If customer experience matters so much, why do so many managers neglect it?

CMI last night urged managers to put more focus on customer experience, as it made Matt Watkinson’s The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experience CMI’s ‘Management Book of the Year’ for 2014.

The award, which is run in association with the British Library and sponsored by Henley Business School, is judged by a panel of the UK’s top business and management leaders. Matt Watkinson’s book, published by Pearson, won the Innovation and Entrepreneurship category before being chosen as overall award-winner.

Professor Chris Roebuck, leading British economist and CMI competition judge, explained why Matt’s book struck a chord: “This is a book everyone should read – customer-facing or not.  It addresses some of the key challenges managers are facing in 2014, like how to address costs without sacrificing customer experience.

“The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experience has huge relevance to the public sector too. If you look at the organisations with no historic DNA in terms of change management, who are being asked change at a very quick rate in 2014, without any funds - it’s those in the public sector. I would recommend this book, without hesitation, to managers in the public sector.”

Commenting on his success, winning author, Matt Watkinson, said: “This award is a fantastic endorsement of using principles to make decisions and of the principles themselves. It’s so gratifying to see that people are finding this approach useful. So often we determine customer experience through focus groups and surveys, whereas using principles is faster, easier, and more likely to be right.”

“If you only take three tips from my book to help put the customer at the centre of your organisation, they should be:

  • Expectations – think about what expectations you’re setting in customers
  • Effort – be effortless to deal with
  • Experience – consider all areas of experience, including social and sensory”

 Ann Francke, chief executive of CMI, which runs the competition, said:

“Given the wealth of management books out there, it’s tough for managers, leaders and entrepreneurs to find the best one to help them make a success of their business or their career. The idea behind the CMI Management Book of the Year is to uncover those nuggets of ‘Management Gold’ that will really make a difference. No organisation will succeed if its managers aren’t focused on their customers so if you want to grow in 2014, read Matt Watkinson’s The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences.”

Phil Spence, Chief Operating Officer of the British Library, which supports the competition, said:

“The British Library is committed to supporting managers, through free access to our extensive management collections in the reading rooms in London and Yorkshire and online through our Management and Business Studies Portal, which contains the latest management research, and through priced Document Supply Services. The CMI Management Book of the Year competition celebrates the very best management writing, and we’re thrilled to be involved again this year to support this important area of publishing.”

The Management Book of the Year category winners were announced as follows:

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship:
    The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences by Matt Watkinson
    Published by Pearson
  • Practical Manager:
    Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath
    Published by Random House
  • The New Manager:
    Winning without Losing by Martin Bjergegaard and Jordan Milne
    Published by Profile
  • The Commuter's Read:
    The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
    Published by Hodder & Stoughton – Sceptre
  • Management and Leadership Textbook:
    International Management  by Elizabeth Christopher
    Published by Kogan Page