Thursday, June 20, 2013

Brief Review of Extreme Trust by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers

Having just finished a book called Innovation Zeitgeist that suggests many people have the same idea at the same time, it should be no surprise to discover another pair of authors with similar ideas. In this case, the authors are the well known pair of Don Peppers and Martha Rogers who have written 10 books between them, primarily on the idea of one-to one-marketing, the concept that initially made their names famous.

The thesis of their book is that a high degree of customer trust, what they call "Extreme Trust" is a new requirement for success. The idea which is very similar to the notion of customer primacy or acting on behalf of the customer described in Innovation Zeitgeist shows very similar values for both books. Religions tend to have the rule: "Do unto others as you would, they would do unto you."  Both Extreme Trust and Innovation Zeitgeist share this core belief, whether you talk about it as a customer-centric perspective, an Outside-In perspective, or the role of a Chief Customer Officer/Chief Digital Officer.

Acting on behalf of the customer, Peppers and Rogers point out, is no longer optional in a world where bad behavior will get surfaced on social networks and via ratings. Practices that may be legal may not be adequate in a world where failing to meet customer expectations, gouging a customers or providing poor service is easily called out on Twitter, Facebook, rating sites and other social networks.

It's fascinating as an author to see how a different pair of writers, perhaps inspired by similar experiences, consulting projects, research data and observations can reach similar conclusions from different places and perspectives. I felt an immediate sense of intimacy with Extreme Trust, and admired the smoothly flowing writing and breadth of supporting research. In a subsequent phone conversation, Don and I hit it off immediately. It was a pleasure to meet an author whom I had followed since his first book.

All in all, I definitely recommend reading the book. Before or after Innovation Zeitgeist, it does not matter. The books have differences. Innovation Zeitgeist is more technology oriented, but the values, message and assessment of a digitized world have more in common than they have differently.

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