PeopleShock: The Path to Profits when Customers Rule
By Tema Frank
Essential Views Publishing, 316 pages, $17.95 (USD)
In the age of automation, where fewer and fewer processes involve human intervention, people have become more important than ever. This is the main argument behind Tema Frank’s book, PeopleShock, which advocates leveraging the power of people as a strategy for remaining resilient in an era of technological advancement and rapid change.
PeopleShock outlines a paradigmatic shift in the world of business. Companies can no longer compete using traditional differentiators (price and quality), but instead need to differentiate their brand by providing stellar customer experiences. In this new world, where customer experience (CX) has become the competitive battlefield, Frank recommends offering convenient services, quick and fluid communications, as well as giving customers the love, recognition, and the genuine human interactions they crave. In a digital world, a personal touch delivers the magic powder that enhances the CX necessary for attracting and retaining customers – ultimately leading to profits.
PeopleShock delves deep into the mechanics of the corporate machine, identifying systemic problems that contribute to poor CX and highlighting opportunities for improvement. Frank investigates three focus areas: Promise, People, and Processes. The section on Promise highlights the importance of fulfilling customer expectations by delivering on the mission and values promised by a company’s brand. People looks into every person who touches, directly or indirectly, the customer experience (i.e. employees, customers, vendors), recommending ways to maximize their contribution to high-quality CX. Process outlines strategies for providing seamless omni-channel experiences, slashing organizational silos, integrating software systems, and gathering valuable metrics.
By far, Frank’s investigation of people power constitutes the main focus of the book. Calling employees “the linchpins of customer experience,” Frank drives home the idea that employees (particularly front-line employees) determine the success of a company. Employees who are engaged, challenged, and respected will be more productive, retain more customers, and will actively identify and remove the metaphorical wrenches from the corporate machine. Of course, fostering such a healthy, empowered employee culture requires commitment to positive change from the top down—and Frank offers strategies for implementing this change.
As a pioneer in CX (Frank founded the first company to ever test omni-channel customer service) and as a veteran marketer who has focused on publishing industry-leading research, Frank provides valuable insight for people at all organizational levels and across all industry verticals. In a new era of globalization and technological innovation, where revenue growth has become limp and sluggish, PeopleShock may provide the jumper cables for charging these organizations with the necessary power (people power) to help them remain strong and resilient throughout an era of rapid and continuous change.