The CX Advantage: 5 Books For Leaders Driving Experience Transformation

Companies that are serious about winning know that customer experience is your competitive advantage.

The ones with the edge have learned how to integrate human-centered design, CX measurement, and journey orchestration into the fabric of the enterprise.

If you’re driving experience transformation or interested customer experience, these 5 books need to be on your [virtual] shelf:

1: Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business by Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine

This book highlights how a focus on customer experience and an outside-in perspective are the foundation of business success. In fact, CX is the most powerful element of corporate strategy. It offers a complete roadmap to achieve a customer experience advantage, including leveraging the power of design to drive deep customer insight and innovation.

Great customer experiences don’t happen by accident. They’re the result of countless deliberate decisions made by every single person in your customer experience ecosystem on a daily basis.”

2: Sense & Respond: How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden

This book focuses on the organizational and operational changes that need to happen to read and react to new customer behaviors, leverage real-time data, and transform the way the company interacts with customers to win in an environment of continuous change.

“Understanding the unexpressed and unmet needs of the people who are using our products, services, and technology is the key to unlocking value.”

3: Chief Customer Officer 2.0: How to build your customer-driven growth engine by Jeanne Bliss

This book provides a framework to build and operationalize a customer experience transformation. It’s filled with actionable insights and methods no matter where you’re starting from. From engaging the leadership team, simplifying how the organization works to achieve “customer-driven growth”, to proactive experience reliability, driving CX innovation, and connecting the work to a return on investment.

“We need leaders to care about operational performance in processes that impact priority moments in your customers’ journey with you. These are the intersection points that impact customer decisions to stay, leave, buy more, and recommend you to others.”

4: Customer-Driven Transformation: How being design-led helps companies get the right services to market by Joe Heapy, Oliver King, and James Samperi

This book will show you how to use design thinking and service design as a driver for organizational change. It lays out how to move from being tech or optimization-led to customer-inspired and vision-led with more experimentation and velocity. It’s filled with case studies and practical advice.

“This is a management approach that engages and excites teams, and recognizes that the right order in which to do things is to use customer insight to inform the service proposition, to design the customer experience from that, and finally to develop the capabilities needed to deliver it.”

5: The Center of Experience: A blueprint for creating the experience-led enterprise by Greg Kihlstrom

This book connects customer experience and employee experience into brand experience, providing a blueprint to build a center of excellence. It goes deep into brand, governance, culture, platform, measurement, and environment.

Experience is everything, and everything is experience…Not only is experience worth a lot to both employees and customers, both audiences consider experience to be a combination of everything they experience. This means that focusing on having a really good experience part of the time, or on a few channels isn’t enough…Companies that embrace CX and EX understand that the details matter, and that every moment helps make up an overall experience. The results speak for themselves. Companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by 147%…”



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Rachel Kobe

Rachel Kobe

I love shaping product cultures that connect people and make technology more human. SVP + Global Head of Design at Expedia Group. Prev. BofA, Amazon, + Samsung