Customer Insight is the magazine for managers who are interested in using customer insight (i.e. really understanding what their customers think) to improve business performance. Customer Insight Magazine is suitable for customer service, customer experience, marketing and market research professionals as well as Customer Insight Managers.

Category: Book Reviews

Predatory Thinking

Predatory Thinking

TLF kicked off its new book club with “Predatory Thinking”, at my suggestion. Distilled from Dave Trott’s distinctively punchy blog posts, this is a book about getting the edge on the competition whatever your walk of life. I’ve long been a fan of Trott’s ability to use stories to illustrate points he wants to make, as well as his style of writing. The rest of book cl...
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Black Box Thinking

Black Box Thinking

What could that be? The clue is that it’s something to do with ‘Growth Mentality’......... It’s also the title of Matthew Syed’s new book, just published in September 2015. Matthew is the only keynote speaker who has ever been invited back to TLF’s Customer Experience Conference because the first time round he was given the best ever audience satisfaction score...
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Race Against the Machine

Race Against the Machine

Based at the MIT Sloan School of Management, the authors are respectively Director and Associate Director at the MIT Centre for Digital Business. Both are experts on the rise of the digital economy with Brynjolfsson’s previous book titled ‘Wired for Innovation: How IT is Reshaping the Economy’. Interestingly, their original intention was to write a book about all the worldwide be...
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Running With the Kenyans

Running With the Kenyans

Last year I read “Running with The Kenyans” by journalist and runner Adharanand Finn. As an average club runner for 15 years doing middle to long distance road and off road races I, like Finn, was keen to grasp any little shred of insight that might help me to improve my times by maybe getting just 1% closer to running like a Kenyan. I also had a more academic interest. As a lifelong a...
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Thinking Fast & Slow

Thinking Fast & Slow

Over the last decade the popularity of the ‘discipline’ of behavioural economics (like all economics, I hesitate to call it a science), has steadily increased. One reason for this is the readability of its literature, based as it is on interesting behavioural experiments, all of which are like short stories -  good at entertaining readers and conference audiences alike. The fact t...
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Bounce

Bounce

‘Talent’ is one of those words that’s defined and interpreted in many different ways, so to start on a definite footing, here are the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) definitions for ‘talent’ and ‘talent management’: Talent consists of those individuals who can make a difference to organisational performance either through their imm...
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Designing With Data

Designing With Data

Review in a nutshellExcellent primer on the key principles of accurate and effective data presentation. Useful summary of the graphical toolkit available to designers. Lacks focus on the importance of getting the right data in the first place. IntroductionData visualisation (dataviz), information design, and infographics are a big trend at the moment. But how many of these "infographics" really a...
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Authenticity: What Customers Really Want

Authenticity: What Customers Really Want

There is growing evidence that today’s affluent customer in developed economies has become more interested in quality of life (doing things) than material wealth (owning things). All the way back to Maslow, studies have shown that once the basic needs of food and shelter are met, extra material wealth does not necessarily lead to greater happiness. Much research has demonstrated that experie...
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Drive: The suprising truth about what motivates us

Drive: The suprising truth about what motivates us

Motivating people "FORGET EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ABOUT MOTIVATING PEOPLE - AT WORK, AT SCHOOL, AT HOME. IT’S WRONG." These are the first words you will read on the inside front cover of the latest offering from Dan Pink, author of ‘A Whole New Mind’. Since managers striving to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty are constantly trying to motivate employees to keep...
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The future of competition: Co-creating unique value with customers

The future of competition: Co-creating unique value with customers

Both professors at Michigan Business School, Prahalad and Ramaswamy may have come up with a very prescient title for their book on co-creation. The book was published in 2004 but the authors actually introduced the concept four years earlier in their Harvard Business Review article ‘Co-opting customer competence’ 2. They are both very eminent in different fields. Ramaswamy is an expert...
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Risk: Risk The Science and politics of Fear, Dan Gardner

