INSPIRE! A book review by Bib Morris

Inspire!: Why Customers Come Back
Jim Champy
Financial Times Press/Pearson (2009)

Those who read Champy’s previous book, OUTSMART!, know that in it he drew metaphorically from of Charles Darwin’s observations, “Species always breed beyond available resources,” “Those species with favorable variations have a greater chance of survival and pass on their variations to their offspring,” and “Adapted species force out weaker ones, producing whole new species.” These observations help us to understand the strategies of successful, fast-growing organizations. INSPIRE! picks up where OUTSMART! leaves off, showing how these kinds of organizations have been able to increase their market share.” In it he explains why customers come back to businesses that know how to deliver on their promises. “That is why the next book in the series will focus on how companies achieve true operational excellence. Like OUTSMART! and INSPIRE!, it will have a simple, direct title: DELIVER! That’s because delivering is what every successful business does every day, in good times and bad.” Obviously, Champy agrees with Thomas Edison’s observation, “Vision without execution is hallucination.”

What will inspire customers to become “evangelists”? Champy suggests eight factors and devotes a separate chapter to each. Here are the first three:

1. Engage customers with a cause that will enable them “to identify with your mission and will happily pray a premium for the emotional connection they get from supporting it.”

2. “An engagement strategy of convenience requires a deep understanding of how your product or service will fill a customer need. And what works for one group of customers might not work for another.”

3. “Most companies don’t [but should] give enough thought to their market channels and channel partners, and how those partners can enhance a customer experience.”

In the final chapter, for example, “What Could Be More Inspiring than the Melding of Cool and Sport?” six rules are provided and then briefly discussed: (1) Build on your past, (2) Don’t try to go head-to-head with entrenched market leaders, (3) Use outsiders to challenge insiders, (4) Follow a well-marked highway but also test side roads now, (5) If you’re the underdog play it up, and (6) Keep your edge authentic. Comparable rules are also provided near the conclusion each of the previous seven chapters. This reader-friendly device will facilitate, indeed accelerate review of key points later

Note: DELIVER! swill be published by Financial Times Press/Pearson in October, 2011.

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1 Comment

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