A Diamond in the rough: Over a 100 specific tips to build a strong customer culture – Steven Van Belleghem

What is the big idea?

Quite a few companies do want to, but they can’t. They include customer focus as one of the cornerstones of their strategy, but they do not succeed in creating a customer experience that makes a difference.

In this book, Van Belleghem discusses why that is. And what you can do about it.

Unlike his previous management books – which are mainly about strategy and vision – ‘A diamond in the rough’ is much more practically oriented.

He hinges his insights on the image of a diamond in the rough. And how to turn it into a brilliant jewel. That goes in two steps.
You start by turning it into a bright diamond. That way you make sure everyone in the organisation knows what you mean by ‘customer centricity’ and also that everyone believes you are serious about it.
In a second move, you turn it into a polished diamond: your customers see and feel the difference. You prove your loyalty to your customers, you build a customer centric culture, and you let technology help you do that.
Another chapter follows on the challenges of customer centricity in ‘the never normal’ – written by Peter Hinssen.


Why should you read it?

Van Belleghem is a storyteller. And this book, too, is filled with anecdotes, big and small. As a customer experience leader, you can gratefully refer to them to illustrate an idea. That ‘sticks’ well.

But he also puts his finger on a sore spot several times. 

Technology may not turn out to be the shortcut to a great customer experience after all – contrary to what many thought. Perhaps there are still quite a few board members who hope that investing in technology will lead to a great customer experience.
And speaking of one of my pet peeves, ‘A bad process will beat a good person every time’. Make sure your processes support your customer centric strategy – not work against it.

Van Belleghem launches the concept of ‘effective empathy’. That means making sure a process exists to score with a customer at the moment he hopes for an empathetic response.

At the end of each chapter, he lists concrete customer experience tips. In it, the experienced CX professional will find confirmation of what he already knows, but also food for thought.

Written by Horst Remes Customer Strategy Expert @ Onestone