Book summary Customer Obsessed - Eric Berridge

Customer Obsessed - Eric Berridge

Discover the information needed to create exceptional experiences for customers in all departments of your company.

Good ideas fail all the time. At the end of each year, those educated in technology draw up lists of failed inventions and companies, pointing out the hidden danger and mistakes made. This practice has its roots in the pleasure of other people's problems.

Excellent products and services are the sum of many failures, each carefully researched to select what is good, and to throw away what is ineffective or harmful.

Take, for example, the iPhone. When it launched, it was - and still is - a huge success, a real game changer in mobile technology. But Apple didn't start with the iPhone; It all started with the Apple Newton.

The Newton was a part of the “Palm Pilot” market and launched with huge fanfare - portable, mobile, new user interface, celebrity CEO, high expectations - and yet, Apple shut down less than a year after its launch.

Wired magazine called it “prophetic failure” and they were right. The Newton of the future heralded a new era of technical innovation. It didn't fail because it was a bad idea - it failed because it missed the target in three main areas: data, design and culture.

Do you want to know why? So, let's go to the summary of the book “Customer Obsessed”, by Eric Berridge!

About the book “Customer Obsessed”

Launched in 2016, “Customer Obsessed” was written by Eric Berridge and examines the customer experience through the lens of the Cloud to offer you a cutting-edge handbook for the customer experience.

This book guides you through key customer success factors to help you optimize your approach and leverage the future of global technology.

Who is Eric Berridge?

Eric Berridge is co-founder and CEO of Bluewolf, a global Cloud consulting agency. He holds an MBA in Corporate Finance from New York University and a BA in English from UC Berkeley.

With more than 20 years of experience, working with clients to improve business processes through corporate technology solutions, Berridge takes a team-based approach to solving problems and creating innovative solutions.

To whom is the book “Customer Obsessed” indicated?

The book “Customer Obsessed” is indispensable for all organizations that want to move their customers to an exceptional experience.

Author Eric Berridge shows how to transform your customer's experience and keep them engaged, as well as their employees, in your company.

Main lessons of the book “Customer Obsessed”

  • What are the elements that influence the customer experience;
  • The results of competitive advantage in the digital age;
  • Follow an orderly plan to improve the customer experience;
  • How to take advantage of the power of the Cloud to achieve customer success.

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[Book Summary] Customer Obsessed - Eric Berridge

How important is Data, Design and Culture?


Going back to the example of Apple's “Newton”, continuing from where we talked about why it was a failure. We had said that it failed because it missed the target in three main areas: data, design and culture.

Well, data was not Newton's strong point. According to the author Eric Berridge, it allowed the user to enter data, but it was static and connected to nothing - zero interaction with a larger network.


As explained in the book “Customer Obsessed”, while the "Newton" looked cool, there was nothing in the design to beat what consumers were already using. It was cheaper, faster and easier to use a $3 notebook.


We weren't ready for "Newton" - we didn't need it. We were barely using cell phones for 22 years. And when a culture doesn't need something or can't see its value, failure is imminent.

Compare Newton with a product like Uber. Uber achieved success because it offers possibilities that Newton could not - transmit data; simple and intuitive design; and culture ready to adopt a ride-sharing service that saves time and offers a better experience.

Uber's strategy is to achieve these four business results: acquisition, expansion, cost reduction and retention.

What is the best customer experience?

Today, customer engagement has changed. Customers don't just accept what they receive, they arrive with the expectation that the brand - the supplier - knows what it wants before it arrives.

Paul Papas, head of IBM iX, put it perfectly when he said:

The last best experience anyone has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want anywhere.

The “Customer Obsessed” book shows that companies need to master customer engagement to become the ultimate best experience. Customer engagement is defined by making every moment of the customer count, regardless of who is delivering it.

And to make every moment count, we need to know who our customers are, where they are, what they are experiencing and what they like and need. In addition, we need to act on that information and be correct most of the time.

This is not as difficult as it may seem. One of the biggest changes we've seen in the past five years is the customer's willingness to reveal personal information, in an effort to receive better service.

The challenge comes from the fact that the consumer and the customer are moving faster than suppliers can react. That's why startups are often successful against established brands.

Startups have the ability to quickly leverage the network effect of our connected world to overcome basic services and expose almost all established businesses to one threat or another.

What do customers really want?

There are many answers, but after a six-year global effort in 150 countries, Jim Clifton, president and CEO of Gallup and author of "The Coming Jobs War", managed to reduce it to one: what the world wants is good work.

This seems ridiculously trivial until you analyze the sentence. The keyword is good.

To succeed in obsessing and engaging the customer, companies need to find, hire and retain people who will be involved in the organization and, most importantly, with the customer, regardless of whether the customer or the interaction specifically fits their job description.

The author Eric Berridge says that engaged and customer-focused employees, at all levels, are necessary for a company to become obsessed with the customer and experience the success that invariably follows.

What are the principles for engaged and customer-focused companies?

According to the book “Customer Obsessed”, there are some rules that can ensure that you reach and maintain an organization truly obsessed with the customer.