Risk: Risk The Science and politics of Fear, Dan Gardner

It could be argued that we live in unprecedented times. Our life expectancy has doubled even looking back only 100 years. We’re mostly healthier, we have access to more technology and for most of us, despite the current economic climate, we’re better off than countless previous generations. However, we seem to be living in a constant climate of fear if you pay attention to the media, a...
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Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

This book dissects customers’ decisionmaking processes particularly their buying behaviour. It provides fascinating insights into the subconscious mechanisms that we’re often unaware of, but which tend to exert a big influence on our decision-making. More importantly, the author, through his research, suggests why most of our decision-making appears to be not just irrational, but predi...
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Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

“Emotional Intelligence” sold more than five million copies worldwide. In his new book, Goleman draws on the new science of neuro-sociology to extend his concepts from a business context to the wider world of social relationships. Goleman describes social intelligence (SI) as the interpersonal part of EI and maintains that since most organisations function like a society, SI has fundam...
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The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig

The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig

The halo effect is a cognitive bias that affects our judgements. We tend to evaluate people positively across the board or negatively across the board, rather than judging them accurately in different areas. This is why we sometimes believe that rockstars have something interesting to say about climate change. The halo effect is also a feature of satisfaction measurement—customers or employ...
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Citizen Marketers: When people are the message

Citizen Marketers: When people are the message

“Citizen Marketers – When People Are The Message” is the second title from authors McConnell and Huba dealing with the phenomenon of citizen marketers, where ordinary consumers have a disproportionate impact on the fortunes of businesses, products and services. Although published in 2007, many organisations are still unsure of how to handle the whole ‘social media’ an...
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Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction

There’s certainly been a need for a book that addresses the ‘need-to-know’ areas of Customer Satisfaction Measurement for new and experienced managers alike. Many managers seem to inherit piecemeal Customer Satisfaction Measurement systems when they take on a new role, or just as commonly, they inherit no system at all! Whatever situation you find yourself in, it’s good to ...
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The 60 second leader

The 60 second leader

Phil seems to have cornered the market in small, excellent value, highly readable management books. The idea with this one is that there are simply far too many books on leadership and management; if you want to have any time left in which to lead, then you can't possibly read all of them. Phil's new book breaks leadership down into 30 key principles, tackling each one in its own short chapter. Th...
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The Together Company

The Together Company

Ray Robertson’s fundamental premise is that many organisations don’t get the best out of their people because they fail miserably when it comes to reward. They take the easy way out, giving people similar “fair” pay increases. They fail to explain how pay is decided, leaving many employees feeling it’s just based on their manager’s whim rather than their own per...
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Simply Better

Simply Better

All organisations claim that they want to improve customer satisfaction, but they also want to minimise costs. Few get this balance right, focusing on controlling or reducing costs whilst seeking ‘quick wins’ to improve customer satisfaction. According to Barwise and Meehan, the most successful organisations accept that improving customer satisfaction is a long haul not a quick fix, st...
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Seven Secrets of Inspired Leaders

Seven Secrets of Inspired Leaders

My English teacher used to say that poetry is condensed thought. According to the blurb on the back of the book this is “concentrated leadership juice” which, whilst a slightly disturbing phrase, is pretty accurate. The authors have crammed an immense number of valuable ideas (and real-world experiences) into a very readable format - I managed it in a return train journey to London. Ad...
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The Tipping point

The Tipping point

A “Tipping Point” is the moment at which something reaches a critical mass and grows astonishingly quickly. Normally what we’re talking about is social phenomena, and drawing the analogy from the behaviour of diseases they are often referred to as social epidemics. This is an enduring metaphor, as Gladwell points out there are three key similarities: Contagiousness Little cau...
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The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many should a chart be worth? A good one can summarise thousands of data points and highlight a causal relationship; poor ones can obscure a few simple numbers with meaningless “chartjunk”, adding nothing but confusion and irritation. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, one of Amazon’s books of the century, is essential read...
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