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A La Carte Customer
How to Create and Maintain the Ultimate Customer Relationship
Why don't companies simply give the customers what they want? They can't.
The marketplace is changing in ways that marketers have a limited ability to see and react to. Major, established corporations are blinded by their current success, the current paradigms they operate within, and by the reality that they can't learn and change fast enough. These monolithic corporations are paralyzed by existing business models that have served them well. The status quo is the enemy of reinvention and innovation, not the driving force for change. This book is written for entrepreneurs and major corporations who want to thrive in new everchanging economy.
This book poses the critical question, “Is it all about your company—the product or service provider—or all about your customer? If it’s all about your company, watch out! Someone will come along who is better focused on your customer and take market share from you. How can a company tell there's an underlying problem? There’s an enthusiasm gap between what is offered and what customers really want and expect from a company. This enthusiasm gap undermines the relationship—it is a source of friction and discontent in the relationship.
Exceptions undermine efficiency and erode profit. To simplify “complexity,” companies offer their customers “packaged products” and “packaged services” to overcome their inability to allow customers to specify goods and services based on their preferences, or, they endlessly take orders that are for configurations “just like this, but, _____” and end up making no money on the order as they attempt to figure what it takes to make just something “just like that but….”
This book is about how business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) relationships are best served by giving the customer “choice.” 21st century customers aren’t content with “one-size-fits-all” offers—they want what they want. Bundles are out; customer choice is in. Companies in product and services industries that embrace this philosophy will thrive; those that don’t risk becoming irrelevant.
As more and more entrepreneurs seek ways of connecting with the marketplace and established corporations look for ways to increase their relevancy in the marketplace, they want to learn about how best to connect with the market opportunity that lies in front of them. The a la carte customerTM movement can be the impetus for jobs all over the world. It can even bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.A. from overseas.
Companies that either manufacturer products or offer services that are seeking to better connect with B2B and/or B2C customers will buy this book. It will open executives’ eyes to what has probably been the elephant in room for many, many years. It is not necessary that “products” be customized; the way in which commodity products are delivered and/or packaged can be part of the product differentiation. This book will help illustrate this as well as show companies how this can set themselves apart from their competition.
Why this book?
There are a number of books written by academics on the subject of mass customization and personalization that, frankly, have sold poorly. Why? These books are written by academics for academics and are simply not pragmatic enough to be suitable for the business community.