The first is to listen to the customer. To do this, do not listen to the customer with an agenda in mind or the opportunity to put one or two of your own ideas or make a sale.

Instead, you must listen to what the customer is actually saying at that moment; what it means, what it can mean and what it clearly does not mean.

Eric Berridge explains that it means listening to the customer and taking appropriate action based on what the customer said or not. If you really listen, you will find out.

Here are some other rules that will help establish a customer-obsessed organization:

  • Nobody owns the customer, but someone always owns the moment: enjoy each of these moments before someone else does. Everyone in the company must act as if they own the customer and feel empowered to take advantage of each moment expressly with the aim of offering excellent customer service;
  • Find your balance: this is about you and your organization. You need to define what your company is and what it means for each customer. Unfortunately, for some customers, your organization may not mean much. This may be the most important thing you can hear. Register, look for more information and then take action;
  • Involve your people to the fullest: they want to engage and contribute in ways you can't even imagine. Your team produces the multiplier effect, the additional profitable production resulting from your team's efforts. The more you involve your team, the more you can stimulate the multiplier effect;
  • Touch human emotion: done right, at the right time, it is the most powerful tool you have. Automation is great, but it knows limits and restrictions;
  • Be constantly alert to new and existing competition: continually explore the role of technology. It will be interesting to see, as of the time of writing, what new emerging opportunities arise from the Internet of Things, cognitive computing and virtual reality.

How to develop a social culture?

Tip 1: Know your team 

Start by establishing a baseline where your team is now:

  • How active they are on the main social networks;
  • How much they understand about building your personal brand via the social network and what they feel about it;
  • What prevents them from becoming more involved in social media.

The author Eric Berridge clarifies in his book “Customer Obsessed” that once you understand these fundamentals, you will have a solid foundation to start implementing a platform / program that leverages social media to engage your employees with your customers and with each other.

Tip 2: Use “enlightened self-interest”

In other words, use behavior based on the awareness that what is in the public interest is eventually in the interest of all individuals and groups.

With that in mind, be sure to reinforce the personal value to them of things that also meet the needs of the organization, such as:

  • Greater visibility for those looking for talent and for future employers;
  • Greater consideration from your coworkers and managers based on insightful or helpful comments;
  • Better visibility for the company's customers;
  • Greater recognition of your talents from all of the above and who else comes across you online.

Tip 3: Use the old self-interest

If you were reading Tip 2 and thinking that it wouldn't work for many people, you're probably right. Not everyone is motivated by long-term benefits, let alone the greater good of the company.

If being praised as an industry expert has no fascination, you may need to resort to instant gratification.

For many organizations, social media engagement with gamification can be a very effective tactic, as it can inspire people to take action, even those who might otherwise have zero interest in participating.

So, how do you create an engaging and fun user experience around your social enterprise deployment?

One way is to make technology serve people, not the other way around. This is doubly true in the field of social media, which many companies are using to connect globally dispersed workforces and customers.

This seems ridiculously apparent, but since the beginning of the PC era, people have been conditioned to serve the technology.

Author Eric Berridge advises taking the opportunity to implement a social business strategy to break this valuable accessory from the past.

Other books about customer success

The book “Smart Collaboration”, by Heidi K. Gardner, highlights the importance of cultivating intelligent collaboration with your employees. Thus, there is a team formed by great professionals aligned in order to expand their horizons, innovate, work as a team and win customer loyalty.

The author of “Digital Business”, Alan Pakes, says that sales are the pillars that support any business. Therefore, you must also focus on winning over your customer and show that you have the right solution for them, guiding them towards the sale of your product.

Author Mitch Anthony, in his work “Selling with Emotional Intelligence”, says that many negotiators make the mistake of trying to reach the best deal by thinking only of their side. They fail to consider the long-term impact that the business can have on the customer relationship.

Okay, but how can I get customer success in my business?

What can you do for your business now to move forward? How do you keep your finger on the pulse of innovation?

As a leader, remember to create what the “Customer Obsessed” book calls “flattened transparency” with your technology. All your company's critical metrics must be accessible via a simple dashboard, over the phone, from anywhere in the world.

You should be able to access the Cloud and see relevant details about each customer. You must be aware of their feelings; know how they found your brand and what they need to stay involved.

The same goes for your employees. Building this "flattened transparency" will help to legitimize your decision making and make you more relevant and in touch as a leader. This will allow you to get involved in the customer's battlefield and gain enormous practical respect from your team.

  • Start by creating a model and placing an analysis engine behind it, which can inform you when you have situations or opportunities with your customers;
  • Take all of these data points and touch points and come up with a model that will tell you what is really going on with your customers;
  • Reduce data for specific customer moments; design systems to take advantage of these moments; and allow the cultures of your employees, partners and customers to engage with you for each one;
  • Create your contact points in a beautiful and simple way, so that your organization's greatest assets - people and knowledge - can come together to provide a constant flow of extraordinary customer moments.

According to the author Eric Berridge, that's how you innovate and achieve a future state of success, while the rest of the world is still trying to figure out what it will be like!

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Book 'Customer Obsessed' - Eric Berridge

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