“Is your customer experience making you money?”  Instinctively, business leaders know that customer experience matters because it drives performance.  Companies are increasingly recognizing the need to integrate a deeper understanding of their customer throughout the organization.  Customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics are becoming a major element of executive dashboards.  However, few leaders know how to implement company-wide actions that will generate the promised financial returns.

In the book, “Domino”, Linda Ireland set out to help businesses execute on this concept, through daily decisions and actions.  She sees the link between the action of solving a problem well for the right target customer and financial performance.  In a chain reaction of events, the front domino is the customer’s ideal experience which drives all the dominos in the chain, or operating actions, to finally arrive at the back domino of profit.

Ireland defines the often discussed customer experience in actionable terms; it is what happens and how customers feel as they:

  • Realize a need
  • Learn about their options to solve the need
  • Try out options
  • Buy
  • Solve their problem, and
  • Evolve to another need over time

For your company’s target customer, the triggering need of the experience is that problem or desire you seek to solve better than anyone else can.  In Ireland’s words, “to drive performance reward, what you solve is more important than what you sell”.  She emphasizes this idea over and over again, reminding the reader that everything – your entire operating strategy – starts here. 

Creating a measurable performance reward requires two steps:

  • First, setting direction or defining a target customer experience.  Understand your business from your customer’s point of view.
  • Second, what you must do or using that target customer experience for daily decision making. Align your actions with what your customers’ value in order to solve their problem.

These are very simple and yet very large steps to take.  This book is a “how-to” blue-print for finding that performance reward by walking us through these steps.  Each chapter includes actionable definitions to help diagnose performance implications for your company. There are questions, tools, and exercises designed to clearly define how to achieve your specific target customer experience.  She explains not only what to do, but how to measure performance metrics as you begin to adjust daily decisions within your organization.

Linda Ireland’s book is a good reminder that the entire organization needs to be in alignment with what bank customers’ value (and will pay you for).  Our research at at Prime Performance shows, bank customers list service above rates or products as the reason they choose one bank over another.  Bank leaders that appropriately define the target customer experience, consider the target customer experience in daily decision making, and establish metrics to measure performance will see this positive “domino” effect in action. 

For more insight into the correlation between customer experience and profitability, click here.