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Book review: From Impressed to Obsessed by Jon Picoult


The latest edition of the Lexden CX Book Club features a panel critique of 'From Impressed to Obsessed: 12 principles for cultivating lifelong fans among customers and employees' by Jon Picoult.

20th Jul 2023

Lexden brought the CX Book Club back to life in early 2023, providing a platform for enthusiastic individuals to gather and dive deep into the realm of customer experience (CX) literature. 

Throughout the year, members delve into six carefully selected books and engage in remote discussions, author Q&As and captivating workshops. The club aims to equip individuals with the tools and insights needed to elevate their understanding of CX. As part of this initiative, we bring you an array of book reviews, offering a glimpse into the experiences and thoughts of our members.

From Impressed to Obsessed

Our first book in our 2023 collection is 'From Impressed to Obsessed: 12 principles for turning customers and employees into lifelong fans' by Jon Picoult. As Christopher Brooks, MD of Lexden CX Consultancy, puts it, "From the moment I opened this book, I knew I was going to get along with it." 

Picoult sets the stage by challenging the conventional notion that customer satisfaction is sufficient, igniting a desire for a higher standard of customer-centricity. With a wealth of firsthand experiences, the author guides readers along a transformative path, instilling confidence in pursuing this elevated approach to CX.

With a wealth of firsthand experiences, the author guides readers along a transformative path.

'From Impressed to Obsessed' is a compelling guide for businesses aspiring to create a customer-centric culture that goes beyond mere satisfaction. Jon Picoult presents 12 groundbreaking principles, rooted in psychology, that successful companies employ to transform prospects into loyal customers, and customers into passionate brand ambassadors. 

Drawing from a plethora of real-world examples including Zappos, Southwest Airlines, and Tesla, Jon illustrates how organizations have achieved customer and employee obsession. The book offers practical advice and actionable insights on cultivating a customer-centric mindset and fostering a culture that is truly obsessed with meeting the needs of customers and employees.

The value of CX

Christopher Brooks, Lexden, highlights the chapter on Economic Calculus as particularly impactful, as it underscores the myriad ways in which investing in customer centricity yields substantial returns. This section prompts readers to consider why more CX professionals don't define their value contribution earlier in budget discussions—a thought-provoking perspective that can reshape business strategies. The credibility of Picoult's principles is further bolstered by his willingness to share a lifetime's worth of experience, validating the effectiveness of the 12 principles he presents.

A universal framework for success 

Denise Pouliot, a representative from Comcast, commended Jon Picoult for his ability to present a comprehensive yet accessible framework. She described the book as a "solid, neatly wrapped, universal framework for any CX practice" that provides learnings for both newcomers and seasoned leaders in the business world. 

Shaun Cremins from Insight6 further emphasized the universal relevance of the principles, stating that business owners and leaders from all sectors would benefit from reading this book.

Engaging storytelling that enlightens 

Kseniia Aksenova, Manager of Customer Service at Pokemon International, was enamoured by Jon Picoult's storytelling prowess. She found the book to be "thoughtful, insightful, and fun to follow," allowing readers to reflect, play with concepts, and apply them in real-life scenarios. Kseniia particularly appreciated the focus on customers as fans, which resonated deeply with the nature of the Pokemon brand.

Christopher Brooks, Lexden, found it “an engaging , at times funny and always thought-provoking narrative too, laced with Jon's triumph and battle scars. His depth of CX knowledge is evident in the quality of the ideas and writing as well as the honesty of his learning through his career.”

The vivid narratives and examples provided by Jon Picoult left a lasting impression on the readers.

The vivid narratives and examples provided by Jon Picoult left a lasting impression on the readers, as noted by Kat Garbutt, Marketing Manager at Lexden. She praised the book for its captivating storytelling, remarking that it "etched itself into my consciousness" with its memorable examples that beautifully illustrated the author's points. The ability to weave narratives effectively enabled readers to grasp the significance of crafting unforgettable customer journeys.

Accessible and practical wisdom 

Steve Dale, Lexden, found Jon Picoult's book to be a refreshing departure from typical business literature. He appreciated the book's readability, concise content, and avoidance of excessive use of localised examples. Steve specifically highlighted the concept of "Peaks and Valleys" as an intriguing and useful approach to understanding the customer experience.

Denise Pouliot, Comcast, praised the book: “In conversational language and without fluff, the book is packed with case examples from famous brands to punctuate and drive home each concept – and each topic also includes a list of different practical application ideas.”

I was surprised to learn that creating exceptional CX goes far beyond simply satisfying customers and delivering good service.

Kat Garbutt, Lexden, added as a newcomer to the subject how the book opened her eyes: “I was surprised to learn that creating exceptional CX goes far beyond simply satisfying customers and delivering good service. It is a meticulously choreographed performance that takes a holistic view of the entire experience, carefully managing every peak and valley to extract the most out of emotional highs and skilfully navigate the lows. While I had some prior knowledge about incorporating simplicity and ease into experiences, Jon's chapters on these topics provided a deeper level of understanding. His use of examples and explanations added a newfound nuance to these principles, enhancing my appreciation for their significance.”

Putting principles into practice

The CX Book Club members had the exclusive opportunity to engage in a hands-on workshop with Jon Picoult, where they had the chance to apply his principles in a practical setting. Each member was assigned specific principles and collaboratively worked online to enhance the patient experience at a doctors' practice. The outcome was remarkable, as the shared Mural board brimmed with an array of ideas for improvements, drawing inspiration from the 12 Principles expounded in Picoult's book.

As Christopher Brooks attests, the workshop proved that these principles are “not platitudes or podium puff, but practical working tools that could drive out a better experience.” 

Summing up

In conclusion, for those yearning to enhance their customer experience practices, 'From Impressed to Obsessed' stands as an essential read. Jon Picoult's 12 principles offer a comprehensive blueprint for building a customer-centric business that transcends mere satisfaction, fostering customer and employee obsession. With its practical advice, engaging storytelling, and honest wisdom, this book equips individuals with the necessary tools to thrive in the world of CX, providing ideas that can be readily applied to real-world situations.

The CX Book Club doors are still open to people wanting to join in with the last CX books in our annual reading schedule.

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