272 pages written in English // Paperback and ebook formats available from your favourite book store
Forewords:I rushed to the hospital with my wife as I finished this book manuscript. She was about to give birth to our second daughter, and the future will be even more exciting (and tiring) than the past few years. Parenting is a splendid adventure in which I learned a lot about myself. I had fears and doubts I had never experienced before, yet my family is my most fulfilling achievement (although my wife did all the hard work, really).
On another scale, writing this book was no small matter. The Telcolingo Project has been a five-year endeavour filled with many doubts, and to be honest, I am delighted to close the project with this book. Shortly after inception, I realised how much knowledge and real-life examples I gathered with the AI data routines I created. What we learned through the lens of the telecom industry had to be widely shared so that any subject-matter expert from whatever sector could adapt it to their business line.
AI is an impactful technology. The learning process has been steep but most satisfying, and if I managed it without frictions, anyone can. Yet, this book is not just about how to use data tech to source and catalog the voice of your customer. It is not just about how to decipher the root causes of customer discontent that make you better or worse than your competitors. It is, above all, my activist contribution to raising awareness that customer affinity matters more than ever.
The world we live in is highly polarised and scarred by the pandemic. Consumer behaviour has changed, and businesses face a new reality that I described as a wake-up call to the best of my ability. All evidence gathered points to companies failing if they do not pro-actively self-assess their customer affinity.
I would very much enjoy hearing from people what works for them and what does not. I hope you find much value in these pages and commit to creating your own recipe to bulletproof your business, or at the very least, to shoulder your beliefs as data practitioners.
What do people think about the book ?
Once upon a time, loyalty was decided by large armies and costly landgrabs. A knight (or similar) would swear their loyalty and in turn all the sprawling hordes of peasants (or similar) underneath would also find themselves also pledged to that cause. But we are no longer in that period. In Westernised countries, gone are the knights, swept away the uneducated masses and in its place born is the freely accessible internet.
Joss Gillet’s guide to business, The Customer Affinity Manifesto: How AI can Help Businesses Connect with Customer Emotions, brings into conversation the need to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into brand building. Before all else, Gillet details two home truths, 1) AI is not going anywhere and 2) your business is not going anywhere without it. (The phrase “suck it up and move on” springs to mind.)
That said, Gillet is equally keen to not let AI become seen as a digital enemy, if anything in many cases throughout recent history he cites many examples of where AI systems have benefited improvements in marketing and how, before then, psychology experimentation was mimicking a lot of what we see today, be it on a much more labour-intensive scale. From telephone response times to the words and colours on a digital app, a better understanding of customer frustrations can lead to better targeted improvements. Happy customers equals happy economic growth.
Using his previous experience in the Telecommuncations sector to build a case study, Gillet identifies sixteen specific pain points (or ‘topics’) where customers feel particular disillusionment with their provider’s service. Gillet then presents the case that anyone can use deep learning to build a simple AI model to utilise freely accessible data on social media platforms, such as Twitter, to produce highly effective data charts and sentiment scores. Later on, there contains more detail about how business can implement effective AI, without needing to rely on the brand popularity of 10,000+ Tweet mentions a day.
Gillet’s book is well researched, well put together and visually is very engaging (the use of clearly explained graphs being welcomed sight). Granted, this would perhaps not be the best birthday present for someone selling the occasional bead necklace on Etsy, but for the truly aspirational, those who want to grow their business and stay ahead of the increasingly steep and bloody curve of customer satisfaction, this book is a must.