and the rise of the Inclusion Rider initiative, the corporate jungle is having to rethink its traditionalist ways. Now, according to several experts in the fields of commercial analysis, such new and improved methodologies aren’t just a moral incentive for the sake of the employee — they’re also strategic for the long-term success of the company itself. Such generous thinking applied to the corporate model has influenced companies to think in especially empathetic terms on behalf of the consumer.


One of the proponents of this considerable paradigm shift is Brad Cleveland, complete with the release of his new book entitled Leading the Customer Experience: How to Chart a Course and Deliver Outstanding Results. “I’ve had a number of leaders tell me their approach has evolved,” he recounts within its pages. “In their earlier days of customer experience, many would sound an alarm: ‘Hey, look at this voice of customer data. Look at all the ways we are failing them.’ That’s understandable. As you listen to customers and begin identifying improvement opportunities, you’ll be eager to jump in and begin fixing things…The problem is, guilt and the stick (versus the carrot) rarely motivate others for long.” He highlights several basic steps to counter this process with distinctive post-modernity.

The first? Create customer personas. In effect, creating hypothetical, empathy-based models of your select customer base. Next, identify christened ‘touchpoints’, or in other words — keywords complimenting the specificities of the norms of your specific, customer base. The third part of this process is also one of the most obvious — titled Identify needs and expectations. Seems simple enough. Then, finally, identify ‘pain points’. In other words, the opposite of the so-called ‘touchpoint’ factors. Part of what makes the read not only so informative but even that word fun is how comprehensible and simply presented everything is. Cleveland cuts through the proverbial obtuseness of typical leadership advice guides and does the timelessly effective task of just telling you like it is.


The result is a win-win for everyone. Such an approach elevates Cleveland’s literary accomplishment, making Leading the Customer Experience: How to Chart a Course and Deliver Outstanding Results stand out in the nonfiction categorical seas. For the reader, it makes dense and heavy concepts accessible for the widest possible audience. It’s a generous move, and complimentary of the bigger trend at play here. For once — industry and humility, again, aren’t bad words in the company of one another.

Colin Jordan


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Colin Jordan

Colin Jordan


Graduate: McNeese State University, Avid Beekeeper, Deep Sea Diver & Fisherman, Horrible Golfer