Outside In has a simple message: You need customers more than they need you

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Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business

Outside In is a book by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine of Forrester Research. Harley and Kerry are following in the pioneering footsteps of Forrester’s Josh Bernoff. Josh wrote Groundswell (with Charlene Li) and Empowered.

The book provides a roadmap for creating a focus on customer experience. I’d highly recommend picking it up and sharing the book with your CEO.

Here’s my review with key takeaways:

outside in book review

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here’s a YouTube video with Harley Manning talking about Office Depot. Of the 80+ stories in the book, this one is hands-down my favorite. The book begins and ends with it. Harley touches on the “Undercover Boss” aspect in the video, but here are the details. President Kevin Peters sits incognito in an Office Depot parking lot in New Jersey. He notices an employee standing just outside the door smoking. After watching customers leave empty handed through a cloud of smoke, Kevin can’t take it. He decides to blow his cover, walking inside to find the manager. He looks for the picture of the manager on the wall. Guess who? It’s our smoker. The book ends with Kevin Peters and Office Depot. Kevin and his team decided to give the store manager in New Jersey a second chance. A wise choice, the store eventually became on the top-ten stores in the nation for customer service. More importantly, the comparable store sales were positive for a 12-month period.

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