Customer experience is the main driver of future loyalty. Whatever customers experience, determines whether they will come back and purchase or book again. Or not. It also determines what they will share with others personally, on review sites, and via social media. Customers have much more faith in reviews from total strangers than what brands say about themselves (online and offline).

More than anything else, brand reputation determines the true value of brands. In that sense, experience has become the new battle eld. As a brand, you either choose to differentiate or you become a commodity. There’s not much in between. Differentiation and relevance have become key in every sector. With the growing impact of online shopping and booking, several industries are in jeopardy; and many legacy brands suffer, or have faded away because their approach and offerings simply were not relevant enough anymore.

People are the experience

What hasn’t changed is that, in almost every industry, people still play an important role. They (can) help bring the brand promise to life. In fact, in most cases, people are the experience. Whether you like it or not. Customer Experience is always personal, yet you can determine how you would like to be experienced (as a brand, as an organization, as a leader, as a co-worker, etc.).

Great brands start with a compelling purpose and an appealing attitude. That purpose and attitude can be translated into the stories you want your customers to share. In turn, they can also be translated into the experience customers would need to have in order to be able to share these fan stories. You can then de ne the (optimal) co-worker behavior and interaction. Subsequently you can also de ne the (optimal, stimulating) working climate/service and leadership that will facilitate and stimulate co- workers to portray the optimal behavior and interaction. I call this process Reverse Thinking & Engineering.

Reverse Thinking & Engineering Model - Extended by Andre Wiringa
Reverse Thinking & Engineering Model by Andre Wiringa

Reverse Novel – The End of Customer Satisfaction as we know it

To help you understand (and implement) Reverse Thinking & Engineering I wrote a short “Novel” about Josh Smith. Josh is a retailer who has a hard time coping with the impact of online shopping and the changing customer landscape. When he accompanies his wife Marcia on a business trip to London, he learns how some brands are more successful than others. Bread&Care is the brand that inspires him the most, and Josh starts to adapt several of the lessons he learns for his own bookstore. Josh’s team helps to drive a successful turn- around, which initially becomes an inspiring example for the whole shopping street, and later for many others.

Reverse The Novel

Reverse The Novel by Andre Wiringa - Chapter 2

Chapter 2 – The Reality

London, Thursday, July 8th The alarm on Josh’s phone was without mercy, and for good reason; it was already 8am. Josh had a busy sightseeing...
Reverse The Novel by Andre Wiringa - Chapter 3

Chapter 3 – The Expedition

London, Friday, July 9th The London retail experience had been very insightful and rewarding. Some stores had simply been amazing and some had been interesting....
Reverse The Novel by Andre Wiringa - Chapter 4

Chapter 4 – The Secret

London, Friday, July 9th Josh was glad that Marcia wouldn’t be back for a while. It wasn’t because he was talking to a very attractive...
Reverse The Novel by Andre Wiringa - Chapter 5

Chapter 5 – The Experience Blueprint

London, Saturday, July 10th It was the day of their departure. Marcia had one more morning full of meetings about new drugs, which were relevant...
Reverse The Novel by Andre Wiringa - Chapter 6

Chapter 6 – The Pow Wow

New York City, the following week Coming back to work didn’t quite go as Josh had expected. His excitement had dampened a bit when he...
Reverse The Novel by Andre Wiringa - Chapter 7

Chapter 7 – The Transformation

New York City, three weeks later What Josh didn’t know was that Martin had been working with the team on the ideas they had listed...
Reverse The Novel by Andre Wiringa - Chapter 8

Chapter 8 – The Sharing

New York City, three months later It was busy on the mezzanine. Several owners of retail stores around Books&More asked Josh to meet and explain...
Reverse The Novel by Andre Wiringa - Chapter 9

Chapter 9 – The Ignition

New York City, on a Tuesday evening in November Eleven retailers joined the expedition to Washington Square, and some brought a team leader or one...
Reverse The Novel by Andre Wiringa - Chapter 10

Chapter 10 – The End

New York City, almost Christmas Marcia had invited Josh to the Christmas event that Pharma, the company she worked for, was organizing. Some of Marcia’s...

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